Kyiv Khib

The click of stilettos on cobblestones, the woosh of expensive cars barrelling down the boulevards, the dizzying aromas from ethnic restaurants and stylish caf s, and the eyecatching advertisements cleverly squeezed into every available space This is the new, postrevolutionary Kyiv. It's flashy, fast and ready for action - and set amid the monumental Stalinist architecture and glorious gilded onion domes that have been pulling in tourists long before anyone even heard of a colour revolution....

Discount Cards

Students can save 50 or 75 on admission at most museums, and on airfares from some travel agents. Usit Colours in Sofia (pl39) and Veliko Tarnovo (pi63) can issue student cards for lOlv. EMBASSIES & CONSULATES Bulgarian Embassies & Consulates Australia ( 02-9327 7581 fax 02-9327 8067 4 Canada ( 1-613-789 3215 fax 1-613-789 3524 325 France ( 01 45 51 85 90 www.bulgaria.com embassy Germany ( 030-201 09 22 bbotscaft myokay.net Greece Athens ( 30-1-647 8106 fax 30-1-647 8130 33 Stratlgou...

Lower Town

From Piihavaimu kirik, you can stroll along Pikk t nav, which runs north to the Great Coast Gate - the medieval exit to Tallinn's port. Pikk t nav is lined with the 15th-century houses of merchants and gentry as well as buildings of several old Tallinn guilds. In the 1440 building of the Great Guild, to which the most important merchants belonged, is the History Museum (Ajaloomuuseum g 641 1630 Pikktanav 17 adult student 15 10EEK S 11am-6pmThu-Tue). It features Estonian history up to the 18th...

Online Tickets

Some recommended air-ticket websites include those listed below. They usually levy a booking fee on any flights bought, but even if you don't buy through them, they can be very useful for checking that the flight prices offered to you by other travel agents are the best ones available. E-tickets are increasingly common with scheduled airlines, so often you won't even need a ticket, meaning you can complete your booking in minutes and print out your reference number.

Shiroka Laka Hihpoka Jim A

Cute Shiroka Laka, 24km west of Smolyan, is a stream-side town of Roman bridges and 19th-century whitewashed villas, which give a very other-era vibe (maybe it's the dung heaps). The best time to visit is early March, when locals adorn full-bodied animal-like costumes during the kukeri festival. Of all things, there are two good tourist information centres one tourist office ( 226 www .shirokaiuka.com ul Kapitan Petrko Volvoda 48 S 8.30am-5pm Tue-Sat) is 100m east of the bus stop. Hikes -...

Tihany

The whole Tihany peninsula, j utting 5km into Lake Balaton, is a nature reserve. Many people consider this the most beautiful place on the lake, especially in March when the almond trees are in bloom. The quaint village of the same name sits on the eastern side of the peninsula's high plateau. Ceramics, embroidery and other folk-craft stores fill the bucolic village houses. Prices are a bargain compared to Budapest or Szentendre, and everyone knows it. You can easily shake off the tourist...

Embassies Consulates in Macedonia

All of the following are located in Skopje unless indicated otherwise Albania ( 02-2614 636 ambshglp mt.net.mk Ul HT Karpos 94a) Australia ( 02-3061 114 austcon mt.net.mk Ul Londonska lib) Bulgaria ( 02-3229 444 bgemb mol.com.mk Ul Ivo Ribar Lola 40) Canada ( 02-3225 630 honcon unet.com.mk Bui Partlzanska Odredi 17a) Croatia ( 02-3127 350 velhrskp mpt.com.mk Ul Ivo Ribar Lola 44) France ( 02-3244 300 www.ambafrance-mk.org Ul Salvador Aljende 73) Bitola ( 047-223 192 fax 047-223 594 Ul Marsal...

Top Five Quirky Attractions

Vilnius has an undeniable mischievous streak, as the following attest Frank Zappa memorial (Kalinausko gatv 1) The world's first Zappa statue is oddly situated in a grim, graffiti-splashed courtyard west of Old Town. It was erected in 1995 by the local Zappa fan club. Angel of Uzupis statue (Uzupio & Mal nro gatv ) This statue of an angel blowing a trumpet and standing on an egg is the oddball symbol of Vilnius' strangest district. Egg statue (cnrSv Stepono & Raugyklos gatv ) This...

The Paulite Monastery on Jasna

Www.jasnagora.pl admission free S dawn-dusk) retains the appearance of a hilltop fortress. Inside the grounds are three museums (donations welcome S9am-5pm) the Arsenal, with a variety of old weapons the 600th-Anniversary Museum (Muzeum Szescsetlecia), which contains Lech Walesa's 1983 Nobel Peace Prize and the Treasury (Skarbiec), featuring offerings presented by the faithful. The tower (S 8am-4pm Apr-Nov) is the tallest (106m) historic church tower in Poland. The baroque church beneath is...

