What to Do in Southeast Europe

Trips in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey.

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Southeast Europe: The Bucket List

The Great Clash of Nature-001

Sleeping like Monks in the Caves of Goreme in Cappadocia

As an independent traveler, it happens every so often: You find yourself walking beside a road in the middle of the desert, cars whizzing by you with little regard, no more than a bottle of water and a book in your bag. It was that way one afternoon in middle ...
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The Beautiful Blue Coast of Heybeliada

Ferrying to the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul

On the ferries to Princes’ Islands, I would always drink copious amounts of tea. Waiters with dangling trays roamed up and down the decks touting chai for less than a dollar, delivering a tear-drop Turkish tea cup on a little glass saucer, complete with spoon and paper-wrapped sugar cube. Usually, ...
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Looking across the Golden Horn

Walking Istiklal Cadessi into the Heart of Istanbul

Standing at the corner of Taksim Square, I gaze into the multi-faceted soul of Istanbul: Istiklal Cadessi (Independence Avenue) is a wide pedestrian-only street that stretches about a mile and half, from Taksim Square to Galata Tower, and from about noon to beyond midnight any day of the week, it ...
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Cappadocia Hot Air Ballooning

Hot-air Ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey

An hour before sunrise, a van pulled up to our cave hotel. I had had trouble sleeping that night so rather than pace around the well-appointed stone room, I sat outside appreciating a view so different that I knew I’d never see anything like it again. Millions of years of volcanic eruptions, ...
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Southeast Europe: Travel Facts

Main International Airports:

  • Greece: Athens
  • Turkey Istanbul (for European Turkey)
  • Albania: Tirana
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo
  • Bulgaria: Sofia
  • Croatia: Dubrovnik, Zagreb
  • Kosovo: Priština
  • Romania: Bucharest
  • Serbia: Belgrade

Currency: Greece, Kosovo, and Montenegro use the euro. Turkey uses the lire, although euros and even dollars are widely accepted in some tourist areas. The other countries their own currencies.
Population: Greece: 10.800,000. Turkey 80,000,000. Bulgaria: 7,400,000. Romania: 19,000,000. Albania: 2,800,000. Bosnia and Herzegovina. 3,700,000. Kosovo. 1,700,000. Macedonia: 2,000,000. Montenegro: 625,000. Moldova: 493,000. Croatia: 4,200,000. Serbia: 7,000,000.
Capitals: Athens, Greece; Ankara, Turkey; Sofia, Bulgaria; Bucharest, Romania; Tirana, Albania; Sarajavo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Proshtina, Kosovo; Skopje, Macedonia; Kishinev, Moldova; Podgorica, Montenegro; Zagreb, Croatia; Belgrade, Serbia.
Climate: Mediterranean with a lot of variety inland. Largely mountainous. Hotter and drier in the south. Variably wet and damp in the winter depending on latitude and elevation and exposure to marine weather systems.
Major languages: Greek, Turkish, Serbian, Croatian, Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian and Macedonian, Romanian, Slovene.
More facts: Greece is part of the European Union. Americans need a tourist visas for Turkey (available at most border stations). Check with the U.S. State Department for current regulations for other countries.
Time zone: Standard time is UTC + 2. See World Clock for seasonal adjustments.

Info, links updated February, 2013