I will be spending 8 days in the Balkans in July. 4 days in each selected place.
What are the best destination in the Adriatic sea coast? I have heard a lot of good stuff about Montenegro and Croatia.
Wel the reason I wanted to visit the coast is because I have an uncle that went there once and only said amazing things about it. Second reason is thet the trip is actually 2 trips: One to spend 6 days on Italy, on the coast of the Adriatic sea, and the 8 days on the balkans. I tough that having the Blakan destination on the coast would make it faster and easier to get too.
What is Sofia like? With the 4 day per location limit I cant visit the whole of Bulgaria, but im sure I can see the capital fine.
Any sites of kebab removal from the past? What sort of museus and historical sites? The food: Good international and traditional bulgarian food places? What about those little hidden gems that only the locals know about, like taverns and such?
Sorry, misread your post. If you're there in July you're gonna have a great time.
Sofia is going to be great for you in summer, historical architecture from antiquity to modern times, nature & parks, local entertainment like gun ranges, go karts, swimming pools, pubs, night clubs, other random-ass entertainment. The infrastructure and public transport are good (the subway is your friendo). Traffic can be hell ~18:00 so avoid at all cost, but on foot you'll get everywhere.
You'll find alcohol & food cheap. You can complete Sofia for 2 days and move on to Plovdiv which will give you a very good impression of the country, as it houses the "old city" which is a part of it that has 18th century preserved Bulgarian architecture plus all the modern conveniences in the contemporary part of the town. Do that for a day, depending on your logistics you can squeeze in Blagoevgrad which isn't anything special by itself, but it's a town with a lot of young people and a cool place to hang. Mostly night life.
If you have anything specific in mind, ask.
Sofia in 2 days huh? interesting. Makes it possible to visit 3 places in the balkans. I think I will visit just the Capital, thank you. Are there any old timey places to visit? Like, taverns or medieval looking restaurants? What about hotels? Do I have to look for 4-5 stars on anything will do?
Also, It was suggested to me to visit Kotor ( http://wikitravel.org/en/Kotor ). Looks amazing, what does /trv/ think?
Yeah, plenty of those.
and anything on this website: http://mehanite.com/en
2 days is enough I reckon, 1 strictly sight-seeing and 2nd day for some activities if you're interested in shooting, riding quads, horses or some shit like that
I'd suggest you to go to Plovdiv, which happens to be Europe's oldest inhabited city. It's about 200 km from Sofia eastwards. The old part of the town is amazing (prepare to walk a bit though) and the city concentrates a lot of history within a few metres (in the centre, there is a mosque in front of the ruins of a Roman amphitheater. A few metres ahead you have a Communist-era mosaic reminding Plovdiv's friendship with Leningrad. Also, the town is extremely cheap and accommodation is easy to find.
Picture is the view from one of the 7 hills of the old town.
Don't go to Bulgaria. Not because i hate Bulgaria but the reason is quite simple. LITERALLY everything you can do in Bulgaria could be done in Adriatic sea/Belgrade.
My perfect route (if you don't count Greece as that is journey for itself) would be a weekend in Belgrade (best party/night life is summer), then go to Budva in Montenegro, then Kotor, then Dubrovnik, Split, up to Istria, and then fly from Zagreb home (don't stay in Zagreb, that city is just boring compared to everything above). If you had more time i'd say go to Slovenian and Montenegrin mountains but you can't do everything
Not OP but I'll be in Novi sad and another smaller serbian town for 5 days next week. Never been to the balkans before. Would you say it's safe for a small female to be walking there alone? I'll be traveling with my serbian friend who's a local, but is there anything I should look out for or be aware of?
I dont consider Greece or turkey possible destination for this trip because:
1:My aunt has been to turkey before and considered it mediocre
2:Greece needs a trip just for itself due to natural beauty and immense ammount of destination.
Balkan countries relations are pretty interesting, but no matter positive or negative, they always seem to cause a war.
I am Bulgarian and I do dislike Serbia, but I genuinely believe that Sofia is worth seeing more so than Belgrade. I'd wager that every building type that we share, Sofia has a better looking version of it. Example: National Theater, Sofia on the right.
Belgrade University (that's all folks) and Sofia University with it's 2 massive wings and 1 more that isn't visible from this angle.
I was thinking about that ever since I saw that it was the number one destination in the Adriatic. Any other cool locations that may be less full?
And talking about crowded cities, do you guys think Kotor will be too crowded?
