Traveling the Western Balkans in the Off-Season

Fortress of Kotor, MontenegroAfter traveling around France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey in peak summer season, constantly squishing ourselves and our bags onto buses and trains, waiting in lines for hours on end, and needing several showers a day because of the heat, when October hit we were ready for something different. Cue our month in the Balkans! 

Fewer people, cooler weather, and cheaper prices left us relieved and happy.  

But while there are a number of perks to traveling western Balkans in the off-season, a few drawbacks need to be kept in mind when planning your own travels to the region.

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Strukli – An Eastern European Treat Not to Miss

After being away from the U.S. for more than four months there are little things that I’m starting to miss, particularly when it comes to food (Reese’s and Heinz ketchup come to mind. I realize this makes me sound like a junk food addict, but I swear I’m not.)

Recently I smothered my sorrows with strukli, a fantastic comfort food found in Slovenia and northern Croatia. When I first ate layer upon layer of the pillowy dough alternating with creamy, soft cheese, it was like a giant hug.

A soft, gooey, cheesy hug.

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Why You Should Book a Plitvice Hotel and Stay Inside the Park

Before we even started our RTW trip, we knew that Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia was one of our must-see stops. The logistics of planning a trip to this remote location were slightly trickier, however.

At first we considered visiting the park on a day trip from Zagreb. With only a few hours in the park, we wondered if the trip was worth the cost ($50+/person).

Our next thought was to stop at Plitvice on our way from Zagreb to Zadar, but the bus schedules still would have only allowed us a few hours in the park and it would have cost about the same as a day trip.

We finally realized that in order to see the whole park we'd have to spend a night there, and that meant booking a Plitvice hotel.

After researching accommodation options we found that there were a select few more expensive hotels within the actual park, and cheaper options farther from the park. 

So to help you make the best choice for your stay in Plitvice, we're summarizing them here and including information we did not find online and only learned after our stay at the national park.

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Things to Do in Vienna – 4 Musical Must-Sees

Vienna is undoubtedly the world capital of classical music. The Classical movement started here, and many of the great composers lived and worked here for at least part of their lives.

Even today, the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic continue the classical tradition and are some of the best performers of classical music in the world.

With this long and rich history, it can be daunting to find all the best musically themed things to do in Vienna. After all, you can only visit so many museums and listen to so many performances before getting burned out.

During our stay in Vienna, we checked out four of the best music spots in the city. If you're looking to experience the music scene during your stay, we'd like to recommend these as a perfect starter!

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