Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Heart of the Balkans

One would be hard-pressed to find a better European candidate for the concept of “where the East meets the West” than Bosnia and Herzegovina. To say that the the country’s history is complex would be an understatement. However, it is this complexity that gives the triangular-shaped land, in the heart of the Western Balkans, its beauty and the richness that makes it the burgeoning tourism magnet it has become.

The timeline of the former Yugoslav republic, which declared independence in 1992, includes the presence of, if not occupation by, the Romans, Byzantine Empire, the Ottomans, and the Austro-Hungarians. As the crossroads between empires, the reminders of each culture—through architecture, food, customs, sites of memory, and, in some cases, all of the above—are clearly present across the country, which borders Croatia to the west and north, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro in the south.

Like its culture and religions—Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Catholics are the largest three faiths—Bosnia and Herzegovina has a varied landscape. A mountainous country, the Dinaric Alps runs through its center and lakes and rivers can be found across its undulating landscape. As well, there is a 20-kilometre stretch of coastline in its southern half, known as Herzegovina.

How to get there?

Visitors can reach Bosnia and Herzegovina by car, plane—with international airports in Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla, and Banja Luka—bus, and train. Active travelers can also pedal through the country by bicycle, which crosses the border through the EuroVelo 8 route, or trek on the Via Dinarica hiking trail, which traverses the entire Western Balkans region.

  • Time Zone
    GMT+1
  • Population
    3.86 million
  • Capital
    Sarajevo
  • Official languages
    Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian
  • Currency
    Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark, or BAM (1 EUR = 1.955 BAM)

EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina for stays of 90 days or shorter.

Cultural Routes in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Part of two EU macro-regional strategies—the Adriatic-Ionian and the Danube—there is one Cultural Route that passes through the country: the European Cemeteries Route.

European Cemeteries Route

Among this route’s priorities is to “promote the significant funerary heritage for its artistic and historic value; bring public and private awareness to an irreplaceable and highly important heritage for the European cultural movement; and drive cultural tourism offering new spaces.” In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the site along this route is in the capital city of Sarajevo: the Bare Cemetery.

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