Planning to travel through the Balkans someday? Do you have any idea of how much there is to see in Southeastern Europe?
Luckily, I’ve prepared this ultimate Balkans travel bucket list with must-see places, awesome events, and wonderful experiences you simply have to try if you’re coming over.
After all, a bucket list is “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime”.
Are you ready? Check out the ultimate Balkans bucket list below!
- Discover the beaches of the Albanian Riviera with crystal-clear waters
- Hike through Theth National Park for its stunning natural beauty and rich biodiversity.
- Visit the Butrint national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with rich fauna and flora
- Explore the remains of Apollonia, a prominent historic city in the Roman Empire
- Go on the Komani lake ferry ride and see the secluded homes in the mountains
- Visit Durrës, one of Europe’s oldest towns, dating back to the 7th century BC
- Visit Shkodër, a town renowned for its picturesque lake, old castle, and exciting nightlife
- Go to Gjirokastr, a city famous for its ancient castle and traditional stone homes
- See Korç, a city popular for its stunning old town and mouthwatering regional food
- Explore Tirana, Albania’s capital and a thriving, energetic city with a rich cultural history.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Visit Mostar to see the stunning old town and enjoy its diverse cultural activities
- Jump off the Mostar Bridge or Stari Most, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Travel to Jajce to see one of Europe’s most stunning waterfalls
- Explore Sarajevo’s historic center to discover more about its fascinating past
- Visit the Tvrdo Monastery near Trebinje, famous for its exquisite design
- Go to Banja Luka, a city known for its theatre, galleries, and museums
- Drop by Blagaj for its stunning architecture from the Ottoman era and its idyllic location
- Check out Konjic to see the stunning Neretva River and go rafting
- Admire Tuzla Salt Lake, a well-liked destination for swimming and tanning
- Explore the stunning Una National Park for its hiking routes, waterfalls, and woods.
- See Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Sofia Synagogue in the capital city Sofia
- Visit Rila Monastery, one of Bulgaria’s most significant cultural and religious sites
- Discover Plovdiv’s numerous ancient sites, including the Roman amphitheater
- Explore Veliko Tarnovo and take in the views from Tsarevets Fortress
- Relax on the lovely Burgas Beach, a well-liked location for swimming and tanning
- Admire the Freedom Monument, a stunning memorial near the city of Ruse
- Go see Shumen Fortress, a beautifully restored medieval stronghold
- Visit Nessebar and take in the city’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Go to Kazanlak Thracian Tomb, a UNESCO Heritage Site with stunning paintings
- Smell the roses in Balchik Castle’s gardens, a residence of Queen Mary of Romania.
- Travel to Dubrovnik Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- See the Plitvice Lakes National Park for its stunning hiking routes and waterfalls
- Go to the old Diocletian’s Palace in Split, another UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Visit Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, for its countless historical sites, museums, and art galleries
- Check out Rijeka to visit the harbor there, a popular spot for swimming
- Discover the Pula Arena, a beautifully preserved Roman amphitheater still used today
- See the Zadar Sea Organ, a unique musical instrument that uses the sea to make sounds
- Go inside the Ibenik Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with exquisite architecture
- Explore Trogir Old Town, another UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning architecture
- Discover the stunning beaches, intriguing sites, and exciting nightlife on the island of Hvar.
- Visit the Parthenon and the other temples on the Acropolis in Athens
- Investigate the remains of the ancient city of Delphi, on Mount Parnassus
- Visit the Greek island of Santorini for its breathtaking sunsets and iconic white-washed homes
- Take a stroll around the Athens district of Plaka, with its tavernas and shops
- Explore the historic city of Mycenae, once a significant city-state in ancient Greece
- Relax on the sandy beaches of Crete and swim in the island’s clear waters
- Visit the island of Rhodes, with its old town that dates back to the Middle Ages
- Go on a boat cruise from Athens to discover the Saronic Islands
- Visit the Meteora monasteries, built on top of impressive sandstone cliffs in central Greece
- Check out the old city of Olympia, the initial Olympic Games venue.
