Discovering Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Complete Travel Guide

As an experienced traveler, I’ve explored many destinations around the world. But few have captured my heart quite like Bosnia and Herzegovina. This beautiful country, located in the heart of the Balkans, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.

When I first visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was struck by its vibrant energy, warm hospitality, and breathtaking landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Dinaric Alps to the tranquil waters of the Neretva River, the country is a visual feast that never fails to amaze me.

But Bosnia and Herzegovina is more than just a pretty face. It’s a place where East meets West, where ancient traditions coexist with modern innovations, and where people from all walks of life come together to celebrate their rich cultural heritage.

In this comprehensive travel guide, I want to take you on a journey into the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together, we’ll discover the country’s hidden gems, explore its vibrant cities, and immerse ourselves in its unique culture. So, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Let’s discover Bosnia and Herzegovina together.

A Brief Overview of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina, let’s start with some general information about the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small country located in the western Balkans, bordered by Croatia to the north, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast.

The country has a rich and complex history, shaped by centuries of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian rule, as well as the devastating war of the 1990s. But despite its turbulent past, Bosnia and Herzegovina has emerged as a resilient and vibrant nation, full of warmth, hospitality, and cultural diversity.

As an experienced traveler, I can attest that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a safe and welcoming destination for visitors from all over the world. The locals are friendly and hospitable, always eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is also a country of contrasts, where East meets West, and where ancient traditions blend with modern innovations. This unique blend of cultures is reflected in the country’s architecture, cuisine, and way of life.

The official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. The currency is the Convertible Mark (BAM), and you can easily exchange foreign currency at banks and exchange offices throughout the country.

In the next sections of this travel guide, we’ll delve deeper into the specific regions, cities, and attractions that make Bosnia and Herzegovina such a unique and fascinating destination. So, let’s get started and discover this beautiful country together!

Getting There and Around

One of the best things about Bosnia and Herzegovina is its accessibility from various parts of Europe. Whether you’re flying in from a neighboring country or taking a bus from the nearby cities, getting to Bosnia and Herzegovina is quite easy.

By Plane

The easiest way to reach Bosnia and Herzegovina is by air. The country has three major international airports: Sarajevo International Airport, Mostar Airport, and Tuzla International Airport. Of these three, Sarajevo is the largest and busiest airport and serves numerous airlines that connect the country to major European cities.

When I traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I flew into Sarajevo International Airport from Vienna. The flight was short and sweet, and I was able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful mountains surrounding Sarajevo as we descended towards the runway.

By Bus

Buses are the most common mode of transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they are also the cheapest. There are regular bus connections to major cities in the country, as well as to neighboring countries like Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro.

When I wanted to travel from Sarajevo to Mostar, I took a bus from the Sarajevo Bus Station. The journey was comfortable, and I was able to enjoy the stunning views of the countryside from the bus window.

By Car

If you prefer to explore the country at your own pace, renting a car is the best option. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a good network of roads, and driving is relatively easy. However, it is important to note that some roads in the rural areas may not be well-maintained, so it’s best to check the condition of the roads before embarking on a road trip.

When I wanted to explore the countryside around Jajce, I rented a car in Sarajevo and drove to Jajce. The journey was smooth, and I was able to stop at various scenic spots along the way.

Once you’re in Bosnia and Herzegovina, getting around the cities is also quite easy. The cities have a good public transportation system, and taxis are also readily available. However, if you’re planning to explore the countryside, renting a car is highly recommended.


As a frequent traveler to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I have had the opportunity to stay at various types of accommodation in different parts of the country. From budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels, there are many options available to suit different budgets and preferences.

Hostels and Guesthouses

For budget travelers, hostels and guesthouses are the perfect option. In cities like Sarajevo and Mostar, there are many affordable hostels with comfortable dormitories and private rooms. These hostels offer a great way to meet fellow travelers and get insider tips on things to do and see in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Hotels and Resorts

If you’re looking for more upscale accommodation, there are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from. In popular tourist destinations like Neum and Jahorina, you’ll find luxury hotels with all the amenities you could want, including swimming pools, spa facilities, and fitness centers. Even in smaller towns and villages, there are charming boutique hotels that offer a more personalized experience.

