Visit Balkans: 18 reasons why Balkans should be your next travel choice
Most of people don’t really know what to expect in Balkans, especially in countries still out of EU and Schengen zone. Among many one can not even comprehend, we have created a list of 18 most important reasons to visit Balkans.
1. Visit Balkans and travel safer than you could possibly imagine
“Is it safe to visit Balkans” is the most common question we hear from our guests.
Well, according to UN study: “Balkans crime rate in general are lower than in Western Europe, and the number of murders is falling throughout the region.”
On the other hand, try searching Google for ‘How safe Balkans are?‘. You will get tons of travellers feedbacks talking only positive about their Balkan travels in regard to safety.
In conclusion, when it comes to levels of crime against people and property such as homicide, robbery, rape, burglary, and assault you are absolutely in a safe haven when in Balkans.
Of course, this is not a guarantee. Everyone should always use a common sense when traveling anywhere in the World, including Balkans too.
That is to say – always be smart and curious.
2. Low Budget Deluxe Treatment
According to Eurostat report: “Comparative price levels for food, beverages and tobacco“, you can easily notice that Balkan countries (with exception EU member countries of Slovenia, Croatia and Greece) are way cheaper than rest of the European countries. For example, Bosnia and Herzegovina has European cheapest alcohol beverages, while Macedonia has cheapest food and non-alcoholic beverages in Europe.
As a result, by looking the figures, you can conclude that accommodation, public transport and other factors of travel experience do follow up this kind price standard.
3. Amazing diversity of tasty & healthy local food
Food is an inevitable part of travel experience to Balkans. Delve into amazing assembly of tasty local food that will help you understand the people and the culture behind. It is enough to say that “Burek” is 2nd or 5th World most popular street food (by howstuffworks.com & Guardian respectively). This tasty piece of food art can be found among most of the towns around Balkans. This is enough to make you want to visit Balkans immediately.
Funky Tours regular Sarajevo free walking tour and all other multi-day travel itineraries always make sure you taste best of Sarajevo’s Burek and Ćevapi. Depending on the region we travel together, we always choose best of the local street food.
Balkan will tickle your taste buds and reach your heart through your stomach with mouth watering local food.
4. Unrivalled nature potential of Balkans
Most of the Western Balkans geographically fall into the region of Dinaric Alps and, in the North, Slovenia is covering part of the Julian Alps. In other words, with it’s dominantly karst structure, the nature beauty of Balkans is some of the most fascinating in the world.
Adriatic coastline (Croatia – Montenegro – Albania) is surely the best European sea experience. On the other hand, Bosnian and Montenegro Mountains offer some of the most exciting hiking routes you will find. Vast number of amazing National Parks such as Plitvice Lakes, Triglav, Tara, Sutjeska, Velebit and other offer an amazing nature experience.
Have you ever heard of Via Dinarica trail? If no, learn more about it here.
5. Unimaginable Cultural Diversity
Among many minorities, Yugoslavia was a home to 4 major religions and 5 different nations. Majority of the Balkans population are South Slavs, a tribe which started inhabiting Balkan peninsula in 5th or 6th century. Since then, different empires ruled the region. Today, cultural and historical complexity of the Balkans is unrivalled, when compared with rest of the Europe.
As as a result of mainly historical issues, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegro are today referred as 4 different languages. Those differences spark too many issues and problems as being different standards of one same language.
Learning about these phenomenons is one of many interesting reasons to visit Balkans.
6. Visit Balkans – treasure trove of history riddles
“The Balkans produces more history than it can consume.”
Attributed to Churchill, but probably of unknown origin, this quote beautifully explains what to expect when traveling around Balkans. Each ethnic group in the Balkans has it’s own understanding of the historical facts and their meanings.
Just by knowing that assassination of Franz Ferdinand in one of the Balkan towns triggered the WW1. On the other hand, the very same event of assassination today, is heavily politicised and differently perceived by different Balkan ethnic groups. Traveling around the Balkans will tickle your brain and provide one of the most amazing experiences one can have.
7. Balkans are still off the beaten path
If you desire to travel truly off the beaten path, you are at the best possible place. Plethora Balkan destinations are offering an amazing level of this kind of pleasure.
Balkan destinations such as Slovenia, coastal Croatia and Montenegro are experiencing mass tourism in the true meaning of this word. However, other parts of Balkans such as Western Serbia, Central and North Bosnia, inland Montenegro and Albania and specific regions of Macedonia and Kosovo are still visited sporadically. In other words, these Balkan gems are offering an amazing opportunity to experience the of the beaten path at its best.
8. Booming Nightlife
Years ago popular forums and global medias have chose Belgrade as best nightlife destination in the Balkans. Further more, big party events during the summer in Croatia (such as Ultra in Split, or tons of good fun at Zrće beach), Guča festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Exit Festival etc. will provide unlimited options for amazing party time during your Balkan adventure.
During our guided tours and packages, we always take into consideration guests interests. Therefore, we always go above and beyond to provide the best possible nightlife experience.
9. Rakija is connecting people of Balkans for centuries
The most popular alcohol drink among Balkan drinks is Rakija. You can find it everywhere. It is mostly home-brew and easily became a common sign of Balkan hospitality. Shot of rakija is simply one of the best and easiest ways to meet the local people.
Locals will teach you how to properly drink this fruit liquor, convince you it relieves the stress and learn you how to avoid hangovers. Most importantly, rakija will be your entrance ticket to proper understanding of the Balkan culture.
