Bosnia or formally Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state in the center of the European Balkans and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the region. Some people may remember it as the site of the Yugoslav Wars, but that is now a long time ago and the country is totally safe and utterly stunning. Bosnia is really one of the countries you should visit in Europe.
Bosnia: The Facts
- Capital: Sarajevo
- Official Languages: Bosnia, Croat, Serbian
- Independence: 1992 (From Yugoslavia)\
- Currency: Convertible Mark
- Population: 3.3 Million
Bosnia is famous for its stunning landscapes and old and beautiful cities. This may only be a small country, but it is full of things to see and do. It is also basically landlocked, except for around a 1 mile long stretch of coastline on the Adriatic.
Bosnia has been part of the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Austrian Empires, and today as you visit the country you can feel the history and impact of all of these. There are many Roman ruins to explore throughout the country.
Unless you want to go skiing, then the best time to visit Bosnia is from late spring to early autumn. The winter months are ok but a little dreary.
Bosnia is a little conservative by European standards, but still, it is a very open and welcoming country. Remember that nationalism and ethnic identity run high here, so it's best to be considerate of this. The three main ethnic groups are Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats who are majority Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic respectively. Religion is typically considered central to their identity.
Three Presidents: Under The Bosnian Constitution, Bosnia Must Have Three Presidents One Of Each Of The Three Main Groups (Bosnia, Serb, Croat)
- Visa: Visa-Free For 90 Days
Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, it is also centrally located and from here it is possible to see and explore much of Bosnia. Sarajevo is a very interesting city, it sits at the base of a mountain range, and it's formed around the river cutting through the city. Sarajevo was once the site of the Winter Olympic Games in the 1980s and today it boasts stunning old architecture.
Sarajevo was the site of the grueling Sarajevo siege during the Bosnian war and the city remains riddled with bullet and shell holes. Almost all these are located on one side as the fighters were firing down on the city from the heights.
Sarajevo has been ranked in the Lonely Planet as one of the best cities in the world to visit. Sarajevo is known as a very culturally diverse city and a center of artistic thought and development.
Visit: Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque (Largest Mosque In Bosnia), and Latin Bridge (Ottomon Bridge and Site Of The Assassination Of Archduke Ferdinand)
While in Sarajevo be sure to check out the old city center and enjoy shopping there at the Baščaršija. The Baščaršija is Sarajevo's old bazaar and was built back in the 15th century.
Historical Fact: Sarajevo Is The Site Of The Assassination Of Archduke Ferdinand - The Spark That Ignited World War Two
Mostar is another one of Bosnia's top attractions. This picturesque small city is situated on the Neretva River and is the site of the Stari Most (meaning Old Bridge). The Stari Most is a UNESCO-listed site and a must-see for all those visiting Bosnia.
Date Built: 1566
Špilja Vjetrenica Cave
For something different, consider visiting the Spilja Vjetrenica Cave in the southern part of the country. This cave has been explored to around 7 km or 4 miles and has been nominated to be given a UNESCO Heritage designation. Reportedly this cave boasts the highest biodiversity of any cave in the world. It has the richest cave fauna, with the highest rate of endemism of its local occupants.
- Length Of Cave: 7 km (4.3 miles)
- Length Of Walkway: 600 meters
- Admission Fee: 10,000 Convertible Marks
- Opening Hours: 9.00 am - 4.00 pm
There are lots of forts and castles to visit all around the country. This is an ancient land and so is full of historical places to visit. One such place is the Kastel Fortress. This is an old medieval fortress, but it is built on the site of an old Roman fortress which was built on a pre-Roman fortress.
- Admission Fee: 14 Euro ($16)
While you are in Bosina go hiking and exploring around the country. You will be amazed by the number of stunning landscapes there are to see here. You will be greeted with many picturesque villages and many stunning forests. The landscape of Bosina is mountainous and forested and full of many deep ravines with rivers cutting through the mountains. Some other sites to see and explore across the country include:
Vrelo Bune - A Picturesque Natural and Architectural Ensemble
Pliva Waterfall - An Impressive 22 Meter or 72 Foot Waterfall With A Viewing Platform
Sutjeska National Park - Bosnia's Oldest National Park
Kravice Waterfall - Stunning Waterfall With A Swimming Area
In short, Bosnia is a stunning little country that has recovered from a very bad time in the 1990s. Today the country is peaceful, friendly and a stunning place to spend a part of your European vacation.