16 Must-Visit Ex-Yugoslavia Destinations

If you’re staying in Serbia and want to explore its neighbours, the best way to start is by visiting the top ex-Yugoslavia destinations. After all, each of these countries hides places of incredible beauty and historical importance.

To help you get the most out of it, we’ve compiled a list of the must-visit spots of the former Yugoslavia. Let’s begin!

Top Ex-Yugoslavia Destinations

As you probably know, Yugoslavia once consisted of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Today, Yugoslavia doesn’t exist. Instead, we are left with a group of countries, each with a set of gorgeous touristy spots.

Conveniently, these countries are close to each other, so if you’re living in Serbia, most of the places we’ll share are easily accessible. Naturally, the travel time will depend on where you are in Serbia. If, for instance, you live in Belgrade, you’ll be able to get relatively quickly to places in Slovenia. At the same time, it’ll take much longer to reach North Macedonia compared to people living in Niš, for instance.

With that said, here are our recommendations.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located to the west of Serbia, and we’ve already covered the capital city in our guide to a weekend trip. Still, there are many gorgeous and intriguing places left to visit.

Višegrad

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge

Less than 20km away from the Serbian border, Višegrad is a perfect city for those looking for a blend of nature and culture. If you’re into the former, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery by having a boat ride on the Drina River.

Speaking of culture and history, the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge is an iconic landmark from the time when the Ottoman Empire ruled the area. Famously, this piece of architecture was featured in Ivo Andrić’s novel The Bridge on the Drina, which brought him the Nobel prize.

In the vicinity, there’s Andrićgrad, a tourist complex made entirely of stone, built in honor of Ivo Andrić.

Kravica Waterfall

Stunning Kravica Waterfalls

Another place near the border with Serbia, Kravice waterfall is the perfect spot for nature lovers. It consists of several waterfalls that stretch for over 120m. Each is around 25m tall and flows into a crystal clear lake.

If you visit in summer, you can even swim in the lake, although the hottest season is usually crowded. Anyway, the admission fee is around $11 throughout the year.

Mostar

A stone bridge over a river and colorful buildings on its left side.
The Old Bridge persevering since the Ottoman period

Located in the south-west of the country, Mostar is a city with plenty to offer. First off, Stari Most (The Old Bridge), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will give you a glimpse of the rich and turbulent local history.

Also, don’t miss the Old Town. With cobblestone streets, Ottoman-era buildings, and lively bazaars, this vibrant area is full of exciting sights.

Trebinje

A river surrounded by old houses.
Beautiful old houses in Trebinje

Going south, almost to the border with Montenegro, you’ll arrive in Trebinje — a charming town with a relaxing atmosphere. Whether you explore quaint cafes in the Old Town or visit the surrounding churches and monasteries, you’ll feel like the time has slowed.

Also, the beautiful Trebišnjica River and surrounding greenery and vineyards are perfect for those who love nature and the outdoors.

Montenegro

Going south, you’ll arrive in sunny Montenegro, the favorite seaside destination for many Serbs.

Kotor

Old buildings near the sea.

Firstly, this seaside city has gorgeous beaches, so in summer, it’s the perfect place for swimming and sunbathing. But the best thing about Kotor is the Old Town. Once you find yourself walking among old shops, cafes, and hidden squares, you’ll feel like you’re in the medieval ages.

If you’re up for a hike, you can climb the fortress walls above the city and enjoy the stunning panoramic view.

Black Lake, Durmitor

Away from the seaside, Montenegro boasts a national park of outstanding beauty — Durmitor. This mountain has 18 glacial lakes, and Crno jezero (Black Lake) is the largest and most famous among them.

The crystal-clear lake water that reflects the surrounding pine trees and mountain peaks is a true masterpiece of nature. Besides, the rich flora and fauna, fresh air, and gorgeous scenery make this place a paradise for any nature lover.

Tara Canyon

If you’re not afraid of heights, head to Tara River Canyon, which is only 13km away from Black Lake. It’s one of the deepest canyons in the world, towering up to 1,300m high.

The turquoise waters of the river and the surrounding rocks and greenery make for a picturesque view, perfect for taking photos. If you’re looking for a thrill, you can get your fill by rafting and kayaking in the river or ziplining over the canyon.

