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Where We Stayed In The Balkans + How We Choose Accommodation


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Martie Rowley



Welcome to the enchanting world of the Balkans, where history, culture, and natural beauty blend seamlessly to create an unforgettable travel experience. From the stunning landscapes of Croatia to the vibrant cities of Serbia and the tranquil beaches of Montenegro, the Balkans offer a diverse range of destinations that cater to every traveler’s preferences.


When planning a trip to the Balkans, one crucial aspect to consider is where to stay. The right accommodation can enhance your overall experience, providing comfort, convenience, and even a touch of local charm. In this article, we will delve into the various factors to consider when choosing accommodation in the Balkans, as well as explore the different options available to suit every budget and travel style.


Factors to consider when choosing accommodation in the Balkans


As you embark on your Balkan adventure, there are several factors to take into account when selecting your accommodation:

  • Location: Consider whether you want to stay in the heart of a bustling city or prefer a more secluded and peaceful setting. Proximity to attractions, transportation, and amenities should also be taken into consideration.
  • Budget: Determine your budget and look for accommodations that fit within that range. Keep in mind that the cost of accommodations can vary depending on the destination and the time of year.
  • Amenities: Identify the amenities that are important to you, such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, parking, or a swimming pool. Prioritize your needs and narrow down your options accordingly.
  • Reviews and ratings: Read reviews and ratings from previous guests to get an idea of the quality and service provided by the accommodation. Websites and platforms like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Airbnb can provide valuable insights from fellow travelers.
  • Authenticity: Consider staying in accommodations that reflect the local culture and heritage. Opting for traditional guesthouses, boutique hotels, or even homestays can provide an authentic and immersive experience.

Now that we have discussed the important factors to consider, let’s explore the different accommodation options available in the Balkans.


Factors to consider when choosing accommodation in the Balkans

When planning your trip to the beautiful Balkans, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay. The right choice of accommodation can greatly enhance your travel experience, providing comfort, convenience, and a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting accommodation in the Balkans:

  • Location: The first thing to think about is the location. Do you prefer to stay in the heart of a bustling city, where you’ll have easy access to attractions, restaurants, and nightlife? Or do you prefer a more remote and tranquil setting, surrounded by nature? Consider the activities you plan to do and choose a location that suits your interests.
  • Budget: Determine your budget for accommodation before you start your search. The Balkans offer a wide range of options to suit every budget, from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to luxury hotels and resorts. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the destination and the time of year.
  • Amenities: Consider the amenities that are important to you. Are you looking for a hotel with a swimming pool, a fitness center, or a restaurant? Do you need Wi-Fi access in your room? Make a list of the amenities you prioritize and use them as a guide when choosing your accommodation.
  • Reviews and ratings: Before making your booking, take the time to read reviews and ratings from previous guests. Websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com provide valuable insights into the quality and service of accommodations. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a more balanced perspective.
  • Authenticity: If you’re someone who appreciates authenticity and local experiences, consider staying in accommodations that reflect the local culture and heritage. Look for traditional guesthouses, boutique hotels, or even homestays, where you can immerse yourself in the local way of life.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your accommodation options and find the perfect place to stay during your Balkan adventure. Whether you’re exploring the cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik, hiking in the mountains of Albania, or sailing the crystal-clear waters of the Greek islands, the right accommodation will provide a comfortable and memorable base for your travels.


Accommodation options in the Balkans

When it comes to accommodation in the Balkans, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From budget-friendly options to luxurious resorts, there is something to suit every traveler’s taste and budget. Here are some of the accommodation options you can find in the Balkans:

