Nestled on the crossroads between the East, West, and South, the Balkans is a region that is teeming with cultural diversity and unbridled natural wonders. From the aquamarine shores of the Adriatic Sea and mountain ranges of Dinaric Alps to Pannonian plains and the Rhodopes, this region has a lot to offer. But what really makes the Balkans so special are its denizens. These people are open-hearted, very outgoing, and quite tall actually. It is no wonder why they are regarded as some of the best athletes in the world. So if you ever decide to visit this raw, vibrant region, here are some cities you should definitely include during your trip.
Also known as Little Paris, the capital of Romania is famous for two things: impeccable architectural splendor and a buzzing nightlife scene to die for. In fact, some of the best clubs in Bucharest treat the nighttime hustle and bustle almost like a religion. And when it is time to cure the hangover, Bucharest Therme, Eastern Europe’s biggest entertainment and wellness center, will put you right back on track. On track for what, you ask? To explore and savor everything this lively urban hotspot has to offer! Examine popular attractions, such as the Palace of the Parliament, the iconic Old Town, Arcul de Triumf, Dimitrie Gusti National Village, and Romanian Athenaeum, to name a few. And if you wish to discover those hidden gems, just get your mingling game on, and the locals will gladly reveal to you what few tourist maps can.
The second largest city of Serbia is the nation’s cultural jewel and ranked at #3 on Lonely Planet’s top world destinations list. Bisected by the Danube River and partially surrounded by the gentle slopes of Fruska Gora, Novi Sad is perfect for both nature lovers and urban adventurers. With its laid-back vibe and culinary proclivities, the city will ensnare you in its festive vibe and gastronomic expertise. And speaking of being festive, this city hosts Exit Festival, one of the greatest festivals in the whole of Europe. Remember to take a selfie at the iconic Petrovaradin Fortress overlooking the cityscape and wait for the sunrise to paint the Vojvodina sky red. You will love this city!
Pula has a similar relaxed and groovy vibe just like Novi Sad, only it is located on the shores of the blue Adriatic. With its maritime charms and ancient Roman monuments, this Istrian city is packed with architectural and cultural splendor that will leave you speechless. And when it is time to hit the beach, Pula boasts numerous pristine shorelines just outside of the city center, including the iconic Brioni. The famous Roman arena and Fort Punta Christo host the amazing Dimensions and Outlook festivals, the Old Town is teeming with high-end seafood and Italian restaurants, and the smell of salt and sea in the air will clear your sinuses in no time. Prepare for an adventure because Pula has so many hidden gems that are dying for you to discover them!
Last but not least is the capital of Bosnia and Hercegovina, the melting pot of religions, cultures, and culinary delights. With Christian Orthodox, Roman-Catholic, and Ottoman-Islamic places of worship scattered across the hills, you will definitely feel a heavy spiritual air hovering above the cityscape. It is no wonder why people call Sarajevo the Jerusalem of Europe. This multicultural urban center also hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics but the remnants of ski slopes and competition stages are now overgrown by nature. Definitely take a walk through the renown 14th-century marketplace of Bascarsija that exhibits a myriad of eye-catching trinkets, artworks, garments, and ingredients. And when your feet grow tired from all of the exploration, take a steaming cup of authentic Turkish coffee and have yourself an iconic piece of “pita” to soothe your soul and recharge your body.