Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Guide

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bosnia-and-herzegovina-bosnia-sarajevo-miljackaBosnia and Herzegovina is a relatively under-rated travelling destination in Europe, as it just emerged from the tragic war in Yugoslavia in the nineties, a war which left the country scarred but recovering slowly, especially in the past five years.

To describe it in a few words,  Bosnia and Herzegovina is a compelling and multi faceted place to spend a couple of weeks of your life, being blessed with a beautiful mountainous landscape which can be admired best visiting the country’s lush national parks.

Even if  Bosnia and Herzegovina still suffers from the war, especially its fractured infrastructure which is currently rebuilt, you’ll definitely enjoy the country’s natural beauties and its urban centers, especially the capital Sarajevo (you know, where Archduke Ferdinand was shot, starting World War 1) which makes for a unique place in Europe and a pleasure for the intrepid traveler, boasting a vivid nightlife and a rich history and architecture.

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To begin with,  Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small country in East Europe with a population just shy of four million and a land surface of 51,129 square kilometers. As I already told you, the main city and also the capital is Sarajevo, a cosmopolitan place if there ever was one. Sarajevo’s old town is basically an “east meets west” kind of job, if I may use that expression. The idea is that the old town is composed, historically and architecturally, from two main parts: one of them bears the legacy of the old Ottoman Empire, filled with historic mosques, craft workshops and little cafes on its cobbled streets, while the other half wears the signature of the Austria-Hungarian empire from the 19th century. Indeed, in Sarajevo East meets west and that itself is a good reason to pay a visit this summer to  Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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However, there’s much more than the “east meets west” thing if you’re brave enough to book a flight to Sarajevo. If you’re a history and/or an art buff, Sarajevo harbors some of the most interesting museums in Europe. The rest of the country is mostly undeveloped to tell you the truth, but there are lots of epic mosques and old fortresses scattered around the territory, so you’ll definitely have a good time, all things considered. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, life is very cheap in  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 3-4 times cheaper than in Western European countries, especially food and rent, so here you’re gonna have the surprise of your life, in a pleasant way.

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Talking about Sarajevo, even if it was heavily scarred by the war, it makes for a truly vivacious place to live in, with an awesome cafe culture and a vivid night life. The Ottoman quarter makes for a truly unique experience, being as pretty as it gets sort to speak, boasting its timeworn monuments and splendid mosques. If you’re into shopping, you’ll have the bargain of your life walking the Ottoman quarter along its old bazaars and lanes, where you can buy basically anything for dirt cheap prices.

You can also visit the exact spot in Sarajevo where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated , which is the event that started World War 1, one of the bloodiest in the history of mankind. Also, you can cross the Mostar Bridge, which links the 2 sides of Sarajevo as it crosses Neretva River. The original Mostar Bridge was built by the Ottomans almost five hundred years ago, but it was destroyed during the 1990s war. However, since then it has been reconstructed using the original specs provided by the Turks themselves.

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The scenery in  Bosnia and Herzegovina is absolutely delightful, hence you can always go hike the country’s beautiful and undulating landscape, which offers myriads of hill walking opportunities, especially the areas in Bjelasnica Mountain. Here you can hike, go trekking, engage in rafting and also enjoy the local village tourism, which is cheap and authentic.

Bosnia has only one beach at the Adriatic Sea and to visit it, you must head to Neum. Here you will be amazed by its golden, beautiful sands and the Adriatic’s emerald waters.

Sutjeska National Park  is an impeccable nature reserve and it makes for one of the last primeval forests in the continent, being also the country’s highest point (2368 meters).

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The food in Bosnia and Herzegovina is excellent and cheap, being a melange between the various cultures which inhabit the Balkans, with the Turkish cuisine having the biggest impact apparently. There are also stews and soups on the menus, courtesy of the Austrian regime, while the Herzegovina region is well known for its great wines.

To visit the country, you’ll require a passport and a visa, but don’t worry, just check with your local embassy.

 

 

 

 

 

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