10 amazing Eastern European cities you probably haven't heard of but must visit

10 amazing Eastern European cities you probably haven't heard of but must visit

This article was originally published on the global travel search engine Skyscanner.

If Prague is a bit passe, then how about trying out an unsung eastern European city? We've got ten you may not have heard of, but really should visit. It all started with Prague and Budapest opening their doors to international tourists as the Iron Curtain was finally torn open across Eastern Europe.

In recent years travel writers and adventurous city breakers have been on the look out for 'new' cities to explore and the good news is that we have uncovered ten intriguing destinations for you to check out.

We're not going to be trite enough to dub these cities the 'New Prague', but whether you know where they are or not, we reckon they are ideal for a weekend city break or an even longer holiday.

1. Zamosc, Poland

Way out in eastern Poland, close to the Ukrainian border, lies one of the most unlikely architectural centres in Europe. The sleepy city of Zamosc boasts a lavishly ornate Italian Renaissance square - the city was built by architect and Padua native, Bernando Mornado, who based many of his designs on Italian ideals of what the perfect city should be like, which probably explains why Zamosc looks like it's been flown straight across from Florence.

A visit here and you'll spend most of your time in and around the fabulous main square and the similarly stunning UNESCO World Heritage listed old town, studying the detailed and colourful buildings.

If you want to learn more about Zamosc's more recent history then check out the city's rotunda, an execution ground during a period of German occupation in World War II.

2. Loket, Czech Republic

Cradled in a bend of the Ohee River, Loket is a picturesque town that makes for the perfect day trip from Prague - it's about four hours by train from the famous 'lads lads lads' location, is just as pretty and has none of the rowdy crowds of stumbling stags.

Complete with a 14th century castle, city gate tower (40p (S$0.85) entrance fee) and a bookbinding museum, we're not saying you'll get the same party atmosphere, but it's worth stopping by for a cuppa - the city is famous for its porcelain, which you can buy as an authentic Czech souvenir to impress the mother-in-law with when she comes round for tea.

3. Ljubljana, Slovenia

The bijou Slovenian capital is like a greatest hits of European architecture: baroque beauties sitting beside gorgeous medieval architectural gems, while lavish Art Nouveau flourishes and 'retro' socialist-era chic grace the façades of the buildings that crowd the city centre.

Indeed, the Slovenian architect credited with much of what you'll see in Ljubljana, Joze Plecnik, went on to work in Prague, so perhaps you could argue that this city was the original Prague.

Forget the chicken and egg dilemma, there's no doubting that this is a gorgeous city break destination with a vibrant student community and lively riverside cafe culture - connoisseurs of cake need to check out Cajunica Gallus on the banks of the Ljubljanica River, for iced fruit teas and slabs of devilishly decadent chocolate cake.

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