I want to share with you my Baltic road trip itinerary. It includes all the details of what I did, plus some extra recommendations. The itinerary includes the capitals of the Baltic countries but also so many other places off the beaten path.
Europe has a lot of appeal for travellers due to its huge cultural diversity and small distances between countries. Eastern Europe is not a top priority on travellers’ lists and that makes it even more fascinating.
How my road trip plan started out
I come from Eastern Europe, and I can understand how the media can distort a place or a country’s public perception, and that gives me an advantage, I guess.
It makes me more curious and want to explore more on my own. Perhaps, another advantage would be that I not afraid of uncomfortable situations because, after living within a system recovering from the influences of the Soviet Union and communism, I can easily relate to others raised in a similar environment.
And to be honest, Eastern Europe has some of the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve met in all my travels.
I’m not talking just about Romania. I include all Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Can’t talk about Belarus because I haven’t been there. Yet!
I thought about this Baltic road trip because I didn’t want to let the summer of 2019 go without one last adventure. And what an Eastern European road trip adventure has turned out to be!
To be completely honest, at first, I was planning a Nordic trip, which would start from Bucharest and go all the way up to Oslo, road-tripping through Eastern Europe and then coming back through Denmark and Germany.
After some quick Google searches, I decided it was a bit too expensive for my budget, too long (8000KM+), and it would have taken too much time.
Also, my boyfriend doesn’t drive and driving that much, a small city car with manual transmission and no auto-pilot were all the reasons I had to rethink my road trip.
And that’s why we decided a Baltic road trip is more realistic in terms of time (because we do work and taking 20 days off can be tricky), budget and driving hours.
Put in number, this Baltic road trip itinerary…
… was 18 days long
… drove a total of 3900km
… cost 1350 Eur for 2 people
… went through 8 countries
… visited 6 capitals
… and saw 19 cities
My Baltic road trip itinerary starts actually in Eastern Europe, but it can start from any of these cities and be adapted to your wants.
This is my Eastern European road trip itinerary/ Baltic road trip itinerary:
Bucharest(RO) – Oradea(RO) – Debrecen(HU) – Košice(SK) – Lublin(PL) – Białystok(PL) – Vilnius(LT) – Klaipeda(LT) – Palanga(LT) – Liepāja(LV) – Ventspils(LV) – Riga(LV) – Pärnu(EST) – Tallinn(EST) – Helsinki(FIN) – Tallinn(EST) – Kaunas(LT) – Warsow(PL) – Kraków(PL) – Košice(SK) – Cluj Napoca(RO) – Bucharest(RO)
Baltic road trip or Eastern European road trip?
Keep in mind that the Baltics are considered part of Eastern Europe. I know, it was a surprise for me too, and I live in Eastern Europe.
This Eastern European road trip itinerary can be adapted to be a Baltic road trip if you are coming from further away and you land by plane in one of the Baltic countries and rent a car from there.
Renting a car for Baltics road trip + Costs
Yes, you can rent a car and drive in all the Baltic states because there are no borders, and European car insurance includes all countries from the European Union. But you can ask the rental company to be sure.
Because I wanted to see more and it would have cost me extra to rent a car, I decided to start my Baltic road trip from Romania and drive to the Baltics from Bucharest.
If you are by yourself, it might not be the cheapest thing to do, but I was with my boyfriend, and we split the costs. It is definitely more convenient to do this trip in 2 or 4.
The Baltics are reasonably priced, but as further north you go, the higher the prices go.
Gas, food and accommodation all go up in prices the North you go in the Baltics. Once you reach Tallinn, you will remember the prices from Vilnius or even Riga and wish you’d had a full tank of gas before entering Estonia.
Once again, I spent 1350 Eur for 2 people (this as in 2019). The car is mine, so I didn’t pay for a rental, but this includes gas, food, accommodation, and entrance fees at tourist attractions. This is all we spent in 17 days. We are a budget couple, rarely eat in a restaurant, and most of our meals came from a supermarket. Also, the accommodations are basic, but clean and in a private room.
