12 BEST Things To Do in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2023
This list of the best places to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina is perfect for preparing a route through the incredible wonders of this unknown country for the vast majority of tourists, but with enough reasons to dedicate several days to it.
Located next to touristic Croatia, this Muslim-majority Balkan country still bears the scars of the not-so-distant Bosnian war that destroyed cities and thousands of innocent victims. However, over time it has been able to rise from its ashes and fade away. It is becoming a destination that is increasingly sought after by travelers seeking sensations different from the Western lifestyle and culture.
A Route of about ten days through Bosnia by rental car will be enough to get to know its essentials, among which are national parks, waterfalls, monasteries, old Ottoman cities, and medieval villages where you can also enjoy its spontaneous hospitality and its delicious gastronomy.
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To get to Bosnia you can land at Sarajevo airport, although to avoid making many stopovers it will be better for you to put Dubrovnik or Zagreb airport as your destination and once there, rent a car, taking into account that you will have to take your passport, change local currency (mark), since Bosnia does not belong to the European Union and above all, inform the car rental company that you will be driving through another country so that it can issue the necessary documentation and insurance.
Based on the days we spent in this country during our trip to Croatia and Bosnia and a complete future trip through the Balkans that we have in mind, we have made this list of the 12 essential places to visit in Bosnia. Let’s start!
Sarajevo, the country’s capital and known as the “Jerusalem of Europe” for the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, and Jews, is one of the most exciting places to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dragging a tragic history, after being besieged for almost four years by the Serbian army, causing thousands of deaths and enormous damage to all kinds of buildings, this city has managed to recover its spirit and become the economic and cultural engine of Bosnia.
A walk through its historic center will allow you to enjoy the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architecture and feel a mixture of sensations that are difficult to find in other cities.
To avoid any tourist attraction, we recommend you follow this list of places to see in Sarajevo, try its typical dishes in one of the best restaurants to eat in Sarajevo, and book this free tour in Spanish.
2. Mostar, one of the places to see in Bosnia
Crossing the famous Old Bridge of Mostar, the historic center, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is one of the best things to do in Bosnia.
Considered the capital of the Herzegovina region, this city has become the most touristic city in the country thanks to its beauty and proximity to the famous Dubrovnik, where many day trips occur.
Located on the banks of the Neretva River, Mostar was another of the most bombed cities during the Bosnian War. However, it returned to its original Ottoman architecture and former splendor after a major reconstruction.
To get all points of interest in this beautiful city, you can follow this list of places to see in Mostar and this article with recommendations for restaurants to eat in Mostar.
Pocitelj, located on the banks of the Neretva and half an hour’s drive from Mostar, is one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Bosnia.
The architecture of this town, in which the Ottoman and Mediterranean styles blend harmoniously, has convinced UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Site.
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It is worth spending an hour or two walking through its cobbled streets visiting the beautiful Hajji Alija mosque, the Gavrakanpetanović house, and the Clock tower until you reach the top of an imposing fortress from where you will have incredible views as well as having a coffee Bosnian in one of the cafeterias in the lower part.
4. Kravice waterfalls
On the way from Dubrovnik to Mostar, one of the essential stops is the Kravice Waterfalls, a succession of waterfalls formed in the course of the Trezibat River and another prominent tourist landmark to see in Bosnia.
These waterfalls, which reach up to 25 meters in height at some points, flow into a large lake with crystal clear waters in which you can bathe in a limited area, which is prohibited in neighboring Croatian waterfalls such as Krka and Plitvice.
5. Visit Blagaj, one of the things to do in Bosnia.
Not far from Mostar, a 15-minute drive away is the town of Blagaj, which has a beautiful Dervish monastery and the Buna Spring, two must-sees in Bosnia.
The Buna River flows from inside a cave located under an imposing karstic mountain over 200 meters high, only accessible by boat, forming one of the largest springs in Europe characterized by its crystal clear waters.
On the banks of this river, barely 9 kilometers long, which flows into the Neretva River, there is an old Dervish monastery, a Sufi Muslim religious group, built in 1520, which stands out for its white façade that contrasts with the turquoise green. Of the river waters.
It is worth entering the monastery to learn about this brotherhood’s way of life and history and then cross to the other side of the river to get the best view.
