Albania Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Kosovo Macedonia Montenegro Serbia Slovenia

Balkan highlights – your ultimate list of what to see in the Balkans

Balkan Highlights - Split
(Last Updated On: 08/04/2019)

As you probably know very well the Balkans is one of my favorite regions in the whole world. I keep returning there as often as I can, at least a few times each year and I always keep finding new Balkan highlights there. That is why I’ve decided to create the ultimate list of what to see in the Balkans so you will have a great cheatsheet for your next trip to south-east Europe.

Since my personal bucket list for the area is still neverending I’ve asked few fellow bloggers and friends to help me with those highlights so you can see here as many awesome and worth visiting places as possible! So without any further ado, let me present you what to see in the Balkans!

Albania

Berat

By Corinne and Jim Vail from ReflectionsEnroute – click to read more about their time in Berat.

Berat, the White City of Albania, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that became our favorite city in the entire country. Walking along its main promenade the sun was shining on the stunning white buildings that climb up the mountain next to the Lumi i Osumit River. At the top of the hill, the Berat fortress is a glance into the Byzantine past. Cobblestone alleyways, grapevines, or friendly vendors greet you at every turn. Stop and have a glass of cay while taking in the amazing valley view. For dinner, don’t miss the local lamb stew while you sit outside and enjoy the sunset.

Balkan Highlights - Berat


By Anne from TravelTheGlobe4Less – click to read more about her travels in Albania

Nestled in the shadow of a vertiginous rock face, is the small town of Berat. It’s whitewashed, traditional homes cling to the hillside above the river. Cosmopolitan bars line the riverfront and quaint little pubs hide in cobbled alleyways below the castle. For spectacular views of the valley and surrounding countryside, do not miss the sweat-inducing climb to the castle. It’s an adventure in itself as you navigate slippery, glistening cobbles before clambering over rocks and scrubland to reach the top. You may even be accosted by a local man desperate to take your picture, whilst hanging off a pilon to get the best view of you from above! We stayed in the lovely, traditional ottoman Hotel Muzaka on the opposite river bank. For picturesque views of the old town, be sure to request room six with beautiful carved ceilings and furniture. Even in the height of summer, its thick walls cocoon you in cool relief and waking up to those scenes is heavenly.

Balkan Highlights - Berat

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Berat? Click here to check the best deals and details of Berat accommodation! <-

Tirana

By Liza from Tripsget – click to read more about her Balkan trip

The capital of Albania, Tirana is surely one of the highlights of Balkan peninsula. Even though Tirana is not famous for its architecture or landmarks, it’s still a very interesting place to visit. It has a unique mix of religions – Islam, Christian orthodoxy and Catholicism. It was also a revelation for me, that Tirana is such a calm and quiet city – there is a huge park with the lake in the city center and it seems like at least half of the population of the city goes running there. The prices in the city are very low and the food quality is amazing: in Tirana, I ate the tastiest meal out of all the meals me and my husband ate during our amazing Balkan bus trip. You shouldn’t have many expectations before coming to Tirana: the city is still developing, there are no shopping malls and almost no foreign shops (except for some German grocery stores) and nice-looking restaurants are hard to find. However, the charm of Tirana is in its diversity and dissimilarity to other cities, especially in Western Europe. It’s different, but it’s unique and amazing!

Balkan highlights - Tirana

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Tirana? Click here to check the best deals and details of Tirana accommodation! <-

Gjirokastra

By Cristina from The Lazy Trotter

Despite learning how to pronounce Gjirokastra at first attempt may be a little challenging, this UNESCO World Heritage Site deserves a visit during your holiday to Albania. Located just a couple of hours drive from Berat, Gjirokastra is one of the most important historical cities of Albania. People call it the white city, as its building are characterized by white facades screaming the charm of decadence in every single detail. Stroll around the city center and see the clothes hanging from the balconies, do some people watching, play with kids in the street, and enjoy the beauty of the valley around you. Do not miss a visit to the Castle, considered one of the most charming of Albania. Oh, I almost forgot: walk to the souk to shop some local handicrafts. Carpets and ceramics are amazing!