- Visit Prizren, a charming city known for its well-preserved Ottoman-era architecture
- Explore Pristina, Kosovo’s capital city, for its museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions
- Take a trip to the Rugova Canyon, a beautiful natural wonder with breathtaking views
- Visit the medieval city of Peja, home to several important religious sites
- Wander through the Gjakova bazaar, a traditional market with local crafts and souvenirs
- Visit the Brezovica Ski Resort, a great place to hit the slopes in the winter
- Uncover the historic city of Gjilan with many important cultural attractions
- Go to the medieval Gračanica Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Travel to Prizren, a charming city known for its well-preserved and picturesque old town
- Take a trip to the Sharr Mountains for hiking, skiing, and mountaineering.
- Visit Kotor, a medieval town located on the shores of the Bay of Kotor
- Explore Budva, a historic coastal town known for its beautiful beaches
- Go to the Durmitor National Park for beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
- Take a boat tour of Skadar Lake on the border of Montenegro and Albania
- Visit the medieval Ostrog Monastery, a major pilgrimage site carved into a cliff face
- Discover Sveti Stefan, a small island known for its luxurious resorts and stunning beaches
- Visit Cetinje, the former royal capital of Montenegro
- Explore the Biogradska Gora National Park, with the last remaining primeval forests in Europe
- Fall in love with Perast, its well-preserved medieval architecture, and its two island churches
- Visit Budva old town with well-preserved architecture and charming streets.
- Visit Ohrid, a picturesque lakeside town, home to many important historical and cultural sites
- Explore Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia, full of statues and landmark copies
- Visit the Matka Canyon, a natural wonder with breathtaking views
- Travel to Bitola, a historic city that is home to the Heraclea Lyncestis archaeological site
- Go to St. Naum Monastery, a medieval monastery on the shores of Lake Ohrid
- Hike in the Mavrovo National Park, home to a wide variety of wildlife
- Take a trip to the Pelister National Park for outdoor activities, including hiking and skiing
- Visit Prilep, a charming city that is home to Tvrdina Kale Fortress
- Discover Struga, a lovely town known for its beautiful promenade on the shore of Lake Ohrid
- Visit Kumanovo, a historic city with an imposing old fortress.
- Explore the beautiful Carpathian Mountains and go hiking, skiing, or mountain biking
- Cycle or drive on the Transfăgărăşan, one of the most beautiful roads in Europe
- Visit Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, in Transylvania
- Admire the painted monasteries of Bucovina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Explore the medieval city of Sighişoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler
- Check out Mamaia or Vama Veche on the Black Sea coast for the beach and nightlife
- Visit the Merry Cemetery in Săpânţa for the colorful tombstones with funny epitaphs.
- Discover the old town of Sibiu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- See Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, one of the largest and most beautiful castles in Europe
- Visit the Danube Delta, the 2nd largest river delta in Europe and a UNESCO Heritage Site.
- Visit Belgrade Fortress, a historic fortification and cultural landmark in Serbia’s capital
- Explore the beautiful National Parks of Serbia, including Tara, Djerdap, and Kopaonik
- Attend EXIT Festival in Novi Sad, one of the largest music festivals in Europe
- Check out Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, a historic fortification on the Danube River
- Visit the Studenica Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Go inside Nis Fortress, a historic fortification dating back to the Roman Empire
- Discover the city of Subotica and see the beautiful Art Nouveau architecture
- Relax in the thermal springs of Vrnjačka Banja
- Ride the Sargan Eight railway, a historic narrow-gauge railway in the countryside
- Visit the city of Zlatibor and go skiing or hiking in the nearby mountains.
- Go to Lake Bled, a stunning glacial lake in the Julian Alps
- Visit Ljubljana Castle, a medieval fortification with panoramic views of Slovenia’s capital
- Explore Postojna Cave, one of Europe’s biggest and busiest caverns
- Check out Kocjan Caves, one of the most significant cave systems in the world
- Visit Piran, a stunning seaside city with a fascinating history and Venetian-style buildings
- Hike on the trails of Triglav National Park, the only national park in the country
- Discover Soa Valley, the best place to go rafting and kayaking in Slovenia
- Visit Maribor for the Old Vine, the oldest grapevine in the world
- Take a trip to Predjama Castle, a medieval fortress carved out of a cave
- See the Venetian architecture in the old town of Koper.
Multiple Balkan destinations
- Sail the Adriatic Sea
- Eat the traditional burek
- Try the ever-present raki
- Drink three Unicorns in a row
- Go rafting on the Tars (Tara) River
- Attend a traditional music/dance event
- Kiss a local
Ideas for the ultimate Balkans travel bucket list?
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