19 days in The Balkans Itinerary

19 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Ljubljana, Slovenia
— 1 night
Drive
2
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
— 1 night
Drive
3
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Kotor, Montenegro
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Prizren, Kosovo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Shkoder, Albania
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Žabljak, Montenegro
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
— 2 nights
Fly
10
Belgrade, Serbia
— 2 nights
Fly

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Ljubljana, Slovenia

— 1 night
Sitting astride the Ljubljanica River, Ljubljana is marked with picturesque bridges and a marketplace, designed by the famous architect Jože Plečnik.
On the 25th (Sun), explore the historical opulence of Bled Castle, then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then stroll through Vintgar Gorge, and finally take some stellar pictures from Ojstrica. On the 26th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: step into the grandiose world of Ljubljana Castle, contemplate the waterfront views at Ljubljanica River, snap pictures at Dragon Bridge, then take in the views from Triple Bridge, and finally visit Ljubljana Old Town.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Ljubljana sightseeing planning website.

London, UK to Ljubljana is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from London to Ljubljana. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from London in July: highs in Ljubljana hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Things to do in Ljubljana

Outdoors · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trips

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

— 1 night
Plitvice Lakes National Park, a World Heritage Site, showcases 16 crystalline lakes connected by waterfalls.
On the 27th (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Plitvice Lakes National Park, explore the activities along Milanovac Lake, then explore the activities along Gavanovac Lake, and finally explore the activities along Burgeti Lakes.

To see ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Plitvice Lakes National Park online itinerary planner.

You can drive from Ljubljana to Plitvice Lakes National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can go by car to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Plitvice Lakes National Park

Nature · Parks

Dubrovnik, Croatia

— 2 nights

Pearl of the Adriatic

Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
On the 28th (Wed), don't miss a visit to Pile Gate and then take a stroll through Old Town. On the next day, wander the streets of Cavtat Old Town, get to know the fascinating history of Dubrovnik City Walls, and then head off the coast to Lokrum Island.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Dubrovnik trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Plitvice Lakes National Park to Dubrovnik in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In July in Dubrovnik, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can drive to Kotor.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Neighborhoods · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Kotor, Montenegro

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Our Lady of the Rocks, explore the activities along Bay of Kotor, don't miss a visit to Njegoš Mausoleum, then make a trip to Our Lady of Health, and finally see the interesting displays at Cats Museum. On the next day, make a trip to Kotor City Walls & Fortress, don't miss a visit to Clock Tower, then steep yourself in history at Kotor Old City, and finally explore the ancient world of St. Tryphon Cathedral.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Kotor trip builder.

Getting from Dubrovnik to Kotor by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Dubrovnik in July, plan for slightly colder nights in Kotor, with lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can go by car to Prizren.

Things to do in Kotor

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Prizren, Kosovo

— 2 nights

Kosovo's Cultural Capital

Kosovo's second city, Prizren sits on the slopes of the rugged Sar Mountain, a region bordered by both Albania and the Republic of Macedonia.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sinan Pasha Mosque, then deepen your knowledge of military history at Kalaja Fortress, and finally delve into the distant past at Mahmet Pasha Hamam. On the 2nd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: steep yourself in history at Our Lady of Ljevis, snap pictures at Stone Bridge, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Holy Saviour, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of Saint George, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Khalwati Tekke, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Emin Pasa Camii (Emin Pasha Mosque).

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Prizren journey maker.

You can drive from Kotor to Prizren in 5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can drive to Ohrid.

Things to do in Prizren

Historic Sites · Museums

Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): explore the activities along Lake Ohrid. Here are some ideas for day two: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, take in the spiritual surroundings of Saint Sophia, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Jovan Kaneo, and finally don't miss a visit to Samoil's Fortress.

You can plan Ohrid trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Traveling by car from Prizren to Ohrid takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, train, and bus. In August in Ohrid, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Shkoder.

Things to do in Ohrid

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Adventure

Shkoder, Albania

— 2 nights
Its geographic location has made Shkoder, one of Europe's oldest cities, an important cultural and economic center of the Balkans over the years.
On the 5th (Thu), take an in-depth tour of Site of Witness and Memory, then step into the grandiose world of Rozafa Castle, then examine the collection at Marubi National Museum of Photography, and finally shop like a local with Venice Art Mask Factory. Here are some ideas for day two: snap pictures at Mesi Bridge, then contemplate the waterfront views at Shkodra Lake, and then don't miss a visit to Ebu Bekr Mosque.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Shkoder road trip tool.

