9 reasons why you should travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina now

by Kathi Daniela

Bosnia-Herzegovina is not at the top of many bucket lists. Undeservedly so. I think most people just don't know what to expect. I mean, which of you can really imagine what there is to see and do in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Exactly! I didn't even have that country on my radar either until two years ago.

And what should I say: Bosnia-Herzegovina is SO worth a trip! To be completely honest with you, it even is one of my favorite countries I have ever traveled to! Why that is, I'll tell you now!

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Bosnia-Herzegovina is a safe destination

After I traveled to Bosnia the first time, numerous friends and acquaintances have asked me whether the country is really safe. And this might be the most important question for you too: Is it safe to travel Bosnia-Herzegovina? Yes, it is! Bosnia is extremely safe for tourists. Even minor offenses such as pickpocketing are rather rare.

Up until now, many people still do not know a lot about this small country in the Balkans. No wonder, as one hardly hears about it in the media and the latest news that many remember are those of grenades, bombs and war. But Bosnia-Herzegovina has left that chapter of its past behind and is now a beautiful and safe country to travel. Just follow the rules and do leave the marked paths in the forest when you go hiking as there are still wartime landmines to be found. 

Bosnia-Herzegovina is incredibly diverse

Whether it's mountains, beaches,unspoiled nature, pretty little towns or lively nightlife in the city - you will find it all in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the best thing: You might just be the only tourist at some of the locations. It's not only its diverse nature and city life that makes Bosnia special, there's also foreign cultures and religions to discover; and the delicious Bosnian cuisine of course! 

On each of my visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina I ate amazing food, met great people and enjoyed the special diversity of this small country. I can only repeat it again and again: I think Bosnia-Herzegovina deserves a lot more visitors, because it is a really great country and you should take your time to discover it.

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An affordable trip

And by affordable I mean cheap really. We are talking about a coffee for one euro, a glass of wine for 2,50 euros and a whole meal for three to five euros - and I am not talking about a kebab or a McDonald's cheeseburger. But not only eating out and drinks are really affordable in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Getting there can be cheap as well – if you do your research! Flights are not yet available from so many German cities and many low-cost airlines do not offer Bosnia as a destination yet. However, WizzAir and Eurowings now fly from some German airports to the small Balkan state. So with a little luck you can get super cheap tickets for less than 50 Euros. And the public transportation in the country is really affordable. Busses and trains only cost a few Euros per ride.

Accomodation is around ten euros for a hostel room and around 25 euros for a double room. Sightseeing is often free of charge – there is a lot to marvel at in nature anyway. For one week in Bosnia we spent about 200 Euro per person, overnight stays and shopping for souvenirs included.

Friendly and warm people

People in Bosnia-Herzegovina are incredibly friendly! Right after my arrival at the airport in Tuzla I was greeted in German by a baker and all the other people I met were also super nice and very interested in where I come from, what brings me to Bosnia and of course how I like it. Many people only speak highly of Germany as many of them spent several years living there during the war.

Und wenn man jetzt vielleicht denkt, dass der Krieg die Leute bitter gemacht hat – das stimmt überhaupt nicht! Die Bosnier sind die humorvollsten und fröhlichsten Menschen, die ich kennen gelernt habe. Sie verbringen gerne Zeit mit anderen Menschen, trinken einen Kaffee, lachen und reden stundenlang – gerne auch mal über andere. Aber wer macht das nicht 😉

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Learning tolerance and open-mindedness

It's sad but you cannot talk about Bosnia-Herzegovina without talking about war. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a country where four religions have lived peacefully for centuries – until the country was torn apart by war. Not such a long time ago, just 25 years ago, war raged in the ex-Yugoslavian state and many Bosnians fled to Germany or Scandinavia. Others were not fortunate enough to find themselves a new home as refugees and were killed in the war or fell victims to genocide.

The scars from the war are far from healed. Nevertheless, the country is trying to overcome the past and move on. The four religions still live peacefully together in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. In the city centre, there is a mosque, a synagogue, a Catholic cathedral and an Orthodox church within a few hundred meters of each other. The scars the grenades tore in the walls of houses are integrated into everyday life and overlooked, new glass buildings are rising in the city.

Nevertheless, this country keeps the memory and call to humanity everywhere: Do not let this happen again. A must in this context is of course also a visit at the Sarajevan war tunnel, its museum or the Srebrenica exhibit at the Galerija 11/07/95.

The lively atmosphere in Sarajevo

Sarajevo is no metropolis. With just half a million inhabitants, it just a medium-sized city. However, the capital of Bosnia has the flair of an international metropolis.Due to the different nationalities and religions, the countless art exhibitions and events like the annual Sarajevo Film Festival, Sarajevo has definitely made itself a name on the big world stage and does not lag behind any other European capital when it comes to culture, parties or events.  

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Bosnia-Herzegovina has a great location in Europe

Bosnia-Herzegovina is actually quite centrally located in Southeastern Europe and is therefore the perfect starting or ending point for a trip through this part of Europe. Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro or even Albania are nearby and certainly worth a detour. 

For example, day trips to Dubrovnik or Split in Croatia are offered from Sarajevo or Mostar. For EU citizens it is no problem, to cross the borders as you please as you don't need a visa for either Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia or Montenegro. When you travel with a Schengen visa be aware that it is not valid when you want to travel to Serbia. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, your Schengen visa is valid for up to 15 days! 

The food alone is worth the trip

I was permanently in a pita heaven during our trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina. If you know and like Turkish Börek, you will love Bosnian pita: Puff pastry filled with cheese, potatoes, ground meat or spinach. Or cevapcici with fresh onions, kajmak (a kind of sour cream) and fresh, fragrant, still warm flat bread. Does that sound good to you! Then you will love Bosnian cuisine! 

However, the Bosnian cuisine is not exactly low in calories and not necessarily vegetarian friendly. But it is tasty, hearty soul food made from natural and mostly even organic ingredients.

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