Please take this as an approximation and do have extra money saved in case something goes wrong. I was lucky to have most of the things working out, and the only inconvenience I had was with the headlight of my car, which needed to be switched in Poland.
My Baltic road trip starts in Eastern Europe, in Romania
My Baltics road trip starts actually in Central Eastern Europe, which makes it even longer and more exciting.
Again, this Eastern European road trip itinerary can be adapted to start from a different city or simply reduced to the Baltics road trip, if that is all you are interested in or you don’t have as much time as I had.
I already listed the city visited during my road trip, but I want to share a bit of my Eastern European road trip adventures which happened along the way, because these make it all a wonderful experience.
I will lay down my itinerary on days, specifying the driving days, stops and where to stop for the night.
Day 1: Bucharest – Oradea
580 km, 8h drive
This was one of the longest, most tiring day.
Romania has some of the worst roads in Europe, and too few highways, which means that about 3/4 of the roads were national roads, with one lane for each direction. The traffic is intense, and the drivers aren’t the best.
I am Romanian, and I love my country, but I have to be objective about this road trip and warn you that driving in Romania will require a lot of patience.
By the time I reached Oradea, I was so tired, I could barely think straight. I found decent accommodation in Oradea and slept for a few hours.
I recommend driving early in the morning in Romania. It tends to get cramped with trucks and this could lead to traffic jams and hours of delays.
That afternoon we visited the old centre of Oradea and the fortress.
Day 2: Oradea(RO) – Debrecen(HU) – Košice (SK)
280 km, 4h drive
We woke up at 7 am, and after a short stop at a supermarket to get some snacks, I drove towards the border.
This can be a tricky border (Romania – Hungary) because Romania is not part of the Schengen space. This means it has an on-land border, where each person and vehicle is checked for papers.
The procedure is simple for personal vehicles, but during summer, the traffic is intense and can take a while. So make sure to get there early.
To understand how bad this is, trucks can wait there for days, if not weeks, if it’s a busy time. Of course, it takes longer to check trucks and all their papers, so that’s why it takes so long.
Like Romania, Hungary has a vignette system in place, which is basically how you pay to drive on its roads.
The good news is that you can buy it online and the road cameras will have your plate number in the system. No need to put a sticker on your window, everything is digital. I got the Hungarian vignette here.
I paid by card and got the one for 1 month because I was going to drive through Hungary again on my way back, and it was cheaper to get the one for 1 month than to buy another one in 2 weeks. I paid 17 Euros for 1 month and got it in my email and also in an SMS.
The same applies to the Slovakian vignette.
Stop in Debrecen, Hungary
Since the time allowed, I decided to stop for a couple of hours in Debrecen, Hungary to explore the city. And I have to say I was surprised by this small but beautiful city.
Some would say those small cities don’t have anything worth mentioning, but the entire centre of Debrecen is full of beautiful buildings and churches.
Spent the night in Košice (SK)
After a couple of hours, we arrived in Košice, Slovakia, in the afternoon, just in time to enjoy the golden afternoon sun and have had something to eat in one of the many beautiful restaurants from the centre.
Spent the night at White Coral Club hostel, in a private double room, with a shared bathroom, which was about 25 Euros. As always, I booked the accommodation as we were enjoying our meal. That was 1 hour before arriving.
The process is the same as for the Hungarian vignette.
Drivers can buy the vignette online and get it in your email and in an SMS. Their system will know you paid it. I bought the 1-month vignette because I drove back the same way.
Day 3: Košice (SK) – Lublin (PL)
380 km, 7 hours
This was one of the longest drives of this Eastern European/Baltic road trip. The distance isn’t that big, but there are no highways, and I drove mostly on national roads with 1 lane in each direction. And the cargo traffic is heavy. It goes through villages, and there are speed cameras. It’s like driving in Romania, but a bit more civilized, since they have speed cameras and nobody wants a fine.
We arrived in Lublin around 4 pm and went to check-in into the shared apartment I booked on the way there. It was a very nice, recently renovated, apartment, with all the furniture new and at a walking distance from the city centre. We even had time to walk to the centre and enjoy the festival. Or whatever it was. They had street food and lots of people on the streets. I think it was a celebration for the city.
