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Mar 30, 2020 · Seven countries make up former Yugoslavian republics, including Bosnia and Herzegovnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Kosovo. Most of these republics became independent nations after ethnic cleansing and civil war swept through the former Yugoslavia during the early 1990s.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia is a nation of a little over 4 million people, boasting an extensive coastline on the Adriatic Sea. As mentioned earlier, Croatia was one of the first countries in the region to declare their independence. However, it was not necessarily smooth sailing after that. Following Croatia’s declaration in 1991, Serbia declared war on the country. War would rage on throughout most of the 1990s, with Serbia maintaining control of a chunk of the country. A peace settlement was reached in 1995, and with the aid of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, Croatia finally gained full control of their country in 1998. Today, Croatia is becoming an ever more popular tourist destination. The capital of this Roman Catholic state is Zagreb. Croatia played France in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals, losing 4-2.
While Serbia may have signed a peace agreement, unlike Croatia, they were not yet an independent nation. The last country to declare independence, Serbia remained in a state of union with Montenegro – known formally as the State of Union of Serbia and Montenegro– for three years after all other former countries had become independents. The geographical proximity between the two countries meant Serbia still had access to the Adriatic Sea, a privilege which they lost when the two countries became independent states in 2006. Since December 2007, Serbia formally adheres to the policy of military neutrality. It’s capital city, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest cities in Southeastern Europe.
Similar to Serbia, Montenegro was one of the last countries to declare independence from the Republic of Yugoslavia, remaining in a state of union with neighboring Serbia for over 10 years after the initial dissolution of the SFRY. Prior to this restructuring, they remained known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but were exiled from the United Nations in 1992. However, Montenegro’s role in the 2001 arrest of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, wanted for crimes against humanity, put Montenegro back on the world stage and it was restructured into a federation with Serbia in 2003. In 2006 Montenegro became an independent country. It’s capital is Podgorica.
Unlike Montenegro however, Kosovo has not received the same support from other countries in its bid to assert independence. A former province of Serbia, located south of the country, Kosovo has been at the heart of conflicton the world stage for many years. Much of the confrontation comes from differences between the ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbians, both trying to co-exist in the country. While the country is 80% Albanian, the proximity to Serbia has led to an influx of Serbians, acting as the root of an ethnic cleansing campaign which occurred up until 1999. While issues continued to erupt periodically in the years that followed, they have decreased since 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Today, it has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 112 UN member states, and is a Sporcle recognized country.
While other countries in the region took rough and rocky roads to independence, Sloveniawas able to gain their independence rather smoothly. Slovenia is the most prosperous and homogenous region of the former Yugoslavia. This homogeneity helped the country avoid conflict. Today, Slovenia, which borders Austria and Italy, has their own language, compulsory education, and has a population of nearly 2 million people. The residents are mostly Roman Catholic, and the country has been a member of the EU and NATO since 2004.
In contrast to Slovenia however, Bosnia and Herzegovinais not a homogenous and peaceful country. Located in the middle of the former Yugoslavia, the country is a mix of Muslims, Serbians, and Croatians, and as such, has undergone its fair share of conflict since the original SFRY dissolution, indeed being devastated by the wars that followed the breakup. Today, the country continues to try to rebuild their infrastructure and develop a self-sufficient economic and social existence, helped in part by the peace agreement of 1995. While it has a long way to go from the early days of containing many of Yugoslavia’s largest corporations, the country continues to make progress as an independent nation.
Macedonia was able to remain at peace through the much of the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s. However, it was seriously destabilised by the Kosovo War in 1999, when a large number of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo took refuge in the country. Today, Macedonia is perhaps best known for their strenuous relationship with Greece. Macedoniais a region of Greece, and as such, the Greek people do not condone the use of the name for any external territory. With this provision, Macedonia was accepted into the United Nations as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and indeed, many Greeks take offence to hearing the country called simply Macedonia as opposed its formal UN name. In 2018, Macedonia and Greece finally came to an agreement, and it appears Macedonia may soon find itself with a new name. Skopje is the capital and largest city in Macedonia. With a rich history as Yugoslavia and an even deeper and more complex history as independent nations, the former Yugoslavian countri...
From 1992 to 2000, some countries, including the United States, had referred to the FRY as Serbia and Montenegro as they viewed its claim to Yugoslavia's successorship as illegitimate. In April 2001, the five successor states extant at the time drafted an Agreement on Succession Issues, signing the agreement in June 2001.
