Two weeks ago I spent a scorching weekend in Spain’s third largest city – Valencia. With the exception of a few things we wanted to see, we hadn’t planned much of an itinerary for our trip, which turned out great. We spent three relaxed days wandering around the city, eating and drinking lots and soaking up the atmosphere. The biggest and best surprise was that there is actually a surprising amount to do in the city! Although I could go back and see more, here are ten essential things to do that are easy to squeeze into a Valencian city break without too much rushing around.
Hiking the path up to the fortress in Kotor is one of the most popular things to do in all of Montenegro. If you’re all about getting a great view (which I definitely am) then this is an absolute must for your Balkans bucketlist. Unfortunately, as the hike has become more popular there has been an ‘entrance fee’ imposed on the main path up to the fortress. What some people do not realise is that there is another way to get up there for free, which is super easy if you know where to go.
When it comes to Bosnia & Herzegovina the city on most people’s bucket list isn’t the capital of Sarajevo (one of my favourite cities), but it’s quaint little southerly sister, Mostar. When you see Mostar it’s easy to see why. The cobbled streets, and quirky restaurants give it a much cosier small-town vibe, which is juxtaposed by the magnificently imposing Stari Most bridge. If you’re thinking of visiting Mostar, this is my guide to the things you should do, as well as some excellent restaurants and a recommendation for accommodation that is like a home-away-from-home!
Of course, when you get back from a trip where you’ve been to 6 countries and 10 cities in a month, people inevitably want to know which place was your favourite. Sometimes it’s hard to choose, e.g. I always struggle when people ask this about Australia because there are so many places I loved for different reasons. However, when it came to answering this about my Balkans trip it was easy and obvious. My favourite country was Bosnia & Herzegovina. This answer surprised a lot of people, who obviously expected the more obvious Croatia or Montenegro to be my choice. What can I say? I loved Bosnia and Herzegovina and these are just a few of the reasons why.
Those of you who’ve read my last few blog posts will know that I took a backpacking trip last summer travelling around the Balkans by bus. Through the course of blogging about that trip, I’ve had a few people ask me about the specifics of my itinerary and, in particular, the cost of travelling the Balkans for one month. While Eastern Europe has a reputation for being cheap to travel in, it’s certainly not the case for all of the Balkan countries. I visited a mix of the cheaper and more expensive ones, recording all of my expenses as I went, and now I’m going to spill all of the info about what I spent in this blog post. Interested? Read on…