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Best things to do and see in Montenegro. The best itinerary and the best places to visit


Are you planning your Montenegro itinerary and wondering about the best places to visit in Montenegro? Then you might feel overwhelmed. At least, I felt overwhelmed when I planned my trip. Whether you stay one day, three days, five days, one week, or ten days in Montenegro – I am happy to share my experiences and recommendations.

Find out about the best places in Montenegro, what to do, how to get around, and more travel tips.

Piva Lake in Montenegro is the answer to the question where to go

Is Montenegro Worth Visiting?

Often referred to as one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, Montenegro is a must-see place. Especially if you are a nature lover who wants to experience outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, zip-lining, and more. But Montenegro is also home to charming villages and towns. And if you are looking for a more off-the-beaten-path type of place, Montenegro is the country to visit.

Don’t get me wrong – Montenegro is surely no hidden gem. Within the last few years, it has become very popular. People from all over the world flock to Montenegro – but compared to other European destinations, it is still not that well known.

Montenegro is stunning (as a regular Switzerland visitor, I have pretty high standards). It is also relatively affordable (again, as a regular Switzerland visitor, I am used to different prices), so a trip to Montenegro is even more fun!


Montenegro (Black Mountain) is a small country in the Balkans bordering Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania. It became an independent state only in 2006. Before that, it was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1992, Montenegro remained part of a smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, along with Serbia.

With a bit more than 620,000 inhabitants, Montenegro is a comparatively small country in Europe. 

How to Get to Montenegro

  • BY BOAT: Many people arrive via boat cruises to Kotor. It is a convenient way to arrive if you have only one day in Montenegro, but if you stay longer, then getting here by car, bus, or plane would be the best way to get to Montenegro.
  • BY PLANE: There are two international airports in Montenegro – Tivat (near the border to Dubrovnik/Croatia and the famous Kotor) and Podgorica, which is also the capital.
  • BY BUS: There are buses from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Kotor. So you can visit Montenegro easily from any of these countries.
  • BY CAR: I suggest (though it is not very environmentally friendly) getting to Montenegro by car. You will need to have an insurance card – a green card/paper – if you get here in your own car or in a rental car, which you will most likely have to present when crossing borders.

Road Tripping Montenegro

I only drove in Montenegro and did not use public transportation. I am always in a quandary as I try to be environmentally friendly, but this is my pet peeve. I suggest not staying in one place. Unless you are in Montenegro for two or three days only, I suggest changing hotels every or second night, so you do not have to drive so much.

To be honest, driving in Montenegro is pretty amazing. Given its small size, it is very easy to get around – although driving in the mountains is time-consuming. The roads in Montenegro are usually in excellent condition – some of them tend to be very narrow, though. I should mention that some mountain roads are a bit dangerous. Unlike in places like Italy, southern Germany, and Switzerland, not all mountains are protected by a net, so I saw smaller and bigger rocks lying on the streets – and swerving around them meant having to be 100% alert. Also, the drivers in Montenegro are more reckless than in Croatia.

Some streets are closed due to weather conditions for most of the year – like the P14 from Pluzine to Zabljak (only partially open, more on that later).

Driving around Piva Lake in Montenegro_

Mountain street in Montenegro

Public transportation in Montenegro: I did not get to use any public transportation in this country, but it is supposed to be okay/good. You can use buses to get from one main place to another, and buses run within the cities.

Taxis are quite cheap in Montenegro, so they are a good option if there is no bus available.

Hitchhiking is very common in Montenegro – whether you’re young or old. I have never seen so many people hitchhiking. However, I am not a fan of this, to be honest, especially not for solo female travelers.

Money / Currency / Costs in Montenegro

  • Even though Montenegro is not part of the European Union, the currency is the euro.
  • Many places do not accept credit or debit cards (including apartments), so I highly suggest having enough cash on you.
  • Montenegro is quite affordable – not as cheap as Bosnia-Herzegovina, but cheaper than Croatia, and definitely cheaper than western European countries.
  • Kotor is probably the most expensive area to stay in and eat, but you can get a vegetarian dish, including a non-alcoholic drink, for around 10€ in a restaurant in the old town.


Okay, here are some of the best places to visit. So, of course, tweak the itinerary, so it is the best for you, but these activities give you enough ideas to spend up to two weeks in Montenegro.

Kotor + Perast = 1 Day


If you have only one day in Montenegro, then I highly suggest visiting Kotor and the Kotor Bay area. It is located near the Croatian border and is also a popular day trip from Dubrovnik.

Kotor view from above, one of the most beautiful places in Kotor

Kotor is situated in the southeastern part of the Bay of Kotor, beneath the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovćen. It is a small town with only around 13,000 inhabitants. However, it might be small population-wise, but it impresses with its stunning scenery and general cuteness.

Kotor hike is one of the top things to do_

So, the best thing to do is to hike up St. John´s Fortress. It is a tedious 45-minute hike up (as it includes many stairs), but the views are one of a kind. Looking down at Kotor’s town and the Bay of Kotor will probably be one of your Montenegro highlights. 

Hiking up should take about 2-4 hours (including breaks and some rest). Then, you have more time to explore the small town center with several Romanesque churches, walk the city walls, and stroll the port.

Perast / Our Lady of the Rocks

With one day in Montenegro, you can also add Perast to your itinerary – my favorite village/town in the country! Perast Montenegro is a good day trip from KotorPerast is also located at the Bay of Kotor and is a few kilometers northwest of Kotor. You can easily drive there, get there by bus, or do a boat tour from Kotor. It is so small and tiny that you will not even need an itinerary. As a coastal town with cute buildings, lots of flowers, and restaurants lined up along the promenade, this is my kind of place! Perast, Our Lady of the RocksPerast also has a little (pebble) beach, so you can also have your beach vacation here. However, Perast is probably most famous for the islets that lie in front of it: St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks.

Our Lady of the Rocks is an artificial island created by a bulwark of rocks and sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. It houses the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, which you can visitThere is also the natural island of St. George, which houses the St. George Monastery that you can also visit. To get there, you can hop on a boat in Perast (a roundtrip ticket is about 5€).

Perast is a wonderful last stop if you head to Croatia afterward or fly out from Tivat airport.

If you have a full day in Montenegro and come from Croatia, then make Kotor and Perast your priority.



With 2 days in Montenegro, I would focus on the area of Kotor so you avoid too much time in the car.

Lovcen National Park (1 Day)

Montenegro has five national parks: one of them is Lovćen. This national park is conveniently located quite close to Kotor which is why I would visit it on day 2 in Montenegro.

If you are in Kotor, you can get to Lovcen National Park via a scenic and stunning drive. The views are gorgeous, and it is amazing to see how the scenery changes. It looks totally different from Kotor Bay! Kotor Montenegro driveThe Loven National Park highlight is probably climbing up to the mausoleum of Petar Petrović Njegoš (1813 -1851), who is known as the greatest Montenegrin poet and ruler. You can drive close to the mausoleum and then climb some stairs to reach it. Okay, it is a bit more than a few stairs, as there are actually 461 steps!

I had my car crash that day, so I spent a lot of time with other things and was short on time. After paying the National Park entrance fee (3€), I parked my car at the parking area, ready to climb the stairs. But my time was limited, and the mausoleum was about to close.

However, the chapel is supposed to be the most impressive part of Njegoš Mausoleum. It is nine meters high with an arch covered in a mosaic with 200,000 gold-plated tiles. Oh, yes, the views from there are supposed to be spectacular, too!


So, if you have 3 days in Montenegro, I would get in a car and explore some of the most stunning landscapes in the north of Montenegro.

Ostrog Monastery

A must-see is surely the Ostrog Monastery. The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of those impressive buildings. It is situated against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda – impressive! Ostrag Monastery in Montenegro is one of the travel highlightsIt is dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog, buried here. It is a very religious place for the Orthodox –  many of the visitors I have come across (according to car plates) were actually Serbs- who are also predominantly Orthodox. There is the upper monastery (built in the 17th century) and the lower monastery (19th century), and you can visit both for free.

  • Dress appropriately. The signs did not specifically say whether you have to wear long sleeves, but they did say that you should not wear tank tops.

According to tradition, pilgrims are supposed to walk 3 km from the lower monastery to the upper monastery barefoot. I did not see pilgrims doing this, but you might experience this in busier times, so don’t be surprised. From there, you also have fantastic views, and Montenegro´s scenery will – once again – amaze you.


  • From Rijeka Crnojevića to Ostrog Monastery, it takes about 90 minutes by car. Even though it is only about 60 km, the narrow streets make the drive quite time-consuming.
  • Actually, driving the last 8 km to the Ostrog Monastery is one of the craziest drives I have done so far, and it shows exactly what mountain driving actually means.
  • Warning: It is not for inexperienced drivers, and after that drive, I actually had a headache because I was concentrating so hard while taking the hairpin turns (I did not count them, but there were quite a few).

I would try to visit this place if you have 3 days in Montenegro or more time. I loved it, though getting there was a bit nerve-wracking. It will probably not take the full day – so, you can have a nice dinner in this area or slowly head back.


So, with 4 days in Montenegro, it is time to get even more north. And the best is yet to come!

Lake Piva / P14

Okay, it is time to talk about the most beautiful place in Montenegro. I was blown away. I was speechless. I was unprepared. This real hidden gem made me believe that Montenegro MUST be one of the prettiest countries in the world!

Let me introduce you to Lake Piva/P14. Piva Lake in Montenegro is the answer to the question where to goI still cannot understand that this place was so unbelievably beautiful that I came here twice. I arrived in Montenegro from Bosnia-Herzegovina, taking the M18 there and then the E762 to pass the Mratinje Dam. It is not on every Montenegro itinerary – I guess because of its location, but it was my favorite place.Window views when road tripping Montenegro Driving around Piva Lake in Montenegro_BUT to get the best, the most stunning, the most impressive views, you need a car! Hiking could be an option but I have not seen anyone walking these roads. So, to see the artificial lake from the most beautiful angle, drive all the way to the Bosnian border. If you cannot make it that far, take the P14 near Pluzine and head towards Zabljak. The street might be closed most of the time, BUT some parts are open – and the first few kilometers, in particular, offer spectacular views of the lake.

Be prepared to drive in the mountains with their narrow streets and pass many tunnels. Make sure your lights work, as many tunnels do not have any lightning. Tunnels when road tripping Montenegro Piva Lake in Montenegro_It was one of the best experiences I have had in Montenegro, and it reminded me of driving around Lake Thun in Switzerland.  Durmitor National Park, P14

Here is another tip for your Montenegro itinerary: If you have a car and want to see a different side of the country, I suggest driving the P14. Driving in this part of the country was fun! Seriously, I really enjoyed the scenery, which was different from the rest of the country. The weather was not so good, so I did not manage to take good pictures!

I actually was about to drive from Pluzine to Zabljak and could not find any information about whether the mountain pass was closed or not, so I just drove – and I felt like I was in Iceland or somewhere completely out of this world. Parts of the streets were closed due to snow. They are actually closed most of the year and most likely open in June for only a few months. Luckily, I still drove the P14, and even though I had to turn around at some point, it was a unique and gorgeous drive.

Make sure you plan in enough time for this drive, but I think that one day for Lake Piva and driving (parts) of the P14 is fine.


With 5 days in Montenegro, you can head to another national park.

Zabljak & Black Lake at Durmitor National Park (1-2 Days)

Durmitor Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it should be on your 5-day Montenegro itinerary. Black Lake National Park one of the parks in MontenegroThe Durmitor is a massif and is part of the Dinaric Alps. Its highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, reaches a height of 2,523 meters. The massif is limited by the Tara River Canyon to the north, the Piva River Canyon to the west, and the Komarnica River Canyon to the south.

Plan half a day for hiking around Black Lake and a short time for Zabljak town. You can visit many areas of the national park for free, but if you want to hike around Black Lake, you have to pay a small entrance fee (plus a parking fee if you park your car near the lake).

Zabljak (1450 meters above sea level) is the center of the park – a popular place to visit in the summer and winter months (winter sports are big here). The town center is not that special, BUT what really stood out were the houses with the pointed roofs that came in various colors.

Black Lake is located at the foot of the Medjed mountain and consists of two smaller lakes: Big and Little Lake, which are connected by a little strait (in summer, it dries up, and then it is actually two separate lakes). The largest of 18 glacial lakes in Durmitor National Park offers more than 3 kilometers of long walking paths around the lake.

You could also rent bikes and explore the park by bike!


With 6 days in Montenegro, I would stay another day at the national park.

Bobotov Kuk at Durmitor National Park

If the weather had been better, I surely would have hiked the Bobotov Kuk – the highest mountain peak in Montenegro. You can choose between the longer and shorter hikes, but I would probably plan in one day for either one. The images looked amazing. A day hiking Bobotov Kuk is probably a good idea for those who like to be a bit more active.


With one week in Montenegro, you should add this stunning place to your itinerary.

Tara River Canyon

The Tara River runs through Tara River Canyon – and is also known as the Tara River Gorge in Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is extremely popular as it offers quite a lot for adventure seekers.

Tara Trift Bridge in Montenegro is one of the best things to do

Whitewater rafting is big here, and so is ziplining. While I personally did not do any of these activities, I saw prices as low as 10€ for ziplining. It seems like a pretty good deal, and you get a lot for your money in this part of the world. The canyon stretch within Montenegro, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park. After the Grand Canyon, it is actually the second-longest canyon in the world – and the longest in Europe.

The Đurđevića Tara Bridge, with a length of 365 meters, is one of the most famous landmarks in the country – and is located at the crossroads between Mojkovac, Žabljak, and Pljevlja.

If you are an adventure seeker or hiker, then you could spend some of your days here. If you are not, then a few hours, or just driving through this part of the country, is surely enough!


With 8 days in Montenegro, explore a place that is quite under the radar. For this, it is time to head back south.

Lake Skadar / Rijeka Crnojevića (1 Day)

Another beautiful place is Lake Skadar. Getting there is an experience in itself – this is what you call “narrow mountain roads.” However, it is not very busy, so it is a nice, smooth drive. And let´s not forget the views! The scenery is epic. Lake Skadar in Montenegro is one fof the best places to see in MontenegroSkadar Lake is the biggest lake in the Balkans – even spilling over into Albania. The most famous place to visit here is probably the Horseshoe Viewpoint. To get here, do not take the E80. Instead, drive towards Rijeka Crnojevića, and you’ll find the viewing area a few kilometers after/before the village.

Rijeka Crnojevića is a tiny but overly cute and popular village that I also stopped at. Visit the old bridge and enjoy the tranquility before continuing your journey.Rijeka Crnojevića, beautiful villages in Montenegro_


So, here are two other places to visit in 9 days – Lipa Cave and Cetinje.