Apartments and Villas

For those who prefer more space and privacy, apartments and villas are a great option. These can be found in both urban and rural areas, and range from small studios to large villas with multiple bedrooms. Renting an apartment or villa is also a good option for families or groups of friends traveling together, as they offer the opportunity to cook your own meals and have a home away from home.


For the more adventurous traveler, camping is a great option in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are many campsites throughout the country, some of which are located in stunning natural settings. Camping is also a budget-friendly option, and a great way to experience the country’s natural beauty up close.

Overall, whether you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation or luxury hotels and resorts, Bosnia and Herzegovina has something to offer everyone.

Food and Drink

Bosnian cuisine is hearty, flavorful, and influenced by Turkish, Greek, and Mediterranean cuisine. As a food lover, I was excited to discover the diverse culinary scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I was not disappointed.

One of the most famous Bosnian dishes is cevapi, small grilled meat sausages typically served with onions and ajvar, a roasted red pepper relish. I had the pleasure of trying this delicious dish at a small restaurant in Sarajevo’s Baščaršija neighborhood and it was one of the highlights of my trip.

Another must-try dish is burek, a flaky pastry filled with meat, cheese, spinach, or potato. This dish is available in most bakeries and street vendors across the country, and it’s a perfect on-the-go snack.

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be pleased to know that Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich coffee culture. Bosnian coffee is similar to Turkish coffee, strong and rich, and usually served with a small glass of water. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited to share a cup of coffee with a local – it’s a sign of hospitality and friendship.

For those who enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their meals, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a small but growing wine industry, with several wineries in the Herzegovina region. In addition, the country is home to some excellent craft breweries, with a wide selection of locally brewed beers available in bars and restaurants. I particularly enjoyed the Sarajevska Pivara brewery, which offers a tour and tasting of their beers.

Whether you’re a foodie or not, you’ll find plenty of delicious and affordable options to suit your taste buds in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Culture and Attractions

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, shaped by the influence of various civilizations throughout its history. Exploring the country’s cultural and historic landmarks is a must-do when visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here are some of my top picks:

Sarajevo’s Old Town

The capital city of Sarajevo is known for its charming Old Town, where you can see the influence of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian cultures. Strolling through the cobbled streets, you’ll see traditional Bosnian architecture mixed with Ottoman-style mosques and bazaars. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some traditional Bosnian dishes at one of the many restaurants in the area.

Mostar Old Bridge

Mostar’s Old Bridge

Mostar is a small city located in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, famous for its iconic Old Bridge. The bridge was originally built in the 16th century and is a symbol of the city’s Ottoman heritage. The bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War but has since been rebuilt and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Watching the divers jump off the bridge into the cold river below is a must-see experience.

Blagaj Tekke

Blagaj Tekke is a unique cultural and natural monument located just a short drive from Mostar. It’s an Ottoman-era Dervish monastery, built on the side of a cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of the Buna River. The monastery is still active today, and visitors can learn about the spiritual practices of the Dervishes and enjoy the stunning views from the terrace.

Kravice Waterfalls

Kravice Waterfall with sun in frame

Kravice Waterfalls is a stunning natural wonder located in the south of the country, near the border with Croatia. The waterfalls are around 25 meters high and create a large, natural swimming pool at their base. The area is perfect for hiking and picnicking and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.


Pocitelj is a small village located in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a rich history dating back to the medieval period. The village is known for its picturesque Ottoman architecture and is one of the few surviving examples of a fortified town in the region. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, climb to the top of the hill for panoramic views of the surrounding area and learn about the area’s history at the local museum.

