For adventurous tourists, the Balkans are swiftly rising to the top of the trend list, with Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro among the most sought-after destinations. Which is excellent if you intend to visit them, but not so great if you want to explore less-traveled regions like Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Our best friend was getting married, which is why we travelled to Bosnia. It took place in Mostar. We were so thrilled that we didn't give purchasing tickets a second thought. We don't know much about Bosnia, and it's strange that we couldn't find any blogs about it. As a result, we opted to seek the assistance of the Bride, a knowledgeable local.
These Bosnia and Herzegovina travel advice cover everything you need to know, including how much money you'll need, how to get a visa, how to get around, where to stay, and the locations we think you should visit on your first trip.
Things to Know before you Go
Visa (for Indian Passport holders): For holders of Indian passports travelling to Bosnia, a prior visa must be arranged. You can travel without a visa if you have a Schengen visa or are a resident of one of the EU/Schengen nations. Do remember that, Bosnia does not come under the Schengen countries. So do a visa check before your travel
Currency: Bosnia's currency is Bosnian Mark. 1 KM ~ 40 INR (Indian Rupees)
Best way to travel : Most of the time, walking is your best bet, especially in the Central area. Once out of the central area, we recommend to rent a car, better than spending it on taxi's and if you are planning to go to Mostar/Day trips.
Accommodation : Hotels range from cheap to luxurious, and it will cost more to stay close to the old city. If you need some room and will need to cook, Airbnb's are a possibility.
Language : Bosnia, Croatian and Serbian are widely spoken. We did find English/signs and boards travelling in to the regional area, but English is not widely spoken. So need to get your maps (online or offline) ready
Food: The popular Balkan kebab known as cevapi is the most widely available cuisine in Sarajevo. Burek, a pastry composed of thin dough and stuffed with meat (simply Burek), cheese, spinach, and potatoes, is an affordable, delicious snack that is readily available. Try to acquire a platter of trout, which is the local speciality, if you do manage to make it to Mostar.
Water: Tap water is safe for drinking around the country. If you're unsure, buy bottled water, which is cheap to buy.
Wifi & Mobile data: We had an issue with our in-built GPS in the car we rented. So better to get working Sim card with a mobile data plan, when you plan to get into the regional area.
Credit Cards and ATMs: Most of the restaurants and small eateries prefer cash, so better to exchange a good amount of Euros or Dollar, get it converted to KM
Safety: Bosnia is a war torn country trying to rebuild its way into the future. Just stick to the main roads, Govt is still trying to clear all the land mines which was planted during the 90's. Other than that there is no violent crimes. Just be cautious of the overpriced taxi's and petty thefts.
Best time to Visit
Generally speaking, May through October are the warmest months to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina.
However, Bosnia and Herzegovina doesn't have as much coastline to enjoy as other Mediterranean nations have. The colder spring and fall temperatures can be more comfortable for you if your primary activities while visiting are hiking or sightseeing. Here, winters can be severe and frequently endure from November to March. It frequently gets below freezing, and it snows frequently.
Most tourists are still unaware of Bosnia; whereas Croatia and Montenegro are popular for their coastlines, Bosnia boasts spectacular mountain scenery and a distinctive local culture. The country features beautiful scenery, including mountains, rivers, and waterfalls.
We arrived at the airport in Sarajevo. The Mostar will be the next point of attraction, and travelers from Bosnia frequently drive to Croatia to take advantage of the Mediterranean coast climate.
How to get to Bosnia
The hardest part is finding a direct flight from Chennai, India to Sarajevo. The alternative with two layovers and a lengthy airport wait will be the least expensive.
Turkish Airlines is the only direct airline which flies into Sarajevo from India. Alternatively, if you are on a Euro tour, then you can look for cheap flight with any major city as a hub. We flew in from Brussels and took us 2 hours to reach Sarajevo
Bosnia is not an expensive destination when you compare with the other hotspot tourist destination in Europe
We stayed in an AIRBNB, which costs us 30 Euros(INR 2400) per night, an entire apartment. It was close tot eh airport and the next one in Mostar was right in the city centre, still was 30 Euros (INR 2400)
The restaurants were very much affordable. Good option to get some cash.
If you are staying in the old city, you don't have to take public transport, all the major attractions are walkable
Where to Stay
The city centre is one of the most well-liked tourist destinations in Sarajevo if you're attempting to pick where to stay without using public transportation. They are the finest, Airbnbs. Compared to hotels, the areas are far bigger and offer significantly better value.
We stayed in Mostar just outside the old town, yet it takes just 10 minutes to walk to the bridge. There are Airbnbs all across the city.
