Have you ever wanted to explore the cobblestoned streets of Paris or taste fine pasta by the ocean in Italy, but without all the crowds and tourists? Have you ever dreamed of exploring old villas, castles, and museums, but didn't have the budget for London or Amsterdam?
This itinerary in Bosnia and Croatia offers all the splendors of Europe, but at much lower prices and far fewer tourists, especially when you go in May. You'll find yourself falling in love with the unique history and incredible people of Former Yugoslavia, which has a fascinating story to tell.
This trip is geared towards #budget-friendly travellers, but those with extra money to spend can find that boutique hotels and multi course meals are available too, for far cheaper than in Western Europe.
The itinerary is #vegetarianfriendly but meat lovers will enjoy the local flavors as well. Its also very suitable for #womantravellers as myself and my sister completed it without any fear for our safety. Its also great for #photographytours and #nature&parks as you'll check out a lot of places that are off the beaten path. Other highlights of this tour include #architecture #history and #foodieheaven
In the cities, many Bosnians and Croatians speak English, but you might have to use google translate at times. You will need to exchange your currency when you travel between the two countries. In order not to offend anyone, do not mention the Bosnian Civil War unless the local you're speaking to brings it up first.
Arrive early evening at Sarajevo airport, taxi to hostel. Taxi should cost about 30 marks
Hostel Franz Fernidad is right in the center of Sarajevo and each of its rooms is unique, with fun historic decorations, but modern ammenities. We stayed in the Sophie and Franz room, which had romantic decorations for Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. $36 per night for a double (two person) room.
Dinner at Valter 071, very close to the hostel and offers a variety of Bosnian and American friendly cuisines. Drinks are great too!
You can cure your jetlag with a lavish brunch from Caffe Michel, which isn't far from the hostel but provides a great spread for a good value. Try the traditional Bosnian coffee!
To get oriented to the city, check out the market in Old Town- look for the signs that say "Pijaca." A scenic walk brings you into the cobblestoned market, where hundreds of stalls offer souvenirs, gelato, local Bosnian foods- try the cevapi!- and more. You can even indulge in the Bosnian tradition of sheesha, also known as hookah, if you so choose. Falafel stands can provide a great lunch, or you can try Wiener Cafe for an authentic and lavish taste of the Austro Hungarian Empire.
After a busy day at the market, relax with a drink and dinner at S One Sky Lounge, a rooftop bar and cafe with incredible views. Although pricey, its still much cheaper than the same experience in any American city.
Start off the day with a hike to the White Fortress castle, where you'll find old ruins and great photo opprotunities, as well as maybe even some goats! You can pack a lunch from a local grocery store to save some extra money.
After your hike, check out the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity in Sarajevo. While the content is sobering, its important to learn the history of this multicultural city, and this musem does so in a very professional way.
For an even more in-depth look, check out the Galerija 11/07/95, a well curated multi-media gallery of the massacre in Srebenica. After exploring this history, you might notice the "Sarajevo Roses" along the streets, which mark bloodshed in the besieged city.
Today, you can focus on exploring the grounds of the Sarajevo Olympics of 1984 on Trebovic mountain, which were later used as a fortress during the Bosnian War. The area provides fascinating history and hiking, as well as great spots for pictures. Apetit Restaurant on the mountain provides a chalet feel with vegetarian friendly dishes.