Thinking about which transport is best for traveling across Eastern Europe?

If you have ever visited Eastern Europe, you absolutely are aware of 1 thing – in these countries it takes a bit more time to travel from one city to another. When in the Western Europe train liness are extremely well developed (a useful example may be TGV in France), in plenty of Eastern European countries that may still be more difficult. A useful example, to explain it more, is Poland. This is the biggest country in this region, that is very attractive for tourists, as:

- Poland has sea, mountains and big lakes;- Poland is a neighbour of a few other smaller countries, which might be a perfect destination for 1-2 days trip, (for example, Lithuania).

Wroclaw
Autor: Maciek Lulko
Źródło: http://www.flickr.com

Nevertheless, many tourists might be still disappointed. What is the reason? It is pretty obvious. Plenty of of them have heard that in Poland it is easy to see everything you want – sea, lakes, rivers and mountains (http://www.lot.com/airline-tickets/flights-from-warsaw-to-vilnius). Nonetheless, it is not often mentioned, that transport between these places is not so good. Despite the fact that new train connections were introduced a short time ago , most of them are still quite slow. E.g., it may take up to dozen hours to travel from the lakes to the mountains. Even though there are several express train, there are much more expensive than the typical one. Bus enterprises do their best, to offer an alternative connections. They offer fast and highly well organized bus connections, not just connecting particular Polish cities, but neighboring countries. This is worth to mention that bus firms perfectly fit into the market niche. Passengers, tired with slow and always delayed trains, began to travel mostly by buses. Nonetheless, it is still worth to be aware, that there are not lots of highways yet. This means that even though coaches firms do their best to make travel as fast as possible, the travel time still largely depends on public roads. Consequently, travel from one site of the country to the other one, may still take a long time.

Wroclaw
Autor: HRS Poland
Źródło: http://www.flickr.com

Luckily, the problem has been noted by many airlines. Not that long ago, domestic flights were not that fashionable. Even though there were, for instance, flights to Wroclaw, there were pretty expensive compared to trains and buses connections. Thus, they were not very popular. It was qite similar case when it comes to flights to neighbouring countries, for instance, flights from warsaw to Vilnius. A while ago, guys were travelling mainly by buses (click there). Luckily, this has changed a while ago. Airlines began to notice the huge potential in the needs of passengers travelling on short distances. They not only introduced new connections between different Polish cities and neighbouring countries, but also started to have more competitive prices.

In consequence, if you are going to travel around Eastern Europe, my advice would be as following – always check flight connection first. It is not an advice you can find in travel guides or hear from local. However, trust me. It might save a lot of your valuable time.