Croatia is one of the sunniest places on Earth; offering countless beaches to relax on. It not only has more than 1200 islands/inlets and 2000km of coastline, it’s also a land of adventure. Go and discover one of the islands or cities, explore one of the eight National Parks, or visit one of the seven World Heritage Sights. In every corner you will remains from the Roman, Greek, and Venetian Empires; reaching from the Emperor’s Diocletions Palace in Split, to the hidden stone quarries on Brac. Where ever you go you will find something simply stunning and amazing. Croatia is a country ‘Full of life’ no matter what time of the year; so go, explore, discover, relax and be impressed.
Bulgaria reaches from Serbia in the west to the Black Sea in the East. The majority of travellers just know Bulgaria for the long sandy beaches, the most famous being the Golden Beach; but Bulgaria has much more to offer: from stunning mountain ranges, to hundreds of rivers and lakes, to hidden monasteries and ancient tombs. And the best part- most of the country can be explored via the extensive hiking network! So after enjoying the sunny beaches go and discover Kazanlak, Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, the Rila mountains; and all the hidden stunning scenerias Bulgaria has to offer. It will be “A discovery to share!”
Serbia lies in the heart of the Balkans, and it offers a lot to every traveler. It is a country of rich history, amazing nature, good food, and rakija! If you’re in the mood to explore historically important sites- Serbia has numerous forts (Kalemegdan, Golubac, Petrovaradin), Roman cities (Feliz Romuliana and Viminaciam), and monasteries (Sopocani, Studenica, Gradac). For the ones who would like to enjoy nature; there is the Tara Mountain, with the Uvac lake; Zaovine or Kopaonik; and Babin Zub, for skiing and snowboarding. For more cultural sights, visit Novi Sad- the European Capital of Culture in 2021. Or, try Belgrade – a city settled at the confluence of two rivers, rich in history, and with a crazy nightlife (it’s easily comparable with the wildest nights in Berlin and Amsterdam clubs)! For true music lovers, visit some great festivals; such as, Exit, Guca (A traditional trumpet fest), or Nisville (A summer jazz festival).
Albania has awoken from a long sleep, and has caught up with the other countries of the Balkans. Reaching from the Adriatic and Ionian coast, to the mountains at the Macedonian border; Albania offers everything from sunny beaches to hidden mountain villages. The most characteristic features of Albania include the countless castles and the hundreds of thousands of bunkers from the communist times. The most impressive being: the Rozafa, Kruja, Lezha, Butrini, and Porto Palermo Castle. If you are still not convinced, then there is Tirana, which is the heart of Albania. It combines futuristic and historical buildings, and is known for being one of the best shopping destinations in the Balkans. Of courses there is also Shkodra, one of the oldest cities in Europe; and it’s located right next to the beautiful lakes of Shkodra and Komani. The best tip for travelling through Albania- “Go your own way!”
Montenegro combines the landscape of Scandinavia with the culture of the Balkains. Montenegro is home to the largest fjord in southern Europe, the deepest canyon (Tara Canyon), and the Bay of Kotor. The stunning scenery is framed with old fishing villages and historical buildings. Some of the most amazing are the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Our Lady of the Rocks, and the Basilica of St, Luke. In addition there are also the Venetian Ducal Palace and Napoleon’s Theatre to visit; as well as, the traditional dance Oro to watch. The more adventurous traveller will have chances to go hiking, biking, and of course water rafting. Whatever you end up doing; be aware that Montenegro is known as the “Wild Beauty” of the Balkans.
It is striking how Romania differs from the image you have, to the image that will form once you go there. Romania is about enigmatic landscapes, elegance layered with history, rugged stone churches, dazzling monasteries, rocky mountains, and rolling hills. Its big cities like Bucharest, Cluj, Timisoara, and Iasi- are modern and can compete with most European cities and nightlife. Then again, you also have a village life that seems to be stuck in medieval times. You will find nature and hiking routes so wild that you will think you are the first to discover them; however, it also has the fastest internet in Europe! The contrasts are staggering, just like the country and people itself. You just need time and patience to experience Romania; and once you lose your prejudices and fake news stories, you’ll fall in love with this part of Europe. Who knows, you might even move here!
