Why should cultural tourists consider traveling to the Balkans?

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Answered by: Lachezar, An Expert in the Southeastern Europe and the Balkans Category
The Balkan Peninsula is truly unique. Located in South Eastern Europe, its history is rich and full of wonders. Ranging from Trieste to Istanbul and from Athens to Belgrade, the region offers excellent opportunities for travel and relaxation. What this article aims to do, is persuade cultural tourists into considering making a trip across the Balkans.

One of the main advantages of the peninsula is its close proximity to Western Europe. This makes it easy for international tourists to prolong their trips. As an example, after traveling to Paris and Milano, the visitors can extend their schedule and visit nearby Dubrovnik. Or after a summer vacation in Southern Turkey, they can make a trip to Bulgaria.

Another advantage is the history. From ancient times up until now, many empires were located in the Balkans. Many different cultures and traditions are well preserved, and they are practiced today by the local population.

And of course, a good reason for traveling to the Balkans is the prices. Vacations can be many times cheaper than those in Central or Northern Europe.

The Balkans consists of a few different countries. While some of them are partially located within the region, they nonetheless share a part of its rich culture.

First on the list is Slovenia. Being located near Western Europe, its culture is transitioned between west and east. Some of the best attractions are the Ljubljana summer festival, the town of Ptuj with its historical monuments, and Novo Mesto with its beauty.

Croatia combines cultural with beach tourism. The country's coastline is incredibly, long and it offers opportunities for different trips. Dubrovnik is a popular destination.

Bosnia and Herzegovina have a unique culture; created between the Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian populations. The tourists may want to visit some of the many old castles and fortresses.

Montenegro is small, but it is famous for its strong religious culture. Many churches and cathedrals are located there. One architectural masterpiece is the Ostrog Monastery.

Albania, just like the other countries on the list, has a rich history. Many ancient monuments are found on its territory. A good example is the Amphitheatre in Durres.

There is little need to mention Greece. Culture, history, traditions, cuisine, arts and philosophy, Greece has it all.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula. Its culture is a mixture between those of the other nearby countries. A good destination is the town of Ohrid with its many churches and museums.

Serbia is well known for its folklore. While traveling there, visitors should check out the National Theatre or the Sava church.

While Kosovo is not fully recognized as a country, it nonetheless has a rich culture of its own. The main strengths are its music and excellent cuisine.

Bulgaria's cities have different yet beautiful architectural styles. Its traditions are old and ancient. The best way to prove that is by visiting the Rila monastery or the city of Plovdiv with its cultural attractions.

European Turkey is where the city of Istanbul is located. It is the perfect destination for cultural tourists.

However, traveling to the Balkans can be a bit tricky. The region is divided into by countries, their languages and currencies. It is wise for a tourist to carefully do his research before journeying on an adventure.

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