Otd Town - Best Area to Stay
3 Days in Bosnia !!What to Do?
If you're thinking about taking a three-day visit, it is better to rent a car and drive from Sarajevo to Mostar. You'll have a general notion of what to do and can adjust it whatever you like. You cannot miss the waterfalls and natural beauty of the country. Have seen that the country experiences snowfall during winter, haven't witnessed it though
Day 1: Sarajevo
Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s Old Town
The Old Town is one of our favourite things to do in Sarajevo and a highlight of any visit to the city. The 15th century Old Bazaar, located in the centre of Sarajevo's Old Town, is a maze of cobblestone lanes lined with stores offering metals, jewellery, pottery, and souvenirs. The storefronts overflow onto the winding streets, and traditional coffee tables and glittering copper kiosks draw attention at every step.
Vječna Vatra, The Eternal Flame
Vjecna Vatra, also known as Sarajevo's Eternal Flame, is a monument to the city's World War II casualties, both military and civilian. The burning open flame serves as a constant reminder that they will never be forgotten. Our friends advised us to avoid having controversial conversations like religion or war in public. It will have an impact on peoples' feelings.
The Latin Bridge, which rises solemnly above the Miljacka River in Sarajevo, has a noteworthy role in human history.
The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, on the Latin Bridge, set off a series of events that eventually brought about World War I. Standing on the Latin Bridge, it's amazing to realise the enormous impact that local events have on global affairs.
Žuta Tabija, The Yellow Fortress
The Yellow Fortress, one of Sarajevo's most well-known viewpoints, was constructed in the early 1700s. Every evening, thousands go there to watch the sunset. Although not much of the stronghold is still standing, the breathtaking views of Sarajevo make it a must-see.
Day 2: Mostar
Stari Most (Old Bridge)
You will not miss Eiffel tower when you visit Paris. Its the same with Mostar, you cannot and will not miss the Old Bridge. When the Croat-Bosniak War broke out, Croat soldiers nearly completely destroyed the bridge. After receiving international support, it was totally brought back to its former splendour. In 2005, the bridge and the vicinity were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Observing members of the neighbourhood diving club jump off the edge into the icy river 24 metres below is a significant part of the current Stari Most experience.
Mostar Old Bazaar
The cobblestone streets and ancient edifices are picturesque but jam-packed with visitors in the high season. Souvenirs range from textiles and the usual tourist trinkets to some beautiful lanterns, traditional teaware, and ceramics.
One of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most stunning attractions is the old Dervish monastery (tekija) of Blagaj, a town 20 minutes' drive south-east of Mostar.
The monastery, which was founded in 1520, is located at the bottom of a massive cliff next to a large, blue-water karstic spring on the Buna river. Several prayer rooms in the monastery itself have Persian rugs, squeaky hardwood floors, and even a tiny bathhouse (bath).
The monastery can be seen in all its glory from the other side of the Buna River, where in the summer boats will also carry guests inside the cave where the spring originates. Both sides of the river are lined with romantic restaurant patios, and side canals run straight through them.
Indo -Bosnian Wedding
Weddings are usually memorable events, but they become even more so when your best friend is getting married. We can see from their stories that having a multicultural wedding is more difficult than it appears on Instagram.
We were so excited, and it was one of the most entertaining weddings we have ever been to. The official ceremony was followed by a reception hall event where we ate, drank, and danced. sharing a few images!
Day 3: Kravice falls
Kravice (Kravica) Waterfall
We kept this waterfall for the last day of our trip after the Wednesday fatigue because Bosnia was full of pleasant surprises.
The most well-known waterfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Kravice, which is frequently compared to Krka Waterfall in neighbouring Croatia. The karstic waterfall, which resembles a group of waterfalls dropping water into the same pool, is 120 metres wide and 25 metres tall at its widest point.
The best way to see Kravice Waterfall without a car is on a day trip from Mostar. Many day trips include a stop at Kravice on the way from Dubrovnik to Mostar. On this small-group day trip from Mostar, you may even see all three of the aforementioned locations (Blagaj Tekija, Poitelj, and Kravice Waterfall)!
There is a cafe on site where you can grab lunch and coffee. Must Visit location
Conclusion & Our Recommendation
Due to the wedding and our long-awaited reunion, we found the vacation to be enjoyable personally. Kravice Falls was amazing, and its breathtaking splendour completely engulfed us. We advise taking a multi-day tour that includes Bosnia and the neighbouring Balkan countries of Croatia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Only going to Bosnia from India might not be cost-effective.