From Slovenia to Bulgaria, the Balkan nations form one vast and vague geographical region.
With an intricate history, delicate international relations and a volatile collision of politics, culture and OUTSTANDING natural scenery, it’s the next big thing in travel. And there’s a lot of crazy sh*t to do here.
Travel Tramp uncovers the most ridiculous, outrageous and extreme things to do in places around the world.
TRAVEL TRAMP UNCOVERS THE MOST RIDICULOUS, OUTRAGEOUS AND EXTREME THINGS TO DO IN PLACES AROUND THE WORLD.
*CLICK HERE FOR MORE CRAZY SH*T TO DO AROUND THE WORLD*
Here’s the incomplete and entirely unsafe list of crazy things to do in the Balkans!
Jump Off a Bridge in Mostar…
Mostar is a beautiful Bosnian city which suffered immeasurably during the Yugoslav Wars. The city was bombed into the ground and even the famous Old Bridge which spanned the river was destroyed. After the war, this landmark was reconstructed to unite once more Mostar’s two sides, and now- if you’re crazy enough- you can dive from the top of this historic bridge.
Locals have been diving for centuries- it’s a tradition here- and if you’ve got the balls and some cash they’ll teach you how and let you dive into the swirling, turquoise waters below. 20 metres below.
Go to the Abandoned Boblseigh Track in Sarajevo…
Sarajevo- during better years- hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984. When conflict tore Bosnia apart as Yugoslavia collapsed, the bobsleigh track became a fortified place of war, used by Serbian forces to rain death upon the city below.
These days the bobsleigh track is abandoned, but as long as you avoid the mine fields, you can make it to the top and walk, bike or even try and sled to the bottom of this concrete mass.
Spend a night (or three) in Ljubljana’s Political Prison…
If you’ve ever fancied spending a night behind bars then head to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s artistic capital. Some creative folk have turned a former political prison from the dark days of communism into a modern, funky hostel. Hostel Celica even features renovated prison cells- each with a different theme- where you can be locked away. Although not quite as harrowing as I’m sure the actual prisoners found it, it’s still a unique experience.
Get Emotional at Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships…
In Zagreb you can find what is possibly the most bizarre, yet horrifically captivating museum in all the Balkans- if not the entire world. The Museum of Broken Relationships is an ode to lost loves. It’s painfully personal, with beautiful and nasty stories and belongings from broken relationships on display for all who visit to be immersed in.
Break into Bulgaria’s Communist Party Headquarters…
On top of a mountain in the middle of Bulgaria is the Buzludzha Monument. This abandoned, decaying building was the Bulgarian Communist Party’s headquarters and commemorative structure. Now, if you can break in, you can explore the depths and tunnels of this megalithic, oversized concrete building. A real tribute to socialism.
Try to travel ANYWHERE in Albania…
Albania is a crazy country. It’s mental. Bears walk down the streets and the nation is covered in hundreds of thousands of concrete bunkers, a legacy to the paranoia of their old communist dictator. He wouldn’t even let anyone have cars. Now, Albania is free, but with zero road sense, driving anywhere is absolutely deadly. If you take a bus, you might get somewhere. That’s if the bus even leaves. That’s if you can even find where it leaves from. They wait until they are full and then they might go somewhere, anywhere really, so be open to your final destination. There’s no schedules, and no sense to anything that happens on the roads.
The Blonde Gypsy has a great guide to what you should expect when visiting Albania.
Drop in on a disputed country. Visit Kosovo…
Kosovo is beautiful. But very under visited. It’s very off the beaten track. Maybe people still think there’s a war going on? Well, there’s not, and even if it isn’t a proper nation state- a lot of countries still don’t recognise their independence from Serbia- there’s a lot going on in the capital Pristina and across the rest of this mountainous region. And you can say you’ve been to a disputed country. Fun all round.
Party hard at Belgrade’s Floating Clubs…
Belgrade is turning into the party capital of Europe. You can hang out on lakeside beaches drinking the summer away, and at night you can hit the riverside. There’s floating clubs. You heard me, FLOATING CLUBS!
Try and find Liberland…
The Free Republic of Liberland is somewhere between Croatia and Serbia- in the woods, or a swamp or somewhere rather uninviting. It’s the Balkan’s newest addition, a tiny self declared country trying to make a few political points and show the world it’s possible to build a new nation. The business of nation building is clearly difficult though, as when I tried to visit a few months ago everyone had gone home for a break. I was told that the camp was empty for Christmas. This was in October. If you can find the place then you too could contribute to the world’s newest nation.
Get drunk on Rakia…
Rakija, raki, rakia…the Balkan spirit has many (similar) names throughout the region. One horrific constant of this home brew spirit is its brutal, fiery taste. Everyone drinks it and the hangovers are intense, but it’s rude to refuse such alcoholic customs. Rakia will leave you wasted.
Heading to Budapest? Then check out Crazy Shit To Do in Budapest before you leave!
Got something crazy to add to the list? Comment below or contact me directly at [email protected]
This would be one totally epic trip! Republic of Liberland- if you actually had found someone there, it would make for a great story.
I know right! Very annoyed about not finding it!
Wow… I’m definitely NOT ready for all this! But great tips to go off the beaten track, and some interesting information as well. Thanks for sharing. I don’t really have tips to add, I’ve only spent one day in Bulgaria so far, in Plovdiv, to renew a visa for Turkey… I loved the food and I met nice people, and didn’t do anything crazy that could go on your list! 😛
I’m in Turkey at the moment!
I love the title of your series! Nice post, too! I like your twist on the typical ‘things to do in xx’ post.
Thanks, it’s difficult to find a new angle on things these days.
We’re heading to Slovenia in a couple of month, will have to check out that prison in Ljubljana, love staying in quirky places like that, thanks for the idea!
My favourite place to stay in Ljubljana!
Very amusing. I can’t believe there is a broken relationship museum. It sounds like a reality TV show!
It’s a bizarre museum! Enthralling though.
Yes, crazy enough indeed! But for all its non-conformity to one’s travel standards, it challenges the adventurous side of me to go and see it–to believe it.
Give it a go Jem!
Awesome tips! I’d love to jump off that bridge and the crazy and recent history of the Balkans makes this area even more special to visit.
You can jump first! It was a bit high for my liking.
We love it! Would you like to allow us to publish this on our Medium curated travel publication One Voyage Away?