Day 4: Lublin (PL) – Vilnius (LT)
For lunch, I stopped in Białystok, Poland and ate at Krowarzywa Vegan Burger.
Ok, so this was a bit of a stretch. I wasn’t sure if I will manage to drive to Vilnius that day and thought that maybe I will stop in Kaunas, Lithuania if I felt too tired.
Yes, it was really tiring, and I was so relieved when we got to Vilnius. It was a record for me, driving that much, and reaching Vilnius, from Bucharest in just 4 days.
Again. That’s why I don’t book in advance accommodation, because I don’t know if I will make it to my destination and I like to have the flexibility to change my mind when I feel like it. However, given the recent price changes and inflation, I recommend booking in advance or you will end up sleeping in your car.
I found Hostel Filaretai, a nice, and basic hostel in Vilnius, which is really close to the old city centre. The private room was around 20 Euros, with shared bathroom and free parking.
I admit that the moment I entered the room, all I wanted to do was to sleep, but it was almost evening, and there was still light outside, and I didn’t want to waste this beautiful light sleeping.
So we changed and started walking towards the old city centre. Check out what to do in Vilnius.
The city was full of hotels, restaurants, tourists and locals roaming around in the evening, admiring the beautiful architecture. I was surprised to discover such a beautiful city. We even got lost at some point and ended up near an ad-hoc open-air cinema, where a couple of hundreds of people were sitting on the ground, watching a movie.
Day 5: Vilnius – Trakai – Kaunas
120km, 2h drive
After a well-needed rest, we woke up at 9 am, ate some breakfast at the hostel from our own supplies and started visiting the centre of Vilnius. The plan was to join a free walking tour, but we got there too late.
Fortunately, they have more than 1 tour in summer, because the demand is high in summer. The tour was brilliant and after it, we found one amazing vegan restaurant (RoseHip Vegan Bistro).
Vilnius is super friendly, affordable and has so much to offer.
Trakai Island Castle
Later that afternoon, we decided to drive to a nearby castle, Trakai Island Castle. And it was worth it. We made it there at sunset, and the view was breathtaking. Unfortunately, the castle was closed already, but it is free to walk around it. Just as we were walking back, the rain started pouring.
So, through the thunderstorm, I drove towards Kaunas, not knowing exactly where I would stop for the night.
I found Domeikavos vila, a nice, cheap room near Kaunas, just perfect for us.
Day 6: Kaunas – Klaipeda – Palanga (LT)
I slept like a baby and woke up to see a clear, blue sky.
On your way to Klaipeda, you can make a slight detour and stop by the Hill of Crosses, in Šiauliai.
I stopped at the nearest supermarket for breakfast and started driving towards Klaipeda, to finally see the Baltic Sea. And let me tell you, it is beautiful. I am sorry I didn’t spend 1 day here.
Klaipeda is a beautiful, cosy town and the sea is beautiful. The road goes north, parallel to the seacoast and there are many parking spots in the woods. Actually, after you park the car, there are dirt paths that lead to the wild beaches. It’s beautiful, and I love how they organized it.
Most of these parking spots are paid for, but I managed to find a smaller one, which was free. And I found this one because the others were full. Everyone was at the beach that day.
We had a picnic on the beach, my boyfriend played his guitar and I enjoyed the view and ran along the shore. This was one lovely afternoon and the entire seacoast has accessible wild beaches. I wish I had more days to explore them all.
A bit south of Klaipeda, is Nida, a famous beach resort that most tourists love. I had no time for that and went a bit North, to find accommodation in Palanga for the night. Another beach resort, which was packed, with lots of restaurants and street food, where we managed to see the purple sky colours after we missed the sunset on the beach.
I booked a room in a small house called La Palanga, located in the centre of the town, and with free parking in the garden. The kitchen was small but good enough to have breakfast the next morning.
Day 7: Palanga(LT) – Liepāja(LV) – Ventspils(LV) – Riga(LV)
Total drive 390km, 5h
In the morning, we did some more visiting in Palanga. In the Palangos miesto botanikos parkas park used to be a pagan shrine (Birutė Hill) and my boyfriend was really keen to see it.
