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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Country info
Square area:
51,197 km²
Population:
3.5 million
Capital:
Sarajevo
Currency:
B&H conv. mark (KM)
Language:
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Religion:
Islam, Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism
Political:
Federal republic
English:
Widely spoken
Safety level
Bosnia and Herzegovina is safe to travel. The level of crime against foreigners is low, but beware of pickpockets on public transport.

Take a walk through the historic center of the capital of Sarajevo. Within a block’s distance, you will find a Catholic Cathedral, a mosque, an Orthodox church and a synagogue. The main world religions come together and apart here, shaping ethnicities and culture. This multiculturalism remains the cornerstone and the trademark of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The Bosnian war of the 1990s horrified the world. Its traces can still be felt and seen. But today, a quarter-century later, the country is making its comeback to many bucket lists. Power your travel in Bosnia and Herzegovina with potent black coffee and discover one of Europe’s most authentic cultures. 

  • Marvel at the Ottoman-era heritage, like the UNESCO-listed bridges in Mostar and Višegrad, the Emperor’s mosque in Sarajevo, or the typical Ottoman town of Počitelj.
  • Explore the Jewish heritage in Sarajevo, the home of the 14th-century Sarajevo Haggadah. 
  • Track the futuristic Yugoslav memorials on important WWII battlefields like Kozara, Tjentište, Bihać, and others. 
  • Meander to discover stećak monuments in Bosnian hilltop villages.
  • Savor Turkish cuisine at its best, from dolmas (stuffed vegetables) and čevapćići (grilled minced meat) to baklava and hurmašice (sweets).

THE
PEOPLE OF
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

 

Perfect For

Culture
Bosnia is a diverse country with three major ethnic groups living within the borders who identify as Bosnian. Despite all groups being of Slavic descent, each ethnicity has their own culture and traditions.

Culture

History
Conquered firstly by Romans, then Ottomans, followed by Austro-Hungarian control, finishing with Yugoslavian period - Bosnia and Herzegovina indeed is a country rich with history. Embark on historical journey starting from 1180's!

History

Food
When it comes to food, Bosnian traditional meals without doubt deffend the title of "the best Eastern Europe food". Imerse yourself in Bosnian culture through your tastebuds: you won't be sorry!

Food

Nature
Bosnia an Herzegovina are proud of their emerald green rivers, beautiful mountains and numerous waterfalls. These breathtaking sights are awaiting!

Nature

Itinerary ideas

DAY 1
Upon arrival to Sarajevo you will be welcomed and transferred to hotel. Afterwards, a guided walk through past will follow. Visit the bazaars and sample some local food as a great introduction to the rest of your journey.
DAY 2
Exclusive visit to the Bosniacs Institute for a great insight into Muslim history followed by a tour of the War Tunnel along the Bosnia River spring. In this amazing landscape, a carriage ride and picnic lunch will seize the day.
DAY 3
A private transfer to Vlašić. After check in, pamper yourself with hotel amenities or simply enjoy the green surroundings and fresh air. Walk through the wild nature will serve as a perfect relaxing time.
DAY 4
Proceed to Jajce with an en-route stop in Travnik. For history enthusiast this place will be real treat. Refresh with Plava Voda, walk the area of Stari Grad and Osoje before proceeding to waterfalls and Jajce Fortress.
DAY 5
Return to Sarajevo. Head on an afternoon walk to admire the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architecture. Cross the Latin bridge, visit the Eternal Flame and explore the Jewish Museum for an experience of the culture mixture in this town.
DAY 6
Enjoy this day relaxing, food and wine tasting, and shopping. Find your favorite shop on Baščaršija and reward yourself with some local sweets. Afterwards, your guide will take you for a local wine and cheese tasting.
DAY 7
Day tour to Mostar, a valley town surrounded by river Neretva, Hum, Cabulja and Velež Mountain. Cross the town's symbol - the bridge - and proceed to Blagaj. Have coffee in tekija and visit UNESCO Heritage in Počitelj.
DAY 8
Meet the locals and feel that world-renowned hospitality of people from this area. Enjoy a private cooking class, prepare some traditional meals, learn about the ritual of drinking coffee and tasting local sweets.
DAY 9
Enjoy some time at leisure before meeting with your chauffeur for a private transfer to Sarajevo Airport for your outbound flight.
This discovery program allows you to get properly introduced to the culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meet the locals and experience the widely known hospitality, indulging in delicious food.
DAY 1
Upon your arrival to Sarajevo Airport, you will be welcomed by your private chauffeur for a transfer to the hotel. A private guided tour of Sarajevo's city center Bašćaršija will follow.
DAY 2
An adventurous day is ahead. Visit the source of the river Bosna, the Great Alley and the lake Stojćevac. Afterwards, head out to the mountains Bjelašnica and Igman. Spend the day becoming one with nature.
DAY 3
Immerse yourself in the captivating natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Visit the Tunnel Museum, the Sunnyland for an alpine coaster ride, and enjoy the views from the top of Trebević mountain.
DAY 4
Off to Mostar, with an en-route stop in Konjic to visit the old bridge and the old part of the town. Once in Mostar, you will have an opportunity to explore this unique place on a walking tour of the old town.
DAY 5
Visit the town of Počitelj and explore its cultural riches dating back to the Ottoman period. The tour further leads you to the stunning Kravice Waterfalls and a visit to the cave and river Buna featuring a dervish tekke monastery in Blagaj.
DAY 6
Head out to the mountain and nature park Ruište for another pleasant day in the open. Enjoy some free time exploring the area on your own before heading back to Sarajevo. Explore Sarajevo further on your own.
DAY 7
Put on your comfy shoes once more because another adventure awaits. Head to the Bijambare caves. After exploring the area, have yourself a little picnic, take a relaxing walk, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee at the mountain house.
DAY 8
Check out after breakfast and meet up with your chauffeur for a transfer to the airport to catch your outbound flight.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is rich with cultural and historical landmarks, but also surrounded with crisp natural beauty. Set off on an adventurous journey to thoroughly explore this unique country.
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What to Expect

