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Best of Balkans

(Start Budapest - Until August 2020)

4.7
47 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that will have you utterly bewitched by the Balkans, from Split to Budapest

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    15 days

  • Countries

    6 Countries

  • Meals

    15 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

Budapest, Ljubljana, Plitvice, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Budva, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kotor, Mostar

Top Experiences

9 included & 7 free time add-ons available to add later

  • See Ljubljana's castle & old town

    Included

    Ljubljana

  • Get included entry to the spellbinding lakes of Plitvice National Park

    Included

    Plitvice

  • See the city's Roman Ruins

    Included

    Zadar

  • Take a walking tour through Dubrovnik's UNESCO-listed old town and spot GoT filming locations

    Included

    Dubrovnik

  • See the famous Mostar Bridge, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture

    Included

    Mostar

  • Take a sea kayaking trip around the UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik City Walls

    EUR 34.00

    Dubrovnik

Best of Balkans (Start Budapest - Until August 2020)

9 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Explore the colourful city of Ljubljana on a guided walking tour
  • See Ljubljana's castle & old town
  • Get included entry to the spellbinding lakes of Plitvice National Park
  • See the city's Roman Ruins
  • Take a walking tour through Dubrovnik's UNESCO-listed old town and spot GoT filming locations
  • See the famous Mostar Bridge, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture
  • Guided walking tour
  • Sightseeing of Buda, Pest, the Royal Palace, the Church of St. Matthias, the Chain Bridge & Fisherman's Bastion
  • Locally guided tour of Budapest

7 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Watch a classic Slovenian folk show as you enjoy a traditional feast EUR 34.00
  • Enjoy a farm-to-table Croatian meal at a family-run restaurant with figs, olives, wine & more EUR 42.00
  • Admire the UNESCO listed city of Dubrovnik from the water with an Adriatic cruise and meal EUR 39.00
  • Take a sea kayaking trip around the UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik City Walls EUR 34.00
  • Dine with the locals in their homes and hear their stories of wartime living in Sarajevo, Bosnia EUR 34.00
  • Journey through time at the inspirational Sarajevo War Tunnels museum, where civilians escaped to safety EUR 15.00
  • Take in the beauty of Budapest as you cruise down the Danube River & dine on a feast EUR 43.00

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 14 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    14 nights in Hotel

    Live it up in hotels every night of the trip, one with a rooftop pool overlooking the sparkling Bay of Lapad in Dubrovnik. Sleep twin or triple share, or upgrade to your own room for a bit of extra cash.

About this trip

Hit up an incredible 6 countries in just one trip and take in the best sights the Balkans has to offer. Whether it's exploring the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, partying until the early hours in Belgrade or strolling around the historic sights Sarajevo has to offer, this trip has something for everyone.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. Budapest

  2. 1 1 night

    Ljubljana

  3. 1 1 night

    Plitvice

  4. 1 1 night

    Zadar

  5. 2 2 nights

    Split

  6. via via

    Bosnia & Herzegovina

  7. 2 2 nights

    Dubrovnik

  8. via via

    Kotor

  9. 2 2 nights

    Budva

  10. via via

    Mostar

  11. 2 2 nights

    Sarajevo

  12. 1 1 night

    Belgrade

  13. 2 2 nights

    Budapest

+3 more

DAY 1 - Budapest to Ljubljana

Budapest

This morning meet up with your Trip Manager - meet the squad and then we'll be ready for the road to Ljubljana, a name you'll be able to pronounce by the time we're leaving for Croatia.

Ljubljana

Although you might find nods to neighbouring countries within Slovenian culture, a distinct identity has evolved from this melody of influences. After our guided walking tour, explore the bohemian art district of Metelkova Mesto, sit by one of the cities atmospheric watercourses & try all the incredible food on offer.

Stay

TBA (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Explore the colourful city of Ljubljana on a guided walking tour

  • See Ljubljana's castle & old town

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Watch a classic Slovenian folk show as you enjoy a traditional feast

    EUR 34.00

DAY 2 - Ljubljana to Plitvice Lakes

Ljubljana

Next up is something altogether drop dead gorgeous....

Plitvice

A strong introduction to Croatia is on the cards today with cascading teal forest pools at Plitvice Lakes. Why this place is not famous world over as one of the prettiest places in Europe, we have no idea.

Stay

Bellevue Hotel Plitvice (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Get included entry to the spellbinding lakes of Plitvice National Park

DAY 3 - Plitvice to Zadar

Plitvice

We'll hit the road and head south for Zadar. 

Zadar

Croatia, we can't get enough. So it's good that we have a couple more days to get to know you better. Arriving in Zadar will see us greeted with Roman ruins, and seaside vibes, so find a local restaurant, ask for the catch of the day and wash it all down with a Rakija, a Dalmatian drink that the region is famous for. All in the name of culture, of course. 
 

