Ex Yugoslavia is often overlooked when it comes to tourism compared to Western Europe. Since all 7 former nations are out of the schengen zone, it can be logistically daunting to organize. However, there are many gems well worth traveling East for.
5 – Visit the peaceful city of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, having split from yugoslavia in the very early days of the yugoslav breakup meant that it has been relatively unscathed compared to its neighbors. The city of Ljubljana is very much a green city – compact with every core tourist site within walking distance. The castle offers a fantastic sunset view of the city and walking along the Ljubljanica river while people watching is also a highlight. The city boasts markets and cute bookshops which amplify the city’s relaxing atmosphere.
4 – Try Eastern European cuisine
Eastern Europe is renowned for dark taverns and underground pubs where the service is – well very Eastern European – and the food hearty and homemade. We recommend pairing any meat stew such as goulash or serbian bean stew for the vegetarians with a pint of local beer or a glass of white wine.
3 – Don’t underestimate Serbia
While many people complain about Serbian hospitality and about the communist-styled city of Belgrade, it offers unique charm. Belgrade has interesting war museums, Putin memorabilia and communist style buildings which reflect the government’s alignment with Russia. Belgrade is an interesting jump back in time, contrast to the people. An iconic and wholesome activity is watching the older men play lifesize chess in the city. An underrated and least visited city is the city of Niš. Niš is a city build within the gorgeous mountains and countryside of Serbia and hosts a Jazz festival in Summer. If you interact with locals they are likely to ask you ‘What the hell are you doing here?!” which symbolizes how little visited the city is.
4 – Learn the significance of War in Sarajevo
It isn’t hard to find recent remnants of the Yugoslavian war. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Hertzegovnia hosts the Genocide museum, a harrowing exhibition of the genocide committed against Bosnians in 1992. The museum is emotional but necessary and includes artifacts and stories essential to Yugoslavian history. But the cities’ wartorn history doesn’t stop there. In the city center you can visit the eternal flame, burning since 1946 which is an ode to those soldiers who fell during the second world war. On the outskirts of the city, you can also visit the Republic Srpska, a region that seems to be solemn in nature, still impacted by the war. If you take a short walk around the suburbs, you can see buildings that remain unaltered, riddled with bullet holes.
5 – Explore Montenegro
Montenegro has to be one of the most underrated countries in Europe. While Mostar is a bucket list destination, there are other hidden gems too such as the ‘cat city’ of Kotor transports you to Swiss-Italy and reminds you of cities like Lugano with a hint of medieval architecture and infrastructure. The mountain ranges are perfect for hikers and climbers who enjoy fresh outdoors and lush green grass. Mediterranean cities like Budva offer brilliant beaches with phenomenal sunsets. Montenegro liquor is also a must try.
Are you ready to try? Join us on our Ultimate Yugoslavia Tour: Tito’s Winter