The historic city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina is both charming and complicated; idyllic and evocative. The first sight of the centerpiece bridge makes visitors swoon – but seeking out lesser-visited corners of the city can result in an everlasting love. When we visit Mostar, we like to dig into the history, venture into nature and connect with locals. Since we’ve spent more time in Mostar than most tourists, we’ve devised a list of 21 things to do in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina to help other travelers experience the city.
Warsaw, Poland surprised us. When we decided to take a long layover in the city, we anticipated spending time working. However, we quickly became enamored by Warsaw and pushed our work aside to make the most of our stay in the city. The resilient history – from royal to uprising to rebuilding – provided an engaging storyline for our visit. By the end of our trip, we were completely dazzled by the city and already devising a plan for a return trip. To help other travelers enjoy the city like we did, we created a 3-Day Warsaw Itinerary that includes the highlights of the city – as well as few hidden gems.
Tbilisi, Georgia isn’t just a city you visit, it’s a city you experience. That means over-indulging in carb-loaded cuisine, accepting shots of homemade chacha (and trying not to wince as the potent liquor hits your stomach), tripping over broken sidewalks in the Old Town while wondering in amazement at the barely-standing buildings…and making a visit to the Tbilisi sulphur baths.
The ancient Abanotubani District sits below the imposing fortress; the brick, domed rooftops of the baths bubbling up like the water itself. The district is the most historic part of the city, as according to legend, it was the sulphur springs that enticed King Vakhtang Georgasali to settle the land and declare it the new capital city in the 5th century AD. At the height of popularity, there were more than 60 bathhouses in Tbilisi where people could get squeaky clean or stay for a soak, letting the curing Sulphur water ease their ailments. Fast-forward to today: there are five surviving bathhouses in the Abanotubani District where locals and travelers can experience a sulphur bath.
At first glance, Tbilisi can be overwhelming. The contrasting architectural styles, the congested and chaotic city streets and an alphabet that is more beautiful than decipherable can all boggle the mind. It is a complex city with an ancient history and a recently regained independence. The Georgian capital city dates to the 5th century AD, although there had been settlements on the land as early as the 4th century BC. Tbilisi is where Europe meets Asia and was on the historic route of the Silk Road. It has long been an important cultural and political center of the Caucasus. Our Tbilisi Self-Guided Walking Tour is an introduction to the sights of the city – old and new. (Map and tips below.)
Once upon a time in the land of Bohemia, there was a beautiful town nestled on the banks of a curving river. On top of a craggy hill was a mighty castle where the royal family lived. Through the centuries, the town retained its medieval appearance; it escaped destruction by war or natural disaster. Today, that pristinely preserved town – Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic – invites visitors to step back in time onto cobblestone streets and walk the same paths of those from long ago.
Prague’s Old Town is awash with an array of colorful and intricately-detailed buildings, many of which are centuries old. We strolled the streets wide-eyed; we were in awe at every turn. However, as stunningly beautiful as Prague is up close, leaving the curving cobblestone lanes of the Old Town to seek out vantage points offered breathtaking landscapes. The rust orange rooftops, towering church spires and grand castle are spectacular from afar – perhaps even more so than up close. We found several scenic viewpoints in Prague – some natural, some manmade, some elvated, some at ground level – that provided sweeping vistas of the ornate city.
The Czech Republic is many things – it’s history, architecture, art…and it’s beer. The country is the birthplace of the pilsner and Prague has long had a reputation as the beer capital of the world. Beer, which often costs less than a bottle of water, is for sale in every nook and cranny of the historic and architecturally diverse city. Beer is even an option as part of value meals at Burger King (no joke). And, for those who love beer so much they want to bathe in it, there are Beer Spas and beer soaps that offer just that. From cavernous halls to street kiosks – and at every café, bar and restaurant in between – it takes little effort to find beer in Prague. However, we weren’t just looking for any beer – we were in search of craft beer in Prague.
Grand architecture. Hillside vineyards. Royal residences. A curving river and sprawling parks. The beauty of Dresden, Germany can be seen in every direction. Tourists often rush through the city on a quick visit – perhaps as a stop between Berlin and Prague – eager to see the condensed Old Town core, but then miss the gorgeous landscapes and charming neighboring towns. In our 3-Day Dresden, Germany Itinerary, we explore the heart of the city center and then venture beyond the city limits to nearby castles, vineyards and other sights to the north, east and west.
Berlin. Just the mention of the name conjures images of division and unity, war and peace, angst and optimism. While visiting the city, the horrific history is palpable, yet the mood is brightened by the vibrant and expressive side of Berlin. The sprawling center is teeming with sights: museums, memorials and parks. We understand how overwhelming planning a trip to Berlin can be – so we’re helping by sharing a condensed version of our Berlin Sightseeing Guide: A 3-Day Berlin Itinerary. It is ideal for first-timers to Berlin who want to see as much of the city as possible – even on limited time. The condensed version includes all the sights of our 3-Day Berlin Itinerary – and we’ve even provided a link to more information for each sight and a link to Google Maps for each day of sightseeing.
Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula dangles off the northwest corner of the country into the Adriatic Sea. Like much of Croatia, the coastline in Istria is the big attraction. Seaside towns steeped in history line the western shore, each exuding unique character. However, the interior of the Istrian Peninsula is equally picturesque and has a storied past of its own. Medieval hilltop towns and regional delicacies are as much a reason to visit Istria as the translucent waters of the sea. Although we opted to base ourselves on the coast during our stay, we planned a one-day tour of Istria that included both the coast and the interior so that we could experience the must-see highlights of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula.