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Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide - Travel S helper

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Bosnia and Herzegovina, abbreviated BiH or B&H, and often referred to informally as Bosnia, is a nation in Southeastern Europe situated on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and biggest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is bounded on the north, west, and south by Croatia; on the east by Serbia; on the southeast by Montenegro; and on the south by the Adriatic Sea, with a shoreline of about 20 kilometers (12 miles) encircling the city of Neum. The topography of the nation is mountainous in the central and eastern heartland, somewhat hilly in the northwest, and mainly flat in the northeast. The interior is a wider geographical area with a mild continental climate characterized by scorching summers and cold, snowy winters. The country’s southernmost region features a Mediterranean climate and a flat terrain.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a territory that dates all the way back to the Neolithic period, when it was inhabited by numerous Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. The nation has a long cultural, political, and social history, having been established by the Slavic peoples that still inhabit the region in the sixth to ninth centuries AD. The Banate of Bosnia was founded in the 12th century and developed into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, before being conquered by the Ottoman Empire, where it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans introduced Islam to the area and significantly changed the country’s cultural and socioeconomic perspective. This was followed by annexation to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War. Bosnia was a member of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia throughout the interwar period and was given full republic status in the newly established Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after World War II. Following Yugoslavia’s disintegration, the nation declared independence in 1992, which was immediately followed by the Bosnian War, which lasted until late 1995.

Today, the nation maintains high levels of literacy, life expectancy, and education and is one of the most frequently visited countries in the area, with the third highest tourist growth rate in the world predicted for the period 1995–2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina is renowned both regionally and internationally for its natural beauty and cultural heritage derived from six historical civilizations, as well as for its cuisine, winter sports, eclectic and unique music, architecture, and festivals, some of which are the largest and most renowned in Southeastern Europe. According to the constitution, the nation is home to three major ethnic groupings, or constituent peoples. Bosniaks are the biggest of the three groups, followed by Serbs and Croats. In English, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnic origin, is referred to as a Bosnian. The names Herzegovinian and Bosnian are used to distinguish regionally rather than ethnically, and Herzegovina has no clearly defined boundaries of its own. Furthermore, before the Austro-Hungarian conquest at the end of the nineteenth century, the nation was simply named “Bosnia.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency made up of representatives from each of the country’s main ethnic groups. The central government’s authority, however, is severely restricted, since the nation is heavily fragmented and consists of two independent entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, as well as a third area, the Brko District, which is administered by local government. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Federation is complicated in and of itself, consisting of ten federal subdivisions – cantons. The nation is a prospective candidate for EU membership and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it obtained a Membership Action Plan at a Tallinn conference. Additionally, the nation joined the Council of Europe in April 2002 and became a founding member of the Mediterranean Union in July 2008.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina - Info Card




Convertible mark (BAM)

Time zone

UTC+01 (CET)


UTC+01 (CET)

Calling code


Official language

Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian

Bosnia and Herzegovina | Introduction

Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to the World Tourism Organization, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have the world’s third highest tourism growth rate between 1995 and 2020.

Bosnia and Herzegovina had 747,827 visitors in 2012, a 9% rise over the previous year, and 1,645,521 overnight stays, a 9.4% increase over 2012. Foreign visitors made up 58.6 percent of the total.

Sarajevo tourism is primarily centered on historical, religious, and cultural elements. It was named one of the top ten cities to visit in 2010 by Lonely Planet’s “Best In Travel.” Sarajevo also won the “Best City to Visit” competition on the travel site Foxnomad in 2012, beating out over a hundred other cities from across the globe.

Meugorje has become one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations for Christians in the world, as well as Europe’s third most significant religious site, with over 1 million visitors each year. Since the alleged apparitions started in 1981, it is believed that 30 million pilgrims have visited Meugorje.

Bosnia has also grown in popularity as a skiing and ecotourism destination. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the remaining unexplored natural areas of the southern Alps, with huge swaths of wild and unspoiled environment enticing explorers and nature enthusiasts. Bosnia and Herzegovina was voted the greatest mountain riding adventure location in 2012 by National Geographic magazine. Hikers and mountaineers enjoy the central Bosnian Dinaric Alps, which have both Mediterranean and Alpine temperatures. With three rivers, including Europe’s deepest river canyon, the Tara River Canyon, whitewater rafting is somewhat of a national sport.

The Huffington Post has ranked Bosnia and Herzegovina the “The nation was awarded the “9th Largest Adventure in the World for 2013,” with the country boasting “the cleanest water and air in Europe; the greatest unspoiled woods; and the most wildlife.” The three rivers journey, which purls through the finest of what the Balkans have to offer, is the greatest way to experience it.”

Two entities, two tourism agencies

Because the Federation wants to unify all of Bosnia and Herzegovina and abolish the entities, the Federation’s tourist office provides information on all of BiH, including the RS.

On the other hand, the tourist organization of the Republika Srpska, the entity that politically seeks to preserve the inter-entity boundaries agreed upon in the 1995 Dayton-agreement, exclusively provides information on the Republika Srpska and none about the Federation of BiH.

Tourist attractions

Some of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tourism attractions include:

  • Sarajevo, the “Olympic City” or “European Jerusalem,” is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s scientific, cultural, tourism, and economic hub.
  • Sarajevo’s Vratnik Old Town and Bijela Tabija Fortress
  • Our Lady of Medjugorje Shrine, featuring an annual Youth Festival; the location of a Marian apparition and subsequent Catholic pilgrimage destination
  • Mostar, often known as the “City on Neretva” or “City of Sunshine,” is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stari Most and Old Town Mostar.
  • Viegrad is home to the Mehmed Paa Sokolovi Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Banja Luka, often known as the “Green City,” is home to the Kastel castle and the Ferhadija mosque.
  • Una National Park has the waterfalls of the river Una and Biha.
  • Jajce, the city of Bosnian monarchs and the birthplace of Yugoslavia, Pliva lakes and waterfalls
  • Prijedor, with its Old City Mosque, Kozara National Park, and Bosnia’s biggest World War II memorial in Mrakovica.
  • Tuzla’s salt lakes,, birthplace of Meša Selimović
  • Canyons of the Neretva and Rakitnica rivers in Upper Neretva
  • The Trebizat river and the waterfalls near Kravice and Kocusa
  • The Buna and its spring, as well as the ancient village of Blagaj
  • The Lower Tara River Canyon is Europe’s deepest canyon.
  • Sutjeska National Park, which includes the Peruica old forest (one of Europe’s last two surviving primeval woods) and the Sutjeska river canyon.
  • Počitelj a historic village
  • Mount Bjelašnica and Jahorina were utilized as venues for the XIV Olympic Winter Games in 1984.
  • Neum is a seaside city in Germany.
  • Doboj and its castle from the 13th century
  • Stolac’s Begovina area and Radimlja tombstones
  • Visoko, the city of Bosnian aristocracy and royalty, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Bosnia, and the purported location of Bosnian pyramids
  • Prokoško The lake near Fojnica
  • Tešanj, is one of Bosnia’s oldest cities.
  • Bijeljina is well-known for its agriculture and the ethnic hamlet of Stanišić.
  • Lukavac is home to Modrac Lake, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s biggest manmade lake.
  • Travnik, Ivo Andri’s birthplace and former capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Jablanica, the Museum of the Battle of Neretva, and the Old Bridge were all demolished by the Yugoslav forces during World War II.
  • Ostrožac Fortress is a 16th-century Ottoman Empire-built castle that was subsequently extended by the House of Habsburg.
  • Gornji Vakuf
  • Konjic, Tito’s subterranean nuclear bunker is shown.