Croatia

Now, let’s head to the land of a thousand islands — Croatia. It borders Serbia in the northwest, and many people who live in Belgrade or Vojvodina spend their summer vacations there. Also, if you’re in Kotor, you’re only 90 km away from the first place on our list — Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, which you may recognize as King’s Landing from the iconic TV series The Game of Thrones, is always jam-packed with tourists, and for a good reason. Namely, the old town with the cobblestone streets and stone walls will give you a taste of times long gone.

For the best experience, head to one of the cafes on the fortress wall and enjoy a drink with the most majestic view.

Hvar

A seaside town seen from a bird’s eye view.

Another spot in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar. is one of the most beautiful islands in the Croatian archipelago. You can reach it by ferry, and once you do, you’ll find yourself in a seaside paradise.

Deep blue water, white stony beaches, and old buildings create a movie-like atmosphere. This town is even more beautiful at night, when the city lights reflect in the seawater, creating a romantic atmosphere.

Zagreb

A night view of a city from above.

When you’ve had your fill of sunny beaches, make your way to Zagreb — the capital city of Croatia. Split into an Upper and Lower town, it’s brimming with both modern and historic tourist spots.

So, among other places, you can visit the gothic-style Zagreb Cathedral that dominates the city skyline. Also, don’t miss Dolevac Market, where you can find fresh produce and handicrafts that make for charming souvenirs.

Slovenia

For the next set of ex-Yugoslavia destinations, head west from Zagreb. Slovenia is a small country with many beautiful spots, including the capital city.

Ljubljana

The colorful rooftops of Ljubljana

The charming capital of Slovenia offers plenty of activities and sights. The Dragon Bridge with impressive dragon statues, the central market full of local flavors, and the Ljubljanica River with cozy cafes are just a part of it.

Conveniently, if you climb up the hill and visit Ljubljana Castle, you’ll be able to see the entire city. Plus, the castle itself is an intriguing historic spot.

Bled

Bled is a picturesque town known for its stunning lake, medieval castle, and surrounding nature. Its most iconic sight is a church on a small island in the middle of Lake Bled.

This town is a year-round destination that’s incredibly peaceful. Therefore, this fairy-tale-like place is perfect for a family trip.

Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj, or Bohinjsko jezero, is an excellent spot for everyone who enjoys water activities. Namely, the lake is perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing, and snorkeling.

If you’re into hiking, there are several trails with varying difficulty. Thanks to that, even beginners can enjoy the pristine nature and the fresh air.

North Macedonia

Last but not least, we’re heading to Serbia’s southern neighbor — North Macedonia.

Skopje

Not far from the Serbian border lies the capital — Skopje. This city has a bit of everything. So, if you’re looking for an old vibe, go to the Old Bazaar, where you can find fresh produce and taste the traditional cuisine.

And if you’re into monuments, you should know that the city is always crowded, and not just by people, but by statues and sculptures. Seriously, wherever you go, you won’t miss them.

Ohrid Lake

Ohrid Lake and the Monastery of Saint Naum

Known for its incredibly clear waters and bubbling springs, Ohrid Lake is ideal for scuba diving, hiking, and relaxing at the beach. Nearby, there are two stunning monasteries — Saint Naum and St. John at Kaneo.

Another must-visit landmark in the vicinity is the Bay of Bones, an archeological site and a reconstruction of a prehistoric settlement dating back to the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Tikveš Winery

Two black bottles on top of a wooden barrel.
Time for fine wine 🍷

Once you’ve had your full of touristy spots, it’s time to get your fill of fine wine. So, if you’re over 18, don’t miss Tikveš Winery, located in the south of the country. Founded in 1885, it boasts a centuries-old winemaking tradition and an exquisite selection of wines.

There, you can explore the winery, enjoy wine tasting, or wine and dine in the underground restaurant.

Time to Pick Your Favourite Ex-Yugoslavia Destinations

As you can see, there are plenty of ex-Yugoslavia destinations worth visiting. Although all the spots on our lists are exquisite, you can pick the ones you like or stray off the list and discover new places.

Also, you’ll be glad to know that you can use Serbian in most of these places. While Macedonian and Slovenian languages are quite different, many locals can use Serbian to a degree. So basically, as long as you can speak some Serbian, you’re good to go. And if you want to brush up on your skills, book a lesson with us and let us prepare you for the journey!

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