Eastern Europe, most of it still thought of as "post-Communist", more than 20 years after the Berlin Wall fell, is a vibrant and growing destination for tourism. Many of these countries are now European Union members, making travel easier, and benefit from decades of state investment in railways, hotels and other tourist infrastructure.
Poland has seen many tragedies, occupations and wars, yet many of its historical treasures have survived intact and draw visitors to the country.
Russia has always stood on the border between east and west, sometimes energetically adopting western culture and other times emphasising its differences.
The Baltic States Coming Soon
The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were the first to break away from the USSR in 1991, and have become popular destinations for their historic capitals of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius.
Fast becoming a popular budget ski destination, Bulgaria also houses a wealth of cultural and historical treasures, seemingly untouched by time.
Famous as the birthplace of the legendary Count Dracula, Romania has a wealth of stunning scenery, ancient monuments and intriguing folk traditions.
Ukraine is a massive country, almost the size of Texas, and the great cities of Kyiv and Odessa as well as the Black Sea resorts on the Crimean peninsula are awaiting discovery.