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Best Places to Visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Top Attractions
Travelling to Bosnia is a cinch and makes for an amazing road trip: think lush rolling hills, centuries old ruins, historic cities and towering waterfalls pooling into jade-green lakes. Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough to tempt you to explore Bosnia, you’ll be happy to know it’s also shockingly affordable by European standards. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most underrated countries in Europe. Despite all those rugged mountains, the snow-caked heights of the Dinaric Alps, the beautiful Una River and towns like Mostar and Stolac where Ottoman and Byzantine, Roman and Balkan, Slavic and oodles of other styles all coalesce between the ancient streets, Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a somewhat off-the-beaten-track corner of Europe. Hidden in the shadow of more popular neighbors, especially Croatia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina also has a lot to offer and is worth your time and effort to get there. While the majority of tourists go to Sarajevo and Mostar only you will find so many other interesting cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In my opinion, Bosnia and Herzegovina offers a really unique blend of Eastern and Western culture and architecture, all embedded into breathtaking landscapes. So even though you might not find the country on many travel lists, I recommend adding it to yours. Every time I visit a new location here, I am amazed anew by the sheer variety of cultures, sceneries, dishes, and hidden gems. In this travel guide, I'll show you some of the most beautiful places in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Just don't go hungry while traveling so much - make sure to also try all the delicious Bosnian dishes while visiting the country. Most people only give Bosnia and Herzegovina a day or two and combine it with a trip to Croatia or Montenegro. I suggest instead you take your time and enjoy the country as long as possible. It is noteworthy how the city has risen from being a centre of warfare to becoming Europe’s most likeable and best value capital today and it further continues to remodel itself as the symbolic city of cultures and modernity, a city of festivals and a city of hope and happiness. The arresting charm of Sarajevo is depicted with its abundance of busy cafés serving the Bosnian coffee in an old-school way and not to forget the abiding tradition of hospitality; however, the breathtaking backdrop of seemingly endless hills, towering mountains and its ancient Ottoman-era wonders are what seep into the soul.
Storied Sarajevo is your next Bosnia road trip stop, and its war-torn past makes it a fascinating place for history buffs. More than two decades after the brutal siege that broke up the former Yugoslavia, evidence of the battles remains, like bullet holes in buildings and a sea of white crosses marking gravesites.
Soaring 17 metres high, the torrent of water created from the convergence of two rivers pummels down into a turquoise pool with such force it could rival Niagara Falls. The phenomenon is best experienced by standing on the official viewing platform near the bottom, but beware–the spray will absolutely soak you, so be sure to keep those pricey cameras covered up! The Bosnia road trip continues in Jajce (pronounced yeit-za), and this picturesque, walled city is home to an unforgettable spectacle: the Pliva Waterfall, incredibly found right in the centre of town.
#3- Banja Luka
Banja Luka is the second largest city in Bosnia after Sarajevo, and the perfect place to settle in for a few nights as a base for day trips around Bosnia. Famous for its cafe culture, Banja Luka is the kind of place you’d be content to simply sit back, relax and watch the world go by. Of course, those keen to pound the pavement will still find themselves with plenty to do, including exploring the medieval Kastel Fortress which stands strong on the riverbank, heading inside the Orthodox cathedral to gaze at its massive, dazzling chandelier, and admiring the Ottoman architecture of the Ferhadija Mosque.
#4- Una National Park
The highlight of a visit to Una National Park is undoubtedly Štrbački buk, a stunning 25-metre high terraced waterfall surrounded by viewing platforms where crystal clear water cascades into the swirling pools below. This gem is so spectacular it manages to put Plitvice to shame, making it the crown jewel of the entire park.
Famous for its Dervish Monastery, a national monument to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Blagaj is definitely worth a visit. It's a popular destination, but understandably so: the sanctuary, built into the rocks directly at the spring of Buna river, is quite the sight. There are no practicing dervishes in Bosnia and Herzegovina anymore. Hence, the monastery now hosts a museum, showing curious visitors how the Sufi monks used to live.
#6- Blidinje Nature Park
This Nature Park boasts beautiful scenery that I haven't seen anywhere else in the world yet. Blidinje Nature Park is located at an elevation of 1,100 to 1,300 meters above sea level and features unique flora and fauna, which you can experience on various hiking trails. In addition, mountain biking around the area and the Blidinje Lake is another popular activity.
#7- Herzegovina Waterfalls
Even though the Kravice Falls are one of the main attractions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of its most popular natural features, they are definitely worth a visit. Be prepared to be not alone in nature, though, when you make your way down to the falls – swimming is allowed in the lake beneath them. Tourists and locals enjoy cooling down in the hot summer months. So I recommend you make your way there early in the day and leave when the tourist buses arrive.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been home to up to 1.000 wild horses. Released by their owners when machines took over agriculture, they adapted to the harsh weather conditions and now roam the vast plains wild and free. So when you visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, book a tour and spend a few hours in the wild with those gentle animals.
Life in Lukomir is slow; still, the same as it was 70 years ago – the inhabitants live off agriculture, sheep, and now, in modern times, rural tourism. In winter, they leave the village to live in nearby cities, as getting through the snow becomes impossible. Translated, the village's name means "harbour of peace" – which is indeed what the place is, a little pocket of peacefulness tucked away in the wilderness.
The town sits on a hill, offering beautiful views of the Adriatic and its coastline dotted with rocks and pine trees. Even though Neum is not the most beautiful of coastal towns on the Adriatic, the city can be an excellent base for exploring the surrounding Croatian towns in the summer months.
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