Chinese tourists travel to Eastern Europe.
1. In 2016, the growth rate of Chinese travel to Eastern Europe had increased by 226%. Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia have the highest increase in tourism. After the Chinese government announced the “Belt and Road Initiative”, countries in the path of the prospective belt road had increased travel. Eastern European countries like Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary are countries that benefited from this policy. Chinese tour groups do not need to get a travel visa when they go to Russia. Moreover, sophisticated travel packages and services are provided to Chinese travelers, such as non-stop flights and the three people no Visa needed policy. Czech Republic National pavilion was opened in Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and president of the Czech Republic attended “Travel convention” to talk about new travel policies that gave more benefits to Chinese travelers.
2. Traveling in Eastern Europe costs less compared to Western Europe. Language is not a big issue despite a lot of these countries having their own language. Most people in Eastern Europe are able to speak in English, and it would not be an issue for Chinese travelers who speak basic English. Usually, Chinese travelers will visit multiple Eastern Europe countries in one trip, and stay for a very short time in each (usually 1-2 days per country).
3. The history in these countries is fascinating to Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists would like to understand the communist background. Architecture in Eastern Europe contains both new and old styles, Chinese tourists like to see the well-maintained old style buildings.
Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia): Prague, Cesky Krumlov
Comments and recommendations on Chinese social media include the following
- Food in the Czech Republic is affordable and high quality, Café Louvre and Café imperial are two recommended restaurants.
- Bohemia and Prague are two must go places according to online comments.
- Qyer.com’s homepage recommends a 2days trip to the Republic of Czech.
- May to September is the recommended time for traveling.
Prague is like a mid-century museum. Historical sites, like churches, castles, opera theatres and museums made this city into a fairy tale setting. The Prague square is often being described as a romantic place; this place is very well known by Chinese people because of one of Jay Chou’s famous songs.
Miss. Clare, the author of this post, recommended the restaurant “Krcma v satiavske ulici”. This restaurant is also called “Cave restaurant”, it was redesigned from a jail. The decoration was very unique; however, she did not appreciate the service in this restaurant, and the fact that most of the other guests were other Chinese tourists takes away from the authentic experience. She notes that you cannot use a credit card in this restaurant, you can only use cash.
“It is a famous restaurant, please reserve a table in advance. Barbecue is the food recommended by most guests.”
Miss. Clare recommended two restaurants, Papa’s living restaurant and Antre.
Where can Chinese travelers stay in Cesky Krumlov?
Cesky Krumlov is a small city and many hotels are changed by personal houses. We recommend Pension Athanor Hotel. It has a big room and tasty food, 4 euro per person and very quiet.
Where can Chinese travelers go in Cesky Krumlov?
The main urban area is a good place to see sunsets and sunrises.
Schiele Museum is a good place for art lovers to view famous paintings.
Austria: Hallstatt, Vienna
The top three cities in Austria that Baidu recommenders are Vienna, Hallstatt and Salzburg. 615 people clicked “wants to go” for Vienna, 180 for Hallstatt, and Saltsburg got 311.
Hallstatt is a village in Salzkammergut, Austria. It is set on the Lake of Hallstatt, the village is known as “the most beautiful village in the world” for nice scenery. Historically, this area obtained his wealth by salt, therefore, the village is also called “the world’s most ancient center of salt”. Hallstatt has been listed as world cultural heritage by UNESCO. Now, it is a popular tourist destination, people can walk around the village in 10 minutes. The best time for traveling: spring and autumn.
Hallstatt must-see and ~do
- Old salt mine
- Skelton Church
- Rafting on Hallstatt lake
These destinations all listed on top recommended things to do on travel websites, and have long histories.
Hallstatt is a place that you never want to miss. It’s very similar to what the Chinese Poet “Tao Yuanming” wrote in “Taohuayuanji桃花源记”. Taohuayuanji is a Chinese famous poem form, which describes a writer who unexpectedly traveled to a mysterious island.
The cemetery by the church is worth visiting because it is like a beautiful garden that is not one bit depressing, really makes you think that life after death one can find happiness.