The Samogitian Sanctuary
Then I set the destination to Latvia, but on the way to the border stopped at another pagan shrine in Šventoji, the Samogitian Sanctuary. This is really close to another beautiful beach. If you have more time to spend there, we just stopped for half an hour.
Palanga, Lithuania – Liepāja, Latvia 72 km, 1h
The next stop was Liepāja in Latvia. Liepāja is a small town, has a typical Baltic architecture, a tram that apparently is famous and a nice beach.
Liepāja – Ventspils 120km, 2h
After that, I drove towards Ventspils, Latvia, where I found the port, a beautiful beach, and enjoyed a nice afternoon exploring. Ventspils is known for its many cows’ sculptures, which can be found all around the town. The locals were surprised to see my car plates from Romania.
Ventspils – Riga 190 km, 3h
The road from Ventspils to Riga was spectacular, unfolding the Latvian countryside. And in the second half of August, it was magnificent.
If you have the time, add another stop in Jūrmala, while you are near Riga.
After saying “Goodbye” to the sea, I drove for 2 hours through the beautiful countryside landscape of Latvia and made it to Riga.
By the time I parked in front of the building of the shared apartment I booked in Riga, I realized how beautiful this city is and wasted no time before walking towards the old city centre to see more of it. The evening was chilly, although it was still August.
Day 7: Riga
0 km, parked the car in a private parking for 4 euros/day
From the start, I knew I wanted to spend 2 nights in Riga, and I booked the room for 2 nights. The city is much bigger than Vilnius and has many neighbourhoods worth exploring.
I recommend the old city, Albert Street, the Latvian Academy of Sciences Observation deck, Tallinas neighbourhood, Riga Central Market and Riga Ethnographic museum (which is a bit outside of Riga).
Check out all the things to do in Riga.
Parking is difficult in Riga.
Everywhere on the street you have to pay parking, and the closer you are to the centre, the more expensive it is. I found private parking which was 4 Euros per day and left the car the for 2 days. Most people do the same. We walked everywhere and that’s the best way to experience this beautiful city. Or you can book a hotel with parking, but that will also cost you extra.
Day 8: Riga(LV) – Pärnu(EST)
The second morning in Riga was another chance to visit more of the city, and then we went to the ethnographic museum, which we loved.
The Ethnographic Museum in Riga illustrates perfectly the Latvian village, as most of the museum was actually in a forest. Because half of Latvia is covered by forests. We got there around 4 pm and got the change to see the inside of some houses as well, as they close them early, but the open-air museum remains open until 8 pm.
After this, you can visit Gauja National Park, before heading north to Estonia.
What’s really nice in the Baltic countries is that during summer, the sun sets at around 10 pm, which means we had more time to explore during the day.
The road to Estonia is a coastal road and the landscape is nice. A lot of beautiful woods.
We arrived in Pärnu, Estonia around 8 pm and It was already windy. I put a jacket on and I saw others wearing serious autumn jackets. So, it is true, the Baltic summer is not like I would define summer. It’s around 22-25 Celcius degrees during the day, but it’s chilly in the morning and in the evening.
Pärnu, Estonia is an old fishermen village, with a tiny touristic street in the centre, near the beach, where all the fancy restaurants and hotels are. Everything that was still available for booking was over our budget, aiming towards 40 Euros, and after shaking to see the last glimpses of light on the beach, decided to go to a camping site for the first time.
Perhaps, if you look for accommodation in Pärnu a few days before you arrive, you might have some luck.
It was in Pärnu (EST) where we first used our tent, in a lovely new camping, where we paid 10 Euros for the 2 of us, tent and car. It is called Solar Caravan Park and I loved it.
We arrived around 10 pm there and the lady was kind enough to answer our call and let us camp.
But most such campings in Estonia will welcome you at any time, even if the reception is closed. You just set camp wherever you want and you pay the next day. However, some campings have a gate or a barrier and they close it after 9 or 10 pm. I saw examples of both such campings because Estonia has many great camping parks, that offer much better and cheaper conditions that traditional accommodation options.
I would go back and camp all around Estonia because it’s the best and cheapest way to see its beautiful nature.
