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Must see Bosnia and HerzegovinaFast Facts
- Location: On the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe.
- Capital: Sarajevo.
- Currency: Convertible Mark (BAM).
- Language: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian.
- Best time to Visit: May to September. For skiing, come between December and February.
- Time Zone: UTC+1.
- Calling Code: +387
- Major Airports: Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ), Mostar International Airport (OMO), Banja Luka International Airport (BNX) and Tuzla International Airport (TZL).
10 Must See Places To Visit
Only independent for two decades, the small Balkan country of Bosnia and Herzegovina is just beginning to regain its tourist reputation. Almost entirely landlocked, with the exception of a small piece of the Adriatic Sea, it is rich in religious and architectural history. Though most visitors are drawn by these cultural attractions, an increasing number of visitors are interested in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s growing ecotourism industry. With picturesque skiing spots in the Dinaric Alps, numerous whitewater rafting locations and beautiful waterfalls on the Pliva, Vrbas and Una Rivers, it’s little wonder Bosnia and Herzegovina is projected to have one of the highest growth rates in international arrivals by 2020. Here are six must see places:
The capital and a host of the 1984 Winter Olympics, Sarajevo is surrounded by mountains. Though it’s relatively small for a European capital – only 600,000 people live in the metropolitan area – it packs a tremendous amount of cultural attractions within its borders. For centuries, it had large populations of Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, leading it to be nicknamed “Jerusalem of Europe” by some. The Museum of Sarajevo and Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art are among its dozens of top-quality museums, just as its jazz and rock music traditions are growing rapidly.
- Banja Luka
Known for its tree-lined avenues and verdant gardens, Banja Luka might be able to trick some into thinking it is Paris. Though the “Green City” itself is beautiful, many visitors head out to the nearby pools and thermal springs. A dip in the warm waters is beneficial to the joints and leaves swimmers rejuvenated. Or, if you’re after something more demanding, you can take a whitewater rafting trip down the Vrbas River. When you get back to town, stop in the city square and stroll among its classic architecture and plethora of restaurants.
If you’re into music and nightlife, Doboj is the place to go. You’ll find a wide variety of clubs and concerts available in this north-central city, particularly around Zanatski Centar near the Naselje Stadion. Once a Roman army camp called Castrum, Doboj has been inhabited for almost two thousand years. History is everywhere, as the oldest railway station in Bosnia and Herzegovina is just a few miles from the imposing Doboj Fortress that overlooks the city.
The short 15-mile coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina is occupied by the town of Neum. Nestled on the Adratic Sea with Croatia on both sides, it is best-known for its stunning bay. Steep wooded hills give way to sandy beaches and turquoise waters, providing tourists with a feast for the eyes. Most of the forests to the north and east remain undeveloped, so those in search of quiet time with Mother Nature are beginning to arrive in droves.
Bihac is another town bordered by Croatia, but in the northwestern corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina as opposed to on the coast. A free city since 1262, it once served as the capital of the Croatian Kingdom. Water sports are a major focus for those who visit, as an annual regatta and whitewater rafting happen on the Una River. Surrounded by thick, tall trees and filled with ancient buildings, Bihac is just beginning to attract tourists, particularly beer fans: the local Preminger brewery produces an award-winning lager.
This city in the south is defined by a single feature: Stari Most (Old Bridge). Built in the mid-1500s while Mostar was fortified by its Ottoman Rulers, it stood for 427 years before being destroyed during the Croat-Bosniak War in 1993. When the reconstructed bridge opened in July of 2004, it signaled a return to normal on many levels: the town tradition of young men diving into the frigid Neretva River below restarted, too. The bridge is a part of a larger tradition of classic architecture influenced by the Ottomans, one could easily imagine the narrow cobblestone streets of the old town district looking the same 500 years ago. In recent times, Mostar has been a stopover point for religious pilgrims on their way to Medjugorje, a small town 15 miles to the southwest where the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to six children in 1981.
- Pocitel Ottoman Village Holding a major importance among tourists are the villages in the country that portray the quint-essential Bosnia and Herzegovina flavor. You can first visit the Pocitel Ottoman Village, a Turkish village on the Sarajevo-Moster road.
- Hajji Ajja mosque
The Hajji Ajja mosque, a must see Bosnia and Herzegovina, is what you should never miss while traversing this village. This mosque is actually testimony of the Croatian attacks on the village. Don't forget to view the art works, which actually makes it a World Heritage Site. The village itself is known as the artist's village. Delving further deep into the sightseeings of the country, you can even plan a short stay at the placid environment of the Islamic Village. The village overtly welcomes you to a typical Islamic culture with a beautiful mosque which is worth visiting. The fantastic hills with dense wilderness forms the backdrop of the village, making the scene further dramatic. Other than the villages, the country is also home to various lakes as well. The Pilva Lake, which is just a few miles from Jajce is a nice place to have a relaxing holiday.
Serjevo, the capital city is an interesting must see Bosnia and Herzegovina tourist spot, owing to the multiple scopes for entertainment and sightseeings. First you can visit the Bazar of Sarajevo to avail the best piece of art and craft works of the country. What makes this bazar distinctive is that here you can even play Backgammon while enjoying coffee. Enjoy free smoking from the Serjevo Tobacco Factory. So if you are planning to quit smoking, don't, when you are at Serjevo. Home to the famous spot where the great Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated during the start of the World War I, the city has come up as a major must see place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Though the country is not dotted with plush cities with buoyant lifestyle, yet you can indeed find a couple of small but beautiful towns all around the country.
- Old Town of Pociteji
The Old Town of Pociteji is a place you have always fancied to visit. Medugorge, a catholic pilgrimage town, has the finest cathedral of the country and is the 2nd most visited place in the world. You can even go road tripping from Sarajevo to Moster and enjoy the beautiful sceneries on the way. The Moster town itself is a lively market town. If your heart is still not tired of the toil, pay a visit to the vacuous coastal area at Nuem.
Finally, before ending your trip, make sure you take some time for yourself to relax, think and cherish the beauty of the country.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has moderate continental climate with hot summers and cold & snowy winters. One would find Mediterranean climate in smaller Herzegovina at the southern tip of the country.
Air: There are several airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina that include Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ), Mostar International Airport (OMO), Banja Luka International Airport (BNX) and Tuzla International Airport (TZL). Flights are available from these airports to a number of different destinations like Cologne, Istanbul, Skopje, Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Munich, Frankfurt, Zurich and Paris.
Train: The train services in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not the best of its kinds, but are improving day by day. However, one can find train services to Zagreb, Budapest, Osijek, Banja Luka and Belgrade.
Bus: Bus services are quite good and easily available. You can reach various destinations within the country and also outside by bus. Buses are available to the destinations like Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Pula, Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Kotor, and Belgrade.
List of must see places in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- Pocitel Ottoman Village
- Islamic Village
- Pilva Lake
- The Old Town of Pociteji
- Nuem Beach