Geography Of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated in the western Balkans, bordered by Croatia (932 km or 579 km) to the north and west, Serbia (302 km or 188 mi) to the east, and Montenegro (225 km or 140 mi) to the southeast. It features a 20-kilometer-long (12-mile-long) shoreline that surrounds the city of Neum. It is located between the latitudes of 42° and 46° N, and the longitudes of 15° and 20° E.

The country’s name is derived from the two territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which share a hazily defined boundary. Bosnia and Herzegovina share approximately four-fifths of the country’s northern territory, while Bosnia and Herzegovina share the remainder in the country’s southern territory.

The majority of the nation is mountainous, including the middle Dinaric Alps. In the northeast, it reaches the Pannonian Plain, while in the south, it borders the Adriatic Sea. The Dinaric Alps typically run southeast-northwest, becoming higher to the south. The highest point in the nation is the mountain of Magli, which stands at 2,386 meters (7,828.1 ft) and borders Montenegro. Kozara, Grme, Vlai, vrsnica, Prenj, Romanija, Jahorina, Bjelanica, and Treskavica are among the most important mountains.

In all, almost half of Bosnia & Herzegovina is wooded. The majority of Bosnia’s forest regions are located in the country’s center, east, and west. Herzegovina has a drier Mediterranean climate and karst terrain. Northern Bosnia (Posavina) has extremely rich agricultural territory along the Sava River, and the region is extensively cultivated. This agriculture is located on the Pannonian Plain, which extends into neighboring Croatia and Serbia. The country’s coastline is just 20 kilometers (12 miles) long, and it wraps around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. Despite the fact that the city is bordered by Croatian peninsulas, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a right of access to the outer sea under international law.

Sarajevo is the capital and biggest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other significant cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina include Banja Luka in the northwest area known as Bosanska Krajina, Bijeljina and Tuzla in the northeast, Zenica and Doboj in the center, and Mostar, the biggest city in Herzegovina.

  • The Sava is the country’s biggest river, and it defines the country’s northern natural boundary with Croatia. It drains 76 percent of the country’s land area into the Danube and subsequently into the Black Sea. As a result, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR).
  • The Una, Sana, and Vrbas rivers are right tributaries of the Sava. They are situated in Bosanska Krajina’s northern area.
  • The Bosna river gives the nation its name and is the longest river entirely enclosed within it. It runs across central Bosnia and Herzegovina, from its headwaters near Sarajevo to Sava in the north.
  • The Drina runs across the eastern portion of Bosnia and creates a natural border with Serbia for the most part.
  • The Neretva is Herzegovina’s main river and the only significant river that runs south into the Adriatic Sea.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of the Boreal Kingdom and is shared by the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region and the Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region. The World Wide Fund for Nature classifies Bosnia and Herzegovina’s area into three ecoregions: Pannonian mixed forests, Dinaric Mountains mixed forests, and Illyrian deciduous forests.

Demographics Of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina had a population of 4,377,000 according to the 1991 census, but the 1996 UNHCR unofficial census indicated a drop to 3,920,000. The country’s demographics have shifted as a result of large population movements during the Yugoslav conflicts in the 1990s. Political disputes rendered it difficult to conduct a census between 1991 and 2013. A census was scheduled for 2011, then for 2012, however it was postponed until October 2013. The 2013 census reported a total population of 3,791,622 people in 1.16 million households, which was 585,411 less than in 1991.

Ethnic groups

Bosnia and Herzegovina has three ethnic “constituent peoples,” Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, as well as a variety of minor communities such as Jews and Roma. Bosniaks make up 50.11 percent of the population, Serbs 30.78 percent, Croats 15.43 percent, and others 2.73 percent, according to data from the 2013 census published by the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the remaining respondents not declaring their ethnicity or not responding. The findings of the census are being challenged by the Republika Srpska statistics agency and Bosnian Serb parties. The census issue centers on the inclusion of non-permanent Bosnian citizens in the numbers, which authorities in the Republika Srpska reject. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, determined in May 2016 that the Bosnian statistical agency’s census methodology is in accordance with international guidelines.


According to the 2013 census, Islam is the majority faith in Bosnia and Herzegovina, accounting for 51 percent of the population, with the vast majority belonging to Sunni Islam. 46 percent of the population identify as Christian, with the Serbian Orthodox Church accounting for the largest group, accounting for 31 percent of the population (of whom the majority identify as Serbs), followed by Roman Catholic C According to a 2012 study, 54 percent of Bosnian Muslims are non-denominational Muslims, whereas 38 percent practice Sunnism.

Language in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian are the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina; all three are known as Serbo-Croatian since they are almost identical. Serbo-Croatian is written in both Latin and Cyrillic characters, making it the only Slavic language to do so. Signs in the Republika Srpska are in Cyrillic, therefore a Serbian-English dictionary would be useful.

Serbo-Croatian dialects vary only in the most scholarly of settings, as well as in traditional households. There are many dialects of the language spoken across the region, and spoken language varies by location. The language distinctions, however, are mainly superficial and do not impede dialogue between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Bosnian Muslims.

Because of familial ties and tourism in former Yugoslavia before to the conflict, many Bosnians know English as well as German. Some elderly individuals can also communicate in Russian since it was taught in schools during the Soviet period.