  • Hotels: The Balkans offer a wide range of hotels, from budget to luxury. You can find internationally renowned hotel chains as well as boutique hotels that offer a more unique and personalized experience. Hotels often provide a range of amenities, such as restaurants, fitness centers, and concierge services.
  • Guesthouses and B&Bs: Another popular accommodation option in the Balkans is guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. These smaller, family-run establishments offer a more intimate and cozy atmosphere. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the locals and get insider tips on the best places to visit.
  • Hostels: For those traveling on a budget or looking to socialize with fellow travelers, hostels are a great option. The Balkans have plenty of hostels that offer dormitory-style rooms as well as private rooms at affordable prices. Hostels often have communal areas, such as kitchens and lounges, where you can meet and connect with other travelers.
  • Apartments and Vacation Rentals: If you prefer a home away from home experience, consider renting an apartment or a vacation home. This option is perfect for families or larger groups as it offers more space and allows you to cook your meals. Websites like Airbnb and Booking.com offer a wide selection of apartments and vacation rentals across the Balkans.
  • Rural Farmstays: For a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, consider staying in a rural farmstay. This option allows you to immerse yourself in the local countryside and experience traditional agricultural practices. You can participate in farm activities, sample local produce, and enjoy the tranquility of the rural surroundings.

Whichever accommodation option you choose, make sure to consider the factors that are important to you, such as location, amenities, and budget. Take the time to research and read reviews to ensure that your chosen accommodation meets your expectations.


Now that we’ve explored the different types of accommodation available, let’s dive into the different budget-friendly, mid-range, and luxury choices you can find in the Balkans.


Budget-friendly accommodation choices

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of your accommodation. The Balkans offer a variety of budget-friendly options that provide comfort, convenience, and affordability. Here are some popular choices for budget-friendly accommodation:

  • Hostels: Hostels are a fantastic option for budget travelers, offering dormitory-style rooms or private rooms at affordable prices. Many hostels also include communal areas such as kitchens, lounges, and social spaces where you can connect with fellow travelers. Some recommended hostels in the Balkans include Shappy Hostel in Belgrade, The Wallabee House in Dubrovnik, and Montenegro Hostel Budva in Budva.
  • Guesthouses and B&Bs: Guesthouses and bed and breakfasts are often family-run establishments that provide a comfortable and affordable stay. These accommodations offer a more intimate and local experience, with friendly hosts who can offer valuable insights into the destination. Some highly recommended guesthouses and B&Bs include Villa Stefanija in Istria, Croatia and The Olive Tree Guesthouse in Kotor, Montenegro.
  • Apartments: Renting an apartment can be a cost-effective option, especially for budget-conscious travelers. Apartments provide more space and often come equipped with a kitchen, allowing you to prepare your own meals and save money on dining out. Websites like Airbnb and Booking.com offer a wide selection of budget-friendly apartments across the Balkans.
  • Camping: If you enjoy outdoor adventures, camping is a great option to consider. The Balkans boast stunning natural landscapes where you can pitch your tent and enjoy the beauty of nature. Campgrounds often provide amenities such as showers, toilets, and cooking facilities. Some popular camping spots include Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia and Durmitor National Park in Montenegro.
  • Student Housing: If you’re traveling during the university summer break, you may be able to find affordable accommodation in student housing. Universities often rent out their dormitory rooms to tourists during this period, offering budget-friendly rates. Check with local universities or search online for available options.

These budget-friendly accommodation choices not only help you save money but also allow you to connect with other travelers and experience the local culture in a more authentic way. When booking, make sure to read reviews and check the location and amenities offered to ensure a comfortable stay within your budget.


Now that we’ve covered budget-friendly options, let’s explore the next category of accommodation: mid-range choices.


Mid-range accommodation choices

If you have a bit more flexibility in your budget and are looking for a step up in comfort and amenities, the Balkans offer a range of mid-range accommodation options. These accommodations strike a balance between affordability and quality, providing a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are some popular choices for mid-range accommodation in the Balkans:

