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What to do in Bosnia in 5 days

What to do in Bosnia in 5 days

What to do in Bosnia in 5 days

What struck me probably the most about Bosnia, a rustic that’s typically ignored and underestimated, was how inexperienced it was in each nook. If it had not been for all of the pandemic restrictions in Europe, I most likely wouldn’t have made it to Bosnia both however its proximity to Montenegro (my essential vacation spot for summer season 2021), eased Covid restrictions and visa free entry for US visa holders is what made me take into account including this offbeat vacation spot to my itinerary.

How a lot time is sufficient to discover Bosnia? That is a troublesome query for any nation, however I might advocate as much as per week if you happen to’re actually trying to cowl some floor; go to the favored spots in addition to some offbeat ones. I explored Bosnia in 5 days however I might have spend a couple of extra. I’ve added to the itinerary some locations really useful by the locals which I could not go to throughout my journey however if in case you have some extra time, be at liberty to incorporate them in your plan!


Lease a automobile in Bosnia – one of the best ways to discover

To start with, I extremely advocate driving in Bosnia because it’s the perfect and solely method to cowl good floor and never keep restricted to the large cities. Though Sarajevo & Mostar are undoubtedly locations I like to recommend you embrace in your itinerary if you happen to plan to cowl Bosnia in 5 days, I beloved the craggy & rural hinterland much more. However that’s me – I’m a nature lover. Whereas the Bosnian cities are an important place to study their latest, albeit violent, historical past, in addition to immerse your self in a novel East-meets-West tradition, the interiors are replete with beautiful waterfalls, raftable rivers & surprisingly good infrastructure for a rustic that was engulfed in a civil conflict lower than 3 many years in the past.

It is solely after I began exploring Bosnia that I noticed, I might have spent much more time than simply 5 days. The driving time is longer than what you count on as a result of you could likelihood upon surprising visitors jams, roads underneath building, or easy winding & slender roads that aren’t the simplest to hurry on. It’s not troublesome to discover Bosnia in 5 days however if in case you have extra time, there’s loads you are able to do.

Click on right here to lease a automobile in Bosnia.


Bosnia has its personal native foreign money, however Euro is broadly accepted

Bosnia is reasonable as in comparison with most European (and Balkan) international locations. Their native foreign money is the Bosnian Mark, and 1 Euro interprets into 2 KM (image for the Bosnian Mark). Most inns, eating places, and vacationer sights settle for Euro for cost, however the smaller outlets might not, so it’s at all times smart to hold some quantity of the native foreign money. Changing Euro to KM just isn’t troublesome within the bigger cities; simply stroll right into a foreign money conversion store.


Bosnia in 5 days

Day 1: Sarajevo

In case you’re flying into Bosnia, you’re more likely to arrive in Sarajevo. You don’t want a automobile to discover town of Sarajevo. I used to be personally shocked to see how apparently town blended myriad cultures – from the Ottoman-style Mosque within the metropolis centre, to the Neo-Gothic cathedral and the Outdated Jewish Temple, all positioned inside a stroll from one another. Whereas strolling on one road, you’ll come throughout a number of Turkish-style cafes serving genuine Bosnian espresso, souks promoting lanterns, espresso & tea pots, souvenirs, and jewelry, making you’re feeling such as you’re within the Center East slightly than in Europe. But, the parallel road will transport you right into a extra trendy model of town with its modern structure, balconied properties & branded excessive road outlets.

Sarajevo has a number of reminders of its violent previous – whereas strolling across the metropolis, you’ll come throughout blood-like stains on the pavements. These are referred to as Sarajevo Roses, specified by the reminiscence of those that misplaced their lives through the siege of Sarajevo, when town’s streets have been bombarded and destroyed of a whole lot of shells.

Baščaršija: The historic centre is the perfect place to start out exploring. Baščaršija is the traditional souk-style cobbled stone road the place one can find the hand-made jewelry, conventional handicrafts, copper plated espresso & tea pots made by the native artisans. A free-walking tour of town is offered and begins at 10 am and is normally a great way to be launched to a spot by way of the tales of the locals.