So, due to the location, it is great to visit Lipa Cave after visiting Skadar Lake. Lipa Cava in Montenegro is one of the bets places to visit in the summerThe Lipa Cave is one of the country’s largest caves and is more than a million years old. You can do a guided tour and walk the 3km of illuminated passages and halls filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and freaky natural pillars. It is indeed stunning!

  • The guided tours take about 1 hour – and include a short ride on the mini train (included in the price of about 11€).

Adventure seekers who are fit enough can also do an extreme tour that will lead you through the more hidden passages. The cave is located a bit remote, and you have to drive down some narrow roads to get there, but if you did Ostrag Monastery, this will be easy for you!

TIP: This is also the perfect activity for hot days, as it is always chilly in the caves. However, if you are in only 5 days in Montenegro (or less), I would probably not make it a priority to visit.


From the Lipa Cave to Cetinje, the former royal capital, it is just a few minute’s drive. So if you are ready to explore more towns, this is the city to add to your Montenegro itinerary.

I did not get to see much of Cetinje. I was able to take a few pictures before somebody bumped into my car and I had to drive to the insurance company in Podgorica. Building in Cetinje in Montenegro, best cities to visitHowever, according to my fellow travel bloggers, Cetinje is more beautiful and nicer than the new capital of Podgorica. It is home to churches, museums, and a monastery and makes a nice place for a few hours.


So, it seems you are a lucky person and can stay 10 days in Montenegro. If that is the case, I would visit these two places on day 10.

Budva and Sveti Stefan

Budva is a coastal town on the “Budva Riviera,” on the Adriatic Coast. Budva’s Old Town lies on a small peninsula and is home to many beautiful and historic buildings. It also has some nice beaches and a fun promenade lined with restaurants and cafes! 

I read mixed reviews on Budva (especially because it is known as a wild party town). I really liked it – but I did not come across any wild party people. City walls in Kotor, MontenegroThe coastal town center is stunning! I would recommend it to anyone who is into pretty towns with narrow, cobblestone streets, lovely buildings, and beautiful views. I walked the city walls for a small entrance fee, strolled the old and narrow streets, sat at the open-air theater, and just watched people.

However, if you want to have a beach vacation, this is your place, and you might want to add another day or two here.

Sveti Stefan

The island of Sveti Stefan is one of the most famous places in Montenegro and is now known as a fashionable summer resort.

Sveti Stefan is just a few minutes drive (or bus ride) from Budva. But to be 100% honest, I did not understand the hype. I did not book a night in one of the “most luxurious resorts in the world,” and I honestly wasn’t even tempted. Sveti Stefan is one of the main places for tourists in MontenegroThe resort is not open to the public. You either have to be an overnight guest or have booked a reservation for the restaurant to have access to the island. If you really want to see it up close, you can walk down and go to the beach section in front of the island for a closer look.

With 10 days or less in Montenegro, I would not spend too much time here (unless you stay overnight, of course) and just plan for a short break.

If you do not road trip, take the bus from Budva. There is a bus stop near the Hotel Adrovic for a great view from the top. You can then walk down or take the next bus to get to Sveti Stefan.


There are places I have not been able to visit myself (especially in the south of Montenegro) that I would like to visit one day.  However, I still believe that this Montenegro itinerary – whether you are 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days in Montenegro will help you discover the country of the most beautiful place.

Montenegro is – without a doubt – one of the most stunning countries I have been to, and I was amazed quite often by its scenery. So, I hope you will enjoy nature as much as I did and have a great trip.Safe Travels, Arzo


Croatia road trip


So, you are planning a Croatia road trip?! With cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj, or national parks and beaches, this country is a perfect road trip destination in Europe. Public transportation in Croatia is not bad. You could also do guided day tours to visit the top places in the country. However, given Croatia´s geography – stretched over length – it is not easy to visit all the top places as day trips. To create a perfect Croatia itinerary, driving is the best way to get around.

I suggest spending at least 14 days in the country. However, you can also skip a few places and do a 5- 7- or 10-day Croatia road trip. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


Before talking about the best places to visit, here are some tips for driving in Croatia.

Driving in Croatia is amazing. I have driven in a few countries (mostly in Europe), and it was one of the best conditions I have come across – better than in Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, and of course better than in Italy.

  • The roads, even in the mountains, are quite wide. Plus, most of them are in great condition.
  • The streets and roads are not very busy and the best: Croatian drivers are quite friendly (unlike in Italy, I must say).
  • People could argue that tolls are high in Croatia – and it is true. Tolls for highways in Croatia are insane. For 100 km you pay around 10€ (just roughly) – BUT… here comes the good news:
  • If you drive along the D8 – along the coast – you can avoid the tolls. The most beautiful street to drive to in Croatia is free – and you will have amazing scenic views along the way. 
  • Gas and diesel prices are quite high, though. Prices change daily but are higher than in Germany or Austria, for example. 
  • Also, it is pretty easy to find parking in most cities and towns (at least compared to Italy and if you do not visit in July or August) – an exception is Dubrovnik. If you park in the city center – fees can be up to 240€ – for 24 hours!

Street in Croatia, driving

  • Croatia has done a great job. There are many great spots if you want to take a break and enjoy the views. So, pack enough food and drinks for many stops – there is no need to rush to get from one place to the next.
  • When you plan to visit any of the islands, like Hvar, you will need to use the ferry or a boat but can leave your car in Split.
  • In general, I did not worry about safety – don’t leave any valuables on display and take your wallet, etc., with you (and put everything that could attract thieves).
  • If you need to rent a car, check out rental prices here and make sure to rent a car in advance. This applies especially if you visit during the busier months.
  • Check out this site if you have to rent a car. I normally drive my own car (and now van) so I rarely use rental companies, but this site compares different companies and has great offers.
  • If you drive all the way down to Dubrovnik, make sure you have an insurance card with you (either if you drive your own or a rental car) as you will cross borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Check out my accommodation guide for Croatia.


So, here is the perfect Croatia road trip itinerary (skip whatever you want or add other places). If you only have 7-day in Croatia, check out my one-week itinerary.


Start (or end) your trip in Zagreb, the capital of the country It ranks among the oldest cities in Central Europe dating back to the 11th century.

Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia
Cemetery of Mirogoj

Located more inland than other popular cities in Croatia, Zagreb still has a lot to offer. Its architecture sets it apart from other Croatian towns as well, with a heavy Austrian-Hungarian influence.

  • You will want to visit some places: the Cathedral, the Museum of Broken Relationships, shopping at Dollar Market, seeing St. Mark’s Church, eating at Tkalciceva Street, and walking through the cemetery of Mirogoj which is just outside of Zagreb’s city center.
  • Check out my Zagreb itinerary for more tips.

Zagreb is, however, a little more challenging to reach because it is located in the north, close to the Slovenian border. If you have less than 10 days, I would skip it.

TIP: Driving in Zagreb is fine. It is busy but not as crazy as in other European capitals. If you can, book accommodation with free parking though. 


Plitvice Lakes

One of the most stunning and famous natural landmarks in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and largest national park and is almost 80% covered in forest. It is a popular destination for hikers with many trails. It is a biodiverse region with many threatened species and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.Plitvice Lake in Croatia

The Plitvice Lakes are actually made up of 16 larger lakes and numerous smaller ones, the largest in all of Croatia is Veliki Slap. You can circle them, exploring along eight different routes.

TIP: There are enough parking spots (paid) at Plitvice Lakes. Some people spend more than one day, but for me, about 6 hours were enough to see most of it.

The only downside to the Plitvice Lakes is that they are located inland and away from any other travel destinations in Croatia, so you will have to detour on your road trip to reach them.


Located close to the Italian border – in fact, just across Venice’s water – and on the northwestern side of Croatia is Rovinj. Rovinj has a very Italian feel to it. From Venetian architecture to cobblestone streets and colorful houses, Rovinj will remind you of a town on the coast of Italy. It sits on the Istrian coast, just below the Lim Fjord. There are a lot of charming houses and narrow little streets that are fun to wander and explore.Croatia, Rovinj the best streets_

It is a small town but lovely and so different from the rest of the country, making it special.

  • Some of the highlights of visiting Rovinj are strolling through the old town, climbing the bell tower, exploring the artistic street of Ulica, and taking a walk on the promenade.
  • If you like the beach, there are a few you can go to relax or swim. And there are also boat cruises offered to see Rovinj from a different perspective.

TIP: Parking in the town center might be difficult in the summer months. Book accommodation that has parking included or park a bit outside and walk to the city center/accommodation.

Unfortunately, it is quite a detour from the Plitvice National Park. So you have to think, about whether you want to add it to your road trip or not. If you visit, I recommend staying for at least one night.


I recommend staying in or near the old town of Rovinj.

  • I picked a little B&B – Rooms Barbieri – near the old town. The rates are good, and they offer free parking. It just takes a short (and lovely) walk to get to the old town. However, there are not many rooms, so book early if you want to stay here. Find out more about the little B&B I stayed at.
  • For a more luxurious stay – just a 10-minute walk from the old town  – check out Grand Park Hotel Rovinj rates.
  • Hotel Adriatic is a very well-rated boutique hotel in the old town. Find out more about the rates.


From Rovinj, you could continue and visit Pula which is a seaside city located at the Istrian Peninsula’s tip and has a very tragic past.

Pula was founded during the prehistoric era and, over the course of many centuries, was occupied and destroyed, and rebuilt repeatedly. It was favored because of its strategic location within a protected harbor.

It has been occupied by the forces of the Romans, the Ostrogoths, the Venetians, and the Allied forces from World War II over the years.

Pula Amphitheatre a must for Crotia road trip itinerary

Nowadays, it is a popular destination because of its beautiful and historic landmarks and Roman ruins, its beaches, and its coastline. Visit the Roman Amphitheater and some of the many museums in Pula. It is also the home of various festivals.

TIP: With only 2 weeks in Croatia (or less), I would limit my time here and visit the Roman Amphitheater and then spend the rest of the day driving to Zadar.


Founded in the 4th century, Zadar has an ancient history. Located along the western coast of Croatia by the Adriatic Sea, Zadar is the country’s oldest continuously inhabited city.

Zadar from above with Arzo Travels_

Despite its fame, this town is not very busy or crowded, so it is easy to explore and enjoy. You can definitely see the best of Zadar in one day: see the Forum, visit the ancient square, stroll down Kalelarga Street, and see the church of St. Donatus.

You can take in the views from the bell tower and stroll the promenade, where visitors can listen to the Sea Organ’s unique sounds and watch the sunset. Zadar has a very laid-back vibe to it, so take your time exploring this Croatian town for the day before heading to your next road trip destination.

TIP: I am very honest – Zadar wasn’t my favorite stop. Compared to other places here, it lacked attractions, but it is a perfect stop-over. So, from your way to Pula, I would probably spend the evening here (it is charming in the evening) and then continue the journey the next day.

Krka National Park

Spend half a day (or a day) at Krka National Park. It is located in the southern part of Croatia and, similar to Plitvice Lake, has beautiful waterfalls.

Situated along the Krka River, the national park has a series of seven waterfalls that are scattered throughout the area. There is the Roški Slap in the north, a cascade close to a nature trail, and the Krka Monastery, which was created above the catacombs from Roman times.

To the south, Skradinski Buk waterfall is surrounded by two watermills – you can actually swim in the water here.

KRKA National Park a must for 7-day Croatia itinerary

Also, Krka National Park is on Visovac Island, which was where the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy was located in the 15th century. 

I visited Plitvice Falls and was not too eager to see these falls as the weather was not great. So, I can tell you only what I have heard. These falls are not as impressive as Plitvice Lake’s, but they are still a good place to visit.

TIP: It is a great alternative if you don’t want to drive up north for the Plitvice Lakes or if you want to swim. Since it is close to Zadar and even closer to Šibenik, it would make a great stop before discovering these two beautiful towns below.

Trogir and Šibenik 

Now, it is time to head to Trogir and Šibenik. You can’t road trip Croatia and miss out on these beauties! Located along the Adriatic Sea’s western shores, these two towns are absolutely beautiful and quite charming.

Sibenik is one of the most beautiful towns in CroatiaŠibenik is famous as the filming location for the show Game of  Thrones, but besides that, it also has a lot of old, picturesque streets and famous landmarks. The town has two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Šibenik Cathedral and St. Nicholas Fort. Trogir is a must-see in CroatiaTrogir felt like a mini version of Split, but even more lovely with its colorful streets, little cafes, and friendly people. There is a really nice seaside promenade that you can stroll, as well as other sights like the Trogir Cathedral, the clock tower in the market square, Kamerlengo Castle, and the bell tower. The streets themselves are a sight, and you should spend some time exploring these two towns on foot to really get a feel for them.

TIP: Both places are absolutely gorgeous, and you could do them in one day. It is enough time to see the main attractions but I suggest staying overnight in Sibenik or Trogir.

Where to Stay in Trogir:

  • Hotel Brown Beach House & Spa looks like a lovely hotel with a pool, and lovely views. It is located quite close to the city center. You can check out rates here.
  • Hotel Concordia is located in the old town – I think, location-wise, it cannot get much better. It seems to offer great value for money! Find out more about the hotel here.


Then it is time to visit Split. Spend a day or two in Split, which is located on a peninsula in the southwestern part of Croatia, jutting out into the Adriatic Sea.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split is one of the top attractions

Split is one of the most famous and popular cities in the country. It can be very crowded here, partly because it was another filming location for Game of Thrones (GoT) because there are many beautiful landmarks that you won’t want to miss.

Visit the Cathedral and the Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, see Diocletian’s Palace and explore the Peristyle (Peristil) and the Vestibule, and see the City Gate. Klis Fortress is another must-see for GOT fans. You can also hike up Marjan Hill for views of the surrounding scenery and walk the promenade

TIP: Split is lovely, though, with a limited time in Croatia (less than 10 days), I would not spend more than 1 day in Split.

Where to Stay in Split:


Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular islands – known as a famous port city as well as a party spot. But it also has a rich history and lovely architecture done in the Italian Renaissance style. The old town is great to walk through and explore. There are lots of caves, forests, and secluded beaches for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming. 

Hvar is one of the best places to stay in Croatia

To reach the island, you will need to leave your car in Split and take the ferry to enjoy a day in Hvar. It will take a few hours to reach, but it should be worth it.

Where to stay in Hvar:

  • While I did not stay in Hvar myself, this hotel seems like a great place to stay when visiting Hvar.


Spend a day (or half) in Omiš, a port town just southeast of Split, situated where the Cetina River and the Adriatic Sea meet. During the 12-14th centuries, it was a pirate town, so it’s an interesting place to explore.