>My aunt has been to turkey before and considered it mediocre
The only plausible reason for this I can think of is because she's an awful tourist who was taken to the five tourist traps of Istanbul and paid a shit ton for crappy souvenirs
Some anon above said that you can do everything to do in Bulgaria elsewhere which I agree with, but if you know how to go about it you can do everything to do around the Balkans in Turkey from my experience. You absolutely need a local with you to help you out though.
Source: Spent a month around the Balkan peninsula and two months in Turkey in the past five years. Definitely add Montenegro to your trip, avoid Bulgaria as my experience there was a shit ton of corrupt cops and racist people (I'm white, but towards practically every other neighbor they have). The Black Sea coast is cool and super cheap, but as I said, you can do that in Turkey for cheaper. If you're doing Greece try and get a visa from a Greek Orthodox church near you for Mount Athos, if you can't just go for Meteora; but definitely visit the monasteries.
My aunt said she disliked Turkey because of rude people, below average food and some other troubles.
My trip already includes Montenegro. Kotor.
I may end up in Belgrade after all. Its closer.
I'd say you won't have any problems even if you were walking alone in 4am
Consiering you're coming soon, you're experience pretty shitty weather and you won't have as much fun as in summer
Balkans is worth it only when the weather is nice imho
>Thats a good question. I wqill be going with my family, that being 2 female aunts, my uncle and me. But my uncle is old and I am not very strong.
I'd recommend you plan your trip very wisely then, i'd rather buy a plane ticket from Belgrade to Tivat/Podgorica in Montenegro than to spend 10-12 hours in a bus or 15 in train. That trip would be ok if you're young and want to get drunk in train
My aunts came up with a really neat idea: Since most of the cities in the Adriatic coast of the Balkans are so small, we could visit 6 of them by doing this
>We arrive at 10am
>we walk and visit some sights
>we have lunch at 12:30-13:00
>we visit more places and rest a little
>at night, we go out and have dinner
>sleep at an inn
>wake up the next day, eat breakfeast and go to the next town
What do you guys think? The route would be from north to south, probably starting in Dubrovinik
I'm from the U.S. for reference.
Serbia is the best country I've ever visited. Hands down.
>Restaurants are amazing. Even ones serving American food do it better than America
>People are mostly polite, I mean all European countries are less polite than the U.S./Canada but Serbia is only slightly less polite
>A lot of shit to do
>Everyone in Novi Sad/Belgrade speaks English
>Belgrade has the most beautiful architecture
As for the other countries in the Balkans
>Croatia is alright
>Bulgaria is filled with assholes and you will likely be harassed, I wouldn't recommend going there
>Kosovo is a part of Serbia rightfully
>Montenegro is nice
>Bosnia is complete shit and so is Albania, you'll probably get robbed and harassed
If you're going to visit I'd recommend spending at least a few days in Serbia.
> north to south, probably starting in Dubrovinik
wtf, south of dubrovnik there're only 2 towns worth visiting, Herceg Novi and Kotor (+ Budva)
Start from Istria and go South to Dubrovnik mate if that's what you chose to do
Bosnia has landmines but it's one of the most beautiful countries in Europe nature-wise.
In Albania people are extremely friendly and it is the cheapest country on the Mediterranean Sea. Downside is the country is pretty corrupt and there is no public transport system within cities. This means no bus terminal even in the capital Tirana.
As for Bulgaria... it is weird in some aspects. People nod to say no and shake their heads to say yes. Some of the towns and villages there are probably the least friendly I have met in the Balkans. Extremely fast and reliable internet if you're a remote worker.
My aunt said she disliked Turkey because of rude people, below average food and some other troubles.
That's the reason why you find a local, so you don't encounter the horrible guides etc
I had the completely opposite view on Serbia personally, but I can't shut my mouth about politics and I've always admired Josip Broz Tito who is disliked the most by Serbians as they are by far the most racist nation in a peninsula of racism
Forgot to mention Bosnia which is also super cool, Croatia obviously is very cool but like Turkey find a local (to avoid the retarded Game of Thrones crowd in Dubrovnik etc)
I think your initial idea about avoiding Greece is pretty reasonable if you're on limited time, but if I were you I'd stick to the west coast of the Balkans from Slovenia to Albania, avoid Bulgaria, spend a lot of time in Croatia and Montenegro. Do Greece and Western Turkey together later.
Take a cheap ass train trip
recommending trains in Balkans is probably the stupidest idea ever.
They are slow as fuck, even more often late as fuck and uncomfortable as fuck
They are only suitable for teenagers and poor people who have much time so they can spend 12 hours in a train
Hitchiking in the balkans? Doable, but difficult. Most people will just laugh at you from their cars. Takes way more time than in western europe.
If you have the time and energy it's worth it.