The Balkans in Europe is a large peninsula with around a dozen countries. It is an often forgotten destination for backpackers to enjoy. Serbia and its capital, Belgrade, is famous for its nightlife and is a popular attraction for socialities. Serbia is an affordable destination in Europe, and the people are very friendly while English is widely spoken.
Flying solo and traveling in hostels just got a lot easier with Hostelworld’s new Solo Travel App that allows travelers to connect with other people staying at the hostel before arriving. Belgrade is also a great location to explore the neighboring countries – like the tiny country of Montenegro to the south on the coast. Belgrade is a top attraction along any three-week itinerary through the Balkans.
What Makes Belgrade The Backpacking Hub Of The Balkans
The countries that make up the Balkans are Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, and Greece. It can be argued that Serbia’s capital city, Belgrade is the hub of backpacking in the region. While Greece’s Athens is a bigger destination and is theoretically part of the Balkans, it is much more Mediterranean in climate and culture.
Other popular destinations are Split in Croatia and the Transylvania region of Romania (where people go to see Dracula castles and hike in the Carpathian Mountains).
What makes Belgrade special is that it is one of the very few backpacker-friendly ‘big’ cities of the Balkans and is famous for its party life and nightlife. The drinks and parties in Belgrade are comparatively cheap and affordable for backpackers.
Belgrade is also well-connected to the other cities and countries of the Balkan Peninsula. For example, the sleeper train from Belgrade to Bar just might be one of the most underrated train journeys in Europe.
Serbia is a great way to leave Schengen without leaving Europe (Slovenia and Greece are part of Schengen, and Croatia is joining on 1 January 2023).
- Visa Policy: Visa-Free for Up To 90 Days
Traveling through the Balkans is easy, and all countries are visa-free for American passport holders.
Belgrade Has Many Great Hostels For Backpackers To Stay At
Belgrade has many excellent hostels for backpackers to choose from right in the center of the Old City. Each hostel offers a different and unique vibe. Two hostels to consider are Up Hostel and El Diablo Hostel – and they offer starkly different hostel experiences.
Up Hostel Belgrade:
Up Hostel Belgrade is a new hostel located in the Old City of Belgrade. This hostel is in a newly renovated building and so its kitchen, beds, bathrooms, and more are modern and new. The hostel is a medium-sized hostel with a welcoming atmosphere.
- Rating: 9.0 Stars (With 75 Reviews) On Hostelworld
That being said, it also has a bit of a feel of a hotel setting. This is a great option for those looking for a modern, professional, and comfortable hostel. It has a selection of dormitory accommodation and private rooms (some with an en suite bathroom).
- Private Room: Approx. $60 Two-Bed Apartment with En Suite
- Dorm Bed: Approx. $23 In 8 Bed Dorm
During the summer months, Up Hostel also has a great courtyard garden for the guests to socialize and party.
El Diablo Hostel Belgrade:
El Diablo Hostel Belgrade is just around the corner from Up Hostel Belgrade but offers a very different atmosphere. It is a very small hostel with only 20 beds and offers a cozy, friendly, and personal experience. Out of concern for the hostel’s neighbors, the hostel is quiet after 10 pm (but in Belgrade, people party in the nightclubs anyway).
- Rating: 9.6 Stars (With 889 Reviews) On Hostelworld
The hostel is richly decorated with its hellish theme and witchcraft (after all, it’s called ‘El Diablo,’ aka The Devil).
- Private Room: Approx. $80.00 With En Suite
- Dorm Bed: Approx. $24 In 8 Bed Dorm
El Diablo is one of the older hostels in Belgrade and has been operating for around 10 years. It also has a selection of dormitories and private room accommodations.
During the summertime, El Diablo has a great (and decorated) balcony for guests to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of Belgrade. Come during Halloween for some awesome parties and decorations, The Travel writes.