Day 9: Pärnu(EST) – Tallinn
After this first night spent in a tent, I realized it was not as bad as I thought, although I had no idea how well we anchored the tent the night before, having no light and having rained that night. Surprisingly, everything was good.
Most campers have camper vans and there aren’t many people still sleeping in a tent. Usually, the campings were pretty empty, and I haven’t seen any with more than a dozen people staying at a time. This means there won’t be a queue in the bathroom or at the kitchen.
In the morning, the sun was shining, and we had breakfast while our tent was drying.
If you have an extra day to spend in Estonia, consider visiting the Saaremaa island, to observe and enjoy the beautiful countryside. This means you will have to book a ferry. It was around 70 Euros for a small car and 2 people.
The first stop was the Alpakafarm OÜ (Alpaca farm), which seems to be a huge touristic attraction in Estonia. This is a family business and it is an attraction for many families from Estonia.
They are open only two months per year, during summer.
I fell in love with these beautiful and gentle creatures. Although I don’t approve of zoos, I have to say that I was impressed with the way they cared for their animals.
Another point of interest in Estonia is the Viking Village.
This is really close to Tallinn. Here you can see a real-life size viking village, with a pond for tourists to go fishing, playgrounds for children, a restaurant and other wooden structures to accommodate events like the Viking festival.
It’s completely free to enter and walk around. But unless you want to eat here or there is an event going on, you will get bored after 1 hour.
After seeing all there was to see in the Vikings Village, we drove to Tallinn.
It was Saturday afternoon and the parking was free everywhere. In Tallinn, parking is free after 7 pm, Saturday afternoon and all Sunday. But the rest of the time it’s better to park in those private parkings and pay 5-6 Euros per day.
The old town of Tallinn was crowded with tourists, and we were overwhelmed with the lovely architecture and the size of the city.
Accommodation isn’t cheap in Tallinn, so I booked Oti Guesthouse, a room in the house of a lovely Russian lady, in the suburbs of Tallinn, just 20 minutes away. The plan was to wake early in the morning and drive to the Port of Tallinn to get on a ship to Helsinki.
Day trips between Tallinn and Helsinki are quite frequent and there are several cruise companies offering tickets.
I recommend booking your tickets online, a few days in advance because the tickets have dynamic prices and are much more expensive if you buy them right before the ferry leaves. I bought our tickets 2 days before and paid around 35 Euros round trip. The plan was to go early in the morning and to get back in the evening.
Day 10: Day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn
This was the day we failed as travellers and had a lot of learning to do.
The ferry for Helsinki was scheduled to leave at 7 am, but I had no idea how these things work so I arrived at the port terminal at 6 45 am. And it was too late. I bought the ferry tickets on a partner website, which didn’t specify the conditions of the journey. And I didn’t bother looking that up.
So we watched as our ferry departed and we were still at the tickets’ office, trying to reason with the staff. There was no solution, but we found out that you need to be in the terminal at least 40 minutes before departure. It was a harsh and expensive lesson.
As I said, there are a few companies offering this ferry trip, but they all have a dynamic price. After some hours, we bought other one-way tickets with a different company, paying another 60 euros (for 2 one-way tickets), having lost already half of the day of exploring Helsinki. But this way, we could still use the first tickets (with the first company) to get back. This may not work now, as the ferries changed policies (I read this after I took the same ferry again in 2022).
This ferry was at around 10 am. To take advantage of the early wake-up, I walked around the old city of Tallinn, taking pictures of this cure cobblestone streets, before other tourists woke up.
The old centre is really close to the port of Tallinn, so all of this was a huge walking tour, and by 11 am I had already walked 5 or 6 km.
Due to our rookie mistake, we got to Helsinki at 14 30 pm and had only about 5 hours to explore the city. And that is what we did. Helsinki is lovely, especially if you are lucky to see it on a sunny day. Just pick up a map of the attractions from a tourist info point and walk till you drop. We managed to see most of it in 5 hours. There were almost no breaks and no sitting for lunch included. But it was just enough.