Economy Of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia is faced with the twin challenge of reconstructing a war-torn nation while also implementing transitional liberal market reforms to its previously mixed economy. One legacy of the previous era is a strong industry; under former republic president Demal Bijedi and SFRY President Josip Broz Tito, metal industries were promoted in the republic, resulting in the development of a large share of Yugoslavia’s plants; S.R. Bosnia and Herzegovina had a very strong industrial export-oriented economy in the 1970s and 1980s, with large scale exports worth millions of dollars.

Agriculture has been done on privately held farms throughout the majority of Bosnia’s history; fresh food has historically been exported from the country.

The Bosnian economy changed dramatically as a result of the 1990s conflict. GDP dropped by 60%, and the loss of physical infrastructure wreaked havoc on the economy. The Bosnian economy continues to confront significant challenges since most of its manufacturing capacity has yet to be rebuilt. Figures indicate that GDP and per capita income grew by 10% between 2003 and 2004; this, together with Bosnia’s decreasing national debt, are negative trends, and high unemployment (38.7%) and a significant trade imbalance remain causes for worry.

The currency board controls the national currency, the (Euro-pegged) Convertible Mark (KM). Annual inflation in 2004 was 1.9 percent, the lowest in the area when compared to other nations. The foreign debt was at $5.1 billion as of December 31, 2014. According to the Bosnian Central Bank of BiH and the Statistical Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the real GDP growth rate in 2004 was 5%.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has made significant improvement in recent years, moving from the lowest income equality rating of fourteen out of 193 countries to the fourteenth highest income equality rank.

According to Eurostat statistics, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s PPS GDP per capita in 2010 was 29% of the EU average.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a $500 million loan to Bosnia to be provided via a Stand-By Arrangement. This was supposed to be authorized in September of this year.

Entry Requirements For Bosnia and Herzegovina

Visa & Passport for Bosnia and Herzegovina

With a passport or a national identification card, EU, EEA, Swiss, Andorran, Monégasque, San Marinese, Serbian, and Vatican City residents may visit Bosnia and Herzegovina visa-free for up to 90 days.

Foreign citizens from the following countries/territories may visit Bosnia and Herzegovina without a visa for up to 90 days if they have a passport:Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan (Republic of China), Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, additionally persons holding British National (Overseas), Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Sovereign Military Order of Malta passports.It is also visa-free for Russian and Ukrainian nationals for up to 30 days.

Anyone who does not qualify for one of the visa exemptions mentioned above must apply for a visa in advance at a Bosnia and Herzegovina embassy or consulate. Nationals who need a visa to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the other hand, are eligible for a free 7-day visa if they have a multiple-entry Schengen visa or a Schengen nations residency permit.

How To Travel To Bosnia and Herzegovina

Get In - By plane

Sarajevo Airport (IATA: SJJ) is located in the Butmir area, near to the city center. There is no direct public transit, and cab prices to/from the airport are shockingly costly for the small distance – your best option is to take a taxi to the tram terminal at Ilida and join the tram for the last leg of your trip, which costs BAM1.80.

Croatia Airlines flies from Sarajevo to Zagreb at least twice daily, with connections to Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris, Zürich, and other European destinations.

Jat Airways of Serbia links Sarajevo daily through Belgrade (with a late night-early morning service), from where one may connect with additional JAT internal and international flights.

Other airlines that fly into Sarajevo on a regular (daily) basis include:

  • Adria Airways to Ljubljana
  • Lufthansa to Munich
  • Austrian Airways to Vienna
  • Turkish Airlines to Istanbul

In May/June 2009, Norwegian will launch additional flights from Sarajevo to Oslo-Rygge and Stockholm-Arlanda. Each location will have two flights each week. Check the Sarajevo Airport website for more services.

Mostar, Tuzla, and Banja Luka all have international airports with flights to and from Istanbul, Frankfurt, Zürich, Ljubljana, Basel, Malmö, Gothenburg, and Belgrade.

Many visitors prefer to fly into Croatia before continuing their journey by bus to Bosnia and Herzegovina, stopping in Zagreb, Split, Zadar, or Dubrovnik, the latter two of which are served by seasonal low-cost tourist charter flights.

Get In - By train

Train services are gradually improving throughout the nation, but speeds and frequencies remain low. Much of the rail infrastructure was destroyed during the recent conflict, and lines have been reopened on a priority basis, albeit not to the high level of service that existed before to the conflict. The railway services are operated by two different organizations (depending on the country’s political split), resulting in locomotives being swapped often.

To/from Croatia

There is one daily train from Sarajevo to Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, and then on to the rest of Europe.

The ‘day’ train departs Zagreb at 8:59 a.m. and arrives in Sarajevo at 18:23 p.m. The return trip leaves Sarajevo at 10:21 and arrives in Zagreb at 19:42. A one-way ticket costs approximately 30 euros (return ticket cost around 50 euros). Tickets may be bought in local currency at the international office at the railway station in Croatia or Bosnia. There is no buffet car on this route, so bring your own supplies for the magnificent 9-hour journey, but guys with tiny carts may sometimes go through the train selling expensive soft drinks and other items.

Attempt to purchase your train ticket before boarding. If you don’t purchase before you board, you may buy from the conductor aboard, but be aware that he/she may only give you a ticket for his/her portion of the trip – the crew and locomotives typically change when the train leaves Croatian territory and again when it enters Federation territory.

Get In - By car

Bosnia is a wonderful nation to travel through; the landscape is frequently breathtaking.

However, anticipate slow speeds owing to the hilly terrain, bad driving by numerous road users (including hazardous passing on small roads), and generally poor road conditions across the nation – particularly considering the comparatively short distance ‘as the crow flies’. The major roads from the coast to Sarajevo through Mostar, and north from Sarajevo to the Croatian border at Slavonski Brod/Slavonski Samad, have been rebuilt and are of good condition as of 2009. A new highway following this route is being built, with the first section north of Sarajevo now open, but minor work may delay travel at both ends of this planned roadway. For passenger cars, there will be a 2 kilometer toll from Sarajevo. Toll booths at the other end are presently being built and are not operational (as of August 2011).

When completed, this route will link the northern portion of Croatia to the coast, as well as the new motorway from Zagreb to Split, which will ultimately continue to Dubrovnik.

Petrol stations may be difficult to locate in certain areas; frequently, the best places to fill up are on the outside of towns and cities rather than inside them.

Border crossings are usually simple.