  • 3 and 4-star Hotels: Many cities and tourist destinations in the Balkans have a wide selection of 3 and 4-star hotels that offer comfortable rooms, quality service, and a range of amenities. Some recommended options include Hotel Dubrovnik Palace in Dubrovnik, Hotel Moskva in Belgrade, and Hotel Philoxenia in Thessaloniki.
  • Boutique Hotels: Boutique hotels are smaller, independently owned hotels that offer a more personalized and unique experience. These hotels often have stylish decor, a charming atmosphere, and provide a high level of service. Look for boutique hotels in popular tourist destinations like Sarajevo, Split, or Sofia for a touch of luxury without breaking the bank.
  • Apartments and Vacation Rentals: Mid-range apartments and vacation rentals provide comfort and convenience with more spacious accommodations and additional amenities. You can find well-appointed apartments in desirable locations, offering a home away from home experience. Consider apartments with sea views in Dubrovnik, mountain chalets in Slovenia, or cozy apartments in the heart of Belgrade.
  • Rural Retreats: If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the cities, consider staying in a rural retreat. These accommodations are often located in picturesque countryside settings, offering tranquility and a chance to reconnect with nature. Look for charming farmhouses, countryside villas, or eco-friendly retreats in rural areas of countries like Croatia, Albania, or Montenegro.
  • Spa Resorts: If relaxation and wellness are high on your list, opt for a mid-range spa resort. These resorts offer a range of spa treatments, wellness facilities, and beautiful surroundings. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage, relaxing in thermal pools, or practicing yoga surrounded by stunning landscapes. Look for spa resorts in popular thermal destinations like Rogaška Slatina in Slovenia or Banja Vrućica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mid-range accommodation choices provide an elevated level of comfort and often offer additional amenities such as swimming pools, on-site restaurants, and fitness centers. They are perfect for travelers who desire a bit more luxury and convenience without breaking the bank. As always, read reviews, compare prices, and consider the location and amenities offered to find the perfect mid-range accommodation for your Balkan adventure.


Now, let’s explore the next category of accommodation choices: luxury options.


Luxury accommodation choices

If you’re looking for the ultimate indulgence and a truly memorable stay, the Balkans offer a range of luxurious accommodation choices. From luxurious hotels with world-class amenities to opulent villas and resorts, these accommodations provide unparalleled comfort and exceptional service. Here are some top choices for luxury accommodation in the Balkans:

  • 5-star Hotels: The region boasts a selection of luxurious 5-star hotels that cater to the most discerning travelers. These hotels offer elegant rooms, exquisite dining options, spa facilities, and personalized service. Some notable examples include Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik in Croatia, Hotel Metropole in Belgrade, and Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro.
  • Resorts: Luxury resorts in the Balkans provide a sanctuary of relaxation and opulence. These resorts are often nestled in stunning coastal or mountainous settings and offer a wide array of amenities including stunning infinity pools, private beaches, fine dining restaurants, and world-class spas. Notable luxury resorts include Falkensteiner Adriana in Zadar, Croatia and Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro.
  • Villas: For a truly exclusive experience, consider renting a luxury villa. These private and secluded properties offer state-of-the-art facilities, breathtaking views, and the utmost privacy. Many villas come with a dedicated staff and personalized services, ensuring a truly bespoke stay. Look for luxurious villas in sought-after destinations like Hvar, Mykonos, or Dubrovnik for an unforgettable experience.
  • Castle Stays: For a touch of royalty, consider staying in a castle-turned-hotel. The Balkans are dotted with medieval castles that have been transformed into luxurious accommodations. These grand properties offer history, elegance, and a unique atmosphere that transports you back in time. Some notable castle stays include Castle Otočec in Slovenia and Castle Hotel Moritzburg in Serbia.
  • Private Island Resorts: For the ultimate luxury escape, indulge in a stay at a private island resort. Several islands in the Balkans have been transformed into exclusive retreats offering complete seclusion, pristine beaches, and top-notch amenities. Resorts like Amanzoe in Greece or One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives are perfect examples of luxury private island experiences in the region.

Luxury accommodations in the Balkans provide the epitome of elegance and unparalleled comfort. They are designed to cater to the most discerning travelers, offering a remarkable level of service and attention to detail. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family retreat, or a lavish escape, these luxurious options will exceed your expectations and create lasting memories.


Now that we’ve explored the range of luxury accommodations, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll uncover unique and offbeat accommodation options in the Balkans.


