Travelling around Eastern Europe

Basic facts about Eastern Europe

On this blog, Eastern Europe includes the following countries: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia (these three form a region of Baltic countries), Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Some Balkan countries are excluded, for example, Montenegro and Croatia are included in the Southern Europe region on this blog. Technically, Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent, however, there is no strict definition.

All Eastern European countries, now member states of the European Union, on this blog, are geographically located in the eastern and central parts of Europe and all of them have similar political heritage, long time being under the influence of the Soviet Union during the twentieth century.
This has been drawing a border between western and eastern parts of Europe historically rather than geographically (for example, the United Nations Statistics Division includes Baltic countries, as well as, the UK and Ireland, in the Northern Europe region). So, the major factors considered regarding countries located within the Eastern Europe region on this blog are rather of historical, cultural, and socioeconomic background.

Some numbers

According to the UN statistics (here I refer to Worldometer data), in 2024 the number of people living in Eastern Europe is almost 287.5 million which is some 3.5% of the world's total population. However, this also includes such countries as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus which are not seen as a part of travel experiences on this blog.
As of 2023, the largest country included in the Eastern Europe region on this blog is Poland with around 41 million people living there. The next in terms of population are Romania (almost 20 million), Czechia (slightly over 10 million), Hungary (9 million), Bulgaria (6.5 million) and Slovakia (5.8 million). Interestingly the number of people living in all three Baltic (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) countries is also around 5.8 million. The smallest on this list is Estonia with only 1.3 million inhabitants.

Other interesting facts about Eastern Europe

Eastern European countries have a very long history and tremendous cultural heritage. For example, Plovdiv in Bulgaria, which is the second largest city in the country, is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. Its history dates back to about 8000 years, just to mention that ancient Greek civilisation started their existence only about 3.5 thousand years ago but ancient Rome less than 3000 years ago.
According to Yahoo Finance, the most visited country in Eastern Europe is Poland with almost 16 million visitors arriving to this country in 2022. Surprisingly for me, the second on the list is Romania (nearly 13 million visitors) with Hungary in third place (over 12 million visitors).
According to US News, the best Eastern Europe travel spot is Prague. The second place goes to Budapest, the third to the Transylvania region in Romania followed by the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Estonian capital Tallinn.
Hopefully, this gives you some insights regarding the topic. For more details, see some of my travel notes on this blog below.