What are some must-see locations for one planning to visit the Balkans?
Already have Istanbul and Vojvodina at the top of my list.
Also, I'm aware most people speak English, but would it be better if I picked up some Serbo-Croatian? Just enough to ask directions, order food, and place an emergency call if needed.
>Also, I'm aware most people speak English
>What are some must-see locations for one planning to visit the Balkans?
Far too general. First, when are you going to be there? Winter in the mountains down there is really harsh and it may get really difficult travel.
Second, how do you want to travel? Infrastructure down there can be rather... provisional. Waiting 12 hours for a your next train isn't uncommon in Albania, for example. Often there are no timetables for public transports and you'll have to ask around. My recommendation, still, would be an Interrail ticket. It's affordable and you'll be able to visit a lot of different places. As far as I know, almost all Balkan nations participate in the Interrail programm. Note Visa requirements for US citizens, however.
Third, what are you interested in? Countryside, culture, partying, etc.? Biggest party locations I could think of is that Croatian peninsula ("European spring break") or Golden Sands and Sunny Beach in Bulgaria. Culture destinations could be Ljubljana, Belgrad, Istanbul and the Greek cities if your into museums. There is a beautiful countryside almost all along the Adriatic coast. I especially liked Albania and the Albanian mountains as well as the whole Bosphorus and the Marmata sea.
If you include more information we'd be able to help you out more.
When you come to Serbia, don't tell anyone you're american, just tell you are canadian. It can save your life.
Former Albaniaball here. I lived 2 years there, definitely a place to visit and the ladies are hot as fuck (except for those of Turkish descent).
Just do yourself a favor and skip the North (Shkodra is a shithole).
Places to see/stuff to do (off the top of my head):
- Tirana (the capital, really nice flair)
- Valbona (= Albanian alps, if you like hiking, can be combined with Koman ferry, beautiful sight)
- Seaside in general
- Butrint ("leftovers" of an old settlement that had many cultural influences)
- Kruje (castle were the national hero kept off the Ottomans for 20 years)
- "Southern mountain tour", done by car (Elbasan, Lake Ohrid, Korce, Gjirokastra, maybe Berat)
>I lived 2 years there, definitely a place to visit and the ladies are hot as fuck
I can absolutely confirm this, go for it.
what are things one can do in belgrade?
What are you interested in?
A happy merchant would probably like some Geschäft.
He might be interested in music - in clubs we have trance and progressive trance.
Really beautiful city. All of Eastern Europe comes to Ohrid in the summer, and we generally like Americans.