Sofia Adventures

Welcome to Sofia!

Sofia is an intriguing city, with corners that show at various times a glint of the splendor of Vienna, the charm of Istanbul, the quirkiness of Budapest, and the brutalism of Moscow. You’ll find Roman ruins in our subway stations, medieval icons in the church basements, and Thracian relics in the former presidential palace. Yet Sofia brings all of these seemingly disparate traditions together into one magical, inspiring city.

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DISCOVER SOFIA

DISCOVER SOFIA

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How To Plan an Epic Honeymoon in Istanbul in 5 Easy Steps

Istanbul is one of the most romantic cities I can think of, and planning a honeymoon in Istanbul is a no-brainer.

The city is beautiful, historic, and captivating, the kind of place where unforgettable memories are easily made. The fact that the Turkish lira is in a slump means that, for foreign visitors, an Istanbul honeymoon is well within reach and you’ll get way more bang for your buck here than in other romantic traditional honeymoon destinations like Venice or Paris.

While neither of us has been on honeymoon in Istanbul (yet), we’ve been to the city eight times, with romantic partners and without, and we have a sense of what the most romantic things to do in Istanbul are so you can plan an unforgettable Istanbul honeymoon.

Turkey - Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - Canva

Since the stress of a wedding is enough to make any sane person crack – Stephanie knows firsthand! – this honeymoon guide to Istanbul makes it quite easy, with just five steps.

We’ve broken down planning a honeymoon trip to Istanbul and made it easy to customize, so that you can mix and match your own unforgettable and romantic experience — without needing to purchase a pricy, cookie-cutter Istanbul honeymoon package that doesn’t match your actual style.

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Planning your honeymoon in Turkey? Istanbul is an underrated honeymoon spot, and we're here with 5 simple steps to making your Istanbul honeymoon perfect and stress-free, full of the most romantic places in Istanbul. From private tours of Istanbul's attractions to luxury Bosphorus cruises to food tours, shopping experiences, and beyond, plus our top Istanbul honeymoon hotel recommendations, here is all you need to plan a perfect Istanbul honeymoon!

Istanbul Honeymoon Planning Checklist: 5 Easy Steps to the Trip of a Lifetime

Don’t get caught up in overwhelm! We’ve broken down how to prep a perfect honeymoon in Turkey into 7 simple, easy-to-follow steps, so you can easily get your honeymoon planning out of the way, so you can focus on other issues – like planning your wedding.

How to Use This Istanbul Honeymoon Guide

While we have big, exhaustive guides for many of these topics (and we’ll link to them in case you want to read them), the whole point of a honeymoon is a blissful, stress-free experience. You likely don’t want to delve into one of our 12,000-word epic posts about what to do (even though we sometimes write that much – we’re wordy and love this region, guys!).

Instead, we’ve pulled the most relevant information and trimmed the fat so that this is the ultimate, definitive resource for planning a honeymoon in Istanbul. However, if you want to, you certainly could check out our Turkey page which has all of our Istanbul content if you want to check our resources more thoroughly!

Step 1: Sort out your visa!

It’s not a sexy start to planning your honeymoon in Istanbul, but first of all, you need to make sure you can actually enter the country. After all, nothing would kill a honeymoon high faster than arriving in Istanbul only to get turned away at the border.

We have our full list of countries that require visas to Turkey on our planning a trip to Turkey page, or you can check out the Turkish government’s e-Visa site for the most up-to-date information.

Keep in mind that many countries with generally “strong” passports require a visa for Turkey, including the U.S., Canada, Ireland, the U.K., and Australia. The only countries who are eligible for visa exemption are the following countries.

Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France*, Georgia*, Germany*, Greece*, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Italy*, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein*, Lithuania, Luxembourg*, Malaysia, Moldova*, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland*, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine*, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela

Those marked with a * can use their ID card or their passport to enter Turkey.

If your country is not on the above list, head to the Turkish government’s website here to apply – be careful not to get your visa from any other site or you will likely overpay!

Step 2: Book a dreamy Istanbul honeymoon hotel

Turkey - Istanbul - Hammamhane
One of our favorite hotels in Istanbul!

One of the best things about planning a honeymoon in Istanbul is that accommodations are quite affordable, meaning you can often book a hotel that would normally be out of your price range in a more expensive city. For example, a Four Seasons in Istanbul is about a third of the price of a Four Seasons in Paris. So if you’ve always dreamed of staying an incredible hotel, this is the time for it!

Of course, we also recognize that everyone’s honeymoon budget is different, especially after the financial stress of planning a wedding on top of it, so we’ve also highlighted some budget-conscious mid-range stays that are gorgeous, affordable, and won’t max out your credit card.

For a honeymoon in Istanbul, we have three main neighborhoods we recommend: Sultanahmet, Besiktas, and Galata.

Turkey - Istanbul - Istanbul Skyline - Canva

We recommend Sultanahmet for people who want to be in the heart of the tourist action and for Istanbul first-timers. There’s a wide variety of hotels here, often at extremely good price ranges, but keep in mind it is a more touristic part of the city and therefore it will be more crowded. The proximity to all of Istanbul’s incredible museums, mosques, and minarets is hard to beat, but it does come with the trade-off of being around lots of other tourists. We’ve written a complete guide to hotels in Sultanahmet near the Blue Mosque, which may be helpful for you.

For people who want to stay away from the crowds, we highly recommend Beşiktaş. This beautiful riverside neighborhood is home to some of Istanbul’s most luxurious hotels and prestigious brands, as well as a range of budget-flattering accommodations. It’s great if you’ve been to Istanbul before and want to be a bit more off-the-path and close to beautiful destinations like Ortaköy Mosque and Dolmabahçe Palace. 

Turkey - Istanbul - Ortaköy Mosque - Canva Purchase

Finally, for people who want to be in the heart of the more artsy and young side of Istanbul, we recommend Galata. It’s a semi-touristic area that’s not quite as crowded as Sultanahmet, but it’s still close to everything you’d want to see. This is the heart of modern-day Istanbul, where you’ll find plenty of laid-back nightlife, boutiques to shop at, and delicious restaurants. 

Pro tip: Whichever neighborhood you choose, we strongly recommend arriving in Istanbul with a private transfer to your hotel booked! Your honeymoon is not the time to stress haggling with taxi drivers or sweating on the metro with all your luggage. This is the best-rated transfer company; check rates here.

Turkey - Istanbul - Galata Tower

Istanbul Honeymoon Hotels in Sultanahmet

Mid-Range

Want to feel like Turkish royalty without paying a price to match? Check out Saba Sultan Hoteljust 200 meters from the Blue Mosque. With a Turkish-inspired décor, a gorgeous terrace with views over Istanbul’s Blue Mosque and its minarets (perfect for Instagram photos!), large windows, and stunning antique furniture, this is a fantastic yet affordable place to stay in Sultanahmet.

The breakfast spread is lush, with olives, freshly baked Turkish bread, and other classic Turkish breakfast items on offer. The staff is helpful and friendly, ready to direct you to any of Istanbul’s main sights which are just within a stone’s throw of the hotel!

»» Check out reviews, prices, and availability here «« 

Luxury

For the ultimate luxury Istanbul experience, check out the Four Seasons in Sultanahmet – truly one of the best places to stay in Istanbul. The hotel itself looks like a palace – in keeping with its neighbors Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, and the Blue Mosque!

