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Reasons to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina



Have you ever travelled to a new place and thought this was exactly where you were supposed to end up? Bosnia & Herzegovina will be that place for you.


I have been really excited about bringing this guide to my blog and I hope that you enjoy it and find it useful. Bosnia and Herzegovina is my home. It is also one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. I would spend every summer, and sometimes winter, holidays at my family home in Bosnia and my parents would have to bribe me to leave. It is lovely to visit at any time of year as the warm temperatures hold throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn.



Bosnia and Herzegovina is a hidden gem in Europe. The country is filled with unspoilt nature, lush greenery and picturesque views, it is a must see at least once in your lifetime. It is often missed off a Europe itinerary as it can be a little trickier to navigate so hopefully my post will A. inspire you to visit and B. provide a route for you to take to see all the best sights.


My 5 day itinerary


Day one - Sarajevo


I would recommend starting your trip in the capital city, Sarajevo. Sarajevo is well connected to many European cities and the rest of the world by plane. You can fly to Sarajevo International Airport from Istanbul, London, Vienna, Berlin, Munich and many other popular cities. Sarajevo’s airport is called Sarajevo International Airport or Butmir Airport.

There is a bus service which connects the airport to Sarajevo's city centre and the cost is around £2.50 (take Euro's with you or convert your cash in to Marks which is the local currency). It takes around 30 minutes to reach the city centre from the airport.


Sarajevo is also connected to many European cities by bus. Www.centrotrans.com provides a direct route to Sarajevo from Austria, Belgium, Montenegro, Denmark, Croatia, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia and Serbia. Centrotrans is also useful for booking transport for day trips. You can also check out www.bisstours.ba and www.globtour.com.


Where to stay in Sarajevo -


Hotel President Sarajevo

Hotel Europe

Hotel Central Sarajevo



Sarajevo is a small city and you can cover most of it in one full day.


You should start your day off with a walking tour to really capture the history and everything Sarajevo has to offer. I would then recommend grabbing lunch and a coffee in the Baščaršija (Old Town) and then taking a stroll through the cobbled streets and shopping in the Old Town's Baazaar. Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for its lively cafes and bars. Be sure to also try some of the local cuisine when ordering your lunch, Bosnian ćevapi are a great national pride and the country's favorite dish.


Follow my list of things to do below for the rest of your day in Sarajevo before returning to the Baščaršija (Old Town) for dinner and evening entertainment.


* While you are having lunch, grab 5 minutes to book your transport for the next day to Jajce. I recommend using www.getbybus.com to book your bus ticket to Jajce from Sarajevo.


Things to do in Sarajevo


1. Drink coffee like a Bosnian.


Bosnian coffee is served in a džezva (coffee pot) on a round iron tray with a fildžan (cup), a glass of water, sugar cubes and a rahat lokum (Turkish delight). If you want to use the sugar cube, don’t plop it in your drink; instead, take a bite from the cube and put it under your tongue to dissolve as you sip.


2. Visit the Vječna Vatra (Eternal Flame).


Sarajevo’s Eternal Flame is a memorial to the military and civilian victims of World War II in Sarajevo. The open flame burns continuously to symbolise that the lives lost will never be forgotten.


3. Visit Sarajevo City Hall


The original City Hall building was destroyed by in the Bosnian war and completely rebuilt in the early 2000's. There are exhibitions in the building containing reenactments of the Hague Criminal Court and a basement museum. The museum is to commemorate the Srebrenica genocide where more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.


4. Gazi Hursrev-beg Mosque


Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque is a Mosque in the heart of the city. Built in the 16th century, it is the largest historical Mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the most representative Ottoman structures in the Balkans.


5. Sacred Heart Cathedral


The Cathedral of Jesus' Heart in Sarajevo is the largest cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart was built in 1889 in the Neo-Gothic style and is situated in Sarajevo's Old Town. The Cathedral of Jesus' Heart was built in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Architect Josip Vancaš modeled it after the Notre-Dame de Paris using the neo-Gothic style.



Day two - Jajce


Hopefully you will have grabbed 5 minutes during your adventure around the city the day before to book transport for my day two plan.


You are able to explore Jajce (pronounced ya-y-tse) in one full day so I would leave on the first bus in the morning at 07:30 from Sarajevo bus terminal. The direct bus will take you to Jajce bus terminal and the journey is 3 hours 30 minutes. This may seem like a long time, but there are spectacular views on the way and you can have a rest on the bus from your early morning start. The evening bus back to Sarajevo is at 17:30, but you will have had plenty time to explore the town, grab lunch and stop for an early dinner.


Views en route to Jajce



Jajce is a town located in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jajce has been the home of medieval kings, Ottoman governors, as well as being one of President Tito’s earliest Communist strongholds. Jajce is currently a candidate for being named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Things to do in Jajce


1. Pliva Waterfall


One of the most famous attractions in Jajce is the waterfall which is situated right in the centre of the town. The water is a bright turquoise color and almost perfectly clear. There are a number of excellent viewing points around the waterfall, the best one being the viewing platform.


2. Jajce Fortress/ Walled City


The fortress of Jajce sits above the town at an altitude of 470m. The fortress, constructed over several centuries, encircles the architectural remains of a mid-15th century castle. The fortress is a short walk from the famous waterfall.


