Thinking of doing the region by interrail in september time
Would be interested to hear of people's experiences in countries kinda south of Hungary, such as Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia etc. Would possibly head as far as Istanbul which is linked quite nicely with Sofia in Bulgaria
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South east Europe watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-07-2009 01:13
- 08-07-2009 11:11
I've been to Croatia and Bosnia.
Croatia is quite possibly my favourite place in the world... try and get the overnight ferry from Rijeka to Split or Dubrovnik if you can, just for the sunset over the archipelago. Sadly it is getting more and more touristy and consequently expensive, but is still as beautiful as ever.
I went to Zagreb on a public holiday in the rain so didn't get the best impression but it's probably worth a day or two. Split is pretty cool, although very boaty and you can see the city centre in a day; however it is a good base for visiting the islands and there are lots of beaches nearby and a decent nightlife.
I've been to the islands of Hvar and Korcula on day trips, both stunning - I would try and stay overnight on them if you had the time. There are also lots of little islands off the coast of Dubrovnik that can be reached by little tourboats. Dubrovnik itself is breathtaking; the walled old town is like nothing I had ever seen before. Unfortunately lots of cruise ships stop off here so it is pretty expensive by Eastern European standards but it is not to be missed. NB: there is no station in Dubrovnik so it has to be reached by boat or bus.
When I visited Split I was interrailing and we stayed in a brilliant hostel with a great atmosphere and facilities that was very near the nice part of the city centre. I visited Dubrovnik with family so we stayed in a gorgeous private apartment with a view of the ocean and the old town; there are loads of women at the stations and ports offering such accommodation to tourists on arrival, from what I've heard most of these are perfectly good and maybe a better bet than a hostel if you're staying for a longer period.
Bosnia: I only spent a day there, visiting Mostar and Medjugorje. The country is noticeably more run down than its neighbours but that adds a certain charm to it. It's also really interesting to see a country with such different religious backgrounds, Islam is very common as well as Christianity. Mostar was really nice, make sure to see the old bridge (although I doubt you'd miss it) but unless you're feeling very pilgrim don't bother with Medj, it is very overdone and full of bus tours. I'm told Sarajevo is a must-see stop as well.
You didn't mention Montenegro specifically but I've been there as well; it's really nice but is becoming too popular too quickly and the infrastructure can't handle it. We had to queue for hours to get over the border and in the main tourist town there appeared to be one lane of traffic in each direction and in the evening this caused even more hellish queues.
- 08-07-2009 12:41
Macedonia is definitely worth a visit. Go to Ohrid, it's a lakeside town near the border with Albania. You can hire a bicycle and cycle around Lake Ohrid. It's hard work, but it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. The lake is one of the oldest in Europe, and is so isolated that it's even developed its own species of fish found nowhere else in the world.
Sofia is a pretty city, and yes, if you get the chance, definitely visit Istanbul.