The interior is inspired by Turkish opulence and luxury, with arched walkways, marble tiling, beautiful chandeliers, and gorgeous gardens where you can enjoy a meal or some Turkish tea. There’s a wonderful terrace where you can picture-perfect photos of you with the stunning Hagia Sofia or Blue Mosque as your backdrop!

The rooms are modern and comfortable, not excessively formal but rather full of individual personality that makes you instantly feel at ease. The rooms have bespoke pieces created by Turkish artisans such as hand-woven kilims or hand-crafted wooden furniture that give you a one-of-a-kind experience. With only 65 guest rooms, it’s an intimate experience fit for a king.

»» Check out reviews, prices, and availability here ««

Istanbul Honeymoon Hotels in Beşiktaş

Mid-Range

For an affordable yet luxe place to stay in Beşiktaş, Turkuaz Suites is a great mid-range option if you can’t afford the 5* luxury hotels overlooking the Bosphorus. You’ll still get those stunning river views from the terrace and excellent, dedicated service, but with slightly less frills and a lot lower price.

There are a variety of room types for all budgets, from junior suites to glorious penthouse apartments. Many of the suites have kitchenettes, seating areas, and balconies with beautiful views perfect for enjoying a drink or a cup of tea.

»» Check out reviews, prices, and availability here ««

Luxury

There are too many luxury options in Besiktas, but I’d have to pick the Shangri-La right on the river. With restaurants, bars, and a spa on site, it’s basically a city unto itself. Its luxury spa, CHI, has a heated indoor pool, a wood sauna, a traditional Turkish hammam, hot tubs, and steam rooms – plus private spa suites should you need a little extra privacy! It’s the perfect place for getting away from the at-times hectic Istanbul atmosphere.

There are a variety of fantastic restaurants at the hotel as well. IST TOO is your passport to world cuisine, with Japanese, Thai, Mediterranean, and Turkish inspiration. Meanwhile, Shang Palace is the hotel’s crowning achievement, with refined Chinese cuisine fit for the finest. The Lobby Lounge offers over a hundred different teas and delicious pastries, perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Of course, the rooms are ultra-modern and leave nothing to be desired. The decor is elegant yet modern, inspired by Istanbul’s Asian side. The rooms come complete with high-tech in-room amenities like heated marble floors in the bathroom, a flat-screen TV with entertainment offerings, and an iPod docking sound system. Rooms have a variety of perks and views depending on what you choose.

»» Check out reviews, prices, and availability here «« 

Istanbul Honeymoon Hotels in Galata

Mid-Range

Rooftop breakfast with a view of the Galata Tower for less than 50 euros a night? It’s definitely possible at the Galataport Hotel, literally 200 meters away from the gorgeous Galata Tower.

Price and location aren’t all it has going for it, though: guests love it, with an average review score at the time of writing of a whopping 9/10! The rooms are decorated with a classic Ottoman style, slightly old-fashioned but delivering classic luxury. They’re roomy and spacious, with modern bathrooms and windows delivering insane views.

»»Check prices and availability, read reviews, or book online here ««

Luxury

While there are several great luxury properties near Galata, my top pick is Adahan Istanbul, which is in a lovingly restored historical building dating back to 1874, with only 40 rooms so that individual attention is given to each guest. It has a rooftop restaurant with a stunning view over all of Beyoglu, and it’s just a 5-minute walk to Galata Tower. Many of the original details of the 1874 building have been retained: some rooms which even have stunning exposed roof beams with ornate ceiling painting. Meanwhile, the en-suite bathrooms have been given a modern update.

There’s a ton of natural light and the furnishing is kept light and airy, giving you plenty of room to spread out. Many rooms have a private balcony, and for those who don’t the rooftop terrace (where breakfast is served) is a great consolation prize. It’s also quite eco-friendly: purified water is given in glass bottles, they only use organic cotton textiles, and no unnecessary packaged toiletries are given out – only high quality local olive oil soaps and the like.

»» Check prices, availability, and reviews here ««

Step 3: Book some incredible honeymoon experiences

Turkey - Istanbul - Local Wine Turkish Food
Be sure to try some local Turkish wine while on your honeymoon – it’s quite tasty!

For many of the most memorable experiences in Istanbul, you’ll want to book in advance to avoid any disappointments upon arrival. Activities such as chartering a private romantic Bosphorus cruise for you and your new spouse have limited supply, and depending on when you travel, demand can be high as Istanbul is quite a popular travel destination.

Luckily you can book experiences online in advance with platforms like GetYourGuide, which offers a best price guarantee, a transparent review system, and a flexible cancelation policy that offers peace of mind.

We’ve picked out the most romantic and luxurious Istanbul experiences we can imagine below, so you can mix and match to suit your personalities, budgets, and travel style and customize it far more than a package tour could ever offer.

Cruise to the Black Sea and swim in its beautiful waters

Turkey - Istanbul - The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus River connects the Marmara Sea with the Black Sea, which is one of the most beautiful seas we’ve ever seen (we’ve spent a lot of time on the Bulgarian side of the Black Sea, and we’re in love).

Explore palaces and fortresses, enjoy an onboard Turkish lunch, and sail up the Bosphorus to the mouth of the Black Sea, where you can take a swim in pristine Black Sea waters: all for an incredible price. Check out the itinerary and more details here.

Take a private yacht cruise down the Bosphorus with your beloved

Turkey - Istanbul - Istanbul Bosphorus at Night - Canva

A romantic 2-hour private yacht ride down the Bosphorus and Istanbul’s most famous seaside sites with just you, your loved one, and your captain? Sounds like the recipe for an incredible memory.

You’ll set sail along the coastline of both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, taking in the sights from the palaces of Dolmabahce, Beylerbeyi, and Ciragan to the fortress of Rumeli Fortress and Anadolu. Sip on complimentary coffee or tea or splurge on a cocktail or glass of sparkling wine while taking in Istanbul’s gorgeousness from your private yacht. Check out availability and pricing of private cruises.

Take an affordable sunset yacht cruise

If chartering a private yacht is out of your budget (same), you can still take an intimate shared yacht ride down the Bosphorus at sunset, taking in incredible sights for a reasonable price (check out sunset cruises prices here).

You’ll still get all the romantic ambiance of Istanbul at night, plus you’ll also get to cruise down the Bosphorus in a luxury yacht while still having money to splurge on other Istanbul activities.

Enjoy dinner and a show while cruising the Bosphorus

Turkey - Istanbul - Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner - Canva

For a memorable nighttime activity, why not take a 4-hour cruise down the Bosphorus while enjoying a romantic dinner and show? Check out dinner and show cruises here.

It’s a great way to while away a few hours while sharing a memorable experience with your new spouse, and if the two of you are culture vultures, it’s an experience you’ll cherish for years to come.

Take a private Istanbul day tour with your love

Turkey - Istanbul - Blue Mosque - Canva

If you’re the kind of person who wants to spend his or her honeymoon not thinking or figuring out logistics, but simply experiencing the best of a new destination with your loved one, a private luxury day tour is a fantastic option.

This 7-hour tour takes you to all of Istanbul’s top attractions with a private driver who will make sure you feel pampered and enjoy every minute of your Istanbul honeymoon. There are seven different languages available, including English.

