Bosnia on a Budget: Things to do & Places to Stay

If the Balkans are one of Europe’s hidden gems, then Bosnia & Herzegovina are the region’s best kept secret. With cultural diversity, incredible landscapes, and a sad history, the country still feels undiscovered and exotic.

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Here’s everything you need to know to start unraveling the old traditions of the ‘Heart-Shaped Land’:

Getting In and Around Bosnia

As with all well-kept secrets, Bosnia is not the easiest country to access. There's an extremely limited railway system and only two main airports. Unfortunately for travelers, there's a huge disconnect between the airports and the public transport system.

The best way to reach and explore Bosnia is by car. Even if there are not many highways due to the local terrain, the drive across the country is one of the most scenic you’ll ever take.

Another great and cheap option is to travel by well-connected buses or coaches. For reliable schedules and bookings, check out Croatia Bus.

Know Before You Go

Bosnia is not in the EU, so expect passport checks when entering or leaving the country.

While most of the younger generation speak English, you may find locals who don’t.

But don't worry: Bosnians are extremely friendly and proud of their country, and will do anything to make you feel at home – even tell you stories about a close past that is still very present.

Top Things to Do in Bosnia

Sarajevo

One of the most culturally rich cities in Europe, Sarajevo took part of many different backgrounds – including Yugoslavia, and both the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

Today, a walk through Baščaršija, or the city’s Old Town, is a unique experience for the senses: you won't find many places like this that offer the opportunity to see Muslims, Christians, and Orthodox Catholics walking peacefully side-by-side, to appreciate both Ottoman and Baroque architectures together nor hear a Church’s bells ringing right before a Mosque’s call-to-prayer starts across the street. It's a true exercise of altruistic respect.

Don’t miss:

  • The Latin Bridge, where the shot that started WWI was fired.
  • The Yellow Bastian, for amazing views.
  • The Sarajevo Tunnel.

Insider’s Tip: for the foodie in you, try Bosnian coffee and the amazing Tufahija. Go to Željo for simple, traditional food and the best Ćevapčići you will ever eat, and Mala Kuhinjia, an amazing concept-restaurant with no menu – the renowned chef will cook whatever you ask him, for reasonable prices.

Mostar

After suffering tremendously during the Bosnian Wars, Mostar managed to thrive and is now, once again, one of the most picturesque towns in the world.

With charming cobblestone streets, Ottoman architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed bridge, and a river that changes color depending on the weather, it feels like a window into a mighty forgotten past. 

Blagaj

Take a fifteen-minute drive from Mostar (or buses 10/11 from Španski Trg) to reach a fairytale-worthy Dervish Monastery, where nature and architecture come together for an almost transcendental experience. 

Insider’s tip: Only a 35-minute hike away lies the Blagaj Fort - an abandoned castle where only locals go for a quiet picnic. The views of Herzegovina are breathtaking.

Cost Guide to Bosnia

Bosnia is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, and its national currency is the ‘Convertible Mark’(BAM). Roughly at the time of writing, €1 = BAM2.

Public transportation, although not completely developed, is very cheap.

Expect to spend around BAM10 for a good meal, and in terms of accommodation, BAM10-20 for a shared room or BAM30-40 for a private one.

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1 Comment

  • Ailton Silva said

    Fantastic text, nice experience and good information get to know before to go to Bosnia And Herzegovina, for sure these information help a lot the travelers.

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