24 days in The Balkans Itinerary

24 days in The Balkans Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Start: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fly:  14​h
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 5 nights
Fly:  5​h
2
Selcuk, Turkey
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
3
Athens, Greece
— 5 nights
subway + Fly:  2​h 45​min
4
Heraklion, Greece
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  6​h 30​min
5
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 45​min
8
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h 45​min
End: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Get some cultural insight at Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and Topkapi Palace. There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sultan Ahmed Mosque, get to know the fascinating history of Sultanahmet District, take an in-depth tour of Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), and admire the masterpieces at Istanbul Modern Museum.

To find photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Istanbul travel planning site .

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Istanbul is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. You'll gain 6 hours traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul due to the time zone difference. Plan for colder temperatures traveling from Kuala Lumpur in May, with highs in Istanbul at 25°C and lows at 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to travel to Selcuk.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay May 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

2
nights
Selcuk, Turkey

Selcuk ©
An ideal base camp for exploring the Aegean coastline, Selcuk draws big tourist crowds due to its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus.
On the 7th (Mon), explore the ancient world of The Terrace Houses and then delve into the distant past at Ancient City of Ephesus. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House), see the interesting displays at Ephesus Museum, then steep yourself in history at Public Latrine, then explore the ancient world of Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu, and finally explore the ancient world of Celsus Kutuphanesi.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Selcuk sightseeing planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Istanbul to Selcuk takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or drive. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Istanbul in May: highs in Selcuk hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Athens.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Bibliotheque de Celsus ©
Bibliotheque de Celsus
Ancient City of Ephesus ©
Ancient City of Ephesus
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu ©
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu

5
nights
Athens, Greece

Athens ©
One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Get a sense of the local culture at Acropolis Museum and National Archaeological Museum. There's still lots to do: delve into the distant past at Acropolis of Athens, take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of Hephaestus, get engrossed in the history at Byzantine & Christian Museum, and admire the masterpieces at Museum of Cycladic Art.

To find more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Athens trip builder app .

Traveling by combination of train and flight from Selcuk to Athens takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and ferry; or drive. Traveling from Selcuk in May, Athens is a bit warmer at night with lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can travel to Heraklion.

Things to do in Athens

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay May 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Acropolis Museum ©
Acropolis Museum
Acropolis of Athens ©
Acropolis of Athens
National Archaeological Museum ©
National Archaeological Museum

1
night
Heraklion, Greece

Heraklion ©
Crete's largest city, Heraklion remains best known for its proximity to a sprawling Bronze Age archaeological site, once the center of a vanished Minoan civilization.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Mon): take an in-depth tour of Heraklion Archaeological Museum and then delve into the distant past at The Palace of Knossos.

To find more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Heraklion trip planner .

You can do a combination of subway and flight from Athens to Heraklion in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and ferry; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Heraklion can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Heraklion

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

The Palace of Knossos
Find places to stay May 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan

3
nights
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik ©
Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
Gradske Zidine and Rector's Palace are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: take a stroll through Old Town, take an in-depth tour of Franciscan Monastery, stop by Clara Stones, and shop like a local with Art by Stjepko.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Dubrovnik trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Heraklion to Dubrovnik takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Heraklion to Dubrovnik, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In May, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to drive to Mostar.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay May 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Walls of Dubrovnik ©
Walls of Dubrovnik
Old Town ©
Old Town
Rector's Palace ©
Rector's Palace

3
nights
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar ©
Famed for its 16th-century bridge, Mostar boasts a rich cultural and architectural heritage.
On the 19th (Sat), explore the activities along Jablanicas Lake, don't miss a visit to Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar, then don't miss a visit to Old Bridge (Stari Most), and finally take in the exciting artwork at Art Studio Pandur. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Sniper Tower, explore the different monuments and memorials at Partisan Cemetery, then explore the activities along Neretva River, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Koskin-Mehmed Pasha's Mosque.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Mostar travel website .

Drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) so you can travel to Jajce.

Things to do in Mostar

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Jablanicas Lake ©
Jablanicas Lake
Old Bridge (Stari Most) ©
Old Bridge (Stari Most)
Art Studio Pandur ©
Art Studio Pandur

few
hours
Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jajce
Jajce is a town and municipality located in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosanska Krajina region. To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Jajce online day trip planner .

You can drive from Mostar to Jajce in 3 hours. In May, Jajce is little chillier than Mostar - with highs of 22°C and lows of 8°C. You'll set off for Sarajevo on the 21st (Mon).

Things to do in Jajce

Tours Museums Nature
Find places to stay May 21 — 22:

3
nights
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo ©
Nearly destroyed by war during the 1990s, the riverside city of Sarajevo now serves as one of the region's major educational, cultural, and commercial hubs.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like War Childhood Museum and Museum of crimes against humanity and genocide 1992-1995. On the 24th (Thu), hike the day away at Vrelo Bosne. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Bascarsija, take an in-depth tour of Svrzo House, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Katedrala Srca Isusova.

To find more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Sarajevo route website .

You can drive from Jajce to Sarajevo in 3 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sarajevo

Outdoors Trails Parks
Find places to stay May 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
War Childhood Museum ©
War Childhood Museum
Galerija 11/07/95 ©
Galerija 11/07/95
Bascarsija ©
Bascarsija

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