Travelling from Dresden to Prague to Krakow is one of central Europe's loveliest - but most-neglected - routes.
Encompassing three countries, the route allows hostel-dwellers to explore three beautiful cities which have only recently been opened up to Westerners. This is because, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, all three were behind the Iron Curtain and were therefore off-limits to foreigners.
The first stop on the journey is the former East German city of Dresden, perhaps best-known in the UK for falling victim to a fierce Allied bombing raid in the dying days of World War Two. Those who stay in Dresden hostels today, however, find little evidence of the mass destruction that almost levelled the historic city centre. Reconstruction work began soon after the war, with buildings such as the Freuenkirche and the Semper Opera house restored to their former glory.
Attractively situated by the Elbe river, the city has quickly built up a considerable tourism industry since German reunification. Currently, around ten million visitors a year stay in Dresden hostels and hotels.
Much better known as a tourist destination in the UK is the Czech Republic capital of Prague - well-known for both its beautiful architecture and cheap prices! Hostels in Prague are as inexpensive as the beer, which has made it very attractive for stag and hen party tours. Beyond this, however, is one of the best-preserved historic city centres in continental Europe - as proved by its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The famed Wenceslas Square should be the first stopping-off point for any traveller to hostels in Prague - but tourists should also be sure to give the biggest ancient fortress in the world, Prague Castle, a look. The 14th century Charles Bridge - thronged with shops - and the historic Jewish ghetto the Josefov are both big draws for holidaymakers, too.
Perhaps the least well-known city on the itinerary, Krakow in Poland nevertheless offers many treats for the traveller. Situated at the foot of the Carpathian mountain range, the 1.4 million residents are justly proud of living in one of the prettiest towns of the old Eastern Bloc. The Rynek Glowny ('Main Marketplace') at the heart of the old city is particularly attractive, forming one of the biggest preserved medieval squares in the world. Lined with churches, restaurants and high-end shops, the piazza forms a great starting place for those staying in Krakow hostels who want to explore the city.
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for Hostelbookers. Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of eastern europe, he checked out a variety of the country's budget accommodation, including a number of most Krakow hostels and Prague hostels .