Ultimate Balkan Road Trip Itinerary: Best Places to See in the Balkans

Looking for the best places to stop on your Balkan road trip? We've got you covered. Here are some ideas to help you sort your route through the Balkans without missing anything! This area of Europe has so many draw cards for travellers. Great landscapes, interesting cities, widely accepted free camping and really affordable prices. If you want some information about visas, budgets, time-frame and general tips read our Balkan road trip planning guide

This article covers the best places to see in Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo if you’ve got a bit longer for your Balkan road trip check out part two which covers Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.

We didn't stop in Croatia this time round but we did find this awesome post all about the best places to visit in Croatia!

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How long do you need for a Balkan Road Trip?

We spent 3 months road tripping in the Balkans and were never bored. But we realise not everyone has that amount of time. Bargain a week in each country to scrape the surface and then build in as many countries as you have time for.

We spent the most time in Albania and Montenegro as these provided the best variety of activities and affordability. But we loved all of it and definitely plan to spend longer in the other countries next time!

For more information about road conditions, tolls, insurance and petrol read our dedicated post about driving in the Balkans.

camping in the balkans. The best way to travel the Balkans


Slovenia was a brilliant place to start our road trip. Since this country became independent 20 years ago and it’s recent introduction to the EU it has been on a steady path to success. They have great roads, super-friendly locals and a thriving tourism industry built around their stunning nature which is well cared for. As a result, it is a little more expensive than some of the other Balkan countries but it is more than worth visiting on any Balkan road trip. Here are the best places to visit on a road trip in Slovenia:


Lake Bled and Lake Bohnij

Recommended time: 1-2 days

Lake Bled, Slovenia should definitely be part of your Balkan Road trip itinerary

This area is no secret and is probably one of the most touristed areas of the Balkans. But you can’t go to Slovenia and not see the beauty that is Bled! A stunning lake set among mountains complete with an island church in the middle and a castle looking out over the lake. It really is a fairy tale destination. 

swimming in Lake Bohinj, Slovenia as a stop off on a road trip in the Balkans

For some slightly less touristy lake vibes head to nearby Lake Bohinj. A little more difficult to get to the water but stunning mountain scenery and crystal clear waters make for a worthwhile stop. 

Have a look at accommodation options around Lake Bled here



Recommended time: 2-3 days

Street of Ljubljana, Slovenia which has a beautiful old town #slovenia #ljubjana

Slovenia’s capital city has a brilliant mix of old town historical and young, artsy vibes. A great place for a couple of days exploring and as a base to see the rest of the country. For more ideas of things to do, places to stay and things to eat check out our Ljubljana city guide

Where to stay in Ljubljana

Budget - All Season Hostel 

Mid-range - Gami Ex-Factory Lofts 


Caves and the Rakov valley

Recommended time: 1 day


This area of the country is home to some brilliant landscapes and places to see. There are plenty of caves in Slovenia but the two most well known are Postonja and Skocjan.

Nearby is the Rakov Skocjan valley which is great place for hiking and adventuring. This area was once a giant cave which collapsed forming a vast valley filled with walking tracks, rivers, smaller caves and natural bridges. For more info and photos read about our day in the Rakov valley.

If castles are your thing, Slovenia has a lot to offer! Check out these 25 fairytale castles


Bosnia and Herzegovina

We skipped Croatia as it was peak tourist season and our patience and budget didn’t stretch that far. So we continued onwards to a country we knew very little about but we found plenty of reasons to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For us, the most beautiful parts of Bosnia were the in between parts. The random mountain tops, rivers and lakes we continuously stumbled upon as we struggled to understand the logic behind out GPS -selected routes. But if you don’t have a vehicle or you’re on a limited time frame make sure you don’t miss these spots.


Recommended time: 2-3 days

Road trip in the Balkans Sarajevo

The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a focal point for road trips in the Balkans as it is located within driving distance of Belgrade, Montenegro, Zagreb and Dubrovnik. Sarajevo is also so packed with history it’s hard not to be interested in what has happened here in the last few hundred years.

Bobsled track in Sarajevo, Bosnia

There are many good museum exhibitions and sights to see in the old town, I loved the town hall which has been amazingly restored. But also some quirky sights such as the Olympic bobsled track from the 1984 Olympics which remains mostly intact but abandoned.

Sarajevo has great food and café options as well as several places to enjoy great views of the city.

Where to stay in Sarajevo 

Budget - Divan Han rooms

Mid-range - Hotel Boutique 36



Recommended time: 1-2 days

The biggest tourist attraction in Bosnia and Heregovina, this place can be very busy during the summer months. But the charm of the Mostar old town and its famous bridge can still be found. Take some time to wander the cobbled streets, eat at one of the many traditional restaurants and watch people jumping the 27metres off the old bridge into the river below.

Person jumping from the bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina #balkans #mostar

We stayed a really nice campground about 12km out of Mostar in a little town called Blagaj. There were other campgrounds along the river too and it was a great place to chill but still be within a short driving distance of Mostar. 

Where to stay in Mostar

Budget - Balkanarama Hostel 

Mid-range - Luxury Studio Yasmine


Jajce and nearby waterfalls and lake

Recommended time: 1-2 days

Jajce Bosnia

The old town of Jajce makes a good stop when driving through Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is a castle and old town walls to wander. There is also an impressive waterfall which is worth stopping off at but a little too built up for tourism. Instead head along the river and you will pass Konoba Slapovi a gorgeous restaurant set next a cute little waterfall and hanging trees. Further along the river are good swimming spots and a lake where you can hire boats.



