Why Choose Bosnia as Your Next Travel Destination
If you’re wondering why you should choose Bosnia as your next travel destination, you are in the right place. Previously, I had a very negative opinion of Bosnia because I truly didn’t know any better. I grew up in the 80s/90s, and the war in Bosnia was something we heard about on TV and in history class, and that was about it. You never heard of the positive things when it comes to Bosnia, such as the natural beauty or the food, but rather, who bombed who and how bad it was. Heck, until I went there this past year, I believed that war was still ongoing. Who knew?
When I decided to visit, I was heading there to visit a friend of mine from there. I really had no idea what I was signing up for, and I normally never do. lol. Heck, I landed in Serbia for a connecting flight to Bonsia, and even that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, but I went anyway. I figured that if my friend could live there, I could certainly take the time to see his home, and I’m so glad I did.
Exploring Bosnia Travel Destination
I admit it, I was wrong. Let’s just say that my perception of Bosnia was almost entirely wrong!
So, while I was wrong and figured it out, I find I have more fun learning and experiencing areas that I truly have no clue about and form my own opinions from there. I like being able to form my own opinions rather than having opinions forced on me.
Traveling to Bosnia was certainly an eye-opening experience that allowed me to see a beautiful area that was indeed previously influenced by war, but then again, tell me a place in the world that hasn’t.
So why should you go to Bosnia? Well, I’ll tell ya!
Bosnia’s natural beauty is awe-inspiring, from the sparkling waters of the Adriatic Sea to the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The rivers, lakes, and waterfalls make this stunning country a must-see destination. The lakes and rivers (outside of Sarajevo) were so clear and blue that you could see all the way to the bottom on certain days. It reminds me so much of what I saw in Switzerland, but at a fraction of the price.
Less Crowded Bosnia Travel
Bosnia is less crowded than other tourist hotspots, offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the country without having to fight through hordes of people. A wide range of activities are available, from hiking and skiing to rafting and canyoning. I was blown away seeing all the options for outdoor activities everywhere I went. Getting up to the mountains is perfect for a romantic getaway without the crowds, and the price tag is much nicer than many neighboring European nations.
Transportation in Bosnia
Renting a Car
Alright, let’s talk transportation in Bosnia! If you’re itching to explore beyond the major cities and get off the beaten path, renting a car might just be your ticket to freedom. With your own set of wheels, you can conquer those narrow, winding roads and reach those remote areas that public transportation can only dream of. Just remember, these roads may not always be in perfect condition, so drive cautiously and be prepared for some slow and scenic travel times, especially in the mountainous regions. It’s all part of the adventure, right?
Now, public transportation in Bosnia and Herzegovina may not be as glamorous as a Hollywood premiere, but it gets the job done. Buses are your trusty steed for hopping between cities, and they won’t break the bank. Plus, they give you a chance to soak in the picturesque countryside while you’re on the move. Just keep in mind that schedules may vary, so it doesn’t hurt to do a little pre-trip research to make sure you’re not waiting at a bus stop for hours on end.
If trains are more your style, Bosnia has got you covered, albeit not as extensively as some other European countries. But hey, who needs an extensive train network when you can still enjoy a scenic and comfortable ride between major cities?
Now, let’s talk about taxis. These four-wheeled saviors can be a godsend in urban areas or when hopping short distances that public transportation just can’t handle. Just make sure that the taxi has a meter, or if the driver isn’t all about that meter life, agree on a fare beforehand.
And for all you adventurous souls planning to spread your wings and explore the neighboring countries, it’s time to put your border crossing knowledge to the test. Check those visa regulations and any specific documentation you might need for your vehicle if you’re driving across borders.
Bosnia – The Food
Bosnian cuisine is unique and delicious, with dishes like cevapi, burek, pljeskavica, and sesir krempita. These dishes can be found in restaurants throughout the country, offering a culinary adventure to remember. It came out in this soft and warm type of bread that was amazing and was filled with a minced beef (essentially sausages) and cream cheese. On the outside, there were raw onions you could throw into the sandwich. It has such strange and odd flavors, but it was so worth the try.
Most of the other foods are most definitely based on meat dishes, so if you’re a vegan, you may have a more difficult time as you travel through this country. The flavors are certainly unique and are well worth the try.
Bosnia is a true hidden gem when it comes to architecture, featuring medieval villages and Ottoman-era mosques scattered throughout the countryside. Sarajevo, the capital city, is vibrant, full of Art Deco buildings, and is home to the world’s oldest synagogue. The buildings may be old, and they’ve seen an era of war, but they offer such a charm that I think you’ll love it.
The ski resorts in the mountains offer a different experience for architecture lovers, and you can enjoy a bit more of a modern experience as you make your way up the mountain.
Explore the Cities
Okay, my badass travel babes, it’s time to conquer the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These places are like a time machine, taking you on a ride through history, culture, and architectural beauty.