Balkan highlights - Gjirokastra

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Gjirokastra? Click here to check the best deals and details of Gjirokastra accommodation! <-

Vlorë

By Iris from Mind of a Hitchhiker

Vlorë is a relatively low-key place to visit in Albania but has tons of activities nearby. Make it your exploration base for visiting the Zvërnec peninsula, the Karaburun-Sazan national marine park, the ruins of Oricum and the Kaninë castle. A little further out, you’ll find the fabulous beaches of Dhërmi and Himarë along the southern coastal road. Inside the city, you can learn about Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, which was declared here. The 500-year-old Muradie mosque is one of the main sights in this very walkable city. In the warm months, the town organizes a lot of open-air festivals on the squares and nearby hills. One can stroll along the boulevard and sample coffee at one of the many cafés while reading a book. Watch the sun drop into the sea to complete that Mediterranean-Balkan vibe.

Balkan highlights - Vlore

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Vlorë? Click here to check the best deals and details of Vlorë accommodation! <-

Saranda

By Helen from Bristolian Backpacker.

Even in the blustery wind and winter months, Saranda has a beauty which is worthwhile checking out while in Albania. Watching the sunset over the sea and splashing around is a must, as well as hiking up and visiting Lekuresi castle. You get stunning views of the city and sea from the top. The other real draw of visiting Saranda is taking a trip to Butrint, the nearby UNESCO heritage site. These well-preserved ancient ruins are spectacular and set beautiful surroundings. Saranda is definitely worthy of a couple of days during your travels.

Balkan Highlights - Saranda

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Saranda? Click here to check the best deals and details of Saranda accommodation! <-

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo

By Jub from Tiki Touring Kiwi – click to read more about his time in Sarajevo.

Sarajevo doesn’t get as much love as other Balkan cities given it’s inland and the country only has 20km or so of coastline, therefore people often skip over the country. Sarajevo, however, has great affordable prices, stunning nature all around the city that’s easily accessible and the cafe culture is irresistible (50 cents green tea, anyone?). The abandoned bobsled track is a favorite for travelers. It is a mystery to me why the locals don’t spend more time up there. Then, of course, you’ve got all the adorable cats hanging out in the neighborhoods surrounding the city. The city is located in a valley creating epic sunsets on a clear night with vantage points found all over the city. You can even catch the sunset from the top of Twist Tower, the highest skyscraper in the Former Yugoslavia at 176 meters tall.

Balkan highlights - Sarajevo

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Sarajevo? Click here to check the best deals and details of Sarajevo accommodation! <-

Tuzla

By Paulina from Paulina on the Road

My Balkan highlight this year was Tuzla in Bosnia. As I had only 3 days to visit, I decided to rather stay all that time in Tuzla than trying to check as many sights as possible. And I have to say, it was the best decision ever. Tuzla has a long history with its roots going back to the 9th century, and the modern Tuzla goes back to 1510 when it became an important garrison town in the Ottoman Empire. Tuzla is mostly known for having the only salt lakes in Europe. Set amidst its central park, it receives each year about 350.00 visitors. Although Tuzla suffered a lot during the war in the ’90s, it managed to preserve its reputation as Bosnia’s most multicultural city.

Balkan highlights - Tuzla

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Tuzla? Click here to check the best deals and details of Tuzla accommodation! <-

Mostar

By Rai from A Rai of Light – click to read more about his time in Mostar

Mostar is often said to be highlight of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’d go one step further and add that this city is a highlight of any travels through the Balkans. What makes this city special, besides its location along the picturesque waters of the Neretva River, is its sense of rebirth. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Mostar was the most heavily bombed city during the war. But look past the bullet holes, war-torn buildings, and abandoned structures, and you will notice a city filled with generosity, hope, and beauty. A walk along Stari Most, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a highpoint of any visit to the city.

