The Balkans are on their way to becoming the next great vacation destination. This part of Europe not only has gorgeous scenery and history, but it is also quite inexpensive. When you visit this place, you’ll understand why hikers flock here. Depending on where you go, there are a plethora of varied views and sensations to be had.
Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Croatia, and Slovenia comprise the Balkans. Parts of Greece and Turkey are also traditionally regarded to be part of the Balkans. Here are some reasons why you should visit the Balkans and why you won’t be disappointed:
Less Expensive Than Western Europe
The Balkans are an answer to travelers who want to tour Europe on a limited budget. In general, the Balkans are a less expensive destination than Western Europe. Hostels or shared rooms in the Balkans are often 2-3 times less expensive than dorm rooms in Paris or Barcelona. Transportation is substantially less expensive because the bus is the most prevalent, and occasionally the sole method of transportation. Depending on the time of year, a bus from Belgrade, Serbia, to Sarajevo, Bosnia, may cost as little as $16!
A word of caution regarding Montenegro and Croatia: these are the most costly nations to backpack through. Montenegro utilizes the Euro, thus lodging and dining costs will be more Western European. Furthermore, Croatia has become a popular tourist destination in Europe, and the costs reflect this.
A Culture That Is Rich and Diverse
Some parts of the Balkans have been inhabited since 6,500 BC. The Romans, Ottoman Turks, Venetian Empire, Greece, and other cultures affected the cultures of these nations.
The Balkans have also seen recent turmoil and conflict. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, several of the nations, particularly Bosnia and Kosovo, experienced turbulence. With such recent violence, many nations are still recuperating, and the consequences of the conflicts may be felt today.
While traveling through these nations, you may witness the impacts of political, social, and economic struggle and how it can affect a country’s character. Backpacking in the Balkans is not only fun but also an educational activity.
The landscapes of the Balkans are diverse. Serbia has meadows and rivers, whereas Bosnia and Montenegro have high mountains and Croatia has precipitous cliffsides. These diverse landscapes combine to provide some of the most breathtaking views in the natural world.
The teal rivers and lakes are one of the region’s great natural beauties. The rivers and lakes of Bosnia, Montenegro, and Croatia feature a distinguishing teal or turquoise tint due to the surrounding mountains. The pure waterways contrast sharply with the towering woods and mountains above.
It is simple to go about.
The bus is the most common means of transportation in the Balkans. While railway stations can be found in big cities, they are utilized less frequently than buses. One of the primary causes for the absence of train transportation is the previous conflicts in this area, as well as the gradual recovery of each of these nations’ economies.
However, there are certain advantages to using the bus. Taking the bus allows you to see some of the most breathtaking sights, and the bus lines are regular and inexpensive. The majority of long-distance buses are charter buses, whereas the majority of local buses are huge vans.
A word of caution to visitors considering bus travel in the Balkans: this part of Europe is highly hilly. Because you will be going over several curving roads through the highlands, it is highly advised that you pack motion sickness medicines.
Excellent value for money
This location provides excellent value for money, especially when compared to other European vacation spots. Travelers wishing to convert money before visiting the Balkans should keep in mind that the majority of the Balkan nations are not members of the European Union. This implies that each country has its currency. Greece, Montenegro, and Slovenia are the only Balkan nations to utilize the Euro.
You will need to exchange money in each nation as you go from Bosnian Marks to Croatian Kunas to Albanian Leks. You may exchange money at local exchange offices or bus terminals. However, the further you go from a nation, such as Bulgaria to Croatia, the more difficult it is to convert currency because exchange stations only handle currencies from near neighboring countries.
The Balkan cities are among the most historically and culturally significant in Europe. Some are famous for their architecture and monuments, some for their historical significance, and yet others for hosting big international events.
Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sarajevo, Sofia, and Zagreb are just a few places to see when traveling across this region. Each city has its distinct taste that will appeal to any tourist. These cities provide a genuine cultural experience while also being less crowded than major European cities such as Paris, Barcelona, and London.
Plenty of food
Balkan cuisine is not known for its healthfulness. While there are numerous vegetarian or vegan establishments, many of the conventional cafés and restaurants provide heartier meals. However, as globalization spreads, new cuisines and eating trends are making their way into the Balkans’ everyday life.
Corapi (pita, kebab, and onions) and other meat dishes are popular in Serbia and Bosnia. Because of their Italian influence, Croatia and Montenegro are well-known for their pizza and pasta. Finally, Slovenia boasts one of the most diversified cuisines, with dishes originating in Hungary, Austria, and Italy.