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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide

Not that long ago the only foreigners who visited Bosnia and Herzegovina were aid workers. Slowly travellers are discovering the country’s charms

Many come for a long weekend to Sarajevo to see the city’s fascinating confluence of East and West. Here, Muslims, Jews, Orthodox Christians and Catholics once lived in harmony and you can see all their imprints on the skyline – minarets, domes and campaniles.

Look down and you’ll see traces of the past in the artisan workshops where coppersmiths continue to create tea sets by hand. But for a real taste of Europe as it once was head out into the countryside of Bosnia and Herzegovina where in small, isolated villages like Lukomir, shepherds still tend their flocks.

In the countryside you’ll also find an amazing abundance of fresh water: turquoise waterfalls, lakes and rivers such as the raging Una, which make Bosnia & Herzegovina a prime spot for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. With woodlands that still cover 50% of the country, national parks such as the Unesco-listed Hutobo Blato Bird Reserve and some of the most impressive peaks in the Dinaric Alps, Bosnia & Herzegovina is also paradise for hikers and nature-lovers. Yet despite all these attractions, the country remains little visited. Go now before the crowds arrive.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Discover Sarajevo’s best cafes, artisan workshops and picturesque streets with our guide to walking the capital.
  2. Visit the Unesco-listed Hutovo Blato Bird Reserve – the largest migration centre in southeast Europe and permanent home to owls, Greek partridges and heron.
  3. Hike along the Rakitnica canyon, just south of Sarejevo, for spectacular views of mountains streams, waterfalls and the Dinaric Alps.
  4. Be mesmerised by the turquoise river running under Mostra’s elegant Stari Most (Old Bridge).
  5. Take a dip and go for a picnic by the stunning Kravica waterfall.
  6. Catch a glimpse of how Europe used to be in Lukomir – Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest and most isolated village.

Wanderlust tips

Bosnians tend be very friendly but if you’re engaged in a political or historical conversation be aware of who you are speaking to – tensions can still run high. While in Hergzegovina do not refer to Bosnia & Herzegovina as just Bosnia. If you are entering a church or mosque make sure you are respectfully attired.  Women should cover their heads with scarfs when visiting mosques and both men and women should remove their shoes.

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