Sebilj Fountain: Positioned proper subsequent to Baščaršija is that this landmark Ottoman-style fountain. You’ll typically discover individuals feeding pigeons right here, which has led to this place being known as Pigeon Sq..

The Latin Bridge: This bridge is legendary not for its structure however for its significance on this planet historical past. In 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the following in line to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his spouse have been assassinated as they handed by the Latin Bridge, triggering a series of occasions which result in World Struggle I. A plaque positioned on the bridge commemorates their assassination & leaves a reminder to its guests of the tragic occasions that befell right here.

The Latin Bridge

Vijećnica, Sarajevo Metropolis Corridor: Though there’s a museum and exhibition inside town corridor, it’s the structure of the constructing that’s distinctive due to the way it contrasts with anything you will note in Sarajevo. Positioned proper subsequent to the river & not too removed from the Latin Bridge, it’s simply explored whereas strolling within the metropolis.

Gondola to Mount Trebević: Even the cable automobile has a tragic historical past. Destroyed through the conflict in Nineteen Nineties, the operation restarted after 26 years, in 2018, making it a lot simpler for individuals to go as much as the mountain slightly than climbing the steep slopes. The entry to the pine forests up the mountain now take as much less as 10 minutes from the city metropolis centre, making this a well-liked spot to take pleasure in sundown views of town from a vantage level.

1984 Winter Olympics deserted bobsleigh monitor: Constructed only some years earlier than the conflict, through the 1984 Winter Olympics, this bob sleigh monitor is now deserted and lined with graffiti. Actually, this place was taken over by the Serbs through the conflict and used as a base to bombard town beneath. You possibly can both hike to this place from the Outdated City or if you happen to’re already taking the gondola to Mount Trebevic, you possibly can go up and stroll down from there, a a lot simpler path for many who don’t take pleasure in uphill hikes. You’ll additionally see a number of different ruined buildings from the Olympics, a impolite reminder of the brutalities of the conflict.

Vijećnica, Sarajevo Metropolis Corridor

Bonus: Dinner at Park Prinčeva: Whereas we have been within the Outdated City, we noticed this restaurant on the hill which appeared good, so we determined to stroll as much as it. Attending to this place by foot means you may be climbing up some steep slopes so be certain that to put on comfy footwear. The views from the terrace of the restaurant is nicely definitely worth the journey.

Elective inclusions:

Whereas it could be an excessive amount of for 1 day, if you happen to occur to have extra time in Sarajevo, these are some locations the locals really useful visiting:

  • Sarajevo Struggle Tunnel
  • Sarajevo cemetery
  • Žuta Tabija, The Yellow Fortress

Really helpful funds metropolis centre resort keep in Sarajevo: Pansion River


Day 2: Jajce

In case you’re protecting Bosnia in 5 days, Jajce’s lake and waterfall deserve no less than a day in your itinerary. A 3-hour drive from Sarajevo, Jajce is house to one of the crucial iconic waterfalls and prettiest lakes within the nation.

Pliva Waterfall

Positioned proper within the metropolis heart, this waterfall just isn’t troublesome to get to in any respect, doesn’t require a troublesome hike and thus, can get actually crowded through the summer season months. Set towards the backdrop of the Outdated City and the Jajce Fortress, a platform lets you get shut and drenched within the mist of the cascading waterfall.

Whereas the platform gives attractive views and lets you get very shut, the perfect photographs might be captured from throughout the valley. Cross the inexperienced chain bridge and take to the steep path head on left, which matches in the direction of a little bit hut/ gazebo. Alternatively, you possibly can zipline above the waterfall, which can mechanically take you to the opposite facet of the valley earlier than it brings you again, hurtling by way of the mist and crossing over this 17m piece of surprise.