Mechanics who understand English may be difficult to locate, and licensing may be a problem, so be sure you are legally permitted to drive there. Police put up roadblocks on a regular basis, so don’t be shocked if you’re pulled over to check your papers and have a talk!

Renting a vehicle is also an option, particularly if you want to explore distant locations outside of Sarajevo.

Get In - By bus

Buses abound in and around Bosnia. 

Most foreign buses arrive at Sarajevo’s major bus terminal (autobuska stanica), which is adjacent to the train station and near to the city center. The Lukavica bus station in Istono (Eastern) Sarajevo is used by a few buses from Belgrade, the Republika Srpska entity, and Montenegro (the Serbian neighbourhood of the town).

There are frequent bus services from Sarajevo to:

  • Croatia: Zagreb (4 flights per day), Split (4 flights per day), Rijeka and Pula (daily), and Dubrovnik (daily) (daily at 6:30AM)
  • Serbia: There are 5 daily trains between Belgrade and (eastern) Sarajevo, as well as a daily service to Sarajevo main station
  • Slovenia: Ljubljana (daily)
  • Montenegro: Kotor on a daily basis (the trip is 7 hours and has spectacular views)

in addition to long-distance buses to the Republic of Macedonia, Austria, and Germany.

International services are also available from Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla, and Zenica. Herzegovina also offers many bus connections from Croatia’s Dalmatian coastline towns.

International bus services are almost always in contemporary, luxury 5-star coaches; the few exceptions are usually local buses that operate only across the border (max. 3 hour trips).

Because of the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s, there are bus companies that serve the Bosnian diaspora and offer an affordable and hygienic method to travel to the other side of the European continent.

  • Centrotrans, Based in Sarajevo (buses are operated through the regular bus stations around the country),  +387 (0) 33 46 40 45, fax: +387 (0) 33 46 40 40, e-mail: [email protected]. Centrotrans operates for Eurolines to Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. 
  • Globtour (Operates from Međugorje, through the whole country),  +387 (0)36 653 253, fax: +387 (0) 36 653 251, e-mail: [email protected]. Regular buses to Germany, Austria, Sweden and Croatia. 
  • Semi tours,  +387 (0)61 596 443, fax: +32 (0) 36 638699, e-mail: [email protected]. Cooperation with Eurolines and Centrotrans, several buses per week to Belgium and The Netherlands Return ticket from €137. 
  • Gold tours,  +387 (0)32 444 960, fax: +387 (0)32 444 961, e-mail: [email protected]. Buses to Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg and Switzerland. Return ticket from €100. 
  • Top Tourist,  +387 66 30 8300, fax: +387 51 32 11 00, e-mail: [email protected]. Weekly buses from and to Nordic European countries (e.g. Denmark, Sweden, Norway) Tickets can be paid on the bus, but advance booking and payment is recommended. Sarajevo via Salzburg (twice weekly) c. DKK1,000 (BAM280, €140) return. 
  • Turistik, Bihaćkih branilaca, Bihać (Across the main bus station),  +387 (0) 37 312 611, e-mail: [email protected]. To the federation by bus from Switzerland. 

Get In - By boat

Ferries go from Neum to other Adriatic cities, linking them to Croatia and other countries. There are no international ferries across the Adriatic to Italy, although there are boats from Dubrovnik and Split to Italy.

Similarly, transportation along the interior rivers and lakes is available, some of which is privately operated.

How To Travel Around Bosnia and Herzegovina

The inter-entity boundary between the Federation and Republika Srpska is uncontrolled and, in terms of movement, is not much different from state boundaries in the United States.

The bus and train are the greatest modes of public transportation (Federation, RS). There is a dense network of bus routes, which are all operated by local private firms. Be advised that if you purchase a return ticket for a line that is serviced by several companies, you can only make the return journey with the company from whom you purchased the ticket.

Trains are few and sluggish. Many railway lines were destroyed during the war and have yet to be restored. There are also insufficient cars and trains to offer regular service, especially on popular routes like as Mostar-Sarajevo, Tuzla-Banja Luka, and Sarajevo-Banja Luka. The rides, on the other hand, are picturesque, particularly the Mostar-Sarajevo section.

Hitchhiking is enjoyable in Bosnia since you will get rides from locals that you would not often meet via hospitality exchange networks such as couchsurfing. Be cautious of landmines, and if in doubt, remain on the paved route and ask locals (“MEE-ne?”).

Cycling is a popular pastime in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other traffic, on the other hand, is not as familiar with how to interact with motorcycles on the road.

In Bosnia, Google Maps, an online mapping resource, is extremely basic. However, volunteers are mapping Bosnia in Open Street Map, and the maps of the major cities in Bonia are much more detailed than those of the US-based business.

Accommodation & Hotels in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are many hotels, hostels, motels, and pensions to select from. Hotels ranging from 2 to 4 stars are available in the coastal resort of Neum. Many hotels in the other cities are 3 stars, 4 stars, and some are 5 stars.

The finest hotels in Banjaluka include Cezar, Palas, Bosna, Atina, Cubic, and Talija. Reservations for any accommodation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or any service, may be made through the internet or by contacting Zepter Passport Travel Agency, Banjaluka; contact:, phone number +387 51 213 394, +387 51 213 395, Fax +387 51 229 852.

The finest hotels in Sarajevo include the Hollywood, Holiday Inn, Bosnia, Saraj, Park, Grand, and Astra. Reservations may be made online or by calling the Centrotrans-Eurolines travel agency in Sarajevo at +387 33 205 481, which speaks English, German, French, and Dutch.

Campgrounds are uncommon. The national tourist agency has a list of campsites in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Wild camping is generally not an issue, but keep an eye out for mines.

Things To See in Bosnia and Herzegovina

If Bosnia and Herzegovina conjures up thoughts of concrete Communist architecture or war-ravaged town centers from the 1990s, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Of doubt, this nation retains the scars of its turbulent past, but tourists today will discover reconstructed and well-restored ancient towns, a warm and inviting environment, vibrant city life, and -on the whole- more medieval monuments than Socialist apartment complexes. In fact, several Communist-era relics, like as the Tito bunker in Konjic, have become tourist attractions in their own right.