ACCOMMODATION
The capital of Sarajevo offers a wide choice of hotels, from 1* (yes, there are a few) to 5* luxury international properties. Other cities are really limited with choice and offer mostly private accommodation which can be from basic to more modern, but overall service is usually warm and hearty.
ACCOMMODATION
Traditional hotel in Mostar
• There are some newly-opened smaller hotels and motels throughout the country, clean and comfortable
• Hotel star rating does not necessarily match the expected Western standard
• For expected level of service, chain hotels in Sarajevo are recommended
WHEN TO GO
A mountainous country dominated by a hilly terrain shaped by the river Sava on the north, river Drava on the east and 20 km of coastline on south. Moderate Mediterranean climate is kind of a norm; very cold winters and hot summers. Expect snow in the mountains.
WHEN TO GO
Sarajevo year-round temperatures
• May to June is an ideal period to take advantage of beautiful weather
• July and August are hot but relief can be found in mountainous parts
• Sarajevo film festival in August might be a good motivation to forget about the high temperatures
STAYING CONNECTED
The easiest way to grant your access to Internet at all times is to purchase a SIM card from a local operator. Best is to purchase it in their official stores since the staff there can install it. Local operators have good coverage but you might lose signal in some remote areas. All hotels offer great WiFi.
STAYING CONNECTED
Bosnia and Herzegovina SIM card
• Country code: +387
• Best way to stay connected at all times is with a local SIM card or a portable router
• WiFi available in most hotels in all bigger cities
• Plug types are C and F (European); standard voltage is 230 V and it operates on 50 Hz
FOOD
Bosnian national cuisine speaks a lot about a country’s history. Biggest influence on Bosnian food dates back to the Ottoman empire with delicious heritage in spicy meats, kebabs, lamb and filo pastries. Austrian influence is mostly reflected in various soups and stews. Herzegovinian part is more popular for wine production.
FOOD
Classic ćevapčići with ayran
Begova čorba or Bey’s stew with meat and vegetables
Ćevapčići, minced lamb and beef meat shaped in small grilled sausages
Burek a pie-like dish with filo pastry filled with minced meat, cheese or finely diced potatoes
• Tipping: common; 10-15% tip for good service
SHOPPING
If seeking for something authentic in Bosnia and Herzegovina visit to Baščaršija Bazaar in Sarajevo is a perfect place. In the center of the town, this area looks like medieval streets-labyrinths full of shops where artisans offer their goods but also made them in front of you.
SHOPPING
Typicall souvenirs on the streets of Baščaršija
• Brass coffee pots, wool goods, woodcarvings, leather items are just some of the crafts offered in Baščaršija
• On this type of markets it is common to bargain in Bosnia and Herzegovina so you might want to try it out
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Despite the turbulent past, Bosnia became an attractive destination for lovers of rugged, wild places. Diverse in culture, it is interesting for its history and tradition. There are three main ethnicities in the country: Muslims, also known as Bosniaks, Bosnian Serbs (mostly Orthodox) and the predominant Roman Catholic Bosnian Croats, all living in peace.
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Coffee plays big part of culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Drinking alcohol in public can be found offensive to most Orthodox Muslims; it is not served in local taverns
• It is customary to take off your shoes before entering someone's home
• Avoid expressing your opinions on the war since it is a sensitive subject
• In the Herzegovinian part of the country, make sure not to refer to the country only as Bosnia since it is Bosnia and Herzegovina
SAFETY
Bosnia and Herzegovina still bears the burden of war which significantly slows down their tourism development. Sarajevo and Mostar are the most popular cities and are safe to stay at. Bosnian people are actually known for their big hearts and hospitality. Instances of petty crime are very rare.
SAFETY
Bosnian police officer
• Tap water is of good quality and safe to drink
• Avoid tasting open-market dairy products made of unboiled milk, especially in hot summer months
• Medical facilities are limited, especially outside Sarajevo; travelers are advised to take full medical insurance prior to departure
GETTING AROUND
If you will be flying into the country, then your journey starts in the capital of Sarajevo. It is possible to arrive by car from Croatia, Serbia or Montenegro. There is a rail service throughout the country but it is really slow and not recommended. Our service includes Mercedes Benz vehicle with an English-speaking professional chauffeur, which is a perfect solution to optimize your time.
GETTING AROUND
On the streets of Sarajevo
• Driving side: right
• The main airport is Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ) in Sarajevo
• If renting a car, please note that International Driving Permit is required
• There is less than 40 km of 4-lane highways in entire country; the rest of the roads are in poor condition so driving can be challenging
• In summer months, crowds during border crossing are expected
• Once in a bigger city, during your leisure time it is best to take a taxi

