A popular comparison and discussion topic amongst tourists and nomads, here are some major points of diﬀerence between eastern and western Europe.
A simple way to remember the foundational diﬀerence is – all countries in Eastern Europe once belonged to the Soviet bloc unlike the western ones. Thus Albania, Bosnia, Georgia, Hungary, Cyprus, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Romania, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovakia, Lithuania are some countries of Eastern Europe. Countries like United Kingdom, Iceland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Vatican City, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Italy, and Greece belong to Western Europe. It’s important to note that Europe tourism involves traveling over both the sides for a truly complete experience of the continent.
Image Source – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Egede_nuuk.JPG
The countries in the western bloc are advanced economically due to industrialization and technological growth, compared to those in the eastern bloc. This makes the western bloc more tourist-friendly and the eastern bloc more suited to the truly curious patient explorers. Often in basic Europe packages, one will find more of Western Europe countries and perhaps only a light touch with Eastern Europe via Budapest in Hungary, Prague in Czech Republic. But Eastern Europe is just as approachable.
More Catholic and Protestant Christians can be seen in Western Europe as opposed to followers of old Christianity and Islam in the eastern bloc. Countries far up north in the western bloc like Sweden and Norway are largely atheist or agnostic. Thus international tourists also find it easier to communicate in the western bloc due to widespread use of English, the romantic languages and those of Germanic origin as opposed to communicating with folks speaking languages of Slavic roots.
The cultural diﬀerence is that of booming metropolitan vs. scenic and hidden charming rural areas, though not literally. One will find that the community vibe is stronger in the eastern countries and even if solo traveling is as enjoyable as in Western Europe, group or duo trips pay oﬀ better in terms of experience here.
Image Source – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Eiffel_Tower_Paris_01.JPG
If you’re a first timer, it’s better to check oﬀ the most popular places to see in Europe like Big Ben, London Eye, Eiﬀel Tower, Venice, etc. first. If you’re going to travel for a long time, it’s better to go west to east, slowly getting acclimatized with the overall European culture and develop a healthy foresight for the diﬀerences. If you’re not an Eastern Europe citizen, you’ll find it easier to adapt to food in Western Europe rather than the east.
Remember both Eastern and Western Europe have a lot to oﬀer in terms of art, culture, music and traditional experiences.