Sweep your love away to Cappadocia

Turkey - Canva - Cappadocia - Best Places to Visit in Turkey

Want to surprise your beloved or amp up the romance factor of your Istanbul honeymoon? Consider adding on a 2-day side-trip to Cappadocia, which is easily accessed by affordable flights from Istanbul which depart several times a day. If you want to DIY it, we have lots of guides on Cappadocia, including the best romantic cave hotels to stay in, the best things to do in Cappadocia, and an ideal Cappadocia itinerary for 3 days.

But if you’re feeling like having a hands-off, stress-free getaway to Cappadocia to add onto your honeymoon in Istanbul, there are guided tours that take care of literally everything for you – from flights to organizing morning balloon rides and accommodations and beyond. You can check pricing, itineraries, and availability here.

Eat yourselves silly on a food tour

Turkey - Istanbul - Turkish Breakfast at Private Cafe

The wedding is over and you have nothing you need to fit into anymore – so celebrate with some delicious Turkish food, best experienced on a food walk of the city! The best-rated food tour is the Taste of Two Continents tour, which spends five hours exploring food and culture on both the Asian and European sides of Istanbul.

If you and your new spouse are fans of food, culture, and getting a bit off the beaten path, this is the food tour for you! However, there are some shorter food tour options as well.

Shop til you drop

One of the best things about visiting Istanbul on your honeymoon is all the fantastic homewares you can bring home which will forever remind you of the honeymoon you had and the new home you are building together.

Of course, it’s quite easy to visit the Grand Bazaar by yourself (check out our Istanbul shopping tips for more advice!), but you may prefer visiting with a local guide (information and rates here) who can help steer you towards high-quality and handmade products and away from mass-produced schlock that can be hard for the untrained eye to see.

Step 5: Last-Minute Trip Planning Logistics  

Turkey - Istanbul - View from the Cafeteria at Topkapi Palace

Now that you have picked out what you want to do while you’re in town, there are a couple of logistics you need to think about so that you have a smooth and easy arrival.

Book Your Tickets

If you’ll be flying to Istanbul and haven’t booked your tickets yet, we recommend using Google Flights to get the best deal. Istanbul New Airport tends to have the best deals (Ataturk is now closed) but occasionally Sabiha Gohcen will have good deals, especially if you are flying on Pegasus.

Ground Transportation

We use Uber when we’re in Istanbul to avoid taxi scams and issues – it’s just easier and safer, though I haven’t personally ever been scammed when I’ve taken a regular taxi in Istanbul. If you arrive at the airport, you can use the WiFi there to order a taxi on the app to avoid the overpriced airport taxis.

Turkey - Istanbul - Istanbul Taxi
I’ve heard horror stories about taxis in Istanbul, but I’ve only had pleasant experiences.

We strongly recommend starting off your honeymoon in Istanbul on the right food with a reputable private driver to take you to your hotel. This is the best company we’ve found, with nearly a thousand positive reviews,

Istanbul has an extensive and slightly intimidating public transportation system, including a huge metro network. We generally tend to get around on a combination of foot and Uber, but occasionally the metro does come in handy. We suggest the app Moovit for local transit.

Money in Turkey

Your lira will go a long way!

In Turkey, the currency is the Turkish lira. Occasionally, a price in euros will be given and you can pay in that, but it is always better to pay in lira to get a better rate. The lira is pretty volatile at the moment, so it will fluctuate, but at the moment 1 lira is about 20 cents, and 5 lira is about $1 USD. To get cash, we advise using the ATMs so that you get the best exchange rate.

You can use credit cards at most of the businesses in Istanbul. If you book your tours and hotels online and use Uber for transportation, you can get away with needing very little local currency.

When dining in Istanbul, tip about 10%.

The Turkish Language

In Istanbul, you can get by 99% of the time with English alone. However, it is kind to learn a few words of Turkish – here are some helpful Turkish phrases you may want to learn before your trip.

Istanbul Travel Resources

Turkey - Istanbul - Maidens Tower - Canva

Hopefully, you can plan your entire honeymoon in Istanbul just from this post, but we do have a ton more Turkey travel resources if you need them.

First, start with our top 50 Istanbul travel tips – virtually every question you might have about visiting Istanbul should be covered here.

We’re working on our massive things to do post, but for now, you can check out our Instagram guide to Istanbul, our favorite Istanbul neighborhoods and the best hotels in each one, and tips for shopping in Istanbul.

If you want to get excited about your trip, check out these beautiful Istanbul quotes and these other beautiful places to visit in Turkey for a future trip (trust me, you’ll want to return – a mere city break in Istanbul is not enough!)

If you also think you’ll head to Cappadocia, here are our favorite Instagram spots and also the best cave hotels worth your money.

We have tons more Turkey and Balkans resources, and we publish new content nearly daily. Bookmark our Turkey and Balkans travel pages so you can find any new resources that come out before your trip!

Headed to Istanbul? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

If you’re planning a trip to Istanbul, make sure to travel with a valid travel insurance policy. While we feel safe in Istanbul, you need to be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident.

For travel insurance, I use World NomadsI’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

25 Beautiful Greece Quotes to Inspire Your Greek Travels

Beautiful Greece – the country that launched a thousand travel Instagram captions. Yet most of what gets written under pictures of Santorini or Athens actually have nothing to do with Greece (see: banal quotes about pretty sunsets). What a shame, when literature has given us so many gorgeous quotes about Greece!

So here are our favorite Greek quotes, written by Greek authors, philosophers, and the occasional foreign Greek devotee.

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25 Beautiful Greece Quotes to Inspire Your Greek Travels & Greece Instagram Captions

Our Favorite Greek Quotes & Quotes About Greece

Greece is the most magical place on Earth.

-Kylie Bax

Greece - Meteora

There us a kind of flame in Crete – let us call it “soul” – something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble. 

-Nikos Kazantzakis

Greece - Santorini - Pixabay

Gradually the magic of the island [Corfu] settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen. 

-Gerald Durrell

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor

I know that each one of us travels to love alone, alone to faith and to death. I know it. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t help. Let me come with you.

-Giannis Ritsos

Greece - Mykonos - Beach - Pixabay

Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn’t see their thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they call this free will. At least the ancient Greeks were being honest. 

Chuck Palahniuk

Greece - Athens - Monastiraki

I want to have an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ experience where I drop off the face of the planet and move to Greece.

-Jennifer Hyman

Greece - Poros - Houses and Clock

Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.” 

-Nikos Kazantzakis

Greece - Hydra - Beach - Pixabay

Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing.

-Christopher Hitchens

Greece - Athens - The Acropolis at Sunset

I want to see the Parthenon by moonlight.

-Daphne Du Maurier

Greece - Rhodes - Lindos - Pixabay

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.

-Socrates

Greece - Rhodes - Lindos - Pixabay

In many ways we are all sons and daughters of ancient Greece.

-Nia Vardalos

Greece - Rhodes - Lindos Donkey

Greece was a muse. It inspired creativity in magical ways that I can’t even begin to understand or explain.

-Joe Bonamassa 

Greece - Santorini - Church - Pixabay

Greece has got something like 1,400 islands. There is so much of Greece you can’t know even if you’re Greek. It’s sprinkled out all around the edge of the Aegean, all over the place. It’s already a secret place wherever you go, even if it’s somewhere huge like Athens or Corinth. The place enchanted me. 

-Joanna Lumley

Greece - Meteora - Monastery Winter Cat

You can’t swing a cat in Ancient Greece without hitting one of Zeus’s ex-girlfriends.

