Historical charm mixed with pulsating atmospheres. Welcome to the western Balkans.

Veer off the usual Balkan route and discover some of the region’s lesser-visited places on this historical adventure. Starting in cosmopolitan Budapest, travel to the Serbian capital of Belgrade for a taste of a European city on the up. Learn about Bosnia and Herzegovina’s war years in Sarajevo, stop by the famed Old Bridge of Mostar, discover the beachside gem of Budva and wind things up in Dubrovnik, one of Europe's hottest hangouts. Melding the past with the present, the historic with the euphoric, this trip ticks all the boxes with plenty of free time, plenty of history to learn and plenty of places to head out and party.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Budapest, Hungary
Finish
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Destinations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
ZMYB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy plenty of free time with your group to discover the communist past and modern progressive vibe of Budapest: the 'Pearl of the Danube'.

  • Immerse yourself in the edgy street scene of Belgrade's Bohemian Quarter, then dance the night away in one of Europe’s nightlife hotspots.

  • Learn about the dark history and rebuilding of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, with a walk up to the White Fortress overlooking the city.

  • Cover a lot of ground in Montenegro, meeting up with the Adriatic coast in beautiful Budva along sandy beaches and shimmering waters.

  • Visit Mostar’s famous Old Bridge and witness a traditional bridge jumper hurl themselves into the icy waters below.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. Please note that only some of our hotels will have air-conditioning and it’s virtually non-existent on public transport.

  • The best way to experience a city is by doing as the locals do – and in this case that means using public transport such as trams, buses or metro at some locations. It’s better for the environment and you’ll get an authentic look at daily life; just be aware you may find yourself sharing a busy bus ride with local commuters (for example).

