Bosnia

And Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide

“When you go to Sarajevo, what you experience is life.”

– Mike Leigh

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Why You'll Love Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH for short) is often associated with loss and death. From the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which set WWI in motion, to the Siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre, BiH has long been viewed as a nation torn apart at the seams. But now more than ever, it’s equally a place of new beginnings and budding creativity – a place where you can feel life itself tingling on your skin.

In 1992, citizens voted in a monumental independence referendum and Bosnia and Herzegovina gained her independence. The dotted lines of autonomous republics, the intricate political system (often named the most complex in the world), and the very presence of the ‘and’ in the country’s name are a clue to the kind of diversity and contrasts you can expect today.

If there’s one thing I learned after five weeks travelling around BiH, it’s that the warmth of the people and the illustrious beauty of the landscape are the strongest uniting forces.

Bosnia Travel Essentials

when to go

Apr/May or Oct/Nov (spring/fall shoulder season). Feb/March for skiing.

how long in BiH?

2 full days for Sarajevo; 5-7 days for the highlights; 10 days to see everything.

getting there

Fly into Sarajevo or Tuzla, or drive/bus from neighbouring countries.

BiH visa

Visa-free for most passports (up to 90 days). Check your visa requirements for BiH.

Getting around

Hire a car (check prices on Discover Cars) or use inter-city buses.

Daily budget

35-50 USD per person per day (mid-range hotel; local meals; bus fares; museum tickets).

Things to Do in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Sarajevo, BiH’s capital city, the line where Asia stops and Europe begins (or is the other way around?) is literally drawn in the sand. A plaque on the pavement separates the Austro-Hungarian-built part of the city, with its market halls and plasterwork facades, from the Ottoman quarter, with its public fountains and singing minarets.

Sarajevo’s Old Bazaar, Bascarsija, is pure magic. As you dart between tea houses, carpet shops and Buregdzinicas (bakeries specialising in burek), you move to the rhythm of tradesmen who still pound bronze with the same fervour as they did centuries ago.

As you cross the stone bridges in Mostar, Visegrad and Konjic, you begin to understand that not only is each one a proxy for a devastating chapter of Balkan history (which every traveller must take the time to learn about), it’s also a symbolic bridge between past, present and future.

From Jajce, the city with roaring waterfall at its centre, to Pocitelj, an almost-abandoned Ottoman town and the sweet city of Trebinje, between the Dinaric Alps, the Pliva Lakes and the ambling River Drina, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a way of making you feel alive.

Explore Bosnia & Herzegovina

Itineraries, city guides and foodie inspiration.

Search Bosnia Hotels

Top Bosnia Tours

My Bosnia Favourites

Hike

Via Dinarica Trail (Slovenia to Kosovo via BiH).

meal

Cevapi (Balkan meatballs) and Burek (stuffed pastry) with Bosnian coffee & Tufahija (baked apple).

local experience

Watching the sunset over Sarajevo from Bijela Tabija (the White Bastion).

souvenir

A copper tray or coffee pot from the Sarajevo Old Bazaar.

Onward Travel

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