Classed as a world heritage treasure by UNESCO, Dubrovnik is a place of ancient streets lined with stone palaces, Venetian-style buildings and bell towers. The city is enclosed by stone walls, and the highlight is a leisurely walk atop these massive walls for a great view of the city and the sea. Entering Dubrovnik, you are greeted by an impressive pedestrian promenade, the Placa, which extends before you all the way to the clock tower at the other end of town. The Orlando Tower here is a favorite meeting place. Just inside the city walls near the Pile Gate is the Franciscan Monastery housing the third-oldest functioning pharmacy in Europe, operating since 1391. For a fantastic panorama of the city, take a cable car ride to the summit of the 1,340-foot Mount Srdj.
Caught between eastern and western Europe, Budapest has a character uniquely its own. It's also the last cheap, civilised city in Europe. Budapest can seem like one big sight, with each phase in its history, from the Ottoman period until the Communist days and from renaissance to revolution, leaving its mark on the city. For the tourist, a trip to Hungary's capital is dominated by the majestic sights of Buda. In the summer, there are open-air festivals at Szeged, Diosgyor Castle in Miskolc, Gyor and Pecs. Visit the former Royal Palace complex, the Matyas templom and the Belvaros. Margaret Island is a giant recreational park and feels pleasantly separated from the city bustle. Hungarian National Gallery houses Hungarian art since the birth of the nation. Although Esztergom is Hungary's most sacred city, home of the Archbishop and the nation's biggest church, it has a real-life edge. The first-time visitor to Szeged is invariably struck by its space and grandeur. One's immediate impressions of Hungary's third largest provincial city are of greenery and plazas, of broad.
Bucharest is the capital and largest city in Romania and is located in the southern part of the country. Referred to as the ‘Paris of the Balkans’, Bucharest has ornate buildings, wide boulevards and gardens fashioned after French architecture and city planning. In the name of progress and modernization, North Korean style buildings began being erected – many of which still stand unfinished today. Sights to see in Bucharest range from the stately to the heavenly. The Palace of Parliament should not be missed while in Bucharest – and it’s hard not to. It’s the second largest building in the world behind the Pentagon. Containing over 1,000 rooms, restaurants, conference areas and an art gallery, it houses the Romanian Parliament. There are several museums in the city, such as the National Art Museum and the Village Museum - an open–air museum containing over 300 houses, churches and mills from all over Romania and displays of some of the best folk architecture in the region. The Antim Monastery and Patriarchate Church are among Bucharest's outstanding religious structures.
The former medieval capital, Veliko Tarnovo is easily recognized as a historical and cultural center of contemporary Bulgaria. The cities museums are rich in artifacts and historical monuments and monasteries dot the landscape. The most visited spot in Veliko Tarnovo is the Arbanasi village. The St. Virgin Mary convent lies on one end of the village, the St Nikola monastery on the other. Exploring the village will be a memorable experience.
Sofia is capital of Bulgaria with a motto “Ever growing, never aging". Influences of many different cultures can be spotted through the city. Alexander Nevski Memorial Church has a gold dome considered one of the finest pieces of architecture in the Balkans. Other points of interest include 4th-6th century Church of St. Sofia; Boyana Church, a good example of 11th century East European Medieval art; and 15th century Dragalevtsi monastery. The National Palace of Culture is the Balkans' biggest congress center. Vassil Levski monument is where the main architect of the campaign to free Bulgaria from oppression of the Ottoman Empire was hanged by Turks in 1873. The National History Museum, Archaeological Museum and National Natural History Museum are there. There are many areas around downtown for nightlife. Sofia sits near Mount Vitosha and during the winter months this is a prime skiing spot.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia with about 1.6 million inhabitants. It is located in southeast Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and since ancient times it has been an important traffic focal point, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe. Belgrade is the capital of Serbian culture, education, science and economy. As a result of its tumultuous history, many nations live in Belgrade for centuries, and the majority of the population make Serbs (86%) of Orthodox persuasion.
Tirane (pronounced: Tih-rana) is the capital and the largest city (1991 est. pop. 300,000) of Albania. It is the administrative, cultural, economic, and industrial center of the Republic of Albania.
Ohrid is an immortal town, a magical hill whose primordial pulsation links ancient and modern times forever. Ohrid has been a living town for 2,400 years. It is the legitimate descendant of the shining Lychida, a town whose achievements were woven into the tapestry of a powerful ancient civilization.
The town of Ohrid is indeed the cultural history of the Republic of Macedonia in miniature. As an Episcopal center in ancient times and through the widely renowned Ohrid archbishopric, the town has represented the entire ecclesiastical history of Macedonia. It bears the name "The Balkan Jerusalem". Through the activity of St. Clement of Ohrid, the first pan - Slavonic university in Europe was situated here. Ohrid was the most important official capital of the first Slav Macedonian state, and the center of Macedonia's nineteenth century revival. Today Ohrid is the cultural, spiritual and tourist center of Macedonia. As the crowning glory of its values, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid have been named a world cultural and natural heritage listed city under the protection of UNESCO since 1980.
Sarajevo is one of the most historically interesting cities in Europe. It is the place where the Western & Eastern Roman Empire split; where the people of the Eastern Orthodox east, the Ottoman south and the Roman Catholic west, met, lived and warred. It has been both an example of historical turbulence and the clash of civilizations, as well as a beacon of hope for peace and tolerance through multi-cultural integration.
Today the city has physically recovered from most of the war damage caused by the Yugoslav Wars of the early nineties. Sarajevo is a cosmopolitan European capital with a unique Eastern twist that is a delight to visit. The people are very friendly, be they Bosniak, Serb, or Croat. There is very little crime, not nearly as many tourists as on the Dalmatian coast and a wealth of architecture (not to mention history) to see.
Brasov is a medieval city located in central Romania, originally founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 and settled by the Saxons as a walled citadel. The city was located at an influential intersection linking trade routes of the Ottoman Empire and Europe. It is part of the Transylvania region, and is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. A wealth of historical attractions can be visited, including Bran Castle, attracting many fans of Dracula, the Black Church (Biserica Neagra), the largest gothic church in Romania, and Rope Street, the narrowest street in Romania.