Omis view from the fortress

It has lovely scenery and is a very unique and pretty town that really shouldn’t be missed. Huge gorges surround Omiš. For adventure lovers, it’s even better – you can enjoy biking, canyoning, ziplining, rock climbing, and rafting.

Head up to Castle Mirabella, which offers great views of the old town, mountains, and river. A little farther away is Starigrad Fortica, a 15th-century fortress built during the Croatian-Ottoman wars, which also offers nice views. There are many churches to see, including the remains of the 5th-century Church of St. Euphemia.

TIPOmis is the perfect place…for anyone actually! Beautiful scenery, a lot of activities of adrenaline junkies, easy hike opportunities, and more. 

Punta Rata & Baska Voda

Punta Rata & Baska Voda beaches are among the best to visit in Croatia. The coastline of the country is gorgeous, so visiting one of these two beaches will allow you to enjoy the beauty even more. Punta Rada Beach in Croatia

Baska Voda town in Croatia is a beautiful hidden place

Punta Rata is well-known as the prettiest beach in Croatia. There are more than a few in this area, but this is a good place to stop and, if the weather cooperates, go for a swim or lay out in the sun. It is surrounded by pine trees and has clear water and smooth sand.

Baska Voda is also along the Adriatic coastline and has smooth sand and clear waters. This beach is a little busier, though, as you’ll notice as you walk along the promenade.

TIP: You might long for a day at the beach after driving and visiting the many towns and villages. This is the place to rest and chill. One day or two here might be enough to sunbathe and chill at the beach, but of course, you could stay here much longer.

However, more great places are waiting for you.

Mostar, Blagaj Monastery, Kravice Falls, and Pocitelj (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

To get to Dubrovnik, you must cross into Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, why not visit some of the most popular destinations along the way!

Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar

Mostar, located by the Neretva River, is wonderful! You should take time to stroll through the many shops and market stalls down the city’s alleys. Also, take in the panoramic views from the minaret of the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and see Stari Most, a famous reconstructed bridge from medieval times.

In the southeastern region of the Mostar basin, you will find the ancient Blagaj Monastery built 600 years ago on the cliffs, along with a Turkish bath and mausoleum.

Blagaj is a good half a day trip from Mostar

The Kravice Falls are lovely cascading waterfalls found on the Trebižat River, in the center of Herzegovina, and just south of Mostar. Close by is Pocitelj, a historic village with an open-air museum that you can explore.

TIP: I adore Bosnia-Herzegovina. I loved the people, the places. In addition to that, it is also much cheaper than Croatia, so make a gas stop here and do some shopping if you are on a budget.

Where to Stay in Mostar:

You could visit the places in 1 day – but with crossing the border, I actually suggest spending a night in Mostar before heading to the last place on your Croatia road trip itinerary.


Dubrovnik is one of the most popular and famous cities in the country. Located in the south of Croatia, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea – Dubrovnik is unique. One of the downsides of Dubrovnik is its location. It is quite far from other main places in Croatia. However, it is really worth it. After the excursion (with or without a stop in Bosnia), you will be back in Croatia and visit Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik should be on every Croatia road trip

It is known for its 16th-century walls that encircle the city and a very well-preserved old town that dates back to medieval times. The 2-kilometer-long walls are walkable and offer great views of the city.

You can also see more filming locations from Game of Thrones. Other landmarks to visit include hiking up Srd Mountain, seeing St. Blaise Church, Rector’s Palace, the Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Fort Lovrijenac, and Sponza Palace. The Old Town and the many buildings throughout the streets make wandering one of the best things to do in Dubrovnik.

TIP: The old town of Dubrovnik is car-free. Park your car outside the city center – and walk or take a bus to get to the old town. Parking prices are ridiculously high. Driving up Srd Mountain can be challenging for people who cannot drive the extremely narrow mountain roads, use the cable car instead.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is busy. I mean, really busy, and this is why I recommend staying at least one or two nights. This way you can explore the city when the visitors are gone (many people visit only for a few hours).


I think the Croatia road trip was one of the most fun road trips I have had. The scenery, the streets, the people – not to forget the places you get to visit will surely make your trip amazing! You will meet many friendly locals and beautiful spots. So, enjoy your Croatia road trip and drive safely!


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Croatia road trip, places to visit and more travel tips

Safe Travels, Arzo


Best things to do and see when road tripping Eastern Canada


Have you ever thought about road tripping East Canada or are you already planning your trip? Then this post is for you – find out about the best places to visit doing an Eastern Canada road trip.

First of all: road tripping in East Canada is a great choice. Driving in Canada is easy, but it also gives you much more freedom than public transport, and so you get to visit lovely destinations on your own schedule. Here I share my favorite places along the east Coast of Canada. Besides that, you can find some important travel information for a road trip.

Cassandra wrote this post

Travel Tips For a Road Trip in East Canada

Before talking about your East Canada road trip itinerary, here is some important information.

Safety as a Female

Canada is quite safe and very friendly. Simply exercising common sense will keep you out of trouble. As always, when traveling out of your home country, be aware of your surroundings, don’t wander alone at night, and don’t leave your valuables out in plain sight.

How to Get Around East Canada

This is all about the road trip!

  • So, your car will be your main transportation between points. If you do not drive in your own car, check out rental prices for Canada here.
  • You will most likely park the car and explore via foot, taxi, or bus within each area. This combination will give you one of the best trips in Canada.
  • In Niagara Falls, the WEGO bus system is the easiest way to get around amongst the attractions.
  • In most of the other cities getting around on foot is the easiest way if you stay central. Otherwise, taxis are quite easy to come by.

Things to Pack for Eastern Canada

This depends on the time of year you are traveling, but Canada doesn’t get very hot in general. In the summer, temperatures tend to average in the 70s and can be brisk at night. In the winter, driving in Canada can be challenging so, this is the perfect summer road trip.

  • Packing a mixture of clothing that you layer and a sweater or light jacket for the evenings may be best. I get cold easily and found myself chilly after dark.
  • You’ll also want earplugs to block out city noise, especially if you are not used to it.
  • Tap water is safe to drink, so I like to bring a reusable water bottle to fill in water fountains.
  • Here are tips on how to plan the perfect road trip.

Where to Stay in East Canada

Hotels in Canadian cities tend to be pricey for a good location and decent rooms. There is a hotel tip for each of the places during your East Canada road trip.

Best Time to Visit Eastern Canada For A Road Trip

Summer is definitely the best time to road trip Eastern Canada! 

The winters can be quite harsh, so to enjoy the best of Canada (unless you are planning on heading northwest to the Yukon for a sighting of the Northern lights), you may want to avoid this time of year.

Also, snowstorms can make driving on a road trip quite treacherous. On another note, if you plan to visit just one of these spots during the winter and do not do much driving (or perhaps you are accustomed to snowy winters from your hometown), it can be quite lovely to see some Christmas markets and the Niagara Falls frozen.

However, late spring, summer, or early fall would be perfect for an Eastern Canada road trip.

General Expenses

  • Canada can be a costly destination for many, especially within the cities and tourist hotspots.
  • Budgeting your meals is necessary, and keeping snacks on you and a refillable water bottle helps save some money.
  • I found the restaurants particularly overpriced in Niagara Falls, so come prepared.
  • Bargaining is usually not an option here, so be prepared to pay the ticket price and spend wisely!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Best Places to Visit on an East Canada Road Trip

How to get to Canada in the first place?

  • START YOUR EAST CANADA ROAD TRIP FROM THE USA: If you plan to visit Canada from the US’s eastern side, you would drive north first and start with Niagara Falls, followed by Toronto and Kingston, and finish with Montreal.
  • FLY INTO CANADA: If you are flying in from another country and getting a rental car in Canada, I suggest starting with Toronto, then following it with Kingston, Montreal, and then Niagara Falls so you can fly out from Toronto as well (which is only about 1 ½ hour from Niagara Falls).

Okay, here are the best places to see when road-tripping East Canada.

Niagara Falls – About 2 Days

An east Canada road trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the world-famous Niagara Falls!

Niagara Falls are three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge – spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States. So, you could see the falls from the US, but the best views are from the Canadian site.

The tallest waterfall is the Horseshoe Falls – 188 feet (57 meters) tall and 170 feet (52 meters) deep. About 28 million liters of water travel down Niagara Falls every second! This makes it the world’s fastest-moving waterfall.

Horn-Blower Cruise

The Horn-Blower Cruise is a huge tourist attraction and for good reasons, it is a must-see at Niagara Falls. Once onboard, it is a lot of fun and you will get quite close to the actual waterfalls.

Where to visit in Estern Canada
Byelikova Oksana /

Seeing the falls up close is an amazing experience. You get to hear, see and feel the power behind them.

You will get wet, though! Be sure to wear non-slip sandals, and I recommend rolling up your pants or wearing shorts, so the bottom half of your legs (that stick out beyond the plastic poncho that you will get for free on board) don’t get soaked!

The best bet is to go in the early morning or late afternoon. Mid-day it is unbelievably crowded with long lines as it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada.

White Water Walk

The White Water Walk is a much more laid-back (and less crowded) stop where you have a different view of Niagara Falls. Take the elevator to get down 70 meters to reach the base of the Niagara Gorge. There is the impressive quarter-mile of boardwalk that runs along the shoreline of the Niagara River.

Canada where to go

On this old-fashioned boardwalk weaving along the river’s edge allows you to walk right alongside the white-water rapids. There are several viewing platforms that allow you to get even closer to the breathtaking Whirlpool Rapids flowing by. These platforms provide some of the best photo opportunities in the entire park!

  • ADMISSION FEE FOR ADULTS: 17 CAD + applicable tax (13% HST)

Whirlpool Aero Car

The Whirlpool Aero Car is a fun ride that transports passengers over a section of the Niagara River referred to as the Niagara Whirlpool. 

It is one of Canada’s exciting places, and you get some amazing views of the area from above.

Canada where to visit

Personally, I am afraid of heights, so I had a little bit of panic getting started, but it was completely worth it! Also, it was another attraction that tends to have shorter lines worth considering when planning what to see in Eastern Canada.

The cable car will actually take you across the international border between Canada and the United States a total of four times due to the way the river elbows. No worries: There is no need to present your passport for this “border crossing”.

  • ADMISSION FEE FOR ADULTS: 17 CAD + applicable tax (13% HST)

Queen Victoria Park

Queen Victoria Park is the main parkland located in Niagara Falls – the park is gorgeous and a nice spot to relax after trekking about all day!

Canada points of interest

Sometimes there are small festivals held here too. Besides making a stop here during the day for the gorgeous views, it’s also amazing to go here at night because you can see the falls all lit up. Also, you can watch fireworks here on Friday nights, so it’s definitely one to include on your east Canada road trip itinerary!

Niagara on the Lake, Town, and Wineries

If you want some time outside of the tourist hustle and bustle of Niagara Falls, head 20 minutes out to Niagara on the Lake. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Niagara River, is known for its wineries and the summer Shaw Festival, a series of theatre productions.

This cute 19th-century town is surrounded by vineyards and filled with boutique shops and is one of the top places to visit in East Canada. Definitely take some time to explore, even take a bike ride, or go on a wine-tasting tour for some fun!

  • *Note that in Niagara Falls, the easiest way to get around is via the WEGO bus which functions as a hop-on-hop-off. You can also get passes that include entry into all the main attractions.

Heading out to Niagara on the Lake (about 20 minutes outside of the tourist center) is best done via your car. If you are at Niagara Falls with your loved one, check out ideas on romantic things to do.

More Things to do at Niagara Falls

Where to Stay at Niagara Falls

Toronto – About 2 Days

It is time to visit Toronto which is the capital of the province of Ontario and a major Canadian city located on Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. With almost 3 million inhabitants it is the second-biggest city in the country.

  • It takes about 90 minutes to get from Niagra Falls to Toronto, so it actually is not much time you will spend in the car.

Casa Loma

Le´s start your trip to Toronto with a visit to Casa Loma.This is a gorgeous Gothic-style “castle” with gardens, right in central Toronto! Besides the architecture and gardens themselves, it has also been converted into a museum with preserved rooms to make you feel like you are stepping back in time.

Tulips and Casa Loma in Midtown Toronto, Ontario

Casa Loma was first built in 1914 by financier Sir Henry Pellatt. These days, over 650,000 visitors come to Casa Loma and the estate gardens. The castle itself, which is now a museum, is visited by over 350,000 annually. It has 98 rooms you can discover and learn more about the biggest building owned by private people back then.

  • Open from Wednesdays to Sunday

Kensington Market

Kensington is a charming bohemian neighborhood, and the market is filled with everything from boutique shops and cafes to specialty grocery marts.

Canada Road Trip

You will find 255 shops and services, plus some cool historic buildings combined with modern architecture – this is Kensignton. Whether you are looking for a vintage dress, loose teas, or a day spent checking out art shows, you will find it here. In August you can also catch the Jazz Festival!

CN Tower

Another must-see in Eastern Canada is the famous CN Tower. This was the world’s tallest tower all the way up until 2009! It is a 553-meter high communication and observation tower that is located in downtown Toronto.

Canada best cities to visit

In addition to visiting the lookout and getting some amazing views of the city, you can also eat at the 360 The Restaurant. This is a really great dinner plan if you are visiting Toronto, and it is beautiful to see the city from up there at night.

Lastly, if you are more daring and are looking for things to do in Canada to get your adrenaline pumping, you can try the “Edge Walk” where you get to walk the circumference of the tower from outside (of course strapped into a harness).

Distillery District

Filled with tons of Victorian-era industrial architecture, this is a really unique idea for visiting Canada. It’s a designated National Historic Site of Canada and features more than 40 heritage buildings!

Nowadays, you can hit these cobblestone streets for the Toronto Christmas Market in December or choose to explore indie hot spots, art shows, and specialty breweries during the rest of the year.

Things start to shut down around 8 PM, though, so it’s best to visit mid-day, and after a day of exploring markets and shops, grab some dinner and beers before heading back to your hotel.

Toronto Island

One of the Canadian Islands to visit is this here: Also known as “The Island,” it is only a 13-minute ferry ride from downtown Toronto. While the island is small at only about 3 miles long, it is still one of the best places to see in East Canada.

Renting a bicycle is an easy way to get around and explore the various beaches on the island. Spending the day on the island is a nice way to get outside the city and relax for a bit and if you’re there in the summer, enjoy the beach time and a swim!


To visit more of the best places to visit in east Canada, make Kingston the third stop. Read on to find out more…

1000 Islands Cruise

This is a relaxing way to see the beautiful islands of the St. Lawrence River. Opt for the longer 3-hour cruise so you can really see as much as possible.

There are over 1,800 islands in the river, and it’s definitely one of the places to go in Canada that you must see. Some of the islands are private, some are small spots of nature dotted in the middle of the river, and some are home to mansions or even castles (such as Boldt castle).

Fort Henry

If you’re craving some history and looking for some of the best travel sites in Canada, look no further than Fort Henry. Built in the 1800s, Fort Henry is an interesting historical sight in Kingston. During most of the year, you can visit the site as a museum and explore the fort and see historical re-enactments. This can include shooting cannons, soldier parades, and more.

During October, it is transformed into “Fort Fright,” so if you like a fun scare, you may want to visit during this time.

Bellevue House

Another place to add to your road trip (especially for history buffs) is Bellevue House.

Bellevue House National Historic Site house, best Eastern Canada Road trip

Bellevue House is the historic home of Canada’s first prime minister and was built in the 1840s. It’s unique to Canada due to its Italian-style architecture, and on top of that, it was also done in an asymmetrical design. It’s a beautiful and unique building in Kingston and has a perfectly preserved interior that is fun to explore. The staff and guides also dress in period-correct outfits to complete the feeling of stepping back in time.

Kingston Penitentiary

This is Canada’s oldest prison! It was actually closed to the public for 180 years but is now available to tour, and it is an exciting attraction. In addition to being the oldest Canadian prison, it is also one of the most notorious.

It may seem like an odd thing to do during your travel to Canada, but it is worth it, the history is pretty fascinating!

The Waterfront Pathway

Then it is time to check out the Waterfront Pathway, which is a lovely walking path connecting downtown to Emma Martin Park. It is a really nice activity to explore the pathway and all the different places along the way.

The pathway connects to several parks and various historic sites, including the Bellevue House and Kingston penitentiary.

If you have the time, seeing everything via the Waterway Path is a nice leisurely way to enjoy the path itself as well as all the stops along it. Bring a picnic to lunch at one of the parks during midday!


Then it is time to visit Montreal. Keep reading to find out why…

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens here are amazing! They have several outdoor gardens as well as greenhouse gardens and multiple themed gardens.

Montreal Botanical Garden, what to see in Eastern Canada

Included are the Japanese Garden, a garden of indigenous Canadian plant life, and a poisonous plants garden. My personal favorite, though, is seeing their amazing plant sculptures.

Old Montreal

Old Montreal is the oldest part of the city, with some parts dating back to when the area was known as “New France.”

Most beautiful places in Canada

Old Montreal is full of attractions. In addition to the famed Basilica, Capel, and City Hall, there is also a great market (Bonsecours) and some gorgeous historical mansions.

It’s effortless to get around on foot, and in addition to the sights of Old Montreal itself, there are several museums and galleries here worth visiting too.

St Louis Square

St. Louis Square is a historic square surrounded by Victorian row homes. Visiting this area is like stepping back in time! The homes are lovely, and it’s great for an afternoon stroll. It has a French feel, and if you go in the evening, you can sometimes catch some street performers making music in the center.

Notre Dame Basilica

Located in Old Montreal, this is a stunning piece of architecture.

Canada best places to visit

It is done in the gothic revival style, and the interior is colorful and gorgeous. You can visit to explore (there is a small entry fee), or you can attend a mass or choir session to hear the talented singers.

In the evenings, they also do a cool light show called “And Then There was Light,” which is a different way to see the church and learn about its history.

Take a Food Tour

Of all the places to visit in Canada, Montreal is definitely known for its food! The city is a foodie’s paradise with tons of options, including their famed French restaurants. Take a food tour with a local guide to find the best-hidden spots and taste various options in one day- definitely worth it!

*Note that if you have a chance to take a day trip up to Quebec City, voted “The Most European City in North America” and the only fortified city north of Mexico, definitely take the opportunity!

I hope you have gotten some great inspiration here for the best places to see on an east Canada road trip. There are so many beautiful places that it is hard to choose from, but with the tips mentioned above, you are perfectly prepared for your trip!

About the Author

Cassandra is a US-female travel addict who loves traveling the world and works as a tour operator. She is a freelance writer for Arzo Travels, where she shares her expertise and has a special love affair with Mexico.

Safe Travels, Arzo


Switzerland road trip itinerary with map, Arzo Travels


Are you planning a Switzerland road trip? Then read on because I – a Switzerland enthusiast who visits regularly – share tips with you to plan your road trip itinerary.

Switzerland is one of the best places to road trip. It is incredible to see the lakes and the mountain peaks you pass, the beautiful towns, villages, cities, the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the lovely natural scenery. Seriously, it is just the best place I can imagine to road trip. The only downside is that you can’t fully enjoy the beauty because you have to focus on the road. If you could only road trip one country in Europe, it should be Switzerland. Even though their public transportation is amazing, so is road tripping.Things to know before driving in mountains in Switzerland

To visit all the places mentioned here, you need a minimum of 3 weeks. But the reality is that most of us have less time. Even if you road trip Switzerland for 7 or 10 days, this post will be super helpful.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


For a perfect road trip, it is important to know about the best stops. You will also need some essential travel tips for driving in the country. So, here is how to plan a perfect road trip.

Switzerland road trip tips by Arzo Travels, Lake Thun
Lake Thun road trip in Switzerland

Switzerland Driving Tips

  • You must be 18 years or older to drive in Switzerland. Your driver’s license must be in either English, German, Italian, or French.
  • Watch the speed limit because tickets are costly here. The speed limit for motorways/freeways is 120 kph, and highways are 100 kph. In the city it is 50 kph, in the cities in residential areas it is 30 kph, and in rural areas, it is 80 kph.
  • You will be driving on the right side of the street in Switzerland. Always yield right of way to public transportation and emergency vehicles.
  • Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists as well.
  • If you are traveling with children, any that are younger than 18 months should be in a child safety seat; everyone else needs to use a seatbelt.
  • You are required to drive with your lights on, even in the daytime.
  • Don’t drink and drive. In Switzerland, the maximum blood alcohol content while driving is 0.05%, which is lower than in many other European countries.
  • Gas stations are everywhere – they are all self-service. 
  • Parking can be tricky. Check out my detailed “driving in Switzerland” post that helps you find where exactly you can park and what the colored parking spots mean.
  • A parking disc is helpful. Depending on the color of the zone in which you are parking, you can park for a certain amount of time at no charge. You can get parking discs at police stations, banks, or tourist offices.
  • There is little traffic overall – just in cities like Zurich, Lucerne or Geneva, you should expect more traffic.
  • Some places are car-free – like Zermatt, Mürren, and a very few more areas.
  • If you drive to Switzerland in your own car, buy a Swiss Vignette. The toll sticker costs about 40 Swiss Francs and lasts from December to December (so, it is actually good for 14 months). If you rent a car, it will most likely already have a sticker. You can buy them at gas stations, online, or the border. It allows you to use the motorway. You could ditch buying it – and try to avoid it by just using second streets. It will make your life harder though because driving motorways might save you some time. Also, no one wants to deal with Swiss Police if you end up – by mistake – on the motorway.
  • If you drive in the mountains, keep in mind that roads can be narrow and windy. Especially in the Italian and French-speaking part, this could be an issue because the drivers, in addition, also tend to speed.

Mountain Passes in Switzerland

Nothing, seriously, nothing beats driving in the Alps and the stunning mountain passes in Switzerland. However, the passes are not open all year round due to weather conditions.Furka Pass road trip itinerary for Switzerland

Snow means that the passes are closed. Unfortunately, some passes are closed for most of the year. The impressive Sustenpass for example is closed from November to June (always check the weather forecast as this is not a fixed date but depends on actual weather).

I admit it – there were days I was close to crying out loud just because I was overwhelmed by the beauty of driving in Switzerland. Some you will “automatically pass” if you get from one destination to the other – if the weather allows it.

One day, I will dedicate one post just about the stunning passes, but for now, here are some of my favorite passes (and then we will talk about the main stops for your trip).

  • Flüela (2383 meters above sea level)
  • Julier (2284 meters above sea level)
  • Susten Pass (2,224 meters above sea level)
  • Brünig Pass (1,008 meters above sea level)
  • San Bernardino (2065 meters above sea level) 
  • Gotthard (2106 meters above sea level)
  • Albula (2315 meters above sea level)
  • Furka (2429 meters above sea level)
  • Klausen (1948 meters above sea level)
Brünig Pass - Switzerland Road trip with Arzo Travels
Brünig Pass

Best Time to Road Trip Switzerland

  • If you want to road trip, I highly suggest doing this between the end of June and October.
  • While I normally recommend visiting a popular destination in the shoulder season, driving at this time of the year will allow you to drive most (if not all) mountain passes.
  • The weather should be good at that time of the year (with many rainy days in between, but that is an issue Switzerland has in general).  
  • Though Switzerland does get busy, the roads normally do not. Places like Interlaken, Zurich, or Geneva might be crowded, but most people do not road trip, so you are fine to drive on pretty empty streets.

Where to Stay When Road Tripping Switzerland

One of the best things about road tripping is, that you do not need a base but can change accommodations/locations every few nights. Check out my detailed guide on where to stay in Switzerland. 

How to Rent a Car in Switzerland

Apparently, a road trip is not possible without a car. But which company is the best rental company for Switzerland? I have to admit that I have never rented a car in Switzerland since I always road trip with my own car (and now with my own little van). Discover Cars seem to be a good company with reasonable prices (keep in mind that Switzerland is expensive). Check out prices for your rental car in Switzerland here.


Tip: Fly into Zurich because it is the main city in Switzerland and has a major airport. You can start your road trip here.

Stop 1: Zurich

Zurich is located in the northern part of Switzerland, right on the edge of Lake Zurich. It is also the country’s biggest city and known for banking and finance. But it also has a very historic Old Town that dates back to before medieval times.

Where to stay in Zurich - best places to stay in Zurich Switzerland

The promenade and buildings are centuries old as well. Zurich has plenty of cobblestone streets to stroll down as you explore the area. Some of the attractions here are Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse, Lindenhof, Uetliberg, and the Opera District.

I love Zurich, and I suggest spending half a day or 1 day if you road trip Switzerland for 7 days. If you do a 2-week road trip you can stay 1,5/2 days. Of course, I have a more detailed Zurich post for you that you can check out here.

  • TIP: Get from Zurich airport to the city center by train and explore Zurich without a car. Driving here means traffic and few parking spots. Even if you find a parking spot, you might only be allowed to stay for 2-4 hours. I suggest picking up your rental car once you are about to leave Zurich.


Stop 2: Stein am Rhein & Schaffhausen & Rhine Falls

Stein am Rhein is a small town located in the northeastern part of Switzerland, just west of Lake Constance. It is best known for its medieval city center and architecture. Places to visit in SwitzerlandThere are many well-preserved, half-timbered houses here with painted facades along the old town’s ancient streets. Nearby are attractions like the St. George’s Abbey on the banks of the Rhine River, a museum, and Hohenklingen Castle overlooking the town, which was built during the Middle Ages. 

The charming and ancient sights around this small village make it a popular destination for visitors to Switzerland.

  • Check out my Stein am Rhein guide for more travel info.
  • TIP: If you have more time, you can also combine the trip with visiting the Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen in one day.
  • It is easy to drive to Stein am Rhine. Park your car outside the town center and walk a few minutes to the city center.

Schaffhausen is a small village in Switzerland located very close to the Rhine Falls, along the upper Rhine River near the German border.

Schaffhausen attractions church
The buildings in this medieval town are done in a Baroque style and often have decorated facades and bay windows overlooking the streets. You can also visit nearby attractions like the 16th-century Munot Fortress, the gothic St. Johann church, and the Kloster Allerheiligen monastery with a Romanesque cathedral. Also, you will find vineyards that make the town even prettier. Schaffhausen is a small Swiss town that has a very inviting and charming atmosphere.

  • Tip: If you don’t want to stress, you can skip Schaffhausen or Stein am Rhine. Both towns are cute and have unique features. But since the Rhine Falls are also on the list for this day, you might want to skip one of the towns.

The Rhine Falls are the most powerful falls in all of Europe. Located near the German border, they are imposing and beautiful. During May and June, the water level is at its peak – making them even more amazing.Rhine Falls Switzerland Best places to see in Switzerland

The average is 150 meters wide and 23 meters high. There are boat tours, viewing platforms, and guided tours offered.

Stop 3: Basel

Basel is a city that is located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. It sits on the Rhine River, close to the borders of Germany and France. Basel most beautiful places in BaselLike many cities in this area, it has been around since medieval times, and the architecture and layout of the city show this. The old town surrounds the marketplace, which has a large red sandstone Town Hall from the 16th century. Other attractions include the tomb of Erasmus, who was a 16th-century Dutch scholar. You can find some of his works in the university in town- and also a 12th-century Gothic cathedral.

Though Basel has a beautiful city center, it probably is the best place to visit if you are into arts, because it is full of galleries. 

TIP: However, if you do a one-week Switzerland road trip and aren’t into arts, you might want to skip Basel.

Stop 4: Bern 

Bern is perhaps the most beautiful capital in Europe. It is located along a crook in the Aare River, in the central part of the country, which makes it – amongst other reasons – a good stop. 

Bern from Rosengarten with Arzo Travels
Bern dates back to medieval times, around the 12th century. You can see this is the Altstadt architecture. Other impressive buildings are the Swiss Parliament, the Zytglogge Tower from the 13th century, or places like the Rose Garden, and the bear park.

Though I really liked Bern, I would not say it is a must-see if you have minimal time only. If you plan a 2-week road trip, add Bern to your itinerary for 1 day. If you also visit places in the south and central Switzerland you might have to pass here.


If you can, book your hotel in the old town. From there, you can get to all (or most) attractions in Bern within minutes.

  • Luxury: Bellevue Palace is centrally located and is great for those who like to indulge in luxury. To check out rates, click here.
  • Mid-Range: I stayed at the 3-star hotel Goldener Schlüssel for 1 night, located in the city center/old town. Though my hotel room was pretty small though, with no direct (and free) parking options and the breakfast was simple, the location was perfect and made up for it. Check out rates here.
  • Budget: Bern Youth Hostel is located in the city center and it offers affordable dorm beds but also private rooms with private bathrooms. Check out rates here.

Stop 5: Lucerne

Lucerne is a city located in the central part of Switzerland where they speak German. It’s filled with colorful architecture and buildings that date back to medieval times. Without a doubt, one of the best places to add to your road trip itinerary. Best things to do in Lucerne - Chapel Bridge in LucerneTo the north of the Old Town, you will see a 14th-century rampart (Musegg Wall). When you travel out to Lake Lucerne, you get a great view of the Alps’ snow-capped mountains surrounding the town. It also has other attractions that are just as scenic and picturesque. Some of these attractions include the Chapel Bridge, a 17th-century Jesuit Church, Spreuer Bridge, Lion Monument, and Weggis.

