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So, you’re visiting the Balkans? I recently took this exact Balkan itinerary which took me around 2 months. Whether or not you have time for the whole thing, I hope this will give you a good idea of where to go, how to get around and how long to spend in each location.
Before we start, I’ll define the countries I’ll be talking about:
- North Macedonia
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Note – countries like Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Greece are also often included in the Balkans definition but I’m not including them in this particular itinerary.
Suggested Balkan itineraries
Here are a few options for different time frames and destinations.
Holiday hotspot itinerary for 2 weeks
- Croatia – 1 week following my Croatia itinerary
- Montenegro – 1 week following my Montenegro itinerary
Off-the-beaten-path Balkans itinerary for 1 month
- Serbia – 3 days
- Kosovo – 5 days
- North Macedonia – 5 days
- Albania – 10 days
- Bosnia & Herzegovina – 7 days.
The complete one (up to 2 months)
- Serbia – 3 days
- Kosovo – 5 days
- North Macedonia – 5 days
- Bulgaria – 3-5 days
- Albania – up to 2 weeks
- Montenegro – 1 week
- Bosnia & Herzegovina – 5 days
- Croatia – 1-2 weeks.
Watch out for overspending in Croatia & Montenegro! They’re more than twice the price of Albania and the other cheaper Balkan countries.
Let’s follow my complete Balkans itinerary for up to 2 months. However long you have, you can refer to this for things to do, what to eat & how to get around!
How to get around the Balkans
By car – this isn’t the option I took but I know it’s a common one with all freedom to you. It would be especially useful in countries like Montenegro where many attractions are in the countryside without public transport connections.
I recommend Rentalcars.com for hiring vehicles in the Balkans and around the world. For a surcharge, you can choose different locations for pick up and drop off.
By bus – I usually rely on Flixbus in Europe but it doesn’t serve the whole Balkan region, just certain capitals like Belgrade, Sarajevo and Podgorica. For other locations, check busticket4me, Getbybus or simply buy your tickets at the station (this is often cheaper). The Balkans are a bit old-fashioned about booking things online!
Tip – have some of the country’s currency remaining when leaving. Often there’s a fee to use the bus station and a luggage fee. Carrying some Euros even in non-Euro countries is a good idea.
Best season to visit the Balkans
Summer (July & August): this is the most popular time to visit the Balkans as well as the hottest. During my summer 2022 trip, it was often 40 degrees Celcius. If you hate the heat, it might not be the season for you. I would avoid visiting Croatia in this season regardless of the weather simply because it’s so expensive and crowded.
Shoulder season: Spring (April-June) and autumn (Sept-Oct) are great times to visit with milder temperatures and cheaper prices than the summer.
Winter (Nov-Feb): if you can handle the cold and often snow, it’s not the worst idea to visit the Balkans in winter. You’ll get great prices and see attractions without the crowds. However, you won’t be able to enjoy the wonderful beaches of Albania, Montenegro and Croatia.
Belgrade, Serbia – 1-2 Days
Belgrade was the first stop of my Balkans itinerary. Although I initially didn’t fall in love with the city centre due to the chain stores and touristic prices, when I started exploring cool neighbourhoods like Skadarlija, I was hooked on the beautiful city with lots of quirky cafes and bars.
Especially during the summer, it’s an outdoorsy city where you can tell people enjoy themselves.
From authentic Serbian food to fine dining, international cuisine like sushi and tacos, plus third-wave coffee and vegan food, there’s a range of options set alongside wide, leafy streets.
Read next: is Belgrade worth visiting?
Things to do in Belgrade:
- Take the free walking tour
- Sightsee in Republic Square
- Visit Skadarlija, the Bohemian quarter
- Wander in Jevremovac Botanical Gardens
- Go inside the impressive Church of Saint Sava
- Feel pensive at the Modern Art Museum
- Soak up views from the Fortress in Kalemegdan Park
- Learn at the Yugoslavia Museum and Nikola Tesla Museum
- Browse at Akademija Book Store.
Read next: things to do see and do in Belgrade, Serbia
Getting around Belgrade:
- Bus – your best bet on a budget. They’re clean and efficient. Tickets cost around 100 Dinar (€1), paid by tapping your bank card on the screens inside.
- Taxi – the drivers at the bus station tried to rip me off and I hear this is common if you’re not speaking Serbian. There’s one taxi app, CarGo, which is more affordable but still not especially cheap (600 Dinar/€5 for a 10-minute journey).