Traveling by car from Ohrid to Shkoder takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Ohrid in August, with highs in Shkoder at 39°C and lows at 25°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can go by car to Žabljak.

Things to do in Shkoder

Museums · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Žabljak, Montenegro

— 2 nights
A trip to Zabljak takes you to the north of the country, a mountainous region that's as steeped in great scenery and views as it is in history and culture.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Black Lake, take in the views from Đurđevića Tara Bridge, and then explore the activities along Zminje Lake. On your second day here, explore the stunning scenery at Tara River Canyon and then pause for some photo ops at Monument to the Heroes and Partizans of World War II.

To plan Žabljak vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Shkoder to Žabljak takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and train; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can drive to Sarajevo.

Things to do in Žabljak

Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

— 2 nights

Jerusalem of Europe

Nearly destroyed by war during the 1990s, the riverside city of Sarajevo now serves as one of the region's major educational, cultural, and commercial hubs.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Mon): make a trip to Sarajevo War Tunnel, make a trip to Vijećnica, steep yourself in history at Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, then stop by Bazerdzan, then explore the world behind art at Galerija 11/07/95, and finally indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour. On the next day, go all around town with City Tours, then contemplate the long history of Bascarsija, and then see the interesting displays at War Childhood Museum.

For ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Sarajevo tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Žabljak to Sarajevo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August in Sarajevo, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Belgrade.

Things to do in Sarajevo

Tours · Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping

Belgrade, Serbia

— 2 nights
The capital and largest city of Serbia, cosmopolitan Belgrade sits on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Skadarlija, steep yourself in history at Kalemegdan, and then take in the local highlights with Walking tours. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Josip Broz Tito Mausoleum, wander the streets of Knez Mihailova, then engage your brain at Nikola Tesla Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St. Sava Temple.

For photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Belgrade sightseeing site.

You can fly from Sarajevo to Belgrade in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and train. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Belgrade when traveling from Sarajevo in August, with lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Belgrade

Tours · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Museums

Slovenia travel guide

4.2
Castles · Bodies of Water · Caves
Sunny Side of the Alps
From snowcapped Alpine peaks to sandy Adriatic beaches, a trip to Slovenia is like taking several vacations at once. Whatever the season, the country offers enticing natural attractions, all close at hand, including thick forests, scenic valleys, cave systems, waterfalls, lakes, and the Adriatic coast. For those seeking an active holiday, you'll fine an abundance of ski slopes, trails to hike, roads to bike, and rocks to climb. Pay a visit to some of Slovenia's spa resorts and take advantage of the fresh mountain air and thermal waters. Various castles, churches, and historical towns--many of which are fully preserved--tell stories of the country's past. In Slovenia's major cities, admire the architecture, explore the local arts, visit museums, and chat with the locals over a cup of coffee. Slovenian cuisine offers a blend of Alpine and Mediterranean tastes and is definitely worth trying, along with the country's wines.

Croatia travel guide

4.4
Historic Walking Areas · Landmarks · National Parks
Once situated on the edge of empires between the Balkans and Central Europe, Croatia represents a land of great natural diversity and rich cultural heritage. Croatian cultural tourism relies on the charming juxtaposition of contrasts. Venetian palaces sit next to Napoleonic forts, Viennese mansions face Socialist Realist sculpture, and early Slavic churches built on the sites of ancient Roman settlements offer countless sightseeing opportunities. Croatia's museums present the main stages of the history of Europe. The country's sapphire seawater and long coastline speckled with islands draws visitors, as do numerous nature reserves, marinas, ancient fortified towns, and sandy and rocky beaches. In recent years, Croatia's shoreline has become a famed center for nautical tourism and naturism, and is a promising diving destination. Hikers explore outdoor landscapes of canyons, underground grottoes, dramatic waterfalls, stony peaks, and scenic lakes of the Dinaric Alps, which hug the coastline. Inland areas showcase mountain resorts, national parks, pine forests, vineyards, and spas.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.