If you want to rest at the lake, then head to Weggis (pass the main town center) until you find a little secret spot where not many people are. Here you can swim in the lake or enjoy the views.

Lucerne should be on your Switzerland road trip itinerary whether you plan a 5, 7, or 14-day trip. With less than 7 days, 1 day in Lucerne is probably a good amount to visit.

Make sure to also drive along the Axenroad and head all the way to Vitznau. It is an amazing road with some of the very best views in the region. Driving along Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) is…just beautiful.


I have stayed at several hotels in Lucerne, and here are some tips.

  • Luxury: Schweizerhof Luzern is a lovely luxury hotel. It is a beautiful and fun 5* hotel located at Lake Lucerne’s shores and a few hundred meters from the old town and main tourist attractions. Check out rates here.
  • Mid-Range: Hotel des Alpes is a lovely 3-star hotel in the city center (and it comes with great views). The restaurant downstairs offers breakfast (with more great views), and from there, you are ready to explore the city within minutes. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Hotel des Alpes.
  • Budget: The Bed + Breakfast offers single and double rooms (with an occupancy of 4 people maximum). Some rooms have a shared bathroom, and some have a private one. Click here to find the best rates for your stay at B&B.

Stop 6: Interlaken

Interlaken is a small resort town in the central part of Switzerland – between two of Switzerland’s most popular lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Visit the Schynige Platte with your Swiss Travel PassWhen you visit Interlaken, it is not just about the town but also about driving around Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. The drive around Lake Thun, a pretty emerald color, is especially scenic and one of the most beautiful places to road trip in Switzerland. This area is full of mountains, forests, meadows, and glaciers. A perfect destination for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor sports.

Lake Brienz is another special lake with many great villages along the shores! 

  • TIP: It really depends on which side of the lake you are driving. For Lake Thun, make sure to drive along Beatenberg and Sigriswil (along the northern shores of Lake Thun). Also, on Lake Brienz also drive along the northern shores (so along Niederried). Most of the time, the motorways are less scenic than the side streets.

There are so many stunning spots to drive along – up to Beatenberg, Sigrswil Suspension Bridge, Thun, Spiez, and more. Oh, let’s not forget places like Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. Whatever you do, don’t skip the region of Interlaken/Jungfrau.Lake Thun-Top Things to do in Interlaken, Switzerland

No matter how often I visit, I never get enough. Depending on the length of your stay, I suggest spending at least 3 days in the region, but actually, 4 days is a minimum if you road trip here. But you could also stay here for weeks.


  • LUXURY: Since I have not stayed at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa myself, I can repeat what I heard: This hotel is supposed to be amazing, so if you are looking for a fancy place, this is probably the best pick. Check out prices here.
  • MID-RANGE: I recently stayed at Hotel du Nord and I actually was very positively surprised. The reviews were not great, but since all rooms were renovated lately, it is a great place to stay. Click here to get the best deals.
  • BUDGET: This hostel is a bit more expensive than other hostels, but the best I have stayed at + they also offer free parking in the heart of Interlaken. Check out the hostel here.
  • Check out my Interlaken accommodation guide for more tips on where to stay.

Stop 7: Montreux

Montreux, a village on the northern shores of Lake Geneva, is known for its picture-perfect looks. Located in the more southern/western part of Switzerland it sits at the foot of the Alps and offers many attractions.

A castle with a view and a great Instagram spot in Montreux

The pretty vineyards in Chexbres and Vevey, a medieval castle – Chateau de Chillon – and a promenade filled with flowers, sculptures, and trees, access to Lake Geneva, a Freddy Mercury statue… There are many reasons to visit Montreux.

If you road trip Switzerland for at least 7 days, Montreux is one of the best places to see and experience Lake Geneva (which is also known as Lac Leman). The town is quite small, and if you don’t have much time, 1 day in Montreux will do it.

Where to Stay in Montreux:

Stop 8: Geneva 

Geneva is located in the southwestern end of Switzerland, along the southern tip of the crescent-shaped Lake Geneva. It is famous for its old town, diplomatic activities – and as a shopping destination for watches.

Geneva in summer, Switzerland

The city has the second largest population in Switzerland after Zurich and is surrounded by the Alps and Jura Mountains. Located in the country’s French-speaking part, Geneva is well-known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and international appeal.

The city is the Headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and it is also famous as a city of financial activity. 

Here is the thing with Geneva – it is located quite remotely. If you really want to visit Geneva, go for it. I have always enjoyed Geneva. However, with only 7-14 days in Switzerland, I would skip Geneva and only drive to Montreux and then not continue driving all the way down to Geneva.


You can see a large portion of Geneva’s attractions in one day. I have had my own experiences with hotels in Geneva. And I must say, there were quite some bad experiences among them. They are very, very expensive and also the standards were not always what I expected.

  • MID-RANGE: However, there are some stunning hotels close to all the main attractions that won’t break the bank. My personal favorite is N’vY Manotel.

Stop 9: Zermatt 

Zermatt is in the southern part of Switzerland and you can actually not reach it by car because Zermatt is car-free. It sits below Matterhorn Peak at around 1600 meters in elevation and is one of the hotspots in the country. Switzerland in winter, ZermattZermatt is known for its outdoor activities, like climbing, hiking, and skiing (which you can do at any time of the year). Some of the most popular mountain excursions include the Klein Matterhorn (Glacier Paradise), and Gornergrat. Within Zermatt, you will find the main street, called Bahnhofstrasse, which is full of restaurants, hotels, boutiques, as well as outdoor skating rinks, and places devoted to apres-ski in winter in Zermatt. 

Since Zermatt is car-free, park your car in Taesch and take a train to Zermatt. Depending on your time in Switzerland, I would plan in 1 or 2 days.

Zermatt is quite remote, so you could actually also skip it; on the other hand, Zermatt is beautiful and makes a good stop on any Switzerland road trip itinerary.


Zermatt is known for being an extremely luxurious destination (even by Switzerland standards). There are no real budget hotels (if you would like to find out about my best tips on saving money in Switzerland, click here).

Stop 10: Lugano

Located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, in the Ticino region, Lugano is a Swiss city with a lot of Italian influence. The architecture and the food are proof of this. And the beautiful people!

Lugano sits on the northern shore of Lake Lugano – the lake is stunning and so is the scenery. Inside the town, you can find the main square, called the Piazza Della Riforma, which is done in pastel colors and a neo-classical design. But you can also do some wonderful hikes from Monte San Salvatore or Monte Bre.

  • Here is my detailed post on Lugano and its top activities.

Make sure to also visit Morcote – it is, seriously, the most beautiful village in Switzerland, and can be easily visited from Lugano.

I love this part of Switzerland – also because Lugano is so different from the rest of the country. However, it is also quite remote, so you might skip it and head to Locarno instead. Ideally, you can visit both though.

Stop 11: Locarno

Locarno is also in the Italian-speaking part of the country but actually not as remote as Lugano. Located on Lake Maggiore, it’s known for its sunny climate. Where to go in LocarnoIt has a beautiful lake area, plus some gorgeous mountain peaks that offer great views (including Cardada). The 15th-century Santuario Della Madonna del Sasso, an art-filled pilgrimage site overlooking the city, is a beautiful place to add to your road trip. Driving here is a bit more stressful (however, nothing like Italy) as the roads are narrower and busier. If you visit Locarno, also visit Valle Verzasca and enjoy this beautiful part of Switzerland. Check out my Locarno guide for more info.


  • LUXURY: Villa Orselina is a top luxurious small boutique hotel in Orselina, just a few minutes from Locarno. It has become one of my favorite hotels ever. Check out prices here.
  • MID-RANGE: Though I did not stay here, Hotel Garni Muralto might be a good choice because it is one of the best-rated hotels in that price range. Check out prices here.

Stop 12: St. Moritz 

Now it is time to explore one of the most stunning areas in Switzerland – Graubünden or Grison in English. It is a lesser-known canton (state) – except for St. Moritz – to foreigners, but it is one of the most popular spots for Swiss tourists.

Road trip near St Moritz

Grand Tour of Switzerland, phioto op in Engadin

Especially in fall, its beauty is ridiculous with all the fall foliage, but it makes a great destination all year round.

St. Moritz is found on the southeastern side of Switzerland, in the Engadin Valley. It is located high in the Alps, with an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level. So, it is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and bobsledding in winter, and in summer, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful mountain views and hikes. The excellent outdoor sports and the surrounding mountains’ natural beauty make it one of my favorite places in Switzerland. The lakes here are extraordinarily pretty! However, even by Swiss standards, St. Moritz is expensive. I mean, really, really expensive.

If you stay for two nights (from May to early October), you will get a pass that allows you to use public transportation in the area for free + you can use all 13 cable cars in the area! So, under these conditions – stay 2 nights and be active – it is worth a visit! 


  • LUXURY: This luxury hotel has everything you are looking for when booking a 5-star hotel in St.Moritz. From an extensive spa area, a lounge and bar area, luxurious hotel rooms and suites, and more. Check out prices for the stunning Battrud´s Palace Hotel in St.Moritz.
  • MID-RANGE: Hotel Corvatsch is a 3-star hotel located in the lower part of St.Moritz. Find out more here.
  • BUDGET: The St. Moritz Youth Hostel is situated at the edge of the forest in the lower part of St. Moritz. During the day, there is a bus that gets you to the St. Moritz train station. The rooms all have shared bathrooms, and breakfast is always included – you cannot find better prices in all of St.Moritz. Here are the prices and availabilities for the hostel.

Stop 13: Valposchiavo 

Valposchiavo is a hidden gem in Switzerland I highly recommend visiting. It is located in the canton of Graubünden, which is close to the Italian border and close to St. Moritz. It is just stunning! Lago di Saoseo in ValposchiavoIt’s in a remote location, which might be why it isn’t more popular among tourists. Valposchiavo has a natural beauty that is hard to equal. With its calm and serene lake, lovely valley, and charming town, Valposchiavo is a great place to stop on a Switzerland road trip. 

It is actually one of my favorite places in all of Switzerland, and it is absolutely stunning to drive here – the views, the lakes, the mountain passes.

You can find Switzerland at its best in Valposchiavo. Compared to other places in the country, it is quite a hidden gem, so you won’t see many international tourists here.

Stop 14: Appenzell & Ebenalp

If you fly back home from Zurich, you can stop in Appenzellerland as the last main stop of your Switzerland road trip. This part of the country is gorgeous – the rolling green hills are pretty unique. Things to do in Appenzell TownAppenzell town is located in Switzerland’s northeastern corner, near the German border, and at the Alpstein Mountains foot. It is not as well-known as other areas, but it is pretty! Pretty, pretty, pretty!  You can reach many mountain summits from Appenzell, including Santis Peak or the beautiful Ebenalp Mountain, and the famous mountain guesthouse The Aescher. Appenzellerland - More Than the AescherEbenalp (at 1600 meters above sea level) is the most northern summit of the Appenzell Alps. You can either hike up or take a cable car from Wasserauen station. 

From Ebenalp and Aescher Guesthouse, you can overlook Lake Seealpsee. Check out my Appenzell guide for more travel tips.

From here, you can head back to Zurich or continue your journey and head to Southern Germany and explore that beautiful part of the world.


Switzerland is my favorite travel destination. Given its extreme beauty and breathtaking scenery, I cannot get enough of driving there, and I am amazed every single time. The country’s high prices – something that I cannot ignore – will not stop me from revisiting the country and exploring what Switzerland has to offer. I hope you enjoy this Switzerland road trip itinerary. Seeing some of Switzerland’s best places while road tripping is such a fun way to discover the country’s beauty.


Here is a pin for you – save it to Pinterest to find this post easily whenever you need it again.

Best Switzerland road trip, travel tips for road trippingSafe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to Visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1-7 Days

Best things to do and see in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The best itinerary for a road trip with the best places to visit


Are you planning your Bosnia road trip and wondering about the best places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Whether you stay for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days – this Bosnia itinerary has got you covered.

Stunning scenery, beautiful and friendly people, cute towns, and cities – BosniaHerzegovina is such an underrated country. It did not take long to fall in love with BosniaHerzegovina.

Top places to see in Bosnia, Mostar, Arzo Travels



Before jumping to the BosniaHerzegovina itinerary, here are a few travel tips. Find out where to go and what to see, how to get around, and more tips – plus a bit of background on the country.


The recent history of the country, and its current political system, are quite complicated, so I try to keep it short and simple:

There are three main ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats, and Orthodox Serbs.

Until 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina was part of Yugoslavia’s Republic (including Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and a few more countries). When several republics (incl. Bosnia-Herzegovina) strived for independence, it led to a war! Bosnian Serbs, supported by the Serbian government, fought against this independence. On the other side, there were tensions between Croats and Bosniaks that also led to war in 1993. Bosnia-Herzegovina had suffered the most from the wars in former Yugoslavia.

When Bosnia-Herzegovina became independent, the country was divided into different entities:

  • The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • the Republic of Srpska (in the north and east of the country) 
  • plus the district of Brcko.

In the Republic of Srpska, you will find mostly Bosnian Serbs. In the southern part (which is actually Herzegovina), there are mostly Catholic Croats. And in the rest of the country, there are mostly Muslim Bosniaks.

BUT, you will find different ethnicities in each part of the country. Before the war outbreak, it was quite common to have mixed marriages, and the different religions lived quite well together. This changed after the war broke out in the 1990s! Nowadays, the wounds have not entirely healed, and there are still tensions.

Since Bosnia-Herzegovina (I might shorten this sometimes and call it Bosnia, though it is not the politically correct name) was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, you will find a lot of Turkish influence in the country – also in Herzegovina. So, while the political situation is complex, you might not realize the differences from place to place.


  • The local currency is the Bosnian Mark/Convertible Mark (BAM/KM).
  • Bring cash – most of the time, you cannot pay by (credit) card.
  • 2 KM is about 1.05€ (as of October 2022).
  • ATMs are not available everywhere, only in larger cities. You can find exchange offices in popular tourist places.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina is probably one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. Food, accommodations, fuel, and activities… I can hardly think of any other capitals in Europe that offer so much for so little money. So, a vegetarian lunch (in a restaurant) including a drink is about 3-7€, and it’s not much more for a meat dish (of course, it depends on what exactly you order).
  • WiFi: Most restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels offer free WiFi in their public spaces. 


As a solo female traveler, I am always aware of my surroundings. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, I traveled with my little dog. Kravica Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina a great place to visit

  • I felt quite safe in Bosnia – I cannot recall a negative experience. Crime is comparably low – especially against foreigners.
  • So, it is safe to say that Bosnia is a safe travel destination. Safer than many other “popular travel destinations, ” so security is not something that should hold you back.
  • Just beware of pickpocketing – especially in touristy areas.
  • If you plan to hike in the mountains, do not leave the marked paths – some places are still not cleared of landmines.

