Help planning a trip through the Balkans

Travel Forums Europe Help planning a trip through the Balkans

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1. Posted by lexiebeef (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Hey guys!

This summer Im going to backpack through Europe for more than a month with a friend and I really need some help planning it, seeing its going to be my first big trip.

The route we are thinking is Berlin-Krakow-Prague-Ljubljana-Zagreb-Mostar-Dubrovnik-Kotor-Pristina-Skopje-Sofia-Budapest-Bratislava-Vienna-Milan.

I was really hoping that someone could answer the following questions:

1) Is couchsurfing safe for two girls? And how early should I talk with the hosts?

2) Do you think Bratislava is worth it? Been searching online and didnt really seem like there was a lot to do;

3) I heard that the Balkans were pretty hard for vegetarians, because its kinda rare there. Do you have any ideas about it?

Thank you so much!

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1522 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Quoting lexiebeef

2) Do you think Bratislava is worth it? Been searching online and didnt really seem like there was a lot to do

None of these places are about world-class big sights. They're all worth seeing to soak up their charm and to explore.

Bratislava is small so you may want less time there. It’s an hour by train from Vienna so makes a cheaper place to stay. There's also a bus out to the tv tower in a forest, which has a bar observation deck.

3) I heard that the Balkans were pretty hard for vegetarians, because its kinda rare there.

I'd agree with that. In many of those places a treat meal out is a plate of meats. But they all now get plenty of tourists. You should find options, but it may be limited and boring.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Apr-2019, at 21:23 by AndyF ]

3. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 195 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

1) Balkans are safe. I have been various times in various locations and can ensure that it felt as safe as in the rest of Europe.
2) Bratislava was never my favorite city in the region. However I did return back in recent years and enjoyed the stay. While the places to see can be seen as 'less' of in the area, but if you do have half/full day to spare please explore the city. You might be nicely surprised...
3) -

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1207 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I once asked for a salad in Berlin and got ham chunks in it. Vegetarians will have a harder time.

I have said, for years, that Bratislava is the least interesting city in Central Europe. Napoleon-manholeguy-world'smostdourwarmemorial back on the bus. Visit it from Vienna if you must. But stand by for those who will try to walk that back.

I think couch surfing is pretty safe for two girls but I am not a girl.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Apr-2019, at 03:51 by Piecar ]

5. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 705 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Bosnia isn't too bad for vegetarian food. In Sarajevo we had a great traditional vegetarian meal.

In Montenegro we found a few vegetarian dishes on the menu one of which we ordered in Podgorica and while it was delicious the size was very small.

I think Croatia you might struggle as from memory the only time I found a vegetarian dish on a menu was tiny cafe in Split that did hand made ricotta gnocchi cooked with a spinach sauce. I remember thinking this is our first meat free meal eating out in Croatia. In Croatia we did get some amazing cheeses and they do this sort of disc of dried figs flavoured with either lavender or orange that is quite tasty.

In saying that there is a large bakery culture throughout the Balkans and they have lots of savoury pastries that are meat free. An option might be to see if the hosts of your couch surfing places might let you use the kitchen to cook some of your own meals. Ljubljana has a local farmers market in the centre of town where you could get some fresh ingredients.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Apr-2019, at 00:23 by Teoni ]

6. Posted by zzlangerhans (Respected Member 62 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

You'll be making a big mistake if you skip Bratislava. Aside from having a very attractive old town and some beautiful buildings, Bratislava is much less expensive and touristy than other central European capitals. We also noticed it has a very young and vibrant nightlife. Think Prague in the 1980's and 90's before it got on everyone's itinerary. I guarantee you'll enjoy it, especially if you like Bohemian culture.

My blog post on Bratislava is here https://zzlangerhans.travellerspoint.com/396/