From Vienna to Hallstatt is a three and a half hour drive, the two of us took turns driving and drove there and back in one day. Driving towards the mountains was very nice because of the beautiful scenery, a lot like Switzerland. Austria’s roads are pretty good. What I really like is that there is no age limit to car rentals.
Route: buy tickets from the OBB website, take a boat to the town after arriving at the train station. It is hard to go and come back on the same day.
The following are recommendations from Chinese tourists online
- Experience the coffee culture in Austria. Couple highly recommended cafés are: Café Central, Café museum, Café Sacher.
- People who like classical music should visit Vienna. A lot of famous musicians were born there, the Golden stadium also attracts many travelers.
- The top Austria travel post on C-trip listed some restaurants including Plachuttas Gasthaus Oper fried steak, apple pie from Wiener Apfelstrudel and Griechenbeisl. They are all very famous around the world, and either visited by famous people or have hundreds of years’ history.
Croatia: Dubrovnik, Brijuni National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Must see from C-trip: Diocletian’s Palace (Ranking score 4.6/5, from 45 people), RIVA (4.8/5, from 12 people), Cathedral of St Domnius (4.6/5, from 16 people)
- Restaurants: Dvor (109 comments, 4.1/5), Fife (132 comments, 4.0/5)
- Hotels: Heritage Palace Varoš (12 comments, 4.5/5), Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Split (14 comments, 4.4/5), Villa Toni Design Apartments (11 comments, 4.9/5)
Where do Chinese travelers eat in Dubrovnik?
Rank from C-trip: Restaurant Horizont (4.8/5, 11comments), Pantarul (4.1/5, 41comments), Azur Dubrovnik (4.2/5, 97 comments)
Where do Chinese travelers stay in Dubrovnik?
Rank from C-trip: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace (4.6/5, from 14 comments), Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik (4.5/5, from 24 comments)
Comments from Chinese travelers about Dubrovnik
- A lot of Chinese travelers visit Dubrovnik because of “The Game of Thrones”.
- The long history of Dubrovnik fascinates Chinese travelers.
- The cost of travel in Croatia is not expensive for most Chinese travelers. People believe Croatia is a place to get good experience without paying too much.
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Republic of Estonia: Tallinn
Tallinn tourist destination ranking: Tallinn St. Mary’s Cathedral, Toompea, Old town of Tallinn.
People like to visit Tallinn St. Mary’s Cathedral because it is the oldest church, and it is the only church that survived the fire in the 17th century. The design of the church is spectacular, and people can enjoy the city view because it is located on the top of Tallinn Mountain.
The old town of Tallinn was listed as “World cultural heritage”, it was protected well and people can get an understanding of what this does city look like, even though couple century has passed. Chinese travelers are interested in history.
Where do Chinese travelers eat in Tallinn?
Rank from C-trip: Rataskaevu16 (4.8/5), Tchaikovsky (4.4/5), Von Krahli Aed (4.0/5)
Grades are mainly judged by service, taste, and environment.
Where do Chinese travelers stay in Tallinn?
Rank from C-trip: Hotel Palace by Tallinn Hotels, Hestia Hotel Europa Tallinn, Hotel Telegraaf Autograph Collection.
The grading criteria are mainly from service, room cleanness, size of the room, a location of the hotel, food tasting.
Among hotel reviews, providing breakfast is often correlated with positive reviews among Chinese customers. Online comments also often the appearance of servers and staff. People also tend to like hotels which appear to have new furniture.
Russia: Moscow, Saint Petersburg (St. Petersburg)
Moscow destination ranking: Red square, The Moscow Kremlin, The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, Lenin Mausoleum, Alexander Garden, Arbat Street.
Chinese people believe the Red Square in Russian is an equivalent of Tiananmen Square in Beijing representing the history of the country.
The Moscow Kremlin is another representation of Russia, a large bell and artillery. It also named one of “The eight wonders of the world”. This place is the heart of Russia, politics, therefore a must go place. If you missed traveling to Moscow Kremlin, then you never traveled to Russia.