Day trip to Novi Sad
If you take one day trip from Belgrade, it should be to Novi Sad. The main attraction is Novi Sad Fortress, a short walk from the city centre. On the way there and back, you’ll cross a river with beaches where you can stop for a dip.
Travel time from Belgrade: 30 minutes on the fast train / 1 hour on the slow train or by car. Factor in 20 minutes to ride bus #41 to Belgrade Central Station which, misleadingly, is not in the city centre!
Pristina, Kosovo – 1-2 Days
Pristina is a small but captivating city that makes a great addition to any Balkans itinerary thanks to its fantastic cafe culture and quirky architecture that divides the masses.
Things to do in Pristina:
- Find the Newborn sign celebrating Kosovo being the newest country in Europe
- Make up your own mind on the National University Library
- Climb the bell tower of Mother Theresa Cathedral
- Soak up the atmosphere on MT Boulevard
- Take the free walking tour
- Spot street art
- Visit the King’s Great Mosque (Xhamia e Madhe)
- Take a trip out of town to Pristina Bear Sanctuary and Gračanic Monastery.
Related read: things to do in Pristina, Kosovo
Travel time from Belgrade: 6 hours by bus.
Traditional places to eat
- Shpija e Vjetër – an atmospheric eatery with typical Kosovan dishes like kofta casserole and roasted peppers, plus rakija and local wines
- Pishat – an affordable lunch spot with local fish, meat and veggie dishes
- Caffez – a spacious bar with a garden serving modern Kosovan food, sharing platters and beers.
Cool places to eat & drink coffee
- Baba Ganoush – delicious veggie Middle Eastern food
- Soma Book Station – the prettiest cafe in town serving drinks, platters, burgers, cocktails and more
- Matcha Coffee and Eatery – healthy brunch and matcha lattes
- Dit’ e Nat’ – a beautiful cafe with outdoor seating, coffees, casual eats and cocktails.
Getting around Pristina: The city centre is walkable and there are local buses travelling further afield. For some out-of-town attractions like the Bear Sanctuary, it’s best to hire a car or take a day tour.
Peja or Prizren – 1 day each
Prizren: this small, walkable city 2 hours from Pristina by car or bus is a total contrast to the busy capital. With small mosques, cobbled streets, a river running through its centre and a fortress towering above, it’s totally idyllic. Don’t miss Noja Kuzhine for a homemade veggie breakfast for €3.
You could visit as a day trip from Pristina but I preferred staying overnight.
Peja: for abundant nature, caves, waterfalls and monasteries, don’t miss this beautiful region 1 hour 20 minutes from Pristina. It’s best to explore by hiring a car or taking an organised trip.
Note about passport stamps – since Serbia doesn’t recognise Kosovo, it’s recommended to visit Serbia first as they may not permit you entry if you already have a Kosovo stamp.
Also, beware that if you do what I did and enter Serbia and exit Kosovo, you won’t get a Serbian exit stamp which could cause future problems entering Serbia. Read this article carefully for clarity!
North Macedonia – approx 5 days
After Kosovo, I continued my Balkans itinerary to North Macedonia, a wonderful underrated country with a pleasant capital and one of the most sublime lakes I’ve ever seen!
Skopje 1-3 days
Travel time from Pristina/Prizren: 2-3 hours depending on delays at the border.
Skopje is, from the offset, an impressive and immaculate city with countless statues and grand squares. When you learn about the history, it stops being quite so lovely: during recession in 2014, the city was remodelled with a decidedly Western European look leading to riots and the Muslim community in particular feeling ignored.
Personally, I preferred exploring the authentic, historic sites in the city like the Old Bazaar. Here, I tried lots of delicious foods like tavče gravče (sausages and beans), pide (flatbread), baklava, Turkish sweets and coffee. If you need a break from typical Balkan food, this is the perfect place to try Middle Eastern dishes and desserts.
Things to do in Skopje:
- Ride the cable car to the giant hilltop Millennium Cross
- Wander impressive Macedonia Square
- Take a day trip to Matka Canyon where you can hike and take boat trips
- Visit Mother Teresa’s house and museum
- See sunset from Skopje Fortress
- Take a walk in City Park.
