Top 10 things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

A political hotbed, but also an impressive mix of cultures with beautiful historic cities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (i/ˈbɒzniə ænd hɛərtsəɡɵˈviːnə/; Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian Bosna i Hercegovina, pronounced [bôsna i xěrt͡seɡoʋina]; Cyrillic script: Боснa и Херцеговина), sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, abbreviated BiH, and in short often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for 20 kilometres (12 miles) of coastline on the Adriatic Sea surrounding the city of Neum. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, bookended by hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age, during and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has one of the richest histories in the region, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries CE. They then established the first independent banate in the region, known as the Banate of Bosnia, in the early 12th century upon the arrival and convergence of peoples that would eventually come to call themselves Dobri Bošnjani ("Good Bosnians"). This evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it would remain from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, the country was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995.

Today, the country maintains high literacy, life expectancy and education levels and is one of the most frequently visited countries in the region, projected to have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world between 1995 and 2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music, architecture and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, officially, constituent peoples, a term unique for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a regional rather than ethnic distinction, and the region of Herzegovina has no precisely defined borders of its own. Moreover, the country was simply called "Bosnia" until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is highly limited, as the country is largely decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third region, the Brčko District, governed under local government. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 federal units – cantons. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan at a summit in Tallinn[which?]. Additionally, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008.

Overall rating: 4.2
Country
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Medjugorje

Medjugorje
Međugorje, or Medjugorje, is a town located in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, around 25 km southwest of Mostar and close to the border of Croatia. The town is ...

Sarajevo

Sarajevo
Immerse yourself in the traditional oriental vibe of the region, with charming mosques and a vibrant Turkish bazaar

Jajce

Jajce
Jajce is a city and municipality located in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosanska Krajina region. It is part of the Central Bosnia Canton of the ...

Neum

Neum
Neum is the only coastal town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It comprises 24.5 km of coastline, the country's only access to the Adriatic Sea. In 2009 the municipal population was 4,605 ...

Tuzla

Tuzla
Tuzla is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the seat of the Tuzla Canton and is the economic, scientific, cultural, educational, health and tourist centre of northeast Bosnia. ...

Banja Luka

Banja Luka
Banja Luka is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the capital Sarajevo and is the largest city of the Republika Srpska entity. Traditionally, it has been the ...

Bihać

Bihać
Bihać is a city on the River Una in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosanska Krajina region. It has 61,186 inhabitants. Bihać is located in the Una-Sana Canton of ...

Mostar

Mostar
Famous for its old houses and the old bridge, a symbol of peaceful coexistence of different culturals and religions

Trebinje

Trebinje
Trebinje is the southernmost municipality and city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a part of the Republika Srpska entity and is located in southeastern Herzegovina, some 20 km from the ...

Bijeljina

Bijeljina
Bijeljina is a city and municipality in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is the second largest in the Republika Srpska entity after Banja Luka and fifth largest city in ...

Travnik

Travnik
Travnik is a town and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, 90 kilometres west of Sarajevo. It is the capital of the Central Bosnia Canton, and is located in the ...

Šipovo

Šipovo
Šipovo is a town and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the western part of the Republika Srpska entity and the southern part of the Bosanska ...

Višegrad

Višegrad
Višegrad is a town and municipality in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina resting on the Drina river and in the Republika Srpska entity. The town includes the Ottoman-era Mehmed Paša Sokolović ...

Baščaršija

Baščaršija
Baščaršija is Sarajevo's old bazaar and the historical and cultural center of the city. Baščaršija was built in the 15th century when Isa-Beg Isaković founded the town. The word Baščaršija ...

Zenica

Zenica
Zenica is the fourth-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the capital of the Zenica-Doboj Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity. Zenica is located about 70 km north ...

Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque

Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque
The Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque , is a mosque in the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is considered the most important Islamic structure in the country and one of ...

Cazin

Cazin
Cazin is a town and municipality in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Bosanska Krajina region, near the border with Croatia. It is located in the Una-Sana Canton of the ...

Visoko

Visoko
Visoko is a city and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina of rich historical heritage. It was an early centre of the Bosnian medieval state, and the site where the ...