Balkan Highlights - Mostar

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Mostar? I can wholeheartedly recommend Villa Tajra! Click here to check current deals and details of the place! <-

Mostar’s surroundings

By Evi from Kto podróżuje ten żyje dwa razy

While one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Bosnia and Hercegovina is Mostar, it’s also worth to explore its surroundings. With half day trip outside Mostar, you can reach two beautiful places: Kravica Waterfall, which is often compared to Croatian Plitvice Lakes, and Blagaj, where beautiful monastery under the rock is located. Kravica Waterfall is located approx. 45 km south of Mostar, very close to Croatian border. To get there you will need to rent a car, but it’s totally worth it. Comparison to Plitvice Lakes is not an exaggeration, although Kravica is much smaller and less crowded. Peaceful atmosphere, possible boat ride and a nice coffee place just by the water are the advantages of Kravica Waterfall. Entrance costs 4KM per person and 2KM for parking your car. On your way back to Mostar you should stop by in Blagaj, whereby the Buna River, under the rock Blagaj Tekke is located. The monastery was built for the Dervish cults in the 16th century and its considered a national monument. Buna River really has this color! Blagaj is easy to reach from Mostar by public transportation, it’s only 13 km away.

Balkan Highlights - Blagaj

Travnik and Jajce

By Evi from Kto podróżuje ten żyje dwa razy

In the Western part of Bosnia and Hercegovina there are two hidden gems, that most tourists seem to pass: Travnik and Jajce. It’s a good idea to choose one of this cities to stay overnight and explore both, during one day trip (distance between them is approx.. 70 km, with regular bus connections few times a day). Jajce is well known mostly because of its beautiful 20-meter high waterfall, located just right next to bus stations, before entering the city. Best spot to admire its beauty is a platform above the waterfall, however, you can also check it out from the bottom perspective (entry ticket apply). The city itself is interesting too, especially fortress towering over the city (entrance 2KM). While in Travnik you should not miss Travnik Fortress (entrance 2KM) with a beautiful panorama of the city and surrounding mountains. Last but not least is Ornamented Mosque, unique due to its inside and outside paintings.

Balkan highlights - Travnik

Croatia

Krka National Park

By Kate from Our Escape Clause – click to read more about her time in Croatia.

Ever dreamed of swimming in crystal clear water right in front of a cascade of gorgeous waterfalls? That place actually exists: it’s Krka National Park, Croatia. One of Croatia’s most popular national parks, Krka is famous not only for its beautiful water, peaceful trails, and lovely cascading waterfalls but for the fact that unlike at its famous rival Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can dive right into that oh-so-tempting water for a swim. Krka National Park is doable as a day trip from many coastal Croatian cities, including the ever-popular Split, and its accessibility only adds to its appeal. If you’re coming to Croatia and are eager for a memorable place to swim,
definitely check out Krka National Park.

Balkan highlights Krka NP

Korcula

By John Franklin from From Real People

There are so many gorgeous islands along the Croatian coast but one of the most beautiful has to be Korcula on the Dalmatian coast. Located between Split and Dubrovnik, its 46 km long, just 8 km wide and covered with olive groves, vineyards, and cute little villages. The southern coast of the island is dotted with quiet coves and sandy beaches while the water is a magical blue. Korcula Town on the North East of the island is a wonderful place to wander around and get lost. The city walls surround the center and its tiny car-free streets. The town is shaped like a herringbone so that air is able to circulate while protecting it from the wind. Take a walk to the west of the town along the bay to get the best views of the town itself. At night the town really comes alive so make sure you stay and check out the nightlife. Another thing not to miss is the amazing local wine.

Balkan highlights - Korcula

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Korcula? Click here to check the best deals and details of Korcula accommodation! <-

Sipan

By Margherita from The Crowded Planet

If you find yourself in Dubrovnik and want to escape the crowds, the Elafiti Islands are a great place to disappear to. The largest of them, Sipan Island, is ideal both for a day trip or for a few days rest from the hassle of the mainland. It’s only an hour by ferry from Dubrovnik, but it may very well be another world. There are only two villages, with a total of about 400 inhabitants, and no big hotels, only homestays, and konoba where you can get your dinner. The water is clear and beautiful and the interior of the island is covered in olive trees – I was surprised to find out that Sipan Island has the largest number of olive trees per capita in the world! Some of the olive farms can be visited, and the farmer will surely offer you a tasting of olive oil at the end of the tour. It was the best olive oil we’ve ever had!