Read next: What to do in Skopje, North Macedonia
Day 1: free walking tour, Old Bazaar, city centre
Day 2: Matka Canyon day trip
Day 3: Morning trip to Millennium Cross by catching a bus then the cable car.
Afternoon options include visiting Kamnik Winery (or their city centre wine shop) or simply revisiting the Old Bazaar and enjoying the vibe and food! Otherwise, visit bohemian Debar Maalo neighbourhood for authentic restaurants as well as modern air-conditioned cafes like Kanteen.
Sofia, Bulgaria – 2-3 days
Here I suggest you take a quick detour out of North Macedonia to add Bulgaria to your Balkans travel itinerary. We’ll continue exploring North Macedonia in a few days when you get back!
Travel time from Skopje: 3.5 hours by bus.
I loved Sofia! It’s a beautiful city that doesn’t feel too hectic or fast-paced. There aren’t billions of things to do which is the perfect excuse to relax, drink coffee and visit wine bars like
Read next: how to spend 2 days in Sofia including all my food tips!
Plovdiv: if you have time to visit another place in Bulgaria, make it Plovdiv! This is thought to be the oldest continually-inhabited city in Europe full of historic artefacts, museums and characterful guesthouses. You can see everything in 1-2 days.
Back to North Macedonia…
Lake Ohrid – approx 2 days
Getting there: from Sofia to Ohrid, it’s best to change in Skopje (5 hours from Sofia) then get a 3.5-hour bus to the lake.
It’s been a busy Balkans itinerary so far so I prescribe some downtime at one of Europe’s most beautiful (and underrated) lakes!
Lake Ohrid borders North Macedonia and Albania but most people will stay in Ohrid town as a base to take boat trips, visit small beaches and watch sunset at the Church of Saint John the Theologian.
Spend as long here as you need to relax!
Bitola (only if you have time) – 1 day
If you’re keen to see a third place in North Macedonia, pay a visit to Bitola (3 hours by bus from Skopje) which is the second-biggest city. The ancient ruins and mosaics at Heraclea Lyncestis are indeed impressive, but I didn’t find too much else going on in Bitola.
Albania – 2 weeks +
Beautiful Albania is well worth visiting. There are several ways to plan this leg of your Balkan itinerary. I went straight from Ohrid to Sarande but this was a long journey so many people start in Tirana. From here, you can either head to the inland destinations of Berat and Gjirokastër or the beaches of Himare and Sarande.
To travel from inland Albania to the coast, there’s a direct bus between Sarande and Gjirokastër, otherwise you can travel from Berat to the beaches (or vice versa) by changing in Vlore.
As some people seem unsure what to expect, I wrote a guide to solo female travel in Albania!
Read next: a complete Albania itinerary
Another consideration is when to visit Shokder for hiking in Theth. You could either do this as a return excursion from Tirana or, if you’re going to Montenegro after, save it ’til the end of your Albania adventure.
Transport tip – Albania bus journies are rarely listed online so ask your accommodation about routes & schedules. Bring cash to buy your ticket, usually purchased from a ticket man halfway through the journey.
There are coaches departing Tirana but for the most part, you’ll be in minibuses. These can be hot and cramped so bring water!
Tirana – 1-2 days
Most people will spend just a day or two in Tirana which is enough time for Albania’s capital. I found some things to like here but it’s definitely not the highlight of the Balkans!
Things to do in Tirana:
- Learn about mass surveillance under the communist regime at the House of Leaves
- Ride the Dajti Ekspres cable car for fantastic views
- Learn about Albania’s dark past at Bunk’Arts 1 and 2
- Shop and eat at the New Bazaar
- Hang out in Blloku neighbourhood full of cool cars, cocktail bars and international cuisine.
Read next: everything to do in Tirana
Sarande & Ksamil – 1-2 days
As someone who travels for culture and hidden gems (and on a budget!), I didn’t love the popular Albanian beach towns. Sarande is crowded and overpriced without much charm. The beaches down on Ksamil peninsular are undeniably idyllic but things are even more pricey from food to beds on the beach which you can’t escape paying for.
Still, some people rave about this region so it just depends what you’re into! If you’re like me, swap Himarë into your itinerary for the Balkans instead…
Himarë – as long as you need to chill
Himarë is an underrated beach town that suited me far better than Sarande or Ksamil. It’s not so fancy but it’s wonderful for exploring quieter beaches and eating fantastic Greek food (due to the large diaspora there) at affordable taverns.
