One of the oldest human settlements in Europe, the Balkan Peninsula is a geographic area in the southeastern part of the continent formed by 11 countries with over 55 million inhabitants in total, being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, due to its numerous historic towns and natural landmarks. If you are looking for both exotic and traditional travel experiences, you should definitely consider visiting some of the incredible countries in the Balkans that we are going to mention below in this article.
Originally built as a retirement villa for the Roman emperor Diocletian, Split can be considered a perfect arrangement of man-made and natural beauties. You have countless sightseeing options in this Adriatic beauty, from a stroll at the rocky beaches, hiking up the hills to get a panoramic view of the city or simply visit the sunny cafes and countless stores within the Riva, where the Diocletian’s palace is also located at.
With a history that spans over 2,000 years, the capital and largest city of Slovenia can trace its origins back to Emona, an ancient Roman city. In this Mediterranean gem you will be able to find influences from many different ethnicities and impressive architecture.
Many of the popular buildings in the city were designed by the notable architect Joze Plecnik, with the exception of the famous Dragon Bridge, one of the most popular attractions there. While there, make sure to visit the many laidback cafes and have a glass of the delightful Slovenian wine.
Kotor is a small settlement in southern Montenegro that has become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe, thanks to a high number of visitors that arrive by cruise ships. This city has many summer events, with its carnival festivities being the most popular. It also has an impressive high cat population with hundreds of felines strolling across the streets, which became the symbol of this town. Because of that, Kotor features a cat museum and the so-called “Cat’s Square”.
This is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic, and has not one, but two Unesco World Heritage Site designations. You should definitely visit the 12th century Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and if you can, walk along the 4.5 km of the ancient Venetian defense walls that stretch directly above the city.
The capital of Serbia was a historically strategic location located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. One of its main attractions is the Kalemegdan medieval fortress, also known as the Belgrade Fortress, receiving over 2 million visitors every year. Built on top of a 125m high ridge overlooking the Great War Island, it provides one of the best views of the city and its natural landscape.
While you are there, make sure to visit the Skadarlija, a vintage bohemian neighborhood similar to the Parisian Montmartre, where you will find some of the best-known restaurants, hotels and art galleries in the city. The aforementioned are just a few of the tourist gems in The Balkans, do you’re own research to learn more about some of the countless others.