Balkan Highlights - Sipan

Brac

By Sharon from Simpler And Smarter

You can’t visit Croatia without visiting one of its islands and Brac is a great choice! This gorgeous island is easily accessible by ferry from Split. The first thing we noticed is that it’s mountainous with gorgeous views basically everywhere. It’s also home to Zlatni Rat which is supposed to be one of Europe’s most gorgeous beaches and it does make for a stunning site. Brac is known for its olive oil, its stonemasonry, and its wine and it’s easy to check out all of these options. I recommend visiting Stina Winery in Bol and the Olive Oil Museum. The main town, Bol, is also worth checking out. The waterfront is scenic and there are many lovely restaurants.

Balkan highlights - Brac

Makarska

By Dutch travel blogger Tom from Traveltomtom

This little sleepy town perched between the ocean and a mountain range that looks a bit like the Table Mountain is the perfect road trip stop along the Croatian coast. This is where Croatian people go if they wanna escape the big touristy places in summer. Stroll along the boulevard and choose one of the many little restaurants with views over the marina or escape into the little back alleys where you will find even more picturesque little restaurants, bars, the main square, the historical church, and many handicrafts shops. One of the main attractions of this picture perfect coastal town is its huge bay of fine pebbled beach and calm crystal clear water. Go to the lighthouse on the little peninsula to watch the sunset!

Balkan highlights - Makarska

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Makarska? Click here to check the best deals and details of Makarska accommodation! <-

Plitvice Lakes

By Ewa from Daleko Niedaleko

In the central part of Croatia, you can find a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon. The famous Plitvice Lakes consist of sixteen cascading reservoirs filled with turquoise, crystal clear water and connected by nearly ninety waterfalls. The number of cascades changes, as the processes of sedimentation and erosion are ongoing and some new ones are created while some old ones simply dry up. In 1949 a national park was created to protect this unique area, while thirty years later Plitvice became listed as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Today you can wander around many wooden pathways between the lakes and cascades, listening to the soothing sound of constantly flowing water, as well as admire the stunning panoramic views of the area from a couple of viewpoints.

Balkan Highlights - Plitvice Lakes

Dubrovnik

By Ewa from Daleko Niedaleko

Considered to be one of the most picturesque towns on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik is without a doubt a highlight among the Croatian tourist destinations. Named “The Pearl of the Adriatic Sea”, the old town, surrounded by thick, monumental city walls lures millions of visitors each year. Whether you are an architecture admirer, a history lover or you simply enjoy strolling the small, cobblestone streets – Dubrovnik offers everybody a great deal of amazement and in recent years it also entices fans of the “Game of Thrones” series, which scenes were shot here as well. If you visit Dalmatia, you simply cannot miss Dubrovnik!

Balkan highlights - Dubrovnik

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Dubrovnik? Click here to check the best deals and details of Dubrovnik accommodation! <-

Zagreb

By me.

The capital of Croatia is often overlooked by tourists heading to the seaside – huge mistake as the city is really lovely and perfect to spend at least the weekend in. The beautiful architecture is a perfect example of Central European style known from the times of Austria-Hungary, the Upper and Lower towns are great for wandering around and the numerous cafes and restaurants invite you to sit down and relax. Zagreb is also full of alternative spots and its street art scene is one of the best in the region! I’ve been there some five times by now and I know I will be returning over and over again!

Balkan Highlights - Zagreb

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Zagreb? Click here to check the best deals and details of Zagreb accommodation! <-

Split

By me.

Located on the Croatian coast Split is one of the most important towns in the region. Even if often crowded it’s definitely worth visiting as the city lives up to the hype. The Diocletian’s Palace is impressive and walking around the old town can take you back in time to the grand times. The view from Marjan hill is definitely worth the walk up. Split is also a perfect getaway to famous Croatian islands.

Balkan Highlights - Split

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Split? Click here to check the best deals and details of Split accommodation! <-

Sibenik

By me.

Of all the Croatian seaside places Sibenik was my favorite one. I didn’t know what to expect and fell for it really hard – narrow charming streets, a small harbor or the UNESCO listed cathedral were all just perfect. I was there in April and there were hardly any tourists around – instead I could see locals just hanging around, doing their businesses and enjoying the calm days – it was such a nice change from all the tourist destinations. If you’re thinking of visiting Krka NP Sibenik is the most convenient location to do it from.

