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Great guide, though I encourage you to come visit us in Kosovo next time so that your map will be more complete. If the Olympics recognize Kosovo, you should too? Backpacking the Balkans - my travel guide for 7 countries! This post is also available in: German In this post I put together all information you need for Backpacking the Balkans based on my own experience of 6 months living and traveling this region in the South East of Europe.
Tags albania balkans bosnia and herzegovina bulgaria Croatia macedonia serbia. You may also like. May August April June Travel Inspiration 12 reasons your next trip should be to Bulgaria March Click here to post a comment. There is an active scene there — I meet some cool people via CS during my time in Sofia! Share This! Hey, my name is Steve. Read more. Try it for free! Most Popular. Speaking to staff is a great way to get a lot of insider knowledge about your destination and find the best local spots!
We opted for Airbnb for the majority of our trip in and have nothing but good things to say about using the platform in the Balkans. Click here to find the best Airbnbs in the Balkans! In practice, however, many of the languages are quite similar. Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin all stem from Serbo-Croatian, which is a Slavic language that was spoken when these countries were united as Yugoslavia and are essentially the same language.
Bulgarian and Macedonian are also both Slavic languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet, whilst Albanian is a completely separate language that shares no similarity to other Balkan countries. When travelling through the Balkans, English is widely spoken in tourist areas and most younger locals will have learned English as a second language in school.
Older people from Bulgaria and former Yugoslavia might speak some Russian whilst in Albania, Italian is common as a second language. While you can get away without speaking much of the local language, you will be greeted warmly by locals if you learn some basic words! Religion in the Balkans is a touchy subject and whilst each country has a major religious group, there are often also significant religious minorities. In Croatia and Slovenia the predominant religion is Roman Catholicism.
In Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo the dominant religion is Islam. These days, violence between religious groups is rare, however, there are undoubtedly still tensions and scars from the Yugoslav wars of the s. Sampling the local food and drink is one of the best things about Balkan travel. While the nuances of regional cuisine can vary from country to country, there are many dishes and one specific drink that are rampant throughout the Balkans.
Something to keep in mind when travelling in the Balkans is that it is a very meat-heavy culture and it can be extremely hard to maintain a vegetarian diet while still trying to eat like a local. It became something of a running joke between us during our travels that our meals would largely consist of meat stuffed with cheese stuffed with a different kind of meat.
Oh, and with about half a kilo of raw onions on the side! Despite their love of animal flesh, Balkan cuisine is flavourful and diverse. Food in the central Balkans, however, tends to be where the meat-loving stereotype reigns supreme. Pljeskavica is another prime example of the Balkan meat fetish and is essentially a regional take on a hamburger.
The most likely constant you will encounter in Balkan cuisine, however, would have to be rakija. A local take on a fruit brandy — oftentimes made at home with anything from plums, peaches, and grapes — it is customary to offer a small glass to visitors.
Balkan travel is safe — safer, in fact, than much else of the continent. For the most part, if you practice basic common sense — ie. That being said, take some extra caution when it comes to taxis. It is wise to know which companies are more trusted, make sure the cab is metered and that the meter is running!
Also, retrieve your belongings before paying cab fare! Many countries will have some sort of a ride-hailing app akin to Uber and Uber works in some countries — Croatia being one of them. Do your research beforehand to find which app is widely used in your destination and this will all but eliminate the possibility of a taxi scam.
A special mention regarding Balkan travel safety goes to the Budapest-Belgrade night train. The country known as Bosnia and Herzegovina is located east of Albania and its capital city is Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina is ethnically diverse and comprised of three major ethnic groups: Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats.
This nation has a total population of about 3. This government is a parliamentary representative democracy. Bulgaria's capital city is Sofia. A diverse nation, Bulgaria's largest ethnic group is Bulgarians, a South Slavic group.
The government of this country is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. Croatia, located on the western edge of the Balkan peninsula along the Adriatic Sea, is a parliamentary representative democratic republic.
The capital city is Zagreb. Croatia has a population of 4. See Terms o Uise for details. Wikimedia Commons haes media relatit tae Balkans. Wikiquote haes quotations relatit tae: Balkans.Stream Balkans by Kheops and tens of millions of other songs on all your devices with Amazon Music Unlimited. Exclusive discount for Prime members.