Food in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Turkey influences food in Bosnia: This means a lot of beef, lamb, poultry, and wheat products. You will also find a lot of pizza and pasta dishes – Vegetarians or vegans might struggle (I did).

You can drink tap water – at least, I did. Double-check with your host about the water in your area.

How to Get Around in Bosnia

Public transportation: 

  • I wish that I had used some public transportation in Bosnia. Especially since the trains from Sarajevo to Mostar are supposed to offer great views. Trains and buses run from major tourist destinations/cities, and you can also book tours to get around.

BosniaHerzegovina Road Trip: 

I road-tripped in Bosnia-Herzegovina with my own car (crazy, I know, and probably would not do it again). The scenery is amazing. BUT I am not saying that it was all easy and smooth driving in this country. 

Road in Bosnia-Herzegovina things to know before visiting Here is what to know about driving in Bosnia:

  • Streets in Bosnia are okay – some are actually in excellent condition, while others are in bad condition. Bosnia showed me what huge potholes look (and feel) like. 
  • Drive slowly to be able to avoid the potholes. Be prepared for Bosnian drivers, who are fast and like to honk their horns (especially Sarajevo). 
  • Bosnia was the country in which I drove the least (kilometer-wise). I actually saw three bad accidents, though I probably only drove around 500 km in total (luckily, I passed them when the ambulance was there and did not see them happen).
  • There are very few toll roads, but you can skip them and not pay much for tolls.
  • Gas prices are quite low (one of the cheapest in Europe), so fill your petrol up here. Gas stations often accept credit cards but ask in advance.
  • Be prepared to drive on mountain roads. Some are narrow, and some are great and easy to drive. 
  • Parking in Bosnia is interesting – many people park anywhere they want. I saw people with parking tickets on their windshields, though.
  • Except for Sarajevo and Mostar (and probably Banja Luca), finding parking spots is often quite easy. By European standards, quite cheap and often even free.
  • No, I was never pulled out by the Bosnian police. I was not asked to pay any bribe (though I read from travel bloggers who had to pay bribes or fines).


Okay, after all the travel tips, here are my favorite places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Mostar and Blagaj – 1 Day

With one day in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you might want to combine a trip to these two places in a day: Blagaj and Mostar.


If you are not in a rush, I recommend staying in Mostar for the whole day. Old Bridge seen from the beach in MostarJoin a free walking tour in the morning, then explore the beautiful old town on your own and watch the people dive from Stari Most. Stari Most is one of the most famous attractions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and is a must-see. Though the bridge was destroyed in the war, it was rebuilt in 2004 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Street with shops in MostarMostar is touristy but still gorgeous. If you can make it happen, spend the evening in the old town as well, as it is quite charming with its cute little shops and pretty decorations on the houses. If you want to buy souvenirs, this is a good place to do it. 


Blagaj is another place to visit in Bosnia, and it is easy to get there from Mostar (by bus and car, and there are also organized tours). At the spring of the river Buna, you will find the ancient Dervish Monastery, which was built into a 200-meter-high cliff. You might have seen this image on Instagram already – and it is just as charming in real life. Blagaj is a good half a day trip from MostarIn the summer months, you can also do a boat tour and visit the cave. But if you don’t fancy a visit to the monastery itself, you can enjoy the little waterfall in front of the monastery and have lunch/drink at one of the restaurants lining the river. Here is my Mostar guide with more travel tips for you.


If you stay in Mostar overnight (I totally recommend it), you will have a couple of good options.


Pocitelj and Kravica Waterfalls – 1 Day

Pocitelj and Kravica Waterfalls are south of Mostar and you can visit both in one day. If you are in a rush, you could even visit both of them and Blagaj in one day in Bosnia. BUT with two days in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I would not stress too much and just add Pocitelj and Kravica Waterfalls to your day 2 itinerary.

Kravica Waterfalls

The Kravica Waterfalls are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are located in the Veljaci village near Ljubuski and were created by the flow of the tufa (which is a variety of limestone formed when carbonate minerals precipitate out of ambient temperature water) on the Trebizat River – the waterfall is about 25-28 meters high. You can rent a boat and get very close to the waterfalls. Kravica Waterfalls in BosniaThen there is another smaller waterfall. The Kocusa Waterfall is only 5 meters high, but the length of about 50 meters makes up for it. It is not as big as the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and depending on if you want to go on a little hike and chill. From there, you can head to the next place.

  • This stop will probably take between 1-5 hours here.


Pocitelj lies about 20 kilometers from Croatia and 30 kilometers from Mostar. The walled town of Počitelj evolved over the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries and it is tiny – but it is still one of the best places to visit in Bosnia. While it is not overly famous among western travelers, it is quite famous with Turkish visitors, and buses bring them in large groups to Pocitelj so it gets busy here. Pocitelj - Where to go near MostarIf you wonder why mostly Turkish visitors flock here, my explanation would be that this village with its mosque is a perfect example of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Bosnia for several hundred centuries.

For the best views, head to the top of Fort of Pocitelj which was built between the 15th and 18th centuries. From there, you have a great panorama – of the village, the Nevreta River, and its surroundings. There was no one to collect an entrance fee for the fort, but I am not sure if that is always the case. Either way, I think it would be quite cheap if there was an entrance fee.

On the way down, you can visit the mosque of Sisman Ibrahim-Pasa for a small entrance fee.

During the war in the 1990s, the entire historic urban site of Počitelj and all its various buildings suffered extensive war damage – but since the 2000s the government has worked on the protection of the site. 

The sellers further down have some snacks, which have a beautiful presentation. You can also buy fresh fruits, fresh juices, rugs, clothes, and many different souvenirs (they use a lot of plastic, so I made sure to always have my cotton bags with me when I went shopping). Pocitelj snacks for sell, one of the most beautiful places to visit in BosniaDown there are some restaurants (which get full once the tourist buses come) that have WiFi – and you can park your car for free.

  • It takes between 1-4 hours to explore this little town.


If you plan to do guided tours, you can check out several of those mentioned below. While I traveled to the places myself, a guided tour might be the perfect option for you.


If you stay 3 or 4 days in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I suggest heading to the capital.

Sarajevo – 1 or 2 Days

Sarajevo is the beautiful, lively, small capital of Bosnia. Before my trip, I had no idea what to expect. I had not done any research, nor did I see images on Instagram or Pinterest. The only thing that came to my mind when I thought of Sarajevo was the war – which is such a pity. Sarajevo view from Yellow Fort is one of the best places to visitFirst of all, the war is long over. Second, the capital of Bosnia is a fun and thriving city. While it is true that the city suffered a lot from the war in the 1990s, not all of its main attractions are about the war. But you might want to visit a few places where you can learn more about the siege of Sarajevo. Sarajevo mosqueIn one day, you can visit the old town of the city and the mosques. There are also churches (Orthodox and Catholic) and even an active synagogue that you can visit. Also, head to the Latin Bridge to find out more about World War I – the trigger for the war actually happened in Sarajevo, where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was shot.

With one day in Sarajevo, you should head to one of the vantage points for some great views. Good news: reaching them is not too difficult or time-consuming, so doing it in one day is doable.  Sarajevo shopping store in the old townMost of the sights are also close to each other (where else in the world do you have an Orthodox church, a Catholic church, a synagogue, and a mosque exist peacefully in such proximity?). With two days in the city, make sure to visit the Tunnel of Hope and explore other places in the city for more viewpoints, such as the abandoned Bob track.

Sarajevo is quite walkable, so it is easy getting around. 


I stayed in Sarajevo for five nights – and changed my hotel once in between.

  • M´Ali Rooms: I spontaneously decided to stay a few days longer in Sarajevo and booked a room at M´Ali Rooms for a very good price. It is located directly in the old town, and within seconds, you are right where all the people are. It is a great place to stay (if you don’t want to stay in a hostel but want to watch your budget, this is a good choice). Click here to find out more about the hotel and its rates.


If you road trip Bosnia-Herzegovina in 5 days, I recommend adding these places to your itinerary (which you will come across from Mostar to Sarajevo).

Neretva River, Lake Jablanica, and Konjic – 1 Day

I drove from Mostar to Sarajevo, and with all the breaks, it took me almost a full day to arrive in Sarajevo.

You could do it in a few hours, but what fun is that? Okay, the views are still great but plan in enough time for breaks. This route is one of the most beautiful places in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The scenic views, the empty streets, the pretty Lake Jablanica – drive along the E 73, and you will be rewarded with great views. Lake Jablanica in Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the most beautiful places to visitAt the end of the lake (or beginning) is the pretty little city of Konjic. While it is small and not home to many sights, it is great for a stroll and taking lots of pictures. Konjic in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a must on a Bosnia itineraryIf you do not want to rush, I suggest staying here a night before continuing your journey.

In Mostar, and also north and south of it, you will find the stunning Neretva River, with a watercolor that is just gorgeous. The streets here (especially north of Mostar) were my favorites – wide and easy to drive, with the river to your side. It is just a short drive so you can do the whole trip from Sarajevo to Mostar in one day. Just make sure to stop here and enjoy the beauty before continuing your trip. From there, you are not too far away from Kravica – another great stop on your Bosnia vacation. 


If you are lucky and can stay more than 5 days in Bosnia-Herzegovina, here are a few more places to add to your Bosnia itinerary.

Rakitnica Canyon – 1 Day

Are you up for some adventures? Bosnia is the place to go – whether you like white water rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, or hiking adventure. When I drove from Bosnia to Montenegro – on the road M 18, a beautifully scenic but also a bumpy road with many potholes – I realized how big adventure is getting in Bosnia. It is not that I dislike outdoor adventures, but it is not my priority when I travel, so I did not seek out these activities. Whitewater rafting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rakitnica CanyonHowever, there are many spots in Bosnia that are great for outdoor and adventure lovers. You can go on a canoeing trip through Bosnia’s longest and deepest canyon – Rakitnica Canyon.

If you plan to visit Montenegro, too, then go to the border and do some white water rafting before continuing your journey in (the more expensive) Montenegro, and enjoy some time in the Tara Canyon (which looked absolutely gorgeous), or you can do more activities.

Neum – 1 Day

Do you have more than 5 days in Bosnia? Here are a few more tips on places to visit and things to do in Bosnia. Neum in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a good stop for a beach dayDo you want to spend time at the beach? I am not a beach person, and the weather was not beach-perfect when I was there, so I stayed in Neum for two days to recharge and work a bit. However, if you are a beach person, you could visit the town of Neum, which borders Croatia to the east and west and is situated along the 20km coastline of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The city-state of Dubrovnik gave up some of the coastlines in the 17th century to the Ottoman Empire, so they would defend them and help them fight against the Venetians. You have to cross the 20km coastline of Bosnia if you want to drive from Dubrovnik, Croatia, to other areas of Croatia in the north – nowadays, there is also a bridge that connects the two parts of Croatia, so you do not have to drive through Bosnia necessarily.

It did not look as fancy as some parts of Croatia, but it is quieter than some other beaches on the Adriatic Sea, and it is much cheaper than a beach day in Croatia.


Above mentioned places can be seen in about 5 days. If you have more time, then you could visit some more places in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Banja Luka 

If you head north, you will find the second-largest city in the country – Banka Luka. It is located in the Republic of Srpska and is the capital. If you want to head to Serbia afterward, this is a good place to visit.

I did not visit Banja Luka, but it is supposed to be beautiful – with a lot of nature!


Srebrenica is another famous place in Bosnia. Unfortunately, it is because of the tragic past and the genocide that happened during the war. In this small town in Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, close to the Serbian border, more than 8,000 Muslim men were killed, and nowadays, you can visit the memorial and learn about the past.


Again, Bosnia-Herzegovina has won me over, and I cannot wait to re-visit and see more of its beauty and meet the incredible people who have gone through so much and yet always have a smile for visitors. Apparently, I did not get to see all the interesting places but I think if you have 5 days or even one week in Bosnia you can see quite a bit. I believe the above-mentioned are some of the best places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and hopefully, this post has been helpful. So, whenever you visit, enjoy!Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Things to do in the Dolomites, Italy

Best things to do in the Dolomites, Italy


Headed to the Dolomites in Italy? I am jealous because the Dolomites are amazing. And even though I envy you, I share some tips with you on the best things to do in the Dolomites. While Northern Italy has many beautiful places to visit, the Dolomites are one of the most interesting.

The Dolomite mountain range in Italy is one of the most beautiful outdoor destinations in Europe. In 2009, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site When I finally visited the Dolomites – mainly because I wanted #ChasingLakes – I was in love. But the Dolomites are not only about the lakes. I mean, look at those mountains… And let’s not forget the pretty towns and cities in the region. So in a few words: The Dolomites are breathtaking.

The Dolomites are located in the northeastern part of Italy, within the provinces Belluno, South Tyrol, and the region of Trentino. Known as the “Pale Mountains,” they are famous for skiing in the winter, and mountain climbing, hiking, BASE jumping, and cycling in the warmer seasons.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Dolomites things to do, Arzo Travels


In this post, you will find out about the best things to do in the Dolomites, the best places to visit, and travel tips. You can also use this post as a Dolomites itinerary for up to 7 days.

Where to Stay in the Dolomites

I visited this region twice, once for 5 nights (then going to Lake Garda, Venice, and Verona), and came back afterward and spent another 4 nights there. My advice is to plan very carefully where you stay. It takes a long time to get from one place to another, whether you drive or use public transportation. Driving 50km can take even 2 hours because the roads are narrow and winding. In high season (July and August) and on weekends, there can even be traffic jams slowing you down.

It can be really time-consuming to travel in this area, so my tip would be to stay at two different locations if you visit for 3 or more nights.

Considering the places in the Dolomites that I visited, I suggest staying first in Cortina d’Ampezzo. It is quite close to places like Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Braies, and Lake Sorapis. For the second part of this trip, I suggest staying in/near Ortisei.

  • Cristallo Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo. It is part of the Luxury Collections Resort and is located close to the town center of Cortina. Click here to find out about rates for the luxury hotel.
  • Hotel Montana – I changed hotels spontaneously and booked a night in Cortina d’Ampezzo at this hotel. My arrival was a bit disappointing, but I really liked it once the receptionist and I solved the issues. The breakfast was quite good, and I liked the location (and it is great value for money). Click here to find out the rates for Hotel Montana.
  • Hotel Angelo Engel is a beautiful luxury resort in the town center of Ortisei that comes with great wellness options and 2 swimming pools.
  • For a more budget-friendly hotel in Ortisei, check out Hotel Garni Vanadis, close to the town center.
  • Just in case you want to stay somewhere else, here are two more tips for your trip to the Dolomites.
  • Hotel Sorapiss is a well-rated medium-priced hotel near Lake Sorapis (which could be a good base if you stay less than 7 days in the Dolomites and you want to chase a few lakes only). Find out more about prices and availability here.
  • If you want to stay near Lago Braies (also a good choice), then Hotel Lago di Braies is perfect if you like staying next to the lake (with all the perks that come with it, like enjoying the lake early in the morning when no one else is around). Click here to find the best rates for your stay at Hotel Lago di Braies.

