Balkan Peninsula: Lying along the Balkan Peninsula in the southeastern part of Europe, the Balkan region remains a relatively-unknown destination. Nevertheless, the area is home to an abundance of breath-taking coastlines, dazzling landscapes, unique architecture, and lots of history as it is a territory with a communist and socialist past. The area nowadays includes the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. Despite having a lot to offer, the Balkans remains an off-the-beaten-path destination, as many people assume it’s poor and dangerous to get around. In the suburbs or lesser-known places, foreigners can rarely be found. Locals tend to be curious and friendly towards tourists.
Croatia- a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the southeast, and it shares a maritime border with Italy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its countryside is home to medieval villages, rivers and lakes, plus the craggy Dinaric Alps. National capital Sarajevo has a well preserved old quarter, Baščaršija, with landmarks like 16th-century Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque. Ottoman-era Latin Bridge is the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which ignited World War I.
Montenegro- a Balkan country with rugged mountains, medieval villages and a narrow strip of beaches along its Adriatic coastline. The Bay of Kotor, resembling a fjord, is dotted with coastal churches and fortified towns such as Kotor and Herceg Novi. Durmitor National Park, home to bears and wolves, encompasses limestone peaks, glacial lakes and 1,300m-deep Tara River Canyon.
Albania- a small country with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and an interior crossed by the Albanian Alps. The country has many castles and archaeological sites. Capital Tirana centers on sprawling Skanderbeg Square, site of the National History Museum, with exhibits spanning antiquity to post-communism, and frescoed Et’hem Bey Mosque.
Serbia- a landlocked country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans.
Macedonia- officially the Republic of North Macedonia, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Yugoslavia.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the respective consulates.
Croatia consulate website: www.vfsglobal.com/croatia/uae/
Bosnia & Herzegovina consulate website: www.bhmc.ae/english/visa.html
Montenegro consulate email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Albania consulate website: https://www.ambasadat.gov.al/united-arab-emirates/en
Macedonia consulate website: https://www.embassypages.com/northmacedonia-embassy-abudhabi-unitedarabemirates
Serbia consulate website: https://www.abudhabi.mfa.gov.rs/
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options. Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette, and how shoppers can take advantage of VAT refunds.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things do & see:
Zagreb-Croatia’s northwestern capital, is distinguished by its 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture. At its center, Upper Town is the site of the Gothic, twin-spired Zagreb Cathedral and 13th-century St. Mark’s Church, with a colorfully tiled roof. Nearby is pedestrian-friendly Tkalčićeva Street, lined with outdoor cafes. Lower Town has the main square, Ban Jelačić, plus shops, museums and parks.
Dubrovnik-a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It's known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianized Stradun (or Placa) is lined with shops and restaurants.
Split- is Croatia's second-largest city and the largest city in the Dalmatia region. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings.
Zadar- a city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, is known for the Roman and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town. There are several Venetian gates in the city walls. Surrounding the Roman-era Forum is 11th-century St. Mary’s Convent, with religious art dating to the 8th century. There’s also the grand, 12th-century St. Anastasia’s Cathedral and the round, 9th-century pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donatus.
Pula- a seafront city on the tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, is known for its protected harbor, beach-lined coast and Roman ruins. Settled in the prehistoric era and valued for its strategic location, Pula has been occupied, destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. The Romans, Ostrogoths and Venetians, as well as the Allied Forces in World War II, have each administered the city.
Šibenik- is a city on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s known as a gateway to the Kornati Islands. The 15th-century stone Cathedral of St. James is decorated with 71 sculpted faces. Nearby, the Šibenik City Museum, in the 14th-century Prince’s Palace, has exhibits ranging from prehistory to the present. The white stone St. Michael’s Fortress has an open-air theater, with views of Šibenik Bay and neighboring islands.
Rijeka- is a Croatian port city on Kvarner Bay in the northern Adriatic Sea. It’s known as a gateway to Croatia’s islands. Korzo, the main promenade, is lined with Habsburg-era buildings. Nearby, the 19th-century Ivan pl. Zajc Croatian National Theatre has ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt. The hilltop Trsat Castle complex, which includes a religious shrine, has sweeping views of the islands of Kvarner Bay.
Rovinj- is a Croatian fishing port on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula. The old town stands on a headland, with houses tightly crowded down to the seafront. A tangle of cobbled streets leads to the hilltop church of St. Euphemia, whose towering steeple dominates the skyline. South of the old town is Lone Bay, one of the area’s pebble beaches. The Rovinj archipelago’s 14 islands lie immediately off the mainland.
Trogir-is a town on the central Adriatic coast of Croatia. Its preserved old town, known for its mix of Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque buildings, lies on a small island connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges. The 13th-century Cathedral of St. Lawrence houses the Renaissance Chapel of St. John and offers sweeping views from its bell tower. Parts of the medieval city walls remain intact.
Hvar-a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, is best known as a summer resort. Highlights of the port town Hvar include its 13th-century walls, a hilltop fortress and a main square anchored by the Renaissance-era Hvar Cathedral. The island also features beaches such as Dubovica and inland lavender fields. Boat excursions serve the nearby Pakleni Islands, which have secluded beaches and coves.
Korčula- is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. It has an area of 279 km²; 46.8 km long and on average 7.8 km wide — and lies just off the Dalmatian coast.
Karlovac- is a city in central Croatia. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, its population was 51,447. Karlovac is the administrative centre of Karlovac County. The city is located on the Zagreb-Rijeka highway and railway line, 56 kilometres south-west of Zagreb and 130 km from Rijeka.
Vukovar- is a city in eastern Croatia. It contains Croatia's largest river port, located at the confluence of the Vuka and the Danube. Vukovar is the seat of Vukovar-Syrmia County. The city's registered population was 26,468 in the 2011 census, with a total of 27,683 in the municipality.
Opatija- is a Croatian coastal town on the Adriatic Sea. A fashionable resort in the 19th century, it's dotted with Habsburg-era villas. The Lungomare is a promenade that snakes along the coastline, offering views of the town and neighboring islands. The 1800s Villa Angiolina, set in a garden of exotic plants, houses the Croatian Museum of Tourism. Parts of St. Jacob’s Church date from the 16th century.
Sinjski- ćoškari is a town in the continental part of Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia. The town itself has a population of 11,478 and the population of the administrative municipality, which includes surrounding villages, is 24,826
Beach Season-Croatian coastline boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in Europe
The Blue Cave-A precious gem among Croatia's nature highlights
Pag Cheese Season-Famous cheese from Pag island is a national pride of Croatia, known as Paški sir
Hiking-Climb spectacular mountains, traverse lush woods, enjoy freedom and harmony with nature.
Kayaking-A great way to explore Croatian coastlines.
The Best Sunsets-Famous Adriatic sunset in Zadar impressed Alfred Hitchcock.
White Water Rafting-Fast rivers of Croatia are perfect for white water rafting.
Cruising and Sailing-Follow Marco Polo's path and explore Croatia's numerous islands
Diving-Clear waters of the Adriatic are popular with divers. Take a chance to explore marine life, ship wrecks and underwater caves
Lavender Bloom on Hvar Island-A flowery kingdom on the Croatia's most sunny island
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing-Good conditions for windsurfers and kite surfers during the summer
Peka-A signature cooking technique for Croatian cuisine
Wild Figs-Enjoy this nutritious sweet fruit while in Dalmatia
Lobster Eating Time-Mouth watering lobsters as well as other delicious seafood straight from the Adriatic
Asparagus Season-Have you already tried wild asparagus?
