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Balkans – sea, mountains, beautiful views and friendly locals

Traveling through the Balkans is different from any other destination. The Balkan Peninsula is full of contradictions. It has a sea, but also fascinating mountains. Beautiful views, temperament and tempting beaches. Its history stretches back thousands of years and is quite unique. This is also related to the unique combination of architecture that you can admire at every step.

Narrow streets, city walls that are thousands of years old, beautiful beaches, museums, galleries, excellent restaurants, but also turbulent history. This is Dubrovnik – a city that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. Dubrovnik is a good starting point if you decide to explore the southern part of Croatia and the whole Balkans at the same time. The city is made for exploring the old town, beaches, boat trips, cycling or walking. In addition, it offers a wide range of accommodation and thus also the opportunity to make trips to the surrounding area, e.g. to the island of Korčula, to Bosnia and Herzegovina or Montenegro.

More than a thousand years of history of this beautiful and legendary Croatian city can be felt in every part of the city. Dubrovnik is a city – a museum and a lively stage, an ideal combination of history and the present. It is surrounded by the medieval 1940 meter long city wall, which has been preserved in its original state and is the main attraction open to visitors. The city has been protected by UNESCO since 1979. If you didn’t know, Star Wars was filmed here!

Dubrovnik is above all a cultural destination which, in addition to its historical heritage, offers a number of cultural events and festivals. Dubrovnik is also a holiday destination with excellent flight connections to all major European cities. Dubrovnik is also an excellent place for solo travelers.

Zadar

All Croatian cities are beautiful. However, Zadar, lying in the shadow of the surrounding Roman walls, reminds us of old Europe. Simple and slow living differs from the crowded capitals of Italy or the glittering villages of the French Riviera. This fortified city in the Adriatic Sea rises so dramatically you can almost jump straight into the waves. Stroll through Zadar’s markets for authentic handicraft and farm products in the morning.

Don’t forget to visit two of its most beautiful architectural treasures, the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. The Sea Organ is an experimental musical instrument and architectural object that plays to the rhythm of the sea. Its tubes sink into the water and the sounds are produced by the movements of the waves. The greeting to the sun is a colorful play of light that is generated thanks to solar energy. Get here to enjoy the sunset over Zadar, which Alfred Hitchcock called one of the most beautiful sunsets ever.

Pristina

The capital of Kosovo has retained its oriental character, but intense modernization in socialist Yugoslavia has completely changed the city’s appearance. Old narrow stone streets and mud houses were destroyed and replaced by modern buildings and wide boulevards. The most popular places in Pristina that we recommend are Kurrizi in Dardania and Qafa near downtown.

Niš

Although it’s not Belgrade, you can quickly get to Serbia from Vienna Airport, straight to the Serbian city of Niš.

Located in southern Serbia, Niš has a very rich and turbulent history. It is one of the oldest Balkan cities and is considered the gateway between the east and west of the country. Nis is also proud that the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great was born there!

When visiting Niš, don’t miss the Niš Fortress, the Skull Tower, the important archaeological site of Mediana, the Crveni Krst Concentration Camp, Bubanj Memorial Site, Latin Church in Gornji Matejevac, Holy Trinity Cathedral, King Milan Square and the nearby Suva Planina mountain range.

Banja Luka

A mix of different religions, kindhearted locals and breathtaking landscapes. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most beautiful and cheapest destinations on the Adriatic.

It is not a traditional holiday destination. But if you decide to get acquainted with history, go to the sea or salt lakes, Bosnia and Herzegovina will pleasantly surprise you.

Skopje and Ohrid

Macedonia is a small but rich country. Its diverse architecture and nature reflect a complex history, creating an inspiring and vibrant atmosphere that connects locals and foreigners.

Restaurants usually stay open late, and foreign visitors especially enjoy the fact that they don’t even have to look at the prices when eating out. Of course it depends on the restaurant and the dishes ordered, but most dishes cost around five euros.

In the capital Skopje or in the equally well-known Macedonian Ohrid you will find a multitude of fascinating markets and bazaars almost at every corner. If you visit the city of Ohrid just mentioned, you should look for regionally known pearls that can be found as part of necklaces and jewelry in different colors and shapes.
Restaurants usually stay open late, and foreign visitors especially enjoy the fact that they don’t even have to look at the prices when eating out. Of course it depends on the restaurant and the dishes ordered, but most dishes cost around five euros.

In the capital Skopje or in the equally well-known Macedonian Ohrid you will find a lot of fascinating markets and bazaars almost at every turn. If you visit Ohrid, you should look for regionally known pearls that can be found as part of necklaces and jewelry in different colors and shapes.

Chisinau

The largest and also the capital of Moldova is considered the greenest city in Europe. Chisinau is the commercial and industrial center of the state. It is located in the middle of the republic on the Bîc river. Are you trying to find the country’s location in your mind on an imaginary map of Europe? Stop somewhere between Ukraine and Romania, where behind the Black Sea is a small magical country stretching out its hands.

You might be wondering what symbolism is hidden under the city’s name. According to one group of sources, Chișinău comes from Romanian and can be translated as “new spring”. Other sources, on the other hand, trace the origin of the word to the Turkish word Kišla, which means “winter camp”.

Flower markets, ice cream parlors in the park or a sweet red melon bought from a street vendor. Such a festival of senses awaits you on almost every corner of the city.

Podgorica

Holidays in Montenegro are also among the latest trends, thanks to very reasonable prices and beaches that are not crowded. However, this country offers much more than just sunbathing on one of its beaches. Experience Podgorica at affordable prices.

Podgorica is the capital and also the largest city of Montenegro. The city’s name arose due to the fact that it is located under the Gorica hill. Podgorica is actually an ideal starting point for hiking in Montenegro, it is not far from the sea and after all it is a beautiful and very lively Balkan city.

Photo source: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Unsplash.com
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