Stay

Porto Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the city's Roman Ruins

DAY 4 - Zadar to Split

Zadar

Today there's still exploring to be done and sights to see. 

Split

Tonight it's best get outside, grab a delicious dinner and & a few hours on the dance floor.  The nightlife here goes off, and your Trip Manager knows all the best places to head, so go on, get out there and make this a night to remember. 

Stay

Hotel Dalmina (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Enjoy a farm-to-table Croatian meal at a family-run restaurant with figs, olives, wine & more

    EUR 42.00

DAY 5 - Split

Split

What better place to get acquainted with your new squad then here on the coast of Croatia. Spend a free day roaming around or flop in your hotel room before we crack on with the rest of our day!

Stay

Hotel Dalmina (or similar)

DAY 6 - Split to Dubrovnik

Split

Split it's been fantastic, but we have to leave for other Croatian gems further down the coast.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dubrovnik

The drive along the Dalmatian coastline to Dubrovnik is a sightseeing must do all on its own. On arrival in the city you'll be greeted by limestone walls; an Old Town filled with quintessentially Croatian cafes and plenty of clubs; and a mountain meets sea situation will see you falling in love within seconds. Tonight over dinner with the crew, spirits will no doubt be high and the show's not over yet!

Stay

Petka Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Admire the UNESCO listed city of Dubrovnik from the water with an Adriatic cruise and meal

    EUR 39.00

DAY 7 - Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

The city of Dubrovnik is so much more than just a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones location - not that either of those claims to fame are even mildly mediocre. After you've been guided around the city with intricate detail with our local guide you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content.

Stay

Slovenska Plaza Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Take a walking tour through Dubrovnik's UNESCO-listed old town and spot GoT filming locations

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take a sea kayaking trip around the UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik City Walls

    EUR 34.00

DAY 8 - Dubrovnik to Budva via Kotor

Dubrovnik

Now that we've done all things Dubrovnik, we'll coast our way to Montenegro via the dramatic Adriatic Coastline.

Kotor

All good journeys are broken up by fjords, steep mountain landscapes & a trot in a town that meets old and new. Our journey between Dubrovnik and Budva will tick all the boxes,  stopping in the super-yacht spot of pretty Kotor.

Budva

If you tire of European coastal towns, you have tired of life. Take it easy tonight with the assurance that you have all day tomorrow in Montenegro's seaside beauty of Budva.

Stay

Slovenska Plaza Hotel (or similar)

DAY 9 - Budva

Budva

Just what does one do with a whole day free to explore the 2,500 year old town of Budva? Well - you could start with a dip in the dreamy Adriatic Sea, continue with coffee in a café draped in vines down a narrow cobbled stone road, finish with the Church of St. Ivan, and eat some milk-soaked lamb and buttered polenta along the way. That should get you started.

Stay

Hollywood Hotel (or similar)

DAY 10 - Budva to Sarajevo via Mostar

Budva

The time has come to farewell our ocean hangs in exchange for rivers, countrysides and captivating culture, which means a sad goodbye to beautiful Budva.

Mostar

Mostar is home to the world's cutest bridge. According to us. But still - we've seen a lot of bridges. You'll have plenty of time to oohh and aahh before we kick on to our 2-night site of Sarajevo.

Sarajevo

Later on in our perfect day, we'll skip into the brimming with lively culture town of Sarajevo, also known as Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital. With all the day's explorations you may just want to hang out and take on the city with the fresh eyes of a new day.

Stay

Hollywood Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the famous Mostar Bridge, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Dine with the locals in their homes and hear their stories of wartime living in Sarajevo, Bosnia

    EUR 34.00

DAY 11 - Sarajevo

Sarajevo

The only way to uncover the town of Sarajevo is with the wisdom shared on a guided walking tour. We'll help you tap into history & understand the magnitude of our destination before leaving you to lighten the mood with an evening of bars and nightlife, should you so choose.

Stay

Prag Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Guided walking tour

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Journey through time at the inspirational Sarajevo War Tunnels museum, where civilians escaped to safety

    EUR 15.00

DAY 12 - Sarajevo to Belgrade

Sarajevo

Rise up, roamers! We're departing for the town of Belgrade to continue our epic frolic through the Balkans. 

Belgrade

Another border crossing is on the agenda as we wave our way into Serbia en route to Belgrade. Medieval meets modern in this bustling, pure white city. Zen folk can go sit on the Hill of Contemplation or stroll Sava rivers, others can see the fortress of Beogradska Tvrđava & enjoy the lively mood of Belgrade by night. 

Stay

Hotel Danubius (or similar)

DAY 13 - Belgrade to Budapest

Belgrade

Leaving Belgrade behind, today we're onto beautiful Budapest. 

