16 days in The Balkans Itinerary

16 days in The Balkans Itinerary

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Fly
1
Kotor, Montenegro
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Tirana, Albania
— 1 night
Bus
3
Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia
— 3 nights
Bus
4
Pristina, Kosovo
— 1 day
Bus
5
Novi Sad, Serbia
— 2 nights
Bus
6
Belgrade, Serbia
— 3 nights
Fly

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Kotor, Montenegro

— 3 nights

Bride of the Adriatic Sea

Perched on the edge of a fjord-like bay rimmed by rugged mountains, Kotor grew around a medieval settlement purposely built like a maze.
Explore hidden gems such as St. Tryphon Cathedral and St. Nikola Church. Get outdoors at Speed Boats Tours and Bay of Kotor. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Nikola Church, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Our Lady of the Rocks, take an in-depth tour of Perast Museum, and steep yourself in history at Kotor Old City.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Kotor trip itinerary website.

London, UK to Kotor is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central European Standard Time (CET), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from London in June: high temperatures in Kotor hover around 34°C and lows are around 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can go by car to Tirana.

Things to do in Kotor

Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Tirana, Albania

— 1 night
Tirana, the largest city in Albania, represents one a lively and fast-paced metropolis.
On the 5th (Sat), take an in-depth tour of Muzeu Historik Kombetar, examine the collection at Bektashi World Center, explore the historical opulence of Petrela Castle, then step into the grandiose world of Preza Castle, and finally examine the collection at Ethnographic Museum of Kruja. On your second day here, examine the collection at House of Leaves, then see the interesting displays at Museum of Secret Surveillance, then learn about all things military at Bunk'Art 1, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Rruga Murat Toptani.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Tirana trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kotor to Tirana takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. In June, daily temperatures in Tirana can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Ohrid.

Things to do in Tirana

Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia

— 3 nights

Jerusalem of the Balkans

Located on Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid earned the nickname Jerusalem of the Balkans because it was once home to 365 churches.
Explore hidden gems such as St. Jovan Kaneo and Early Christian Basilica. Visit Holy Mary Perybleptos and Monastery Saint Naum for their historical value. When in Ohrid, make a side trip to see Vevchani Springs in Vevcani, approximately Vevcani away. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at National Workshop For Handmade Paper, pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Nikola Gerakomija, don't miss a visit to Samoil's Fortress, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Halveti Hayati Tekke.

For maps, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Ohrid trip itinerary app.

You can take a shuttle from Tirana to Ohrid in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Tirana in June; daily highs in Ohrid reach 30°C and lows reach 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Pristina.

Things to do in Ohrid

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Nature

Side Trips

Pristina, Kosovo

— 1 day
Long regarded as a gray and traffic-congested provincial town with little tourist appeal, Pristina today possesses a youthful vibrance and a newfound sense of sophistication, as the result of the city's large community of foreign functionaries.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Kosovo Museum, take an in-depth tour of Ethnographic Museum (Muzeu Etnologjik), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Xhamia e Llapit, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Tomb of Sultan Murat, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Katedrale Nënë Tereza, and finally steep yourself in history at Medieval Monuments in Kosovo.

To see photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Pristina day trip site.

Drive from Ohrid to Pristina in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Novi Sad.

Things to do in Pristina

Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Novi Sad, Serbia

— 2 nights

Serbian Athens

The regional and cultural center of northern Serbia, the riverside city of Novi Sad occupies a strategically advantageous position between Belgrade and Budapest.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Sremski Karlovci and Strand. Monastery of Vrdnik-Ravanica and The Lower church from 1718 are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting Novi Sad side-trips: Staro Hopovo Monastery (in Fruska Gora National Park) and Monastery Beocin (in Beocin). Next up on the itinerary: pause for some serene contemplation at Upper Church, admire the masterpieces at Spomen-zbirka Pavla Beljanskog, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Monastery Petkovac, and steep yourself in history at Manastir Velika Remeta.

Before you visit Novi Sad, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Pristina to Novi Sad in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In June in Novi Sad, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 18°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to take a shuttle to Belgrade.

