A Visitor’s Guide To Bosnia And Herzegovina
One of the states that formerly made up the Yugoslavia until it separated in 1992, the mountainous territory of Bosnia in the north of the country and Herzegovina in the south is home to a diverse population with both Muslims and Christians. Following the collapse of Yugoslavia the country fell into a vicious civil war which lasted for three years, but has now recovered and has developed into an European democracy which now has reasonable relations with its neighbors. There is a history of human habitation that has been discovered showing there were people in the area at least six thousand years ago, but they would have had to endure the bitterly cold and snowy winters that still characterize the country today.
While the threat of large scale terrorism is relatively low in the country according to the US State Department, it does warn that there have been a steady series of attacks by religious extremists, and occasional violence from criminals. One of the hangovers from the Bosnian war is that there are still many areas, including in the suburbs of Sarajevo that have yet to be de-mined, so visitors are advised to stay on any paths, and to pay particular attention to signs warning of minefields.
The Top Attractions In Bosnia And Herzegovina
Sarajevo – The capital city of the country is where the Eastern and Western Roman empires were once divided, and in the old city center with its cobbled streets and mosques it does have a distinctly eastern atmosphere, and also has a series of historic buildings and museums.
Neum – Located on the short coastline that the country has on the Adriatic Sea, this is the only seaside resort boasting sandy beaches and some of the best weather in the region, with prices being a little lower than the nearby resorts in Croatia.
Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge – This beautiful bridge was built in the sixteenth century and was commissioned by the Grand Vizier who gave his name to the bridge, and has eleven arches that support the crossing, although it has had to be repaired regularly over the years.
Bjelasnica – With mountainous territory and regular snowfall throughout the winter, it is no surprise that the country has some great ski resorts, and has an Olympic Downhill and Giant Slalom routes along with several other skiing routes of varying difficulties.
Banja Luka – Lying on the banks of the Vrbas river, this attractive city is the capital of the Republika Srpska region of the country, and is known for its pleasant attractive boulevards and for having a particularly vibrant night life.
Kozara National Park – Located in the north of the country, this park is known for its beautiful forests and for having excellent hunting, while being a popular area for hiking and mountain biking.
Mostar – This historic city is famous for the high bridge that spans the gorge separating the two sides of the town, from which the bold locals dive into the waters below, while the charming old town and historic mosques are well worth visiting.
Sutjeska National Park – The oldest of the country’s national parks is also one of its most beautiful, including the highest mountain Maglic and an area of primeval forest which is believed to be over twenty thousand years old.
Avaz Twist Tower – Located in the main business district of Sarajevo, this remarkable tower’s exterior twists as it goes up, rising over a hundred and fifty meters to a viewpoint that is open to the public.
Srebrenica – Located in an area of great natural beauty, this small town was the site of one of the most notorious massacres of the Bosnian War, but also has a lovely spa with hot springs that helped the town to become an important part of the Roman Empire.
Where To Stay In Bosnia And Herzegovina
Hotel Boutique 36 – This stylish and modern hotel has been designed with bold colors and comfortable rooms, with the bathrooms being a particular highlight, while its location is right at the heart of the city.
Hollywood Hotel – Located on the outskirts of Sarajevo, this hotel is a great place to relax with leisure facilities including a spa, indoor swimming pool and a bowling alley, while the well priced rooms are also spacious with attractive bathrooms.
Bosnian National Monument Muslibegovic House – This grand house shows off the best that the Ottoman period has to offer, providing guests with grand impressive surroundings and luxurious bathrooms, while still being a short walk from the sights of the city.
Shangri La B&B – This small bed and breakfast offers visitors a great base from which to explore the city, with competitively priced rooms that are also spacious and comfortable.
Hotel Etno Selo Herceg – The rustic traditional surroundings of this hotel offer visitors a charming taste of traditional life in the region, with large spacious rooms and comfortable beds, while still being within easy reach of the town center.
Hotel Ivona – A great choice for those who are visiting the area on a budget, this hotel has comfortable and pleasant rooms with access to a bar and restaurant, along with a lovely terrace from which to enjoy the surrounding countryside.
Hotel Cubic – A good choice for those visiting the area, the hotel offers simple and comfortable accommodation with large impressive bathrooms at a competitive price, with good transport links to the town center.
Hotel Bosna Ad – With a convenient location right in the town center, this hotel offers visitors a wealth of leisure facilities such as a spa, casino and fitness center, while also offering spacious and luxuriously furnished rooms.
The Cuisine Of Bosnia And Herzegovina
Because of the variety of international influences that have held sway over the region over the centuries, the cuisine of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mix of Austrian, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. The most common meats on offer in the country are beef and lamb, and are often served as Sarma, which is a dish of minced meat that is wrapped in cabbage leaves and is usually served with sour cream. Another popular dish in the country is Burek, which is a spiral pastry that is stuffed with meat and cooked with egg yolk, while Cevapi is a type of kebab that is grilled and then served with onions and sour cream in a pitta bread.
Currency And Visa
The local currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Konvertibilna Marka, which is pegged to the Euro at 1.95KM per Euro, meaning that visitors from the United States will usually get around 1.45KM per US Dollar. Those traveling from the United States will only need to arrange a visa to enter the country if they plan to stay for over ninety days.