At 7 30 pm, we boarded the ferry back to Tallinn and arrived in Tallin by 9 30 pm (I hope I’m not wrong), just in time to run to the hostel and check-in.
Worst accommodation in Tallinn
As I told you, Estonia has more expensive accommodation, and one of the few hostels I found that would be within our budget was one in the old city, in a very old building. The staff was super friendly, with some guys in their early 20s.
But the room was a mess. It was a private room in a hostel, which has half a floor in an apartment building. A very old building. The bathroom was a disaster, and the kitchen made me throw up. It was worse than what I’ve seen in India! I would mention the name of the hostel just so that people know to stay away from it! It is called Katus Hostel and I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT!
My mistake was that I paid by card, for 2 nights, before seeing the room. The moment I set foot in the room, I knew I wanted out!
I cried myself to sleep. The location was nice, as it was right in the heart of the old city. It is a perfect location if your goal in life is to go to Tallinn and get drunk in the old town. But mine wasn’t.
The next morning I asked this new guy at the reception to refund me the money for the second night because I wanted to leave. It was tricky because I paid by card, but he eventually agreed to pay me cash. So this concludes: great people, shitty place!
Because Tallinn is so close to Helsinki and a stop for Nordic cruise ships, during the day, the city gets filled with tourists from the cruises. And it is really convenient since the old town is so close to the port.
Day 11: Tallinn old city and Lahemaa National Park, Estonia
The first part of the day was spent exploring. We joined a free walking tour. It was nice and I took many picture.
So that put an end to my patience and a couple of more incidents with not-so-friendly locals, which made me want to leave the city faster. Tallinn is very nice but overcrowded, and more expensive than the other Baltic cities. That’s the Nordic influence, I guess.
Check out all the things to do in Tallinn here.
Lahemaa National Park
That afternoon I drove to Lahemaa National Park, discovered a beautiful wild beach (Tsitre ujumiskoht), and took a nap on the beach. At the same time, my boyfriend played his guitar and then drove some more around the area.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of people living in the National Park and every corner of it looks amazing. Nature looks amazing.
After we got sick of driving around, we went to the most famous bog of Estonia, Viru Bog Trail. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I haven’t seen a bog before. (Later edit: I realized we have one or two in Romania, but they look nothing like this one).
We spent the rest of the day there and loved it! I really recommend it!
After that, we headed south of Tallinn to find a camping site for the night. We ended up at Vanamõisa Caravan Park, where the reception was closed already, but we pitched our tent anyway and paid the next morning.
Day 12: Tallinn – Kaunas
560km, 7-hour drive
This was a long day, not stopping so much, and I drove for most of the day.
We stayed at another camping in Kaunas, because we wanted to visit the city a little the next day. I do recommend Kaunas Camp Inn, if you want to camp in the area.
We made it just in time to watch the sunset from the small beach next to the camping. Tourists and locals were swimming in the river, while other campers were relaxing in camping. It’s not a huge site like the other places, but it is literally in the city, and it has everything you need.
Day 13: Kaunas – Warsaw
550 km, 6 hours
This was a late morning, as I left the camping at 1 pm.
After that, we went to visit the main attraction of Kaunas, The Museum of the Devil. It’s an impressive collection of statues, marks and stories depicting and talking about the devil in the different cultures of the world.
After a short walk around the city, we jumped in the car and headed towards Warsaw. It was a long drive, and it got dark fast because we had a late start that day. And I found a camping park to stop at before reaching Warsaw, as it was already late and it started raining.
We camped at CamperPark24, and we discovered that to be a perfect place for camping, if you are a fisherman. Just as we finished setting up the tent, a thunderstorm started and we moved in the car. Apparently, staying inside of the car is safer than sleeping in a tent, in an open field, near a lake.
Day 14: Warsaw – Krakow
CamperPark24 – Warsaw 60km, 1h
Yes, I had survived my first thunderstorm in a tent. The next morning I drove 60 km, approx 1 hour to get to the centre of Warsaw. As always, finding a parking space and paying took forever.
Warsaw is a beautiful city, although the first thing I saw after I parked was a small exhibition of memoirs of war veterans, remembering how Warsow was wiped off the face of the Earth by the German army in WW2.