Jajce Fortress and Outdated City

A 15th century royal citadel stands tall above the Outdated City, and you’ll see the partitions run proper by way of town heart. Whereas visiting the fortress will take you to some glorious viewpoints of the mountains and Jajce metropolis, you’ll be able to select to skip it altogether and benefit from the vibe within the cobbled stone streets of the outdated city as an alternative. In case you do select to go to the fortress, don’t miss out on the Jajce Catacombs proper behind.

Pliva Lake & Watermills

Though the waterfall was fairly beautiful, I most well-liked the realm round Pliva Lake, which is about 15 min drive from the outdated city. You possibly can take pleasure in a pleasant stroll across the lake, discover a restaurant/ bar subsequent to it, stroll on the picket platform throughout the blue waters, or just discover a spot to chill off and swim within the azure waters. You possibly can even lease a ship/ kayak or a stand-up paddle board to immerse your self in the great thing about the environment – the inexperienced mountains, the calm and scenic waters, and the chilled-out vibe.

Pliva Watermills are a set of outdated hydro-power mills used to grind flour and make for a picturesque & instagrammable backdrop. You possibly can seize a chew on the café subsequent to the watermills or take pleasure in a little bit picnic; one can find barbecue areas and grassy greens proper subsequent to it.

Pliva Lake

Jajce Watermills

Really helpful funds resort on the shores of Pliva Lake: Motel Plaza

Elective inclusion:

Whereas in your method from Sarajevo to Jajce, if in case you have time, you could select to take a brief detour in the direction of a mysterious & offbeat place in Bosnia referred to as Bosnian Pyramid of the Solar. Positioned at about 45 min from Sarajevo, this place just isn’t a touristy one however locals love to speak about it because it was their declare to fame when an beginner archeologist deemed it to be one of many oldest pyramids on this planet, pre-dating even those in Egypt. The pyramids are allegedly made by a extremely superior civilization some 12,000 years in the past and whereas there isn’t a proof to those outrageous claims, the place has managed to garner a justifiable share of curiosity from the individuals searching for off-beat & fascinating locations to go to within the neighborhood of the capital of Bosnia.


Day 3: Una Nationwide Park & Bihac

Una Nationwide Park is about 2 hours from Jajce and a haven for nature lovers & journey seekers. Replete with extraordinary natural world, Una is house to my favorite waterfall in Bosnia – Štrbački Buk.

A word of warning: In case you comply with the GPS to this waterfall, it’s more likely to take you to the Croatian facet which entails border crossing and inadvertently will increase your journey time. We misplaced about 1.5 hours on this train solely to be redirected by the locals to a more moderen street that was constructed to succeed in this waterfall with out having to cross to the border to Croatia. Merely comply with the street indicators as an alternative of the GPS to get to the 2 iconic waterfalls in Una Nationwide Park – Štrbački Buk & Milančev Buk.

One might spend a complete day (or perhaps a few days) on this nature reserve. Since we solely had a day, we picked our prime favourites and made probably the most of our go to.

Una Nationwide Park

Štrbački Buk Waterfall

#1 Štrbački Buk Waterfall

This was, by far, my favorite waterfall in Bosnia. A platform lets you stroll to totally different viewpoints alongside the river and additionally, you will discover some mountaineering paths for the extra adventurous individuals that can take you thru the forested areas across the river. You possibly can go all the way in which right down to take a dip within the river itself or watch the adventurous individuals rafting on the rapids. Some might even argue that this waterfall takes the prize for being much more awe-inspiring and beautiful than Plitvice Lakes in Croatia (their neighbour), though the jury remains to be out on that one!

#2 Milančev Buk Waterfall

Positioned in Martin Brod, a inexperienced village in a rural setting, this waterfall is surrounded by a number of swimming pools and smaller travertine waterfalls all alongside the way in which. It’s location in a dense forest is what provides to its rugged, untouched magnificence.

#3 White water rafting

In the course of the summer season months, the river is thought to be loads calmer than the spring and it’s the proper time to raft for many who are both first timers or want to have a relaxed, not-too-adventurous expertise. One might raft close to Bosanska Krupa on the decrease a part of the river, the place its stunning and quiet with small rapids. For a extra adrenaline-pumping expertise, the upper a part of the river, close to the Štrbački Buk Waterfall, is a greater concept.

