For instance, there are a myriad of Balkan hostels to choose from and they’re especially great if you’re travelling solo or on a tight budget. I promise I won’t tell anyone if you have more than one! For a full itinerary of the Balkans, take a look at this two week Balkan road trip. Accommodation in the Balkans, especially in the bigger cities, is rampant. Known as the city of a thousand windows, Berat is commonly considered the most beautiful city in all of Albania. Another popular day trip from Dubrovnik, or an extended stay is without a doubt Kotor. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Supposedly there were once 365 churches surrounding the lake, one for every day of the year, which is the reason people often refer to it as Jerusalem. There is a youthful vibe here as the city is home to thousands of students and there seems to always be something going on.
It reminded me much more of a small, budget hotel, only with a way more fun and relaxed atmosphere. All rooms have a refrigerator and cable TV.
(More on Kotor here). Pack a picnic and find a nice patch of grass to relax. Bitola is the second largest city in Macedonia yet largely overlooked in comparison to Ohrid. Dating back well over 3000 years, it is one of only a few UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bulgaria. I'm David, author of the Travelsewhere blog. Another neighbouring town just 30 minutes away from Kotor is one of the last Venetian outposts along the Adriatic just oozing with charisma waiting to be discovered. Have you had the chance to visit the Balkans in your travels? Where have been your favourite cities in the Balkans that you’ve visited? Since the country overthrew its dictator, the city has begun to flourish once again. The owners and staff were all out of this world and not only made sure everyone was comfortable, but also that we were all having a really great time in Skopje.
Changing the World with WaterAid – Art Activists Need Your Vote! Though all three have their fair share of political and economic problems (what country doesn’t?) The city is alive and well with a bustling city center with cafes and restaurants lining the Ljubljianica River. While Croatia and Slovenia have become pretty popular amongst travellers over the past couple of years, there are a few other countries in the region that deserve some time in the spotlight. Also take the time to take a ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car for the most iconic view of the town. A climb up to the ancient Prizren Fortress is mandatory as it’s there where you will find the most beautiful view of the city.
I’ve yet to visit Albania or Kosovo so look forward to hearing how you find it Wilbur. Here’s an introduction to six of the main Balkan cities.
image via instagram Berat, Albania. (More on Sarajevo here). Read on if you’re ready to be inspired to #MeetTheWorld BEYOND the tourist brochure! If you click on one and make a purchase, I may make a small commission, but at no extra cost to you. The Rila Monastery, located deep within the Rila Mountains was founded by students who wished to study and learn from the hermit monk who lived in a cave for many years. Trust me, it’s worth every step of the way! A Portrait of Five Balkan Cities Split Archaeological remains from Roman times prove that Jews lived in Split even then, but most arrived after the mid-1500s and the first tombstone in the Jewish cemetery on Marjan Hill dates from 1573.
Where to stay: Hostel Han is a new hostel directly in the centre of Pristina. As you might have guessed, Freddy is the one who runs the show and is always more than willing to help with whatever you need. The fortified town is one of the loveliest along the Budva Riviera.
Where Western and Eastern Europe collide, Sarajevo is a mixture of Turkish and Austrian influence with quite the turbulent history.
Whether you’re religious or not, it’s hard to deny that the lake is a spiritual one. Plovdiv’s Ottoman houses offer a glimpse into the lives wealthy merchants dating back to the early 19th century, which was my favourite part of visiting this amazing city! That should be changing soon as more and more people start finding out about it.
It’s a converted three-bedroom apartment – two rooms for guests and the other room belongs to the owners. Where to stay: Shanti Hostel and Shanti Hostel 2 truly became my ‘home away from home’ in Skopje.
With only a handful of conventional tourist atrractions ‘Pristina experience’ is about feeling the vibe of the city more than anything else. While here, you can’t leave without indulging in a slice…or two of the region’s famous Cream Cake!
It’s spread out between two floors of a completely renovated building that’s just around the corner from the city’s famous Clock Tower and the top of Sirok Sokak. Hey there! Follow the wooden paths which will lead you up, down and around waterfalls and lakes of such deep turquoise and sky blues leaving you in absolute awe. You really couldn’t ask for a better location or friendlier staff to welcome you (all the guys working there are great!). Prizren was a prominent city under the Ottoman Empire which is why you can find so much Ottoman architecture and Turkish is still widely spoken and understood. Your email address will not be published. With that said, you can expect lots of bars, restaurant and amazing beaches at Bulgaria’s largest beach resort to soak up all the sunshine you want. I’ve often travelled with Lonely Planet guides and they can really make life easier. The church sits on a cliff edge overlooking Lake Ohrid. Take a stroll over the famous Triple Bridge and admire the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation aka “Pink Church” while devouring an ice cream or head up to the Ljubljana Castle. Just a 45 minute drive away from Ljubljana, you simply must spend at least a full day taking in the beautiful scenery of the “Alpine Pearl”. Located on a ria, often called a fjord, the town is much less crowded than its neighbour with the same Venetian architecture, cuisine and feeling. For the last 5 years I've been travelling the world, but especially Europe, searching far and wide for those lesser seen places. Walking through the historical centre of Toulouse, High above Marseille at the Basilique Notre-Dame d, The Incomplete Europe Public Transport Guide – 1.0, Sand Between My Toes in the Sahara Desert, Morocco, 6 Easy Day Trips from Launceston, Tasmania, 6 Reasons Why Lucca is My Favourite City in Italy Right Now, The Treasured Sights of North West Tasmania, Australia. You simply can’t pass up the opportunity to visit Mostar, especially if you’re stopping in Dubrovnik, Croatia as it makes for an easy day trip. Plovdiv is absent from my done list so will need to add it one day. Today, the town has been rebuilt to its former glory and taking a stroll through the Old Bazaar or the Vijecnica for a small fee is an absolute must.
It’s got some pretty pumping nightlife and a large expat community which means most restaurants, bars and clubs are well prepared for new foreign visitors. While in Sofia, I highly recommend booking yourself an evening of traditional Bulgarian cuisine, singing and dancing at Chevermeto. This ironically was the neighbourhood where all the government officials lived during communist times and was completely off limits to the general public. However, with its turbulent past under Communism, many buildings were replaced by large grey Soviet style buildings and many others are crumbling. Yes, I agree Lorelei really put together a great list! I honestly couldn’t get enough of this adorable town! Tirana is intense to say the least, but once you get familiar with the streets and realise no car or bus will ever stop for you EVER, you may find yourself liking it a lot. When visiting the town, take in the pleasantly colorful Main Square which has been beautifully restored to its former glory after being badly destroyed during WWII and the slow decay under Communism. Budva is one of the most magical cities along Montenegro’s coast, and beside its exciting nightlife, worth a look for its unique architecture and terrific beaches, such as Jaz, where every July takes place the Sea Dance Festival, with singers and artists from all over the world. To keep up to date with her travels, and be amazed at the images she takes with her iPhone, make sure to check out her blog, follow her on Twitter and ‘like’ her page on Facebook. Stroll along the promenade and enjoy a beautiful sunset off in the distance. Did we miss anything? When you think about Croatia, it comes to your mind the amazing city of Dubrovnik. Having thoroughly explored the Balkans as part of my 2-week honeymoon road trip, as well as a previous summer holiday, I can say without a doubt that this region is one of the most beautiful in Europe. Destroyed during the Balkan War, the bridge and town has been rebuilt to its former glory. While we may not have fallen in love with Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria is still very much worth a visit.