The Balkans region of south-east Europe rich in natural beauty and full of interesting history and culture. The Balkans is an area relatively free of tourists but with a strong backpacking community and lots of good hostels to choose from. It is great for travelling on a budget, particularly in comparison to other regions of Europe. Accordingly it sits along side Southeast Asia and South America as one of my top travel destinations for backpacking on a budget.
Transport in The Balkans
The primary method of transportation through the Balkans is buses. They are easy, cheap and efficient. Check bus schedules and purchase tickets through getbybus.com or balkanviator.com. There is nowhere that you can't get to by bus in the Balkans.
There is a rail network through the Balkans linking up some some of the major cities but they are infrequent and slow. The Balkans is a mountainous area which is part of the reason that buses are the way to go. My favourite resource for getting an idea about the rail network in any country in Europe is seat61.com.
Getting access to your savings in the Balkans is dead easy. Just like anywhere else in Europe, rely on your bank cards. Credit cards are accepted in a lot of places and in those that don't, there are always ATM's that will accept foreign bank cards of all sorts.
There are a bunch of different currencies in use in the Balkans:
- Greece and Slovenia use the Euro. Kosovo and Montenegro also use the Euro, though not with permission from the EU
- Countries with their own currencies are Albania (lek), Bosnia and Herzegovina (convertible mark), Bulgaria (lev), Croatia (kuna), Macedonia (denar), Romania (leu), Serbia (dinar) and Turkey (lira).