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Balkans in October with wife and 5 year old

Balkans in October with wife and 5 year old

Old Mar 10, 17, 8:32 am
  #1  
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Balkans in October with wife and 5 year old

Hey folks,

Outside of spending a few days in Dubrovnik, I haven't had the opportunity to experience the Balkans and am looking for destination recommendations.

Wife, kiddo (who's a fantastic traveler) and I are low key. We like walking around, appreciating the scenery, eating great food and people watching. Would prefer a place that's easy to access since we'll have our spawn with us, so I've been toying with heading back to Dubrovnik or perhaps Belgrade, Sarajevo or Budapest (which I know isn't in the Balkans, but we have yet to visit there as well).

Frame of reference: both Prague and Dubrovnik are my two favorite places in the world thus far.

Travel will be 3rd week of October for 5-6 days. Appreciate any and all recommendations!
kaipoman is offline  
Old Mar 10, 17, 2:09 pm
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Considering your available time, I'd recommend driving. Public transport can be inconsistent, if not unavailable, and there are surprisingly few air links between the different cities.

I drove through the Balkans several times, the last one in summer '16 when I drove through Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary and Slovenia and it was a really nice time. Roads, with a few and far inbetween exceptions, are in good conditions and Google maps can generally be trusted (if it suggests using a detour through a National Park of sorts between Sarajevo and Mostar please don't follow it). I'd wholeheartedly recommend Sarajevo and Mostar. Zara/Zadar was a bit of a letdown, whilst Zagreb was another surprise, surely worth visiting for a day or so.

One word of caution I'd add would be to choose wisely the place where you'll be renting a car, provided that you'll decide to rent a car. It sounds bad to say this, but it stems from personal experience when my car(s) were vandalised due, most probably, to the number plate they were showing. I don't mean to say that this will certainly happen to you, rather the contrary; I believe I've been unlucky, or unwise, but considering the recent history of those places, it's understandable if things can be a bit heated, at times.

On one occasion I was driving an Italian-plated car through Croatia and, upon returning to it in Split, I found two tyres ripped up with knives and the bodywork was keyed from bumper to bumper. Another three cars in the street were in the same condition, and they were all Italian-plated. In another case I stupidly drove a Croatian-plated car in the wrong area of Republika Srpska and got a brick thrown into the window. When driving with a Hungarian-plated car I had no problems whatsoever.

Last edited by 13900; Mar 10, 17 at 2:19 pm
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Old Mar 10, 17, 4:13 pm
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I spend a considerable amount of time down in the Balkans (sadly, only for work, but I do my best to get out and about, even during those rigid winter days) and I have to agree with 13900 in the sense that Sarajevo is a must see, with Belgrade being my second favourite without a doubt, whereas Zagreb is neither fowl nor fish to me, nothing against it but one of those places where I'd not really want to spend more than one day (the Mrs studied there for a period of time and she loved it to the bits, to the point that she often joins me when I'm over with work). Banja Luka and Mostar are also worth a visit and I've heard really good things about Montenegro, even though I've personally never been.

G
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Old Mar 11, 17, 7:00 am
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Thanks folks - I was most recently looking at Montenegro (Kotor and Budva, naturally). Would require an executive decision to stay inland (Sarajevo and/or Belgrade) or spend time on the coast (Montenegro). Not sure we'd have the time to do both with total time on the ground being 5-6 days.
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Old Mar 13, 17, 1:00 am
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If you have a chance drive from Budva or Bar all the way to Istria in Croatia along the Adriatic highway. If you rent a car in Montenegro, you should not have a problem with those license plates in Croatia, except in a couple places around Dubrovnik.
Driving with Serbian plates anywhere in southern Croatia (south of Zagreb, except Istria) is not a--dvisable either.
You could fly into Belgrade (it would be the cheapest flight) and then either drive or take a train (8-12 hours) to Montenegro.

Also, since you're in Chicago area, try to visit some Serbian/Bosnian restaurants on the north side and ask the locals what to see or just to get a taste of the food.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 10:55 pm
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Your Chicago advice is spot on.
worldiswide is offline  
Old Apr 27, 17, 6:07 pm
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Smile Montenegro is beautiful country with many fascinating attractions...

Originally Posted by kaipoman View Post
Thanks folks - I was most recently looking at Montenegro (Kotor and Budva, naturally). Would require an executive decision to stay inland (Sarajevo and/or Belgrade) or spend time on the coast (Montenegro). Not sure we'd have the time to do both with total time on the ground being 5-6 days.
Dear kaipoman,
I come from Montenegro, have apartments in Herceg Novi. This city would be very suitable place for you. It is cheapest city at Montenegrin coast, and its position is perfect because it is in the center between famous cities (1 hour to Dubrovnik, 1 hour to Kotor, Tivat or Budva, 2 hours to Mostar...)
I can suggest you all interesting tours, or organize private tours.
Please visit Montenegro.com website for more information about Montenegro.

I wish you perfect vacation"
Best regards
Pavle Obradovic is offline  

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