Do’s and Don’ts When Traveling for the First Time to Bosnia and Herzegovina


Do go to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. It is a wonderful and multicultural city, with many mosques and a few Catholic and Orthodox churches. When you’re there, make sure to visit the place where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, it was an important historical event.

Do try the local food. In Sarajevo you have to try ćevapi and burek, two specialties of the local kitchen. But don’t exaggerate because this kind of food is oily and spicy.

Don’t talk about war with local people, no matter in which part of Bosnia and Herzegovina you are. Young people don’t like it and they avoid it. With older people, you could try talking but it is unnecessary because there are more beautiful things to visit and talk about than the war.

Do visit other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Don’t stay only in the capital, there are many beautiful thing to see in other parts of the country.

Don’t give to anyone alive a bouquet with even number of flowers. In Bosnia and Eastern Europe even number of flowers is carried to funerals.

Do drink rakija. It is a fruit brandy and it is popular in all countries of Ex Yugoslavia. Rakija is commonly made of plums (šljivovica), but it can be made of many other kinds of fruits. Its alcohol content varies from 40%-80%. This is a kind of a national drink and you have to try it!

Don’t leave your money and baggage unattended. Unfortunately, like in most other countries, there are thieves that will just take your stuff in front of your eyes and run away with them. So, when you are sight-seeing always keep your money and passport with you.

Do go to Banja Luka. It is the capital of Republika Srpska. A beautiful city which is a mixture of natural beauties and old building, like the Kastel fortress. Near Banja Luka there is a place called Krupa na Vrbasu, where the European Rafting Championship was held on the river Vrbas in 2005. There are a lot beautiful churches and mosques in Banja Luka to visit.

Don’t enter any church, Catholic or Orthodox, without covering your shoulders or „half-naked“, it is a symbol of respect. In some Orthodox monasteries you have to cover your head also with a scarf. It is the same for mosques, you can’t even enter the courtyard without being appropriately dressed.

Do eat ćevapi in Banja Luka style. It differs from ćevapi in other parts of the country. It has a different look and differs a bit in taste. It it with onions, it’s delicious!

Don’t miss visiting these places: Mostar with its Old Bridge, Višegrad with the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Brigde, a city which inspired a Nobel prize winner Ivo Andrić to write „Na Drini ćuprija“, Waterfalls on the Una River and the National Park Una and Međugorje – a site of religious pilgrimage. If you visit the country in the summer, you can go and take a break in Neum, the only coastal town in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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