Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina: brief highlights of the country

Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina: brief highlights of the country

If you have always been inspired by the films of Emir Kusturica or you are just in search of non-trivial destinations for a tourist trip – consider Bosnia and Herzegovina as an option for your next trip.

Photo: nomadFra / shutterstock.com

Many people still associate the territory of the former Yugoslavia with the fighting. But Bosnia and Herzegovina is no more dangerous than any state in Western Europe. And it’s certainly no less beautiful!

How to get to Bosnia and Herzegovina

There are three large airports in the country – in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Tuzla, but you cannot get to any of them directly from Russia. One can fly with a connection in Istanbul, Budapest or other European cities. The connecting flights from Moscow to Sarajevo and back start at 25,000 rubles* per person.

The bus service here is well developed, but the most convenient way to travel through Bosnia by car: to rent a car in Sarajevo on OneTwoTrip costs 3000 rubles* per day. By the way, you can also visit the country by car from Croatia or Montenegro – a great addition to your vacation in these countries.

Tourists from Russia do not need a visa to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can enter the country with a passport and stay up to 30 days. But to explore the local attractions in detail, three to four days is enough. At the border will ask only PCR-test taken not earlier than 48 hours before entry. So if you arrive in Croatia or Montenegro with a Russian PCR-test, visit Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first days.

What to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the southwest of the country, near the borders with Croatia and Montenegro, there are several major tourist spots.

Mostar

In the 1990s, this small town saw fierce and destructive ethnic fighting in its streets. Today is no longer a reminder of those terrible events: Mostar is clean and decent-looking. However, those who have ever traveled through the Balkans, understand that this region has its own concept of grooming. In my opinion, Mostar is one of the most colorful cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The central point of attraction for tourists is the Old Bridge over the fast-flowing river Neretva. It is also the main tourist attraction, the calling card of not only the region but of the whole country. The best view of it opens from the neighboring Lutsk bridge, which is located just downstream, or from the rocky bank of the Neretva.

The center of the city, which is all the space directly adjacent to the bridge, is usually filled to the brim with tourists. Some come for the oriental bazaar, some for the restaurants and the local Mostarsko beer or Bosnian coffee. Narrow cobblestone streets, souvenir shops, bridges, mosques, and Catholic churches – that’s all Mostar. It was a surprise to find the monument to Bruce Lee in Zrenjevac Park. The two main mosques of Mostar are Karagöz-Bek, which is located near the Old Bridge, and Koski Mehmed Pasha, with its slender minaret against the background of the mountains. This building is the backdrop of the Old Bridge on postcards.

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Kravice Falls

An hour’s drive from Mostar, on the Trebizhat River, is a nature park with a cascade of picturesque waterfalls. Abundant, even in the dry season, streams of water pouring down from a height of 15-28 meters form a semicircle of about 150 meters in diameter – it is not for nothing that these waterfalls are called a fan over the precipice. At the foot of the cascades flow into a clear lake, on the banks of which local residents and tourists love to relax. Here are equipped with places for sunbathing, a few coffee shops with very noisy and very Balkan cheerful staff, rent small boats and kayaks. Despite the fact that the water rarely gets warmer than 18℃, everyone is eager to swim here.

There is a fee to enter Kravice Falls – about 10 convertible marks* (Bosnian currency). The park is open year-round, but it’s best to check the exact schedule on the website.

Blagaj

It takes just over half an hour to drive from Kravice waterfalls to Blagaj. This peaceful place, where at the cliffs above the turquoise water hundreds of birds flit, even before the conquest by the Ottoman Empire was a haven for the Muslim monks-hermits. It has been here since the beginning of the 16th century. The guest house and the mausoleum that stand on the cliff were built in the mid 17th century and remained almost in their original form. Today inside the complex there is a kind of museum, a souvenir shop and a coffee shop with fancy tables. All tourists can enter, not only Muslims, but shoes must be left before entering.

The water cave at the foot of the Tekija is none other than the karst spring Vrelo Bune, one of the most powerful sources of fresh water in all of Europe. The Bune River, which is formed by this spring, is only 9 km long on the surface of the earth, after which it flows into the Neretva River. Along its banks there are many sightseeing coffee shops where you can drink Turkish coffee with Turkish Turkish Turkish delight or even try grilled river trout while enjoying the diversity of the surrounding landscape.

These three locations are essential for those who come to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a few days. If you are able to stay longer, be sure to visit three other Bosnian towns.