Sebilj

Sebilj
The Sebilj a kiosk-shaped public wooden and stone fountain.Sarajevo's SebiljThe Sebilj is a pseudo-Ottoman style wooden fountain in the centre of Baščaršija square in Sarajevo built by ...

Fojnica

Fojnica
Fojnica is a town and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, located west of the capital Sarajevo. It lies in the valley of the Fojnička River, tributary of the river ...

Svrzo's House

Svrzo's House
Svrzo's House is an old house in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina that was established when the Ottoman Empire ruled the area. It is a branch of the Museum of Sarajevo. ...

Ars Aevi

Ars Aevi
Ars Aevi is a museum of contemporary art in Sarajevo. It was formed during the war as a "resistance of culture". It has approximately 130 works by renowned world artists ...

Kupres, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kupres, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kupres is a town and municipality in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The town is located in the Canton 10, also known as the Hercegbosanski Kanton or ...

Tunnel of Hope

Tunnel of Hope
The Sarajevo Tunnel was constructed between May 1992 and November 1995, during the Siege of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War. It was built by the Bosnian Army ...

Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pale is a town and a municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located southeast of Bosnia's capital Sarajevo. The municipality of Pale is one of the six municipalities of the City ...

Bjelašnica

Bjelašnica
Bjelašnica is a mountain in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is found directly to the southwest of Sarajevo, bordering Mt. Igman. Bjelašnica's tallest peak, by which the whole mountain group ...

Jablanica

Jablanica
Jablanica or Yablanitsa may refer to:In Albania:Jablanica Mountain, in eastern Albania and the west of the Republic of MacedoniaIn Bosnia and Herzegovina:Jablanica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a town in HerzegovinaIn Bulgaria:Yablanitsa, ...

Miljacka

Miljacka
The Miljacka is a river in Bosnia and Herzegovina that passes through Sarajevo.The Miljacka river originates from the Paljanska-Miljacka river and the Mokranjska Miljacka river confluence, though the Paljanska Miljacka, ...

Bosanska Krupa

Bosanska Krupa
Bosanska Krupa is a town and municipality in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the Una river. It is located 30 km northeast from Bihać . It is the seat of a ...

Igman

Igman
Igman is a mountain plateau in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. Geologically, Igman is part of the Dinaric Alps and formed largely of secondary and tertiary sedimentary rock, mostly Limestone. It ...

Teslić

Teslić
Teslić is a town and municipality in north-central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the central part of the Republika Srpska entity. Teslić is located on the Usora River.

Trebević

Trebević
Trebević is a mountain in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is found directly to the southeast of Sarajevo, territory of East Sarajevo city, bordering Jahorina mountain. Trebević is 1627 meters ...

Brčko

Brčko
Brčko is a town in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, administrative seat of the Brčko District. It lies on the Sava river across from Croatia.NameIts name is very ...

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Sarajevo

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Sarajevo
The Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos is the largest Serbian Orthodox church in Sarajevo and one of the largest in the Balkans.The cathedral is dedicated to the ...

Modriča

Modriča
Modriča is a city and municipality in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located near the towns of Šamac, Derventa and Doboj. After the war, prewar municipal borders were ...

Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a museum in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It holds more than 400,000 historical artifacts.The institution is due to close its doors for disputes ...

Čapljina

Čapljina
Čapljina is a town and municipality of the same name in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Čapljina is ...

Sarajevo Synagogue

Sarajevo Synagogue
Sarajevo Synagogue is Sarajevo's primary and largest synagogue and is located on the south bank of the river Miljacka. It was constructed in 1902 and remains the only functioning synagogue ...

Konjic

Konjic
Konjic is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in northern Herzegovina, around 50 kilometres southwest of Sarajevo. It is a mountainous, heavily wooded area, and ...

Zavidovići

Zavidovići
Zavidovići is a town and municipality in Eastern-central Bosnia and Herzegovina, located between Doboj and Zenica on the confluence of rivers Bosna, Krivaja and Gostović. It sits in a valley ...

Bugojno

Bugojno
Bugojno is a town and municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina on the river Vrbas. It is located in the Central Bosnia Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina ...