Nearby beaches worth a visit include Mateus and Gjip. A beautiful hilltop town not far away is Dhermi.
If you’re a backpacker, you’ll have blast staying at Sun Bakers Hostel!
Getting there: by car or bus, Himarë is 1.5 hours from Sarande. If coming from Tirana, it’s a long 3.5-hour journey over the mountains!
Berat – 1-2 days
Berat is a lovely UNESCO heritage city with houses stacked high on the hillside, overlooked by the castle and Holy Trinity Church. Find delicious restaurants in the Mangalemi quarter and hidden gems across the river in the Gorica quarter.
There are several great wineries in the countryside surrounding Berat. Cobo Winery and Alpeta Agroturizem serve fantastic Albanian wine in peaceful settings.
Getting there: it’s around 2 hours by car or bus from Tirana (400 lek per bus ticket). Direct buses also serve Gjirokaster. From Himarë, change buses in Vlore.
Day trip to Osum Canyon & Bogove Waterfall
While you can see Berat in a day, I’d suggest spending two to include a trip to Osum Canyon close to Berat. Swimming through this magnificent natural feature was a real highlight of my Balkans itinerary! It’s one of many gems in this countryside region that also includes Bogove Waterfall, a lovely swimming spot despite the freezing cold waters.
If you don’t have a car, book a guided tour or ask your accommodation if they can organise something.
Gjirokaster – 1-2 days
Gjirokaster is quaint and charming with wonderful markets and delightful regional cuisine. Don’t skip it!
A day is sufficient to see Gjirokaster. As it was very hot in August, I did my sightseeing during the afternoon of day 1 and the morning of day 2, staying just a night at Stone City Hostel. This was one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in with gorgeous decor, clean spacious dorms, free breakfast and a free daily walking tour.
Getting there: I came from Sarande by direct bus but if you have a car, you could make this journey with a stop at the spectacular Blue Eye. Direct buses also connect Berat and Tirana.
Transferring through Tirana, your next stop could be…
Shkodër – 2 nights
I used the small, pleasant city of Shkodër to rest and prepare for my 2-night hiking adventure in Northern Albania. However, there’s plenty to do in Shkodër like cycling to Lake Skadar, enjoying the cafe scene, hiking up to Rozafa Castle and checking out the various museums.
Where to stay: Wanderers is a great backpacker hostel that organises the Theth hiking excursion for you.
Getting to Shkoder: drive or catch a bus from Tirana. They depart every 30 minutes between 6.30am and 5pm from Tirana regional bus station taking 1 hour 45 minutes.
Valbona to Theth hike – 2 nights (highlight of my Balkan itinerary!)
If you have time, the highlight of my trip to Albania was hiking from Valbona to Theth. These alps are some of the most gorgeous and underrated in Europe.
There are several ways to experience this region including basing yourself in the small town of Theth. In addition to the famous Valbona Pass, there are several other hikes in the area like the Blue Eye route and Qafa e Pejës.
However, I can’t speak highly enough about the method I took: spending a night in Valbona and a night in Theth, using the day in the middle to hike between them. The downside is carrying all your stuff but this wasn’t too much of a problem as I left my big bag in Shkodër and packed light into a day bag.
My whole trip was organised by the Wanderers hostel in Shkodër including the return transport. Browse tours to Theth.
About Albanian food
Albanian food is yummy! By the coast, there’s loads of fresh seafood and, in Himare beach town, there’s endless Greek food. I particularly enjoyed eating in Gjirokaster where I tried plenty of regional dishes I didn’t see elsewhere.
Because so many Albanians go to Italy to work as chefs before returning home, the Italian food is amazing!
Montenegro – 1 week
Characterised by lakes, mountains and sweeping coastline, Montenegro is insanely beautiful and easily one of the most underrated places in this Balkan itinerary.
Read next: the ultimate Montenegro itinerary
Ulcinj or Stari Bar – 2 days
If you’re coming from Albania, it’s easy to drive or get a bus transfer from Shkodër to Montenegro. One popular place to begin is Ulcinj beach town but I decided to start with Stari Bar which is a charming inland town surrounded by olive groves and mountains.
Getting there: it’s a 15-minute drive from the larger town of Bar. If you arrive into Bar bus station, board a bus or taxi to Stari Bar.