Sights Activities

Besides its 'Blue Flag' beach, Jurmala's main attraction is its colourful Art Nouveau wooden houses, distinguishable by frilly awnings, detailed fa ades and elaborate towers. These houses are found all over Jurmala, but you can get your fill by taking a leisurely stroll along Juras iela, which parallels Jomas iela in Majori and Dzintari. The houses are in various states of repair some are dilapidated and abandoned, others are beautifully renovated, and still others are brand new constructions....

Tazienki Park

This large, shady and popular park (admission free S daylight hr) is best known for the 18th-century Palace upon the Water (Map p548 621 62 41 adult child 12 9zt S 9am-4pm Tue-Sun). It was the summer residence of Stanislaw August Poniatowski, the last king of Poland, who was deposed by the Russian army and confederation of Polish magnates in 1792. The park was once a royal hunting ground attached to Ujazdow Castle. The Old Orangery (Map p548 621 62 41 by reservation only adult child 6 4zt)...

Transport In Poland

The vast majority of international flights to Poland arrive at Warsaw's Ok cie airport (some at the Etiuda terminal), while other important airports include Krakow Balice, Gdansk and Wroclaw. The national carrier LOT (LO www.lot.com 0801 703 703) flies to all major European cities. Other major airlines flying to Poland include the following Aeroflot (code SU 022-628 25 57 www.aeroflot.com) Air France (code AF 022-556 64 00 www.airfrance .com) Alitalia (code AZ 022-692 82 85 www.alltalla.lt)...

SIGHTS

At the eastern end of ul Kremlyovskaya the 1.4km-long rampart of Suzdal's kremlin encloses the 13th century Rozhdestvensky Sobor (Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral), the 1635 bell tower and the Arkhiyereyskie Palati (Arch bishop's Chambers). The latter houses the Suzdal History Exhibition ( 21624 admission R30 S 10am-5pm Wed-Mon), which includes the original 13th-century door from the cathedral, photos of its interior and a visit to the 18th-century Krestovaya Palata (Cross Hall). Founded in the...

Mala Fatra National Park

Sentinel-like formations stand watch at the rocky gorge entrance to the valley and precipitous peaks top the pine-clad slopes above. The Mala Fatra National Park (Narodny park Mala Fatia) incorporates a chocolate box-pretty, 200-sq-km swathe of its namesake mountain range. The Vratna Valley (Vratna dolina), 25km east of Zilina, lies at the heart of the park. From here you can access the trailheads, ski lifts and a cable car to start your exploration. The long, one-street town of Terchova is at...

On The Edge Ukraine Aroundthree Weeks

Begin with a cheap flight from Western Europe to Timijoara (p659), the best budget gateway city for the far reaches of Eastern Europe. Spend a day here before heading overland for medieval Brajov (p640) and charming la i (p667) near the Moldovan border. Here the real adventure starts - cross into Europe's poorest and most corrupt country and head for the entertaining capital, Chifinau (p506) where partying is a way of life and wine is plentiful and cheap as it's made in the local vineyards...

Tourist Information

Not surprisingly, Suceava is bursting with tourist resources. Start while you're still at home by visiting www.lasuceava.ro. Unita Tour Suceava ( 523 024 unltatour.sv unlta -turlsm.ro Str Nicolae B lcescu 2 S 8am-8pm Mon-Frl, to 5pm Sat) Inside Hotel Suceava, this small office can arrange monastery tours with multilingual guides for between 80 and 90 ( 20 to 25 extra for guide) per group. Ciprian Slemcho ( 0744-292 588 www.mtour.go.ro) This highly recommended private tour guide is a specialist...

Bus

Bus services are excellent and relatively inexpensive. There are often a number of different companies handling each route so prices and trip duration can vary substantially, but the information in this book should give you an idea of what to expect (and unless otherwise noted, all bus prices are for oneway fares). Note that you pay a supplement of 6KN or 7KN for luggage placed under the bus, but not for luggage you take on board with you. It's generally best to call or visit the bus station to...

Belavezhskaja Pushcha National Park

A Unesco World Heritage site some 60km north of Brest, Belavezhskaja Pushcha National Park ( 01631-56 122,56 132 admission US 10) is the oldest wildlife refuge in Europe and the pride of Belarus. The park is co-administered by Poland, where the other half of the park's territory lies. Some 1300 sq km of primeval forest survives here. It's all that remains of a canopy that eight centuries ago covered northern Europe. Some oak trees here are over 600 years old and some pines at least 300 years...

Travel Agencies

Aquarius Travel Agency ( fax 212 919 www.jures koaquarius.hr Nova Vrata bb) Arranges accommodation and excursions. Miatours ( fax 212 788 www.miatours.hr Vrata Sveti Krsevana) Arranges accommodation and excursions. Most attractions are near St Donatus Church (Simuna Kozici Benje admission 6KN S 9.30am-1pm & 4-6pm Mar-Oct), a circular 9th-century Byzantine structure built over the Roman forum. Slabs for the ancient forum are visible in the church and there is a pillar from the Roman era on...

