The Balkan Peninsula is not a major tourist destination like other European sites. But this overlooked area has everything from pristine beaches to charming mountains. From cultural cities to archaeological parks, and all of that for half of the cost of the most famous tourist destinations in Western Europe. We strongly recommend that you visit the Balkans as soon as possible before everyone discovers how beautiful it is. Read our list of the ten best cities to visit in this beautiful European region.
With its communist dictatorship and international isolation, the Romanian capital remained isolated for decades from the eyes of curious visitors. Today, partygoers from all around the world arrive to enjoy thrilling Bucharest stag do weekends accompanied with low-cost shopping spree moments. Amazing new opportunities have been created all around the city and foreign visitors swear that around every corner you can find minor cultural shocks that you will simply never forget.
Piran is a picturesque medieval town that is situated beside the Adriatic Sea in Slovenia. It has a lot to offer for such a small town in terms of history, culture, and museums. From Tartini’s theater and square, inspired by the built-in composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, to the unique coastal galleries, Piran will satisfy all thirst for Slovenian art and culture. Lose yourself in their narrow streets and catch the sun on the coast. For stunning views of the Old Town and the sea, don’t forget to climb to the top of the Saint George Church bell tower to enjoy 360-degree views which extend to both Croatia and Italy. It will leave you speechless to say at least.
When you think of Croatia, it comes to your mind the amazing city of Dubrovnik. Well, there is no doubt that Dubrovnik is the Adriatic’s star, but Croatia is home to other beautiful destinations, such as Rovinj, to name just one. Rovinj is an old town and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Balkans in the summer. Rovinj has crystal clear waters, wonderful beaches, cool nightclubs, excellent restaurants and is also the perfect place to enjoy outdoor adventures, such as scuba diving and relaxing.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
While Sarajevo is one of the premier destinations on the Balkan track, Mostar, thanks to its important history and breathtaking beauty, is another incredible place to visit in the Balkans, and especially in Bosnia Herzegovina. Rebuilt after being destroyed during the Bosnia War in the 1990s, Mostar is today an enchanting town with beautiful buildings, mosques and the historic Ottoman Bridge that named the city. The bridge was originally built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and after the destruction, it was reopened in 2004. Today it is the most popular place in the city and one of the most photographed spots in all of Balkans.
Known as the city of a thousand windows, Berat is one of the most beautiful cities of Albania and the Balkans. Once here you understand why: The old center is characterized by Ottoman buildings with brown roofs, white facades, and small windows. Those visiting Kala, the castle at the top of the hill, will be able to admire stunning views of the city.
Novi Sad, Serbia
Novi Sad is a lively city that every July is home to the largest and the most famous festival on the Balkan Peninsula, EXIT. If you are looking for a cool place to spend a weekend without breaking the bank, Novi Sad is the place for you. Excellent restaurants, parties every night and lots of cultural attractions to admire, such as Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues, museums, bridges and art galleries.
Budva is known for being the liveliest city of Montenegro with a vibrant nightlife, especially during the summer months. Budva is one of the most magical cities along the coast of Montenegro. In addition to the exciting nightlife its worth to take a look at its unique architecture and stunning beaches, such as Jaz, where every July, the Sea Dance Festival takes place with singers and artists from all over the world.
If you are looking for a relaxing atmosphere and stunning views, Ohrid is the right place for you. This beautiful city is located along one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes, Lake Ohrid. The city is one of the most popular summer destinations in the Balkans, but in spring and autumn, it preserves its charm and offers visitors great places to visit, such as the Sveti Kaneo Church, without crowds and tourists.
Another gem of the Mediterranean, Kotor is a charming medieval town that attracts thousands of visitors from nearby countries every summer. Anyone looking for amazing leisure opportunities and high-quality nightlife should definitely consider going to Kotor this summer. Its more affordable then Croatian sea resorts and the great thing is that you are less than two hours away from Dubrovnik (better known as King’s Landing from the famous TV Series the Game of Thrones).
No Balkan list is ever complete without mentioning of the Serbian capital. Many of us are fully aware of this cities party circles and unique Slavic cultural representation that breaths with turbulent times and pure amazement. Numerous travel magazines titled Belgrade as Europe’s best party destination and just as you step into cobblestone paved street of Skadarlija you will see why. Another addition to this trip will definitely be the mouthwatering menus that you will find in every Belgrade restaurant with exceptionally low cost.
Low cost, exceptionally good party opportunities and food that is out of this world, that is how you can easily sum the Balkans these days. Anyone looking for great weekend getaway opportunities should look no further since this part of Europe will amaze you with all of its sites and locals will simply win your heart.
Disclaimer: This is a collaboration post.