  • The cobblestone streets, narrow steps and tiny bridges of Europe are very romantic. They’re also another good reason to pack light and leave the wheeled suitcase at home.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin, triple or quadruple-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Szia! Welcome to Budapest, Hungary's intoxicating capital on the banks of the Danube River. Things kick off with a welcome meeting this evening at 6 pm, after which it'd be rude not to grab your new friends and leader for dinner and a night walk along the Danube. With the buildings and bridges lit up in the evening, Budapest is a beautiful city to explore by night, and be sure you don't miss the city's trending ruin bars – bars found in formerly abandoned buildings that are filled with eclectic furniture, street art and young locals.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR74
  • Urban Adventures - Made in Budapest - EUR72
  • Urban Adventures - Best Beers of Budapest - EUR74
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Join your leader on a short orientation walk this morning if you wish. Afterwards, you have a full free day to explore the city known as 'The Pearl of the Danube'. Split by the river into Buda and Pest, this city united under one name, Budapest, in 1873. It's a great city to explore by foot or from the water, or perhaps catch a funicular up to Buda castle for some seriously spectacular views of the skyline, dominated by the Hungarian parliament building. Continue exploring the cobblestones of the Castle District, or maybe hire a bicycle and head to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the Iron Curtain fell. Other highlights include the State Opera House and the Hungarian National Museum, and one unmissable activity is a long soak in the healing waters of one of Budapest's hot thermal baths – there's a reason it's called the City of Spas.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5800
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • House of Terror - HUF3000
  • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
  • Great Synagogue - HUF4850
  • Budapest Central Market - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, take the journey to Belgrade. Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe, sitting at the intersection of the Sava and Danube rivers, and is an important hub between Eastern and Western Europe. As a result of this, you'll experience an energetic mix of progressive and conservative customs as you spend time exploring the city as you please. Perhaps begin with a wander around the city's wide streets and squares to the historic Kalemegdan Park. The park is home to Kelmegdan Fortress, which has kept watch over the Danube for centuries. You’ll also get the chance to taste the traditional rakija (a fruit-flavoured brandy) with the locals. Ziveli! In the evening, perhaps head down to Skadarska Street, in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija, to sample some authentic local food, soak up the lively atmosphere and witness an area where Orthodox churches coexist near grungy nightclubs.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rakija Tasting with Locals
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Accommodation is triple or quadruple share on this night.
Ease into the day with an optional 90-minute cruise along the Danube River, passing the Kalemegdan Fortress, Pancevo Bridge and the artist suburb of Zemun. Make sure you visit the imposing Hram Svetog Save (St Sava Church) today as well. If markets are your jam, the Zeleni Venac food market will keep you occupied for hours, or perhaps take a stroll through the Nikola Tesla Museum to learn about the life and work of Serbia's greatest inventors. Otherwise, the 36-metre Gardos Tower is perfect for views and photos of the city and the Danube. In the afternoon, perhaps head to Ada Ciganlija beach on the Sava River, a popular river beach with the young city crowd. Take a swim or soak up the sun with a cocktail in hand, and if you happen to be visiting in the summer months then there is probably a variety of musical and cultural events taking place. The beach is a great place to stick around into the night, being one hotspot of Belgrade’s legendary nightlife. Floating bars, restaurants and nightclubs line the Danube and Sava rivers – the envy of many cities right around Europe.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nikola Tesla Museum - RSD500
  • Ethnographic Museum - RSD150
  • Military Museum - RSD200
  • Danube River Cruise - RSD500
  • Belgrade City Tour with Local Guide - EUR60
  • Sveti Sava Church - Free
  • Tito’s Mausoleum (House of Flowers) - RSD400
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Accommodation is triple or quadruple share on this night.
Travel by bus through some beautiful countryside to Sarajevo. It's about an 8-hour trip, so enjoy the views, chat with your fellow travellers or load up on music for the journey. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most interesting destinations, following the end of a devastating war. It has a similar vibe to Istanbul, in the sense that it mixes east and west and is dotted with minarets, mosques, bazaars and that rousing coffee smell. You can join an optional guided tour on arrival to learn a bit about the city's culture and history – this is one of the few cities in the world featuring an Orthodox church, a Catholic church and a mosque within close proximity. In the evening, why not grab your crew and head to Bascarsija, the city's old bazaar, for a delicious meal, then check out the city's nightlife. Your leader can point you in the right direction to some popular bars.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning join your leader and head up to the viewpoints next to the Yellow Bastion and the White Fortress, both located in strategic positions overlooking the entire valley and Sarajevo's old town. Then enjoy a free day in and around Sarajevo. Perhaps jump on the newly reopened cable car up Trebevic Mountain, or head out to Ilidza, the source of the River Bosna, where green parks and thermal springs are the order of the day. Perhaps discover more about Sarajevo's history with a visit to the History Museum, the Sarajevo War Tunnels and Sniper Alley, or learn about the struggles of the city's Jewish population at the Jewish Museum. The Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a chance to get a little cultured, or why not return to Bascarsija to snack on burek. In the evening, the Pivnica HS Brewery is a great place to try some award-winning brews and hearty local food.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hike to Yellow Bastion & White Fortress Viewpoints
Optional Activities
  • Jewish Museum - BAM3
  • Sarajevo City Tour with Local Guide - BAM90
  • Times of Misfortune Tour & Tunnel Museum - BAM60
  • Ilidza Park and Springs - BAM15
  • National Museum - BAM6
  • Svrzo's House - BAM3
  • Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque - BAM3
  • City Hall / Old National Library building - BAM10
  • Urban Adventures - Scars and Smiles - EUR24
  • Urban Adventures - Story of Sarajevo - EUR49
  • Museum of Sarajevo 1878–1918 - BAM4
  • Despica House - BAM3
  • Brusa Bezistan - BAM3
  • Sarajevo Cable Car - BAM20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rise early to take the train from Sarajevo to Mostar (approximately 3 hours), a beautiful town in the high mountains of Herzegovina. You may well have heard of Mostar for its famous Stari Most: the Old Bridge from which young men traditionally jump into the Neretva River. It's thanks to this river that the city was able to develop in an otherwise barren landscape, and Mostar quickly became the region's trading centre before being heavily bombed during the war. It has since been rebuilt and its World Heritage-listed Old Town is a maze of alleys and cobblestones. Make sure to post up next to river and watch the brave divers hurl themselves off the bridge. We don't recommend that travellers jump as the bridge is super high and the water is absolutely freezing. Later in the afternoon, you and your group will continue to Budva (approximately 4 hours), where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mostar War Photo Exhibition - BAM6
  • Mostar Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque & Minaret - BAM6
  • Mostar Old Bridge Museum - BAM5
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Wake up in Montenegro's prime beach resort, Budva. Take a quick walk around town with your leader to orientate yourself, then enjoy free time to explore. Budva has a beautiful Old City and a stunning coastline, so have a look around and be sure to relax on the beach and take swim in the azure Adriatic Sea. If you are feeling more energetic, why not head by bus to the beautiful Bay of Kotor, Europe's most southerly fjord. Kotor is a 5th-century, World Heritage-listed town, sitting in the shadow of towering peaks in a secluded bay. The picturesque Old Town is quintessential Eastern Europe – winding cobblestone alleys, terracotta roofs, ancient fortifications and, weirdly, cats. So many cats.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cruise on Kotor Fjord - EUR30
  • Kotor Fortress - EUR3
  • Bus Ride to Kotor - EUR6
  • Boat Trip to Island of St. Nicholas - EUR3
  • Mogren Beach - Free
  • SUP Board Rental (per hour) - EUR15
  • Sea Kayak Rental (half day) - EUR20
  • Snorkelling Equipment Hire - EUR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Montenegro for the beautiful southern coast of Croatia, arriving in Dubrovnik after approximately 2.5 hours. Today is free for you to explore Dubrovnik, one of Europe's most popular destinations, as you see best. A walk along the city walls is a must-do, especially if you happen to be a Game of Thrones fan. From here you'll not only recognise scenes from the TV series, but also enjoy views of the glittering Adriatic, so don't forget your camera. Other sights include the 13th-century Franciscan monastery and the Sponza and Rector's palaces, which were the only Renaissance buildings to survive an earthquake and fire in 1668. If you've seen enough, why not look for the hole-in-the-wall bar where you can relax on the rocks, drink a cold beer and spend some time swimming. There are also several beaches just outside the walls on which to unwind. In the evening, why not get your group together for a delicious Mediterranean meal and, if you feel like it, a few drinks at one of the town’s bars.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, there are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time. As there is so much to do in Dubrovnik, you might like to extend your stay here. If you wish to spend more time here, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Game of Thrones Tour - HRK200
  • Lokrum Island Boat Trip - HRK150
  • Franciscan Monastery - HRK30
  • War Photography Museum - HRK50
  • City Walls Walk Dubrovnik - HRK150
  • Rector's Palace - HRK120
  • Church of St. Blaise - Free
  • Hike up Mt Srd - Free
  • Museum of Croatian War of Independence - Mt Srd - HRK30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Metro, Taxi

Accommodation

Hostel (5 nights), Pension (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Rakija Tasting with Locals
  • Hike to Yellow Bastion & White Fortress Viewpoints

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is not available on this trip.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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