Plitvice Lakes-Frozen Plitvitce Lakes are called Croatia's natural miracle
Sinjska Alka-A medieval equestrian knightly competition in Sinj that is part of UNESCO list
Autumnal Plitvice Lakes-Natural wonder wearing all shades of gold and red
Ultra Europe Music Festival-Feeling the beat of Adriatic with an ultrahip Ultra music festival
Rijeka Carnival-Winter holiday season in Rijeka is highlighted by the biggest carnival in Croatia with costumed parades and performances, lots of music and dancing
International Donkey Race-Visitors get a chance to hop on a donkey and speed up in Tisno during the annual donkey race
Oysters Season-Locally produced oysters and mussels is a must try for seafood lovers
Olive Harvest-Olives are the matter of pride in Croatia
Kumpanjija Performance-See a unique historical dance on Korcula Island with sword fights
Nights of Diocletian-In Split, do as Romans do during a colourful carnival at Diocletian Palace
Red Bull Air Race-Extreme flying competition in Rovinj is a breathtaking experience for spectators
Zagreb Christmas Market-The spirit of Advent and entertainment for the whole family in the central of medieval city
Fried Dormice-A grilled dormouse—a rather unusual dish for modern European cuisine
Truffle Season-A chance to find the next biggest truffle in the world
Crni Rizot (Black Risotto)-If you like seafood, this is a must try of Croatian cuisine
Ribarska Festa-Fisherman festivals in an Istrian town of Vrsar is a unique experience, available at Adriatic
Birdwatching in Kopacki Rit-Exciting birdwatching on one of the largest wetlands in Europe
Dvorišta—the Courtyards of Zagreb-Get behind closed doors in old Zagreb and meet some locals during a ten-day festival
Skiing and Snowboarding-Northern Croatia boasts a few decent skiing locations in winter.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Bosnia - The region of Bosnia occupies the central region of the country’s landmass. The capital is Sarajevo. You’ll find Ottoman-style mosques in the different towns and cities. Muslims make up the majority, and life is more consistent with Islamic principles. Geographically, the River Drina and the River Sava make the invisible border to the north and east.
Herzegovina - Herzegovina makes up approximately a quarter of the country covering southeastern regions near the Croatian border. Catholic Croats make up a slight majority to the west of the River Neretva and even more live closer to Croatia’s border. The unofficial capital is Mostar. Bosniaks tend to live to the east of the River Neretva and Croats on the west, making a somewhat divided city. Tourists often feel like they’re passing from one country to the next as they cross the river. Herzegovina has a claim to fame in the Catholic world. A small village called Medjugorje has become a significant pilgrimage site for Catholics since the 1980s, after six children reported seeing Mary, Mother of Jesus in the hills.
Sarajevo - Bosnia’s capital has a distinct “east meets west” vibe. On the Ferhadija pedestrian road, one end of the street has mosques and a Turkish bazaar, and the other side has Austro-Hungarian architecture and western restaurants. Enjoy some hookah, take the cable car to the top of Mount Trebevic, and visit the Bašcaršija historic market.
Tunnel of Hope - Surrounded by Bosnian-Serb forces, Sarajevo had just one link with the outside world from 1992–1995: an 800-meter long, 1-meter wide, 1.6-meter high tunnel connecting two houses on opposite sides of the airport runway. Eventually, the tunnel was equipped with rails to transport food and supplies.
National Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina - The National Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo houses the Sarajevo Haggadah illuminated manuscript, which contains the illustrated text of the Passover Haggadah that goes with the Passover Seder. It’s one of the oldest Haggadah in the world, dating from 1350 and originating in Barcelona.
Mostar - Mostar is a medieval city best know for its 16th century bridge straddling the Neretva river that people jump off! Explore this historic town and see the ancient Ottoman homes and panoramic views from the local mosque.
Jajce - An areal view of the town of Jajce in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The most visited destination in Bosnia attracts tourists to Stari Most. Combine this with a special mixture of Bosniak and Croat cultures on either side of the river, and visitors get two very different experiences. Kujundziluk is Mostar’s Ottoman Bazaar, full of stalls and branching alleys. The Croat side houses Cathedral of Mary, Mother of the Church, and shaded avenues with a Croatian charm.
Tuzla - Tuzla may not appear to be the prettiest destination in Bosnia due to its industrial setting and Soviet appearance. But, dig deeper, and you’ll see the beauty and a lovely old town. Salt production was always the primary economic source and was increased under the Ottomans making the town reasonably wealthy.
Visoko - Few outside of Bosnia know about this small town to the northeast of Sarajevo. Visoko’s claim to fame is the Bosnian Pyramids, which may either be the tallest and oldest in the world — or a cruel hoax depending on who you ask. An Ottoman centre with mosques and narrow streets give the town beauty.
Travnik - Ottoman Governors (Viziers) once used Travnik as their seat of power, giving it the nickname ‘the European Istanbul’. The small town with a population of fewer than 20,000 residents is 90 kilometres (56 miles) northwest of Sarajevo in Central Bosnian and Herzegovina. Travnik’s Old Town dates to the 15th century and boasts 28 protected historical and cultural buildings. Walking through the streets gives a sense of being in an open-air museum. One of the highlights is the two 18th-century Ottoman clock towers and Travnik Fortress.
Brcko - Brcko District is somewhat unique with the title of Europe’s only self-governing free city. Sitting on the banks of the River Sava with Croatia to the north, Brcko hasn’t become a victim of segregation. Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats live side by side in this little-explored destination.
Brcko District - After the Dayton Agreement ended the war, the leaders continued arguing over who gets Brcko, a region in northeast Bosnia near both Croatia and Serbia. So, in 1999, an autonomous Brcko District was born. Today, the destination is a popular stopover when people travel between Serbia and Bosnia.
Banja Luka - Banja Luka is the economic and cultural centre of the Republika Srpska in Northern Bosnia. Bosnian Serbs make up most of the population while the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour dominates the centre. The Austro-Hungarians developed most the city with the recently reconstructed Ferhadija Mosque being one of the only remaining Ottoman buildings.
Republika Srpska - with Banja Luka as its capital, feels very different from the rest of the country. The region covers large parts of northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as eastern areas towards the border with Serbia. Two regions with a Serb majority in northeast Bosnia and central Herzegovina self-proclaimed their independence in the early 1990s.
Christ the Saviour Cathedral - The large Byzantine-style structure with golden brown and pink bricks from Mesopotamian dominates central Banja Luka. Designed by Serb architect Dusan Zivanovic, the orthodox cathedral opened its doors in 1929 becoming the first significant large-scale project in Bosnia after WW1.
Ferhat Pasha Mosque - is one of very few remaining Ottoman legacies in Banja Luka. Commissioned by Ferhat Pasha, the 16th-century Ottoman Governor, the old mosque displays distinctive early Islamic architecture. The central minaret on this 450-year-old mosque soars 42 metres (138 feet) into the air. During the Bosnian War, the Serb dominated Republika Srpska ordered the destruction of the mosque to remove all traces of Islam from the region.
Banski Dvor (Governor’s Palace) - Governor’s Palace in Central Banja Luka was originally the residence of the Ban, or Governor, of Vrbas Banovina in the brief Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918-1941). The large white Renaissance façade with a few medieval elements thrown in sits opposite Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
Kastel Fortress - This fortress on the banks of the Vrbas River near Ferhat Pasha Mosque is Banja Luka’s oldest structure. Believed to have Roman origins and built on the ruins of a potential Neolithic settlement, Kastel Fortress is likely to be the oldest surviving building in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thick stone walls protected the medieval town, and military personnel inside defended against hostilities.
Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure - Often called the Bishop’s Church, this building resembles more of a TV tower in a science fiction setting than a place of worship. The unusual modern design, by Alfred Pichler, has a central tower formed by the curved roof. A spiral staircase leads up to the five bells at the top of the 42-metres(138-foot) bell tower.
Veselin Maslesa Street - Although not a singular entity, VeselinMaslesa, formerly GospodskaStreet, deserves mentioning. Colourful European-style buildings with lavish neo-renaissance façades line Banja Luka’s main pedestrian street. Decorations and carvings cover the windows and doors of the shops and cafes below.
Konjic - Imagine a small town along a river surrounded by canyons and mountains, and you have Konjic. Located about halfway between Sarajevo and Mostar and against the backdrop of the Prenj Mountain, this is one of Bosnia’s most beautiful towns. Sultan Mehmed IV’s Stara Cuprija, a six-arched stone bridge over the Neretva River, dominates the centre.
Pocitelj - Few visit Pocitelj, a town of less than 1,000 residents, near Mostar. The medieval town was once of strategic importance before and during the Ottoman era, which the UNESCO Fort of Pocitelj, or Kula, protected. Visitors walk along the maze of cobblestone streets through the old buildings, visit the fort and enjoy the 16th-century Hajji Alija’s Mosque.
Neum - Did you know Bosnia has an Adriatic coastline? Looking at the map, you would need to zoom in to see their 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) sandwiched between the border with Croatia to both the north and south. Bosnia has the second smallest coastline, second only to Monaco, and the main city is Neum.