Travnik, located in the center of the country, in a mountainous region, was the capital of the Bosnian governors between 1699 and 1850 and is another of the most beautiful places to see in Bosnia.
Among its wonders are numerous buildings from the Ottoman era, among which the Travnik-painted mosque and the House of Ivo Andric (Bosnian literature Nobel Prize winner) stand out, as well as a medieval fortress from where you will get fantastic views of the city.
Another of the best things to do in Bosnia is to go by car to the historic town of Jajce to listen to the noise produced by the fall of water from the Pliva waterfall, more than 20 meters high, located in the center of the city. City, at the point where the Vrbas and Pliva rivers meet.
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In addition, this city was of great importance in medieval times when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Bosnia, which remains a fortress, the Church of Santa Maria, and the Catacombs remain.
A few kilometers from Jajce are the Pliva lakes, one of the most relaxing landscapes in Bosnia, where you can rent a boat to walk around the lake and get up close to its beautiful wooden windmills (Mlinčići).
8. Una National Park
Located in the far west, next to the border with Croatia, the Una National Park was established in 2008 to protect the biodiversity found around the Una and Unac rivers that flow through it.
It is worth going on a hiking or rafting route to discover its landscapes of waterfalls, forests, and canyons, as well as visit ruins of medieval fortresses and castles such as those of Ostrovica.
9. Jablanica Bridge, one of the points to visit in Bosnia
The Bridge over the Neretva River, located near the small town of Jablanica, has become, over time, one of the symbols of the Second World War and another of the places to see in Bosnia.
It must be borne in mind that this bridge played an essential role in moving weapons and supplies for Nazi troops during World War II until Marshal Tito, the Croatian head of state of what was then Yugoslavia, ordered its demolition, making it impossible to cross the Neretva.
In 1969 the bridge was rebuilt to shoot the movie “The Battle of the Neretva,” starring international stars such as Orson Welles and Yul Brynner, to blow it later up again and leave it as a memory of this bloody War.
In addition to enjoying the green landscape around the bridge, you can learn about its history by visiting the nearby Museum of the Battle for the Wounded on the Neretva River. If you have time, visit the impressive Bunker of Marshal Tito, an underground anti-nuclear shelter.
10. Sutjeska National Park
Sutjeska, located in the Dinaric Alps and home to one of the last primary forests in Europe, is the oldest national park to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During a hiking route through this park, you will observe 98-meter waterfalls such as Skakavac and some of the highest peaks in the country, such as the 2,386-meter Maglić or the 2,337-meter Volujak, to later get up close to one of the monuments that commemorate the partial victory over the German forces in the famous battle of Sutjeska, which took place in this park in 1943.
11. Banja Luka
Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and the capital of the Republika Srpska, is another of the essential stops on a road trip through Bosnia.
During the Bosnian War, this city, with a Serb majority, was the main stronghold of the Yugoslav army, expelling the Bosnian and Croat minorities and destroying two historic mosques from the Ottoman period.
This university city has several tourist attractions, such as the reconstructed Ferhadija Mosque and the beautiful Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Trebinje, located just 25 kilometers from Dubrovnik, in the southeast of Herzegovina, and crossed by the Trebisnjica River, is our last recommendation on this list of essential places to see in Bosnia.
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With Mediterranean architecture and a relaxed atmosphere, this city has several tourist attractions such as a beautiful Ottoman bridge over the Trebisnjica river, the old water mills, Slobode Square, a medieval fortress, and finally, the Gračanica Orthodox Monastery and the Archangel Church Mihailo, both crowning two of the hills that surround the city.
Is Bosnia and Herzegovina worth visiting?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most underrated countries in Europe. Hidden in the shadow of more popular neighbors, especially Croatia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina also has a lot to offer and is worth your time and effort to get there.
What is Bosnia famous for?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for the Bosnian War which occurred in the 1990s, its ethnic and religious diversity, and its famous capital, Sarajevo. It was also the site for some of the world’s most famous historical events.
How many days are enough for Bosnia?
Many people only know of Bosnia as a country with a war-torn history, but there’s a lot more to be discovered. I recommend spending at least five days in Bosnia and Herzegovina to explore this stunning country!
Is Bosnia costly?
Cost of living in Bosnia And Herzegovina is, on average, 50.3% lower than in United States. Rent in Bosnia And Herzegovina is, on average, 87.5% lower than in United States.