What to pack

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a typical European country with all four seasons. Summers are hot so dress accordingly. If packing for winter, be sure to take winter clothing and be ready for snow. As the history of the region is quite complex, we have included additional reading for a better understanding of the culture and recent past.

In The Media

Rugged Wilderness From Above
Flight Over Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia Through Eyes of Local
Bosnia’s Highlights and So Much More
Favorite Bosnian Food
Tradition on a Plate Served in Mostar
Virtual Walking Tour
Feel the Vibe of Sarajevo
Top 10 Places in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Glance on all the Country's Highlights
Počitelj - Bosnia and Herzegovina
A Historic Village and an Open-air "Museum"
Dino Merlin - Rane
Popular Bosnian Music
Bosnian for Beginners
Learn Some Useful Bosnian Phrases

Best to combine with

Countries of former Yugoslavia can be easily combined in one unique jourey. The itinerary solely depends on the number of days you have and how much great food and wine you can take!

Croatia
This is a perfect match as Croatia almost entirely envelopes Bosnia and Herzegovina and one can start or end journey in Dubrovnik, Zagreb or Split easily.

Montenegro
Scenic drives extend to one of Europe's most dramatic landscapes. The land where mountains drop straight to the ocean, Montenegro is known for its unique beauty.

Serbia
Bosnia's big, eastern neighbor offers a deeper insight into Balkans and Belgrade is a pure delight being one of the most fun cities in the region.

Quirks for the Curious

Stećak Monuments
Just recently added to UNESCO World Heritage list, stećak tombstones are shared by nearly all the nations of the Balkans but Bosnia has most of them: about 60 000. There are several variations of this unique monument and most recognizable are the ones in the shape of a sarcophagus with various decorations on them. Radimlja necropolis near Stolac in Hercegovina is one of major sites to visit if curious about this unique tradition.
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Sarajevo Haggadah
The most precious of all Jewish books is, undoubtedly, Haggadah of Sarajevo. is an illuminated manuscript that contains the illustrated traditional text of the Passover Haggadah and it is one of the oldest Sephardic Haggadahs in the world, originating in Barcelona around 1350. The Haggadah is owned by the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. Its monetary value is not known but, according to some accounts, Israel offered 700 mil in arms for it during Bosnian war in the 90s.The book is included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2017
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Ćevapčići
Nothing says Bosnia like ćevapčići! This is a grilled dish of minced meat found traditionally in the countries of southeast Europe but has Turkish origins like many dishes of the region. Ćevapčići are usually served in groups of five or ten pieces on a plate or in a flatbread (lepinja or somun), often with chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak and ajvar. Bosnian ćevapi are made from two types of minced beef meat, hand-mixed and formed with a funnel and then grilled. It is always a dispute where are the best but Ferhatović and Mrkva are some places to recommend for top quality.
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