We only visited the South West of Serbia due to time constraints and the route we chose to take. But we found some nice areas and met some very friendly locals who invited us for beers and dinner.

If we were returning to Serbia our number one stop would be Belgrade as we have heard great things about the city and had such awesome experiences in the other parts of Serbia. Check here for the best places to stay in Belgrade and continue reading for some other places to feature in your Balkans itinerary on your way through Serbia.

National Park Tara

Recommended time: 1-3 days  (depending on if you hike)

National Park Tara Serbia

This covers a huge area and is perfect for hiking. You can stay in small bungalows in villages, camp in the forest or stay in the towns and walk from there. A really nice area to explore.


The Uvac river

Recommended time: 2-3 days (over the three lakes and river meanders)

Lake Serbia

We spent some time by the lakes free camping and then went further to the gorge. We almost went on a boat tour along the gorge and then to a view point to see the meanders of the river from above. There is also a chance to spot the white eagles that live in the area. Unfortunately the day we picked to go was about the only cloudy day we’ve had on our trip and the low hanging cloud meant we might not be able to see much. But from the pictures the trip definitely looks worth it on a clear day.



Often skipped out from people’s Balkan road trip intinerary is the small and beautiful Kosovo. But it was one of our favourite places on our trip and somewhere we definitely recommend for other travellers. Safe, affordable, friendly locals and hardly any other tourists. Read our article for a full list of things to do in Kosovo. But here’s a quick summary of the top stops.


Recommended time: 2-3 days

Balkan roadtrip Kosovo

The country’s capital is a bustling city filled with great cafes and bars. We tend to judge cities by their cafe culture and Pristina passed with flying colours! There are several interesting attractions to see in Pristina such as the ‘Newborn’ monument and the National Library. Locals here will be quick to strike up a conversation in their excellent English and/or German and will tell you all about their country. For great coffee and snacks head to Dit' e Nat' or for a good hearty meal head to Home restaurant. 

Where to stay in Pristina

Budget - Pristina Center Hostel

Mid-range - KeyPristina Apartments 



Recommended time: 2-3 days

Sunset over the old town of Prizren, Kosovo a great place to stop when travelling the Balkans

This town has all the charm of an old Italian town with the prices of South East Asia and the tourism levels of Mallorca in the winter. It was one of our favourites. Wander the old town, grab a coffee or beer for some fuel and get yourself up the hill to the fortress. Here you’ll find beautiful views of the town and surrounding area. If you’re there in August try and time your visit to coincide with Dokufest, a large film festival. 

Where to stay in Pristina

Budget - M99 Hostel

Mid-range - Deja Vu Hotel


Rugova Canyon

Recommended time: 1-3 days

Roadtrip in the Balkans Kosovo

We spent a few days in this area on our way to Montenegro. There are plenty of amazing hikes in this area as well as activities such as ziplining and caving. There is an information centre at the start of the road which will provide you with maps and advice for different tracks and things to see. There is plenty of accommodation within the gorge but free camping is also easy. 


Other possible Stops on a Balkan Roadtrip

These are the must-sees on a road trip in the Balkans but if you're travelling by car you'll discover lots of little places in between which are just as wonderful but able to be explored in a lunch time stop or just overnight. Here are a few honourable mentions!  

Vipava Valley, Slovenia

Vipava Valley Slovenia

This was our first stop in Slovenia and a made a great first impression - look at those views! Vipava is a small town with some beautiful streets to wander but the main attractions in this area are the wine and the hiking, both equally good! 


Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Banja Luka Bosnia and Herzegovina

We booked three nights here without knowing much about the city. We needed a place to relax, do some washing and get acquainted with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Banja Luka did the job! There are a few cool things to see such as the church, mosque and castle. This is also a base for rafting trips. 


Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Balkan Roadtrip Intinerary Kravice Waterfall

These waterfalls were beautiful and absolutely worth stopping at if you're in the area. The only thing that put us off was the amount of tourists and consequently rubbish in the area. But the water is lovely and if you walk further along the river you'll come to lots of swimming spots with noone else around. 


Gjakova, Kosovo

Kosovo Gjakova-min.jpg

We stopped for a coffee and to check out the bazaar but ended up staying the night. The old town is gorgeous and has a great cafe and bar scene. The place is buzzing in the evening and the main street is just cafes and bars next to each other so pick one you like the look of and sit and watch some local life. We splashed out and had a comfortable stay at Hotel La Villa.


Mitrovice, Kosovo

Mitrovice Kosovo

This was our first stop in Kosovo and was a really interesting introduction to the current situation in the country. The town is divided into two parts, the North speaks Serbia, uses dinar and has Serbian flags hanging in the street. In contrast, the South speaks Albanian, uses the Euro and is decorated with Albanian and Kosovan flags. We found it very safe and the people on both sides of the town were very welcoming and friendly. 

These were our favourite places during the first part of our trip through the Balkans. Look out for part two featuring Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria


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If you're heading on a Balkan road trip here are the perfect stops for your itinerary including recommend time in each. You'll find all the info here for seeing the best of the Balkans on your road trip. #balkan #roadtrip #easteurope #balkanroadtrip #slovenia #bestplacestoseeinthebalkan #bih #serbia #kosovo #travelbalkan
Roadtrip fan? Here is the first part of our epic Road Trip around the Balkans! Read more for detailed information about places to stop in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. #balkans #roadtrip #slovenia #bosnia #serbia #kosovo #easteurope