The country’s major tourist attractions, on the other hand, are its attractive medieval town centers, historical cultural sites, and spectacular natural beauty. Sarajevo, famous for its vast Socialist housing projects, is also a colorful historic blend of East and West, where faiths and cultures have coexisted for generations. It’s a lively town that has been revived as the country’s contemporary capital, proud of its history, and a popular destination for all types of travelers. The bustling Baščaršija or Old Bazaar, the Sarajevo cathedral, the Gazi Husrev-Mosque, beg’s and, of course, the legacy sports facilities of the 1984 Olympics are all must-sees. The Tunel spasa, or Tunnel of Hope, which carried supplies to Sarajevo during the war and is now a museum, is well worth a visit. Another metropolitan jewel is Mostar’s picturesque old town, which has the renowned and Unesco World Heritage-listed Stari Most bridge as a major landmark. It has been meticulously restored and is generally regarded as one of the best examples of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. Viegrad has its own Unesco-listed bridge, the magnificent Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge. Try Banja Luka’s lush gardens and avenues for additional metropolitan splendor.

Great natural sights may be found all throughout the place, even near to the major metropolis. Take a horse carriage to Vrelo Bosne (the Bosna River’s spring) and join Sarajevo families for peaceful retreats and picnics. Kravice waterfalls, approximately 40 kilometers from Mostar, are another spectacular natural attraction. The Trebiat River descends 30 meters in a magnificent natural environment with tuff cliffs, making it a favorite location for city residents and rafts. Other impressive waterfalls may be found in the verdant Una National Park in the country’s far west. Then there’s the renowned Jajce waterfall, where the Pliva river’s pure waters plummet 17 meters right in the heart of town. Nature enthusiasts could also visit Hutovo Blato Natural Park for bird viewing or Sutjeska National Park, which has a waterfall and one of Europe’s only two surviving primeval woods.

The ancient fortress of Počitelj, Blagaj (where you’ll also discover the spring of the river Buna), and, for environmentalists, The Zelenkovac ecovillage near Mrkonjić Grad are top choices for village life. The greatest collection of Stećak, an unique kind of pre-Ottoman gravestone found across the old Bosnian Kingdom, is located just west of Radimlja.

Things To Do in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Rafting on the Neretva, Una, and Tara rivers, as well as the Drina, with several shorter courses on the Krivaja, Vrbas, and Sana rivers.

The 2009 World Rafting Championships were held at Banja Luka on the Vrbas River and Foa on the Drina River, both in Serbia.

Kayaking and canoeing

The Neretva river and its tributaries the Trebiat and Unac rivers, as well as the Krivaja river and its tributary the Biotica river, are all excellent kayaking locations, with plenty of whitewater on the Krivaja. The Pliva river and its lakes Veliko and Malo, as well as the middle and lower Una rivers and the Trebiat river, are excellent canoeing locations.


The renowned Rakitnica canyon of the Rakitnica river, a tributary of the Neretva river, offers excellent canyoning experience, but even more severe canyoning routes may be discovered in the Bjela river, another Neretva river branch. The Unac River and its canyon provide excellent canyoning opportunities.

The gorges of the Svrakava and Cvrcka rivers are also near to Banja Luka.

Mountain biking

Sport is popular in the area, and the country’s hilly landscape is becoming an increasingly popular destination for cyclists from all over the globe.

Winter sports

Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984, and it is still proud of its winter sports ability. There are difficult locations, particularly in the Sarajevo area. Many Olympic sites were badly damaged during the 1990s conflict, but everything is now in place to provide the skier with an unforgettable experience.

The Bjelasnica mountain range, which has over 8 kilometers of ski routes, is close to Sarajevo, as are the Jahorina (20 km) and Igman mountains. The 14-kilometer-long Vlasic Mountain is located near Travnik. Other resorts include Blidinje in the east, Vlasenica in the west, and Kupres in the east.

Summer walks in Bjelanica and Jahorina are also lovely.


The best fly-fishing spots in Bosnia are in the northwestern Bosanska Krajina, inside National Park “Una,” and along the Sana River . Fly-fishing enthusiasts may take a tour of the many trout hotspots on the river Una, the Klokot, the Krunica, the Unac, the Sana, the Bliha, the Sanica, the Ribnik, the Vrbas, the Pliva, the Janj, the Sturba, the Trebiat, the Buna, the Bunica, the Neretva, the Tara, the Sutjeska, the Drina, There are resorts in many of the places that cater specifically to anglers’ requirements.

Food & Drinks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Food in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cevapi (usually 2-4 km), the ubiquitous Balkan kebab, is the most widely accessible meal in Sarajevo. There are two notable variations: the “Banja Luka” Cevap, a bigger kebab with a square form, and the Sarajevo Cevap, which is smaller and circular. Every tourist should taste an order of Cevapi at least once if they haven’t before. Pita comes in a variety of flavors (around 2 km). “Burek,” a filo dough pastry filled with beef (just Burek), cheese (Sirnica), spinach (Zeljanica), potatoes (Krompirusa), or apple, is an inexpensive, delicious, and widely accessible snack (Jabukovaca). However, some instances are better than others, and it may be a greasy affair. However, if you visit Mostar, try to have a dish of trout (“pastrmka,” which sounds like “pastrami”), which is the local speciality (a particularly fine restaurant serving locally farmed trout lies by the wonderful Blagaj monastery, a short bus ride from Mostar).

Local cuisine is focused on meat and seafood, with few vegetarian options. Even so-called vegetarian meals, such as beans or Grah, are cooked with bacon or smoked meats. Stews are often made with meat, although they may also be made without it. Rice and pasta meals are widely available, and Trahana, a traditional sourdough soup filling prepared by hand in most areas, is a mainstay during the fasting month of Ramadan. With the exception of cevapi and pita (or burek), fast food comprises, like in other areas of Europe, of pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Panini sandwiches are offered in most coffee shops popular with young people, and Bosnian coffee, which is similar to Turkish coffee, is a must-try for any coffee connoisseur. Surprisingly, apart from these quick food choices, Bosnian restaurants offer little Bosnian specialties – what individuals eat at home differs greatly from what they would eat in a restaurant.

Advertisements for janjetina or “lamb on a spit” may be seen all over Bosnian highways and recreational areas. This is a delicious delicacy that is typically saved for special occasions. A entire lamb is roasted on a spit by rotating it over a coal fire for an extended period of time. When you order, you pay by the kilogram, which is about BAM25 (not bad since this is enough for several people). On exceptional occasions, such roasts are prepared at home by families.

