The changing face of tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

bosnia and herzegovina tourism
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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.

blagaj bosnia and herzegovina activities bosnia bosnia Bosnia Souvenirs

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.

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    April 27, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Banja Luka is a must!!! Very alive city, beautiful nature. I just love it!!!

    February 10, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    @xtine: as someone from bosnia I would recommend to go in August. the Country is so lively, in Sarajevo you have the film Festival and you can go to the lakes or the sea as well.
    If you prefer winter in december it´s great to visit Sarajevo and go skiing…but I actually prefer summer.

    Vaibhav Deshpande
    December 27, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Hey Brooke!

    Nice post! I would probably say Sarajevo, treninge as two main stays of tourism. I can think of a view of places like bijele vode for hunting and outdoors type things.. Demofest is worth mentioning, as well as some more obscure places. For example, I think Zelenkovac is a must-see..

    Me and my team did a monstrous post on Bosnia tourism.. lemme know.. if you want to me add something..

    November 3, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Hi may I know what month you visit Bosnia and Herzegovina? 🙂 thanks

    Armin Osmancevic
    March 28, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Dear Brooke, thank you for spreading the awareness about Bosnia and Herzegovina, the beautiful heart-shaped country that not so many knows about. Thanks to you, we got an idea of creating the first on-line portal offering a range of holiday packages to global travellers to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Please visit us at and tell us what you think!

    November 11, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Loved this post you made 🙂 ! We have family in all around Balkans- in Bosnia and Croatia and Montenegro especially- my family is mostly Bosnian though :). Such a beautiful place… For more travel posts from Balkan, visit our blog also 🙂

    – Lolim te blog

    November 3, 2014 at 6:40 am

    What a great post!

    If anyone would like to check out my “Road Trip Through Bosnia” series where I take you city to city, check out my website:

    Thank you so much, Brooke, for all your kind comments on Bosnia & Herzegovina!

    republic of srpska
    April 25, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Keep Trebinje in mind when you visit Dubrovnik and Republic of Srpska- B&H. Just 20 minutes after driving out of Dubrovnik airport, I crossed the border to Republika Srpska, and soon entered the city of Trebinje.
    What I discovered was a very pretty riverside town with mills, bridges, leafy squares, ancient city walls and an Ottoman old town. Trebinje is located at the southern extremity of Republic of Srpska. It is abut 10km from the Adriatic Sea. Trebinje is said to be a city of wine, sun and planetrees. The climate is Mediterranean. Trebinje is considered one of the most beautiful of B&H’s cities. It is the commercial and cultural centre of Herzegovina.
    Best regards

    April 25, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Hello there,

    I’ve read some of your posts and few of them were particulary caught by my eye and those are about Balkan. Especially about Bosnia. People here are just like that, doesn’t matter if you are tourist or stranger. Next time you visit Bosnia, I recomend the north part of Bosnia, city Banja Luka, with the canyon of Vrbas river that it’s like made for rafting, with a lot of sight seeings, middle age castle in the center of the city where it’s holding a lot of festivals, ride horse, even learn how to shoot from a pistol if you want to. 🙂 All in all there’s much to see and it’s pretty unknown. 🙂

    Take care and rock on! 🙂

    April 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Hi there,
    I have been looking through your Instagram and I have read the two articles about B&H.
    I was directed to come see your intsagram/blog by Sjana Earp, and I am glad she enlightened me!

    I travelled to B&H back in 2007 and felt the warm and sincerity that you have expressed in your blog. I get it. The room in Mostar my friends and I stayed at was small and run my a mother, her mother and son.
    They were absolutely beautiful and welcomed us with food and coffee. We were taken for an adventure to the Kravice waterfall, (forgive me I forget all the names) but the river you stayed on, we went to a lunch there and the remains too.
    I absolutely love, love Bosnia. And I intend to return one day soon.
    Oh we also stayed in Sarajevo. There was a 19yr old boy running a Hostel. He lost his parents in the war and wanted to have a hostel to welcome tourists and tell them his verison of the war etc.
    He had overbooked us the night we arrived and quickly made plans with his aunt & uncle.
    We were welcomed with coffee and given THEIR BEDS! They spoke little to no english but wanted us to be comfortable and only have the best. I couldn’t believe the generosity.
    I don’t understand why I am telling you all of this, I guess it is because I can tell you feel the same way I do for B&H. It is a rare little unseen gem in Europe. And I only wish the best for all of it’s people.

    Thank you for sharing!

    April 15, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    It looks so beautiful there! I wish your photos were a little larger though so I could enjoy them even more.