Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a fascinating destination in southeastern Europe that has gained popularity among tourists recently. From its rich history and cultural heritage to its natural beauty, there is plenty to discover in this small but diverse country.
In this ultimate Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide, we will cover everything you need to know before embarking on your trip.
Document checklist for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Visa (if applicable)
Valid passport or ID card (if applicable)
Essential Bosnia and Herzegovina travel information
Currency - The Bosnian Mark (BAM) is the official currency. $1 is approximately BAM 1.60.
Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of BAM 70 ($40) per day.
Languages - The country has three official languages: Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.
Number of travelers per year - In 2018, over 1.5 million tourists visited Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Socket type - Types C and F, 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - Central European Standard Time (GMT+1).
Top 3 cities to visit - Sarajevo, Mostar, and Počitelj.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Mostar Bridge, Kravica Waterfall, and the Sarajevo Tunnel.
Visa information for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia isn't part of the EU or Schengen Zone. Citizens of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not need to apply for a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina for up to 90 days.
However, always check, as there are still some situations where a visa is required to enter the country. Our Visa Checker Tool can give you more information about the travel documents you need before you go.
Visa difficulty index for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Many travelers can enter Bosnia and Herzegovina visa-free. Those who do need a visa can do so via their nearest embassy.
Time to get your visa: 4/5
While you cannot apply for a Bosnia and Herzegovina Visa online, it takes between 7 and 30 business days to process.
The visa fee depends on your nationality and what type of visa you need.
Typical costs and budget for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Find below the average costs of traveling through Bosnia and Herzegovina on a mid-range budget.
Daily spending - Around BAM 70 ($40) per person, per day. This includes:
Meals - Expect to spend about BAM 15 ($9) per meal.
Transport - Depending on your travel plans and standard of travel, local transportation may cost up to BAM 20 ($9) per day.
Hotel - The average hotel price in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a couple is BAM 40 ($24). On average, a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina for two people for one week will cost BAM 980 ($560).
Transport and ways to travel around Bosnia and Herzegovina
There are many ways to get to and around Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether by land or air. Here are some tips for navigating the country.
Getting to Bosnia and Herzegovina
The easiest way to get to Bosnia and Herzegovina is by flying into Sarajevo International Airport, which is served by several airlines, including:
Another option is to fly into Split or Dubrovnik in Croatia and then take a bus or taxi across the border.
Arrival and immigration tips for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina is generally hassle-free. However, as it is a relatively new destination, you may want to consider some travel advice for a smooth arrival:
Always check all entry and exit requirements before you go. Monitor local media to find out about the COVID-19 rules.
Foreigners should register with the local police within 72 hours of arrival. Hotel staff usually do this for you, but always check.
When arriving by land, it is possible that you do not get an entrance or exit stamp. Not getting a stamp rarely causes problems. If you're concerned, insist on getting off the bus.
Immigration authorities collect passports and travel documents on the bus before returning them to the driver, and you may only get them back later in the journey. Passengers typically stay on the bus.
Foreign currencies such as the Croatian kuna, dollars, and euros are sometimes accepted or exchanged at an unfavorable rate. Expect high fees when withdrawing money from an ATM. Therefore, it's a smart idea to exchange money before you leave.
Get travel insurance that covers emergency services and medical treatment.
Public transportation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Public transportation, such as local buses and trams, is available in many cities and most towns, offering an affordable way to get around. Intercity buses and trains are also available, connecting major cities and tourist destinations throughout the country.
Taxis in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Taxis are widely available in most cities and can be a convenient option for short distances or when you need to get somewhere quickly. It's always a good idea to agree on a price with the driver before beginning your journey.
Car rental in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Renting a car is a great way to explore Bosnia and Herzegovina at your own pace and discover rural areas. There are many rental agencies available throughout the country. You need an international driving permit to rent a car.
Remember that driving in Bosnia can be challenging due to the narrow roads and mountainous terrain, so it's important to be a confident driver.
Safety in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Two decades after the Yugoslav Wars and the Siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia is recovering and becoming the ideal destination for adventurous travelers. Here are a few practical things to know before visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Stay on hard-surfaced roads and avoid abandoned buildings due to risks from land mines from the war.
Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations, on public transportation, and in crowded public venues. Pickpockets are common.
Scams can be prevalent in touristy areas. Always check receipts, even in bars and restaurants, do not leave your drink unattended, and do not give money to strangers.
Weather in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The best time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina is during spring and fall when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summer can be hot and crowded, especially in popular tourist destinations such as Sarajevo, Mostar, and the coastal town of Neum.
Winter can be cold and snowy, but it's an excellent time to enjoy winter sports in the mountains.
Must do and see in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are the top 5 things to see and do in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Visit Sarajevo, the capital city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Don't skip the historic Baščaršija district, the Latin Bridge (site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand), and the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum.
Mostar is a picturesque town famous for its stunning Old Bridge (Stari Most), which spans the Neretva River and is a popular location for bridge jumping. Other must-sees in Mostar include the Old Bazaar (Kujundziluk) and the historic streets of the Old Town.
Discover the natural beauty of the Una National Park, known for its stunning waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers, and diverse wildlife. Be sure to hike to the waterfall, go rafting on the Una River, and take a scenic drive through the park.
Explore Počitelj, a small medieval town in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for its stunning architecture and rich history. Be sure to visit the Gavrakapetan Tower, the Sahat Kula (Clock Tower), and the Haji Alija Mosque.
The Kravice Waterfalls are a stunning series of waterfalls located in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The waterfalls are surrounded by lush greenery and are popular for swimming, picnicking, and hiking.
Typical Bosnia and Herzegovina food to try
The country has a rich culinary tradition that combines Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Balkan influences. Here are the top three typical dishes and foods to try in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Ćevapi - This traditional Bosnian dish is made of grilled minced meat (usually beef or lamb) served with onions, flatbread (somun), and a side of kajmak (a type of cream cheese).
Bosanski Lonac - A hearty stew made with beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and other vegetables. The dish is cooked in a traditional clay pot (lonac) and is typically served with bread.
Burek - A savory pastry made from phyllo dough filled with meat (often beef or lamb), cheese, or spinach. Burek is a popular breakfast food in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is usually served with yogurt or sour cream.
Vaccine information for Bosnia and Herzegovina
It's important to know which vaccines and COVID-19 measures are required to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina before embarking on your trip.
We recommend checking the CDC website for more information about the requirements and recommended medication lists.
Adventure travel in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Underrated and relatively undiscovered, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a treasure trove for adventure junkies seeking outdoor activities in the Balkans. In fact, 42% of the country is mountainous!
Here are the best things to do for adventurous travelers in Bosnia:
The best peaks to go hiking or skiing are Jahorina, Vlasic, and Bjelasnica. Simply take the train between Sarajevo and Mostar through the valleys and canyons passing along the turquoise rivers to get to the best places.
Rafting on the Neretva River between Mostar and Konjic is a must-do. The trip usually takes about half a day with many stops for swimming or jumping off cliffs into the river!
Exploring the Vjetrenica Caves is an awesome activity if you find yourself nearby. These are the largest in the country, stretching over 7000 meters, but only around 2000 meters are open to the public.
There are many things to do for cyclists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including one of the newest additions: the 100-mile cycle trail along the former Austrian-Hungarian railway, which leads through amazing abandoned cities and the Dinaric Alps.
The Rakitnica River is the perfect location for canyoning into the rocky waters during summer.
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