Visegrad - Visegrad, on the Drina and Rzav River’s confluence, surrounded by valleys and gorges in eastern Bosnia is approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the Serbian border. The main highlight is the 11-arched UNESCO Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, becoming popularised by Ivo Andric’s ‘The Bridge on the Drina’ novel. The City built Andric’s Town, a district in the centre to honour the writer.
River Drina - The long meandering Drina has always been historically significant, forming the Roman border, separating Ottoman Bosnia from rebellious Serbia, and later Austro-Hungarian Bosnian from Serbia. Standing on the banks, you’ll watch the foaming green waters flow with high foothills as the backdrop.
Visegrad Spa - Apart from the bridge, Visegrad Spa is another must-do when in town. The spa has its origins in the 16th century and shares a close relationship with the Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge. As the Ottomans mined stone, they discovered thermal water and soon made Turkish Baths.
Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge - Towards the end of the 16th-century Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic asked Mimar Koca Sinan to design a bridge. Sinan was one of the best Ottoman architects who created the 11-arched Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge, spanning 180 metres (591 feet) over the river.
Andricgrad - Andricgrad, also known as Stone Town, on the confluence of the River Drina and Rzav, serves as a theme park to honour author Ivo Andric. Film director Emir Kusturica designed the artificial town to include a mixture of Ottoman, Byzantine, and Classical architectural styles creating a recreation of Visegrad from the time of The Bridge on the Drina.
Ivo Andric House - A few minutes to the north of Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge and almost directly opposite the Ivo Moment on the other side of the river, sits a pink coloured house. The house with a pyramid-shaped roof was the former childhood residence of the author himself.
Virgin Mary Church - Almost concealed behind the trees on the southern side of the bridge is the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church. Orange roofs surround the white-washed exterior with a towering onion dome. Dating back to 1884, the Virgin Mary holds the position as the most important church in Visegrad.
Pliva lakes - The Pliva lakes are two emerald lakes surrounded by wooded mountains, just outside Jajce. With its rivers, waterfalls, and easy bike paths, outdoor lovers flock here to swim, paddle, bike, and explore. For something unique, plan your visit around the annual waterfall jumping competition held here each August.
Kravica Waterfall - These marvelous cascades drop 25 meters into a bright emerald pool. There’s a little café next to the water where you can grab a snack or a cold beer. Admission is 10 BAM ($6 USD), and swimming is allowed. To see the falls as part of a day trip from Mostar or Dubrovnik.
River Una - Hidden inside a natural border between Croatia and Bosnia is a National Park named after the River Una, another spectacular waterfall. If you’re brave enough, you can go river rafting here, too.
Buna Springs - Dervish House in Buna Springs is one of the most visited places in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a beautiful mixture of natural beauty and architecture.
Zepce - Located between Doboj and Zenica is Zepce, a beautiful town in the valley that’s surrounded by mountains. The roaring River Bosna flows through.
TrebinjeTrebinje -is situated on a scenic lake ringed with mountains, Austro-Hungarian ruins, and ancient monasteries. Hike to the Serbian Orthodox Hercegovacka Gracanica monastery, enjoy some time on the lake, and treat yourself to some of the region’s famous wine.
Bjelašnica Mountain - Bjelasnica, a mountain in Central Bosnia to south-west of the capital Sarajevo, has a popular ski resort. During the Winter Olympics in 1984, the mountain hosted the men’s alpine skiing. Some areas are still at risk of unexploded mines, but it’s safe if you stick to the tourist trails.
Volujak Mountain - is on the border between Bosnia and Montenegro in Republika Srpska. Hiking this beautiful mountain can be a fun challenge for outdoor enthusiasts.
Maglic Mountain - is part of the mountain range on the border between Bosnia and Montenegro. The best photos are often from the heart-shaped lake, Trnovačko, in Montenegro.
Pocitelj - on the banks of Neretva River, makes a great place to visit while on a trip to Mostar. You can find medieval castles, ruins, and even hike up the hills for amazing views of the town. Natural beauty surrounds the ancient town, making it a perfect place for a photo.
Kupres - is an ideal place to enjoy winter sports and to go paragliding in the summer. A range of trails makes hiking in this picturesque landscape a must.
Janjske Otoke - near Sipovo, is one of the most popular places for camping, hiking, and off-road cycling in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can enjoy the forests, the river and waterfalls like the one below.
Ostrožac Fortress - This Gothic castle in the Una Valley is one of Bosnia’s most photogenic landmarks thanks to its brick torrents and stone wall running along the valley’s edge. Ostrožac has plenty to explore within its grounds, including a sculpture garden, ramparts, towers, and a manor house dating back to 1286.
Kajtaz House - Kajtaz House in Mostar was once the harem (women’s) area of a large 16th-century homestead built for a Turkish judge. This well-preserved house looks a lot like it did during its heyday, with much of its original furniture and decoration intact, including colorfully embroidered seat cushions and rugs. The family still officially owns it.
Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge - Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge was built in Višegrad, in 1571 and was designed by Mimar Sinan, the famous chief architect for the Ottoman Empire. He was the master builder behind both the Sehzade Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, and this 11-arch bridge is the only confirmed work he completed in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It stretches 179 meters across the Drina River, and although it’s now closed to traffic, you can still appreciate this perfectly symmetrical beauty from land.
Watermills of Jajce - Jajce is known as the “city of falling water” thanks to its giant waterfall that connects the rivers Pliva and Vrbas. During the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918), the small wooden huts standing on stilts over the gushing water used to ground local farmers’ wheat into flour. The huts are genius because instead of using one large water wheel, they aggregate the water power. You can’t go inside, but you can see the huts up close.
Tito’s Bunker - In the bank of the river Neretva, just outside of Konjic and hidden behind a seemingly normal house, the once-forgotten bunker was built under the command of the Yugoslav revolutionary Josip Tito. It was kept secret for many years — even the construction workers were blindfolded until they arrived on site. The bunker costs billions of dollars to build and is now home to a contemporary art biennial called D-0 ARK Underground.
Bosnian Pyramids - Located near Visoko, the Bosnian Pyramids are a set of four pyramids dating back to 12,000 years ago that have perfect cardinal alignment, some reaching to heights of 220 meters..
Galerija 11/07/95 - One of the most tragic events of the Yugoslavian War was the Srebrenica massacre, the largest genocide since WWII carried out by Bosnian Serb forces. With 8,372 victims, the gallery stands as a memorial to those that lost their life while also sharing survivor stories.
Whitewater Rafting - Whitewater rafting on the Tara River Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe, is one of the most exciting things to do in the country as you tackle rapids and fast-flowing water.
Belgrade - The capital of Serbia and former capital of Yugoslavia. Regional transportation hub with world-renowned nightlife and history.
Zlatibor-A mountain with the most healthiest air in Europe.
Kopaonik-One of the most popular mountains for skiing.
Western Serbia-is a prime winter playground. Tara National Park comprises a densely forested massif of hiking trails, bound by the Drina. Waterfalls, caves and a medieval monastery mingle with the towering peaks of Mt Tara and Mt Zvijezda. Hike, drive or go horse riding along isolated snow-covered routes, stopping at viewpoints of deep gorges and azure waters – just watch out for resident brown bears, lynxes and wolves.
Gallery of Matica Srpska-First established in Pest (part of modern Budapest) in 1826 and moved to Novi Sad in 1864, this is one of Serbia's most important and long-standing cultural institutions.
Kalemegdan Citadel-Some 115 battles have been fought over imposing, impressive Kalemegdan; the citadel was destroyed more than 40 times throughout the centuries.
Petrovaradin Citadel-Towering over the river on a 40m-high volcanic slab, this mighty citadel is aptly nicknamed 'Gibraltar on the Danube'.
Museum of Yugoslavia-This must-visit museum houses an invaluable collection of more than 200,000 artefacts representing the fascinating, tumultuous history of Yugoslavia.
Uvac Canyon-The spectacular meanders of Uvac river are the highlight of the 75-sq-km Uvac nature reserve in southwestern Serbia.
Devil’s Town-in Serbia's deep south, is a trippy cluster of 202 natural stone pyramids looming eerily over bright red, highly acidic mineral streams.
Manasija Monastery-Hemmed in by mammoth walls, 11 towers and a trench, this was a fortified hideout for artists and writers fleeing the Turkish invasion of Kosovo in the early 1400s.
Mt Avala-Looming over Belgrade and topped with the tallest tower in the Balkans (204.5m), Mt Avala is a city landmark that makes for a pleasant break from the capital's bustling streets.