#4 Ostrovica Citadel

The stays of this medieval citadel stand on prime of the Ostrovica Hill and requires a brief detour from the trail to the waterfalls. Greater than the historical past or the structure of the citadel itself, most individuals go to it for the views of the city of Kulen Vakuf beneath.

#5 Japod Islands, Račić

Positioned simply exterior Una Nationwide Park, these peaceable and serene islands are small and promise a ‘stress free’ zone for vacationers. Strolling trails, picket bridges, and eating places overlooking the river type a relaxed, chilled out place for a meal or just, some quiet time amidst nature.

There’s a novel place to remain right here: Japodski Otoci. Whereas we selected to spend the evening within the city of Bihac, if we had an additional evening to spare, we’d have chosen this beautiful place proper within the coronary heart of nature. Waterside bungalows, breakfast on a terrace overlooking the river, and lovely inexperienced gardens are sure to make nature lovers fall in love with this place.

Bihac

It’s unlikely that you’ll have a lot time in Bihac, do you have to plan to remain over on this city as an alternative of Una Nationwide Park itself. Nonetheless, I discovered town fairly laid again, distinctive & intriguing. Mendacity on the banks of the river Una, that flows by way of town, one can find lots of eating places and terraces overlooking the attractive river and the nightlife right here is surprisingly good. Strolling by way of town will deliver you to damaged down mosques, church buildings, and museums but additionally streets lined with cafes & ice cream outlets.

Suggestions:

  • Get pleasure from a drink at Gig Bar, positioned within the far nook of the river and a little bit away from the loud, crowded bars of Bihac
  • Attempt the gelato at Caffe RB, arguably the perfect ice cream in Bosnia
  • Beer lovers: strive the domestically brewed Preminger Beer at Restoran River Una, with a terrace providing excellent views
  • For a nice eating expertise with a view, dine on the terrace restaurant of Lodge Opal Unique

Bihac is culturally fairly totally different from the opposite cities we had been in, in Bosnia, and because of the Islamic affect, we discovered many eating places that didn’t serve alcohol and supplied halal meals. If having fun with a glass of wine alongside together with your lunch is one thing you love to do, then be cautious of the place you decide to dine at.

Really helpful funds resort on the shores of Una River: Vacation in Bihac


Day 4: Mostar & Blagaj

Right now goes to be a protracted day due to the driving distance and time from Bihac to Mostar. In case you’re protecting Bosnia in 5 days, Mostar is one metropolis you shouldn’t miss. Not too removed from Sarajevo, those that want to not go offbeat would possibly stick round shut to those cities solely, with loads to do and see within the space. Whereas Jajce & Bihac are for the character and countryside lovers, Mostar affords its guests an incredible vibe, nightlife, an outdated city with cobbled stone streets, an iconic panorama dominated by a reconstructed medieval arch bridge over the Neretva River, and a grief-stricken native inhabitants that talks about how the conflict practically destroyed their beloved house lower than a couple of many years in the past.

You can begin your day with a meal at Restoran Sunce, positioned on the shores of River Una, solely 15 min exterior Bihac. From right here, the drive to Mostar will take about 4 or 4.5 hours. Lots of the street is slender and winding, and also you’ll discover patches on the way in which which are underneath building, so be ready to be slowed down much more.

Mostar

You’re more likely to arrive in Mostar late afternoon or night. Spend 2-3 hours exploring the cobbled stone vibrant alleys of the Outdated City, lined with outlets and cafes, amidst Turkish homes. Stroll throughout the well-known bridge or dine at one of many eating places overlooking the enduring surroundings (one can find a number of), purchase some souvenirs on the vibrant souks, take a ship journey on the river, or stand proper underneath the bridge to look at a daring individual make the leap from the 20-meter-high bridge into the freezing waters beneath. Be aware that these males are skilled {and professional} divers, and irrespective of how courageous you might be, you can not dive from the bridge as a result of it’s harmful and might be probably deadly. For a hen’s eye view of town, climb up the staircase to the minaret of Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque.