Pieniny National Park

Gen y bubbling water flows between impressive 500m-tall sheer cliffs the 21 sq km Pieniny National Park (Pieninsky N rodny Park) was created to protect the 9km Dunajec Gorge. The park combines with a similar one on the Polish side of the river and extends between the Slovak village of Cerveny Kl stor and Szczawnica, Poland. River rafting is the main attraction here, but there are also hiking trails and an ancient monastery. Pick up VK 's 1 25,000 Pieninsky N rodny Park map (sheet No 7) for...

Getting there away Air

Most international flights use Kyiv's Boryspil international airport (KBP 490 4777 www.airport -borispol.klev.ua). Odesa receives some international flights from nearby countries Lviv does too but not as many. Simferopol gets some only in summer. There's no departure tax in the Ukraine. Ukraine's international airline carriers are AeroSvit ( 235 8710 www.aerosvlt.com) and Ukraine International Airlines (g 461 5050 www.flyula.com). The following are the main international airlines with offices...

Kezmarok

Snuggled beneath the broody peaks of the High Tatras, Kezmarok may not seem dramatic, but it is a truly pleasant place. The numerous architecturally distinct churches, the pocket-sized old town square with resident casde, all the ice-cream shops Ever since it was colonised by Germans back in the 13th century, Kezmarok has been treading a subtly different path from the rest of the country. The residents even declared themselves an independent republic, albeit infinitesimally, in 1918. Though the...

Shopping

Apart from the usual folk arts, wines and spirits, food and music, there are a few interesting flea markets and some great young-designer shops. Tons of shops along Vaci utca (p365) and stands on the top floor of the Nagycsar-nok (p365) sell Hungarian souvenirs, but the real souvenir-shopper's paradise is the old town centre at Szentendre (p374), just 40 minutes away by commuter rail. Folkart Kezmoveshaz (Map p362 318 5143 V Regiposta utca 12 S 10am-7pm Mon-Fri, to 4pm Sat) Some of the most...

High Tatras

When you first see the alpine, snow-strewn High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry) jutting out of the valley floor north of Poprad, you may do a double take. This isn't Switzerland after all. But Gerlachovsky stit (2654m) is the highest in the Carpathian range, and the Tatras tower over most of Eastern Europe. The massif is only 25km wide, adding to the sense that some alien plopped these huge mountains here. The photo opportunities at higher elevations will get you fantasising about a career with National...

Dryanovo Monastery

Top-heavy cliffs stoop over this charming stream-side monastery ( 0676-2389 admission free S 7am-10pm), 24km south of Veliko. Built in the 12th century, the monastery's been destroyed a time or two, and was last rebuilt in the early 18th century. The priest here is quite chatty. It's possible to stay in the simple rooms (9lv to 15lv per person with shared bathroom). There are bungalows and a small hotel nearby, and along the river a leafy open-air mekhana serving Bulgarian food. Gabrovo-bound...

Sleeping

Unlike Kyiv, Lviv is starting to see more good low-cost accommodation options. Banking Academy Hostel ( 296 5734 www.hi hostels.com.ua vul Kopernyka 14 dm 120hry) The only bummer about this awesome new hostel is that at least for now, it's only open )uly and August. Reception is open 9am to 6pm daily, so give notice if you will arrive later. Afena ( 296 5834 www.hlhostels.com.ua, vul Khy-mychna 49A dm 120hry) This is another good HI hostel option. It's not quite as central (linked by buses),...

Sleeping Eating

Accommodation in the centre of Bitola is limited and overpriced. Better deals can be found in the villages on the road through Pelister National Park, even allowing for the cost of taxis to the centre. Hotel Sumski Feneri ( 047-293 030 sfeneri mt .net.mk Trnovo village s d tr 25 40 50, apt 60 ) This charming family-owned hotel lies on the lower slopes of Mt Pelister in the village of Trnovo, 9km from the centre of Bitola (200MKD by taxi) and 6km to the ski-field chairlifts. It has four...

Around Riga Salaspils

'Behind this gate the earth groans', reads the inscription on the large concrete bunker that marks the entrance to the Salaspils Concentration Camp. Between 1941 and 1944 an estimated 45,000 Jews from Riga and approximately 55,000 other people, including Jews from other Nazi-occupied countries and prisoners of war, were murdered here, 15km southeast of Riga. Today the site is a place of peaceful solitude amid whispering pine trees. A metronome encased inside a black marble wall beats out...

Getting There Around

Simferopol airport (SIP 006, 295 516 www.airport .crimea.ua) is 15km northwest of the town centre and accessible by trolleybus 9 (50 kopeks, 30 minutes) and marshrutki 49, 50, 98, 113 and 115(1 hry, 20 minutes), which ply bulvar Lenina. For local transport around town, marshrutki are the way to go - in fact, the city is clogged with them, so walking is another good option. See p730 for information on flagging one down. There are two places to catch buses, the bus station ( 252 560), which is...