Lake Perućac-was created in 1966 by the damning of the Drina, and has been a favourite with families and fisherfolk ever since.
Museum of Ivo Andrić-Established four decades ago, this memorial museum is housed in the apartment where Ivo Andrić lived since 1958 until his death.
Peja-Kosovo's most beautiful place for mountaineering, climbing & rock climbing. It has Hajla Summit with 2403m.and the only Via Ferrata in the Balkans.
Zlatibor-A mountain with the most healthiest air in Europe.
Kopaonik-One of the most popular mountains for skiing.
Podgorica- is the capital city of Montenegro. Its rivers and bridges include the modern Millennium Bridge over the Morača River, and the stone bridge spanning the Ribnica River. The centuries-old Clock Tower, built by the Turks, dominates the old town. In the Zeta-Skadar valley south of the city, Lake Skadar National Park is home to medieval monasteries, beaches, and birds like the Dalmatian pelican.
Budva- is a town in Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea. Part of the Budva Riviera, it's known for sandy beaches and nightlife. Stone walls built by the Venetians surround the narrow streets of the medieval old town (Stari Grad). This historic district is home to a seaside citadel and religious sites such as the Church of Santa Maria in Punta, established in the 9th century.
Kotor- is a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast, in a bay near the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovćen. Characterized by winding streets and squares, its medieval old town has several Romanesque churches, including Kotor Cathedral. It's also home to the Maritime Museum, which explores local seafaring history. Sveti Đorđe, one of 2 tiny islands off the ancient town of Perast, features a centuries-old church.
Herceg Novi- is a coastal town in Montenegro located at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor and at the foot of Mount Orjen.
Tivat- is a coastal town in southwest Montenegro, located in the Bay of Kotor. Tivat is the centre of Tivat Municipality, which is the smallest municipality by area in Montenegro.
Ulcinj- is a town on the southern coast of Montenegro and the capital of Ulcinj Municipality. It has an urban population of 10,707, the majority being Albanians. As one of the oldest settlements in the Adriatic coast, it was founded in 5th century BC. It was captured by the Romans in 163 BC from the Illyrians.
Cetinje- is a city in Montenegro. It is the former royal capital of Montenegro and is the location of several national institutions, including the official residence of the President of Montenegro.
Perast- is an old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It is situated a few kilometres northwest of Kotor and is noted for its proximity to the islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks.
Sveti Stefan- is a small islet and 5-star hotel resort on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, approximately 6 kilometres southeast of Budva. The resort is known commercially as Aman Sveti Stefan and includes part of the mainland, where the Villa Miločer is located.
Bar- is a coastal town and seaport in southern Montenegro. It is the capital of the Bar Municipality and a center for tourism. Bar is full of history, both charming and tragic, along with some of the finest activities on the entire Montenegrin coast.
Budva Municipality- is one of the municipalities of Montenegro. The administrative center is Town of Budva. The municipality is located at the Adriatic coast in southwestern Montenegro.
Pljevlja- is a town and the center of Pljevlja Municipality located in the northern part of Montenegro. The city lies at an altitude of 770 m. In the Middle Ages, Pljevlja had been a crossroad of the important commercial roads and cultural streams, with important roads connecting the littoral with the Balkan interior.
Žabljak- is a small town in northern Montenegro. Žabljak is the seat of Žabljak Municipality. The town is in the centre of the Durmitor mountain region and with an altitude of 1,456 metres, it is the highest situated Balkan town.
Berane- is one of the largest towns of northeastern Montenegro and a former administrative centre of the Ivangrad District. It is a seat of one of many multi-ethnic and multi-religious municipalities in Montenegro. The town is located on the Lim river.
Stari Bar, meaning Old Bar- is a small town in Montenegro. It is located inland, a few miles from the new city of Bar, resting on Londša hill, at the foot of Mount Rumija.
Risan- is a town in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. It traces its origins to the ancient settlement of Rhizon, the oldest settlement in the Bay of Kotor.
Kolašin- is a town in northern Montenegro and is the centre of Kolašin Municipality and an unofficial centre of Morača region, named after Morača River.
Rožaje- is a town in northeastern Montenegro. Surrounded by hills to its west and mountains to its east, it is the source of the river Ibar, which gives its name to the local sports clubs FK Ibar, KK Ibar and OK Ibar.
Petrovac, also known as Petrovac na Moru- is a coastal town in Montenegro, within Budva Municipality. Petrovac is located on the coast between Budva and Bar, where the old mountain road from Podgorica reaches the coast. It has a 600 m long sandy beach and it is a popular tourist destination.
Danilovgrad- is a town in central Montenegro. It has a population of 6,852. It is situated in the Danilovgrad Municipality which lies along the main route between Montenegro's two largest cities, Podgorica and Nikšić. Via villages, Danilovgrad forms part of a conurbation with Podgorica.
Šavnik- is a town in Montenegro and administrative center of the Šavnik Municipality. It is located at the confluence of three rivers - Bukovica, Bijela and Šavnik, at an altitude of 840 meters. It is the lowest lying settlement in the municipality.
Tuzi- is a small town and seat of Tuzi Municipality, Montenegro. It is located along a main road between the city of Podgorica and the Albanian border crossing, just a few kilometers north of Lake Skadar. The Church of St. Anthony and Qazimbeg's Mosque are located in the centre of the town.
Bijela is a coastal town in Herceg Novi Municipality, Montenegro. It is north of Herceg Novi, by the Verige strait of the Bay of Kotor.
Igalo- is a small town in the Herceg Novi Municipality of Montenegro. It is accessible via the E65/E80 north headed to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The town adjoins Herceg Novi and is administratively divided leaving no clear division between the towns.
Danilovgrad Municipality- is one of the municipalities of Montenegro. The administrative center is town of Danilovgrad. The municipality is located in the central region of Montenegro in the valley of Zeta river, sometimes called also the Bjelopavlići plain, after the name of the local tribe.
Rijeka Crnojevića, meaning the "River of Crnojević"- is a town in Montenegro on the eponymous Rijeka Crnojevića river, near the coast of Skadar lake.
Dobrota- is a town in the Kotor Municipality in coastal Montenegro. Although administratively a separate settlement, it is de facto part of Kotor, and encompasses most of Kotor's residential area, while the settlement of Kotor administratively encompasses only the town's historical core.
Njeguši is a village in the Cetinje Municipality of southern Montenegro, located on the slopes of Mount Lovćen, within the Lovćen national park.
Buljarica is a village in the Budva Municipality of western Montenegro. Its beach is about 1 km from Petrovac in the direction of Bar, The beach is 2,250 m long.
Spuž- is a small town seated near Zeta river, within the Danilovgrad Municipality in the central Montenegrin region.
Grahovac- is a village in western Montenegro, in the municipality of Nikšić. The village is located on a karst plateau overlooking the Grahovo field and Lake Grahovo.
Čevo- historically also known as Kčevo, is a village in the Cetinje Municipality, in central Montenegro.
Sutorina- is a village and a river located in Herceg Novi Municipality in southwestern Montenegro. The village is located near the border with Croatia, some three kilometers northwest of the Adriatic Sea in Igalo.
Doclea or Dioclea, also known as Docleia or Diocleia- was an ancient Illyrian, Roman and Byzantine city, in the region of the Docleatae tribe, now an archeological site near Podgorica in modern Montenegro. It was an episcopal see since the late Roman period, and during the Early Middle Ages.
Crkva Sv Luke (St. Luke's Church) -Kotor -Built in 1195, this delightful Romanesque church is the only building in the Old Town to have withstood all five major earthquakes that affected Kotor. Originally a Catholic church, the building later became an Orthodox place of worship.
Kneževa palata (Duke's Palace)-Built in the 18th century, the Duke's Palace comprises almost the entire west side of the Old Town. Originally it was the official seat of the Venetian governor. Like the Napoléon Theatre, it is now part of the Cattaro Hotel & Casino.
Roman Mosaics at Risan-These beautiful mosaics (one still under excavation) are from a second-century house in a small excavation site that is worth a brief stop if you are in the area. Particularly charming is the mosaic depicting Hypnos, the Roman god of sleep.
