Historic sites you must see in the Balkans

Walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Walls of Dubrovnik were built between the 12th and 17th centuries and they are really and truly a sight to behold in Croatia because they’re seriously impressive! These defensive walls (which consist of land walls, sea walls, gates and forts within the walls) encircle the entire old city of Dubrovnik and the old Harbor reaching heights of 80ft and a spanning a length of around 6,000ft.
Historic sites you must see in the Balkans

Not surprisingly the Walls of Dubrovnik are the most beloved attraction in Croatia since you won’t find medieval city walls like these anywhere in Europe. Also, the views from the highest tower (Minceta Tower) are nothing short of spectacular because it offers marvelous views of Dubrovnik’s old town and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Golubac Fortress, Serbia

Golubac Fortress is a stunning 14th century castle located not far from the town of Golubac. The Balkans region does have its fair share of fortified castles but Golubac Fortress is certainly special because of its stunning location on a promontory overlooking the beautiful Danube River.

The Golubac Fortress hasn’t been restored as of yet, though the castle is in pretty good nick considering its age. The castle boasts 9 huge towers (over 80ft tall), which you can climb to get amazing views of the Danube river and nearby Romania.

Ali Pasha Tepelena Fortress, Albania

Ali Pasha Castle is located along the beautiful Albanian coastline between the beach towns of Porto Palermo and Queparo. Ali Pasha was built somewhere between the 18th-19th century and has a peculiar triangular shape with 60ft high walls.

The beauty about this historic site is also its fantastic location on a small peninsula overlooking the sea. There's a small admission fee but you're allowed to freely wander off through the castle’s dungeons and the top of the castle walls, which offers great views of the bay of Porto Palermo.

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul and it’s without a doubt, one of the historic sites you must see in the Balkans region. The Hagia Sophia was built circa 4th century and it was at one stage an orthodox church,  later a mosque (hence Hagia Sophia’s stunning minarets), and now a musuem.

The Hagia Sophia is grand and even more spectacular from the inside because of its contrasts of Islamic and Christian art such as mosaics of Christ and Emperor Constantine IX. You’ll definitely need to hire an audio guide or tour guide if you’re visiting the Hagia because there are lots to be seen.

Tsarevets Fortress, Bulgaria

Tsarevets Fortress is a spectacular medieval stronghold located right in the heart of the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo, which is the old capital of Bulgaria. Tsarevets castle is encircled by thick walls while the actual fortress complex is so extensive that you can easily spend 2-3 hours walking up the site and visiting the different buildings of the fortress such as the palace, towers and the cathedral, which boasts beautiful frescoes inside it.

Best thing about a visit to Tsarevets Fortress though have to be the spectacular light and music show held there every evening during the summer months. If you have an opportunity to see it, don’t miss it because it’s totally worth it!

Church of St. John at Kaneo, Macedonia

St. John Church is one of the holiest sites in Macedonia and its location overlooking Lake Ohrid is truly second to none. The Church of St. John is a beautiful example of Byzantine and Armenian architecture in Ohrid Macedonia.

What’s eye-catching about this ancient Orthodox Church is that it sits on a rectangular base and presents itself in cruciform shape with a lovely octagonal dome. Best thing though about visiting the St. John Church at Kaneo is being to hop on a boat for a pleasant ride along the gorgeous Lake Ohrid.

Akrotiri, Island of Santorini (Thira)

Akrotiri is one of the most famous historic sites in Greece as it’s home to the ruins of the ancient Minoan city of Akrotiri, which is said to be over 2,500 years old. If you’re a ruins buff you’ll no doubt appreciate wandering off this ancient settlement while taking photos of the multi-story buildings and their beautiful rooms with wall paintings and frescoes.

Admission to this site is just a few euros, though if you aren’t familiar with Akrotiri  it’s a good idea that you first visit the "Museum of Prehistoric Thira" in the village of Fira to gain some understanding before you visit the actual site. By the way, visiting the renowned site of Akrotiri isn’t the only thing to do in the island...catching a sunset in Santorini from a cliff-side restaurant is something else you have to experience there too!

See. Six Things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 Things You Must Do in Croatia
Bulgaria: Where Tradition, History and Natural Beauties Meet
Places to see in Northern Greece
Tourist Sites in Malta
Tourist Attractions in Northern Italy