8 Reasons to Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina was always on our route but not somewhere we had done a lot of research into. We had, of course, heard about the Bosnian war in the 90s and knew of Sarajevo and Mostar but that was about it. The beauty of travelling in our van is that we can stop wherever we like and we found many places to pull over!
Bosnia's cities and towns are full of interesting things to explore and the mix of stunning scenery and crazy roads mean you'll never be bored getting from A to B! We loved our time in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so here's 8 reasons it should be (high) on your travel list!
Driving through Bosnia and Herzegovina was a real treat. We had heard about the cities in Bosnia but didn’t know just how beautiful some other parts of the country are. Huge mountainous regions forming stunning valleys, crystal clear rivers and leafy forest paths. Nature lovers should definitely put Bosnia and Herzegovina on their list!
2.The old towns
In contrast to the striking scenery Bosnia has some beautiful towns with cobbled streets, bridges and castles. The most famous of these is Mostar which has become a very popular tourist destination. The old town in Sarajevo is also a great place to wander. Počitelj has some impressive castles and is not far from Mostar.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a budget travellers paradise. Food, drink and accommodation are all affordable, even in the cities. Free or wild camping is very easy or there are many beautiful and cheap campsites. A meal costs around €4 and a beer is €1 or less in a bar/restaurant.
The local currency is Bosnian mark and when we were there it was around 2BAM = €1.
Arriving in Bosnia we found ourselves lacking in knowledge about even the most recent history. A bit of googling and some visits to museums helped us gain more insight into some of the tragic events that have taken place in the recent past. But the in the old towns we also discovered the more ancient past from the Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian rule. All of this made for a really interesting experience and we loved learning about the history of this young country and the surrounding areas.
5.It’s still relatively untouristy
Compared to other areas of Europe and neighbouring Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina remains pretty calm on the tourist front. Outside of Mostar and Sarajevo there were very few Western tourists to be seen and we often found ourselves in smaller towns without another foreigner in sight.
This will most likely change as countries like Croatia and Montenegro become more expensive and Bosnia and Herzegovina establishes itself on the tourist scene. But for now you can enjoy some beautiful nature and cute towns without the crowds.
It’s hard to distinguish which food is specifically Bosnian and which is from the Balkans in general as most of this area used to be one country. But nevertheless you’ll find some great food here at really affordable prices. We lived off lunches of Burek, a food we’ve had cravings for since our trip to Cyprus. Basically a filo pastry tube filled with a choice of meat, cheese, spinach or potato and only about 75c per piece!
Meat platters and delicious homemade breads were also a favourite. Cevapicici is the most common dish in these parts and consists of small mincemeat sausages, bread and onions. Bosnia also has some decent local beers to try.
There are so many hills and mountains in Bosnia and Herzegovina, trust us, we drove over a lot of them! But the benefit of this is the amazing views you get from the top. Even Sarajevo is surrounded by hills so there are plenty of viewpoints to see the city. Our favourite was The Yellow Bastion - Žuta tabija which had a chilled out little café and great views for sunset.
8.It’s on the way
Bosnia is perfectly located for further exploration of the Balkans. With borders to Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia is just a few hours from many other great destinations. It is definitely worth adapting your route to go through this interesting and beautiful country
So what are you waiting for?! Get yourself to Bosnia and Herzegovina while it's still affordable and not packed with tour groups!