Pomorski Muzej Crne Gore (Montenegrin Naval Museum)-Housed within the 18th-century baroque Grgurina Palace, this museum traces Montenegro's cultural and economic ties to the sea. In the 18th century, tiny Kotor had some 400 ships sailing the world's oceans. The exhibition extends over three floors, and includes model ships; paintings of ships, ship owners, and local naval commanders; navigation equipment; and uniforms worn by Montenegrin admirals and captains.
King Nikola’s Palace- is arguably the main cultural attraction in Bar, and it is easy to see why. This elegant charmer was built back in 1885 on the decree of King Nikola (obviously), who wanted to provide his daughter and son-in-law with a graceful home on the seafront.
Church of. St Jovan Vladimir -The dominant piece of architecture in the city is the imposing Church of St. Jovan Vladimir, a modern cathedral that seems particularly proud of the gold that sits on its roof.
Ostrog Monastery- The Monastery of Ostrog is a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church situated against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda, in Montenegro. It is dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog, who was buried here. From the monastery, a superb view of the Bjelopavlići plain can be seen.
Lake Skadar- also called Lake Scutari, Lake Shkodër and Lake Shkodra — lies on the border of Albania and Montenegro, and is the largest lake in Southern Europe. It is named after the city of Shkodër in northern Albania. It is a karst lake.
Njegoš Mausoleum- The Mausoleum of Njegoš is a mausoleum interring Petar II Petrović-Njegoš located on the top of Mount Lovćen. The mausoleum is located twenty-one kilometres via asphalt road from near-by Cetinje and it was built on the idea of Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.
Black Lake -The most popular part of Durmitor National Park, the Black Lake (Crno Jezero) is one of 18 glacial bodies of water found within the park. It is easily accessible, although visitors can be forgiven for feeling like they should have conquered something to arrive there. The view of the mountains rising in the distance is particularly stunning.
Tara River Canyon-The Balkans is full of Europe’s most jaw-dropping borders, and the one between Montenegro and Bosnia does not disappoint. The Tara River Canyon provides the excitement, an astonishing piece of nature that nosedives 1,300 metres down to the river. The water itself is not unlike the excitable images drawn up by children, a bluer-than-blue river that sees its beauty amplified by the dense forests that hem it in.
Tirana- the capital of Albania, is known for its colorful Ottoman-, Fascist- and Soviet-era architecture. Pastel buildings surround the city's focal point, Skanderbeg Square, which is named for its equestrian statue of a national hero. On the square's north end is the modernist National History Museum, covering prehistoric times through Communist rule and the anti-Communist uprisings of the 1990s.
Gjirokastër- is a city in southern Albania, in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, at 300 metres above sea level. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, described as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate".
Berat- is a city on the Osum River, in central Albania. It's known for its white Ottoman houses. On a hilltop, Berat Castle is a huge compound now inhabited by townspeople. Within its walls are Byzantine churches, the Red Mosque and the Onufri National Museum, with Christian icons. East is the Ethnographic Museum, in an 18th-century house, displaying traditional crafts and part of a reconstructed medieval bazaar.
Durres-An Albanian coastal city on the Adriatic Sea with a popular beach. Durrës is a port city on the Adriatic Sea in western Albania, west of the capital, Tirana. It’s known for its huge Roman amphitheater. Nearby is a 9th-century church with mosaic-covered walls. The Archaeological Museum displays pieces from the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Broad Durrësi Beach has shallow waters. Nearby is the former summer villa of 20th-century King Zog.
Korçë- is a city and municipality in southeastern Albania, and the seat of Korçë County. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Drenovë, Korçë, Lekas, Mollaj, Qendër Bulgarec, Vithkuq, Voskop and Voskopojë, that became municipal units.
Sarandë- is a resort on the Albanian Riviera, in southern Albania. Sandwiched between the Ionian Sea and hills of olive groves, the town is on a horseshoe-shaped bay, edged by beaches and a promenade. In the center are the archaeological remains of a 5th-century synagogue, later an early Christian basilica. Intricate floor mosaics are still evident. The 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle is on a hilltop above the town.
Vlorë- is the third most populous city of the Republic of Albania and the capital of the eponymous county and municipality. Geographically, the city is located on the Bay of Vlorë and the foothills of the Ceraunian Mountains at the Strait of Otranto along the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea.
Krujë- is a town and a municipality in north central Albania. Located between Mount Krujë and the Ishëm River, the city is only 20 km north from the capital of Albania, Tirana. Krujë was inhabited by the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani.
Elbasan- is a city and a municipality in Elbasan County, central Albania. The fourth largest city in Albania, it is located on the Shkumbin River in the District of Elbasan and the County of Elbasan.
Pogradec- is the eleventh most populous city of the Republic of Albania and the capital of the eponymous municipality. It is located on a narrow plain between two mountain chains along the southwestern banks of the Lake of Ohrid. Its climate is profoundly influenced by a seasonal Mediterranean and Continental climate.
Fier- is a city and a municipality in Fier County in southwest Albania. Geographically, it is located in the centre of the country surrounded by hills.
Lezhë- is a town and municipality in northwest Albania, in the county with the same name. One of the main strongholds of the Labeatai, the earliest of the fortification walls of the city are of typical Illyrian construction and are dated to the late 4th century BC.
Kavajë- is a municipality centrally located in the Western Lowlands region of Albania. It borders Durrës to the north 17 km, Tiranë to the east 27 km and Rrogozhinë to the south 15 km. To the west lies the Adriatic Sea.
Kamëz- is a municipality in Tirana County, Albania. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Kamëz and Paskuqan, that became municipal units. The seat of the municipality is the town Kamëz.
Shkodër or Shkodra- is a city in northern Albania. It is written as Scodra in Latin, Scutari in Italian, İşkodra in Turkish, Скадар in Serbian and Skoutari in Greek.
Tepelenë- is a city and a municipality in Gjirokastër County, in the south of Albania. The town is located on the left bank of the Vjosa River, about three kilometres downstream from its union with the Drino. Until the abolition of Districts in 2000.
Gezim Hidri- Local artist Gezim Hidri works with mosaics, motifs, oil paintings, sculpture, stone carving, etc. He is working on a mosaic of the Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.
Librazhd Ethnographic Museum- In the environment of this museum is presented the economic life of the country's population developed on the basis of the living conditions of the climate and the establishment of settlements. An important place is the family setting as a guest house that reflects the good hospitality tradition and the home of bread.
Koshorishtit Church- (Church cave) (The Hermit Cave). Koshorisht Hermit's Church, a unique cultural monument, believed to be a creation of the 9th-12th century AD. It is a unique and historical site. This cave church is on a cliff in height about 70 meters from the river of Qarrishta where Mary and the disciples were painted during a ceremony. It retains its original colors despite the padsing of time.
Bee Rock Cave- Located northwest of the village of Monte Pear Librazhdit district, on the eastern slope of Mount Polis and rocky ravine Bee Rock with height 1409 m.
Shebenik lake- (Circuses and Shebenik Glacial Lakes). This lake is on the northern slope of Shebenik Peak, at 1800 m altitude, in a large circus glacial complex. Here glacial forms are developed. There are crystal-clear water and cool. During winter freezes on the surface. It stands for rich vibrant world.
Polis Mountain- 80 km from Tirana, is between Elbasan and Librazhd in a place called Mirake. There is diverse vegetation which is an attraction for different biologists. 6 months of the year is covered by snow. There can be developed winter tourism, winter sports, horseback riding, skiing, etc.
Cave of the Old lady- In Gizavesh Village there is a cave known with the name “Cave of the Old lady”. Because it is thought and said that before there has lived an old lady. Many years ago, it was thought that this cave connected two villages, Gizavesh and Librazhd Katund, but now this road is blocked. In the entrance there is a water spring and in the cave there are special stones that sparkle. To visit the cave, you must have lighting.
Egnatia road route- which is also known as “Via Egnatia”, is one of the major roads with importance of the ancient world. It was built in 149-120 BC by the Roman proconsul of Macedonia. Via Egnatia has known trade, historical battles, church preachers, roman and ottoman religions. This road is still kept untouched, throughout the upstream of Shkumbin river, particularly in mountainous areas of Librazhd from Miraka to Qukës.
Kamara bridge- The object, which was declared "Cultural monument" is about 20 km northeast of Elbasan, 5 km before reaching the town of Librazhd, directly on the Shkumbin river bed. It was built in 1715 by Ahmad from Elbasan, according to the inscription on the plaque of Turkish stone in the bridge, which is now preserved in the museum of Librazhd.
