Time to visit Eastern Europe

So I read in the April National Geographic Traveler that now is the time to visit Eastern Europe, specifically the countries joining the EU on May 1. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia all join the EU in May. While this might mean easier travel between countries, it also means higher prices. National Geographic Traveler reports that prices in Prague are already on the rise and that after next summer prices will be similar to those in Western Europe.

Another reason to travel to Eastern Europe now is that the “character of these destinations will undergo a permanent metamorphisis.” If you want to see what Eastern Europe is like before influence from the west and get a bargain, the time is now.

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  1. Eva Kulda says:

    The influence from the West has been around for quite some time in the new members of the EU. If you visited Prague five years ago, or 10 years ago, and if you were to return *now* you would hardly recognise the place.

    It’s been a change for the better, everything considered, and the prices will go up partly because salaries will have to go up, too. Teachers at an entry-level in the Czech Republic currently earn the equivalent of 200 Euros per month, which is not enough to sustain a family.

    Many of them resort to second and third jobs just to keep their families afloat, financially, or turn to other professions in the private sector. The prices that are most likely to rise first, or that have already reached Western levels are those for Western imported goods.

    Prices for arts and crafts, especially outside the tourist areas are still reasonable – but you’ll find it hard not to run into a tourist area these days. MacDonald’s is everywhere.

    My friends from Brno, by the way are delighted about joining the EU.

  2. James Trotta says:

    Thanks for the information! I was offered a job in Russia not too long ago, but balked at the 500/month salary. I hear that’s comparable to what one might make in Prague. I’m told that things in Poland are better, and I’m seriously considering a move to Poland if they don’t make it as difficult for Americans to get work permits as it is in other parts of the EU.

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