How to Get Around


  • During the high seasons, public transportation is the best way to get around the Dolomites. You can usually get a hotel card/guest card that you can use to get around on public transportation, and it doesn’t cost extra. Of course, it depends on where you stay exactly and where you want to go. The buses frequently run in the busy months and bring you to most attractions.
  • However, for the Drei Zinnen, you will need a ticket for a shuttle bus that is a bit more expensive. In the shoulder season, buses run less frequently and you will have to plan accordingly. 
  • I used public transportation two or three times, and it worked well. I would have used it more often but driving as a passenger in the mountain cause motion sickness, so I rather drive myself. 

Best places to visit in the Dolomites


  • Keep in mind that in Northern Italy, the streets are better than in many other places in the country, but the mountain roads are very narrow.
  • Drivers go fast and often cut you off. Driving is challenging, though not as much as in southern Italy. I didn’t particularly appreciate driving here as much as in Switzerland, even though it is also very mountainous and the window views are stunning. However, sometimes it just didn’t feel as safe. However, as I get motion sick on buses, I rather drive myself (yes, if I drive myself, I do not get sick). 
  • Also, driving in Italy is expensive. Most streets are free, but you will have to pay a toll at times on the highways. It’s about 9€ per 100 km. You can calculate tolls in advance here.
  • Unfortunately, gas in Italy is some of the most expensive in Europe

So should you road trip the Dolomites or use public transportation? Honestly, none is something I 100% recommend because both have some major disadvantages. However, for me, road-tripping in the Dolomites worked better.

Best Time to Visit the Dolomites for 7 Days

The Dolomites can be visited all year round. And while the Dolomites are also a perfect winter destination for ski lovers, this post focuses more on non-winter sports activities.

  • I think the summer months are NOT the best time to visit because it can get “scorching.” I am not someone who enjoys the heat – especially not if I plan outdoor activities like hiking. In July and August, temperatures rise to 30°C (86°F). Also, it is the peak season, and more people visit, which leads to crowded trails and more expensive hotel prices.
  • My tips would be to visit in May, June, September, and early October. I visited in September and totally loved it. It was not crowded, the weather was warm (23/25°C), and the hotel prices dropped. Restaurants/activities are open during these months, and you can do all the top things you might not be able to do in the colder months.
  • I wouldn’t advise visiting any later than mid-October because shops and roads may be closed as it gets closer to winter.

More Travel Tips for the Dolomites

  • In the Dolomites, there are actually three different languages spoken: German, Italian, and Ladin (the local dialect). Many places have two or even three names. Most of the staff at hotels, restaurants, and in the tourism industry speaks some (basic) English, too.
  • Personally, I think the Dolomites offer good value for the money compared to other European countries, like Switzerland and Austria. You get to see a lot for your money, the food isn’t as expensive, and the accommodations are not as pricey as in other parts of central Europe.


Okay, let´s get started with the most beautiful places and the best things to do in the Dolomites. As you can see, you can easily exchange the days and activities and aren’t stuck to a certain route. However, if you change hotels and stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo for a few nights first and then change to Ortisei, it is important to plan accordingly.

Day 1 in the Dolomites

For the first day in the Dolomites, you can plan to visit this incredible lake and do some “town sightseeing.”

Lago di Braies

Seeing South Tyrol in one week wouldn’t be complete without spending some time at Lago di Braies. Add this lake to your Dolomites itinerary. Lago di Braies, best mountain lkae in South TyrolLago di Braies (also known as Pragser Wildsee or Lake Braies) is one of the most famous spots in the Dolomites and is considered the most beautiful lake. Situated at 1,496 meters above sea level, it is the largest natural lake in the Dolomites.

  • Hiking around the lake (the shoreline is approximately 3.5 km) only takes about two hours, so you can plan some more time for a picnic meal or rent a boat and spend time on and in the water.
  • The maximum surface water temperature is 14°C. So while you are allowed to swim in Lago di Braies, you might want to pass.

Dolomites what to do, Arzo Travels

Buses are going, and if you drive yourself, you will find a big parking space (with a fee of about 8€, you can park there for a day). However, I think 3-4 hours at Lago di Braies might be enough.

  • It takes about 45 minutes to get to Lago Braies by car (45km) from Cortina d’Ampezzo. There you will explore the town center of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • This stunning lake will definitely be a highlight of your trip. Here is my detailed Lago di Braies guide.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a great base for your Dolomites trip. It is known as one of Italy’s most famous and fashionable ski resorts, but it is also a good place to visit in the other seasons. After your trip to Lago di Braies, it is time to stroll this town.

Dolomites itinerary, Arzo Travels

When I visited, I stayed overnight in the city center but did not have time to do much sightseeing. But if I had a full day, I would spend it wandering the streets and taking in the pretty buildings and the town’s unique personality.

If you’re interested in some history, you can take a guided tour up to a rebuilt encampment that the Italians held during the First World War. They attempted to overtake Cortina but met with local resistance that held them back for three years.

End day 1 slowly because some hiking is waiting for your second day.

Day 2 in the Dolomites

For the second day in the Dolomites, you can plan to visit this stunning lake – Lago di Sorapis.

Lago di Sorapis

Lake Sorapis is one of the most unique lakes in all of Europe. It reminded me of Canada’s gorgeous lakes. Lago di Sorapis, best things to see in the DolomitesFor Lago di Sorapis, I would suggest planning to spend the whole day. The lake is located in a remote area of the mountains and requires a hike. But it is worth the trouble as it is one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites. 

  • There are two hiking paths that you can choose from: one easy to moderate and one moderate to difficult. I chose the latter one by accident, and it was very strenuous. So, I would suggest taking the easier one and saving your energy for enjoying the lake. Even if you choose the easier one, it takes a couple of hours to hike to the lake, so it is not as easy as some of you hope.
  • You should bring your own drinks and food, as there are not many places there for you to buy some. Also, the refuges/restrooms might not be open if you do not visit during peak season in summer.
  • Find out more about my hike to Lago Sorapis here.

To get to Lago di Sorapis, plan a 20-minute car drive from Cortina d’Ampezzo (12km), but you can also get there by bus.

Day 3 in the Dolomites

The Drei Zinnen hike is a highlight for many Dolomites visitors. Whether you enjoy hiking or not, visiting this national park is a must.

Drei Zinnen/ Tre Cime di Lavaredo

The Drei Zinnen should be a priority on your Dolomites itinerary – because here, you will see the Dolomites mountains at their best. Drei Zinnen, a.k.a. Tre Cime di Lavaredo will require a full day as it is time-consuming to reach. Northern Italy best places to seeTre Cime di Lavaredo is made up of three mountains that reach almost 3000 meters high. When the Dolomites were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, these three peaks became THE symbol. The most popular and scenic hike is a 9.5 km loop hike around the peaks and rated “easy/moderate” and is mostly flat.

  • The hike around the mountains will take around 4 hours (without long breaks) but given the time to get there, I also suggest planning a full day for Drei Zinnen. The views are amazing and even though I did not do the full hike (due to bad planning on my side), it was worth my time and money.
  • I didn’t notice any water fountains (unlike many other places in Italy), so make sure you bring your own food and water.

Downside: Why was it worth my money? Well, if you get here in your own car, you have to pay a 30€ entry fee/toll for driving the mountain road, but it is also your parking fee. So, when you travel solo, as I did, it is quite a lot of money for a hike. But well, it was worth it.

  • It is just 20km from Cortina d’Ampezzo, but it takes almost an hour to get there.

Day 4 in the Dolomites

One of the most beautiful surprises was Ortisei – so, I also suggest it to your Dolomites itinerary. I actually suggest moving hotels and staying in/near Ortisei for the last few days because it is closer to the other attractions following now.

Ortisei / Urtijëi/ Sankt Ulrich 

Make sure you stop in Ortisei. Located within Val Gardena, this small village is extremely beautiful and colorful, and I must say, it is one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites. Northern Italy what to visit, UrtiseiI loved Ortisei. It is known for its craftsmanship and wooden sculptures, but also as a great holiday destination. I adored the colorful houses and the peaceful atmosphere. Awww, maybe I was just lucky with the perfect weather, but I seriously enjoyed it!

  • Wherever you are in Ortisei, you have a view of the mountains, and despite being a small town, I advise spending a full day here.
  • Take a hike to St. Jacob’s Church (which probably dates back to the 12th century) and enjoy the great views. You can start your hike from the Parish Church in Ortisei. It will take about 1-2 hours to get to St. Jacob’s Church (3km). You can also take a bus almost all the way up and do a minimum of hiking.

Though not the most famous place, I think it is a must for any Dolomites itinerary.

Day 5 in the Dolomites

If you have more than 5 days in the Dolomites, one of your days could be wonderfully spent in the capital of South Tyrol.


Bolzano is one of the best places to visit in the Dolomites. With tons of cultural, historical, and natural sights, you don’t want to skip this city. Best places to visit in the Dolomites, BolzanoThere are so many interesting things to see here that you will definitely need a full day.

  • You will find the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in the city center, an exhibit for the oldest skeleton ever found, a Neolithic mummy called Ötzi the Iceman.
  • The Mareccio Castle is not very imposing but really beautiful. You should definitely make a stop there.
  • Or you could stroll around the Duomo di Bolzano, a cathedral done in Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.
  • If you prefer shopping, there is a daily market at the Piazza Delle Erbe. There were many spices, vegetables, and fruits being sold, and it was a lively scene.
  • You can also visit the old town, take a stroll by the river, or take the funiculars up to the mountain peaks for some hiking.
  • You could also book a wine tasting tour and enjoy the Italian way of life!

From Ortisei to Bolzano, it takes about 45 minutes by car (36km).

Day 6 in the Dolomites

Even though I stayed for more than 7 days in the Dolomites and I saw many beautiful places in the Dolomites, I did not manage to visit Seiser Alm. However, I think it is a good place to visit, and I wish I had done so because I do think that visiting Alp Seis is one of the best things to do in the Dolomites.

Seiser Alm / Alpe di Siusi

From what I’ve seen in the pictures, it is surely one of the Dolomites’ best day trips. You’ll want to plan one full day for this destination. best places to visit in Dolomites, Italy, Arzo TravelsThis high-altitude alpine pasture is popular year-round.

  • Skiers love it in the winter, but summer and even spring and autumn are ideal for hiking.
  • Located in the Castelrotto municipality, this picturesque plain is full of history, and you can explore castles, ruins, and churches while here.

Day 7 in the Dolomites

For the last day in the Dolomites, I suggest taking it easy – but easy does not mean breathtaking. Actually, for the last day, I recommend visiting an amazing place in the Dolomites: Lago di Carezza.

Lago di Carezza

End your Dolomites trip with a visit to the tiny yet stunning Val d’Ega Valley – especially visiting colorful Lake Carezza is one of my top tips for things to do in the Dolomites. Dolomites mountain lakes, Lago di CarezzzaI have to admit: While I adore Lake Carezza for its unique beauty, it can be time-consuming to reach. It is a mountain lake, so it takes a while, and there are multiple speed cams, so watch out for them if you drive yourself. You can also get there by bus (check out my detailed guide for more info).

  • Once you get out of your car/bus, you are directly at the lake, and there is not much walking required.
  • The lake looks absolutely beautiful and was my favorite lake in the region.
  • There are many benches and fast food shops if you want to picnic and relax – if you want to hike around the lake, it just takes a few minutes.
  • You can also hike in the Rose Garden. There are numerous hikes available for you to choose from – from moderate hikes to challenging hikes, including Via Ferrate.

Depending on whether you hike in the Rose Garden, this trip to Lake Carezza will probably take about 1-8 hours in total.

P.S.: One of my readers told me she was a bit disappointed because it seemed trees around the lake were cut back, and it does not look as it does in my pictures. My pictures are not photoshopped, so this is how I experienced this beautiful lake area. However, I did some research, and apparently, there was a wild storm that had a negative impact on the trees and surroundings, so keep that in mind.

The lake is surely no hidden gem (unlike Lake Pianozes), but it is just so pretty and a perfect place to end a trip to this unique place.

From Ortisei to Lago di Carezza it takes about 1 hour by car (55km). 

Day Trips From the Dolomites

If you have a day left or decide to skip one of my awesome suggestions, you could do a day trip to one of these gorgeous places (though more driving is required).


The Dolomites Mountains are a unique and stunning destination in northern Italy, and I hope this post has given you a good idea about the best things to do in the Dolomites.

Driving in the Dolomites wasn’t always fun (these narrow mountain roads are just not my favorite streets), but I enjoyed my Dolomites itinerary and all the beautiful places. I would visit each of the places mentioned here again – and if I could, I would probably stay longer than 7 days in the Dolomites.

You won’t be disappointed when you see the beautiful scenery, interesting culture, and surprising history that make this Italian jewel unique.


Save this pin on Pinterest! Things to do in Dolomites, itinerary, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo


France, Alsace road trip. What to do and see in 3 days in Alsace, incl. Strasbourg, Colmar and more


Are you planning your Alsace itinerary and wondering about the best places to visit in Alsace in 3 days (or 4 days)? This post is for you: find out where to go, what to do, how to road trip Alsace and more travel tips.

The Alsace region in the eastern part of France is known for several things – most of all, its wine, food, and cute medieval towns. The 170-kilometer-long Alsatian Wine Route weaves its way through Alsace’s thousand-year-old wine country. From Thann to Marlenheim, it passes through a string of picturesque villages in full bloom and well-known wine-producing towns. 

So, what does a person like me, a vegetarian who couldn’t care less about wine, do in Alsace? 

The answer is that road-tripping this lovely province is one of the most beautiful trips you can take in France – and you do not have to be into wine to enjoy it. That‘s because vineyards are also for the eyes, and there are some of the most beautiful villages and towns here in France.

So, if you are wondering about a good – and quite short – road trip in Central Europe, then the Alsace Wine Route tour is probably perfect for you.

Here is my Alsace Wine Route road trip itinerary – 3 days in Alsace is the minimum, in my opinion. If you have 4, 5, 6, or 7 days, even better – but three days in Alsace is a good starting point for getting a very impression of Alsace.