-Rick Riordan

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Venetian Loggia - Canva

Greece gave democracy to the rest of the world.

-Alexis Tsipras

Greece - Kos - Water - Pixabay

We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.

-Aristotle Onassis

Greece - Zakynthos - Beach - Pixabay

We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Greece - Santorini - Pixabay

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

-Archimedes

Greece - Delphi

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

-Aristotle

Greece - Samos - Cafe - Pixabay

Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.

-Euripides

Greece - Rhodes - Greece Souvenir Store

On a summer night, I have sat on the balcony drinking Ouzo, watching the ghosts of Greek Heroes sailing past, listening to the rustle of their sail cloths and the gentle lapping of their oars

-Phil Simpkin

Greece - Moni Island

In a way, it’s nice to know that there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong.

-Rick Riordan

Greece - Athens - Anafiotika

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.

-Nikos Kazantzakis

Greece - Aegina - Aphaia Temple - Shutterstock

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.

-Plato

Greece - Hydra - Houses

Wisdom begins in wonder.

-Socrates

5 Things to Bring with You to Greece

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage

We’re working on our full list of what to pack for Greece, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!

The Lonely Planet Greecea good guidebook can help you with the kinds of tips you need if you’re out exploring Greece and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have recommendations for the major sites in Greece, which will come in handy if you’ll be visiting more than one Greek city or island.

Unlocked Cell Phone: Allison and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (I use a Samsung and she uses and iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. Being able to pick up a Greek sim card for around ten Euros is a great way to stay connected while you’re here.

If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Greek sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!

Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Allison and I use (and they also make men’s versions). It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead. 

This is especially handy in Athens where tourist sites are crammed and anyone who looks like an obvious tourist is a potential target.

Grayl Water FilterBeing on the road means staying hydrated. If you want to avoid having to buy lots of single-use plastic water bottles, bring a reusbale one with you. If you’re concerned about drinking the local tap water (or you don’t love the taste) grab one with a reusable water filter built right in. 

Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you can go island hopping without getting sick. A trip to Greece isn’t complete without at least one day spent in the islands, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!

Greece Travel Resources

Greece - Epidaurus - Stephanie Selfie

Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Greece and local tipping customs.

If you are still trying to figure out your itinerary, check out our guides on where to go in Greece and when is the best time to visit. We also have a guide to the best Greek souvenirs to bring back with you.

If you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our Athens Instagram Guide, the best Athens day trips, and our complete Athens hotel guide.

We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.

Finally, Make Sure You Come to Athens with Travel Insurance

I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Greece, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!

Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption. 

While Athens is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” and we think it’s true!

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

Pin this Post of Greece Quotes & Greece Instagram Captions for Your Trip

25 Beautiful Greece Quotes to Inspire Your Greek Travels & Greece Instagram Captions

13 Gorgeous Slovenia Waterfalls to Add to Your Itinerary

If you’re headed to Slovenia, no doubt you’re interested in exploring some of the country’s luscious nature! We love Slovenia for its gorgeous national parks, rocky beaches, and, of course, its gorgeous waterfalls! If you’re looking to add a few to your itinerary, here are the best Slovenia waterfalls to see during your trip!

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13 Gorgeous Slovenia Waterfalls to Add to Your Itinerary

 

How to Visit the Waterfalls in Slovenia

While the easiest way to see most of these sites is to rent a car and go on your very own Slovenian road trip, it is possible to see some of these waterfalls using public transportation. The waterfalls that are closer to the towns of Bled and Ljubljana are easier to see without your own car.

Where there is a group tour available that visits one of these sites, we’ve listed it below. In many cases, the price to go on a group tour is less than what it would be to rent a car and pay for gas for the day, and the tours generally include many more sites or an activity like rafting. 

The Best Slovenia Waterfalls

In no particular order…

Boka Waterfall

Slovenia - Boka Waterfall

At almost 350 feet, Boka Waterfall in Bovec, Slovenia is a magnificent spectacle. The water comes from the Kanin mountains, so when the snow starts to melt from the peaks, or if you happen to visit during the rainy season, expect to witness a fast and heavy jet falling from such a great height.

If you are an adventurous spirit, you can see Boka waterfall on this whitewater rafting trip from Bovec or this rafting trip that leaves from Bled!

>>Check schedules and reviews for whitewater rafting tours from Bled and from Bovec that stop at Boka.<<

Savica Waterfall

Slovenia - Savica-waterfall

A split waterfall that comes from the Valley of Triglav Lakes and Pršivec through a horizontal cave tunnel, Savica Waterfall cascades into a green pool that flows straight into Lake Bohinj. It is a unique body of water that you should definitely see when you visit Slovenia.

You need to travel to Bohinjsko jezero in northwestern Slovenia to see the Savica Waterfall. At 256 feet tall, it is one of the most majestic waterfalls in the country, which understandably makes it a popular destination for tourists. The green pool at the bottom is clear and equally breathtaking.

If you don’t want to try to visit Savica on your own, you can go as part of a guided Lake Bled and Bohinj trip from Ljubljana. 

>>Click here to check tour schedule and reviews or to book this tour.<<

Peričnik Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Perecnik

Peričnik is a waterfall located inside the Triglav National Park in Mojstrana, Slovenia. There are actually two waterfalls in the site; the upper waterfall is called the Zgornji Peričnick while the lower waterfall is called the Spodnji Peričnik. The former is 52 feet high while the latter is 171 feet high.

You can visit Peričnik on a guided tour of Triglav National Park from Ljubljana. 

>>Click here to check tour schedule and reviews or to book this tour.<<

Sum Waterfall (Voje)

Slovenia - Waterfall - Sum

Vodopád Šum is a waterfall in Vlejska Dobrava, Slovenia near Soteska Vintgar (also known as Vintgar Gorge and Bled Gorge). Surrounded by beautiful rock formations, Sum Waterfall may not be the tallest in the country, but it’s still pretty impressive at 50 feet high. The water from Sum flows into the nearby River Radovna.

You can visit on a guided tour of Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge from Ljubljana.

>>Click here to check tour schedule and reviews or to book this tour.<<

Sumik Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Sumik

Veliki Šumik is a small waterfall in Planina pod Šumikom, a dispersed settlement in Pohorje Hills. It is a beautiful natural spot hidden in the forest, surrounded by trees, and flowing down magmatic rock formations.

To see this 80-foot waterfall, you need to bring your hiking shoes and equipment to northeastern Slovenia. Unfortunately, we can’t find any organised tours to Šumik at this time.

Sušec Waterfall

There is a series of thick waterfalls cascading down a rocky mountainside in Illirska Bistrica, Slovenia collectively called the Sušec Waterfall. Tourists go canyoneering in this part of the country just to see this body of water. The height of each waterfall varies, but the tallest among them is almost 40 feet.

The best way to see Sušec is to go on a canyon tour, like this tour of the Soca Valley that leaves from Bovec.

>>Click here to check tour schedule and reviews or to book this tour.<<

Kozjak Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Kozjak

You can find the beautiful Kozjak Waterfall (which is also known as the Great Kozjak) in Kobarid, Slovenia. It is a hidden gem near Camp Koren and the river Šoca, with water cascading from a height of more than 52 feet and into a blue-green pool under a cave-like rock formation.

If you choose to visit as a tour, you can leave from either Ljubljana or Lake Bled. 