Budapest

Fast becoming one of the hottest destinations in Europe, Budapest is on our beeline. Despite having all day tomorrow to get cosy with this city, we'll get stuck into it today checking out the likes of the royal palace, the famed chain bridge & the stunning parliament building. Later you'll have the option to take a cruise and make the most of your first Hungarian evening. Later, you'll no doubt want to keep things moving at one of the city's famous ruins bars, that need to be seen to be believed!  

Stay

Hotel Danubius (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Sightseeing of Buda, Pest, the Royal Palace, the Church of St. Matthias, the Chain Bridge & Fisherman's Bastion

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take in the beauty of Budapest as you cruise down the Danube River & dine on a feast

    EUR 43.00

DAY 14 - Budapest

Budapest

This morning we'll set out along the cobbled streets of Budapest for a guided walking tour to explore what this city has on offer. We'll see St Stephen's Basilica, a grand neo-Classical Roman Catholic affair named after the first King of Hungary, and the largest church in the country. The rest of the day will be yours to lounge about at the famous thermal baths and soak up the city alfresco. This evening we'll join forces as a group for an included dinner in town to try some more Hungarian delicacies. 

Stay

Hotel Danubius (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided tour of Budapest

DAY 15 - Depart Budapest

Budapest

That's a wrap! Our love affair with the Balkans has sadly come to an end! But perhaps we can get the squad back together for a reunion trip?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

What documents do I need to travel?

Dependent on where you’re travelling and your nationality, you'll need a valid passport and may also need visas to enter into certain countries - please check this well in advance of your trip departure date. The majority of our Europe trips travel in countries that are covered by the Schengen Agreement which relates to visas. Citizens of many countries - e.g. Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada - can travel in the Schengen area without a visa. If you require a visa to enter the Schengen area you only need to obtain one visa which will allow you to travel in all Schengen countries. For non-Schengen countries, you may be able to obtain a visa upon arrival, depending on your nationality. Some countries also require passports to have 3-6 months left on them before the given expiry date, so be sure to double check this before booking your travels.

IMPORTANT
1. Visas can take up to six weeks & a fee is normally charged.
2. Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part or all of your trip & will result in you incurring considerable expense & inconvenience.
3. It is better to apply for all visas through your travel agent or local consular services before you leave home.
4. Contiki will provide you with visa contacts from our London base at the Royal National Hotel, if necessary.

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our European trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20kg (44lbs) to be stored in the hold & one small day bag to take on board. Your day bag should be a backpack, duffel bag or satchel only (no small luggage cases or suitcases with wheels on board the coach).

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. 
Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Your Drivers are the experts on getting you from A to B efficiently and safely in Europe. They know their way around better than google maps & they’ll drop you at your door & unload your bags for you. Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

What's included that I should budget for?

Aside from essentials like flights, how much spending money you’ll need will depend on the duration of the trip and how much you anticipate spending on personal expenses like alcohol or shopping. Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen European destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
 
- Cost of a local lunch
 
- Cost of a local dinner
 
- Cost of a local taxi
 
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot

In all areas of the service industry in Europe, from restaurants, bars, hotels & taxis, it is common practice to tip if you feel that the service received has been excellent.
The same goes for your Contiki Team. If you feel that your Trip Manager & Driver’s service has been exceptional, then feel free to tip them if you feel they’ve done a great job. If you choose to tip, we recommend around 2 Euros per day, however whether or not you choose to tip (& how much) is completely up to you.

Will I be able to access WIFI on my trip?

Yes! Our fleet of modern, sleek coaches are kitted out with WiFi in all places except Greece, as are most hotels & hostels across the continent, so you’ll always be able to effortlessly get online and update everyone back home about your incredible adventure.

What are Contiki's sustainability credentials?

We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters. Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share. Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation’s family of brands. From street tours that support local residents, refugees and the vulnerably housed, to dining experiences that support local farmers, our consciouc travel experiences let you see things from a different perspective. Find out more here

How do I redeem the % off deal?

Our great deals and offers are only in market for a limited time are subject to pay in full deadlines. If you cannot pay in full by the specified date shown alongside the offer/deal you can still  lock in the trip date of your choice at our Standard Price where normal payment terms of pay in full 45 days prior to your trip departing apply.  Visit the deals page for the full terms & conditions. Discounts apply to the land portion of your trip price only (this excludes taxes, included flight costs, extra accommodation & optional activities. Your trip price does not include the costs of international flights that start or end your trip).

What currencies will I use on trip?

Croatia: the Croatian Kuna; Montenegro and Slovenia: the Euro; Bosnia: Bosnian Mark; Serbia: Serbian Dinar; Hungary: Hungarian Forint.

Will I need a visa?

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Canada or the USA, you can enter Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro without a visa. The length of you stay differs per country. Slovenia is in the Schengen zone which allows free travel and a 90 day stay. Visit Balkan Travel Services to find out more.