BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA
Fun Facts From Globus Tours
- Stećak, a medieval tombstone is a religious monument that can be seen throughout the countryside of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia in the year 1995. In accordance with the Dayton Agreement the country is divided between a Federation (mostly Bosniak and Croat) and the Republika Srpska (mostly Serb and Bosniak).
- Bosnia is believed to have been inhabited at least since the Neolithic age.
- Coffee drinking is a daily social activity for many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Although it was recently a war-torn country, Bosnia-Herzegovina has made a miraculous comeback. It is where east meets west and cultures collide. Bosnia houses a veritable treasure trove of stories, relics, and historical perplexity. And now, in a time of healthy recovery, it is a country that receives visitors with enthusiasm – welcoming, engaging, and generous people merge with decadent scenery and they share a past of surpassing struggle, hope, and resilience. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is arguably one of the most fascinating cities to visit in Eastern Europe. The Turkish-style cobblestone streets with minaret-domed buildings compete with terracotta rooftops and belled cathedral towers. The city buzzes with an undeniable sense of freedom where conversations between locals in cafés and restaurants are punctuated by a certain gaiety – the kind of joy that comes from knowing that hardship accentuates beauty. It is a peaceful place with great shopping centers, astounding historical sites, and an eclectic mix of activity. Despite its charming aura, Sarajevo still contains eerie reminders of the Bosnian War of the 1990’s. Mingling with the smart design of the rejuvenated city, you can still see the Communist influence and bullet-punctured façades –signs of a desperate conflict. One of the must-see historical sites to visit while in this great city is the Sarajevo Tunnel – a hand-dug tunnel system which extends for miles under the Sarajevo airport. During the siege of Sarajevo this was the only way in or out of the city, and people took huge risks to bring in arms and food, or evacuate the wounded. It is absolutely inspiring to explore the hardship of the Bosnian people and admire their ingenuity in the face of adversity.
Perhaps one of the most striking symbols of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the Ottoman bridge in Mostar (a replica of the original one destroyed in the war). Now a symbol of hope for a city once divided by conflict, the bridge sits amidst breathtaking scenery with its quaint town and surrounding mountains. Occasionally, exceedingly brave locals and even some professionals will actually jump an impressive 21 meters from the apex of the bridge into the river below. The graceful arch of this bridge alone and its compelling allure are reason enough to make a stop in Mostar.
It is impossible to visit Bosnia and be unaffected by its renewed sense of freedom, love, and pride. Unmatched culture, historical memorials of both recent and ancient years, rich and diverse cuisine, emerald nature – national parks, mountains, rivers, lakes and thermal waters – and locals who appreciate the simple joys of life make Bosnia-Herzegovina one of the most inspiring countries to visit and experience in the whole of the Balkans.
VISAS, PASSPORTS, AND OTHER ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Visas to Bosnia and Herzegovina are not required for US citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, please check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a passport. Please carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room.
It is advisable to carry your passport with you at all times.
The country code for Bosnia and Herzegovina is 387. When calling to Bosnia and Herzegovina from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the US/Canada), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are 8 digits in length. Dialing from the US/Canada: 011 387+##+######.
The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark (KM or BAM).
Bank hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
BOSNIAN CONVERTIBLE MARK (KM) = 100 Fenings
- Bank note denominations: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 KM
- Coin denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50 Fenings, 1, 2, 5 KM
For the most current exchange rates, please go to our website at Globusjourneys.com/Currency. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cash is the preferred form of payment, especially in small villages.
BUDGETING AND SHOPPING
The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.
- The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is 3 KM.
- An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately 10-20 KM.
- Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately 20-30 KM.
Shopping specialties: fine needlework, embellished metal-ware.
Tipping in Bosnia and Herzegovina is common practice and often the bill for service is rounded up as a way to collect a tip. If a bill is not rounded up, it is common to leave a 10-15% tip for good service.
- Bartenders and waitstaff Save do not include a tip on the bill and 10-15% is graciously accepted.
- Round up taxi fares by a few KM.
- Hotels may round up the bill a little as a means to collect tips for the cleaning staff.
ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS
Voltage for outlets is 220V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Therefore, you will need a converter for your travels. Adapters will be necessary to adapt your plug into the outlet, but these may not convert the voltage, so both devices are necessary. Bosnia and Herzegovina uses a round, 2-prong plug that looks like:
The climate in Bosnia and Herzegovina is generally mild but known to be bitterly cold in winter. Although it is close to the Mediterranean Sea, the Dinaric Alps control the climate in the area. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation.
Beef and lamb dishes, Ćevapi (Balkan kebab), Pita with curd cheese or ground beef, soups, Bosanski Lonac (a traditional beef and vegetable stew), Sarma (cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice), desserts such as Baklava, Tulumba, Hurmašica, and Kadaif; Turkish-style coffee, and Rakija.
CUSTOMS and CULTURE
Be aware of cultural and behavioral differences in Eastern Europe; you may not be greeted as cheerfully as back home; smiling is generally reserved for intimate friends! So be especially wary of people presenting themselves as “instant friends” and never accept any offer of food or drink from strangers. It is not advisable to visit restaurants/bars promoted by taxi drivers or people on the street.
Travelers should not photograph or film anything perceived to be of a sensitive nature, such as government buildings, diplomatic missions, border formalities, or military interests.
Visitors are advised to dress and behave conservatively, consistent with local custom and sensitivities.
FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
Good morning/day: Dobro jutro/dobar dan, Hello (informal): Zdravo/Merhaba, Good evening: Dobro večher, Please: Molim, Thank you (very much): Hvala (lijepo), You’re welcome: Nema na čemu, Yes: Da, No: Ne, Do you speak English?: Da li govorite engleski?, I don’t understand: Ne razumijem, Please write it down: Molim vas, napišite, How much?: Koliko košta?, 1: Jedan, 2: Dva, 3: Tri, 4: Četiri, 5: Pet, 6: Šest, 7: Sedam, 8: Osam, 9: Devet, 10: Deset, Where is…?: Gdje je…?, Telephone: Telefon, Bathroom: WC, Tea: Čaj, Coffee: Kava, Mineral water: Mineralna voda, Cheers!: Živjeli/Na zdravlje!, Goodbye: Doviđenja.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE COUNTRY INFORMATION
Additional country-specific information for US citizens can be found on the US Government’s website www.travel.state.gov. Here, you can find the most up-to-date information about destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.