Balkan Highlights - Sibenik

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Sibenik? Click here to check the best deals and details of Sibenik accommodation! <-

Kosovo

Prizren

By Michael from The World Was Here First

Many people’s impressions of Kosovo stem from visions of war-torn news reports from a couple of decades ago but these days it is a safe country. Locals, however, are keen to forward and visiting Kosovo can provide travelers with a great off the beaten path experience. The Ottoman town of Prizren, is a beautiful city and one of the best places to visit in Kosovo. It has plenty of interesting sites to explore including the Prizren Fortress which offers fantastic views over the whole city. One of my favorite things to do in Prizren is to wander around the Old Town, explore the narrow streets and eventually stop at a café or restaurant for a leisurely meal or coffee and simply enjoy the great vibe of the city.

Balkan Highlights - Prizren

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Prizren? Click here to check the best deals and details of Prizren accommodation! <-

Pristina

By me.

Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, might not be the most beautiful city ever but it surely is worth a visit. I keep returning there as often as I can, even if just for a day. It’s one of the most vibrant cities I’ve been to and its cafes scene is just the best! You can get the best macchiato ever for as little as 1€! In Pristina you can also find one of the ugliest buildings in the world (that I find so beautiful) – the National Library of Kosovo. The main pedestrian street of Pristina is full of locals hanging around – I can’t imagine a better place for people watching!

Balkan Highlights - Pristina

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Pristina? Click here to check the best deals and details of Pristina accommodation! <-

Gjakova

By me.

Gjakova was my biggest surprise during my Kosovo travel. The town is known for the biggest and oldest bazaar in the country and it surely is an impressive one. The main lane is packed with cute, charming cafes – the major hangout hotspot for locals. But Gjakova has much more to offer – both nice architecture and beautiful views around!

Balkan Highlights - Gjakova

Macedonia

Lake Ohrid

By Lance and Laura Longwell from Travel Addicts – click to read more about their travels to Macedonia

One of the top highlights in the former Yugoslavia can be found high in the mountains of Macedonia: Lake Ohrid. This lake has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its incredible biodiversity. Species of flora and fauna can be found here that do not exist anywhere else in the world. Ohrid’s natural beauty is best seen from the peaks surrounding the lake (there are great trails throughout the region), but also from the water. But what drew us to Lake Ohrid was not nature, it was incredible cultural heritage found in the monasteries of the region. These beautiful buildings capture the essence of the Orthodox faith in the heart of southern Europe. Macedonia is a cheap travel destination (less than $30 a day), but it is rich in spirit and tradition. The highlight of our trip was taking a cooking class with a local family and being able to learn about their way of life. Lake Ohrid is one of our favorite travel destinations ever!

Balkan Highlights - Lake Ohrid

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Ohrid? Click here to check the best deals and details of Ohrid accommodation! <-

Skopje

By me.

The capital of Macedonia is probably the craziest city I’ve been to and that’s one of the reasons why I love it so much and keep returning there as often as I can. Recently Skopje is going through the major (and expensive) restoration that is supposed to show the ancient past of the country – the result is certainly interesting. But the city is also home to some of the best brutalism buildings I’ve seen and the biggest bazaar in Europe (after Istanbul) that surely is a fascinating place to wander around! Even if at first Skopje looks just weird it is a great place to spend at least a few days in! And if you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of the city Matka Canyon or Mount Vodno, both located just outside of Skopje, are a perfect nature getaway.

Balkan Highlights - Skopje

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Skopje? Click here to check the best deals and details of Skopje accommodation! <-

Bitola

By me.

This was one of the most pleasant Balkan towns I’ve visited. Bitola is known as the city of consulates (there are seven of them there) but it has so much more to offer: ancient ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis, the awesome main pedestrian street – Shirok Sokak – lined with numerous cafes or the old bazaar. But for me, the highlight of Bitola were two abandoned airplanes located on the hill above the city – not only they were super weird but the views from up there were pretty spectacular!

Balkan Highlights - Bitola

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Bitola? Click here to check the best deals and details of Bitola accommodation! <-

Krusevo

By me.

The moment I saw pictures of Krusevo I knew I have to go there! The highest located city in Macedonia looked just perfect with beautiful, traditional houses built kind of on top of each other. And in real life, Krusevo didn’t disappoint and looked just as pretty as I imagined! But the main reason why I wanted to visit it was Makedonium – a monument built in brutalism style that reminded me so much of the dog’s toy! It is located above the town but it’s definitely worth the effort to get there – you won’t see such a crazy building anywhere else!