These are just a few of the many cultural and historic attractions that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoying the local cuisine and natural beauty, there is something for everyone in this charming country.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re an adventurous traveler like me, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a dream destination. The country is blessed with a plethora of natural beauty, and the outdoor activities here are endless. Here are some of the top outdoor activities you can indulge in during your visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina:


Bosnia and Herzegovina is a hiker’s paradise. The country is home to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes in Europe, and the best way to experience them is on foot. There are a number of well-marked trails that wind through the mountains, forests, and valleys of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, there’s a trail for you. Some of the most popular trails include the Via Dinarica, a long-distance trail that stretches across the Balkans, and the trail to Lukomir, the highest village in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Kravice Waterfall boat trip

The Una River, which flows through Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a popular destination for white-water rafting. The river offers a range of rapids, from gentle Class I to thrilling Class IV, making it a great destination for both beginners and experienced rafters. The scenery along the river is breathtaking, with crystal-clear water, lush green forests, and dramatic canyons.


Bosnia and Herzegovina has a number of ski resorts that offer excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The most popular resorts are located in the mountains near Sarajevo and Mostar. Jahorina, one of the largest resorts in the country, was the site of the Alpine skiing events during the 1984 Winter Olympics. The resort has a range of runs for skiers of all levels, as well as a terrain park for snowboarders.


Cycling is a great way to explore Bosnia and Herzegovina’s countryside. The country has a number of well-marked cycling routes that wind through scenic landscapes and pass through traditional villages. The routes range from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone. Some of the most popular routes include the Drina River Cycling Route and the Cycling Route of the Bosnian Pyramids.


If you’re looking for a bird’s-eye view of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s stunning landscapes, paragliding is the way to go. There are a number of paragliding operators in the country that offer tandem flights for beginners as well as courses for more experienced pilots. Some of the best places to go paragliding in Bosnia and Herzegovina include Bjelasnica Mountain and Trebevic Mountain.


If you love the great outdoors, camping is a must-do activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are a number of campsites located throughout the country, many of which offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Camping is a great way to experience the country’s natural beauty up close and to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hunting and Fishing

Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to a number of game species, including wild boar, deer, and pheasants, making it a popular destination for hunting enthusiasts. Fishing is also a popular activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the country’s rivers and lakes teeming with trout, carp, and other species. There are a number of fishing lodges and hunting reserves located throughout the country that cater to both domestic and international visitors.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply enjoy spending time in nature, Bosnia and Herzegovina has something to offer everyone. The country’s stunning landscapes and wealth of outdoor activities make it a must-visit destination for anyone.

Safety and Tips

Traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina can be a wonderful experience, but it’s always important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips and precautions to take during your visit:

Safety Tips

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas, especially at night.
  • Be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas such as markets or public transportation.
  • If driving, be aware of narrow, winding roads and mountainous terrain. It’s important to drive defensively and follow traffic rules.
  • Stay updated on local news and events, especially in areas close to the borders.

Cultural Tips

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a diverse country with different religious and cultural backgrounds. Here are some tips to be respectful of the local customs:

  • When visiting religious sites, dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering mosques or other places of worship.
  • Avoid discussing politics or sensitive historical topics unless you know the person well.
  • In rural areas, it’s common to greet strangers and engage in small talk. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited for a cup of coffee or a meal.

Environmental Tips

Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for its natural beauty and it’s important to take care of the environment during your visit. Here are some tips to reduce your impact:

  • Avoid littering and dispose of waste properly, especially in national parks or natural areas.
  • Be mindful of water usage and try to conserve water when possible.
  • Stick to designated trails and avoid damaging plants or wildlife.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Don’t forget to also have fun, try new foods, and immerse yourself in the local culture!


As I come to the end of my journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am left with a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and diversity of this country. From the bustling cities to the quiet countryside, from the delicious food to the warm hospitality, from the rich history to the stunning landscapes, there is truly something for everyone in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Whether you’re an adventure-seeker looking for outdoor thrills, a culture enthusiast wanting to explore the fascinating history and architecture, or simply looking for a peaceful escape in nature, Bosnia and Herzegovina has it all. With its easy accessibility, affordable prices, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder why more and more travelers are discovering the magic of this hidden gem.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the beauty and charm of Bosnia and Herzegovina for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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