Sudeten Mountains

The Sudeten Mountains (Sudety) run for over 250km along the Czech-Polish border. The Sudetes feature dense forests, amazing rock formations and deposits of semiprecious stones, and can be explored along the extensive network of trails for hiking or mountain biking. The highest part of this old eroded chain is Mt Sniezka (1602m). Szklarska Porfba, at the northwestern end of the Sudetes, offers superior facilities for hiking and skiing. It's at the base of Mt Szrenica (1362m), and the town centre...

Aukstaitija National Park

Lithuania's first national park (founded in 1974) is a 400-sq-km wonderland of rivers, lakes, centuries-old forests and tiny villages still steeped in rural tradition. Around 70 of the park comprises pine, spruce and deciduous forests, inhabited by elk, deer, wild boar, storks, and white-tailed and golden eagles. Its highlight is a labyrinth of 126 lakes, the deepest being Lake Tauragnas (60.5m deep). The park is mainly for outdoor lovers, but there are also some cultural attractions, including...

Worth The Trip

Don't miss Esterhazy Kasthely ( 537 640 Haydn utca 2, Fertod adult student 1000 600Ft S 10am-6pm Tue-Sun mid-Mar-Oct, to 4pm Frl-Sun Nov-mld-Mar), a magnificent, Versailles-style baroque extravaganza 28km outside town in Fertod. Built in 1766, this 126-room palace was owned by one of the nation's foremost families. You have to put on felt booties and slip around the marble floors under gilt chandeliers with a Hungarian guide, but information sheets in various languages are on hand. From May to...

Postojna

Slovenia's most popular natural tourist attraction, Postojna Cave ( 70001 00 www.postojnska-jama .si adult student child 16.65 12.50 13.80 S tours hourly 9am-6pm May-Sep, 10am, noon, 2 pm & 4pm Apr & Oct, 10am, noon & 2pm Mon-Fri, 10am, noon, 2pm & 4pm Sat & Sun Nov-Mar) is about 2km northwest of the town of Postojna. The 5.7km-long cavern is visited on a 1 ' i -hour tour, but about 4km of it is covered by an electric train. The remaining 1700m is on foot. Inside, impressive...

Transport In Slovakia

Bratislava's small airport receives flights from more than 20 cities across the Continent. Czech Airlines (CSA 02-5296 1042 www.czechairlines .com) flies to Prague three times per day. Slovak Airlines ( 02-4870 4870 www.slovakairlines.sk) flies to Moscow weekly in conjunction with Aeroflot. SkyEurope Airlines ( 02-4850 4850 www .skyeurope.com) connects Bratislava a couple of times a week to Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Sofia and Burgas in Bulgaria, and Bucharest in Romania. For more...

At Your Own Risk

As we went to press, there was effectively no border between Russia and Belarus. In theory, it's possible to enter Belarus by train and leave it for Russia - or go to Russia and back from Belarus - without going through passport control, and therefore without needing a visa for the country you're sneaking into. However, a hotel won't take you without a visa, so you'd have to stay with friends or rent an apartment, and if your visa-less documents are checked on the street (unlikely unless you're...

ARTS

The exhibition pavilion (p202) in Zagreb is a good place to keep up with the latest developments in Croatian art. Croatia's towering literary figure is 20th-century novelist and playwright Miroslav Krleza,who depicted the concerns of a changing Yugoslavia in novels such as The Return of Philip Latinovicz (1932). Long ignored by international publishing companies, contemporary Croatian authors are finally seeing their works translated into English. Dubravka Ugresic has written two noteworthy...

Northwest Bulgaria

Neglected, even mocked, Bulgaria's little pinkie - wedged between Romania and Serbia - sees few foreign travellers. Vidin is a gateway to Romania by river or to Serbia via bus, and is near Belogradchik's fortress. The train from Sofia goes past impressive Iskar Gorge, south of Mezdra. In 2006, dead migratory swans infected with the Avian bird flu were found outside Vidin, and some villages were briefly quarantined. No-one was infected, nor were any local birds. If rivers could rank cities,...

Around Minsk

If you're going to be in Minsk for more than 48 hours, a day trip to an outlying town is in order. On a road trip out of the busy capital city, you'll take in barely undulating plains as far as the eye can see and pretty clutches of birch forests. You'll hum by worn wooden houses and catch glimpses of old women riding bicycles and old men chopping wood. Getting a taste of pastoral Belarus helps to correctly balance the visitor's image of the country - after all, only one-fifth of the population...

Banya Ritual

No experience is more Russian than the banya. Many Russians believe that it's the only true way to get clean, and for some it's the only place they ever wash. You can pay for a private (lyuks) banya if you are a mixed-sex group wanting to bathe together. For a more authentic experience, go to a communal banya - far cheaper and usually segregated. You'll get tapki (sandals), and some prostinya (sheets) to cover yourself with. Before entering you should buy some snacks and drinks for your...