One option is spending 2 days in Ulcinj then 2 days in Stari Bar
Kotor or Budva – 3-5 days
I loved staying in Kotor and using the charming town as a base to explore wider Montenegro. Just 30 minutes away by bus is the other popular tourist town in the country: Budva. I would suggest choosing one or the other because they’re so close you could explore the other as a day trip.
Budva has a reputation for being more resorty and upmarket, popular with families and honeymooners. As a backpacker, Kotor was far more my cup of tea. However, I would recommend visiting Budva to see Stevi Stefan, an idyllic village on an island, once a playground for the rich and famous and now a luxury resort (so more or less the same thing!).
Things to do in Kotor:
- Hike up to St John’s Fortress for sunset views
- Visit the quirky Cat museum!
- Visit the various churches, some Greek Orthodox, Catholic or Serbian Orthodox (Serbia and Montenegro only split in 2006).
Read next: what to do in Kotor, Montenegro (plus where to eat)
Day trips from Kotor:
- Boka Bay – take a quick speedboat tour or a more leisurely 8-hour sailing trip
- Lake Skadar – this lovely lake is full of wildlife with incredible viewpoints dotted around it. I visited as part of a guided tour.
- Durmitor National Park – the Black Lake hike is easily accessed from Zabljak village. Visit by car or a guided tour that also includes…
- Ostrog Monastery – built into the cliff face and known as a holy site where miracles happen, this monastery is easily visited by car or group tour.
- Perast, Tivat and Herceg Novi – if you have a car you could see two or all of these villages in a day. Perast is the prettiest so, if you have limited time (or you’re relying on public transport), just go there. Tivat has a fancy, boujee vibe with designer shops.
- Cetinje – the old capital of Montenegro is a beautiful town with important historic sites. Drive from Kotor in 1 hour or take a guided tour usually including the peak of Lovcen Mountain.
Where to stay in Kotor:
- Budget – Old Town Kotor Hostel
- Hotels – Boutique Hotel Astoria / Hotel Libertas / Hotel Monte Cristo
- Apartment – Wine House Apartments / Apartments Babilon.
From Kotor, continue your Balkans trip itinerary by catching the 7.40am bus to Mostar. Make sure to book in advance (using busticket4me or by purchasing your ticket at the station) as there’s only one per day!
Bosnia & Herzegovina – 1 week
I first visited Bosnia as a day trip years ago, something I would never do now! It deserves a week of your time, although I spent 2 weeks.
Mostar – 2-3 days
After two visits to Mostar, I can confirm it’s a delightfully pretty and idyllic place with wonderful attractions surrounding it. However, the recent and bitter history is a complete contrast to this sublime settlement with cobbled streets and colourful markets.
I urge you to take a free walking tour, visit the museums (especially the Genocide Victims museum) and learn about some of the worst things that have happened in Europe in the last few decades.
Read next: things to do in Mostar
Day trips from Mostar
- Blagaj Tekke – this ancient Ottoman house built into the cliff beside a river is a spectacular place to visit, just a €1 bus ride from Mostar.
- Kravice Falls – these beautiful falls are perfect for swimming and not half as busy as similar ones in Croatia!
- Počitelj – described as an open-air museum, this charming village has mosques, churches and a castle. A must for historians!
- Visit all three during one day as part of a guided tour from Mostar.
Sarajevo – 3 days +
Larger than Mostar but still small for a capital, the wonderful city of Sarajevo is one of the best places I visited during my Balkans itinerary. It has well-preserved Ottoman markets selling the same handmade goods they have for centuries, captivating museums, ornate mosques and tasty food. It’s amazing and cheap!
Things that make Sarajevo worth visiting:
- Shop at Bascarsija Bazaar, particularly on historic Kazandžiluk Street
- Visit heartbreaking but important museums like the War Childhood Museum and Gallery 11/07/95
- Watch sunset from the Yellow Fortress (Žuta Tabija)
- Walk through the Tunnel of Hope, ideally on a fall of Yugoslavia tour that also includes…
- The abandoned 1984 Olympic bobsleigh track at the top of Mount Trebević (ride the cable car there).
Read next: What to do (and eat) in Sarajevo
About Bosnian food
You’ll find all the Balkan classics in Bosnia & Herzegovina like burek and cevapi, but there’s a distinctly Ottoman influence so expect tasty desserts like baklava and coffee with Turkish delight.
