Krakow market
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Central Europe Itinerary: The Best 7 Day trip (2024)!

Thinking of some holiday destinations and wondering about the best Central Europe itinerary?

Can you imagine a region with old castles, cobblestone streets, delicious food, beautiful scenery, and lively towns? Well, you’ll find all of this in Central Europe! So, how about a very nice Central Europe itinerary?

From the towns with lots of history in Poland to the green mountains in Slovakia, it’s a treasure trove of different things to do.

Central Europe is ready for you, no matter what kind of traveler you are. The question if this region is worth visiting is basically the underlying foundation of my blog. This is my favorite region together with Eastern Europe and The Balkans to live in and travel to!

You might push your luck a tiny bit with this itinerary so you might want to add one or two days of rest in between.

So, let’s dive in and I’ll tell you why and how you should plan your next trip here.

7-Day Central Europe Itinerary

Let’s step into the heart of Europe, where history, culture, and beautiful landscapes all come together. We will go on a 7-day trip through Central Europe that will be one of the highlights of your life so far.

As I only focus on four countries in Central Europe at the moment, here are my seven top places to visit in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia that you absolutely must see:

Central Europe Itinerary Day One: Warsaw

Start your trip through Central Europe in the lively city of Warsaw, which is the capital of Poland and a mix of old and new.

Morning

Start your first day by going to the beautiful Royal Castle, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spend about 2 hours looking around the luxurious rooms and taking in the amazing views of the city.

After that, eat at Zapiecek, a neighborhood restaurant known for its traditional Polish dumplings (pierogi).

Central Europe Itinerary - Royal Castle
Royal Castle

Afternoon

After lunch, you can spend the afternoon in the peaceful Lazienki Park, which has castles, an orangery, and a statue of Chopin. Spend about two hours strolling at your own pace.

Evening

Finish your day on Nowy Swiat Street, one of the most famous streets in the city. You can enjoy the lively atmosphere, cute shops, and bars. Try some of the best food in the area for dinner at a place like Manekin.

Where to stay in Warsaw

For your stay in Warsaw, I would recommend the Polonia Palace Hotel:

Book your stay here!

Central Europe Itinerary Day Two: Krakow

Krakow is a city full of history, art, and music that will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.

Morning

Start your day by going to the famous Wawel Castle, which is a sign of Polish pride. Spend about two to three hours taking in the history and the beautiful buildings.

Krakow in travel to central europe
Krakow main square

Afternoon

Go to the Main Market Square after eating lunch at Morskie Oko, which is known for its rich Polish food. Spend a couple of hours visiting the shops, the Cloth Hall, and St. Mary’s Basilica.

Evening

Spend the end of the day in the moody Kazimierz District. It’s a great place to spend a fun evening because it has a lot of unique bars, shops, and food stands.

Where to stay in Krakow

For your stay in Krakow, I would recommend the Metropolitan Boutique Hotel:

Book your stay here!

Central Europe Itinerary Day Three: Prague

You can discover what makes Prague one of the most beautiful places in Europe (at least, that’s my humble opinion). Walk along streets with cobblestones and explore the city’s long history.

Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and is a Gothic and Baroque wonderland that is often called the City of a Hundred Spires.

Morning

Start your day in the famous Old Town Square, where you can look at the Astronomical Clock, visit the Tyn Church, and eat breakfast at one of the lovely local cafes.

In the morning, you should have plenty of time to take a relaxed walk across the Charles Bridge and enjoy the city views as you go.

Central Europe Itinerary - Prague
Prague alongside the Vltava River

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon looking around Prague Castle, a beautiful old building with amazing views of the city. A restaurant near the castle serves classic Czech food for lunch.

Evening

When it gets dark, go to Wenceslas Square, a lively area with shops, bars, and places to go out at night. You can end your day with a trip on the Vltava, which will give you a unique view of the city lit up at night.

Where to stay in Prague

For your stay in Prague, I would recommend the Hotel Pod Vezi:

Book your stay here!

Central Europe Itinerary Day Four: Cesky Krumlov

Get away from the capital city and visit Cesky Krumlov, a small and charming town. It’s a day full of beautiful buildings, winding river views, and streets with cobblestones.

