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8 places that are no longer off-limits to travelers

By: Josh Lew on Aug. 9, 2013, 4:24 p.m.
The Baščaršija market in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Photo: Simonetta Di Zanutto/Flickr

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The Balkans

Two decades ago, the violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia led to Europe's bloodiest fighting since World War II. During the conflicts, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo and Croatia were the last places in Europe that any traveler would want to spend time in. Once peace and stability came to the region, the trickle of tourists started. Today, spots like Croatia's Dalmatian Coast are considered the next big thing in Europe's tourism industry, and cities like Zagreb and Belgrade are hot spots for culture, shopping and nightlife. Montenegro and Bosnia are growing adventure and eco-tourism destinations. Land mines are still a problem for eco-tourists in some areas, but the mix of rural charm, natural beauty, and big city fun make all the countries of the former Yugoslavia wonderful places for travelers in search of something beyond the usual European vacation experience.