Whatever you order, you will almost certainly be given bread, which is frequently eaten with all savory meals in certain areas of Europe. Soup and salad are often offered with meals, the most popular being chicken and beef soup with noodles or egg dumplings. Salads are usually made out of mixed tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and bell peppers, and are frequently topped with feta cheese. In Bosnia, a Caesar salad is unheard of, and most vinaigrettes are of the Italian type, consisting of balsamic vinegar and olive or corn oil. You may also come across a variety of condiments. Ajvar is a canned (or home-made if you’re fortunate) spread, similar to bruschetta spread, consisting of roasted peppers and eggplant crushed and slow simmered with pepper and salt. Many pickled items, such as pickled peppers, onions, cucumbers [“pickles,”] and tomatoes, are also served as condiments. Kajmak is a dairy spread that has the consistency and flavor of cream cheese. It is produced from milk fat that has been extracted, salted, and canned. It has a smoky, salty cheese flavor and a somewhat drier texture than cream cheese. Travnik’s kajmak is a local speciality that is exported as far as Australia.

Bosnian cuisine does not often mix sweet and salty flavors, and you will never see a Caesar salad with mandarin oranges. On the other hand, many a good chef would experiment with sweet and savory flavors, such as the ‘Medeno Meso’ (Honeyed Meat) prepared by a well-known chef in pre-war Banja Luka. The distinction between fruit and vegetables is clear, with fruit reserved for dessert-style meals. Unless it’s a dessert, you’ll never see sugar added to a meal. The meal is usually heavy on fresh vegetables that requires little or no additional spice. As a result, there are few spicy or hot meals, and dishes marketed as “spicy,” such as paprikasor gulash, are typically seasoned with paprika rather than chillies, and lack overt pungency. Textures and colors may be significant in certain areas, depending on whether it is restaurant or home cuisine.

Smoked meats are more common in Bosnian cuisine than the traditional staples pita and cevapi. Pork reigns supreme among non-Muslim people, and prosciutto, smoked neck, smoked ribs, bacon, and hundreds of kinds of smoked sausage make this a true BBQ nation. Of course, Muslims have equally delectable lamb or beef options. The meat is produced by first curing it in salt for several days, which eliminates water and dehydrates the flesh while keeping it from rotting due to the high salt concentrations. The meat is hung over a heavy smoke made by a wood fire after being rubbed with spices (a Bosnian dry rub is usually very simple, and includes some combination of high-quality fresh peppercorns, hot paprika, salt, onions & garlic, and a few spoons of Vegeta, a powdered chicken soup mix similar to an Oxo flavor cube). Fruit trees are widely recognized among BBQ enthusiasts worldwide for producing the most delicious smoke, and apple, cherry, and walnut trees are the most frequently utilized in Bosnia. Whereas commercially produced deli meats (such as those found at your local deli) are typically dry-cured or hung in dehydrating fridges for a few hours before being pressure-smoked for a few hours to allow some flavor to permeate the meat, Bosnian smoked meat is painstakingly smoked for up to three months. The meat is hung in a “smoke house,” a small wooden structure large enough to start a fire and hang the meat. Bosnians only smoke meat in the autumn or winter since the low temperatures and salt curation enable the meat to hang for months without rotting. During this period, it is smoked up to four times each week for 8–10 hours at a time, infusing the meat with smoke flavor and removing any residual water. The final product has a strong smoky fragrance and taste, with the texture of chewy beef jerky. The color within the flesh is the most apparent difference between smoked meat made this manner and professionally manufactured meat accessible in North America, depending on the cut of meat. Unlike commercial deli meat, which is often mushy, red, a bit moist, and quite raw, Bosnian smoked meat is black throughout with just a faint tint of pink. Larger slices of pork, such as Dalmatian prosciutto, are somewhat more pink and softer on the interior, but the difference is still significant since Balkan-made prosciutto has considerably less water, is chewier, and generally better smoked. Such meat is most frequently eaten for breakfast, as sandwiches, or as meza, a snack commonly served to welcome visitors. Smoked meats are an inexpensive and extremely delicious lunch meat for visitors, and can be purchased at Bosnian markets from individuals who typically cook it themselves. You’ll never want to leave after having a pork neck sandwich with Bosnian smoked cheese and a salad of fresh tomatoes on a bun of fresh and crunchy handmade bread.

When you pay a visit to a Bosnian at home, the friendliness may be overpowering. Coffee is usually always accompanied by some homemade treat, like as cookies or cakes, as well as Meza. Meza is a big plate of prepared smoked meats, often including smoked ham (in traditional non-Muslim households) and sausage thinly sliced and attractively displayed with cheese, ajvar, hard-boiled eggs, and freshly cut tomatoes, cucumbers, or other salad greens. Bread is constantly available. Most cookbooks on South Slavonic cuisine are jam-packed with hundreds of bread variations, since this is one of the world’s bread-crazy areas. Yet, for the most part, the only bread in most Bosnian households is store-bought French bread, which Bosnians, of course, would never refer to as “French.” To them, it’s just “Hljeb” or “Kruh.”

On important occasions, however, greater effort is taken to make traditional Slavonic breads, and each family typically bakes its own version of a traditional recipe. At Christmas and Easter, Orthodox Serb and Croatian Catholic families prepare Pogaca, a butter-bread that is frequently braided and coated with an egg-wash, giving it a sparkling sheen ideal for spectacular festive settings. During Ramadan, Bosniak (Muslim) populations bake a plethora of breads, and the unique and Turkish-inspired varieties are generally more numerous, diverse, and dependent on regions and villages than among Christian populations, where special-event recipes are more homogeneous and fewer selections exist. Lepinja or Somun (the bread served with Cevapi) is a kind of flat bread that was presumably brought to Bosnia in some form by the Turks, but has since evolved independently and only faintly resembles Turkish or Middle Eastern flat pita breads. Unlike Greek or Lebanese pita, Bosnian Lepinja is chewy and elastic on the inside and delightfully textured on the exterior, giving it the ideal spongy accompaniment to greasy meats and barbecue tastes. The Turks may have started this recipe, but the Bosnians have taken it to new heights.

Bosnians consume a number of stew-type dishes in everyday cooking, such as Kupus, a boiled cabbage dish; Grah, beans cooked in a same manner; and a very runny version of Hungarian goulash. All start with garlic, onions, celery, and carrots, then a vegetable, smoked meat, and a few glasses of water. The veggies are then cooked until they fall apart. A native spice known as “Vegeta” is used in virtually every meal, and the same spice is used across the area, all the way to Poland. It’s the equivalent of a chicken Oxo cube in North America, or condensed chicken broth mix. These stew dinners will cost you next to nothing and will provide you with a substantial and satisfying supper.

