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Personal recentish travel review with pictures and well researched itinerary of the whole sovereign state.
What comes to mind when you mention Bosnia and Herzegovina? The Eurovision song contest, war of the nineties, assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and maybe Mostar bridge. It is rare you will meet anyone who has been there. The country has a small population of 3.5 million, is rather poor, is not in the European Union, has different religious/ethnic groups and has only a tiny access to the Adriatic Sea in its south.

Bosnia is not an all in one resort kind of place and as said above it barely has access to the sea. Unlike my past review of Slovenia it is less developed and is cheaper than EU member states. Taken from Wikipedia, this explains how it is divided: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the Republika Srpska (RS) and one condominium named the Brčko District.

So, what is there to see? castles, Ottoman architecture, waterfalls, pilgrimage sites, war remains, communist remains, bunkers, bridges, rivers and abandoned buildings. A big mix of things to do and it houses all major mono theistic religions.

My plan was standard. Book a return flight to Croatia since it was cheaper, hire a car, hop the border, use multiple sites (esp. Atlas Obscura) to find items to do, map it and book hotels as I go along. This trip like many was solo as many are. Ten days was enough to see all I wanted to with a big focus on war and communist sights.

How were the people? Zero complaints about the people though English was not as good as in the EU states. It is very much a developing country which personally I like. I had no problem with the cops though I imagine they are not too “straight”, as one man said if you are drink driving and are stopped by the cops, just give them ten euros! Not that I was drink driving.

On the topic of the people, I had one nice and odd hospitality encounter whilst in Republika Srpska. Whilst out looking for two communist memorials in the middle of nowhere, the phone took me on some odd roads and directed me into someone’s remote private farm. The three Serb man and one boy invited me in for simple food and drink.

Communication was a struggle and there was no phone signal. The complex comprised of a single storey house, external shack toilet and 1-2 basic barn style buildings. It was basic a lifestyle with wood/coal used for heating instead of gas since there were no pipelines. They told me about motorcross, snipping animals and brought out a real shotgun! In the barn was a dead deer thing which they butchered in front of me.

I must have been there for 2 hours or more and then they took me to another house of a family member in a simple village where a boy who studied in Croatia spoke decent English. They offered food and I left with instructions to track down old memorials off the beaten track, with heavy rain, poor phone signal and some unknown creature appearing at the side of the road. A true adventure to re-tell. See photo below.

Day #1
  • Flew into Zadar, Croatia
  • Got a rental car
  • Crossed border
  • Kravica Waterfall
  • Pocitelj
  • Night in Trebinje

  • Day #2
  • Explored Trebinje
  • Hercegovačka Gračanica
  • Tvrdoš Monastery
  • Vjetrenica Cave
  • Stolac
  • Radimlja
  • Medugorje pilgrimage hill
  • Blagaj Tekija
  • Night in Mostar

  • Day #3
  • Explored Mostar
  • Mostar Aircraft Hangar
  • Bridge on the Neretva river
  • Konjic
  • Night in Konjic

  • Day #4
  • Tito’s bunker
  • Lukomir hill villages
  • Foca Pyramids
  • Tjentiste War Memorial
  • Night in Višegrad

  • Day #5
  • Explored Višegrad
  • Igman communist ski jumps
  • Tunnel of Hope
  • Trebević hill
  • Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track
  • Abandoned hotel near ^
  • Jewish cemetery
  • Night in Sarajevo

  • Day #6
  • Explored Sarajevo
  • Colina Kapa Observatory
  • Night in Sarajevo

  • Day #7
  • Visoko tunnel tour
  • Pyramid of The Sun
  • Travnik
  • Mithras Temple in Jajce
  • Watermills of Jajce
  • Night in Tesanj

  • Day #8
  • Explored Tesanj
  • Tuzla
  • Brčko free city for Arizona Market
  • Night in Banja Luka

  • Day #9
  • Explored Banja Luka
  • Krupa Falls
  • Vrbas River Bend
  • Kozara Memorial
  • Monument to Korčanica
  • Night in Bosanska Krupa

  • Day #10
  • Ostrozac Castle
  • Garavice Memorial
  • Crossed into Croatia
  • Saw part of Zeljava airbase
  • Returned car
  • Flew to London

  • Would I return? Unlikely not since I ticked off all the sights I wanted to see. Still, Bosnia is a great country to explore in under two weeks at a fair price.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina - Brčko District
    Bosnia and Herzegovina - Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina - Republika Srpska