Are you interested in visiting the Balkans but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, as local experts, we can recommend some of the most exciting Balkan places you should put into your itinerary. Even better, we can create a completely personalized trip just you. Let us know what you are interested in and we will make it happen.
The Balkans are an interesting region, full of rich history, beautiful and pristine nature, amazing gastronomy and – above all – welcoming people. This is where the West and the East meet and intertwine. It’s a melting pot of various cultures and religions that make the Balkans what it is: a colourful and diverse region, a perfect place for your next holidays. Come and explore the most exciting Balkan places with us! Choose a custom-made private guided tour, a fly & drive trip or one of our group excursions.
and get itinerary to the best Balkan places
The first one on the list of best Balkan places to visit is definitely Dubrovnik. This gorgeous town on the southern tip of the long Croatian coast has been mesmerizing its visitors long before the cruise-ship-masses and Game of Thrones fans started flocking in. One of the most cited reviews of Dubrovnik was written by the famous Irish playwright and a Nobel Prize laureate George Bernard Shaw who visited this place at the beginning of the 20th century and famously nicknamed it “the pearl of the Adriatic”.
Its main attraction is the UNESCO-protected historic town full of elegant Venetian-style palaces and Gothic churches. Start your visit by entering the walled town through Pile Gate and stroll along the main promenade called Stradun. Along the way you will pass many notable buildings, including the large Franciscan Monastery Complex which is know for housing one of the oldest still working pharmacies in the world. To sum it all up, take a walk along Dubrovnik’s history walls.
THE BAY OF KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
Montenegro is a tiny country of great variety and striking contrasts. Tourists from all over the world come here to enjoy its unspoiled Adriatic coast with spectacular beaches of white pebbles and azure waters. However, Montenegro is much more that just a sun-and-sea destination. It’s a wondaful mix of incredible cultural heritage and gorgeous natural site; and nowhere else do these two features come together more beautifully as in the famous Bay of Kotor.
Sometimes referred to as the Europe’s southernmost fjord, the Bay of Kotor is truly one of the best Balkan places you absolutely need to visit. Its steep slopes create a gigantic natural amphitheater which you can explore for days. After checking out the elegant Venetian towns of Kotor and Perast, you should take the scenic road that climbs high above the fjord and offers spectacular views you will never forget. From there, continue your trip towards the Lovćen National Park and climb up the so-called Black mountain, which gave Montenegro it’s name.
Visiting Belgrade might not be the most relaxing experience, since the Serbian metropolis is constantly buzzing with students and nightlife-seeking travelers. It is nicknamed the party capital of the Balkans, but Belgrade also doesn’t lack impressing historic buildings, interesting museums, long shopping strips, trendy bars and traditional restaurants. The White City (as it can be translated) should be put high on the list of the best Balkan places to see in your lifetime.
Belgrade is a modern European capital whose looks are being shaped by the foreign investors. Most talked-about is the new Belgrade Waterfront which is still in development and will be attracting visitors in the near future. In the meantime, there are numerous historic sights you can visit, including the grand temple of St. Sava, world’s second largest orthodox church; the interesting museum of Yugoslavia and the mausoleum of its legendary leader Josip Broz Tito.
Explore the list of the most exciting Balkan places to visit
MOSTAR, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Without a doubt, Mostar is the tourism jewel of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its pretty cobbled streets run through the old bazaar on both sides of the turquoise Neretva River which are connected by the historic and UNESCO-protected old bridge. But even more important that its appeal, Mostar is significant for its role in connecting two cultures and religions that have been living side by side for centuries.
If you are visiting Mostar in the summer, we recommend you to spend a night and enjoy its historic centre in the evening when the hordes of daily tourists are long gone. You can even base yourself there for a few days and discover other interesting Balkan places in the close proximity; for example the the hillside Počitelj, the mysterious Dervish monastery at the mouth of the Buna River or the popular Catholic pilgrimage centre of Medjugorje. Unfortunately, Bosnia is often perceived as a country torn by the horrors of war, but after several decades you can see it improving, especially in the tourism department.
Hvar is probably the most famous of all Dalmatian islands and as such a regular stop on almost every small-ship cruise in our vast offer. Moreover, Hvar has long been one of the most popular Balkan places for the rich and famous who bring their yachts to its marina. With over 2700 hours of sunshine each year – more than any other place in the country – Hvar is sometimes also called the sun island.
Most visited is of course the namesake town on the southern shore where you can wander across the pretty St. Stephen Square that was formed by filling an inlet; or climb up the historic fortress with amazing views over the town and Pakleni islands in the distance. If you are staying longer, you should definitely consider taking a boat trip to this tiny archipelago of 16 islands with great swimming opportunities. If you want to escape the crowds, you can rent a bike and explore one of the less-known UNESCO sites in Croatia: the agricultural landscape of Stari Grad plains.
It might be hard to pronounce, but pretty Ljubljana has become one of the Europe’s most popular capitals to visit. It is also one of the most livable cities on the continent with losts of green spaces and areas for pedestrians and cyclers. The pretty river of a similar name (Ljubljancia) cuts through its centre creating a vibrant environment full of bars, restaurants and shops. It’s a great place to take a stroll for visitors and locals alike.
Conveniently placed in the centre of this small country, Ljubljana is a great base to explore Slovenia and its other tourist attractions. Among the most popular daily excursions from Ljubljana is of course the alpine village of Bled. Needless to say this fairy-tale place is just breathtaking from any point of view, but maybe best enjoyed from the terrace of Bled Castle while trying the traditional local pastry named kremšnita. The other popular daily excursion from Ljubljana is the Postojna Cave – the largest cave system in Europe open to public, which can be visited in combination with the nearby Predjama Castle.
LAKE OHRID, ALBANIA & NORTH MACEDONIA
The vast Ohrid Lake (358 square kilometres) forms a natural border between two less-known Balkan countries: Albania & North Macedonia. Its shores are popular holiday destination not just for foreign visitors, but also for locals.
Ohrid Lake is one of the deepest (up to 300 meters in depth) and oldest (3 million years) lakes not just in the Balkans but in the whole Europe. It is often regarded for its high biodiversity, unmatched by any other lake of its size. The picturesque historic town of the same name sits on its shore in North Macedonia and has a status of an UNESCO-recognised site since 1979. In 2019 however, the decision was made to extend the protected zone to also include the area around the town of Pogradec in Albania.
Probably the most famous tourist site in the area is the beautiful St. Naum Monastery, siting on a cliff and overlooking the lake. If you are visiting the are, you should also take a boat trip to the springs of St. Naum.
Do you like what you see? Why not explore the list of these exciting Balkan places in real life? As local experts we are specialised in personalised tours in the Southeastern Europe. We cover a huge range of countries: from Slovenia and Croatia all the way to Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia. Let us know your preferences and we will prepare the best tailor-made trip to the Balkans just for you. Lakes, rivers, mountains, cultural sights, … we know them all! Trust the local knowledge.
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