Shëngjin is in Lezhe- Shengjin is a growing beach town located in Northwest Albania well known for its Adriatic coastline and tourist accommodations
Butrint- was an ancient Greek and later Roman city and bishopric in Epirus. Perhaps inhabited since prehistoric times, Buthrotum was a city of the Epirote tribe of the Chaonians, later a Roman colony and a bishopric.
Fushë-Krujë- is a town in Durrës County, Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Krujë. The city has gained wider fame due to President George W. Bush's visit on Sunday, 10 June 2007.
Bulqizë- is the name of both a town and a municipality in Dibër County, eastern Albania. It was formed during the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipality of Bulqizë with the adjacent municipalities of Fushë-Bulqizë, Gjoricë, Martanesh, Ostren, Shupenzë, Trebisht and Zerqan.
Fir of Hotova National Park- Great Natural Park where you get lost in the nature For all nature lovers this is the right place Opportunities for Hiking / Off road adventure / Picnic Perfect for all group ages
Saint Maria Church of Leuse - Before leaving the city, be sure to stop by the tourism information office and request that the church be unlocked or you'll miss the gorgeous frescoes located inside, which are very well preserved.
Tekke of Baba Aliu - The Tekke of Baba Aliu is a Bektashi religious site in Alipostivan, a mountaintop village in Bredhi i Hotoves National Park.
St. Paraskevi's Church - Sacred & Religious Sites, Churches & Cathedrals
Benja Thermal Baths - This thermal bath (actually there are one or two smaller ones quite close to it) is in a lovely spot, pretty much at the entrance (8 km) of the Fir of Hotova National Park.
Konispol- is the southernmost town in Albania. It sits one kilometer away from the Albanian-Greek border. The settlement is inhabited by Muslim Cham Albanians. Konispol is modern centre of the Cham Albanian community in Albania. The main economic interests of Konispol are agriculture and viticulture.
Mamuras- is a town and a former municipality in Lezhë County, northwestern Albania. The town lies 8 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea.
Vau i Dejës, English: Deja's Ford- is a town and a municipality in Shkodër County, northwestern Albania. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Bushat, Hajmel, Shllak, Temal, Vau i Dejës, and Vig-Mnelë, that became municipal units.
Orikum- is a town and a former municipality in the Vlorë County, southwestern Albania. It was named after the ancient city Oricum, which was located 4 km west of modern Orikum.
Çorovodë- is a town and a former municipality in Berat County, Albania. Local government reform it became a subdivision and the seat of the municipality Skrapar. The name of the town derives from the Bulgarian word for "black water".
Himara or Himarë- is a bilingual region and municipality in southern Albania, part of Vlorë County. It lies between the Ceraunian Mountains and the Ionian Sea and is part of the Albanian Riviera. The region consists of the town of Himarë and the villages of Dhërmi, Pilur, Kudhës, Qeparo, Vuno, Ilias, and Palasë.
Rrogozhinë- is a town and a municipality in Tirana County, centrally located in the Western Lowlands region of Albania. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Gosë, Kryevidh, Lekaj, Rrogozhinë and Sinaballaj, that became municipal units
History lesson in Skanderbeg Square - Tirana’s centre is Skanderbeg Square, named after the national hero who briefly ensured Albania was independent of the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century. There is a large bronze statue of Skanderbeg on horseback (imagine Alexander The Great meets Thor) in the middle of the square, and the Et'hem Bey Mosque, one of the nation's most treasured buildings that dates back to the late eighteenth century, sits in the southeast corner.
Ancient pyramid - Tirana’s concrete pyramid, Piramida, a short walk from Skanderbeg Square. Built in 1987 by the daughter of Albania’s dictator Enver Hoxha (who tyrannically ruled Albania from 1944–85) as a museum to her father, it now sits derelict, stripped of the tiles that once covered it and splattered with graffiti. There is talk of demolishing it, but some argue that it should be kept intact as an apt monument to Stalinism's ugly spirit.
Parku i Madh (Grand Park) - This large, wooded park is where many of Tirana's citizens head for a bit of time out, whether it’s fishing in the artificial lake, picnicking on the lawns or kicking-back in one of the many café-bars.
Mount Dajti National Park - If you want a break from the city centre, head to Mount Dajti National Park, popular with Tirana's residents for fresh air and countryside walks. Dajti standing at 1,613 m above sea level, is a mountain and national park on the edge of Tirana, Albania. The Dajti belongs to the Skanderbeg range. In winter, the mountain is often covered with snow, and it is a popular retreat to the local population of Tirana that rarely sees snow falls.
Bitola-Sometimes considered the most "European" city in the Balkans due to its neoclassical architecture. The people are always dressed chic and trendy. Must see - Wide Alley.
Butrint-18km south of Saranda, are famed for their size, beauty and tranquillity. They're in a fantastic natural setting and are part of a 29-sq-km national park. The remains – Albania's finest – are from a variety of periods, spanning 2500 years.
Kalaja-The Kala neighbourhood inside the castle's walls still lives and breathes; if you walk around this busy, ancient neighbourhood for long enough you'll invariably stumble into someone's courtyard thinking it's a church or ruin.
Gjirokastra Castle-Gjirokastra's eerie hilltop castle is one of the biggest in the Balkans and is definitely worth the steep walk up from the Old Town. The castle remains somewhat infamous due to its use as a prison under the communists.
Rozafa Fortress-With spectacular views over the city and Lake Shkodra, the Rozafa Fortress is the most impressive sight in town. Founded by the Illyrians in antiquity and rebuilt much later by the Venetians and then the Turks, the fortress takes its name from a woman who was allegedly walled into the ramparts as an offering to the gods so that the construction would stand.
Cold War Tunnel-Gjirokastra's most interesting sight in no way relates to its traditional architecture, but instead to its far more modern kind: this is a giant bunker built deep under the castle for use by the local authorities during the full-scale invasion Hoxha was so paranoid about.
Skopje- Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre.
Bitola is a city in the southwestern part of North Macedonia. It is located in the southern part of the Pelagonia valley, surrounded by the Baba, Nidže and Kajmakčalan mountain ranges, 14 kilometres north of the Medžitlija-Níki border crossing with Greece.
Ohrid- Ohrid is a city in North Macedonia and the seat of the Ohrid Municipality. It is the largest city on Lake Ohrid and the eighth-largest city in the country, with over 42,000 inhabitants as of 2002. Ohrid once had 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a "Jerusalem of the Balkans".
Tetovo- is a city in the northwestern part of North Macedonia, built on the foothills of Šar Mountain and divided by the Pena River. The municipality of Tetovo covers an area of 1,080 km² at 468 meters above sea level.
Struga- is a town and popular tourist destination situated in the south-western region of North Macedonia, lying on the shore of Lake Ohrid.
Prilep- is the fourth-largest city in North Macedonia. Its known as "the city under Marko's Towers" because of its proximity to the towers of Prince Marko.
Kumanovo- also known by other alternative names is a city in North Macedonia and the seat of Kumanovo Municipality, the largest municipality in the country.
Gostivar- is a city in North Macedonia, located in the upper Polog valley region.
Strumica- is the largest city in eastern North Macedonia, near the Novo Selo-Petrich border crossing with Bulgaria. It is named after the Strumica River which runs through it.
Kavadarci- a town in the Tikveš region of North Macedonia. In the heart of North Macedonia's wine country, it is home to the largest winery in Southeast Europe, named after the Tikveš plain.
Radoviš- a city in the southeastern part of North Macedonia. It is the second largest city in the southeastern region. Which is spread on the bottom of Plačkovica Mountain and the northern part of the Radoviš-Strumica valley.
Kičevo- a city in the western part of North Macedonia, located in a valley in the south-eastern slopes of Mount Bistra, between the cities of Ohrid and Gostivar.
Gevgelija- a town with a population of 15,685 located in the very southeast of the North Macedonia along the banks of the Vardar River, situated at the country's main border with Greece, the point ...
Štip- the largest urban agglomeration in the eastern part of North Macedonia, serving as the economic, industrial, entertainment and educational focal point for the surrounding municipalities.
Kruševo- is a town in North Macedonia. In Macedonian language the name means the 'place of pear trees'. It is the highest town in North Macedonia and the Balkans, situated at an altitude of over 1350 m above sea level.