Spisske Podhradie

Slovakia's most grandiose casde sits above a bedraggled little town (big village). Not much reason to come here except for Spis Castle and the Spis Chapter ecclesiastical setdement on either side. From the motorway you catch glimpses of eerie outlines and stony ruins crowning the ridge on the eastern side of Spisske Podhradie. Can it really be that big Indeed, Spis Castle (Splssky hrad 4541 336 www.splsskyhrad.com in Slovak adult student 100 60Sk S 9am-6pm May-Oct, by appointment Nov-Apr),...

Airlines Serving Kosovo

Kosovo is served by Prishtina airport ( 038-548 430). Airline offices in Prishtina Adria Airways (codeJP 038-543 411 www.adria -alrways.com) Albanian Airlines (code LV 038-242 056 www .albanlanalrllnes.com.al) Austrian Airlines (code OS 038-242 424 www .aua.com) British Airways (code BA 038-548 661 www .brltlshalrways.com) Malev (code MA 038-540 878 www.malev.hu) Turkish Airlines (code IK 038-502 052 www .turklshalrllnes.com)

Kiskunsag National Park

Totalling 76,000 hectares, Kiskunsagi Nemzeti Park (Klskunsag National Park www.knp.hu) consists of half a dozen 'islands' of protected land. Much of the park's alkaline ponds, dunes and grassy 'deserts' with juniper trees are off limits. Bugac (Boo-gats) village, about 30km southwest of Kecskemet, is the most accessible part of the park. Here you can see the famous Hungarian cowboys ride at a daily horse show from May to October. The rest of the year, ask at the Kecskemet Tourinform (p394) to...

Around Ohrid Sveti Naum CBera HayM

The magnificent grounds of the Sveti Naum monastery, near the Albanian border 29km south of Ohrid, are a real treat. The grounds are patrolled by peacocks and contain the source of Lake Ohrid's water. The beautiful 17th-century Church of Sveti Naum (admission 100MKD) rises on a hill above the lake, surrounded by the buildings of the Hotel Sveti Naum, which has taken over the historic monastery complex. The original church of the Holy Archangels was built in 900 by St Naum, and the saint himself...

Communist Bratislava

Forty-five years of communist rule was bound to leave a mark. An obsession with modern functionalism led to many heinous buildings. The whole Petrzalka (Map p787) concrete jungle housing estate is a key example. (We couldn't find any studies calculating how many people go to the wrong flat in an identical building down the road after a drink or two ) The adjacent New Bridge (Novy most Map p790 6252 0300 www.u-f-o.sk Vledenska cesta observation deck lOOSk 10am-11pm), or the UFO (pronounced...

Historic Centre

The County Museum (MuzeulOr jenesc 711 446 Str Negru Vod 2 S 9am-4pm Tue-Sun) charts the history of the region. Rising on a hill are the ruins of the 14th-century Biserica San Nicoar (San Nicoar Church). This fantastical Episcopal cathedral (M n stirea Curtea de Arge admission 0.60 S 8am-7pm) was built between 1514 and 1526 by Neagoe Basarab (r 1512-21) with marble and mosaic tiles from Constantinople. Legend has it that the wife of the master stonemason, Manole, was embedded in the church's...

Manasija Monastery Mahacthp Mahachja

This famous monastery defies the concept of a monastery as a haven of peace and spirituality, for confronting the visitor from the outside is a massive fortress sheltering a small church. Dating from the early 1400s, the church was built to protect a community that had escaped the Turkish takeover of Kosovo. Despite seeming an impenetrable bulwark, the monastery was occupied several times by the Turks and consequently the remaining frescoes are only patchy. However, what's left is enough to...

Music

Russia is, of course, famous for composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, and despite the enormous and almost universally horrific Russian pop-music industry, music is taken extremely seriously in modern Russia. Indeed, on any night of the week in Moscow or St Petersburg there's likely to be a good choice of concerts, gigs, ballet and opera to choose from. Girl duo TATu remains one of the few Russian groups to be known beyond the former Soviet Union, although...

Information Bookshops

Anagram (Map pp266-7 224 895 737 www .anagram.cz Tyn 4, Star M sto S 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-7pmSun) An excellent range of history and culture books. Big Ben Bookshop (Map pp266-7 224 826 565 www.bigbenbookshop.com Mal Stupartsk 5, Star M sto S 9am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat & Sun) Prague's biggest range of English-language books, magazines and newspapers. Globe (Map pp266-7 224 934 203 www.globebook store.cz Pstrossova 6, Nov M sto S lOam-midnight) Has new and secondhand books in English...

Danube Delta

The mighty Danube River empties into the Black Sea just south of the Ukrainian border. At this point the Danube splits into three separate channels the Chilia, Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe arms, creating a 4187 sq km wedand of marshes, floating reed islets and sandbars, providing sanctuary for 300 species of birds and 160 species of fish. Reedmarshes cover 156,300 hectares, constituting one of the largest single expanses of reed beds existing in the world. The Danube Delta Delta Dunarii is under...