The “third Yugoslavia,” inaugurated on April 27, 1992, had roughly 45 percent of the population and 40 percent of the area of its predecessor and consisted of only two republics, Serbia and Montenegro, which agreed to abandon the name Yugoslavia in 2003 and rename the country Serbia and Montenegro.
Former Yugoslavia Political Map. Countries. Bosnia-Herzegovina. Croatia. Kosovo. Macedonia. Europe
The breakup of Yugoslavia occurred as a result of a series of political upheavals and conflicts during the early 1990s. After a period of political and economic crisis in the 1980s, constituent republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia split apart, but the unresolved issues caused bitter inter-ethnic Yugoslav wars.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Slovenia was the first of the former Yugoslavian countries I’ve visited. It’s capital Ljubljana is a cute, laid-back city with a few good sights and decent nightlife. The country itself is the third smallest of these seven countries, so travelling to all parts of the country doesn’t take many days. Next to the capital, Lake Bled is the place that draws the most tourists. Slovenia is not a landlocked country, but it’s coastline is only 47km. Going there because of the beaches is probably not the best idea. The countries strength is the nature, which consists of beautiful mountains, lakes and forests. Slovenia is definitely the country among these seven that is the least Slavic one, and it’s more comparable to the neighbouring countries like Austria or Hungary. Therefore, it might be a decent start, but it’s actually not what you might expect from ex-Yugoslavia. Besides, the country is also not as cheap as their counterparts in the East. Go for: Ljubljana, landscapes Don’t go for:beac...
Croatia is the ex-Yugoslavian country I’ve spent the most time in. A few years ago, a Serb bitterly said to me that “the Croats got the most beautiful parts of Yugoslavia!” Indeed, Hrvatska is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Even driving a few hours on the highway rewards you with fantastic landscapes. As the country has the longest coastline of the ex-Yugoslavian countries, it’s the obvious country for travellers who like the sea. My highlight in Croatia were the small medieval towns though. Wandering through the small alleys of towns like Trogir or Sibenik is just amazing. Plus there are also some nice National Parks in Croatia like Plitvice Lakes or Krka. Tourism has massively increased in recent years. While Croatia was a hidden gem 15 years ago, mass tourism has definitely arrived. It’s probably too late to visit Dubrovnik, as this small town has been overrun in the last years so that the local start protesting against the hordes of tourists. Being such a tourist...
Things start to get different here. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, you will see the strongest influence of the Ottoman Empire in Europe (expect for the European part of Turkey of course). Sarajevois the most Islamic capital city in Europe. However, this country is a melting pot where the West meets the East. It’s also the country that was home of many meaningful historic events. For example, the first World War started in Sarajevo. While Sarajevo and Mostar are nice cities, I was even more surprised about the beautiful nature of the country when driving from Sarajevo to Montenegro. The green landscapes, the lakes and the rivers were just stunning. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a mini-coastline and it’s not worth going there because of the ocean. Besides, infrastructure starts to get poor in this country. The route to Montenegro features some of the worst roads I have seen in Europe. There is a huge difference when it comes to prices between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia/Croatia. A me...
Montenegro, formerly connected to Serbia, used to be an insider tip a few years ago. These times seem to be over now (Albania took this part and it’s going to be over there too in 2-3 years), but Montenegro is still worth a visit. Although the 9thsmallest country in Europe, Montenegro is super diverse. You have mountains, beaches and forests just a few kilometres away from each other. It’s an ideal destination for either outdoor activities like hiking or for relaxing in some of the most idyllic towns of Europe. Driving along the coastline is a real highlight and as good as in Croatia. Budva is great party destination in July/August but generally, Montenegro is not a hardcore party destination. It’s rather a country that is ideal for enjoying beautiful nature. The country is slightly more expensive than Bosnia and Herzegovina, but still cheaper than Slovenia and Croatia. By the way, Podgorica is in my opinion the most unspectacular capital city in Europe I’ve been to. Avoid it. Go fo...
Going eastwards from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia, you’re entering the heart of former Yugoslavia with its capital Belgrade. Belgrade is a cool city, and has the reputation of having one of the best clubbing scenes in Europe. Serbia is mentality-wise very different from the ex-Yugoslavian countries in the West. It’s a Christian-Orthodox country, whereas the majority in Slovenia and Croatia is Roman-Catholic and Muslim in Bosnia and Herzegovina. National pride/nationalism is in my opinion the most distinct in this country. But how can you blame the Serbs? Serbia has been the Western World’s scapegoat in recent years, which resulted in the separation of Kosovo. I cannot comment on rural Serbia, and I believe most of the tourists choose Belgrade as their destination. There is a good reason why though. Belgrade is a lively city that offers a lot of fun. It’s not the most beautiful city, but it has a great vibe and you’ll see some of the best looking European people there.It’s also a...