>>Check schedules and reviews for guided tours to Kozjak from Ljubljana and Lake Bled.<<

Sopota Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Sopata

Sopota Waterfall, an almost 200-foot body of water, is located in a remote area between Tolmin and Baška Grapa in Slovenia.

Not many tourists visit this spot, so you can expect a lot of quiet and privacy if you ever decide to go here. A path will take you to the waterfall.

Lepena Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Lepena

Šunikov vodni gaj, also called the Lepenjica Waterfall, is a waterfall in Lepena, Slovenia that converges with the Šumnik brook. It’s 328 feet long with troughs as high as 33 feet.

The water cascades into green pools at different points along its length. You can visit this waterfall at the Triglav National Park.

Grmečica Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Gremecica

Located in Nomenj, Slovenia, Slap Grmečica is a small waterfall at barely 20 feet. Even though it is not one of the country’s great waterfalls, it’s still a famous tourist destination.

Canyoneering is a popular activity when people visit Slap Gremečica. Some even climb to the top of the waterfall.

Virje Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Virje

Slap Virje is a waterfall near Gljun, which is a river in Slovenia. In fact, the river is the water source of Virje. Here, adventurous tourists love to go canyoneering and swimming in the green waters at the foot of the falls. At only 39 feet, don’t let its size fool you! It’s still a popular tourist destination.

Martuljek Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Gozd

Located in northern Slovenia near the town of Gozd Martuljek, Martuljkovi Slapovi is a waterfall that descends on three different levels, the tallest of which is 164 feet. It is also known as Martuljški slapovi and is a favorite spot among mountain trekkers and rock climbers. Mount Jasenje and Martuljek Gorge are nearby.

Rinka Waterfall

Slovenia - Waterfall - Rinka

In the Logar Valley in Solčava, northern Slovenia, there’s a waterfall called the Rinka Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the country. Tourists from all over Europe and the world go here to see this stunning 344-foot natural wonder. When you arrive, you can climb the steps to view the waterfall up close.

Guided Tours to Waterfalls in Slovenia

Here are the guided tours mentioned in this post in an easy-to-reference list.

Boka Waterfall

Bled: Emerald River Adventure Full-Day Tour

Bovec: Whitewater Rafting on Soca River

Savica Waterfall

From Ljubljana: Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj trip

Peričnik Waterfall

Ljubljana: Triglav National Park Tour

Sum Waterfall (Voje) and Vintgar Gorge

From Ljubljana: Day Trip to Bled and Vintgar Gorge

Sušec Waterfall

From Bovec: Sušec Stream Canyoning in the Soča Valley

Kozjak Waterfall

Soča River Day Trip from Ljubljana and Bled

Bled: Emerald River Adventure Full-Day Tour

5 Things to Bring With You to Slovenia

Slovenia - Lake Bled - Snow Winter Pixabay

We’re working on our full list of what to pack for Istanbul, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!

The Lonely Planet SloveniaI can never find the guide book I want after landing in a new country, so I like to pick up either the hard copy or the Kindle version beforehand. 

Unlocked Cell Phone: Allison and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (I use a Samsung and she uses and iPhone). This allows up to get local sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. This has gotten us out of so many jams! 

If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Slovenian sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!

Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Allison and I use (and they also make men’s versions). It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead. 

While Slovenia is generally very safe, every country with tourism has some level of crime that targets tourists, and pickpockets are the most common (and easiest to plan ahead for).

Hiking Boots: If you’re looking for great waterfalls in Slovenia, my guess is you plan to do some hiking (Slovenia is famous for it, after all). Here are the hiking boots we recommend (women’s version and men’s version) so that your feet are comfy and supported during your trip!

Grayl Water FilterIf you don’t want to have to buy tons of plastic bottles on your trip, it’s a good idea to travel with one water bottle that has a filter. This way no matter where you are in Slovenia, you can use local water sources and decrease the single-use plastic for your trip. 

More Slovenia Travel Resources

Slovenia - Piran - View of Piran and Coast Stephanie

If you’re just starting to prepare for your trip to Slovenia, read our guide to planning a trip to Slovenia which features an 11-step checklist!

If you’re an avid photographer, you’ll find our Instagram guide to Bled helpful (Ljubljana on the way!). We also have a guide to the best Lake Bled hotels and hostels.

If you need more Slovenia travel inspiration, check out the best places to visit in Slovenia and what Slovenian souvenirs you should bring home.

For all of our resources on Slovenia, check out our Slovenia travel page as well as our Balkans guides. We post new content on the site almost every day, so keep an eye out for new posts or click around to find more content if you are planning a multi-country Balkan trip.

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

It’s a good idea to always travel to Slovenia and the Balkans with a valid travel insurance policy. While the country is safe, accidents can happen anywhere. If you experience an accident or theft, travel insurance will help you recover your costs and enjoy the rest of your trip. 

For travel insurance, I use World NomadsI’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

>>Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.<<

Pin This Slovenia Waterfalls Guide for Your Trip

13 Gorgeous Slovenia Waterfalls to Add to Your Itinerary

The 10 Best Hotels Near the Blue Mosque: Where to Stay in Sultanahmet

If this will be one of your first trips to Istanbul, you’ll likely be wondering where to stay. We have an entire Istanbul neighborhood and hotel guide, but this list can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know anything yet about the city. So here are our picks for the best hotels near the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet for travelers who want to stay close to the city’s most famous sites. 

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where to stay near the Blue Mosque - the best hotels in Sultanahmet 

Our Recommendations for the Best Hotels in Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Here are our favorite Istanbul hotels in Sultanahmet. 

Saba Sultan Hotel

Located twenty minutes away from the Istanbul New Airport, the Saba Sultan is a boutique hotel with seventeen luxury rooms designed and decorated uniquely with nearly all the rooms sporting balconies (hello, perfect Instanbul Instagram shot).

What we love about this hotel is how much thought is put into the design of the rooms, making them a perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

The rooms come with free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, and large windows (with curtains) and are accessible via electro-magnetic keys. All rooms have electronic safety boxes, comfortable seating areas, and tea facilities.

The Saba Sultan is located close to the two most famous sites in Istanbul, the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Sokullu Pasa Hotel

The Sokullu Pasa is located in the heart of Istanbul, walking distance from the Blue Mosque, with a luxury but antique feel in the decor of the rooms.

Some of the elegant rooms have spa baths, Jacuzzis, or balconies, and all rooms feature free Wi-Fi, minibars, and LCD TVs with cable channels.

The breakfast buffet is complimentary at the Sokullu Pasa and guests can enjoy drinks in the lobby bar or out in the garden. The hotel is also very child-friendly, making it one of the best hotels in Sultanahmet for families and young children.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Nomade Hotel Exclusive

A favorite for couples, the Nomade Hotel Exclusive is perfectly located in the heart of Fatih and central to every tourist attraction worth viewing.

The view from the terrace bar makes it the perfect spot for meals and drinks. With free Wi-Fi and a spa, the six-story building has an authentic Turkish interior with air-conditioned rooms that have satellite flat-screen TVs, ironing facilities, and in-room safes.

For the business-minded traveler, the hotel offers a conference room with a video projector and a business center.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Aren Suites

Overlooking the Sea of Marmara, Aren Suites is a convenient walking distance from the Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace.

The 24/7-open rooftop terrace has the perfect view of the sea and the aesthetically pleasing rooms sport parquet floors and whirlpool tubs, with some rooms offering sea views.