Top End

Hotel Josef Map pp266-7 221 700 111 www .hoteljosef.cz Rybn 20, Star M sto s d from 149 173 P B lt S Sleekly modern in old-world Stare Mesto, this boutique hotel was designed by London-based Czech architect Eva Jiricna. Descend the playful suspended staircase to surf the web in the lobby's wi -fi hotspot. Two rooms are wheelchair accessible. Hotel Casa Marcello Map pp266-7 222 310 260 www.casa-marcello.cz Rasnovka 783 d ste apt from 130 185 215 Housed in two medieval buildings that were once...

Juodkrante

Juodkrante has a few rather strange attractions and is a popular place to engage in one of Neringa's trademark activities buying and tasting freshly caught and smoked fish, which is sold from several wooden houses along the main road, Rezos gatve. Top of the strange sights list is the Ragani Kalnas Witches' Hill , a spooky sculpture trail through gorgeous forest with large, fairytale Lithuanian wooden carvings. Less than 1km south of Juodkrante is one of Neringa's must-see attractions a massive...

Omc

Most travellers prefer to enjoy the lakes in comfort on excursion boats. Boats run daily May to September between Gizycko and Ruciane-Nida, via Mikolajki and daily June to August between W gorzewo and Ruciane-Nida, via Gizycko and Mikolajki. However, services are more reliable from late June to late August. Schedules and fares are posted at the lake ports. This village boasts a superb 17th-century church S7am-7pm , one of the purest examples of late-baroque architecture in Poland. Its lavishly...

Emergency Numbers

Ambulance 03 Fire brigade 01 Police 02 from a local mobile phone, press or 8 017 or 375 17 and then dial the number. To dial from one Minsk mobile number to another, dial 8 029 for Velcom, MTS and Diallog the most common providers or 8 025 for BeST. To make an intercity call from a land phone, dial 8 wait for the tone , the city's area code including the 0 and the number from a mobile, do the same, and if it doesn't work, try dialling 375 and the area code without the 0, then the number. To...

Troyan Around TpoilH

Hilly Troyan's biggest claims to fame are its proximity to the Troyan Monastery and the Central Balkans National Park with hiking paths and downhill skiing at Beklemeto . Several spa towns are in the mountains to the west, including Ribaritsa with villas for rent . About 1km south of Troyan's bus and train stations is a tourist information centre 60 964 www.troyan.bg ul Vasll Levskl 133 S 10am-6pm Mon-Fri . Banks and internet access are found along ul Vasil Levski. There are a couple of hotels,...

Theft Warning

There are regular reports about thefts on the overnight Sarajevo to Budapest train. Keep your doors locked and check on who wants to enter your compartment. Being with other travellers or in compartments with families helps reduce your potential as a target and, of course, lock up your valuables. last functioning hotel, became the home of journalists covering the war. The side facing sniper alley was heavily damaged, but the hotel has since been given a facelift. The best exhibition in the...

Theft

Theft is definitely a problem in Eastern Europe, and the threat comes from both local thieves and fellow travellers. The most important things to guard are your passport, other documents, tickets and money - in that order. It's always best to carry these next to your skin or in a sturdy leather pouch on your belt. Train-station lockers or luggage-storage counters are useful to store your luggage but not valuables while you get your bearings in a new town. Be very suspicious of people who offer...

Lonely Planet Index

Litre of petrol R16 Litre of water R30 Bottle of Baltika beer R30 Souvenir T-shirt R300 to R500 Street snack blin R40 to R50 Despite its extremes of temperature, most times of year can be good for visiting Russia. The snow and ice make St Petersburg look quite magical, and Moscow surprisingly clean. If possible, avoid March and early April - the 'thaw' is the least pleasant time. The snow and ice melt, creating a ubiquitous brown sludge and general muddiness that makes walking about unpleasant....

Bosnia Hercegovina

Hrvatska J X. vn x oraaisKa Kostjanicao Jf - Slavonski ro 1 D J l Brod _ , NoviiT , H Gradiska Selo S oPrijedor Del entao Mod . J ihad Bosanska oS ' . Blagai Qtluk Jo m o Medugorje EE Neve inie Krovice IW iU, 1L Gad lt 0 OA1 ----- Mogor e ogj Poatelj stolac Dijnmtor Bobotov Tara Orebic WMetkovn . 12523ml Vela Lukao Koriula 0 m n Hutovo Blato Mojkovac' Koreula Neumo CROATIA Vietrenica Cave Mljet NP S gj. N. ' y S to H Trebmje DubrovnikO j Hundreds of thousands of mines and unexploded ordnance...

Festivals Events

FEST film festival www.fest.org.yu An International festival of film, held during February and March, with guest appearances from foreign directors and actors. Belgrade Beer Fest www.belgradebeerfest.com A heady mix of rock music, a wide variety of domestic and foreign beers, and thousands of people who just like both. Held in August. Belgrade International Theatre Festival Bitef www.bltef.co.yu One of Europe's older and most Important festivals of theatre. Its programme celebrates the...

