I recently wrote a surprisingly popular article stating the 10 reasons why you should travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to my week-long visit to the country, I had no idea I would fall in love with this beautiful country hidden in mountains, nor had I anticipated that so many people around the world would, too.
I think it’s safe to say there will be an influx of tourists visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina in the coming years, if the floods of comments on my instagram photos are anything to go by.
But most of us still know very little about this country in the Balkans, or at least the little amount we do know focuses solely on the country’s turbulent past, with ever-changing border lines and clashes of religion and culture. How ironic it is that a country so beautiful, calm, and peaceful is still portrayed in the mass media as one of riddled by turbulence and indifferences, when the peaceful existence of various religions and cultures share more in common than they do in differences. Furthermore, how ironic that the country that is said to be ‘stuck in the past’ is looking more to the future than ever, and while the only news you will find for Bosnia and Herzegovina portrays it in a constant stalemate when it turns out to be the country where I have felt most at peace in all of Europe.
To say that Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most underrated country of natural beauty I have ever encountered would not be an exaggeration. To say that I have never felt so warmly welcomed as I did when I entered the Bosnian home I was staying in for a week would be a severe understatement. It immediately felt like coming home, complete with a plate of local cuisine, freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, and two kisses on the cheek.
What happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990’s?
Prior to the events taking place in Bosnia in the 1990s, the former Yugoslavia was collectively a popular tourist destination (particularly in the 80’s). During the 1990s the region was riddled with political turbulence, culture and religion clashes, and an horrific war. It’s now almost 20 years later and the country is still sadly plagued by misperceptions of unrest and turbulence. This just isn’t the case anymore.
Is it Safe to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Short answer: yes. You’re just as safe here as you are in any European nation previously plagued by war – which is of course every country. Europe has always been characterised by wars throughout history, it’s just a shame that the perceptions of Bosnia and Herzegovina have taken so long to change. But it is happening, albeit slowly.
Now, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been restored to it’s former beauty – the nature alone in this country is enough to make you want to visit. While there are still remnants of the past (Bosnians are adamant to not forget the past in order to prevent unrest in the future), much of the country is now reflective of a modern society, with wi-fi available in public areas, English widely spoken, and reasonable healthcare/economic standards.
What’s so special about Bosnia and Herzegovina?
My top 10 reasons why you should visit Bosnia and Herzeogvina briefly outlines why this country is so special and unique. But I could summarise it even more briefly by giving you my personal assurance that this is one of the most beautiful and underrated countries in all of Europe, and I am comparing it to the following countries I have previously visited: England, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Hungary, The Netherlands, Denmark and Austria.
I can say with 100% certainty that Bosnia and Herzegovina was the biggest surprise for me – I didn’t expect much, but I left with a lot. I also left a chunk of my heart there. If there’s one country in Europe I suggest you try and visit sooner rather than later (tourism is sure to take off here in the coming years), it’s Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Be sure to visit Sarajevo, Mostar, and Blagaj. From here it is easy to access the nearby Croatian coast and Montenegro.