Unique and offbeat accommodation options

If you’re searching for a truly unforgettable and out-of-the-ordinary experience, the Balkans offer a range of unique and offbeat accommodation options. These accommodations go beyond the conventional, allowing you to stay in extraordinary settings and immerse yourself in the local culture and heritage. Here are some exceptional choices for unique and offbeat accommodation in the Balkans:

  • Cave Hotels: The Balkans are home to numerous caves, some of which have been transformed into extraordinary hotels. Staying in a cave hotel offers a one-of-a-kind experience, with natural rock formations and a sense of adventure. Cappadocia in Turkey and Matera in Italy are renowned for their cave hotels, but you can also find cave accommodations in places like Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece.
  • Treehouses: For a magical and whimsical experience, consider staying in a treehouse. Nestled high among the treetops, these unique accommodations offer stunning views and a connection with nature. You can find treehouses scattered throughout the Balkans, such as Treehouse Slano near Dubrovnik, Croatia or Chata Mir near Bansko, Bulgaria.
  • Monasteries and Religious Retreats: Experience spiritual tranquility by staying in a monastery or religious retreat. These accommodations provide a serene ambiance and a chance to immerse yourself in the local religious and cultural traditions. Some notable options include the monasteries of Meteora in Greece and Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro.
  • Historic Forts and Castles: Step back in time by staying in a historic fort or castle. These grand structures have been converted into unique accommodations, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich history. You can find fort accommodations in places like Croatia, Montenegro, and Romania, such as Fort Bokar in Dubrovnik or Sighisoara Citadel in Transylvania.
  • Eco-Lodges and Sustainable Retreats: Engage in sustainable tourism by staying in an eco-lodge or sustainable retreat. These accommodations prioritize environmental conservation and offer eco-friendly practices. They often blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings and provide opportunities for outdoor activities. Look for eco-lodges in areas like Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia or the Albanian Alps.

Choosing a unique and offbeat accommodation option allows you to create lasting memories and experience the Balkans in a truly extraordinary way. These accommodations offer a chance to connect with nature, immerse yourself in history, and embrace the local culture. Keep in mind that availability may be limited for these options, so it’s recommended to book well in advance.


With the exploration of unique and offbeat accommodations complete, we’re almost at the end of our journey. In the next section, we’ll provide some essential tips for booking accommodation in the Balkans.


Tips for booking accommodation in the Balkans

Booking the right accommodation is crucial for a successful trip to the Balkans. Here are some essential tips to consider when booking accommodation in the region:

  • Plan in advance: The Balkans are becoming increasingly popular among travelers, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. This ensures that you have a wider selection of options and can secure the best rates.
  • Read reviews: Before making a reservation, take the time to read reviews from previous guests. Websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Airbnb provide valuable insights into the quality, cleanliness, and service of accommodations. Pay attention to recent reviews to ensure that the information is up to date.
  • Consider location: Think about the location of your accommodation in relation to the attractions and activities you plan to explore. Being centrally located or close to transportation hubs can save you time and make it easier to get around. However, if you prefer a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, consider staying in a more remote or off-the-beaten-path area.
  • Check amenities: Take note of the amenities offered by the accommodation. Consider your needs and preferences, such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, parking, or access to a swimming pool. Prioritize the amenities that are important to you and ensure that they are provided before making a booking.
  • Compare prices: Don’t settle for the first accommodation option you come across. Compare prices from different platforms and websites to find the best value for your money. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the season, so consider traveling during the shoulder season for better deals.
  • Consider local accommodations: Embrace the local culture by considering traditional guesthouses, homestays, or small family-run accommodations. These options offer a more authentic experience and an opportunity to connect with locals who can provide insider tips and recommendations.
  • Be flexible with dates: If your travel dates are flexible, consider adjusting them to take advantage of lower prices or special offers. Many accommodations offer discounted rates during weekdays or during the off-peak season.
  • Check cancellation policies: Before making a booking, familiarize yourself with the accommodation’s cancellation policy. Life can be unpredictable, and having a flexible cancellation policy gives you peace of mind in case your plans change unexpectedly.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to book accommodation that meets your needs, suits your budget, and enhances your overall travel experience in the Balkans.