Morning

Start the day by going to the amazing Cesky Krumlov Castle, where you can look around the historic rooms and enjoy the views from the castle towers. Grab a late breakfast or early lunch at one of the town center’s cute cafés.

Central Europe Itinerary - Český Krumlov
Český Krumlov

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon wandering the old town’s narrow, winding streets and stopping in shops and galleries along the way. Don’t pass up the chance to float down the Vltava River in a raft or boat.

Evening

Finish the day with a delicious meal at one of the places along the river. You could even try some traditional Czech food.

Where to stay in Cesky Krumlov

For your stay in Cesky Krumlov, I would recommend Hotel Ruze:

Book your stay here!

Central Europe Itinerary Day Five: Budapest

Budapest is a famous city that is split by the Danube River into the ancient district of Buda and the modern district of Pest. The city never gets boring to me!

Morning

Start your day at Heroes’ Square, where you can look at images of Hungary’s most important leaders. You can go to the nearby City Park and Vajdahunyad Castle from there. Try a close café to get a traditional Hungarian breakfast.

Budapest in travel to central europe
Thermal baths in Budapest

Afternoon

In the afternoon, you can go to the Buda part of the city. Visit the Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and Fisherman’s Bastion, all of which are important parts of Castle Hill’s history. Grab a late lunch in the Castle District and try some classic Hungarian dishes.

Evening

Take a peaceful bath in one of the city’s famous thermal baths, like the Széchenyi or Gellért Baths, in the evening. Take a ride down the Danube at the end of the day to see the city lit up at night.

Where to stay in Budapest

For your stay in Budapest, I would recommend Hotel Metro:

Book your stay here!

Central Europe Itinerary Day Six: Eger

Visit the charming Hungarian city of Eger, which is still largely undiscovered but is known for its old castle, beautiful classic buildings, and good wines. Keep this secret between us!

Morning

You can spend your morning at Eger Castle, which has great views of the city. Then take a walk to the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle.

Central Europe Itinerary -Cobblestones street in Eger
Cobblestones street in Eger

Afternoon

In the afternoon, go to the Szépasszony Valley, a.ka. the Valley of the Beautiful Woman, to taste wine at the local caves. Don’t miss the famous red mix Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood), which is one of Hungary’s most well-known wines.

Evening

Back in the town centre, go to one of the classic Hungarian restaurants for a hearty meal. You can spend the rest of the evening strolling around the beautiful streets of the town.

Where to stay in Eger

For your stay in Eger, I would recommend Hotel Korona Wellness:

Book your stay here!

Central Europe Itinerary Day Seven: High Tatras

Explore the beauty of the High Tatras, the highest mountain area in the Carpathian Mountains, and spend your last day outdoors.

To me, the High Tatras in Slovakia are the most beautiful part of the Carpathian Mountains. If you like the outdoors, you’ love it because you can go climbing in the summer and ski in the winter.

Morning

Start your day with a walk to one of the High Tatras’ beautiful hills, like Kriváň or Rysy. You can eat a packed breakfast while taking in the beautiful views of the mountains.

Central Europe Itinerary - Tatra Mountains in Slovakia
Tatra Mountains in Slovakia

Afternoon

Visit Štrbské Pleso, a beautiful mountain lake, in the afternoon. You could also take a cable car to the second highest peak in the High Tatras, Lomnický štít.

Evening

In the evening, you can relax at your hotel or have a warm meal at a nearby mountain hut restaurant that serves traditional Slovakian food.

Where to stay in High Tatras

For your stay in High Tatras, I would recommend Hotel FIS:

Book your stay here!

Itinerary Map of Central Europe

You can use this Google Map to find your way around Central Europe quickly and get the most out of your trip.

Central Europe 7 Day Trip: FAQs

This section will help you prepare for your trip with related questions and my answers.

Is Central Europe worth visiting?

Yes, it really is!

Central Europe is a great mix of different cultures and important historical events. This area has the best of both the old and new worlds, with centuries-old traditions and modern attractions that work extremely well together. When you travel here, you get a full experience that is both relaxing and educational.