Where do Chinese travelers eat in Moscow?
Rank from C-trip: Café Pushkin (4.6/5), White Rabbit (4.7/5), Turandot (4.7/5).
Café Pushkin has a very famous history because of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, who was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era. Alexander Pushkin is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literate. This restaurant is recommended by all travel websites. The design and atmosphere in here are very unique to Chinese customers, especially the Russian style design and decor.
White Rabbit is the top recommended a restaurant in Moscow, not only because of its 18th worldwide ranking attracts visits, but also because of the 360-degree city view. Chinese travelers perceive this is the place worth to spend money compare to other restaurants.
Where do Chinese travelers stay in Moscow?
Rank from C-trip: Metropol Hotel Moscow (4.8/5), Ararat Park Hyatt (4.9/5), Novotel Moscow City (4.8/5), Savoy Moscow Hotel (4.8/5).
Chinese people choose Metropol Hotel Moscow because Mao Zedong, and many other significant politicians, stayed there when visiting Russia. The location, service, history and building style are all excellent to Chinese travelers.
In 2016 a total of 107,000 Chinese citizens visited St. Petersburg for business and leisure, according to the Committee for the Development of Tourism of St.Petersburg. The flow of Chinese tourists entering the city on a visa-free system as part of tourist groups increased 2.4 times in the first half of 2017. The tourist flow contains a growing ratio of VIP travelers.
Where do Chinese travelers visit in St. Petersburg?
The sophisticated travelers explore Russian history and arts, they are eager to visit the Hermitage Museum is the greatest attraction in Saint Petersburg – so it’s no wonder I’ve put it in the first place. The Hermitage is home to one of the largest paintings collections in the world, therefore seeing even half of it in one day is absolutely impossible. And Peterhof Palace also called “the Russian Versailles”. The Grand Palace used to be the main summer residence of Russian Tsars. The palace complex overlooks the Gulf of Finland and has several different sections, including the enormous Alexandra Park.
Among exclusive activities the Chinese pick interactive ‘Russian wedding ceremony’ and master classes in cooking borsch or painting matrioshka.
Shopping is the second most popular activity for the wealthy Chinese visitors after sightseeing. DLT Department store in St.Petersburg has a special perk for those who come for the VIP shopping.
Where do Chinese travelers stay in St. Petersburg?
The VIPs even travel by private planes and prefer accommodation in Four Seasons Lion Palace or Belmond Grand Europe, they pick best city hotels.
Where do Chinese travelers eat in St. Petersburg?
When it comes to food, most often VIP travelers choose fine dining places like Russian & European cuisine restaurants “Mansarda” and “Tsar”. The major concern when selecting the lunch or dinner place is a panoramic view and a separate room existing. To try Chinese cuisine in St.Petersburg the Chinese pick a popular “Tse Fung”, or “China Gramota”.
C-trip ranked Chain bridge as the number one travel destination in Hungary. Many people said that their life goal is to visit all highly rated bridges on social media, Chain bridge is one of them. Travelers describe this bridge as a thoughtfully designed bridge, the lion statue on this bridge, the Danube river below and the length itself made this bridge very attractive to Chinese travelers.
Fisherman’s castle has a nice city view, from there, one can see the Dunabe River and a couple of famous bridges. The long history and the combination of Gothic and Nova Roma building design are unique to travelers.
Where do Chinese travelers eat in Budapest?
Rank from C-trip: New York Café (4.1/5), Gerbeaud (4.1/5), Gelarto Rosa (4.1/5).
New York café attracts many Chinese customers is because it is apparently ranked as the #1 café according to Chinese tourist comments. Chinese travelers like the food there and many of them mentioned that they never been to such a big café. People not only like the literacy atmosphere in here but also enjoy the luxury design and environment.
Where do Chinese travelers stay in Budapest?
Hilton, Intercontinental, Fraser Residence.
The Hilton is the top recommended hotel for Hungary, like many other destinations, Chinese tourists feel comfortable in a large chain hotel.
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Author: Changjun Tong
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