Croatia shares a long borderline with the picturesque country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, often simply called BiH by its inhabitants and neighbours. Although still fairly undiscovered by foreign travellers, this beautiful country is definitely worth a visit. We’ve done some research and visited the country ourselves to give you tips about visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and useful information about its culture and people. Here’s everything you need to know when travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a fairly new country, situated in the south-eastern Europe. It borders Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Sarajevo, situated in the heart of this mountainous country. Other bigger cities are Mostar, Tuzla, Banja Luka and Zenica. The country has two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. Most international visitors travel to Sarajevo and Tuzla Airports, although it is very easy to reach the main attractions from airports in Croatia, especially from Split, Dubrovnik and Osijek.
The local currency is the convertible mark (KM), divided into 100 fenings. The name of the currency refers to the German mark, the currency to which it was pegged. The convertible mark was established by the Dayton Agreement in 1995.
Thanks to the country’s rich and often difficult history, the modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina is a brilliant mix of Eastern and Western cultures. Its culture and architecture might appear exotic to a Western European visitor. The country was under the Ottoman rule for a very long time; traces of this period can be seen in the old towns of Mostar and Sarajevo.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a multinational and multicultural country, with three main religions: Islam (50%), Orthodox Christianity (30%) and Roman Catholicism (15%). The country’s main languages and Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian.
The cuisine of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been heavily influenced by the Ottomans over time. It is a delicious mix of Turkish and Austrian cuisine, with local elements. The most popular dish you should definitely try on your trip to this country (unless you don’t eat meat) is ćevapi. This is minced meat dish similar to kebabs, served with chopped onions, soured cream and ajvar, the type of spicy pepper and eggplant relish. Ćevapi are traditionally served in a special type of bread. Generally, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a paradise for meat lovers. If you are a vegetarian, you’ll enjoy cheese or cheese and spinach burek, a delicious pie made of filo dough. Click here to read more about Bosnian influences on Croatia’s cuisine.
The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is the place where East meets West. Boasting the wonderful Ottoman-influenced Old Town and Austro-Hungarian buildings, Sarajevo will leave you speechless. Its streets are filled with oriental fragrances, small restaurants, bars and shops. Make sure to visit the Baščaršija Old Town, dominated by the iconic Sebilj Fountain, and meander the narrow streets. Stroll Ferhadija, the pedestrian zone and visit the Sarajevo Cathedral. Those enjoying Ottoman architecture should also visit the Gazi Husrev-Bey Mosque, the central mosque of Sarajevo. Walk over the Latin Bridge over the Miljacka River, known for the unfortunate assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in June 1914.
A day trip to Former Yugoslav President Tito’s Bunker near the town of Konjic is a great choice for all history lovers.
Situated in the southeast of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this historic town owes its name to the Old Bridge (Stari Most) in the centre of its Old Town. This UNESCO-protected bridge was built in the 16th century by Suleyman the Magnificent. It has stood here ever since, enduring all difficulties this historic city had faced over time. The area around the beautiful Old Bridge is full of narrow streets boasting many cafés, restaurants and small shops. Spend some time here when in Mostar – you won’t regret it! On your way, you’ll see the Old Bazaar and various Ottoman-style houses.
Not far away from Mostar are the wonderful Kravica Waterfalls and Vrelo Bune, perfect for a day trip in nature.