Slovenia is one of the smallest countries in Europe; however, despite its size, it still has a lot to offer. It is often referred to as “Europe in a nutshell”; since you can do everything from sailing to skiing, and it’s just a short trip apart. The most remarkable are the caves, springs, and potholes formed off Karst- especially the Postojna Cave, which is an incredible thing of beauty. The magnificent castles, such as the Bled or Predjana Castle, are also worth a visit! Of course Slovenia is also home to the world famous Lipizzaner horses. Like we said, “Europe in a nutshell,” since it offers every activity you can find in Europe. From skiing, to white water rafting, to sailing; in the end you will have to admit, “I feel Slovenia!”
Hungary is home to Budapest, also known as the Queen of the Danube (or Paris of the East): sits on over 100 natural spas and thermal springs, is built upon the largest labyrinth of underground caves, is famed for its eclectic and lively night life, and of course who can forget the unrivaled spa parties! The city itself hosts grand boulevards, Ottoman and Habsburg architecture, green parks, islands, and who can forget its rich history and culture. However, Hungary is more than just its capital; it expands through 23 wine regions, the largest fresh water lake in central Europe (Balaton), and has the largest thermal lake in the region too (Hevis). As long as you’re not looking for a coast, Hungary has everything for you!
Bosnia and Herzegovina is best described as a fusion of Eastern and Western culture, and it forms a country like no other. On top of that the country hides treasures; such as, the thousand years old cave drawings near Stolac, or the thousands of stone tombstones in between waterfalls, cascades, and a stunning landscape. The wineries and gardens have been used since roman times, and for good reason- one of the best wines in the Balkans is produced here! Afterwards you should visit the Krajina or Stujeska National Park, the Mosque of Travnik, or the Sarajevo Film Festival. Also, don’t miss out on the delicious, traditional coffee; it’s a taste you will never forget!
Greece is known as the birthplace of Europe. However, the landscape has not only been influenced by the Greeks themselves, but also the Romans, Arabs, Venetians, and Turks. The most famous cities are Athens, Olympia, Theben and Delphi; but you can find stunning places elsewhere; such as, the island of Korfu or the monasteries of Meteora. Even today, Greece still astonishes the word; with the building of the Rio-Andirrio Bridge, which is one of the longest cable bridges in the world! If that’s still not enough, you can explore one of the 2000 islands, or relax on a beach along the Aegean, Ionian, or Mediterranean Seas. Greece remains the “All time classic,” of Europe, and the Balkans.
Throughout the country Macedonia offers an amazing amount of stunning ancient buildings and historical sites. Together with the monasteries (like the splendid St. Naum Monastery or the Osogovo Monastery) and the Islamic architecture (like the Sharena Dzhamija in Tetovo, which is highly decorated and colorful; or the Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Skopje), everyone will be allured to visit. Every city explorer will find that Skpoje offers quite the vibrant night-life, in addition to the countless museums that are spread around the city. Skopje also has the second largest bazaar in the Balkans! The city of Ohrid is a different story. It has over 365 churches and the Samoil’s Fortress, which overlooks the city. This city definitely deserves to be called the pearl of the Balkans. Ohrid Lake is certainly one of the greatest natural treasures Macedonia has to offer. All in all, “Macedonia Timeless” is probably the best term to describe this small country.
Kosovo it the youngest of the European countries, and is on a self-discovering journey. The country is characterized by mountain chains and a highland area; offering numerous paths for hiking, castles to find, and monasteries to explore. Such examples are the Rugova mountains (to hike and climb), the Sultan Mehmet Faith Mosque, the Visoki Decani Monastery, and of course there are other incredible sites to see. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can go visit the bears in their sanctuary near Mramor. The Patriarchal Monastery of Pec and Our Lady of Ljevis, will soon become World Heritage Sites, so don’t miss them! The capital, Prishtina, already rivals its counterparts across the Balkans, and is well known for a great nightlife! In the future Kosovo will become one of the most important destinations of Europe!
Balkans Best Hostels (BBH) is an organization of regional hostels formed together in the idea to promote tourism in the Balkan region.
Formed in 2008 by top rated hostel owners and pioneers in the hostel industry our organisations goals are to promote good, quality hostels in the Balkans region and promote the region itself.
Every guest is entitled to a 10% discount if they are a walk-in or emailed reservation. We also offer many other benefits and perks to guests using the BBH’s current promotion.