The rooms also have free Wi-Fi, LED TVs with satellite channels, minibars, and coffee making facilities.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Obelisk Hotel & Suites

For visitors coming to the city of Istanbul for reasons of faith, Obelisk Hotel is well suited to cater to your every need. This hotel is for non-smokers only and is conveniently located a few minutes’ walk or drive from the Blue Mosque.

It is also highly rated by couples as its rooms are spacious and have serene views of the garden. The rooms are equipped with TVs in the sitting area, bathroom accessories, and other amenities.

Guests are treated to a buffet breakfast every morning.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Valide Sultan Konagi

Valide Sultan Konagi is situated in a seventeen-room mansion, only minutes from the Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III and Gulhane Park, or the Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Square.

Its rooms are well equipped with satellite TV, a sitting area, free Wi-Fi, firm beds, and goose-feather pillows.

The hotel has a cafe, a bar, and a restaurant, which provides residents with a free buffet breakfast every morning.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Boutique Saint Sophia 

Boutique Saint Sophia is located in a renovated 19th-century building in Sultanahmet, surrounded by many of the town’s historic monuments like the Basilica Cistern and the Hagia Sophia Museum, whose courtyard can be seen from the top of the Boutique.

Guests will find the hotel quite welcoming as they are presented with a complimentary package of wine, chips, chocolates, and a fruit plate and then led up to their rooms that have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and a well-stocked free minibar.

If a minibar raid does not keep the thirst away, Sophia Pita, the hotel café, is well equipped with Turkish and international wines and liquors.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Seven Hills Palace

The Seven Hills Palace is located in the heart of Sultanahmet, a mere 15-minute walk from the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar.

It is composed of three buildings built in different styles, and the rooms in each building have a different style and ambiance.

The hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool and a garden. They also offer free Wi-Fi, and each room also contains a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Four Seasons Sultanahmet

Perhaps the last word in Istanbul luxury, the Four Seasons has a history of turning confinement to refinement, as the site it inhabits was once a three-story prison building which was remodeled to house voluntary instead of state-compelled guests.

Its entire decor follows the neo-classical patterning, and all its rooms feature fully-equipped entertainment systems, espresso machines, free wifi, and a marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub.

The Four Seasons also offers a world-class spa and fitness center, and bot the Seasons Restaurant in the courtyard and A’YA Lounge on the rooftop offer delicious meals and drinks.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

Ajwa Hotel Sultanahmet

The Ajwa Hotel Sultanahmet is a new hotel that was launched in 2017. Located ten minutes away from the Blue Mosque, the design of the hotel leans heavily on the Ottoman style, and its rooms feature furniture and carpets made in the same fashion.

All rooms also contain amenities like Loewe Ultra HD TVs, electronic curtains, and M Line Slow Motion Beds. Fitness enthusiasts will find the hotel gym fully functional, and after a great workout, they can head up to the 8th floor, where Zeferan Restaurant is located, for a great meal or drink while they marvel at the view of the Marmara Sea, the Princes Islands, and Sultanahmet.

>>Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.<<

5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to Istanbul

Turkey - Istanbul - Ortakoy Mosque at Sunset - Canva

We’re working on our full list of what to pack for Istanbul, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!

The Lonely Planet Turkeya good guidebook can help you with the kinds of safety tips you need if you’re out in the city and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have specific neighborhood information that will help you in different parts of the city. 

Unlocked Cell Phone: Allison and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (I use a Samsung and she uses and iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. This has gotten us out of so many jams! 

If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Turkish sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!

Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Allison and I use (and they also make men’s versions). It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead. 

Grayl Water FilterWhile the water is *technically* safe to drink now, I would still avoid it. If you don’t want to be buying millions of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can stick to the tap water and reduce your plastic waste. 

Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Istanbul-being on the water! A trip to Istanbul isn’t complete without a Bosphorus cruise or at least a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!

More Istanbul Travel Resources

Turkey - Istanbul - Stephanie Ortakoy Mosque

We have a ton of resources to help you plan your trip to Istanbul! We’re working on our massive post on things to do in Istanbul and Istanbul travel tips, plus you can check out our guide to the best Instagram spots around Istanbul, important Istanbul safety tips, and tips for shopping in Istanbul.

If you will be visiting in winter, we have a special winter in Istanbul guide plus an overview of Istanbul weather in January.

If you want to be in the city for just a few days (four or less), check out our Istanbul city break guide, which breaks down the best of the city so you won’t miss anything!

For more general Turkey information, check out this guide to planning a trip to Turkey (including visa information) and this guide to other beautiful places to visit in Turkey. You can also check out our Balkan currency guide, which explains how the Turkish lira works and guidelines for tipping in Istanbul.

We have tons more Turkey and Balkans resources, and we publish new content nearly daily. Bookmark our Turkey and Balkans travel pages so you can find any new resources that come out before your trip!

Finally, Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

It’s always a good idea to travel to Turkey or anywhere in Europe with a valid travel insurance policy. Istanbul is a very safe place to travel, but accidents or theft can easily ruin your trip if you don’t have the travel insurance coverage to recover the losses. Recently my aunt fell on a train in France and needed surgery, but luckily her travel insurance covered the costs in full. Thank goodness!

For travel insurance, I use World NomadsI’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

>>Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.<<

Pin this Guide to the Best Hotels Near the Blue Mosque for Your Trip to Istanbul

where to stay near the Blue Mosque - the best hotels in Sultanahmet

11 Delightful Bosnian Souvenirs & Gifts to Bring Home

If you’re visiting beautiful Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll likely want to bring back some wonderful Bosnian mementos to remind you of your trip. This small but beautiful Balkan country is full of incredible handicrafts and artisan work that makes it nearly impossible to leave Bosnia without gifts for loved ones back home (or let’s be honest – for yourself).

Whether its practical things that are easy to pack, like sachets of Bosnian lavender grown locally or a lovely Bosnian coffee set, or slightly larger things such as Ottoman-styled lanterns and full tea sets, you’ll want to save some room in your suitcase for all your Bosnian souvenirs!

Here are just a few ideas of traditional Bosnian crafts, souvenirs, and gift ideas that make a wonderful memory of your trip to the Balkans.

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Planning to travel Bosnia? Don't forget some Bosnian souvenirs on your way home so you can remember your Bosnia trip! This Bosnia shopping guide will help you decide what to buy in Bosnia. These ideas for Bosnian gifts, art, and crafts will help you decide the ultimate souvenirs from Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Planning to travel Bosnia? Don't forget some Bosnian souvenirs on your way home so you can remember your Bosnia trip! This Bosnia shopping guide will help you decide what to buy in Bosnia. These ideas for Bosnian gifts, art, and crafts will help you decide the ultimate souvenirs from Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Best Bosnian Souvenir & Gift Ideas

Bosnian Coffee Sets

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

If you’re only going to get one souvenir from Bosnia & Herzegovina, let it be a traditional Bosnian coffee set.

Composed of a džezva (a stovetop coffee pot, typically copper, with a small mouth and long handle), cups, and saucers, a full Bosnian coffee set is a bit much to fit in your suitcase but it is one of the most beautiful gifts from Bosnia you can bring.

Coffee from Bosnia

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs Coffee

While Bosnia doesn’t necessarily grow its own coffee, it does have a very specific grind for its coffee, one that is not necessarily easy to replicate back home unless you have a fancy grinder that is capable of creating extremely fine coffee grains.