Balkan Highlights - Krusevo

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Krusevo? Click here to check the best deals and details of Krusevo accommodation! <-

Montenegro

Kotor

By Clemens from Travellers Archive

One of the absolute highlights of every Balkan trip is the small port town of Kotor in Montenegro. This is a small, very old village on the south-eastern Adriatic coast, not far from Budva, which is incredibly picturesque. One must know that the bay of Kotor is the deepest natural fjord-like bay in the Mediterranean. And the mountainous landscape around the town is more than spectacular. Particularly popular with visitors is the city because of this breathtaking natural environment on the edge of the mountain-bound bay. But also the medieval structures of the world cultural heritage are not to be ignored. Thus, as a visitor, one can spend hours walking through the medieval streets.

Balkan Highlights - Kotor

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Kotor? Click here to check the best deals and details of Kotor accommodation! <-

Durmitor National Park

By Ewa from Daleko Niedaleko

Even though Montenegro is one of the smallest countries in Europe, it has many natural gems, of which it can be proud. One of those is the majestic Durmitor mountain range, which is located in the north-east part of the country. Protected within a national park, Durmitor mountains have been sculpted by glaciers, which formed sharp ridges and summits, river valleys full of boulders and glacial lakes. When you reach the largest one, called the Black Lake, you will encounter a scenic view of majestic peaks rising above a lagoon of crystal clear water, that will surely take your breath away for a moment.

Balkan highlights - Durmitor

Lovcen

By Ewa from Daleko Niedaleko

There are many reasons why the Lovcen mountains deserve a special place on the touristic map of the Balkans. First of all, it is the burial place of the most important ruler of Montenegro, Petar II PetrovićNjegos. Climb up to the Mausoleum and you will immediately understand why he wanted to lay there, having the panoramic view over the picturesque country. But there is more! When you drive up from Kotor, you will encounter the most stunning view of the Kotor Bay. On the other side, there is a small but charming city of Cetinje, which was the first capital city of Montenegro. Finally, you can visit a nearby Lipa cave, which has some interesting rock formations.

Balkan highlights - Lovcen

Lake Skadar

By me.

The biggest lake in the Balkans, divided between Albania and Montenegro, is a truly spectacular place. If you are lucky when landing at Podgorica airport you might get a full glimpse of the area – while I wasn’t too convinced to go to the lake as soon as I saw it from the plane I fell in love! The area is such a pristine place, so peaceful and quiet. If you like bird watching Lake Skadar is probably the best place to visit in the Balkans!

Balkan Highlights - Lake Skadar

Serbia

Belgrade

By Megan from meganstarr.com – click to read her great guide to Belgrade coffee scene!

If there was one city in Europe that just gets me, it’s Belgrade, Serbia. My obsession with the Serbian capital began on my first trip there in 2014 and continues now in 2017 as I spent a lot of time there earlier this year. The mixture of concrete, amazing food, delicious beer, coffee for the masses, and never-ending parties is the reason that I think this city sits in a league all its own. The hospitality of the locals is incredible too… I meet people in every establishment that I walk into and remain friends with them even after I leave. I will be wrapping up my 2017 travels there this year and I am scared I won’t want to leave!

Balkan highlights - Belgrade

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Belgrade? Click here to check the best deals and details of Belgrade accommodation! <-

Subotica

By Kirsty from Kathmandu & Beyond

Arriving into the town of Subotica in northern Serbia, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’d already crossed the border into neighboring Hungary. Subotica is perhaps best-known for its colorful Art Deco buildings, and whilst the beautiful Raichle Palace (dating to 1904, and now a modern art gallery with a lovely outdoor cafe) is not to be missed, the building is just one example of the varied and eclectic styles of architecture that can be found. Subotica is a small town but its laid-back vibe with a largely pedestrianized center means there’s plenty to keep most visitors happily occupied for a day or so and it’s a great place to break the journey between Budapest and Belgrade.