Sanski Most

Sanski Most
Sanski Most is a town and municipality in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located on the Sana River in Bosanska Krajina, between Prijedor and Ključ. Administratively it is part ...

Laktaši

Laktaši
Laktaši is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the Republika Srpska entity near the city of Banja Luka.GeographyIt is located between ...

Srebrenica

Srebrenica
Srebrenica is a town and municipality in easternmost Bosnia and Herzegovina. Srebrenica is a small mountain town, its main industry being salt mining and a nearby spa.During the Bosnian War, ...

Ilidža

Ilidža
Ilidža is a municipality of Sarajevo Canton in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a metro population of 157,654 and is a chief suburb of Sarajevo. It is famous for ...

Prijedor

Prijedor
Prijedor is a city and municipality in the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina with an estimated population of 97,588 people within its administrative limits. Prijedor is part of the ...

Velika Kladuša

Velika Kladuša
Velika Kladuša is a town and municipality in the far northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located near the border with Croatia. The closest city is Cazin, and a bit farther, ...

Goražde

Goražde
Goražde , is a city and municiapality in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Drina river. It is located between Foča, Rogatica and Višegrad, and is administratively part of the ...

Stolac

Stolac
Stolac , is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in Herzegovina. Administratively, it is part of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stolac ...

Livno

Livno
Livno is a town and municipality in Canton 10 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in western Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located between Tomislavgrad, Glamoč, Bosansko Grahovo, Kupres ...

Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Prnjavor is a town and municipality in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina and is a part of the Republika Srpska entity. The municipality is near the town of Banja Luka, which ...

Ljubuški

Ljubuški
Ljubuški is a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the western part of Herzegovina.Demographics197128.269 totalCroats - 26.198 Bosniaks - 1.812 Serbs ...

Derventa

Derventa
Derventa is a town and municipality of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the northern part of Republika Srpska just northwest of the town of Doboj, in the Posavina region. The municipality ...

Šamac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Šamac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosanski Šamac/Šamac is a town and municipality in the northeastern part of the Republika Srpska and it's also a part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the ...

Zvornik

Zvornik
Zvornik is a city on the Drina river in northeastern, Bosnia and Herzegovina, situated in the Republika Srpska entity. Zvornik is located south of Bijeljina. The town Mali Zvornik lies ...

Kostajnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kostajnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kostajnica , is a town and municipality in northern Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the part of the Кrajina region. The municipality was created from ...

Široki Brijeg

Široki Brijeg
Široki Brijeg is a city in southwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina.NameThe name of the city in English means "the wide hill" in Croatian. The city is also sometimes ...

Dubica, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Dubica, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Dubica is a town and municipality located in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina and is administratively part of the Republika Srpska entity. Dubica, for short, is situated in the eastern part ...

Mrkonjić Grad

Mrkonjić Grad
Mrkonjić Grad is a town and municipality in western Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Republika Srpska entity. It is located in the Bosanska Krajina, between Banja Luka and Jajce.

Kozara National Park

Kozara National Park
Kozara National Park is a national park that was proclaimed a protected national forest in 1967 by Josip Broz Tito. It is situated between the rivers Una, Sava, Sana and ...

Ozren

Ozren
Ozren is name of several mountains:Ozren , in northern BosniaOzren , in southwestern SerbiaOzren , in eastern Serbia ...

Kakanj

Kakanj
Kakanj is an industrial town and a municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, located north of Visoko and southeast of Zenica. It was built along the slopes of wide hills ...

Sarajevo

Sarajevo
Sarajevo (Bosnian pronunciation: [sǎrajeʋo]) is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an estimated population of 369,534. The Sarajevo metropolitan area, including Sarajevo, East Sarajevo and surrounding municipalities, ...

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge
a.k.a. "The Bridge on the Drina" - a vivid depiction of the suffering history of the people of Bosnia since the 16th century

Insider

Insider
An insider is a member of any group of people of limited number and generally restricted access. The term is used in the context of secret, privileged, hidden or otherwise ...

Radimlja

Radimlja
Site of unique grave stones from from XV century