Buy your coffee in Bosnia if you’re buying a coffee making set to bring it home with. Ground coffee loses its flavor faster than whole beans, so store in the fridge for as long as possible to keep it fresh.

Rahat lokum

Turkey - Istanbul - Turkish Delight

Similar to Turkish delight, this Bosnian candy is almost always served alongside Bosnian coffee. If you want to truly complete the Bosnian coffee experience for your loved ones back home, you really shouldn’t go home without some lokum.

Copper and metalwork

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

This Bosnian handicraft is one of the country’s most distinguished art forms, and if you have an affinity towards design inspired by the East – particularly Turkey – Bosnian crafts will suit you perfectly. Metalwork, particularly copperwork, is one of these art forms, and you will find it everywhere in Bosnia.

Centuries of Ottoman occupation were harsh on Bosnia, yet the Ottoman years left in its wake a sense of hybridity between Bosnian and Ottoman culture, which can be seen today in its art, design, religion, coffee, and food.

Lavender products

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

Why is that Provence gets the monopoly on lavender fields in our minds? There are countless lavender fields all throughout the Balkans, where it has been an important crop for centuries.

You can purchase dried lavender sachets in many places in Bosnia – these were, obviously, designed for the tourists visiting Mostar.

Knit house socks

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

In Bosnia, shoes are generally not worn inside the house. Usually, if you visit a Bosnian’s house, you will be given a pair of rubber or foam slippers that are designated house slippers, designed only to be worn inside.

I’ve taken to not wearing shoes inside the house as well and in the winter, I love having a fluffy, woolen pair of house socks to keep my feet nice and warm as the cold winds whip outside. Hand-knit socks make a lovely souvenir from Bosnia, and buying locally means you keep their specific hand-knit designs going even in the face of modernity.

Cozy slippers

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

A cozy pair of Bosnian slippers is a fantastic gift to bring home from the region, and it’s one that you know you’ll enjoy as the colder winter months creep up on you.

These traditional Bosnian winter house shoes make a great souvenir for that friend of yours who just loves being cozy in their own home.

Ottoman-influenced lanterns

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

Frankly, as far as I can tell, these are not traditional Bosnian souvenirs and are likely bought en masse from the same vendors who sell to places like Turkey and Morocco to sell in their bazaars.

However, if you have a deep love for the Eastern aesthetic, and you’re looking to liven up your home and you don’t necessarily care for authenticity – you should definitely snap up a lantern or two, as you’ll likely find them cheaper (and the haggling process far more laid-back) than anywhere else in the world.

Metal-worked jewelry

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

Metalwork isn’t limited to housewares in Bosnia, but also intricately crafted necklaces, bracelets, and other forms of jewelry.

While some of the designs may be a bit much such as this giant necklace above, generally, you can find some understated and beautiful Bosnian jewelry pieces for reasonable prices, especially if you can get off the main tourist drag.

Always inquire about the materials made and the artisan who crafted it before paying a premium for any piece of jewelry, and shop around for the best price.

Rakija

Serbia - Fruska Gora - Probus Winery Rakia

Rakija is ubiquitous in the Balkans and every country likes to claim their version is dramatically different than their neighbors.

Frankly, I’m not so skilled in the art of stomaching rakija to confirm or deny that, but I do know that a bottle of rakija makes a fantastic Bosnian souvenir. Plum, quince, apricot, and grape are some of the most common rakijas you’ll find in the Balkans.

Traditional kitsch like magnets, etc.

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

This is definitely not my personal first choice for Bosnian souvenirs, but if you have a collection or someone you know does – then buying a specific souvenir to fit that collection is a no-brainer!

You’ll find all the traditional tourist kitsch in Bosnian bazaars and markets, from magnets to keychains to postcards to small paintings.

Where to Buy Souvenirs in Bosnia

If you’re keen to do some shopping in Bosnia, we’ve got a few suggestions on the best places to do it.

Mostar Old Town

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

If you cross the Old Bridge, you’ll come to a mega open-air bazaar of souvenir stands galore, especially as you cross from the Muslim side of town into the traditional Old Town.

While these wares won’t be the most authentic, nor will they have the best prices, these Bosnian souvenirs will be tantalizingly tempting to buy as you walk by.

Bascarsija

The old bazaar of Sarajevo is touristic, yes, but it’s a good deal less so than Mostar. Why? Because Sarajevo simply doesn’t have the same number of Dubrovnik day-trippers as Mostar does.

While the Bosnian crafts and souvenirs here will still be aimed at tourists rather than locals, they are more likely to be authentic or vintage rather than newly mass-produced.

Informal Open-Air Markets

Mostar - Bosnia - Souvenirs

While the Old Towns of both Mostar and Sarajevo are major points for shopping in Bosnia, there are several open air mini markets in Bosnia that also sell things at a much fairer price. This small market in the mosque courtyard in Mostar is one such example.

Bosnian souvenirs online

If you are just aching to take home a Bosnian souvenir or two but don’t have the room in your suitcase (and can’t justify buying a new one) you can find some Bosnian crafts and souvenirs online on Amazon or Etsy.

More Bosnia Travel Resources

If you’re planning a trip to Bosnia, we have a ton of resources with you! First of all, check out our guide to the most beautiful places in Bosnia so you can start planning your itinerary.

If you know you want to visit Mostar, we have a guide on where to stay in Mostar and the best Instagram spots there.

If you’re planning to visit Sarajevo, we have even more for you. We have a guide on all the best things to do in Sarajevo, the best Sarajevo tours, a guide on where to stay in Sarajevo, and finally a Sarajevo Instagram guide.

We’re creating new content on our site almost daily, so bookmark our Bosnia & Herzegovina page or our Balkans page to see what’s new!

Finally, Don’t Go to Bosnia without Travel Insurance!

Make sure you always travel with a valid travel insurance policy. While Bosnia & Herzegovina is safe, accidents can happen anywhere. If you experience an accident or theft, travel insurance will help you recover your costs and enjoy the rest of your trip. 

For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

10 Best Athens Hotels with Acropolis Views

Athens is a majestic city, full of ruins, history, culture, and beauty. But perhaps the best synthesis of all these elements that make Athens so special is the world-famous Acropolis.

Meaning literally “highest point of the city,” the Acropolis stands out against the urban landscape of Athens. The Acropolis is more than just a single historical place. Rather, it’s a set of ancient ruins which include the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaia, and the Erechtheion — all towering above the beautiful, buzzing city of Athens.

Due to the Acropolis’ literal prominence in the Athens skyline, there are a number of excellent hotels with Acropolis views. In fact, so long as a hotel is tall enough and its view unobstructed enough, there are several places all throughout Athens where you can find excellent Acropolis views from hotels and restaurants.

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Want to stay near the Acropolis in Athens? Here are all the best views in Athens of the Acropolis, full of hotels with Acropolis views that will make your jaw drop. From awesome rooftop bars in Athens and restaurants with an Acropolis view. These awesome hotels have stellar Athens views. Includes an Athens map of hotels, some of the best photography locations in Athens, and where to stay in Athens to get the best photos of the Acropolis!
Want to stay near the Acropolis in Athens? Here are all the best views in Athens of the Acropolis, full of hotels with Acropolis views that will make your jaw drop. From awesome rooftop bars in Athens and restaurants with an Acropolis view. These awesome hotels have stellar Athens views. Includes an Athens map of hotels, some of the best photography locations in Athens, and where to stay in Athens to get the best photos of the Acropolis!