Blagaj

Solely about 20 minutes away from Mostar is certainly one of Bosnia’s most holy and historic websites – Blagaj. Often known as Dervish Monastery, the structure of the tekija set towards the beautiful backdrop of the limestone cliffs, over the inexperienced Buna River, is what makes it price a go to. You’ll be able to enter the monastery itself (you may be requested to wrap your knees, shoulders & head in a stole/ scarf offered on the entrance) and be taught extra in regards to the life-style of the dervishes. In case you’re searching for Instagrammable spots, cross the bridge over the river, in the direction of Vrelo Restaurant, and comply with the footpath behind to the perfect views. For a small payment, you’ll be able to even take a ship into the cave.

Really helpful funds visitor home in Stari Most (Outdated City): Pansion Bubamara Mostar


Day 5: Počitelj & Kravice Waterfall

Positioned about 30 min from Mostar is that this historic fortified city referred to as Pocitelj. Its half medieval and half Ottoman structure is a reminder of its strategic significance by way of the centuries as an administrative heart & a navy headquarter.

Within the 19th century, the city misplaced its strategic significance and commenced to deteriorate quickly. Until date, it’s maintained in its unique type. In the course of the conflict, a number of of its buildings suffered from intensive injury and in 1996, Počitelj was named as one of many world’s most endangered cultural heritage websites.

After we visited, the city was surprisingly quiet & abandoned. It’s potential that the summer season warmth was a deterrent for individuals to go to this open medieval museum. A handful of hawkers promoting contemporary fruit juice have been the one individuals we might see. Strolling across the fortified city on a peaceable day like this was really a pleasure.

Pocitelj historic city web site

Kravica Waterfall

One of many few waterfalls that permit individuals to swim, Kravica jogged my memory of Krka Nationwide Park in Croatia. Solely 30 min forward of Pocitelj, that is the proper place to chill off on a sizzling day. Swimming within the paradisical nature swimming pools beneath the waterfalls, or easy standing proper underneath the dramatic movement of the water itself is actually mesmerising. A few eating places and cafes positioned subsequent to the swimming pools are an important place to easy sit and benefit from the views, for many who aren’t a fan of leaping into the freezing however spectacular inexperienced waters of the swimming pools.

There may be an entry payment to the waterfalls & its swimming pools (and it’s a staggering 20 Euros per individual, excessive as in comparison with most different vacationer locations in Bosnia), however it gives you entry to one of the crucial unbelievable locations within the nation. I might preserve apart 3-4 hours simply to take pleasure in this excellent expertise. You’ll discover altering rooms on web site, in addition to kayaks for rental.

Elective locations to go to round Mostar, if time permits:

In case you’re protecting Bosnia in 5 days, you are in contrast to to have the ability to go to the whole lot however if in case you have extra time, listed here are a couple of solutions of locations you possibly can embrace in your itinerary:

  • Jablanica or Jablaničko lake: Positioned hardly an hour away from Mostar, in the direction of Sarajevo, is that this synthetic but unbelievable lake on the Neretva river, the place one can swim, boat or fish
  • Trebinje: A reasonably little walled village positioned on The Trebišnjica River, which is a scenic, laidback place to loosen up & stroll round
  • Carska Vina Grgo Vasilj: The realm round Mostar is common as a wine area, with many native vineyards and wineries. One of many wineries extremely really useful by the locals, the family-owned Carska Vina Grgo Vasilj is a superb place to purchase some beautiful Bosnian wines
  • Neum: The one coastal city in Bosnia, Neum rudely breaks by way of Croatian borders, diving the nation into two. For native Bosnians, this tiny resort city is a well-liked seashore getaway

Visiting the Balkans? Take into account together with Serbia, Slovenia & Romania in your itinerary.

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