With our tips covered, we have reached the end of our comprehensive guide to accommodation in the Balkans. Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to embark on a memorable journey through this captivating region while enjoying comfortable and well-suited accommodations.


Our personal experiences with accommodation in the Balkans

Having explored the incredible Balkans ourselves, we want to share our personal experiences with accommodation in the region. We have had the pleasure of staying in various types of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxurious retreats. Here are some highlights from our own adventures:


During our visit to Dubrovnik, Croatia, we opted to stay in a charming guesthouse located just outside the city walls. The family-run establishment provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast served each morning. The location was ideal, as it allowed us to experience the beauty of Dubrovnik while enjoying a quiet and peaceful stay away from the bustling crowds.


In Serbia, we had the opportunity to stay in a boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Belgrade. The hotel exuded elegance and sophistication, with stylishly designed rooms and top-notch amenities. The staff went above and beyond to make our stay memorable, providing excellent recommendations for local restaurants and attractions.


During our adventure in Montenegro, we opted for a unique experience by staying in a rural farmhouse in the countryside. The farmhouse was surrounded by picturesque landscapes, and the accommodation allowed us to experience the authentic rural life of Montenegro. We enjoyed home-cooked meals using fresh ingredients from the farm and had the chance to participate in traditional activities such as cheese-making and hiking in the nearby mountains.


On the island of Mykonos in Greece, we indulged in luxury by staying at a stunning beachfront resort. The resort offered breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea, private infinity pools, and impeccable service. It was the perfect place to unwind, relax, and soak up the sun while enjoying the unparalleled beauty of the island.


Throughout our travels in the Balkans, we have discovered that each accommodation choice adds a unique flavor to our overall experience. From the warmth and hospitality of guesthouses to the luxurious amenities of top-tier hotels, each stay has left a lasting impression on us.


These personal experiences have taught us the value of selecting accommodations that align with our travel preferences and enrich our journey. Whether it’s immersing ourselves in the local culture or indulging in a luxury retreat, we have come to appreciate the diverse range of options the Balkans have to offer.


As you plan your own adventure in the region, we encourage you to consider your own preferences, budget, and desired experiences when selecting accommodations. The right choice can elevate your trip and create unforgettable memories in this magnificent part of the world.


We hope that our personal experiences inspire you to embark on your own Balkan adventure and make thoughtful choices when it comes to your accommodation.


Safe travels!



As you embark on your journey through the diverse and captivating Balkans, choosing the right accommodation is an essential aspect of your travel planning. From budget-friendly options to luxurious retreats and unique offbeat stays, the Balkans offer a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences.


By considering factors such as location, budget, amenities, and authenticity, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay in the Balkans. Whether you’re exploring the iconic cities, immersing yourself in the stunning natural landscapes, or delving into the rich history and culture of the region, selecting the right accommodation enhances your overall experience.


From our own personal experiences, we have discovered the charm of cozy guesthouses, the elegance of boutique hotels, the tranquility of rural farmstays, and the indulgence of luxury resorts. Each accommodation choice adds a unique flavor to the journey, providing comfort, convenience, and a chance to connect with the local culture.


As you begin to plan your trip, take advantage of the wealth of information available through online reviews, booking platforms, and travel communities. Read the experiences of fellow travelers, compare prices, and consider the recommendations of trusted sources to make informed decisions when booking your accommodation.


Whether you’re on a tight budget, seeking mid-range comfort, or ready to splurge on luxury, the Balkans have a wide array of options to cater to your needs. From hostels and apartments to boutique hotels and private villas, you have the freedom to tailor your accommodations to your travel style and preferences.


As you embark on your own Balkan adventure, keep an open mind and embrace the rich diversity and beauty of the region. Allow yourself to immerse in the local culture, indulge in authentic experiences, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


We hope that this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and inspiration for choosing accommodation in the Balkans. May your journey be filled with incredible experiences and unforgettable stays as you explore the enchanting landscapes and vibrant cities of this remarkable region.


Happy travels!