Debar- a city in the western part of North Macedonia, near the border with Albania, off the road from Struga to Gostivar. It is the seat of Debar Municipality. Debar has an ethnic Albanian majority of 74% and is North Macedonia's only city in which ethnic Macedonians do not rank first or second demographically.
Demir Kapija- a small town in North Macedonia, located near the ominous limestone gates of the same name.
Berovo- a small town near the Maleševo Mountains, 161 km from Skopje, 47 km from Strumica and 52 km from Kočani, in North Macedonia.
Sveti Nikole- a town in North Macedonia. It is the seat of Sveti Nikole Municipality and a center of a plain called Ovče Pole, famous for sheep farming, lamb meat, and dairy products of all kinds. According to legend, the town was named after the church of Saint Nicholas, built in the beginning of the 14th century.
Makedonski Brod- a small town in the central part of North Macedonia, on the south-eastern part of Suva Gora, western Karadžica and south-western Dautica mountains.
Kratovo- a small town in North Macedonia. It is the seat of Kratovo Municipality. It lies on the western slopes of Mount Osogovo at an altitude of 600 metres above sea level. Having a mild and pleasant climate, it is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. It is known for its bridges and towers.
Resen- a town in southwestern North Macedonia. Resen is approximately equidistant between Bitola and Ohrid. The town rises 880 metres above sea level and is situated near Lake Prespa. Resen is also the only town in the Prespa Lake area.
Vinica- a town in North Macedonia, in the Eastern Statistical Region of the country. The town is located under the mountain of Plačkovica, in the southeastern part of the Kočani Valley. It covers the northern part of the river Bregalnica sinks.
Demir Hisar- This small settlement has an absolute Macedonian ethnic majority. The name of the town translates to "Iron Castle" in Turkish, and dates back to the time when Macedonia was ruled by the Ottoman Empire.
Bogdanci- a small town in North Macedonia, close to the border with Greece.
Stobi or Stoboi- was an ancient town of Paeonia, later conquered by Macedon, and finally turned into the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia Salutaris.
Vergina- a small town in northern Greece, part of Veroia municipality in Imathia, Central Macedonia. Vergina was established in 1922 in the aftermath of the population exchanges after the Treaty of Lausanne and was a separate municipality until 2011, when it was merged with Veroia under the Kallikratis Plan.
Mavrovo- a village and tourist resort in the mountainous region of western North Macedonia. It is located in the Mavrovo and Rostuša municipality. Mavrovo is a destination for tourists throughout the year because of its skiing centre Zare Lazarevski, national park and lake.
Kavala- a city in northern Greece, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia and the capital of Kavala regional unit. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala, across from the island of Thasos and on the Egnatia motorway, a one-and-a-half-hour drive to Thessaloniki and a forty-minute drive to Drama and Xanthi.
Kastoria- a city in northern Greece in the region of Western Macedonia. It is the capital of Kastoria regional unit. It is situated on a promontory on the western shore of Lake Orestiada, in a valley surrounded by limestone mountains.
Florina- a town and municipality in the mountainous northwestern Macedonia, Greece. Its motto is, 'Where Greece begins'. The town of Florina is the capital of the Florina regional unit and also the seat of the eponymous municipality. It belongs to the administrative region of West Macedonia.
Čaršija-is the hillside Turkish old town of Skopje and evokes the city's Ottoman past with its winding lanes filled with teahouses, mosques, craftsmen's stores, and even good nightlife.Čaršija runs from the Stone Bridge to the Bit Pazar, a big vegetable and household goods market.
Adrift on Lake Prespa, Golem Grad-was once the summer playground of Car Samoil but is now home to wild tortoises, cormorants and pelicans, and perhaps a few ghosts. A settlement endured here from the 4th century BC to the 6th century AD and during medieval times there was a monastery complex.
Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery-This revered 1020 Byzantine monastery is located, fittingly, up in the gods along a track of switchbacks off the Debar road, close to Janče village.
Heraclea Lyncestis-Located 1km south of central Bitola, Heraclea Lyncestis is among Macedonia's best archaeological sites – though the neglected state of the on-site museum might make you think otherwise.
Archaeological Museum of Macedonia-All gleaming and shiny new, this supersized pile of Italianate-styled marble has been a giant receptacle for Skopje's recent splurge on government-led monuments to boost national pride.
Sveti Naum Monastery-Sveti Naum, 29km south of Ohrid, is an imposing sight on a bluff near the Albanian border and a popular day trip from Ohrid. Naum was a contemporary of St Kliment, and their monastery an educational centre.
Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery-This revered 1020 Byzantine monastery is located, fittingly, up in the gods along a track of switchbacks off the Debar road, close to Janče village. Legend attests an icon of Sveti Jovan Bigorski (St John the Baptist) miraculously appeared here; since then the monastery has been rebuilt often – the icon occasionally reappearing too.
Ohrid Boardwalk & City Beach-Skimming the surface of the water along Ohrid's shore, snaking towards Kaneo fishing village and the town's most famous church, this over-water boardwalk propels people towards a gorgeous outcrop of rocky beaches and a handful of small restaurants and bars.
Skopje’s museums - Start your cultural journey near the city centre at the Memorial House of Mother Teresa. This Albanian-born modern-day saint, Roman Catholic nun and missionary hails from Skopje, and the house she grew up in stands today as a museum in her honour.
Skopje’s Old Bazaar - The largest bazaar in the Balkans and Skopje’s trading centre since at least the 12th century, the Old Bazaar is a maze of small streets packed with cafés, jewellery shops, bakeries and haberdasheries.
Bit Pazar - Whether you’re in the market for trinkets, colourful textiles or fresh fruit and vegetables, Bit Pazar is certainly an unforgettable retail therapy experience. One of the largest outdoor markets in the Balkans, and with a history dating back to the 14th century, Bit Pazar can be found at the northwestern edge of the Old Bazaar.
Feast on traditional foods - The best place to find authentic dishes is undoubtedly at the Old Bazaar, where you can sample kebabs, hearty local bean dish tavče gravče, gevrek sesame bread and burek – layers of thin flakey dough filled with minced meat or with cheese.
Debar Maalo - Situated just west of the city centre, Debar Maalo is a vibrant neighbourhood that is at once leafy and urban; night clubs and start-ups stand just steps away from the seemingly endless lawns of the City Park.
Rakija - It’s nearly impossible to make it through a visit to North Macedonia without sampling that quintessential Balkan staple: rakija. A distilled spirit made from fermented fruit, in North Macedonia rakija is generally made from grapes.
Matka Canyon - Here the River Treska has cut through the rugged landscape to form a steep gorge that, since the construction of a dam in 1938, has housed the country’s oldest man-made lake. Matka Canyon is a hotspot for outdoor activities, with kayaking, fishing and hiking all on offer.
Plaosnik - Built-in 893, Plaosnik looks alright for its age. St Clement Church on Plaosnik hill is a familiar architecture if you’ve been in the Balkans for a while, and due to nearby building work during my arrival it was not as attractive as some other spots.
Samuel Fortress - In the 11th century, Ohrid was briefly under the Slavic rule of Car Samuel and the city was an important city within the Balkans. Today, though far from the fierce fortress it once was, the location is striking.
Handmade Paper - Although this was a very small shop, considering Ohrid has one of only TWO copies of the Gutenburg Press in the world, it’s firmly on the tourist radar. Since the 16th-century, Ohrid’s been printing paper and this cramped shop is what remains of this legacy.
Ancient Theatre of Ohrid - According to local tourism, this site was built in 200BC and was once a place of performance, gladiator fights and the execution of Christians by Romans. Locals did not like this and buried the site after the demise of the Roman empire. It was accidentally rediscovered in the 1980s!
Sveti Naum Monastery -29km from Ohrid. The monastery is a huge Orthodox monastery complex rebuilt in the 16th century. Visitors enjoy it’s stunningly detailed architecture and serene natural setting, nearby to forests and the lake.
Galicica- is a mountain situated across the border between North Macedonia and Albania. There is a national park on the North Macedonian side of the mountain, situated between the two biggest lakes in the republic: Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.
Šarena Džamija- meaning Decorated Mosque in English but also variably translated as Painted Mosque, is a mosque located near the Pena River in Tetovo, North Macedonia. The mosque was originally built in 1438 and later rebuilt in 1833 by Abdurrahman Pasha.
Arabati Baba Tekḱe- is a tekḱe located in Tetovo, North Macedonia. The tekke was originally built in 1538 around the türbe of Sersem Ali Baba, an Ottoman dervish. In 1799, a waqf provided by Recep Paşa established the current grounds of the tekke.