Interrail

These passes are available to European residents of more than six months' standing passport identification is required , although residents of Turkey and parts of North Africa can also buy them. Terms and conditions vary slighdy from country to country, but when travelling in the country where you bought the pass, there is only a discount of about 50 on normal fares. The InterRail pass is split into zones. Zone D is the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Croatia G includes Slovenia...

Durdevi Stupovi Monastery

Rising out of a copse, 3km uphill from Petrova Crkva, is the still-damaged monastery of DurdeviStupovi Columns ofSt George , the oldest in Serbia and dating from 1170. The story goes that St Simeon, then Stefan Nemanja and ruler of much of what is now southern Serbia, was captured by the Turks in 1172. He promised God that if he regained his freedom he would endow a monastery to St George. Eventually he was released and abdicated later in life to become the monk Simeon, who endowed this...

Getting There Away

The bus and train stations are across the street from each other. A taxi 051 within Uzhhorod will set you back 5hry or 6hry. Twice-daily buses go from the bus terminal prospektSvobody to Ivano-Frankivsk 42hry, 10 hours and Lviv 34hry, four hours . You can also get very cheap, uncomfortable buses to Slovakia and Hungary here see p904 . The newly built Uzhhorod train station is fab. One building is for local electric trains only. Trains go to Kyiv kupeyny platskartny 62 45hry, 19 hours, two daily...

Montenegro HpHa Topa

Expect newly independent Montenegro to come out from its Yugoslav shadow and be seen for the beauty it is. No longer should visitors think they'd fall off the edge of the world if they journey east beyond Dubrovnik. Croatia's sapphire blue Adriatic Sea does continue. However here it's backed by a craggy, grey mountain range leaving just enough room for a ribbon of coastal towns on a sweep of sandy beaches and small coves running down to the Albanian border. Historic walled towns like Stari Bar,...

Kurshkaya Ksa National Park

within the region 50, from elsewhere 40150 The 98km-long Kurshkaya Kosa Curonian Spit is a remote and dramatic landscape with high sand dunes, pine forests, an exposed western coast and a calm lagoon that is shared by Russia and Lithuania. A Unesco World Heritage site, it's a paradise for elk, birds, and intrepid travellers who like to get way off the beaten track. The Russian half of the Kurshkaya Kosa has far fewer services than the Lithuanian side, which is part of its appeal. You're not...

Food Drink Staples Specialities

There are two kinds of Bulgarian food Bulgarian food and pizza. The former comprises many light dishes, with Turkish or Greek influences. Salads - such as the everywhere-you-look shopska tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and cheese - start most meals. Main dishes are mostly grilled beef, pork, lamb and chicken - such as the kebabche spicy meat sausages - or heavier stews such as kavarma. Side dishes such as boiled potatoes or cheese-covered chips are ordered separately. Vegetarians are not at a loss....

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka vyeh-ieec -kah , 15km southeast of the city centre, is famous for the Wieliczka Salt Mine 278 73 02 www.kopalnla.pl ul Danltowicza 10 adult child 65 55zt, 20 discount after 6pm amp Nov-feb S 7.30am-7.30pm Apr-0ct, 8am-5pm Nov-Mar . It's an eerie world of pits and chambers, and every single element from chandeliers to altarpieces was hewn by hand from solid salt. The mine is included on Unesco's World Heritage List. The highlight of a visit is the richly ornamented Chapel of the...

Hvar Island

First it was yachts - now it's mega-yachts. Beautiful Hvar Island is now a required stop for restless international trend-spotters always alert to the latest island paradise. Hvar deserves the honour, for it is the sunniest and greenest of the Croatian islands. Called the 'Croatian Madeira', Hvar receives 2724 hours of sunshine each year. The stunning interior is a panorama of lavender fields, peaceful villages and pine-covered hills. Between protective pine-covered slopes and the azure...

Ostrog Monastery

Some 20km south of Niksic is the monastery of Ostrog, precipitously resting on a cliff face, 900m above the Zeta valley. A long windy road off the Podgorica-Niksic road eventually makes it to a lower car park, from where penitent pilgrims then plod another 3km uphill to the monastery. Nonpilgrims and the pure of heart may drive to the upper carpark. The monastery was built out of two caves in 1665 to hide Archbishop Vasilije Jovanovic, when he was fleeing from the Turks. Vasilije never left,...

Premysl Palace St Wenceslas Cathedral

The pocket-sized V clavsk n m, to the northeast of the old town, has Olomouc's most venerable historic buildings. Originally a Romanesque basilica first consecrated in 1131, St Wenceslas Cathedral d m sv V clava was rebuilt several times before having thoroughly 'neo-Gothic' makeover in the 1880s. The early 12th-century Premysl Palace Premyslovsky pal c adult child 20 10Kc S 10am-6pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep , was originally built for Bishop Jindrich Zdik. An English text guides you through a cloister,...

Local Transport

Cheap but crowded trolleybuses, trams and buses operate in all cities and major towns. Tickets can be bought on board and must be punched to be validated - look for others doing this to see how. The fare for any given marshrutka see p730 is displayed prominently at the front inside each bus payment is usually taken upon entry but sometimes upon exit. To stop a marshrutka, simply hold out your hand and it will stop. Jump in, sit down, pass cash to the driver a human chain operates if you are not...