3. Pliva Lakes


Located a few kilometers away from Jajce are the Great and Small Pliva Lakes. These lakes offer many recreational opportunities such as fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, playing volleyball, biking and walking. There are also public barbeque facilities along the lakeside for picnics.



After your adventure filled day, I imagine you will be ready to collapse back on to the bus for the journey back to Sarajevo and the last night in Sarajevo.


If you feel well enough rested during your journey back to Sarajevo, I recommend to take advantage of the famous café and bars/clubs. Sarajevo offers numerous options for night entertainment. The bars are scattered throughout the center of Sarajevo and are all within walking distance in the city centre.


My recommendations are below

  • Zlatna Ribica

  • Bambus Lounge Club

  • Café Bar Opera

  • Hacienda

  • Shelter Pub


Day Three - Mostar


Day three on my 5-day itinerary is making your way out of central Bosnia and over to the southern end where Mostar is situated. Mostar is the largest city in Herzegovina and the enchanting views are well worth the 2 hour commute from Sarajevo.


There are two ways I recommend travelling to Mostar; rent a car with a well known car rental company and leave it at their office location in Mostar, or book a bus from Sarajevo bus terminal.


The town of Mostar is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most popular destinations. With cobbled streets, old stone buildings, rustic baazaar, and an iconic bridge, Mostar is a bucket list worthy location. Mostar is also surrounded by stunning landscape waiting to be explored.


Views En Route to Mostar


If you are visiting Mostar for the first time you must book a hotel with a view of the Stari Most. My hotel recommendations for Mostar are below



Start your day in Mostar with a visit to the city’s most popular attraction, Stari Most (Old Bridge). The Stari Most was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century to cross over the beautiful turquoise Neretva river. It is situated at the heart of Mostar’s historic Old Town. In November 1993, during the Bosnian War, the bridge was destroyed by Croat forces. It was rebuilt again in 2004 and the bridge and the surrounding area were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2005.


In the afternoon enjoy a stroll through the colourful and vibrant areas on either side of the bridge. The charming cobblestone streets offer a diverse shopping experience. You can buy handmade jewellery, oriental furnishings, and traditional Balkan war artifacts.



The best way to end the day in Mostar is to watch the sunset over the city. Wind down in one of the many traditional restaurants that overlooks the old bridge and enjoy the local delicacies with a bottle of the local wine. Šadrvan, is a popular restaurant that is highly rated and I recommend the dish Mostarski Sahan, which is a large platter of traditional dolma, potatoes and lamb.


If you are not ready to go home yet after your evening stroll through the Old Town, head to one of these bars


  • Black Dog Pub

  • Shankly's Pub

  • Black Pearl

  • Coco Loco

  • Ima i Moze Craft Beer Garden




Day Four - Blagaj Tekija


I hope you are feeling refreshed for day four on my 5-day itinerary. For the second last day in Bosnia and Herzegovina I have chosen to include a visit to Blagaj Tekija.


You can get to Blagaj from Mostar by taxi (which is the easiest and most direct mode of transport) or by local bus. The journey from Mostar to Blagaj is about 25 minutes.


Blagaj Tekija is a Dervish monastery outside Mostar that is nearly 600 years old. It is considered to be one of Bosnia & Herzegovina' most holy and ancient sites. By some miracle, despite the destruction of the Bosnian War happening nearby, this mystical river remained untouched.


Situated at the base of a cliff, next to the source of the river Buna, Blagaj is a unique and picturesque village. Alongside the Blagaj Tekija is a cave from which an underground river flows out to create the Buna River. It is one of the largest and most beautiful springs in Europe.


There are a few restaurants lining the river where you can enjoy a cold drink and a spot of lunch while you take in the natural wonders around you.



After a few hours of exploring Blagaj Tekija, make your way back to Mostar and enjoy your final evening in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Day Five - Kravice Waterfall


The final day in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it will be well spent. For the final day you spend in Bosnia, make sure to visit the famous Kravice Waterfall (aka Bosnia's Niagara Falls).


There are many tour companies that will take you from Mostar to Kravice for a low cost. It is a 50 minute direct journey. Depending on whether you want to go home/ on to a further destination from Mostar, you can also choose to head to Croatia with a stop at Kravice Waterfall before you head in to Croatia's Dubrovnik. Have a look at the best option for you from the variety of tour guides online.


Tour companies from Mostar



Kravice Waterfall is one of Europe’s best kept natural secrets, the water falls into the river from a 25m height and forms a shallow emerald pool perfect for cooling off from the summer heat. This natural phenomenon provides a cool refuge for rejuvenation; the ideal ending to your day/ week of exploring the best that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to offer.


*If you are returning to Mostar after your tour to Kravice, be sure to have booked your transport home. There is a small airport in Mostar that flies to Croatia, Turkey, Dubai and a few other European countries. However, I would recommend booking your flight home from Dubrovnik as getting to Dubrovnik from Mostar is easily accessible by bus and you can spend a few days by the beaches and exploring the neighbouring towns (Cavtat being one of them, which was my wedding destination!)


I hope you are able to see for yourself just how much this little country has to offer. Of course, you cannot possibly see everything on your first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. But I hope that my guide will help you to enjoy some of the best parts of this beautiful and diverse country.


Thank you for reading. Stay tuned and subscribe to my website for more guides and itineraries to all of the countries I have visited.


Love,

Lejla Thompson

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