Map of Featured Acropolis View Hotels in Athens

Our Recommendations for Hotels with Acropolis views in Athens

Athens Center Square Hotel

Centrally located in the city with a beautiful garden terrace and one of the best rooftop bars in the city, complete with a panoramic view of the Athens skyline and most notably a stellar view of the Acropolis, the Athens Center Square Hotel is a history-loving tourist’s delight.

The rooms are uniquely decorated and come with an amazingly rich complimentary breakfast of continental and Greek delicacies, plus the hospitality is extended with free tea and coffee available at all hours. All the rooms have modern perks like free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning (not always a given in Greece, yet so necessary in the summers!), and satellite flat-screen TVs for your relaxation.

Click to see guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability.

Kyveli Luxury Suites

The charming Kyveli Luxury Suites is conveniently located close to Monastiraki Flea Market and the Ermou Street-Shopping Area, one of our favorite Athens neighborhoods.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi along with its excellent accommodations. More than just your standard double rooms, each one of its units has a living room as well a well-equipped kitchen in case you feel like picking up some local produce and fresh seafood and cooking for yourself.

Everything is impeccably decorated and each room is fitted with mattresses made from natural materials. The bathroom is ultra-modern, with hydro massage jet showers — the perfect way to relax sore muscles after a day exploring the Acropolis. This hotel is a great base for exploring Athens by bike, as bicycles can also be rented on premises for a reasonable fee.

Check guest reviews, photos, prices, and availability here.

Divani Palace Acropolis

Elegantly combining both luxury and modernity at its finest, the Divani Palace Acropolis offers stunning rooms with private, furnished balconies.

The rooms are comfortable, offering a pillow menu (side note: why isn’t this ALWAYS a thing?), luxurious and spacious bathrooms, a fully stocked mini bar, and a writing desk in case your hotel views of the Acropolis inspire you.

Wi-Fi is free and the hotel pool is perfect for hot summer days — and not many hotels in Athens have a pool, so this is a major perk! The rooftop restaurant is there for you to experience great Mediterranean cuisine, all while gazing at the dazzling lights of the Acropolis lit up at night and towering over the beauty of Athens.

Finally, this is a fantastic Acropolis view Athens hotel for families, as babysitting and laundry services are available at an additional cost.

Check guest reviews, prices, availability, and more photos here.

Noble Suites

Built in 1901, Noble Suites is an aesthetically-pleasing hotel that was recently renovated to refresh their look for the modern era. It features distinguishing suites that showcase luxury yet maintain its neoclassical look and feel.

The elegant rooms are well-furnished with flat-screen TVs, safety deposit boxes, air-conditioning (YASSS), and mini-bars. Guests may also request cots for young kids if traveling with a family.

Guests can also enjoy a breakfast box that contains traditional meals that explore local ingredients, which you can take with you if you want to get an early morning start to your Athens sightseeing.

As an added bonus, if you feel you need a little extra assistance in planning your Athens trip, the staff is multilingual and available to assist with tours or travel tickets.

Check guest reviews, prices, availability, and more photos here.

Attalos Hotel

The Attalos Hotel is a 3-star hotel that offers 78 air-conditioned and soundproof rooms mere meters from Monastiraki Metro Station – a great base for exploring Athens and a fantastic neighborhood for food in Athens.

Recently remodeled for visitors’ convenience and staffed by customer-centric employees, this hotel is rated greatly by families and even welcomes their pets — something that is not always easy to find in Athens!

Rooms come with comfortable, spacious beds and cable TV. Guests can also enjoy breakfast in the morning or a glass of Greek ouzo in the evening at the rooftop garden, gazing on the beautiful view of the Acropolis from the comfort of your hotel terrace.

Check guest reviews, prices, photos, and availability here.

Central Hotel

The pleasant neighborhood of Plaka, one of the cutest and most bohemian neighborhoods of Athens, plays host to Central Hotel.

Only a short distance from Athens’ central shopping district, this stunning Athens hotel is conservatively designed and features cozy rooms, a rooftop terrace for open-air relaxation, and free internet access at the lobby.

Its rooms are elegantly decorated, spacious, and convenient for families as they are fitted with a TV and air conditioning. Guests are treated to a daily buffet breakfast featuring local delicacies made of mostly organic local Greek produce.

Check guest reviews, prices, availability, and photos here.

Hera Hotel

Seated at the foot of the Acropolis, yet still offering stellar views of it, Hera Hotel welcomes its guests with a true sense of hospitality. Welcoming to all types of guests, there are rooms designed with facilities for people who have mobility limitations and/or accessibility needs.

Its rooms are tastefully decorated, air-conditioned, and have bathrooms fully stocked with essential toiletries. There is free internet all around the hotel, and guests can marvel at the view of the Acropolis as they eat and drink at the rooftop garden.

Check guest reviews, prices, availability, and more photos here.

Athens Gate Hotel

The lovely Athens Gate Hotel is a 4-star hotel that welcomes guests by the Gate of the City, right opposite the Temple of Zeus, one of the best locations in Athens.

This hotel is dedicated to not only taking care of its guests, but also the environment. They use eco-friendly lamps and cleaning materials, purify their own water, and recycle guests’ used soap bars in order to minimize their waste.

On the rooftop of the hotel sits a bar and restaurant with Acropolis views. Guests can choose between having breakfast there or they could also have it delivered to their rooms.

Check prices, reviews, photos, and availability here.

O&B Athens Boutique Hotel

O&B Athens Boutique Hotel is a tastefully designed 22-room hotel situated in the Prisi area of Athens, which is less touristic than other areas such as Monastiraki or Plaka.

Each room is sufficiently spacious and features a private terrace, a full entertainment system, stylish furnishings and beddings, and a work desk.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, and guests can enjoy a meal or get a drink at the lounge bar and restaurant which stays open all day, offering epic Acropolis views. The restaurant serves its guests a free buffet breakfast every morning with continental and Greek treats.

Check prices, guest reviews, availability, and more photos here.

Aeolos Luxury Suites

The Aeolos Luxury Suites are a complex of two elegant and recently renovated villas and a suite set on the Agidia hillside in Athens City, tucked away from the touristic crowds yet not far by foot.

Ten minutes away from the Roman Agora, Syntagma Square, and Omonia Square, this hotel keeps guests happy while staying close to the best spots in town.

Its rooms are for non-smokers and come with flat-screen TVs, desks and free Wi-Fi. Couples, families, and solo travelers alike often congregate on the hotel’s private terrace to enjoy the stunning Acropolis views.

Check guest reviews, prices, more photos, and availability here.

More Athens Travel Resources

Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more.

Since you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our Athens Instagram Guide, the best Athens day trips, and our complete Athens hotel guide. We also have Athens safety tips so your trip can be hassle-free. We are currently working on our mega-post of things to do in Athens as well as our itineraries, so stay tuned!

If you are still trying to figure out your Greece itinerary, check out our guides on where to go in Greece, the best places for island hopping in Greece, and when is the best time to visit. 

We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.

Finally, Make Sure You Come to Athens with Travel Insurance

I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Greece, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!

Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption. 

While Athens is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” and we think it’s true!

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

Planning a trip to Sofia? Check out our best free trip planning resources