CAHKT nETEPEYPr

As elegant as Prague and as enchanting as Budapest but with just a smattering of the tourists due to Russia's intransigent visa regime, St Petersburg really will be the next big thing once visa-free travel arrives, although with that likely to be at least a decade away, you still have St Petersburg pretty much to yourself by the standards of other tourist-filled cities in the Baltics and central Europe. In fact, comparing this giant warehouse of Russian culture to any other city is unfair. Long...

Phjickh Mahacthp

Bulgaria's most famous monastery admission free S 6am-9pm or 10pm , set in a towering forested valley 120km south of Sofia, is a popular destination for day-trippers on tours from around the region. The Unesco World Heritage site is gorgeous. It drips with history and is near excellent hikes, but for some travellers an hour here is enough. Day trips to Rila from Sofia widely available around the country range from about 20 to 50 or more. Seeing Rila by public transport is tough though possible...

Top Five Beers

Czech beer is not just about Pilsner Urquell and Budvar. Watch out for these interesting brews Cerna Hora Black Mountain Brewery's honey-flavoured Kvasar lager. Bernard's special cerne pivo dark beer , which uses five different malts. The wheat beer with lemon at Pivnice Pegas in Brno. The champagne beer at Pivovarsky Dum in Prague. Zlaty Bazant Golden Pheasant lager from Slovakia. learn is piro beer . The Czechs serve their draught beer with a high head of foam. Bohemian piro is probably the...

Sucevifa

Sucevija Monastery adult child 1.20 0.60 S8am-8pm is perhaps the largest and finest of the Bucovina monasteries. The church inside the fortified quadrangular enclosure built between 1582 and 1601 is almost completely covered in frescoes. As you enter you first see the Virtuous Ladder fresco covering most of the northern exterior wall, which depicts the 30 steps from hell to paradise. On the southern exterior wall is a tree symbolising the continuity of the Old and New Testaments. The tree grows...

Information

24-h our Pharmacy 1 Brest City Emergency Hospital 4 Post Russian Ukrainian Consulate 7 Brest Art Museum 9 Brest Fortress Main Entrance 10 History of Brest Museum 13 Kholmskie Gate 14 Lenin Main Monuments 16 Museum of Confiscated Art 17 Nikalaivsky Church 19 Ruins of the White Palace 20 St Nikolaiv Church 22

Ionian Coast Llogaraja Pass

The road going south from Vlora climbs up to the Llogaraja Pass, more than 1000m high, for some of Albania's most spectacular scenery. After the road passes shepherds on the plains guiding their herds, and thick forests where deer, wild boar and wolves roam, the view opens out onto the intense blue of the Ionian, looking out to the Greek island of Corfu. In winter, when snow blankets the ground, it's particularly dazzling. The road winds down a number of hairpin turns before reaching Dh rmi,...

Korcula Island

Besides the dense woods that led the original Greek settlers to call the island Korkyra Melaina Black Korcula , Korcula is graced with indented coves, rolling hills and a walled old town that resembles a miniature Dubrovnik. As the largest island in an archipelago of 48, it provides plenty of opportunities for scenic drives, particularly along the southern coast. Swimming opportunities abound in the many quiet coves and secluded beaches, while the interior produces some of Croatia's finest...

Kauno Arkivyskupijos Sveciq Namai

322 597 http kaunas.lcn.lt guesthouse Rotus s aikste 21 s d tr with shared bathrooms 50 80 100 Lt Kaunas is suddenly budget-friendly thanks to this squeaky-clean jewel in an old monastery, wedged between two ancient churches. Each pair of rooms shares a bathroom. You will be hard pressed to find a better big-city deal than this In all of Europe. If It's full, ask If they can put you up In their similarly priced hostel on Dauksos gatv .

Soroca

Soroca is the Roma 'capital' of Moldova, but people come here to see the outstanding Soroca fortress 230-24 873 http soroca-fortress.nflame.net admission free S 9am-6pm Wed-Sun May-Oct, low season by appointment . Part of a medieval chain of military fortresses built by Moldavian princes between the 14th and 16th centuries to defend Moldavia's boundaries, the fortress was founded by ijtefan eel Mare and rebuilt by his son, Petru Rarej, in 1543-45. The fortress is administered by the Soroca...

BUDGET

Youth Hostel fax301 23 13 ul Watowa 21 dm s d from 12 25 50zt Old-style hostel in a quiet, old building on the doorstep of the Gdansk Shipyards, Lech Walesa's old stamping grounds. Rooms are brown and basic, but clean. Book ahead, particularly in summer. Smoking and drinking are stricdy forbidden and there's a midnight curfew. Dom Harcerza 301 36 21 www.domharcerza.prv .pi ul Za Muraml 2 10 dm 25zt, s d trfrom 50 100 120zt The rooms are small but cosy, and the bathrooms are clean at this place,...