Central Europe’s past is one of the most interesting things about it. From castles from the Middle Ages to museums from the 20th century, each site has a unique story to tell about its past and gives a glimpse into the world’s history. If you’re a history fan, you’ll love it here.

Central Europe also has a variety of landscapes, which is another good reason to go there. It has many beautiful natural features, like tall alpine peaks, tranquil lakes, and beautiful woods. There are plenty of beautiful views that would make anyone want to take pictures.

Zakopane in Poland
Zakopane in Poland

Central Europe is also known for having some of the best food in the world. Each country in this area has a unique culinary practise that comes from their own culture.

I can tell you that here, food isn’t just something to eat; it’s also a huge part of the culture. I love the food my Czech mother makes!

What are the countries in Central Europe?

This is a question that I get quite often. It would be good to break down the countries located in the Central European region as I know it.

However, I only focus on four countries in Central Europe but there are actually several countries that make up the heart of the European continent. Thinking of this region, I only write about Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The other countries in the heart of Europe are Germany (a country where many poets and philosophers come from), Austria (known for its sophisticated culture and beautiful architecture), and Switzerland (known for it’s natural beauty and elegance).

Each of these countries adds its own special touch to Central Europe, making it a rich and varied place that just begs to be explored.

What is the best way to travel around Central Europe?

What I really like about Central Europe is the fact that the region has a very good network of roads, trains, and airports. This makes getting around the area easy and fun for you.

Travel by Train:

In Central Europe, trains are often thought to be the best way to get around. The train system is big, works well (almost always on time!), and isn’t too expensive. The trip through different scenery is also beautiful and fun.

Eurail and Interrail both offer flexible rail passes that can save you money if you want to visit more than one city or country. You can also save time by taking the night trains, which let you sleep during the trip and wake up in a new place.

Car Rental:

Renting a car can be a great choice if you like to be in charge of your plans and like to explore places that aren’t as popular. But keep in mind that each country has its own rules and laws about driving.

Also, if you rent a car in one country and drop it off in another, you may have to pay foreign drop-off fees.

Travel by Air

Low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air can get you between big cities quickly and often for a low price. But don’t forget to think about extra costs like baggage fees and transfers from cheap airports, which are often far away.

Travel by Bus

Busses are a great way to get around if you want to save money and you don’t want to take a train. Companies like FlixBus give a lot of routes and good prices all over Central Europe.

Travel by Boat

Last but definitely not least, don’t overlook the boats! Even more so in Hungary, where a boat ride along the Danube gives you a unique view of the countryside and towns like Budapest.

It’s important to remember that public transport in Central European cities is usually fast, cheap, and well-connected, with trams, busses, and, in some cities, metros.

Tip: make sure to check your ticket before you travel on public transport to avoid getting fined!

How much is the average cost of traveling in Central Europe?

The average cost of travelling in Central Europe can vary a lot depending on things like how you travel, the countries you visit, the time of year, and your own personal tastes.

But here is a general idea of how much you might pay in these countries in Euros:

  • Accommodation: prices for places to stay can be very different. Hostels on a budget start at about €12 – €20 per night for a shared single room. A private room might cost €25 – €40 per night.

    Mid-range hotels can cost between €40 and €80 per night, and high-end hotels can cost more than €120 per night.
  • Food: this is another factor where you have a lot of control over how much you spend. Street food and cheap meals cost between €4 and €8, while a meal at a cheap restaurant might cost between €8 and €12.

    At a mid-range restaurant, a three-course meal can cost between €16 and €32.
  • Transportation: these costs will depend on how far you need to go and how you want to get there. Most tickets for public transport in cities cost between €0.80 and €2.40 per trip.

    Long-distance train rides between cities can cost anywhere from €16 to €48, based on how far you’re going and if you choose a high-speed train. If you’re going to travel by train a lot, you might want to buy a Eurail or Interrail pass.
  • Sightseeing: prices to get into museums, historical places, and other attractions can range from €4 to €16 per site. Some towns give you tourists cards that let you get into many attractions and use public transport for free for a certain amount of time.