Balkan highlights - Subotica

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Subotica? Click here to check the best deals and details of Subotica accommodation! <-

Novi Sad

By Amy Butler from The Wayfarer’s Book

Novi Sad, a petite but picturesque city in Serbia, is brimming with history and culture. With its location on the Danube River, Novi Sad grew in importance under the Austro-Hungarian Empire – and now was recently named a 2021 European Capital of Culture city. Over the summer it hosts what seems like non-stop festivals and fun, including the Exit Festival, an EDM event that takes place within a fortress. It’s also nestled in Fruška Gora, a mountainous region that produces some of Serbia’s best wines. As a university town, it blends forward-thinking energy with traditional customs, so that you can go shopping at the produce market in the morning and relax at a craft beer pub in the evening. Of course, the best part of Novi Sad is the people, who are some of the most hospitable I’ve ever met. After just a few weeks of living in Serbia I had my favorite local pub, where I knew I could drop by whenever and someone would be down for a friendly chat!

Balkan highlights - Novi Sad

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Novi Sad? Click here to check the best deals and details of Novi Sad accommodation! <-

Uzice

By me.

Uzice, Serbia might not be the most obvious choice for many travellers. I ended up there by accident too, only because due to the poor connections I was forced to stay there overnight when going from Montenegro to Sarajevo. But Uzice turned out to be a surprisingly nice city with a vibrant center, the brutalist gem of Hotel Zlatibor and lovely recreational area. Uzice has also a perfect location, surrounded by the mountains, and is a perfect getaway to the nearby nature: Zlatibor mountains or Tara National Park. Only a short ride away from the city you will find Mokra Gora – a starting point of the famous engineering wonder – The Sargan Eight railway line.

Visit Uzice Serbia

Slovenia

Piran

By Katy from Untold Morsels – click to read more about her time in Piran

Slovenia is known for its soaring mountain ranges and pristine lakes but there is a jewel hidden on its Adriatic Coast. Piran is a small city with a cosmopolitan past. Ruled by the Venetian Republic for 500 years and later by various empires, they all left their mark on the city. Piran’s main square is a large and elegant piazza dedicated to the town’s famous violinist son – Giuseppe Tartini. Behind the cafes and restaurants lining the square, narrow street takes you to the harbor and seafront where on a clear day you can see Italy across the Bay of Trieste. Though many people simply stop for a few hours in pretty Piran, it is a place where you could relax for a few days and enjoy an Italian Riviera style vacation with Balkan prices.

Balkan highlights - Piran

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Piran? Click here to check the best deals and details of Piran accommodation! <-

Lake Bled

By Shandos from Travelnuity – click to read about her time at Lake Bled

Lake Bled and the surrounding region in Slovenia is an incredibly picturesque part of the Balkans. You’ve probably already seen photos of the small yet gorgeous Lake Bled, with its island and church in its center. But you may not know that there are so many other beautiful sights to see close by. There’s Vintgar Gorge, where a thundering river passes through a narrow gorge and you can walk above on a boardwalk, only a few kilometers away and able to be reached on foot. Alternatively, head to Vrsic Pass and the Soca River region, worthy of a full day trip or an overnight excursion. Whatever you do, make sure you head to this beautiful spot soon and book more nights than you initially plan. Visiting this area is one of the best things to do in Slovenia!

Balkan highlights - Lake Bled

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Bled? Click here to check the best deals and details of Bled accommodation! <-

Ljubljana

By Wandering Wheatleys

The capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana (pronounced “lube-li-ana”) is compact, clean, pedestrian-friendly, and is filled with gorgeous Baroque period architecture and bizarre statues. Wander the cobblestone streets of the old city, ducking into the cute shops and cafes that line the pedestrian walkway and then head up to the castle that looms over the city for breathtaking views. The banks of the river that run through the center of the city are lined with darling little outdoor restaurants and cafes – perfect for a lazy day spent sipping coffee and reading a good book in the sun. Make sure to spend a few days in this lush, green, livable city!

Balkan highlights - Ljubljana

-> Are you looking for a place to stay in Ljubljana? Click here to check the best deals and details of Ljubljana accommodation! <-

Bohinj

By me.

Located not too far away from the famous Lake Bled for me this is the most beautiful place in Slovenia. Crystal clear waters of the lake meet sharp slopes of the Slovenian Alps, creating one of the most breathtaking landscapes ever. When visiting the area be sure to take the boat ride across Lake Bohinj – the views are unforgettable! You should also hike up to the Savica waterfall and take the cable car to Vogel mountain for even more amazing views!