Isa Beg Hammam- Visit the capital, be amazed by the striking monasteries and churches, taste some delicious wines, stroll through the Old Bazaars.
Monastery of Lešok- a monastery, near the village of Lešok in Tearce Municipality, North Macedonia. It is located close to the border with Kosovo. Lying at 638 metres above sea level it is located on the southeastern side of the mountain Šar Planina.
The Zebrnjak monument- located on a high location in the village of Mlado Nagoričane, near Kumanovo, North Macedonia.
Church St. George -Registered as a monument of culture, St. George church was built at the beginning of 14 century on an older foundation. Built in 11th Century, then renovated and completely painted with great frescoes in 13th Century, thanks to Serbian King Milutin.
Monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God- commonly known as Matejče or Matejić, is a 14th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery located in the village of Matejče on the slopes of Skopska Crna Gora, near Skopje and Kumanovo. The village is inhabited by 89% Muslim Albanians and 10% Orthodox Serbs.
ASNOM Memorial Complex- in the village of Pelince is located beside the Pchinja River, about 8 km from the monastery of St. Prohor Pchinski. It was officially opened on 2 August 2004, marking the 60th anniversary of the First ASNOM assembly.
Eski Mosque- was built in 1532 and reconstructed 1751 and 2008 in the city of Kumanovo, North Macedonia.
Belgrade - Belgrade is the capital of the southeast European country of Serbia. Its most significant landmark is the Beogradska Tvrđava, an imposing fortress at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. The fort is a testament to the city’s strategic importance to the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian and Austrian empires, and it's now the site of several museums as well as Kalemegdan, a vast park.
Niš- is the third largest city in Serbia and the administrative center of the Nišava District. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 183,164, while its administrative area has a population of 260,237 inhabitants.
Novi Sad- is a city in northern Serbia on the banks of the Danube River. Standing atop a riverside bluff, much of Petrovaradin Fortress dates to the 17th and 18th centuries, with an iconic clock tower and a network of tunnels. Across the river is the old quarter, Stari Grad, site of the Gothic Revival Name of Mary Church and the neo-Renaissance City Hall.
Subotica- is a city and the administrative center of the North Bačka District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. Formerly the largest city of Vojvodina region, contemporary Subotica is now the second largest city in the province, following the city of Novi Sad.
Kragujevac- is the fourth largest city in Serbia and the administrative centre of the Šumadija District. It is the historical centre of the geographical region of Šumadija in central Serbia, and is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River.
Sombor- is a city and the administrative center of the West Bačka District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. The city has a total population of 47,623, while its administrative area has 85,903 inhabitants.
Novi Pazar- is a city located in the Raška District of southwestern Serbia. As of the 2011 census, the urban area has 66,527 inhabitants, while the city administrative area has 100,410 inhabitants. The city is the cultural center of the Bosniaks in Serbia and the region of Sandžak.
Smederevo- is a city and the administrative center of the Podunavlje District in eastern Serbia. It is situated on the right bank of the Danube, about 45 kilometres downstream of the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
Kraljevo- is a city and the administrative center of the Raška District in central Serbia. It is situated on the confluence of West Morava and Ibar, in the geographical region of Šumadija, between the mountains of Kotlenik in the north, and Stolovi in the south.
Sremski Karlovci- is a town and municipality located in the South Bačka District of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. It is situated on the banks of the Danube, 8 kilometres from Novi Sad. According to the 2011 census results, it has a population of 8,750 inhabitants.
Pančevo- is a city and the administrative center of the South Banat District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. Pančevo is the fourth largest city in Vojvodina by population.
Leskovac- is a city and the administrative center of the Jablanica District in southern Serbia. According to the 2011 census, the city urban area has 60,288 inhabitants, while the city administrative area has 144,206.
Valjevo- is a city and the administrative center of the Kolubara District in western Serbia. According to the 2011 census, the administrative area of Valjevo had 90,312 inhabitants, 59,073 of whom were urban dwellers. Valjevo occupies an area of 905 square kilometers; its altitude is 185 meters.
Požarevac- is a city and the administrative centre of the Braničevo District in eastern Serbia. It is located between three rivers: Danube, Great Morava and Mlava and below the hill Cacalica. As of 2011, the city has a population of 44,183 inhabitants, while the city administrative area has 75,334 inhabitants.
Vranje- is a city and the administrative center of the Pčinja District in southern Serbia. The city has a population of 83,524 inhabitants, while the urban area of the city has 60,485 inhabitants. Vranje is the economical, political, and cultural centre of the Pčinja District in Southern Serbia.
Zrenjanin- is a city and the administrative center of the Central Banat District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. The city urban area has a population of 76,511 inhabitants, while the city administrative area has 123,362 inhabitants.
Sremska Mitrovica- is a city and the administrative center of the Srem District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. It is situated on the left bank of the Sava river. As of 2011, the city has a total population of 37,751 inhabitants, while its administrative area has a population of 79,940 inhabitants.
Kruševac- is a city and the administrative center of the Rasina District in central Serbia. It is located in the valley of West Morava, on Rasina river. According to the 2011 census, the city administrative area has a population of 128,752, while the urban area has 73,316 inhabitants.
Vršac- is a city and the administrative center of the South Banat District in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. As of 2011, the city urban area has a population of 35,701, while the city administrative area has 52,026 inhabitants. It is located in the geographical region of Banat.
Dimitrovgrad- is a town and municipality located in the Pirot District of southeastern Serbia. According to 2011 census, the municipality of Dimitrovgrad has a population of 10,118 people and the town 6,278.
Čačak- is a city and the administrative center of the Moravica District in central Serbia. It is located in the West Morava Valley within the geographical region of Šumadija. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has 73,331 inhabitants, while the administrative area comprises a total of 115,337 inhabitants.
Šabac- is a city and the administrative centre of the Mačva District in western Serbia. The traditional centre of the fertile Mačva region, Šabac is located on the right banks of the river Sava.
Pirot- is a city and the administrative center of the Pirot District in southeastern Serbia. According to 2011 census, the urban area of the city has a population of 38,785, while the population of the city administrative area has 57,928 inhabitants.
Zaječar- is a city and the administrative center of the Zaječar District in eastern Serbia. According to the 2011 census, the city administrative area has a population of 59,461 inhabitants. Zaječar is widely known for its rock music festival Gitarijada and for the festival dedicated to contemporary art ZALET.
Jagodina- is a city and the administrative center of the Pomoravlje District in central Serbia. It is situated on the banks of the Belica River, in the geographical region of Šumadija. The city itself has a population of 43,311 inhabitants, while its administrative area comprises 76,712 inhabitants.
Zlatibor-A mountain with the most healthiest air in Europe.
Kopaonik-One of the most popular mountains for skiing.
Western Serbia-is a prime winter playground. Tara National Park comprises a densely forested massif of hiking trails, bound by the Drina. Waterfalls, caves and a medieval monastery mingle with the towering peaks of Mt Tara and Mt Zvijezda. Hike, drive or go horse riding along isolated snow-covered routes, stopping at viewpoints of deep gorges and azure waters – just watch out for resident brown bears, lynxes and wolves.
Belgrade Fortress - On a tall ridge where the Danube and Sava rivers meet, Belgrade Fortress used to contain the entire city and has lived through 2,000 years of conflict. All of that bloodshed seems very distant when you see the young couples arm-in-arm in Kalemegdan Park, watching the sun go down over Zemun.
Skadarlija - Car-free and paved with bumpy cobblestones, Skadarlija has been a bohemian haunt since the 1800s and is Belgrade’s answer to Montmartre. Like its Parisian counterpart, Skadarlija’s glory days were in the early 1900s when famous but cash-strapped Serbian singers, musicians, writers and poets lived, worked and performed here.
Church of St Sava - The largest Orthodox Church in the Balkan region, and the second largest in the world, St Sava is an ever-present monument in Serbia’s capital. High on the Vračar plateau, you can see the church’s white granite and marble walls from any approach to Belgrade, while the 50 bells that sound noon ring out across the city.
Ada Ciganlija - This island on the Sava has been reclaimed and turned into a peninsula. Even though Ada Ciganlija is in the middle of the city, it has been left to nature, and is still cloaked with mature elm and oak forest. On the south side the Sava is impounde