Things to do in Novi Sad

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Belgrade, Serbia

— 3 nights
The capital and largest city of Serbia, cosmopolitan Belgrade sits on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers.
Get some cultural insight at Crkva Svetog Marka and Ružica. Let the collections at Military Museum and Art for All capture your imagination. The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of The National Assembly, explore the activities along Sava, get curious at Nikola Tesla Museum, and enjoy the sand and surf at Ada Ciganlija.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Belgrade trip maker app.

You can take a bus from Novi Sad to Belgrade in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive; or take a bus. In June, daily temperatures in Belgrade can reach 31°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Belgrade

Historic Sites · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Montenegro travel guide

4.4
Historic Sites · Bodies of Water · Beaches
Whether you're in the mood to explore unspoiled nature, see historical sights, or soak in the Mediterranean atmosphere of beaches and parties, in Montenegro you can find everything within arm's reach. The Montenegrin coastline offers both large city beaches abundant with amenities, as well as peaceful fishing villages and secluded coves. Fortified old towns, medieval cathedrals, and monasteries are certain to satisfy history enthusiasts. Further inland are some of the nation's larger cities, as well as an abundance of opportunities for an active vacation. Wander off the beaten path, hike the mountains and canyons, and experience the traditional hospitality of villages where time seems to stand still. The national cuisine reflects the diversity of the landscape, including everything from fresh meat and dairy specialties, to a selection of seafood. The size of the country allows you to see a lot even during a short stay.

Albania travel guide

3.9
National Parks · Landmarks · Castles
Land of the Eagles
With its young bustling metropolis, networks of cobblestone pedestrianized streets, coastal beach towns, and cities of ancient ruins, Albania will continuously surprise you. As you reach each new major town and discover how completely different it is from the last, your appreciation will deepen for this tucked-away land steeped in history. Travel, eating, and accommodation here is very inexpensive, freeing you from budget concerns and allowing you to travel in the style that you want. Meanwhile, you may find yourself going days without spotting another tourist. While this means that many things will not be customized for visitors (non-English menus, sparse accommodation, and fewer international transportation options), you'll experience the feel of authentic Albania.

Republic of North Macedonia travel guide

4
Bodies of Water · Historic Sites · Landmarks
Despite its rich culture and outstanding natural beauty, the Republic of Macedonia remains relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists. Life continues at a slower pace in this natural setting of mountains, lakes, and rivers. Tradition and local customs rule the country's idyllic villages, tiny pockets of hospitality scattered across a rugged region. Start your Macedonian adventure at the capital city of Skopje, an easygoing urban center offering good dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The city also serves as a convenient base for hiking and biking trips through the surrounding countryside, which is noted for its ancient monasteries, mosques, and archaeological sites.

Kosovo travel guide

3.9
Monuments · History Museums · Churches
A disputed territory in the central Balkans, Kosovo is considered by many nations to be Europe's newest country. The independent state, once part of Serbia, has no shortage of colorful history. Tourism is still a small industry in the country, and visitors will witness the scars of war as recently as 1999, when Serbia revoked the territory's autonomy. Today, Kosovo is mainly ethnically Albanian, with a Serb majority in the north, as well as large numbers of ethnic minorities. Active UN troops still work in the country, guarding Serbian monasteries that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Despite this, Kosovo is a safe and stable country to visit to explore off-the-beaten path. The mix of World Heritage Sites, wild countryside, and welcoming hospitality will surely bring visitors in droves as the word gets out.

Serbia travel guide

4.3
Historic Sites · Room Escape Games · Churches
A country of wild landscapes and wilder nights, Serbia is renowned for its diversity and hospitality. It's a land of rich history with an abundance of monuments dating back to prehistory, ancient times, and the Middle Ages. Some of the country's most famous attractions are the medieval monasteries, many of which are still active and open to visitors. Major cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Niš, are bustling hubs where you can immerse yourself in the arts, cafe culture, and all-night partying. Take a trip into the countryside crisscrossed with rivers and explore the lush plains, untouched forests, clear lakes, and rugged mountains. Welcoming villages offer an abundance of hospitality, and numerous spa resorts give you the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in a tranquil atmosphere. Serbian cuisine is very diverse, so whichever region you visit, make sure to try some of the local specialties.