We are a couple (around 80 years of age) and we want to visit Eastern Europe…

We are a couple (around 80 years of age) and we want to visit Eastern Europe...

Kiev, Ukraine by night
We are a couple (around 80 years of age) and we want to visit Eastern Europe…

Q: We are a couple (around 80 years of age) and we propose to take a holiday in October covering Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, for 15-20 days. We
propose to fly into Kiev by Turkish Airways and then travel to Minsk, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, by rail or road, before flying back to India. We seek your valuable advice about the cities to be covered, best mode of travel in the region and a to-do list.

Marco Says: Eastern Europe is full of treasures. Flying into Kiev is a good idea from India. Start with Ukraine, then head to Minsk in Belarus, Vilnius in Lithuania, Riga in Latvia and finally, end the trip in Tallinn, Estonia. A 20-day itinerary will be slow-paced, and will give you enough time to enjoy each place. Spend about 3-5 days in each place but keep in mind it will be cold. So carry warm clothing and woollens. Kiev has a lot to offer. The Mystenski Arsenal, the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, the AV Fomin Botanical Garden, and Feofaniya will be enjoyable, as will a day trip to Chernobyl and Prypiat. I’d suggest booking a private tour, not just here, but anywhere on the trip (see viator.com).

From Kiev to Minsk, I wouldn’t suggest a road trip as it will take over 10 hours.
Instead, Belavia (see en.belavia.by) has cheap flights between the two cities which is covered in about an hour. Visit the Red Church, and the many war-time memorials in the city. Take day trips to Dudutki Open Air complex and Niasvizh Castle. From Minsk, the easier option is to take a flight to Vilnius via Belavia. In Vilnius, visit the Old Town. It has a host of things like Gediminas’ Tower, Church of St Anne, etc., and definitely do a day trip to Trakai Castle. From Vilnius, Riga is about four hours away by bus. I suggest Lux Express (see luxexpress.eu). Visit the Old Town in Riga, see the art nouveau buildings, and do day trips to the beach side for some sun. Tallinn is again four  hours away by road. The Old Town, the Open Air museum are must-visits among others there. If time permits, take a ferry ride across to Helsinki, spend some time in Finland and then fly back to India.