Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro or Slovenia? Help needed

Travel Forums Europe Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro or Slovenia? Help needed

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1. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I'm planning a trip for the summer and I'm going to be in the three countries mentioned above, so far I have

Plovdiv 3 days
Belgrade 3 days
Ljubljana 4 days

I'm really not that familiar with any of these countries but I have an extra 2 days to add to my trip so where should I allocate them? Should I go down to Montenegro for a couple of days (I've heard it's nice) or just spend more time in Plovdiv and explore Bulgaria, or more time in Slovenia? Or have I completely overlooked somewhere else I should go (Sofia for example)? I really can't decide so I'm hoping someone here can just tell me where to go! Many thanks in advance,


2. Posted by ReinierNL (Inactive 207 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hiya Stuart,

I have been doing some internet research lately on the Balkan-countries, because I would like to go there myself too next Summer. One thing I noticed is that you haven't given an indication of the duration of your journey. I assume that at this stage it's a very rough itinerary that you gradually try to fill in or are these towns part of a Eurail-trip through Eastern Europe? I hope not, because you would miss out a lot.
I think you should definitely spend more time in Slovenia, say about 10 days in total, because there is a lot more to Slovenia than just Ljubljana. Since you need to travel through Croatia anyhow to get from Slovenia to Serbia, you may just as well give Zagreb a visit. If possible, stay in the Zagreb-region longer to include a visit to nearby towns. Another suggestion may be Sarajevo in Bosnia, though this is a bit out of the direction. Even more out of the direction than Sarajevo, but astonishingly beautiful, is Montenegro. I have been there myself last year and I am certain to include it in my next trip.
I hope this will do for the time being. Regards,


3. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Cheers for the advice, this is actually part of a trip to Istanbul and Turkey, I'm spending most of the time travelling through Turkey (about 2 1/2 weeks in total) but I have a bit of a fear of flying so I'm looking at a comfortable way to get back to Paris and thought the Balkans would be a good place to spend that extra time - it's not a true phobia exactly but it's enough to make me know that I would spend half my trip worrying about the flight back home so it's not worth it in my opinion.

I'm going to get an inter-rail pass and to be honest the big cities don't interest me a great deal so I was intending on staying in Ljubljana and trying to take in most of the countryside in daytrips - I figured Slovenia was small enough to do this but maybe I'm being naive there. Belgrade and Plovdiv were kind of just there as something of geographical necessities though I would very much like to explore the Bulgarian countryside if I get the chance and Montenegro though it's a bit out of the way - that might have to wait for the next trip I think.

4. Posted by ReinierNL (Inactive 207 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Right?! How does Paris fit into your itinerary? Out of all places Paris is an aweful lot out of the direction. Why don't you fly directly to Instanbul? Those Interrail-passes cost you an arm and a leg, while a flight from Luton to Istanbul would set you back just 60 pounds. Or is this what your fear of flying is all about?

5. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Yeah it would be a lot easier to just fly but I'd really rather get the train because even though I know fine well that flying is perfectly safe and nothing would happen I'd spend the weeks before I left worrying about the flight rather than looking forward to the trip, so it's not worth it for me to be honest (even if it is a lot more hassle). Paris is just there because that's where you get the Eurostar back to London.

6. Posted by ReinierNL (Inactive 207 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

There is a sort of direct train, operated by the German railway company url=http://www.bahn.de]1[/url],2,http://www.citynightline.ch3[/url (< ERROR: the link title is too long!), from Belgrade to Amsterdam with a change in Munich, I believe. In Amsterdam you can take the hydrofoil-boat url=http://www.connexxion.nl/website/subpage.asp?id=1102&command]4[/url (< ERROR: the link title is too long!) (a nice piece of Soviet engineering) or a local train url=http://www.ns.nl]5[/url and bus url=http://www.connexxion.nl]6[/url to IJmuiden from where you can take the ferry url=http://www.dfds.nl]7[/url to Newcastle. The entire train journey from Serbia to the Netherlands is very cheap, costing only about € 40!
Would this be an option? It saves you a lot of headaches thinking about flights. :)

7. Posted by Kvisko (Budding Member 2 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

My name is Nikolas and i am from Belgrade

With all do respect, there is a lot more to see in Belgrade then 3 day visit.....

Honestly, i have been to Ljubljana and it is not worth visiting for 4 days, trust me....better take one day from it and plan it for serbia or Bulgaria....maybe Sofia for a day.....

If you wish i can make you a list what to see in Belgrade and around it...

It is very nice to go on a half day visit to Novi Sad, beautiful capital city of our northern province Vojvodina...only 9okms from Belgrade

Montenegro coats is very very beautiful, but there will be political problems in future months, so i would gladly tell you to skip it this year.....and it is at least 400kms from Belgrade... Central city of Montenegrin coast Budva is 550kms from Belgrade......

I have lived in Plovdiv for 2 years and i speak bulgarian fluently.

You made the right choice, it IS the city for at least 3 days or more...

I can also give you an advice what to visit there....some things are breathtaking.....

You are apsolutely right, bulgarian countryside and bulgarian coast are something that you must see.....i have visited very nice places there......if you need advice for it, do not hesitate to contact me..

But all of this for a few days each.....:(

But if this is the price that you have to pay just to stay more days in Istambul, you are apslolutely right!!!! :)

I`ve been there 5 times, and Istambul is something worth at least 7-10 days of visiting....remove as much days from all the other cities, but DO NOT stay is Istambul for less than 7 days....

I made the mistake, I`ve been there for 4 days during my first visit....and i didn`t sen anything.....there is so much to see.......i don`t want to repeat myself, same offer counts for istambul....i even learned few things in turkish...:)

For all that ciites except Ljubljana i can give you an advice about hotels, rentals, where to shop, what is characteristic of certain city and country......

Best wishes


[ Edit: no personal e-mail addresses in the forums please ]

8. Posted by amanecer (Respected Member 203 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I've never been in the countries you've mentioned except Slovenia, which is very nice and worth a visit, but I agree with kvisko: 4 days in lubiana are really too much.2 at max are enough to see everything in the city. in lubiana surrounding I can suggest you to visit skofia loka (medieval centre) and to taste the particular honey cakes.
in lubiana I slept in Celica Hostel, metelkova Ulica. A double room cost 23 eur per person (last year), is an artistically renovated former prison turned into a hostel. You can experience to sleep into a former cell with bars on the door and on the window. There are 20 cells, which were artistically renovated a priceless work of art. Bathroom are shared, breakfast included, is clean.

9. Posted by Cezar (Full Member 16 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

You can find some info on Belgrade in my bloghttp://cezar.travellerspoint.com/1/

10. Posted by BlankFrack (Respected Member 280 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Many thanks for the advice, I think I'll probably try and spend some more time in Belgrade as opposed to Ljubljana or maybe just skip Slovenia altogether and try that train to amsterdam (it is surprisingly not that long, I mean it's 20 hours but from Belgrade you'd think it'd be longer). I really do wish I had more time to spend on my trip because I'd love to spend a lot longer in these countries, at the moment it has all the hallmarks of something like a half-assed trip to the balkans tacked on to a trip to Istanbul! I did try and give myself as much time as I could in Istanbul though, I was planning on spending about 8 or 9 days there in total plus some other places in Turkey for another 10 days. Cheers for the advice again.