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The Balkans for Beginners

From travellers, for travellers!


Do you want to know how it feels to go backpacking in southeast Europe? Follow Cruz and her friends on their exciting experiences through the Balkans. Check out the fun film of their Interrail trip!


Click here or on the map to view this route in our Trip Planner

Cities visited in this trip:  


1. Genoa, Italy

2. Innsbruck, Austria

3. Divaca, Slovenia

4. Pula, Croatia

5. Zagreb, Croatia

6. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

7. Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

8. Dubrovnik, Croatia

9. Split, Croatia


For this itinerary, we recommend:

  • Interrail Pass: Global Pass
  • Travel days: 7 days within 1 month

Meet the travellers

Cruz Martínez, from Valencia (Spain), loves cinema, travelling and editing videos. On her Interrail trip in southeast Europe, she was joined by her younger sister Carmen and friends Carla and Marina.

4 girls, 15 days, 9 cities, 1 amazing trip.


What was the highlight of your Interrail trip?

"The best thing about Interrailing was the opportunity to get to know cultures very different from our own. We met really interesting people and heard astonishing stories."


1. Genoa, Italy

Genoa is a good starting point for a tour along the Italian Riviera. The city is linked by rail to most of the region's coastal destinations, allowing you to enjoy one day-long adventure.

  • Visit the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, built in the 1100s and completed with a Renaissance dome in 1557.

  • Visit Piazza Matteotti, the highlight of which is the Jesuit church of Santi Ambrogio e Andrea.

  • Walk through Soprana gate (Porta Soprana) and Columbus's House (Casa di Colombo).

From Genoa Piazza Principe railway station, you can walk through Via di Prè to get to Via Garibaldi, the historical centre of Genoa well known for its palaces.
Giardini Francesco Coco Columbu's ships in flowers

2. Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is popular for its awesome winter sports resorts in the Austrian Alps. But this valley, as the capital of Tyrol, has much more to offer.

  • Take advantage of your Austrian Interrail experience, enjoying one or more days in a ski resort.

  • Walk through Maria-Theresien Street in the Old Town. Discover exquisite Gothic buildings like The Golden Roof.

  • Visit the marvellous Imperial Palace and its gardens. Any energy left? Climb the City Tower to admire the striking views.

You can easily walk to Maria-Theresien Street from the railway station by following Salurner Street.
Townscape of Innsbruck, Austria

3. Divaca, Slovenia

Divaca is home to the largest underground gorge in Europe, the Skocjan Caves. This natural wonder is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The untamed hidden landscape will leave you breathless.

  • Explore the beautiful cave system full of stalactites, underground lakes, natural bridges and waterfalls.

  • Enjoy the views of the immense canyon and abundant vegetation along the walking trails.

  • If you want even more, follow the path along the Reka River to discover two secret caves.

You can take a 30-minute bus from Divaca to Skocjan Caves or walk 45 minutes through the beautiful Skocjan Caves Regional Park.
skocjan caves park natural heritage site slovenia

4. Pula, Croatia

Pula is a small Croatian city blessed with beautiful Roman ruins and heavenly coastal landscapes.

  • Drift around the city to discover numerous ancient Roman monuments. Marvel at the Croatian amphitheatre, the Pula Arena, the Temple of Augustus and the Triumphal Arch of Sergius.

  • Explore any of Pula's beautiful beaches and swim in the crystalline waters of the Adriatic Sea.

  • If you are visiting in July, don't miss Croatia's Film Festival in Pula's stunning amphitheatre.

You can reach the magnificent Amphitheater by walking for 15 minutes from Pula railway station down Kolodvorska street.
Ancient Roman Triumphal Arch in Pula, Croatia

5. Zagreb, Croatia

The capital of Croatia was built on a mountain, so on top of its many cultural landmarks, you can find a diverse range of outdoor activities in the surroundings of the city.

  • Catch splendid views of the city from Lotrščak Tower. Be there at noon to see a cannon fired.

  • Drift around the city to find beautiful monuments like the authentic St. Mark's Church, the charming cemetery of Mirogoj and the magnificent National Theater.

  • Look out for graffitied water pumps on your walks. Zagreb has amazing street art on every corner.

You can get day tickets for trams and buses at local kiosks or on board. The drivers in the new trams don't sell tickets, so make sure to have yours before jumping in.
Mirogoj cemetery. Zagreb, Croatia

6. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

The train route to Sarajevo is currently closed for construction. However, the city is still well worth a visit! The capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina is full of history and legacies.

  • Head up to the Yellow Fortress to admire the dramatic landscape at sunset. The combination of beautiful scenery with a startling blanket of white graves will move you.

  • Walk through the Old Town to Bascarsija Square and the famous Sebilj Fountain. After that, head to Bazaar Street for some budget shopping.

  • Make a War Tour and discover the Tunnel Museum for more insights into the city's turbulent history.

To get to Sarajevo's Cathedral and Old Town, follow Put Zivota Street. The public transport in the city is very old, but walking distances are short and manageable.
Street bazaar in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

7. Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

The train route to Mostar is currently closed for construction. However, this medieval fairytale town is still well worth visiting. The charming traditional wooden houses and the beautiful little shops will transport you into another age.

  • Marvel at the stunning views from the Old Bridge (Stari Most). Crystal waters, medieval architecture and unspoiled vegetation blend into an awesome sight.

  • Climb the Koski Mosque to admire the delightful views from a higher perspective.

  • Don't miss the Old Bridge jumping competition that is held every year in July.

Walk 18 minutes from the station through Marsala Tita Street to get to the Old Bridge.
old bridge mostar neretva river bosnia herzegovina

8. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik was once an impenetrable fortress and an important base for maritime trade. Now, it’s a historical city surrounded by stone walls, giving life to medieval times for both visitors and TV audiences.

  • Take the cable car up over the Old Town to enjoy the breathtaking views from the top of Mount Srdj.

  • Visit the imposing Franciscan Monastery, walk through the courtyard and follow the narrow passage to get to one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, the Old Pharmacy Museum.

  • Head to Banje beach to take a refreshing dip in the crystalline waters of the Adriatic Sea.

There are no railways reaching Dubrovnik. You can head to the bus station or take a ferry from the port to continue your trip.
Old town roofs in Dubrovnik croatia

9. Split, Croatia

Split is a city marked by the legacies of the Roman Empire. The Palace of the Emperor Diocletian is the heart of the city. Shop, eat and drink surrounded by this eternal Roman vestige.

  • Climb the Cathedral of St. Domnius to have an idyllic view of the ancient ruins and modern port.

  • Hike through Marjan Forest Park to find once inhabited caves, medieval chapels and beautiful landscapes. After that, have a swim and relax in the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.

  • Split is also famous for its nightlife; indulge yourself with a happening party under the stars on Bacvice Beach.

The railway station, Zeljeznicki Kolodvor Split, is located next to the ferry and bus station and city centre.
Old split roman ruins and cathedral view salmatia croatia

Recommended Interrail Global Pass for this itinerary

7 travel days within a period of 1 month should be enough for the train journeys in this itinerary. The rail network in the Balkans is still under development, so on some travel days, you might need to buy point-to-point bus tickets to reach your Balkan destination.

  • Standard prices start from € 352

  • Explore up to 33 countries

  • No booking fees