Here are some travel tips before naming some great stops and the best places to see in Alsace on this road trip.

Whether you road trip or use public transportation, you should be aware of a few things to better prepare for your trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.


Before talking about the most beautiful places in Alsace (from what I have seen), here are some travel tips.

Pin Me For Later – 3 Days in Alsace

Alsace, France Road trip in 3 days, best places to visit and best places to see, Alsace wine tour road trip

What is the Alsace Wine Route?

The Alsace Wine Route is one of the oldest wine routes in France (launched in 1953), and visitors can enjoy many activities relating to wine and the vineyard all year round.

It winds 170km from the north to the south of the region, passing charming wine-growing villages. From April to October, villages organize wine and harvest festivals in turn, which means a lot of folk entertainment, processions, and wine-tastings take place throughout the day and even at night.

This Alsace itinerary does not cover the whole route, but if you add one or two more days and stay in Alsace for 4 or 5 days total, you can do the full road trip.

How to Get to Alsace

There are some international airports here, including the ones in Strasbourg and Mulhouse-Basel (about 70km from Colmar).

Colmar and Strasbourg, the end and starting points of this itinerary, also have well-connected train stations (it takes less than two hours to get from Paris to Strasbourg on the fast train).

How to Get Around Alsace

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: If you visit Alsace, you will find out quickly that using public transportation can be tricky. Many travel bloggers complained about bus timetables that were not easy to understand.

ROAD TRIP: So, for this Alsace itinerary, the best way to get around is to drive yourself (no tolls included in this trip). You can either rent a car or get here on your own. For day trips, you can do organized tours or get around via train, which is quite easy from Colmar to Strasbourg, for example.

Driving in Alsace 

Driving in Alsace is quite fun – the views are scenic, and the towns and villages you pass are pretty. The streets are well-paved. French drivers are generally a bit reckless and tend to tailgate. Don’t let them stress you out and drive at your own speed (there are speed signs everywhere, and though I did not see many speed cams, I would take speed limits seriously if you do not want to get tickets back home).

The brown signs indicate the “Alsace Wine Road Trip”. I did not always see them and really typed in each of the places I wanted to go to in my GPS. I made sure to add smaller places, so my GPS would navigate me correctly.

During peak season, parking can get difficult, but there is quite a lot of parking in front of each town/village.

One hour costs around 2€ in most places (if you are on a really tight budget, you could park your car about a kilometer outside of each town center). It is 3€ for a day pass in Eguisheim – which is an exception though, and normally you have to put coins into a small machine and pay in advance.

This means you have to think about the length of your stay in advance. Some places offer free parking on Sundays or after 7 pm.

Best Time to Visit for AN Alsace Road Trip

Visiting between May and October means you will enjoy the most beautiful scenery!  You will either enjoy the spring buds, the summer berries, or the fall harvest during this time.

I actually visited at the end of March and did not regret it. Yes, I imaged it to be even greener and prettier in my head, but visiting in March or April when the vines had just started to bud also meant fewer visitors, fewer crowds (oh, these small towns and villages can get crowded), and more spontaneity with my hotel booking.

December is a very popular time to visit Alsace because of the famous Christmas Markets. However, if you have come here for the vineyards and enjoy scenic rides while the sun is shining, come in the warmer months.

Check out my packing guide for Europe in winter or Europe in summer.Alsace hiking vineyards

Where to Stay in Alsace

I stayed in Strasbourg for two nights and another night in Colmar. I explored Strasbourg for one full day and then drove to Colmar on my second day. Along the way, I managed to see all of the places I mention below. I spent my third day in Colmar and ended my trip there. 

If this is your first trip to Europe, check out my Europe travel tips.

Map Of Best Places to Visit in Alsace


If you rent a car, I suggest renting one on Day 2 of your trip. For Strasbourg, you will not need a car (flying into Strasbourg means you can get to the city center easily by public transportation or taxi).

Day 1: Strasbourg

I started my trip in Strasbourg. It is not an official part of the Alsace Wine Route road trip, but it is one of the region’s must-see places. It is so rich in sights and attractions that I would plan at least one full day here.Strasbourg Cathedral in one day It is located in the northern part of the Alsace Wine Route, making it the perfect starting or ending point.  Strasbourg is the biggest city in the region and a wonderful place to see for a day or two. It is mostly known for its half-timbered houses and political institutions (for the European Union), but do not skip the lovely parks and gardens.Strasbourg Petite FranceWalking along River III and marveling at the colorful houses will make you fall in love with the city. You will see all the beautiful magnolia trees in the spring and summertime, which make strolls even nicer.

I suggest spending a full day in Strasbourg and stay overnight before starting your next day early. Check out my detailed Strasbourg itinerary with detailed tips and more travel tips.

Where to Stay in Strasbourg

Day 2 : Obernai, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim

While the more scenic routes come when driving through the little towns and villages along the vineyards, I drove the highway to get to my first stop, which took me about 30 minutes.

I should mention that I normally left my hotel around 7 am, so I am out for quite a while and get to see as much as possible. So, for this second day, I managed to see a lot in Alsace, but if you do not want to start your day so early, you might have to skip one place or another.

Also, if you do a wine tasting, you will have to skip a few places – or add one or two more days to your itinerary so that you can visit all the places I saw in one day in 2 or 3 days.


I did not spend much time here, but I really liked what I saw. I made Obernai the first real stop on my wine route tour.Alsace Road Trip, ObernoiAlsace itinerary, Obernai It is a very well-preserved town in the region. Whether you drive through or park your car and stroll the place, checking out the town hall or Saint Pierre and Paul Church, it is cute and fun and a good first stop.

If you are doing this itinerary as I did, you will not have much time. If you have a minimum of four days in Alsace, you can also visit the Mont Sainte-Odile (first drive there and then hike up) and enjoy panoramic views of the Alsatian plain.

If you are into hiking, take your time and see what there is to see at Mont Sainte-Odile (located west of Obernai), which makes this part either a 10-minute stop or a half-a-day stop.

After that, head to Ribeauville.


This cute little village is absolutely charming. Located along the Alsace Wine Route, there’s plenty to see here besides the vineyards.Alsaces most beautiful villages, Ribeauville

Alsaces most beautiful places, Ribeauville Walking through Ribeauville will give you the chance to see it in all its glory. Colorful houses with flowers on display, medieval castles and churches, and historical monuments are scattered throughout the old town. 

When you head to the vineyards, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of the vines and the Alsace region.

If you don’t have enough time, you can skip it, but if you are going to be in Alsace for four days or are very motivated during a shorter visit, then visit this lovely French town.


If you can visit only one place on this day, then make it Riquewihr. While all of the places mentioned had their charms and were impressive, this one was my favorite.Alsace, France best places to see and go

Alsace itinerary 3 days, Riquewihr It’s a tiny village with narrow streets and bright, colorful houses – Riquewihr definitely likes to show off. It felt unreal and reminded me a bit of Germany´s most beautiful medieval town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber (though it is smaller).

Wander through its cobblestone streets, visit the 13th-century Dolder Tower houses (one of which has a medieval weapons display), or stop by the 16th-century Maison de Vigneron that has winemaking tools and a restored kitchen for you to see.

Shortly after Riquewihr, you will be entering the heart of the vineyard region. Don’t hesitate to stop and explore, go winery-hopping (with moderation, of course, unless you want to walk all the way back!), and taste the many wines the region is famous for, like Riesling.


Kaysersberg was my second to last stop for this day – another idyllic village on this Alsace road trip. What sets it apart from the other medieval villages is its fast-moving river, which gives it a different feel.Alsace, France best things to do in 3-5 days, KaysersbergAlsace what to do in 3-5 days, Kaysersberg Like the other towns in this area, the flowers and half-timbered houses are focal points when you visit. As small as Kaysersberg is, you should have no trouble getting around on foot and taking in the sights.

One of those sights is the Château de Kaysersberg. Built over 800 years ago, the castle played a key role in developing the town and its history. 

I did not have a chance to go up to the castle. But if you have more time than I did, you can enjoy lovely views and see colorful Kaysersberg from above.


If you have time – and more importantly, if you have some energy left – you can make Eguisheim your last stop of the day. Alsace, France best places to visit Eguisheim

Alsace, France best places to see Eguisheim Surrounded by lush green hills, Eguisheim is a quaint little town along the Alsace Wine Route. Full of narrow streets, lovely architecture, and colorful flowers, this is the perfect place to get lost for a few hours. See some historical fountains and visit the 13th-century church that displays the well-known  “Opening Virgin” statue while you’re here.

Day 3: Colmar

Last but not least, plan for a full day for Colmar. It is either a good starting or ending point on the itinerary and one of France’s prettiest towns.Colmar, Little Venice is the most beautiful place to visit in Colmar, FranceColmar where to go and what to do in one day, visit Little Venice The town is bigger than the other places mentioned on this Alsace itinerary (except for Strasbourg), but still small enough to be walkable. I think that one day in this fairy-tale town is surely enough to see its best attractions, like Little Venice and the old town.

Here is my detailed 1-day itinerary for Colmar with more travel tips.

Where to Stay in Colmar

  • I stayed at the 3-star Colmar Hotel, and I loved it. It is just next to the train station, so whether you get here in your own car or by train, the hotel is perfect. Also, the breakfast was great (including muffins, crepes, pancakes, and much more) and the rooms were clean, bright, and modern. It is for sure my first pick for Colmar. To find out more about the hotel and check out rates, click here.


If you have more time for your Alsace trip, then this might be interesting for you.

Chateau du Haute Koenigsbourg

Over 850 years old, this medieval castle sits on a rocky hill overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain. Centuries ago, it was used as a strategic lookout before being abandoned and later rebuilt by German Kaiser Wilhelm II.

This castle gets over 500,000 visitors a year, and it’s easy to see why. From its vantage point, you can see out across the Alsace region, and the views are breathtaking.

I did not have a chance to visit the castle while I was in Alsace, but if you like to hike or plan to spend 4+ days out here, I would definitely suggest going.


As you will find out, when visiting the region yourself, Alsace means beautiful medieval towns and villages, fun cities, lush vineyards (at times), and lovely mountain roads.

The Alsace Wine Tour road trip (what a name!) is a fun and easy road trip. So, if you stay 3 days in Alsace, you will have enough time to see the most beautiful places in a nutshell. 

Stay safe and have fun!Safe Travels, Arzo

How to Plan a Perfect Road Trip

Road Trips

Road Trip Essentials and More

Are you planning a road trip (maybe the first) and are wondering how to plan a perfect road trip? Then read on, as I am sharing my tips for a fun road trip. Don’t get me wrong – for the longest time, I disliked driving long distances.

For years, driving seemed to be a necessary evil to me- I drove to get from Point a –> Point b.

Well, now, this way of thinking about road trips has totally changed. Road trips can be freaking awesome, and they are one of the best ways to explore a destination- you´ll probably end up seeing places you never would see if you traveled by plane and public transport only.

Use these road trip travel tips to have a fantastic road trip as well, and I am sure you´ll enjoy yours as much as I am enjoying mine now. I cannot wait for my annual road trip which will start someday in June!

Find out about what to pack for a road trip, road trip essentials, road trip necessities, and what to think about when planning the perfect road trip!


The first thing is to understand that road tripping is not only a way to get around. Though there are some places more beautiful than others, the goal should not be to arrive as quickly as possible– make a few more stop. These are stops are not necessary but will make the trip much more fun.

This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind when you plan a road trip.

Here are some more tips for a great road trip: Plan my road trip!

Travel Tips for a Perfect Road Trip - Plan the Perfect Road Trip - Road Trip Essentials
Travel Tips for a Perfect Road Trip

Planning: Driving with a rental car or your own car?

What to Know When Driving With Your Own Car

Get your car checked

• Better to check too much than too little. Are the wheels okay? The breaks, and everything else?


• Does your car have proper insurance?

Roadside Rescue Service

• Be prepared for all emergencies


• Vehicle Registration

• Registration Documents

What to Know When Driving With Your Rental Car

When renting a car, the price is important, but not the only aspect to think about. You should also think about the

• size

• what kind of insurance

• manual/automatic

• what kind of gas

• AC in summer


  •  Does your car have proper insurance?

Roadside rescue service

• Be prepared for all emergencies


• Vehicle Registration

• Registration Documents

Click here to find out why a travel insurance is so essential.

Check Out Rates for a Rental Car

Road Trip Essentials List - how to plan the perfect road trip
Travel Tips for a Perfect Road Trip – How top plan a perfect road trip @shutterstock

Preparations for your Road Trip – Road Trip Essentials List

Clean your car before traveling

Check if you have a

  • Safety Vest
  • Spare tire
  • First Aid Kit


  • If you have to pay toll fees for using freeways, etc.
  • If your license is valid and good to use at your destination

Do a rough plan of your itinerary:

  • Plan which places you want to see for sure, where you´d like to sleep, etc., but leave some room for spontaneous ideas.
  • Book accommodation in advance, so so that you do not have to worry about that

Pack a “carry-on” bag and position it practically, so it is ready to hand (find out how to pack a perfect carry-on – though, I wrote it for flights, it can also be partly used for road trips).

Take some extra money and leave it somewhere in the car (change and bills)

Note down addresses and phone numbers on a piece of paper (just in case)


  •  spare key
  • extra water for the car (so, actually not only for you but also if your car needs water).
  •  GPS- it makes driving so much easier
  • Street Map
  • entertainment: iPod, CDs, audio books etc.
  • Smartphone
  • Free-Hand Calling 
  • Car Charger
  • Buy a Gas Can and fill it with gas
  • Blanket  – for a break, for an emergency
  • Wet Wipes, Tissues, Sanitizer
  • Travel Mug

Make a “first aid kit” (and keep the other first aid kit only for emergencies: pack some band-aids, a little scissor, knife, fork, salt, sugar, chewing gum etc.)

Have some snacks and drinks in a little bag (or even in a cooling box

Wear good and comfortable shoes (no high heels, no flip flops) and comfortable clothes – t-shirt, sweatpants etc.)

My last and probably one of the most important advices which MUST be followed:

Don´t Drink & Drive

Plan the Perfect Road Trip - Road Trip Essentials -

I hope, this tips help you to have a great road and safe road trip!


P.S. Talking about road trips: My favorite road trip was driving through Switzerland, but Belgium and France is high on my list – find out why road tripping Belgium and France is on my list. Especially my Alsace road trip was amazing but so was driving in Bavaria.

But since then, I even drove in Jordan, on Mallorca, Croatia, Montenegro or Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, the tips above helped me to stay safe and enjoy road trips because, though I might be a bit chaotic at times, these road trip essentials have always been with me.

If you are looking more for a guide how to plan your itinerary click here.


Safe Travels, Arzo


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