In terms of sweets, ice cream offered in most former Yugoslav nations would make you drool. There are many types, but regional milk and cream must play a role in their delicious flavor. Ice cream may be purchased by the scoop, from an iced-milk swirl machine, packaged in shops, or from a sidewalk seller with a freezer directly on the street. The “Egypt” Ice Creamery in Sarajevo is recommended, since it is renowned in the area for its caramel ice cream. Try “Ledo,” a kind of packaged ice cream produced in Croatia but available all across the area. Try some local sweets, such as Krempita, a custard/pudding dish that tastes like a creamy cheesecake, and Sampita, a similar treat made with egg whites. Traditional Bosnian sweets should also be tried. Hurmasice, also known as Hurme, is a tiny finger-shaped wet sweet with walnuts; Tulumbe are tubular doughnuts that are crispy on the surface and soft and sweet on the interior. Don’t forget to sample Bosnia’s version of the world-famous Baklava, which is somewhat more syrupy than its Turkish equivalent and generally without rum, unlike its Greek counterpart. Much of the traditional cuisine has Turkish overtones, a colorful result of six centuries of Ottoman control over the majority of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and sweets are no exception.

Whatever you eat in Bosnia, you will be surprised by how rich the tastes you thought you knew are. Because the country’s cuisine has not yet been damaged by commercially produced produce, most crops are grown (uncertified) organically or semi-organically, with less pesticides and harvested when ripe. The vegetable markets exclusively offer seasonal and locally produced veggies, and the fruit in the Neretva Valley area of Herzegovina is certain to be some of the finest tasting you’ve ever had (close to the Croatian border, between Mostar and Metkovic). The area is well-known for its peaches, mandarin oranges, peppers and tomatoes, cherries (both sweet and sour), watermelons, and, most recently, Kiwi fruits. Cheese is also extremely delicious and rich across Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all meals are as fresh as they come.

Drinks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the legal drinking age is 18 years. Domestic beers include Nektar (from Banja Luka), Sarajevsko, Preminger (from Biha, brewed following to a Czech recipe), and Tuzlansko, while imports include Ozujsko and Karlovako from Croatia, Jelen from Serbia, and Lako and Union from Slovenia. Beer is extremely widespread and popular in virtually every European nation. Even in more Islamic regions, alcohol is readily accessible to those who want to use it, and virtually every bar is well supplied.

Bosnians, like other Slavs, produce ‘Rakija,’ which comes in a variety of flavors and is prepared both commercially and at home. Red wine is referred to as ‘Crno vino’ (black wine), whereas white wine is referred to as ‘bijelo vino’ (white wine). Herzegovina’s wines are well-known for their high quality. Alcohol is not taxed as severely as it is in other Western countries and is often quite cheap. High-quality alcohol is highly sought after and appreciated.

Another popular alcoholic beverage is Turkish coffee, also known as Bosnian or domaca (homemade) coffee in Bosnia, which may be purchased in any bar, coffee shop, or fast food restaurant.

Bosnians are among the world’s most avid coffee consumers.

Money & Shopping in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The official currency is the konvertibilna marka (BAM1.95), which has a fixed exchange rate of 1.95 for one euro (€1 = BAM1.95).

There are two sets of banknotes, one for the Federation and one for the Republic of Srpska. However, both sets are valid across the nation.

Before leaving the nation, be careful to exchange any leftover money for something more common (euros, dollars), since most other countries will not exchange this country’s “convertible marks.”

Credit cards are not commonly accepted; nevertheless, ATMs are readily accessible in most cities (VISA and Maestro). Smaller businesses may not have adequate change if you pay with BAM100 notes.

Most towns and cities will have marketplaces and fairs where a variety of artists, merchants, and dealers would sell their wares. Various meals, both fresh and prepared, as well as clothes, jewelry, and souvenirs, are easily accessible. You may bargain with the vendor in the markets, but it may take some experience. Prices for foreigners may be increased, as they are in most similar establishments, depending on a quick’means test’ performed by the vendor. Those who seem to be able to pay more are often requested to pay more.

In most cities and towns, there are huge retail malls.

Sarajevo is ideal for purchasing low-quality clothing and shoes at a reasonable price. Sarajevo’s major commercial districts are also excellent for black market items like as the newest DVDs, video games, and music CDs. Most visitors who visit Sarajevo will undoubtedly depart with a few DVDs to take home with them.

Visoko and the area of central Bosnia are widely renowned for their leather craftsmanship.

Banjaluka includes seven major shopping malls as well as numerous local shops where you may buy a wide range of products.

On the Croatian side of Mostar, there is an excellent shopping mall with some classic European-style clothing stores and jewellers.

Tax-free shopping

If you have a temporary (tourist) residence status and spend more than BAM100 on products, you are eligible to a PDV (VAT) tax return. PDV is equal to 17% of the buying price. Except for gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes, the return applies to any items purchased within three months after departure. In the store, ask for a tax-refund form (PDV-SL-2). Fill it out and get it stamped (you’ll need your ID/passport). When you leave Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian customs may validate (stamp) the form if you show them the items you purchased. Within three months, you may receive a PDV refund in Marks, either in the same store where you purchased the items (in which case the tax will be returned to you immediately), or by mailing the validated receipt back to the shop, along with the account number into which the refund should be deposited.

Be advised that if you enter another nation, you may be required to pay VAT on products exported from Bosnia. However, there is always a free sum, usually a few hundred Euros (EU: €430). Also, the border process may take some time, therefore it is not advisable to attempt this while traveling by train or bus, unless the driver agrees to wait.

Culture Of Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bosnia and Herzegovina’s architecture has been heavily affected by four main eras in which political and social events encouraged the formation of unique cultural and architectural habits among the people. Each era left its mark, contributing to a wider variety of cultures and architectural languages in this area.


In Bosnia and Herzegovina, television, magazines, and newspapers are all run by both state-owned and for-profit companies that rely on advertising, subscriptions, and other sales-related income. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s constitution protects freedom of expression.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s media system is undergoing change as a nation in transition with a post-war legacy and a complicated internal political structure. During the early post-war period (1995–2005), foreign donors and cooperation agencies were primarily responsible for media development, investing to assist rebuild, diversify, democratize, and professionalize media outlets.

The establishment of an independent Communication Regulatory Agency, the adoption of a Press Code, the establishment of the Press Council, the decriminalization of label and defamation, the introduction of a rather advanced Freedom of Access to Information Law, and the creation of a Public Service Broadcasting System from the formerly state-owned broadcaster were all post-war developments. However, globally supported good advances have often been stymied by local elites, and the professionalization of media and journalists has been sluggish. Adherence to professional codes of behavior is hampered by high levels of partisanship and links between the media and political systems.


Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich literary tradition, including Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andri and poets such as Croat AAntun Branko Šimić, Aleksa Šantić, Jovan Dučić and Mak Dizdar, writers such as Meša Selimović, Zlatko Topčić, Semezdin Mehmedinović, Miljenko Jergović, Isak Samokovlija, Safvet beg Bašagić, Abdulah Sidran, Petar Kočić, Aleksandar Hemon, and Nedžad Ibrišimović.Branislav Nušići, a playwright, was the first director of Sarajevo’s National Theater, which opened in 1919. Some of the most famous magazines addressing cultural and literary topics are Novi Plamen and Sarajevske biljeznice.


Bosnian and Herzegovina’s art was constantly developing, ranging from the earliest medieval tombstones known as Steci to paintings in the Kotromani palace. However, it was not until the advent of the Austro-Hungarians that the painting renaissance in Bosnia really began to thrive. With the beginning of the twentieth century, the first educated painters from European universities emerged. Gabrijel Jurkić, Petar Šain, Roman Petrović and Lazar Drljača are among them.

Following WWII, artists such as Mersad Berber and Safet Zec came to prominence.

In Sarajevo, Ars Aevi, a museum of contemporary art including works by internationally known artists, was established in 2007.


Typical Bosnian and Herzegovinian songs include ganga, rera, and traditional Slavic music for folk dances such as kolo, with sevdalinka being the most popular from the Ottoman period. Pop and rock music has a long history in the country, with notable artists like Dino Zonić, Goran Bregović, Davorin Popović, Kemal Monteno, Zdravko Čolić, Elvir Laković, Edo Maajka, Hari Mata Hari and Dino Merlin. Other composers such as Đorđe Novković, Al’ Dino, Haris Džinović, Kornelije Kovač, and numerous pop and rock bands such as Bijelo Dugme, Crvena Jabuka, Divlje Jagode, Indexi, Plavi Orkestar, Zabranjeno Puenje, Ambasadori, and Dubioza kolektiv. Bosnia is the birthplace of composer Duan esti, the author of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s current national song and the father of vocalist Marija Šestići, composer Saša Lošić, and pianist Saša Toperić. Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats play the old Gusle in the villages, particularly in Herzegovina. The gusle is mostly used to read epic poetry in a theatrical tone.

Sevdalinka is a kind of passionate, melancholy folk song that frequently depicts tragic themes like as love and loss, the death of a beloved person, or grief. It is perhaps the most unique and identifiably “Bosnian” of music. Traditional sevdalinkas were played with a saz, a Turkish string instrument that was subsequently supplanted by the accordion. To the chagrin of some purists, the more contemporary arrangement usually includes a singer backed by the accordion, as well as snare drums, upright bass, guitars, clarinets, and violins.

Cinema and theatre

Sarajevo is well-known throughout the world for its varied and diversified festival offerings. The Sarajevo Film Festival was founded in 1995, during the Bosnian War, and has since grown to become the most important and biggest film festival in the Balkans and South-East Europe.

Bosnia has a strong cinematic and film history going back to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; several Bosnian filmmakers have gained worldwide recognition, with some winning international prizes ranging from the Academy Awards to numerous Palme d’Ors and Golden Bears. Danis Tanović (known for the Academy Award– and Golden Globe Award–winning 2001 film No Man’s Land and Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize–winning 2016 film Death in Sarajevo), Dušan Vukotić (won an Oscar for best animated short film in 1961 for Surogat (“Ersatz”), becoming the first foreigner to do so), and Emir Kusturica (won two Palme d’Or awards). Jasmila Žbanić (won Golden Bear), Ademir Kenović; Dino Mustafić, Benjamin Filipović, Jasmin Dizdar, Pjer Žalica, Srđan Vuletić, Aida Begić etc.


Bosnian cuisine employs a variety of spices in moderation. Most meals are light because they are cooked in a lot of water; the sauces are completely natural, consisting of nothing more than the natural juices of the vegetables in the dish. Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, dried beans, fresh beans, plums, milk, paprika, and Pavlaka cream are common components. Bosnian cuisine combines Western and Eastern elements. Bosnian cuisine is strongly linked to Turkish, Greek, and other former Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisines as a consequence of the Ottoman rule for almost 500 years.

However, due to years of Austrian dominance, there are numerous Central European influences. Beef and lamb are the most common meats used in recipes. Local specialities include evapi, burek, dolma, sarma, pilav, goulash, ajvar, and a variety of Eastern desserts. Evapi is a grilled minced beef meal, similar to kebab, popular in former Yugoslavia and regarded a national cuisine in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. Local wines are produced in Herzegovina, where the climate is ideal for grape cultivation. Herzegovinian loza (similar to Italian grappa but less sweet) is a popular drink. The north produces plum (rakija) and apple (jabukovaa) alcoholic drinks. Distilleries in the south used to produce massive amounts of brandy and feed all of the ex-Yugoslav alcohol industries (brandy is the base of most alcoholic drinks).

Leisure activities

Coffeehouses serving Bosnian coffee in dezva with rahat lokum and sugar cubes abound in Sarajevo and across the nation. Coffee drinking is a popular Bosnian leisure and cultural practice. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks ninth in the world in terms of per capita coffee consumption.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stay Safe in Bosnia and Herzegovina

If you intend on going off the main route in Bosnia, keep in mind that the country is currently removing many of the estimated 5 million land mines that were strewn throughout the countryside during the 1992-1995 conflict. If possible, remain on paved roads in rural regions. Never get into contact with an explosive device. As their owners left during the conflict, houses and private property were often rigged with explosives. Stay away from any place or property that seems to be abandoned.

Bosnia has relatively little violent crime. Pickpocketing is common in Sarajevo’s old town.

Stay Healthy in Bosnia and Herzegovina

All Bosnian workers are subjected to regular health exams to verify that they are physically capable of doing their duties and that they will not spread illness or harm anybody. People in the food sector are especially scrutinized, and random health and safety inspections of the facilities are conducted on a regular basis. The highest standards are expected of food service suppliers. A Bosnian kitchen is supposed to be clean, and food safety is of the utmost importance.

When getting a tattoo, make sure the tools are sterile. While this is a popular technique, one should use caution.

Because the meal is so filling, some additional activity may be beneficial.

And, as previously said, never deviate from designated routes in the event of land mines.



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