Unfortunately, the war left some deep scars and they are visible to this day.
Like any other European city, the main attractions are in the centre of the city, and indeed, the old centre is charming, although it has been completely rebuilt not so long ago.
For lunch, I stopped at a Lovin Hut restaurant, which has so many Asian vegan options. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the food is delicious, the service is fast, and the locals love it.
Warsow – Krakow 300km, 4 h
Four hours later, I arrived in Krakow and checked into the best shared-room apartment from this entire trip. It is called Mhost Bronowice, and I can’t recommend it enough.
After checking in, I drove closer to the centre to explore the centre of Krakow for a couple of hours before going to bed. Even though it was dark, I realized what a beautiful city Krakow is. And touristic.
Day 15: Krakow – Košice
250 km, 4h
As you can imagine, I was so tired after all that driving.
That’s why I got up late and arrived a bit late for the free walking tour we wanted to take. I started asking people around and found a free walking tour. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t the free walking tour of the old city but a WW2 free walking tour. Impressing, nevertheless.
After the tour, we said Goodbye to Krakow because it deserved more than a few hours and decided to go there again for a proper visit.
Wieliczka salt mine
The next stop was at the Wieliczka salt mine. It’s a famous attraction in Poland, and it was recommended by someone on my Instagram too. But the 20 Euros ticket almost made me say pass. Luckily, I indulged in this experience.
It was very nice. And it takes at least 2 hours to visit it. Of course, after the tour is done, you can stay there as long as you like. They even have a restaurant in the mine.
Then the driving began.
Arrived in Kosice, Slokavia, sometime after 10 pm. We stayed at the same hostel as the first time, the White coral Club. That’s how much we liked it. Simple, new, clean, cheap, nice staff (although the man there doesn’t speak English).
Day 16: Košice (SK) – Cluj Napoca (RO)
450 km, 6h
Another long day drive, but I had about 1 hour to walk around the main square in Cluj and admire the people and the buildings. Do not get fulled by Cluj; because it’s a big city, it is busy and expensive.
However, I do recommend spending some time in Cluj. Check out the best places to see in Cluj.
Check out here some accommodations in Cluj.
I found a place for the night at a reasonable price somewhere in a village nearby. Good thing the owner called me after I booked it online. But it was a nice place.
Went to sleep early because I knew that the next day was a really long day.
Day 17: Cluj Napoca – Bucharest
550 km, 9h
Woke up at 6 am, jumped in the car and started driving. It was still dark outside, but in Romania, you have to wake up really early for longer trips. It gets busy during the day, especially at the weekend.
It could have taken less, but I decided to see Transalpina as well, which is one of the most breathtaking roads in Romania, besides Transfagarasan. And that day, they had part of the road closed down due to a rally. So much for our early start. At 12 pm we were just getting out of there and we were still 5 hours away from home.
I can’t remember the moment I parked when I arrived at home, but what a trip this was.
It was a hell of an adventure, both driving and exploring. I hope this gives you an idea of how to make a Baltic road trip/Eastern European road trip.
Hit me up with any questions you might have. Vlogs will eventually be published on my YouTube channel.
I hope you enjoy and make the most out of your Baltic road trip, and I hope this serves as an inspiration for creating your own Baltic road trip itinerary.
I hope this Baltic road trip itinerary helps you plan your Baltic road trip. I know it’s a really long post, but I tried to include all the details I thought you needed to understand and plan your road trip in the Baltic states.
The total kilometres number was from the car’s computer. The kilometres I wrote for each day are approx from Google Maps.
This is a rather intense driving road trip. If you can fly to Vilnius first, rent a car from there and start driving. The distances in the Baltics are much shorter, and the traffic is much better.
The only time I booked accommodation in advance, it was a disaster. But you don’t have to do this. For larger groups, it’s recommended you book in advance.
If I were to change anything, I would add at least 1 day in each of the Baltic countries. There are countless Natural parks and outdoor places to discover. I spend a total of 9 days in the Baltics, including the day trip to Helsinki. I could have easily stayed for 2 weeks. And most campers were taking their time, not rushing through it all.