Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

“Culture shock, spectacular nature, forests full of unexploded landmines, untapped tourism potential, war wounds still fresh, both on buildings and on souls, tasty food, friendly people, and all this at such low prices that we sometimes felt as though if we weren’t careful we’d end up going home with more money than we arrived with.” (2016)

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“If you ask the man on the street what comes to mind when you say ‘Bosnia-Hercegovina’, he’ll probably think of the most bloody military conflict in Europe since World War Two, and in particular the Siege of Sarajevo. That, however, was many years ago, and the country is now calm and peaceful (though unmarked hiking trails should be avoided – there are still a lot of landmines left over from the war).

Bosnia is close to some of the most visited European holiday destinations – just hop across the border from Croatia and you’re there. The roads are in perfectly serviceable condition, though they’re often narrow and winding, so you mind spend many kilometers stuck behind a combine harvester, tractor or truck. It’s still worth it, though, because Bosnia’s natural beauty and historic sights are spectacular. Foreign travelers have begun to discover this gem, but to date most are either Eastern Europeans or Middle-Easterners. Western Europeans still tend to stay away.” (2017)


Practicals

Transport

“If anyone is traveling by car, be very alert because Bosnians drive dangerously 😅 They honk their horns all the time, and many people overtake at high speed around blind bends and generally drive too fast. They'll drive right into you if you don't pay enough attention.” (v.l., 2019)
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“Currently, there is only a tiny stretch of motorway in Bosnia, just a few kilometers long. Toll gates on the motorway allow you to pay by card or cash. We saw construction in full swing all over the country, but it will certainly take a few more years before we can glide along highways all over the country. Nevertheless, driving was a pleasant surprise – there were no hold-ups anywhere, and we could travel about easily and drive through spectacular landscapes.” (2022)



Food

“Even during our five days of a gastronomic rampage, we didn't manage to spend the money set aside for eating (though it was pretty modest), even if we started with bureks in the morning, then had lunch and dinner in a restaurant, and sometimes even casually enjoyed a few pljeskavica, roadside roasts, or ćevapčići during the day. We skipped the trendy and expensive high-end restaurants, but overall I’d say it’s more exciting to fish in the middle and lower category, as it’s cheaper and more diverse. The difference in quality is not so great.  This is true to such an extent that nowhere did we get up from the table dissatisfied, and the most negative experience was that store-bought Ajvar and pre-mixed (but of course according to the traditional recipe) chevap from the local supermarket, which were served in a very remote hotel restaurant.”

“In addition to the classics (such as chevap and pljeskavica), I encountered some new favorites, including cusftice, Bosnian meatballs, or gyuvech (a kind of vegetable stew). (s.m., 2019)

Bosnia - h.m. photo

Sarajevo - Hippy klupa means hippie bench - k-t.g.

Public safety

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Bosnia and Herzegovina - police car

Others

“Since Bosnia is not a member of the EU, you have to be careful when using data roaming to avoid an unpleasant shock when you see next month's phone bill. In such cases, we usually buy a local SIM card, but this is only typical for longer trips outside of Europe, and we didn’t bother with that here. All our accommodations had wifi, but I didn't even connect to them – I went full digital detox for a week, which was refreshing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. On the way, we used navigation software that works offline (maps. me, mapy.cz). The only thing you need to pay attention to is to ensure that you download the map of the given country before the trip, which naturally requires internet, but you can also navigate with them offline afterward. (2022)

Background

Destination in brief

Bosnia and Herzegovina in brief

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a Southeast European landlocked country located on the western side of the Balkans. Neighbors: Croatia (west, north), Serbia (east), Montenegro (south).

Size: 51,500 km² (31,752 mi²) 

Population (in 2020): 3.3 million

It is worth mentioning that the population stood at 4,4 million just before the Bosnian War of 1991-1995 (mass emigration, families have an average of 1,26 children).

Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was part of Yugoslavia until 1992, is now made up of two bizarre confederal entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, populated by Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats, and the Bosnian Serb Republic with a separate capital city, Banja Luka

As a result, Sarajevo is in reality only the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and not of the whole country.

The country has a 21-kilometer long coastline (Adriatic Sea), so it is not quite a beach destination.

Most frequent surname: Hodžić

Average net monthly salary: 450 USD

Official currency: Bosnian convertible mark (BAM)

Bosnia and Herzegovina is by now a safe country (except for the danger posed by remaining land mines in the forests). 

Must-see tourist attractions: Old Town of Mostar, Sarajevo, Jajce Waterfall 

Culture shock, impressive nature, unexploited touristic potential, wounds of the Bosnian War seen on the buildings and in the spirit of the locals, fantastic meals. People there were so selflessly welcoming that in some places we felt really spoilt. (O.R., 2018)

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina - national flag - ata photo

Geography

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Bosnia&Herzegovina - landscape - m.e. photo

People

"Bosnia’s detractors say that the apartments of Bosniaks are full of artificial flowers and framed posters of waterfalls. Women dye their hair bright red to look trendy, and men love to flaunt Adidas tracksuits. Many people in the Muslim world hate Americans, but Bosnians love the Yankees. They also have a positive view of Turkey.” (N.S.)

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"I didn't like Bosnian girls without headscarves at all. It’s too rough a version of the characteristic Slavic face, and the cosmetics are overdone. As for Bosnian (Muslim) headscarves, the concealment suits many because they are ugly. Still, some people think it would be nice to see more of them. According to K., there are at least some handsome men." (j.k.)


Bosnia - Sarajevo - local ladies - h.m. photo

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