Trebinje

Trebinje, the city of sun and wine, is located just a few dozen kilometers from the Croatian Dubrovnik and the Montenegrin border, in a picturesque valley between hills covered with slender plane trees. In ancient times, it was part of the Roman Empire, and later was part of the Kingdom of Serbia, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary and Yugoslavia. Such a rich historical diversity of cultures has caused the unique color of this place.

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The Trebišnica River divides the city into two parts, and the Arslanagić bridge, from the 16th century, connects it. Trebinje has preserved the Old Town from the time of Turkish rule. Be sure to visit the local grocery market and the cinematic cafe “Under Platanami” located opposite. Scenes for European and American films are regularly filmed here. Locals love to tell stories about the filming and discuss what movies they “starred” in. In general, the entire city looks like a set for a good movie. Walking around here is a special pleasure for those who are tired of the crowds and bustle of megapolises.

Visegrad

Visegrád is a small and world-famous ancient town. It occupies a modest 450 sq. km. amidst forested mountains between the Drina and Rzava rivers. Three men made the place famous. The first was Sokollu Damat Mehmed Pasha, who had a monumental 11-span stone bridge built in Visegrad. The second is Ivo Andric, the Yugoslav writer whose novel Bridge on the Drina won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The third is Emir Kusturica, who built the city of Andricgrad full of literary, historical and cinematic mysteries as a setting for his film based on Andric’s book.

If you are in town in the tourist season, take a boat trip on the Drina River and appreciate the bridge from the water, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Eggs

The town with the culinary name of Yaice is actually considered royal. The last monarch of the Kingdom of Bosnia was crowned here. His residence was located here, and he was assassinated here as well. If you are not interested in the history of the country, you will definitely appreciate this small town first of all for the spectacular 25-meter waterfall, which is formed right at the confluence of two rivers – Pliva and Vrbas.

Of course, Jajce has everything that an ancient city should have: a well-preserved fortress wall, narrow streets, catacombs, stone arches, ruined cathedrals, watchtowers… But the main attraction is the waterfall. Few places in the world have rivers merging together and plunging down in a mighty stream right in the center of the city. It looks unusual and impressive. The Bosnian kings knew where to build their residences! However, all of Bosnia and Herzegovina is beautiful and makes you want to return and get to know it better.

Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina: brief highlights of the country

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that admires not only natural, but also man-made sights. You can vacation here in any season. In winter the ski resorts work, in summer the beaches and hiking are waiting for the tourists. But also there are enough sights in the country. Absolutely all of them can not be seen in one trip. But the most interesting sights are certainly worth seeing.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mysterious country. But it is not the only reason to visit it. The trip will be inexpensive compared to other popular tourist destinations.

Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina: briefly about the sights of the country - Photo 2

Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina: brief highlights of the country

For Russians to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Montenegro, is possible without a visa.

A very beautiful country, which for some reason is not popular with travelers. It amazes with beautiful landscapes, historical monuments and hospitality.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is easily accessible through Serbia or Montenegro.

Once you arrive in the country, you can get lost in a huge number of attractions. It is worth describing the most popular places that must be visited first.

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Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina: brief highlights of the country

Monument of ancient architecture

In the list of important places to visit at the top position should be Mostar – a city that delights with architecture, historical heritage and mosques . There are museums to visit and learn a lot of interesting information.

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Monument of ancient architecture

Every year in Mostar hundreds of tourists come to enjoy the medieval beauty. There are a lot of various buildings that have been preserved since ancient times almost in pristine condition. And some buildings can even be called a masterpiece of architectural thought.

When you come to Mostar, you should visit the house-museum Muslibegovich. It was built in honor of the Turkish family who lived in the city in the 19th century. It is definitely worth paying attention to the beautiful mosques.

A fabulous place for tourists

Bosnia and Herzegovina is famous for its towns and villages. It is necessary to visit Blagaj. It is not the architecture that attracts tourists to the village. And not even the everyday life of the local population. The main attraction of this place is the river Buna, which comes directly out of the rock. Nearby is located a monastery of dervishes.

But the village itself can give a lot of pleasant emotions. It looks very picturesque.

Blagay is a city-village, which is located in the south. Not far away (12 kilometers) is located Mostar. The weather in a small village is mostly good. There is a version that because of this the village got its name.

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A fabulous place for tourists

The beautiful climate, magical houses, natural attractions, a beautiful monastery, the rich historical heritage – Blagaj is rightly considered a fairy-tale place for travelers.

