Did you know?
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is made up of two entities… the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic Srpska! There is also an international supervised district, the Brcko District.
- Much of Bosnia & Herzegovina is mountainous with areas of karst (limestone).
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is nicknamed ‘the heart shaped land’ due to its shape.
- The name Bosnia comes from an Indo-European word ‘bosana’ which means water.
- An unusual religious monument seen throughout the countryside is the stecak, a medieval tombstone.
- The highest peak is Maglic Mountain at 2,386 metres above sea level. Maglic Mountain is located in the oldest national park in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park.
- It has a currency that can’t be exchanged anywhere else in the world! You can only exchange your currency on arrival and either change it back on departure or keep it as a souvenir.
- The name of the city of Tuzla is derived from the word ’tuz’, the Turkish for salt. Tuzla's salt comes from its salt water springs.
- Jews were given refuge in Bosnia & Herzegovina by the Ottomans when they were expelled from Spain and Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century.
Visas & Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Bosnia & Herzegovina do not need a visa at this time.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
Australian Embassy in Bosnia & Herzegovina:
The Australian Embassy in Bosnia & Herzegovina is temporarily closed. For consular assistance please contact the Australian Embassy in Austria.
Ph. +43 1 506 740
Fax. +43 1 506 74185
The official currency of Bosnia & Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark. Notes come in denominations of km200, 100, 50, 20 and 10.
The recommended currency to take to Bosnia & Herzegovina is the Euro. Once there, you can exchange your Euro for the Convertible Mark. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Euro’s with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Savajevo is approximately €2.50.
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately €8.
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately €20.
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately €4.50 - €5.
The cuisine of Bosnia & Herzegovina has been influenced by its Balkan neighbours. Traditional food includes bread, soups, stews, kebabs, cevapcici (minced meat sausages), stuffed leaves (dolma and sarma) and stuffed peppers. Pie is also a favourite dish and is generally filled with meat, or cheese and spinach. Side dishes, such as sour cabbage, tomato and onion salad and yoghurt, are often served. Desserts are usually fruit, pancakes, cakes and pastries.
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
Bosnia & Herzegovina has a climate that is as variable as the rest of the former Yugoslav federation, with moderate continental conditions generally the norm (very cold winters and hot summers).
Want to get out and explore on your own?
Walking is one of the best ways to explore Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Bosnia & Herzegovina…
Traditional purchases include woodcarvings, brass coffee-pots, ceramics, handmade carpets, woolen goods, wines, folk-art, tapestries, embroidery and leather boxes.
Smoking is acceptable almost everywhere.
If entering a church or mosque both sexes should cover shoulders and legs. In a mosque, women will most likely be asked to cover their hair with a scarf (usually provided).
Generally speaking, Bosnians are willing enough to talk about the recent war and what has changed since then, however, we recommend listening without giving your political opinion.
Celebrations & Public Holidays
Bosnia and Herzegovina has many events and festivals happening in regions all over the country throughout the year, including the Folklore Festival, the Sarajevo Film Festival and Summer on the Vrbas and Bascarsija Nights Festival all taking place during the warmer months of July and August. It’s a great time to be out and about!
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- New Year’s Day
- Bosnian Independence Day (March 1st)
- Easter Friday and Easter Monday
- Labour Day (May 1st)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Sarajevo is the capital city and largest urban centre of Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is located in the Sarajevo valley, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and on the Miljacka River. The city is famous for its religious diversity, with followers of Islam, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Judaism peacefully coexisting for centuries. Although settlement in the area dates back to prehistoric times, the modern city arose as an Ottoman stronghold in the 15th century. Sarajevo has attracted international attention several times throughout its history. In 1914 it was the site of the assassination that sparked World War I, while seventy years later it became the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics. More recently, Sarajevo underwent the longest siege in modern military history during the Bosnian war. Today the city is adjusting to a post-war reality, as a major centre of culture and economic development.
Mostar is the second largest city in Bosnia & Herzegovina and one of the main reasons to visit is to see the famed Stari Most (old bridge) - the icon of the city and one of most photographed bridges in Europe. Built by the Ottomans in the 1550s, the bridge was the longest single arch constructed bridge in the world for centuries. Measuring 29 metres long and 21 metres high, it’s an impressive sight to be seen. The original bridge stood for over 400 years, before it was destroyed in the 1990s during the conflicts in the region. It was rebuilt by the European Union using most of the original stones, to its original specifications and style. It has become a rite of passage for young men from Mostar to jump from the bridge into the fast flowing and icy waters below.