Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most underrated countries in Europe and full of natural and cultural treasures. The country has a dark past and suffered a lot in the 90s, but today, Bosnians look forward. On this basis, here are the best places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Places to Visit in Bosnia: the Basics
The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina is split into three administrative divisions: the Republika Srpska, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Autonomous Brčko District.
The Republika (Orthodox Christian Serbs) and the Federation (Bosniak Muslims and Croats) are home to different ethnic groups and act as federal entities.
How to travel in Bosnia
- Bosnia uses the Bosnian mark which used to be pegged to the German mark and is now pegged to the Euro at 0.5, making it easy to convert prices.
- For accommodation, I always use Booking.com. In Bosnia, you’ll find lots of apartments as well as conventional hotels. In the smaller towns and cities, apartments will often require cash, either Euro or Bosnian mark;
- For tours, I use GetYourGuide, and they offer lots of exciting tours all over Bosnia.
- For travel insurance, I use SafetyWing, a travel and digital nomad insurance plan that allows you to be covered for exactly as many days as you need.
- The local language is Bosnian and English levels vary greatly depending on where you go. As such, learning some basic phrases in Bosnian will be useful.
- You can travel by bus in Bosnia and certain cities are connected by train as well. For bus tickets, GetbyBus is one of the best websites for Bosnia.
The Best Places to Visit in Bosnia
The top tourist attractions in Bosnia are scattered all over the country.
Bosnia and Herzegovina isn’t particularly big, but most roads aren’t European-style motorways – and getting around does take a while.
Sarajevo: the Reborn Capital
Sarajevo is Bosnia’s multifaceted capital city. With hundreds of years of history and a diverse population of Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Catholics, Sarajevo is one of the most fascinating capitals in Europe.
Better still, the surroundings are home to imposing mountains and beautiful hiking trails, making Sarajevo one of the must-visit places on your Bosnia itinerary.
- Read my full guide on The Best Things to do in Sarajevo.
The stunning Kravica waterfalls are undoubtedly among the top places to visit in Bosnia and are comparable to more well-known waterfalls in Croatia – such as Plitvicka Jezera and Krka.
Mostar: the Ottoman Bridge
Mostar is one of the top tourist attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to its stunning Ottoman core.
Located in the Herzegovina part of the country, the city is famous all over the world for its Stari Most (“Old Bridge”), an Ottoman monument that was destroyed during the Bosnian War and rebuilt in the early 2000s.
Jahorina: Bosnia’s Olympic Ski Resort
Located in the vicinity of Sarajevo, Jahorina is one of the best ski resorts in the Balkans. It is one of the locations of the fabled 1984 Winter Olympics.
Contrary to other venues, however, Jahorina has seen massive redevelopment in recent years and is today a thriving resort town.
In summer, the area is an excellent spot for hiking.
Situated close to Mostar, Blagaj is a picturesque village containing the source of the Buna River. The entire area is worth a visit and is home to Blagaj Tekke, a monastery for the Dervish.
Pocitelj is another magnificent medieval town glued to the hills around Mostar. It’s the perfect place for a short stop on your road trip, as it feels like you’ve stepped into a time capsule.
Located in the far south of Bosnia, close to Dubrovnik, Croatia, Trebinje is a beautiful Ottoman town with quaint architecture and cozy cafes. For the best views, head to the nearby Nova Gracanica monastery.
Banja Luka: the Capital of the Republika Srpska
The Republika Srpska is the Serb-dominated political entity in Bosnia, and Banja Luka is their administrative capital.
The city is a lot less touristy than other parts of Bosnia but is home to a massive fortress, a stunning Orthodox church, and a mosque. Better still, in the surroundings of Banja Luka, you’ll find several incredible national parks.
Tuzla is the third-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a bit of a hidden gem.
Few foreigners visit the city, but its salt lakes are excellent spots to swim in the summer. The city’s old town is small but quaint, and the surroundings are great for hiking.
The area is packed with diaspora visitors in summer, and the city’s airport now offers low-cost flights to many European destinations.
Travnik & Jajce
Travnik is a small city in the very center of the country and a lovely town to stop on your Bosnia road trip.
Close to Travnik, you’ll find the town of Jajce, another picturesque medieval gem with a citadel in the mountains.
Una National Park
Una National Park is one of the best natural places to visit in Bosnia and the best national park in the Republika Srpska.
Neum: Bosnia’s Corridor to the Adriatic
When the Bosnian War ended and Yugoslavia ceased to exist, the new state of Bosnia and Herzegovina wanted access to the sea, which they got.
Neum is a tiny corridor sandwiched between Croatia on both sides, but it does have a quaint town with tourism infrastructure and some lovely beaches.
Neum prevents the country from being landlocked and is also one of the best places to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to its beaches.
Places to Visit in Bosnia: Know Before You Go
To complete our Bosnia travel guide, here are some essential things to know and FAQs.
Is Bosnia Safe?
Many people still associate Bosnia with the terrible wars of the 1990s, but the country has moved on from that.
While poverty, corruption, and brain drain still constitute major hurdles to Bosnia’s development, the country is as safe as any other destination in Southeastern Europe today.
Use common sense, and your Bosnia visit should remain trouble-free.
How to Get to Bosnia
Bosnia has four international airports, with Sarajevo receiving the bulk of incoming passengers.
Sarajevo Airport has flights to various European hubs as well as Istanbul.
Banja Luka Airport and Tuzla Airport have low-cost flights to several European destinations.
Best Time to Visit Bosnia
You can visit Bosnia all year round. The country has summer and winter destinations with beaches, mountains, and ski slopes catering to different activities.
How to Get Around Bosnia
You can catch buses between larger cities like Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka, and Mostar, but renting a car is the best option for nature-related attractions. In this context, going on a Bosnia road trip is the best way to see the country’s raw natural beauty.
Between Sarajevo and Mostar, you can experience one of Europe’s most beautiful train journeys.
Suggested 10-Day Bosnia Itinerary
- Day 1: Sarajevo City
- Day 2: Sarajevo Winter Olympics and Mount Trebevic or Jahorina
- Day 3: Mostar
- Day 4: Blagaj, Pocitelj, and Trebinje
- Day 5: Neum
- Day 6: Travnik
- Day 7: Tuzla
- Day 8: Kravica Waterfalls
- Day 9: Banja Luka
- Day 10: Una National Park
This itinerary will require a rental car, and you’ll drive a lot – but it’s the best way to see as much as possible in ten days.