As a middle-class traveler, I would say that you can usually expect to spend between €55 and €100 per day. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and entry fees.

Remember that this is just a rough estimate from my side/experience and that prices can change. It’s always a good idea to plan your trip and make a budget ahead of time to avoid extra costs.

Best time to visit Central Europe?

The best time to visit Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia depends a lot on your tastes and what you want to do during your trip. Spoiler alert, I love this region in every season!

However, here are some things for you to think about:

  • Spring (April to June):
    Central Europe is a great place to visit in the spring. The weather is getting warmer, the beautiful surroundings are getting brighter, and the number of tourists is still decent.

    This is a great time to go on city trips, explore the countryside, and enjoy cafes with outdoor seating.
  • Summer (July to August):
    Summer is the most popular time for tourists to visit these countries, and it’s also when the weather is hottest, with temperatures often going above 30°C.

    Big towns can be crowded, but they also have a lot going on, like festivals and other events that take place outside. But if you’d rather not be around as many people, summer might not be the best time.
  • Autumn (September to October):
    Another great time to visit Central Europe is in the autumn. This period can be very beautiful, especially in rural areas, where it makes beautiful scenery.

    The weather is cooler than it was in the summer, but it’s still nice enough to do things outside. Like in the spring, there are fewer tourists in the fall than in the summer.
  • Winter (November to March):
    During the winter, it can get very cold(!) in Central Europe, with temperatures often going far below 0°C. But if you like to do things in the winter, it’s a beautiful time to go. In Slovakia, for example, the High Tatras are a great place to ski.

    During the holiday season, there are also charming Christmas markets, which are especially popular in Poland and the Czech Republic. These markets make the area feel festive and lovely.

So, the best time to go to Central Europe depends on what you like. In Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, each season has its own special things to do.

In the spring, you can see flowers blooming, in the summer, there are festivals, in the autumn, the leaves change, and in the winter, it’s full of winter wonderlands.

Is it safe to travel to Central Europe now?

Yes! It’s very safe to travel to Central Europe.

In general, Central European countries that I focus on are very safe and have low rates of crime. But, as with any place you visit, it’s important to take basic safety measures if you’re going to big cities like Prague or Krakow.

Some of these to keep in mind are:

  • Making sure your personal belongings are safe.
  • Be careful in busy places to avoid getting pickpocketed.
  • Following the rules and customs of the area.
  • Late at night, you should avoid places that aren’t as busy and aren’t well lit.

If you are worried about your health, make sure you have travel insurance that covers hospital costs. Also, it’s best to be up-to-date on your regular vaccinations and any extra vaccines that are recommended for the places you’re going.

I would say that Central Europe is a safe place for you to visit. But knowing what to expect and taking sensible measures will go a long way towards making sure your trip goes smoothly and you have a good time.

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    What is the most beautiful country in Central Europe?

    It’s almost as hard to choose the most beautiful country in Central Europe as it is to pick your favorite kid. Every country has its own special beauty.

    However, if you would ask me personally, then I’m hesitating between the Czech Republic or Slovakia.

    But then, my final pick would be the Czech Republic (and it’s not because I have lived here for over six years or would get into trouble with my Czech wife if I would pick something else).

    The Czech Krkonose Mountains in winter
    The Czech Krkonose Mountains in winter

    Do you want to know why? Check out my other posts about beautiful Prague, the best places to live in the Czech Republic, and Prague versus Budapest.

    The Wrap-Up: Why Travel to Central Europe?

    For me, Central Europe has a unique mix of beautiful history, different scenery, rich culture, and delicious food.

    This beautiful area has something for everyone, from the busy streets of Warsaw to the impressive castles in Slovakia.

    But there are many more great places to visit like Gyor and Pecs in Hungary, Bratislava and Trenčín in Slovakia, Plzen and Brno in the Czech Republic and Zakopane (best time to visit) as well as Malbork in Poland. And still, there is so much more to see when it comes to nature!

    Traveling to Central Europe isn’t just a holiday; it’s a journey that gives you a fascinating look into the heart of Europe. So, why wait?

    Start your trip to Central Europe right now and enjoy it!

    Your restless voyager,

    Dustin

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