Balkan Highlights - Bohinj


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • Would you like to travel to Central/Eastern Europe or the Balkans? Let me help you with travel planning! Click here for more details!
  • If you don’t want to miss new posts and news from me click here to sign to my newsletter! You can also follow me on Bloglovin!
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to the Balkans too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. If you like what you are reading and seeing here and would like to support me and my blog please consider using those links. It would be like getting me a virtual drink that you don’t have to pay for! Thanks!

LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!

Balkan Highlights       Balkan Highlights


love, kami 2

If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 27.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss new posts sign up to my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  •  
    301
    Shares
  • 90
  •  
  • 211
  •  

18 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    27/12/2017 at 11:08

    Awesome post that leaves me wanting to go back to the region and see more! I like how I said I’d finish the year in Belgrade. Seems as though that didn’t end up happening :P Hope you had a great holiday season, Kami! See ya in 2018 I hope!

    • Reply
      kami
      27/12/2017 at 18:19

      Your plans always change, kind of like mine! ;) Let’s go somewhere together in 2018! Maybe to the Balkans :) ?

  • Reply
    Anne Slater-Brooks
    27/12/2017 at 13:54

    I only recently started travelling to this area of Europe and am kicking myself for leaving it so long. I have totally fallen in love with the area and love that this post gives me even more inspiration for future trips. Sarajevo is next on the list I think!

    • Reply
      kami
      27/12/2017 at 18:26

      Better late than never, right :) ? I think you’ll love Sarajevo, it’s such an amazing city, one of my favorites!!

  • Reply
    Izabela Nowe
    27/12/2017 at 23:16

    W sumie to nic… no najwyżej jakieś 37 miejsc, ale to tak wiesz na marginesie ;)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      28/12/2017 at 11:27

      dawaj! :D

  • Reply
    places2visit.pl
    28/12/2017 at 20:37

    Dodalibyśmy całkiem sporo ze Słowenii ;)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      03/01/2018 at 22:05

      śmialo :)

  • Reply
    Victoria
    28/12/2017 at 22:21

    What a great informative list! I sadly only made it to Sarajevo, Zagreb, and Belgrade this year but am now IN LOVE with the Balkans. I’m planning a trip there for the end of 2018, so this post is a great resource for planning my route!

    • Reply
      kami
      04/01/2018 at 22:11

      Those three cities are really amazing, aren’t they :) ? I adore all of them! Do you already know where in the Balkans you will go this year? No matter which place I’m sure it will be great! :)

  • Reply
    Tati Belenkova
    31/12/2017 at 12:35

    mam nadzieję, to zastosowania w 2018 :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      03/01/2018 at 22:05

      koniecznie :)

  • Reply
    Willie Wheatley
    21/01/2018 at 06:14

    I like this Ljubljana which is the capital city of Slovenia. In picture review this place is clean, compact and so many architecture and it looking attractive. I wanna to spend my next vacation of the banks of river that runs through the center of the city is lined with charming little outdoor restaurants and cafes. Really its look Lush, green and livable city.

    • Reply
      kami
      29/03/2018 at 20:15

      I hope you will have a chance to visit Ljubljana soon! It is such a lovely city!

  • Reply
    Christina A.
    17/02/2018 at 06:42

    We traveled this past year to Bulgaria and Serbia and just cannot wait to return to the Balkans again–your articles are so helpful! We are in love with this area of the world!

    • Reply
      kami
      29/03/2018 at 20:15

      I so can feel you! It’s like a drug, once you go there you want to return over and over again!

  • Reply
    Silvana
    02/10/2018 at 16:43

    Hi Kami, awsome report! I loved reading it. Thanks for sharinh. Do you think this highlight places are suitable for fall/winter traveling? I’m currently traveling in Turkey and planning to start Balkans route in two weeks :)
    Thanks again!
    Silvana

    • Reply
      kami
      19/10/2018 at 09:20

      Thank you! I think it’s doable in the autumn time. I’ve been few times in the Balkans in the autumn season and of course there were days with not good weather but overall it was pretty good. Happy travels!

Leave a Reply

Let’s become friends!

Join me on Facebook for even more travel updates!