Spain Vs. Eastern Europe

For those of you that have done both Spain and Eastern Europe (thinking Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia, et cetera)... which did you prefer? Ideally I'd like to do both, but $$ might limit my choices to only one.

I've had a lot of people tell me that Eastern Europe is absolutely incredible, and have only got similar reviews about Barcelona for Spain.

Thoughts? Opinions?


Hi Sarah,

I've done a bit of Spain and it is great but really you don't get anything new and different from anywhere else in Western Europe. But then I have only done certain parts of it, like Majorca and Barcelona, not the central part which could be different. You're more than likely to find a lot of English lager louts on the coastal areas, so maybe better to experience Eastern Europe.

I only say that because I have just been and Slovenija and Croatia and they were great. You see different things, there aren't many tourists, with excpetion to Croatia which has half of Australia there, but also its still fairly cheap. I haven't done Poland or Bosnia or Hungary but I think that they would be a huge experience to see. You should check out our tours with Eastern Trekker, and our Spain and Portugal adventure (Iberian Adventure) to see which would appeal to you the most.

Hope this helps to make up your mind!

Jo [:D]


Hi SarahC,

Wow, that is quite the question. REALLY hard to answer. The 3 of us here in the office have just had a long conversation about it so we'll each give our opinions (Jo has just given hers).

I travelled in Spain a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Spain is quite diverse and there is tons to see; Madrid is one of the greatest cities in Europe (and so is Barcelona; I'm personally not a huge Barcelona fan but everyone I know loves it the best so I guess it has something going for it that I haven't experienced). San Sebastian is a lovely little city that you can definitely spend a lot of time in. Seville and Granada are super hot and you don't feel guilty drinking sangria all day, wearing next to nothing and soaking in the atmosphere (and visiting the Alhambra in Granada, of course). The food is delicious (especially the tapas, pintxos, in the Basque region... mmmm......)The people are gorgeous, the language is accessible, the music/nightlife is great ... you pretty much can't go wrong in Spain.

That said, GO TO EASTERN EUROPE!! Croatia is the most incredible country in Europe with the loveliest people, fantastic ancient and recent history, beautiful cities and National Parks, cheap(ish) prices, and the breathtaking Adriatic sea. And it's not too touristy eveywhere, only in certain places but even then it's so beautiful that you won't mind. Bosnia has Sarajevo and Mostar, 2 cities with a history that you'll personally remember (it's very interesting, and kinda rare in Europe, to learn about historically important things that have happened during your lifetime). You'll fall in love with - and be totally surprised by - Sarajevo. Budapest has some of the best nightlife in Europe (huge outdoor clubs on the bank of the Danube), Slovenia has a landscape that will blow you away it's so beautiful, and Montenegro is, by all accounts, "the next big thing".

My general opinion is that if you've never really travelled around Europe before, you kinda have to go to Spain to see the major sights and cities that you've heard about all your life (the same way that you have to go to Paris and Italy). If you've done a bit of travelling and you feel that you have already checked off a few of those places on the "do before you die" list, then go to Eastern Europe (because I think once you do Eastern Europe, there's no going back).

What does everyone else think??


"To Travel is to Live"
- H.C. Andersen


Glad to spark some conversation. :P

Thanks for your replies. The general feeling I'm getting from people (here and other places) is Eastern Europe. Mainly because it's still relatively untouched by tourism. I want to see it while it's still like that, whereas Spain (barring war, natural disaster, etc.) will probably be the same in five, ten, however many years.

Spain was never actually one of those places that I had really thought about visiting until recently, I've always been more interested in other parts of Europe. So while I'd still love to see it, the thought of not going next year isn't breaking my heart.

Hopefully I'll be able to do both! :D We'll see how much prices for flights, tours, accommodations, etc. go up.

Thanks again.



I haven't been to Spain yet but I did croatia, montenegro, bosnia, slovenia, slovakia, hungary and poland last year and loved it! it was fantastic. So much history in Croatia and Bosnia like Andrea has said, that you will probably personally remember. its amazing!

croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia are beautiful and are definately places that should be seen while they are still relatively untouched.

I cant wait to go back.


Hi Sarah,

The third and final Busabout office girl chimes in with her 2 cents. I'm in the same boat as you Sarah - I've actually never been to Spain or Eastern Europe. But here's what I'm thinking - Eastern Europe is at the top of my 'to-go' list.

Why? Well for me, it just seems fascinating, that part of the world. I'm really interested in the history (both ancient and recent), and the landscape looks absolutely stunning. And I have a suspicion that photographs (as amazing as they are) are probably not even doing it justice.

What you look for when you travel is definitely a personal preference thing. I've never been drawn to the world's big cities (one of my favourite trips so far was backpacking through Central America). So the villages, mountains, lakes and secluded islands are definitely enticing me to Eastern Europe - just as soon as time and money allows!

So Sarah, it sounds like you're leaning towards Eastern Europe as well. My advice would be to get there as soon as you can, before everyone else finds out about it [:p]


I've done Spain and parts of Eastern Europe. Your comparing apples to oranges, Yes they are fruit but boy they are different.

I don't think my life would have been complete without going to spain, but for that matter Croatia as well. My Highlights for spain, all of it. From Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Seville, Madrid, San Seb all hold a special place in my heart.

I think you have to do both. Spain is an ever changing place, the running of the bulls festival is out of this world as an experience. Barcelona with its night clubs, Sangria, That beach that goes on forever, the interesting architecture (and i don't like architecture) Las Ramblas what an interesting place. Seville, Granada, Valencia the real way of spanish laid back life. The real meaning of the siesta, the food, the Holy Grail in Valencia. Madrid I can take it or leave it, it wasn't a great city for me. San Sebastien, Awesome little town to chill by the beach.

Its very hard to explain all these places in a few words but i'm trying.

Poland, those crazy poles with their vodka parties, history Real different city. Hungry too, Croatia is Beautiful enough said, Bosnia a place of new growth, different trying to move forward.

I've been avoiding this thread as I can't decide myself. I'll put it to you this way, next year i'm travelling europe again. Barcelona, Valencia and san seb, are on my list but so is Croatia, Bosnia, Turkey, and Albania.

If I can give you one piece of advice, don't plan your trip to the day though... There are places you will like and places that just will rub you the wrong way. Prauge and Madrid for me, remember to be flexible.


Cheers EP
Check out my busabout blog
Flickr -My budding photography skills at work
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Thanks everyone. Well I've made Eastern Europe my priority but I'm adjusting other parts of my plans to hopefully be able to do Spain as well.

evilpandas - Yeah I know you have to be flexible when traveling, but I'm doing things other than Busabout that have fixed departure dates. I'm going to try to plan for two or three extra days between each of my "fixed" dates so I have a bit more flexibility to stay somewhere longer if I want.


Eastern Europe. Croatia is amazing, everyone should go there, teh people, the food, the sights, all fantastic. Poland and Hungary were good too. Barcelona was very cool, great stuff to see. Madrid was ok, also did a day trip to Sergovia to check out the auqaducto which was fun. but yeah definitely eastern europe, there's lots of interesting things like Plitvice lakes, Wieliczka Salt Mine (near Krakow), Nazi concentration camps (Auschwitz is a place you should go to if you are near, very moving)


I like traveling to Spain a lot. I've never traveled eastern Europe but maybe that will have to be my next trip.

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