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Spain or the Balkans?
natraz's profile picture
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Hi all, I am currently spending the summer in Germany but I will be going back home the beginning of September. I have a week at the end of August to go visit one of these places, so I’d like to hear your advice or opinions.

Because of the way flights/my budget works out, my two main options are:
1. Round trip to Barcelona (4 nights)
2. Flying into Sarajevo and out from Dubrovnik: 2-3 nights Sarajevo, 1-2 nights Mostar, 1 night Dubrovnik

A little bit of context: Last time I went on a Eurotrip I really wanted to go to Sarajevo and Croatia but never found the time. Basically I’m just really curious about the culture and the people of BiH, and have also heard that Dubrovnik is gorgeous. I figured since I’m in Europe again I might as well try, but I’m not sure if 5 nights is enough for these cities.

However, I’m interested in art and have always wanted to go to Spain anyway, so maybe four nights in Barcelona would be more manageable. Also: I will be there the week La Tomatina goes on, but that is closer to Madrid – I’m not sure if I will be able to get reasonably priced flights to/from there without wasting too much travel time.

The one qualm I have is that if I ever want to go back to Spain from home in North America, then that’s relatively easy. If I want to go back to the Balkans it’s a bit more of a pain.

What do you think?

I am traveling for 40 days
Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Berlin, Weimar, Dresden, Prague, Olomouc, Vienna, Salzburg, Kraków, Budapest, Munich
oldlady's profile picture
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My first thought was “go for it” Take this chance to see the Balkans. As you say, it’s relatively easy to get to Spain from North America or from anywhere in Western Europe, so possibly easier to do on your “next trip.”. Also, from a tourist standpoint, Eastern Europe is rapidly changing — culturally, tourist infra-structure, costs, so there’s some reason to “hurry” before it’s totally westernized. Down side is you ‘ll really only get a quick taste of part of the Balkans on this trip, and you’ll be doing an awful lot of (perhaps too much?) rushing around.

How’s the rest of the trip? If you’ve had a relatively relaxing summer, I’d go for the last fling to the Balkans. If you’ve been rushing around all summer then maybe a single stop is a more comfortable option,

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My thoughts exactly Oldlady. The Balkans ıs fantastic… but so ıs Spaın. If you dont thınk you wıll get a chance to get back to the Balkans but Spaın wıll be on your radar – go to the Balkans. My only concern ıs your tımıng. The transportatıon between these cıtıes wıll take a bıt of tıme and you wıll be rushed. Tough decısıon, but I thınk ıf you can’t see yourself makıng ıt back to the balkans ın the future you mıght have to just do ıt.

(Apologies for my typıng. In Turkey rıght now and thıs keyboard has been trıçky )

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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Definitely Balkans over Spain. Sorry Spain, you’re beautiful, but the Balkans are magic

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We spent about two and 1/2 weeks in Croatia about two years ago and it’s really not to be missed. If you are in Dubrovnik, try a beer and sandwich at “Scola” (hope that I have spelled it right), a very typical local place where the older school kids often eat….great food and inexpensive. There is also a really nice bar on the outside of Dubbrovnik’s wall that has ice cold beer and is a great place to watch the sunset.

You can take a “fish picnic” for the day from Dubrovnik as well…they take you to out from the Pier to some beaches on some of the closer islands, serve you lunch….its a nice day. All around Dubrovnik and Croatia there are little “rock beaches”. Basically they are shelves of rock with a swimming pool-type ladder into the beautiful clear Adriatic. There is one just to the right of the steps up to the entrance to the Old City (under the tower, you will see). I would plan just to wear your bathing suit (under your clothes or as shorts) and bring a towel. Its great to sightsee for a while and then just go right into the ocean to cool off. It will still be plenty warm enough to swim in September….. Just make sure that you bring water shoes. The rocks are very rough in spots and there are sea unchins here and there in the shallow water.

Croatia is wonderful and Dubrovnik is fabulous. Also..the food is much cheaper than Spain. Another really fine thing to do is to take a sea kayak tour around Dubrovnik’s city walls…we wanted to do this but didn’t because it was way too hot in July, but you should be just right in September. Croatia also has a really wonderful cafe culture…there are fabulous little cafes and bars just everywhere. Just FYI, your cheapest option to get back to the USA from Dubrovnik would probably be to take Eurojet or some other small airline to a major hub like London or Frankfurt. I don’t know if the time involved to do that would affect your plans.

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I suggest you to take the chance and blow your brains out in Balkans. Enjoy the magic. All the best for your trip