10. Absolutely safe for female and solo travellers
Economy of Balkan countries strongly relies on a travel industry and travel companies are seeing a big uptick in interest from solo female travellers. As a result, safety of female/solo travellers became a huge focus of tourism in Balkans. Consequently, it became a synonym of practicing tolerance and respect for differences while promoting a positive change.
Funky Tours encourage responsible tourism and despite on traveling solo, you will actually “never” be alone. That is to say, there will always be someone as a companion in emergency or simply a buddy for a chat with a lonely solo traveler.
If you Google up numerous blog posts on “solo female travels in the Balkans“, you can discover tons of firsthand experiences of female travelers who traveled Balkans on their own.
11. Breathtaking architecture of Balkans
Whether you are really into discovering architecture or a simple traveler who is interested in discovering some amazing pieces of art, Balkan will definitely enchant you.
From early antiquity to Ottoman empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire, all the way to modernism, post-modernism, brutalism, deconstructionism etc. Balkan has it all. Therefore, be prepared to wander around this architectural and cultural ample and vast diversity of Balkan cities.
12. Experience the once in a life time hospitality
The amazing warmth you will receive from locals will definitely level up the entire experience during your trip. This European gem will amaze all of you who are seeking for a warm welcome and long tradition of amazing hospitality.
Despite the fact that Balkan has drown the world’s attention for war in early 90s, local people are in general extremely friendly and cheerful. Most importantly, people of Balkans are some of the most down-to-earth people you will have a chance to meet. Above all, they will make a huge effort to treat you properly.
13. Visit Balkans: Organic food paradise
The production of of healthy and organic food has been an inevitable part of fundamental beliefs about gastronomy in Balkans for a long time.
Balkan countries are still resisting the modern time and practice slow food that brings out the connection between them and nature. Whether you are just enjoying the amazing variety of city food or daring to wonder some of the amazing local villages and farms, Balkan will keep you healthy. In short, food in Balkans is a pure bliss for your health and for your taste buds.
14. Dive into exploring the numerous wineries, craft and microbreweries
Perhaps you know that only 3% of the world wine production is done in the biodynamic way? In other words, via the extreme way of ecological production, starting with the vineyard all the up to the wine production itself. Do you know that Herzegovina region has more than 300 sunny days in a year? Among everything else, this makes it ideal place and heaven for winemaking.
One thing is becoming very popular in Balkan are home-crafted beers. Today many people are experimenting, and with creative approach are able to craft amazing stuff. One thing is for sure, alcohol in general in Balkans is cheap and good. So, either we are talking about wine, beer or strong liquor, it is finally time to discover Balkans and its diverse offer.
15. Chance for adrenaline pumped experiences are lurking over at every corner of Balkans
Balkan is an astonishing region which evolved differently from other parts of Europe. Therefore, rest assured that adventurous travellers will be given an absolutely different, off the beaten path, experience.
With its varied landscapes, glossy raging rivers and sky-piercing mountains Balkan easily became a hub of all that speaks adventure. Your options are limitless, either if you opt for skiing in Sarajevo, rafting in Montenegro, or adventure hiking via the Via Dinarica trail. You will be having a once in a life time experiences at every moment of your trip.
Although adventure tourism is yet to gain ground in international tourism industry, this European gem is from year to year luring and amazing number of adventure enthusiasts who are into exploring the unknown and the instant adrenaline rush it offers.
16. Balkans are still preserved from mass tourism and are ideal for individual travellers
Travel industry is fastest-growing economic sector in Balkans and is attracting more and more foreign travellers from all over the world. However, this region is still keeping its place on a list of preserved regions that are still unaffected by mass tourism.
Tourism in Balkans is aiming to meet the travellers needs while keeping in mind the preservation of environment and endorsing local people, traditions and habits.
Funky Tours found its way in supporting local communities by using a concept of creative tourism. This allows us to involve our guests into different courses and learning experiences.
17. Easy to come and travel locally in Balkans
The best way to get into the Balkans is by flying by one of European budget airlines. You will be able to find plenty of inexpensive flights to Sofia (Bulgaria), Belgrade (Serbia), Skopje (Macedonia) or Tuzla (Bosnia).
Once in Balkans, no worries, it is easy to get around. Although locations you can travel by train are limited, if you decide to take a train, we guarantee absolutely unique experience. On the other hand, Balkan countries are strongly intertwined so you can easily take a bus from/to any part of Balkans.
Don’t get frustrated in case you can’t find proper information right away. Although online information are limited, you will easily get the info at every bus or train station. On the other hand, local experience you get by using a public transportation is priceless.
18. Visit Balkans and experience mind blowing and budget friendly summer holidays
According to “The World Was There First” any time to visit Balkan is absolutely perfect. However, if there is a place that is perfect for your next summer trip, that would definitely be Balkan.
Balkan Peninsula is a pure treasury of unspoiled places perfect for anyone’s budget or taste. Whether you are into culture and history, outdoor adventures such as hiking, rafting, kayaking etc, or simply looking for a leisure trip and lazy days on some of the European most beautiful beaches, Balkan has it all.
Croatian, Montenegro, Albanian and Greece beaches will simply blow you away. Dare to visit Balkans and, this summer, you can finally stop making compromises and sacrificing your choices and hopes who ever you travel with.