How To Travel Around The Balkans [Travel Guide and Visa Tips For Filipinos]

By Lyza Paloma December 10th, 2020 Posted in Europe Travel Blog, Guide for Filipinos, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

The Balkans or Balkan Peninsula got its names from the Balkan Mountains that dominate the area. This region is another term for Southeast Europe. Though there isn’t an official list of what is part and not part of the Balkans nowadays, in this article, we’ll be talking about the 10 countries that you should visit in the Balkans region.

If you want to visit this part of Europe, here’s our Quick Guide on How To Travel around the Balkans for Filipinos.

The countries that we will include in this article are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. There are no direct flights from the Philippines to this part of the world, but you can read our guide here on how you can travel from Manila to the Balkans. If you want to check this out, read on what visas you will need to see as well.

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1. Albania

How to Apply: Albania Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Multiple Entry Visa of the following, and it should be used at least once (90 days):

Facing the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea on the Balkan Peninsula is charming Albania. It’s not on everybody’s top list as it had a bad reputation in the past, but it has changed to be better. Since it’s near the sea, expect an abundance of gorgeous beaches. Aside from the magnificent capital, Tirana, you could also check out coastal towns Ksamil or Saranda or the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint.

2. Bosnia and Herzegovina

How to Apply: Bosnia and Herzegovina Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Multiple Entry Visa of the following (stay is a maximum of 30 days and a total of 90 days for 6 months):

If you want fun and adventure, then Bosnia and Herzegovina will satisfy your thirst for it. From mountaineering to whitewater rafting, you could enjoy it all. But wait, there’s more; it also has abundant wildlife and untouched forests, so you will definitely catch scenic views and breathe clean air. Don’t miss the breathtaking capital, Saravejo, and Medjugorje, if you are Catholic, as it is where Virgin Mary was seen by locals through a vision.

3. Bulgaria

How to Apply: Bulgaria Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Multiple Entry Visa (C or D) of the following (stay is maximum of 90 days in 180 days):

On a budget trip to Europe? Well, try Bulgaria as it may be huge, but it’s very affordable. From sunny beaches to picturesque mountains, you will be in awe of this wonderful country. Oh, If you want to check out something historical, religious, and gorgeous at the same time, try the monasteries and cathedrals. They have more than a hundred, Rila Monastery is the most famous. Sofia, its capital, will make you fall in love with the country and want to go back.

4. Croatia

10 Best Things to do in Trogir, Croatia
Photo by Mateusz Gazda CC BY-ND 2.0

How to Apply: Croatia Tourist Visa for Filipinos 

Visa Exemption Requirements:
You will need to have a Multiple Entry Visa (C or D) of the following (stay is a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period):

Croatia became really popular or known in the country because of “Make It With You.” It stars Liza and Enrique; however, it hasn’t been continued. A part of Croatia lies near the Adriatic Sea, so you will see white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and some medieval sites. You can choose Dubrovnik or Zagreb, or both.

5. Kosovo

How to Apply: Apply at the Kosovo Embassy in Japan

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Multiple Entry Visa of the following (stay is maximum of 15 days):

A tiny landlocked country in the Balkans is Kosovo, which declared its independence in 2008. It’s highly recommended to come here during winter as skiing is top-rated here. However, there are also cultural destinations like the historic Gjakova, Pec, or Prizren. You could also hike the mountains and enjoy being with nature.

6. Montenegro

How to ApplyMontenegro Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Valid Visa of the following (stay of 30 days):

If you have been following Kach and Jon’s adventure, you will know that they live in Montenegro and have seen their experiences in their new home country. Montenegro is beautiful, with peaceful beaches, scenic mountains, pristine lakes, and historical Old Towns. If you get tempted, you might want to live there, especially as it is open to Expats.

7. North Macedonia

How to Apply: North Macedonia Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Valid (Multiple-Entry) Visa of the following (stay of 15 days per stay, a maximum of 90 per 6 months):

Another landlocked Balkans country is North Macedonia, which was previously Yugoslavia before 1991. If you wonder why it has ‘North’ on its name, it’s because its neighbor, Greece, also has a region named ‘Macedonia.’ Skopje, the capital, is a popular place to visit but other sites you could see are breathtaking glacial lakes: Dojran, Ohrid, and Prespa.

8. Romania

How to Apply: Romania Tourist Visa Guide

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Multiple-Entry Visa (C or D) of the following (stay for a maximum of 90 days for 180 days):

If you love castles and medieval cities, Romania is the place to go. One of the popular places to go is Transylvania, where the Bran Castle is said to be Dracula’s Castle. Aside from that, there are also striking churches with unique architecture. In case you are not up for it, then try the dazzling beaches in Mamaia or skiing in Brasov.

9. Serbia

How to Apply: Serbia Tourist Visa for Filipinos

Visa Exemption Requirements:

You will need to have a Multiple-Entry Visa (C or D) of the following (stay for a maximum of 90 days for a 180-day period ):

  • Switzerland or EEA Member State (Schengen, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania)
  • USA

Serbia is another Balkan country that has diverse tourist spots, from mountains to monasteries. Spas and mountain resorts are also trendy destinations. If you want cities, then the capital, Belgrade, and the second biggest city, Novi Sad, are excellent choices. You would definitely enjoy your stay in this quirky country.

10. Slovenia

15 Best Things To Do in Piran and Portoroz, Slovenia

How to Apply: Schengen Visa for Slovenia

Awarded as the county with the most sustainable tourism, you would totally enjoy Slovenia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Skocjan Caves are stunning and should not be missed during your visit there. Also, don’t forget to go to the appealing capital, Ljubljana (Lyoo-blee-an-nuh); though this name is difficult to remember, the meaning is “the loved one.”

Additional Tips in Traveling to the Balkans for Filipinos

  • You could definitely go on a road trip for the Balkans; you can start wherever and have a full circle of your journey (E.g., Start at Slovenia then Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, then Romania)
  • If you want to visit all of the Balkans in one go, a Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa is helpful as you can visit all countries with it
  • You can get flights to these countries from Turkey
  • Most countries’ official languages are not English; however, tourist spots may have locals speaking English. Be prepared by having Google translate on your phone.
  • Travel Insurance is highly recommended – try SafetyWing or AXA Schengen 

The Balkans is so exquisite and less traveled by Filipinos compared to the rest of Europe. I hope this quick guide to traveling the Balkans will help you in your future adventure. You will really like its charm, and its quite affordable compared to other parts of the continent, too. Good luck on your adventures!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

 

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends.

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