I can recommend lots of restaurants like Šadrvan and Tima Irma in Mostar and ASDŽ Aščinica (buffet), Sač (burek) and Cafe Dućan (baklava) in Sarajevo.
From Sarajevo, you can easily take the Flixbus to Dubrovnik to finish your trip in the most ‘holiday-ish’ place of them all…
Croatia – 1-2 weeks
If you travel through the cheaper Balkan countries in July or August, it would be perfect to finish in Croatia in September when the crowds are leaving. Alternatively, I’d reverse this itinerary and visit Croatia in May or June at the start of your Balkans itinerary.
I put together this 1 week Croatia itinerary including Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar (along with some other suggestions like Istria) but you can spend longer if you have the budget: Croatia is considerably more expensive than most of the Balkan countries.
I’ll keep this brief because all the details are in my Croatia itinerary linked above so go check that out!
Split: after 3 months living here, I can vouch for there being lots of things to do in Split and many wonderful day trips to the islands, waterfalls and idyllic small towns like Trogir. The Diocletian’s Palace in Split Old Town boasts some of the best-preserved Roman architecture in the world, while Marjan Forest Park offers amazing hikes and views just moments from the city.
Dubrovnik: everyone knows this city and for good reason: it’s beautifully preserved, known for its Game of Thrones filming… and hellishly busy and expensive in the summer! Popular things to do in Dubrovnik include walking the old city walls, admiring Lovrijenac fortress, taking the cable car (or hiking) up Mt Srd, hitting the beaches and cruising to Lokrum Island.
Zadar: this underrated Dalmatian coastal city is a great alternative if the touristic cities above don’t take your fancy… or suit your budget! Take day trips to Pag Island and Dugi Otok island.
Zagreb: the capital of Croatia isn’t half as atmospheric as Dubrovnik and Split but it’s a decent base with nice cafes, street art and easy access to Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Budget and money in the Balkans
Excluding Croatia and Montenegro, I was amazed by the cheap prices in the Balkans. Many places are almost on a parr with Southeast Asia!
On a backpackers budget, you could live on €25 a day. I certainly kept the costs down by staying in hostels but I like wine and brunch too much to stick to €25 a day since turning 30 😉
Montenegro, Croatia and Kosovo use the Euro but the other countries have their own currencies. I would recommend spending most of your currency before leaving because you can rarely exchange it outside of the countries. But do save the local equivalent of a few Euros for luggage and station fees if leaving by bus.
Thanks for reading!
Check out all my Balkans blogs:
Serbia: Things to do in Belgrade, Serbia | Reasons to visit Belgrade
Kosovo: What to do in Pristina, Kosovo
Albania: The ultimate Albania itinerary | Things to do in Tirana, Albania | Valbona hiking guide | Is Albania safe for female travellers?
North Macedonia: Attractions in Skopje, North Macedonia
Romania: 2 week Romania itinerary | What to do in Brasov, Romania | Things to do in Timisoara, Romania | hidden gems in Bucharest | Romania travel tips
Bulgaria: 2 days in Sofia, Bulgaria | Hiking Rila Lakes in Bulgaria | Visiting Rila Monastery, Bulgaria
Slovenia: The perfect Slovenia itinerary | Things to see and do in Ljubljana | wine tasting in Ljubljana | the best restaurants in Ljubljana
Croatia: 7 day Croatia itinerary | Things to do in Split | Split day trips | Marjan Forest Park | Split restaurants | Split coffee | Krka Falls from Split day trip | What to do in Trogir | Things to do in Dubrovnik | Lokrum island guide | Croatia solo travel | What to do in Zagreb | Zagreb cafes | Plitvice day trip from Zagreb | Zagreb street art | things to do in Zadar | Pag island | Dugi Otok Island
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Things to do in Mostar | The top attractions in Sarajevo | Is Sarajevo worth visiting?
TRUSTED RESOURCES FOR VISITING BALKANS
Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner and search by month to see the cheapest dates.
Driving in Europe – use Rentalcars.com to compare car rentals in European countries (and all around the world).
For buses around Europe, I use Flixbus. It doesn’t connect all destinations in the Balkans but does service some popular locations like Belgrade, Skopje, Sarajevo and Podgorica.
For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use Booking.com. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.
To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.
Browse tours and activities on GetYourGuide and Viator.
Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.
For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.
Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!