On the territory of the village there is a monastery of dancing Muslim monks. It was built at the time when Bosnia and Herzegovina was dominated by the Turks. It happened in 1520. It is a complex of small buildings, hugged to the rock.

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A fabulous place for tourists

It is on the territory of the monastery that the Boone River rises out of the rock, which is striking in its turquoise color. The whole landscape of this place seems magical, unreal. The village of Blagay will not leave tourists indifferent.

Monumental medieval tombstones

Steches are the real miracle that survived until nowadays. We are talking about medieval tombstones, which can be seen in a town called Zabljak in the north. The emergence of tombstones is a mystery.

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Monumental medieval tombstones

There are steches in various Balkan countries. Scientists have found tombstones in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well. How they appeared, when exactly it happened, who is buried in these places – questions for which no answers have been found. It is known that the stechkas date back to the medieval era.

To visit Zabljak and see the stecks is necessary, because they are striking in their appearance. Tombstones admire the skillful carvings. One can see the ancient inscriptions, preserved by a miracle.

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Monumental medieval tombstones

You can see monumental tombstones not only in Zabljak, but also in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is located in the center of Sarajevo. Samples of some of the tombstones are kept there.

To see the steches in Zabljak, just sign up for a tour.

A natural wonder

Kravice waterfall is another attraction of Bosnia and Herzegovina, striking for its unprecedented beauty and power. Water streams fall from a height of 26 meters. The water has an amazing emerald and turquoise hue.

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A natural wonder

Not only the waterfall is beautiful, but also the entire area around it. Under the attraction is a lake in which you can swim. The authorities have done everything possible so that tourists not only do not pass by, but also feel comfortable near the waterfall. There is parking, toilets, cafes, a panoramic platform. Near the lake there is a stalactite cave . She is small, but still worth seeing it. You can go on a trip on the river in a canoe to enjoy the beautiful scenery in its entirety. There is fun for snorkelers as well. Scuba diving is allowed here.

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A natural wonder

There is a waterfall not far from the town of Lyubushki. To swim in the lake, it is best to come in summer. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the Kravice waterfall, you should come here in the spring.

Ancient Fortress

Pocitel is a stone fortress town, built in the distant past. There is no reliable information, when and who built it. The first mentions date back to the 15th century. With the help of the fortress, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina was able to keep control of the country’s valleys, and access to the Adriatic Sea. It was for these purposes that Pochitel was built.

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Ancient Fortress

The town of Počitel is located in the south of the country, 30 kilometers from Mostar. Nearby is the border with Croatia. The fortress rises above the Neretva River. Not only the authorities, but also inhabitants take care of the historical monument. The town-fortress is well-groomed, with flowers and wild pomegranates planted around. The city is a very pleasant place to live.

The whole town-fortress is one big attraction. Pochitel amazes with its architecture, neat houses, powerful buildings, well-groomed streets. From the highest point of the fortress there is a beautiful view of the surrounding nature.

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Ancient Fortress

Must visit the mosque and madrasah Shishman Ibrahim Pasha . Hammams, inns, and the clock tower demand attention. There are several viewing platforms. And of course you can not just walk past the fortress. It is necessary to walk along the fortress wall and examine the towers.

Nature Park

“Vrelo Bosne” is a park that is located near a small town called Ilija. It is situated in such a beautiful place near the mountain Igman.

The park has a rich history. It had been created during the Austro-Hungarian domination. There were periods when the natural attraction could disappear. No one took care of the park, its construction was not even considered. However, local activists intervened.

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Nature Park

Thanks to concerned citizens of the country and support of international organizations, the Vrelo Bosne Nature Park was fully restored in 2000. It became even better than before.

Tourists will be able to walk around the park, ride bicycles. Anyone can even ride a horse through the territory of the park. There are comfortable alleys and paths, along which you can comfortably walk and admire the ducks and swans. There are a lot of birds that are not shy of passersby and are not afraid to take their bread from their hands.

Through the territory of the park runs the river Bosnia. There are numerous islands and bridges, on which you can arrange entire photo shoots. On the territory of the park there are a lot of thermal and mineral springs.

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Nature Park

The nature park is ideal for a variety of picnics. If a tourist prefers food prepared by professional chefs, he will not go hungry. There is an open-air restaurant. Everyone can enjoy the traditional cuisine of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As a conclusion

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country where natural attractions are perfectly combined with man-made historical monuments. They complement each other. To enjoy all the beautiful places of the country, you will have to come several times. Bosnia and Herzegovina has created all conditions for a comfortable and pleasant pastime.

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