Old Bazaar (Bascarsija)
First stop, Sarajevo! The Old Bazaar, or Bascarsija, is the heart and soul of this city. Get ready for some serious throwback feels as you stroll through its cobbled streets, lined with shops, craft stores, and cafes. Oh, and speaking of cafes, don’t forget to satisfy your taste buds with local specialties like cevapi (grilled minced meat) and burek (a pastry filled with meat or cheese).
The Sebilj Fountain is the real MVP of Bascarsija. Located right in the center of the square, this wooden beauty is more than just a place to quench your thirst – it’s a symbol of destiny. According to tradition, if you drink water from the Sebilj fountain, you are meant to return to Sarajevo.
Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque
Next up, we have the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, a cultural and religious landmark that will leave you in awe of its Ottoman-style beauty. Built back in the 16th century, this mosque is a testament to Sarajevo’s rich history. And guess what? The adjacent Gazi Husrev-beg Madrasa and Clock Tower are also worth a visit.
Ready for a bridge with serious historical street cred? Latin Bridge is where it’s at. This bad boy was the stage for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, the match that lit the fuse for World War I. Talk about making history, right? So take a stroll across this iconic bridge, soak in the significance, and maybe even take a selfie to commemorate the moment.
Sarajevo War Tunnel
Now, get ready to dig into the dark side of history. The Sarajevo War Tunnel, located near the airport, is a chilling reminder of the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s. This tunnel was a lifeline during those dark times, providing the city with crucial supplies. Explore the War Tunnel Museum and gain some insight into the struggles faced by the people of Sarajevo.
Vijecnica (City Hall)
Last but not least, we have the stunning Vijecnica, or City Hall. This Moorish-style beauty suffered significant damage during the war but has risen from the ashes like a phoenix. It’s like witnessing a true architectural comeback story.
Get ready to dive headfirst into history, culture, and some seriously stunning landmarks. Let’s go!
Stari Most (Old Bridge)
First up, we have the Stari Most, or Old Bridge. This bad boy has been around since the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Talk about some historical street cred! But wait, it gets even better. During the summer, you can witness the locals performing daring acrobatics by diving into the Neretva River from the bridge.
Old Bazaar (Bazar Kujundziluk)
Next stop, the Old Bazaar, also known as Bazar Kujundziluk. This place is like stepping into a time capsule. The cobbled streets are lined with shops selling traditional handicrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs. It’s a shopping paradise for all you badass babes who love to bring back unique treasures from your journeys. Plus, the atmosphere is just perfect for soaking in the local vibes and indulging in some mouthwatering delicacies.
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
Now, prepare yourselves for some panoramic beauty at the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque. Climb up the minaret and behold the breathtaking views of Mostar. It’s like having a postcard-worthy moment right in front of your eyes. And let’s not forget the interior of the mosque, adorned with colorful tiles and calligraphy.
Mostar Old Bazaar Kujundžiluk
Feeling the need for some retail therapy? Well, get ready to explore the Mostar Old Bazaar Kujundžiluk. The narrow streets are lined with shops and cafes, calling out to your inner shopaholic. You’ll find handmade crafts, traditional Bosnian coffee sets, and local sweets that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.
War Photo Exhibition
Alright, let’s switch gears and dive into the dark side of history. The War Photo Exhibition is your gateway to gaining insights into Mostar’s recent history, specifically the war in the 1990s. Prepare to have your heart touched and your emotions stirred as you absorb the powerful images and stories that document the city’s experience.
Museum of War and Genocide Victims
Last but certainly not least, we have the Museum of War and Genocide Victims. Brace yourselves, because this one is going to be tough. But it’s important to learn about the impact of the war not just on Mostar but on the broader region as well. Through exhibits and personal stories, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by the people and the strength it took to overcome them.
The Café Culture
In Bosnia, coffee and cafes are everywhere. Bosnian coffee is a type of coffee that’s made in a cezve, a special pot used to make Bosnian coffee. In Bosnia, coffee is more than just a drink; it’s an important part of the culture. I will tell you, their way of presenting and enjoying coffee was something of every coffee lover’s dream. It was a beautiful process and strong AF. It certainly could put some hair on your toes, but it was worth every sip.
Cafes are everywhere, and people gather to catch up with friends or discuss the news of the day. If you take the time to hang out in Sarajevo, the people-watching is well worth your time. Sit, enjoy a tiny cup of super strong coffee, and watch the world go by. It was one of the highlights of my trip, for sure.
If you’re interested in experiencing a different and fascinating place that is old, beautiful, and off the beaten path, you need to plan for a Bosnia Holiday.
Bosnia, with its natural beauty, friendly locals, unique cuisine, rich culture, and impressive architecture, is worth considering as your next travel destination and shouldn’t be overlooked.
It’s different, but in the best way possible. It’s safe, beautiful, and unique and offers all the outdoor activities your heart can desire.
Book your flight today, start planning your adventure Bosnia tours, and always remember to Travel Till You Drop!