7 days in The Balkans Itinerary

7 days in The Balkans Itinerary

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Route & dates

7 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
2
Athens, Greece
— 3 nights
Fly:  17​h 45​min
End: Johannesburg, South Africa

3
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Istanbul is known for museums, historic sites, shopping, nature, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get engrossed in the history at Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), explore the world behind art at Istanbul Modern, browse the eclectic array of goods at Kapali Carsi, and steep yourself in history at Galata Tower.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Istanbul online vacation planner .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Istanbul is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time (SAST) to Eastern European Time (EET), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect much colder weather when traveling from Johannesburg in November: highs in Istanbul hover around 17°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Athens.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Basilica Cistern ©
Basilica Cistern
Dolmabahce Palace ©
Dolmabahce Palace

3
nights
Athens, Greece

Athens ©
One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
On the 7th (Thu), stroll through Mount Lycabettus, explore the ancient world of Ancient Agora of Athens, and then delve into the distant past at Acropolis of Athens. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Fri): admire the masterpieces at National Archaeological Museum, take a stroll through Plaka, and then get engrossed in the history at Acropolis Museum.

For where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Athens tour itinerary planning tool .

Fly from Istanbul to Athens in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Istanbul to Athens. While traveling from Istanbul, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Athens, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Athens

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Acropolis of Athens ©
Acropolis of Athens
Acropolis Museum ©
Acropolis Museum
Plaka ©
Plaka

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