Kosovois actually not a real country, as it is internationally not fully recognised. In my opinion, it is the least beautiful of the ex-Yugoslavian countries. Kosovo doesn’t have many beautiful cities and the capital Pristina is one of the ugliest in Europe. However, there are still a few reasons to go there. The vibe in the capital is really cool and you could be the only tourist there. Nightlife delivers too. This youngest country in Europe is also one of the continent’s poorhouses. There is no good functioning economy and the country heavily relies on the money of the emigrants. Having said that, prices are among the lowest on the European continent. Expect to pay 30-40 Cents for a (delicious) coffee. Kosovo is a wild mixture of everything. Islam is the pre-dominant religion, but you can also see the Christian-Orthodox and even the old communist influence. It shouldn’t be the first choice for people, who would like to travel to former Yugoslavia. It’s rather a off the beaten trac...
This country is geographically the most Eastern of the former Yugoslavian countries. And you definitely feel that while being there. It’s not as developed as Croatia for example and you’ll see plenty of stray dogs and beggars there. The country is a bit a mix of every other former Yugoslavian country East from Croatia. You can see the Christian-Orthodox influence next to the Islamic one. Macedonia is probably the ex-Yugoslavian country with the least tourist except for Kosovo, but tourism increased in recent years. The country is not large and it wouldn’t take a lot of time to see most of the country. Nevertheless, the capital city Skopjeand Ohrid are the two main tourist destinations. In Lake Ohrid, you can either enjoy the idyllic nature or do some outdoor activities like kayaking or paragliding. It’s also a very cheap country. Similar to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Go for: if you want to have a mix of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo Don’t go for:beaches
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The predominantly Muslim country at the centre of the former Yugoslavia has a rich and diverse history, which is evident in its melting pot of cultural styles. Catholic and Orthodox churches can be found alongside historic synagogues and the minuets of ancient mosques. Whilst the scars of the Bosnian war in the 1990s are still evident across the country’s cosmopolitan capital, Sarajevo today is so much more than a backdrop to bloodshed and is well worth the visit on any tour of the region. With stunning architecture and a wonderful Parisian style café culture, the city’s real jewel is the old town Baščaršija district with its traffic-free stone streets and Ottoman style bazaar of small friendly traders. This is definitely the place to head if you fancy trying out your bartering skills – don’t even think about paying the advertised price for anything! You can grab yourself a good meal in a local café for under £5 and a beer shouldn’t cost you much more than a pound, so entertaining y...
Once the beating heart of Yugoslavia, Serbia now is a relatively poor and unloved country when compared to some of its neighbours. Entirely landlocked, it doesn’t have the tourist-pulling potential of Croatia or Montenegro’s miles of glorious unspoiled coastline and it can be a little daunting to those unaccustomed to the Cyrillic alphabet (like the Russian’s use). Serbia’s distinct lack of popularity with tourists and travellers is in many respects its principle selling point when it comes to the thrifty visitor and there are few European capitals that can match Belgrade when it comes to value for money. That’s not to say that the historic Yugoslavian capital doesn’t have plenty to offer beyond being a cheap destination for the Western traveller and it boasts a rich culture, vivid nightlife and some truly beautiful scenery. It’s also a very safe city with street crime incredibly rare. Visitors to Belgrade should be aware that local laws do prohibit the photography of certain public...
This fascinating land of lakes and mountains has much to offer the budget backpacker as well as any visitor keen to uncover such a lesser known corner of the continent. One part of the city where you can escape the towering Brutalist blocks of the 60s and 70s however, is the quaint and pleasant old town bazaar, which has more than a hint of Istanbul to it, albeit on a considerably smaller scale. You’ll find labyrinthine narrow winding streets filled with craftsmen, kebab houses and coffee shops, where Turkish style coffee is popularly served (as in Bosnia). This is also the best part of the city in which to enjoy a refreshing Skopsko, (Macedonia’s favourite beer), andjust like in Serbia and Bosnia, it’s difficult to find anywhere serving beer for over a pound. Dining out is also incredibly cheap. You can get a satisfying meal of grilled meats and traditional Schopska salad, and late night revellers will find options in Skopje and Belgrade. Be aware that local laws prohibit the sale...