Bosnia and Herzegovina

Боснія і Герцеговина Countries
Bosnia and Herzegovina – the most detailed information about the country with photos. Sights, cities of Bosnia, climate, geography, population and culture.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state in the western Balkan Peninsula, located at the junction of Southern and Southeastern Europe. Bosnia borders Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest. The capital is the city of Sarajevo.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most picturesque and underrated parts of Europe, where East and West, ancient history and modernity merge. This country, despite its small size, is surprisingly diverse. Here you can see untouched natural gems and interesting monuments from the era of the Romans and Byzantines to the Ottomans and Slavs, Muslim mosques and Christian churches, turquoise waterfalls and picturesque lakes, rugged peaks of the Dinaric Alps and cozy valleys.

Bosnia and Herzegovina flag
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Useful information about Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Population – 3.5 million people
  • Area – 51129 km2​​​​​​
  • Languages spoken: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian
  • Currency – converted mark
  • Time – Central European Time (UTC+1, summer +2)
  • The form of government is a parliamentary republic

Geography and climate

Bosnia and Herzegovina is triangular in shape and has a predominantly mountainous terrain. Historically, the country can be divided into two large regions: Bosnia, which occupies the northern and central part, and Herzegovina, which is located in the south and southwest. The largest mountain range is the Dinaric Alps. Numerous mountain ranges stretch from northwest to southeast.

The largest river in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Sava, which flows into the Danube and forms a natural border with Croatia. The Sava Valley is home to fertile lowlands. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a narrow section of the Adriatic coast near the city of Neum. Most of the country’s territory is located in the temperate continental climate zone, which gives way to the Mediterranean in the south and southwest.

Landscapes of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Landscapes of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best time to visit

The ideal time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina is in May, June and September. This is when the weather is usually beautiful. In the height of summer, it can be quite hot in Bosnia, and relatively cool in winter.


The territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina was inhabited by people as early as the Paleolithic era. In the Bronze Age, the Illyrian tribes settled here, and by the 8th century BC they had formed their own kingdoms. In the 3rd century BC, the conflict between the Illyrians and the Romans began. The Roman Empire completely subjugated this region only in 9 BC.

In the 4th century AD. Dalmatia and Pannonia became part of the Western Roman Empire, which fell in the middle of the 5th century when the Ostrogoths invaded. Then these lands passed from hand to hand between the Alans and Huns until they were incorporated into Byzantium by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century.

city of Jajce
city of Jajce

The Slavs settled on the Balkan Peninsula in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. The name Bosnia was first mentioned in the 10th century. In the Middle Ages, these lands were the subject of territorial disputes between Hungary and Byzantium. Eventually, in the 12th century, Bosnia managed to gain independence.

In the second half of the 14th century, Bosnia and Herzegovina was granted the status of a kingdom, which ceased to exist after the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century. The Ottoman Empire ruled these territories until the 19th century. Then Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of Austria-Hungary.

The historic city of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Bosnia and Herzegovina later played a key role in the outbreak of World War I when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. In 1918, Bosnia was incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, where it had no formal status of its own. After World War II, the country became an integral part of Yugoslavia.

After the collapse of the state in 1991, the majority of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for independence in a referendum in 1992. This was followed by a brutal war that ended in 1995.

Regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into 10 cantons, but geographically and historically the following regions can be distinguished

  1. Bosnian Krajina is a distinctive geographical region in the west of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bounded in the north by the Sava and a number of other rivers
  2. Central Bosnia is a mountainous region in the heart of the country, located west of Sarajevo
  3. Herzegovina – Southern region with access to the Adriatic Sea, traditionally inhabited by Croats
  4. Northeastern Bosnia is a small region in the north, inhabited mainly by Serbs
  5. Bosnian Posavina is a flat region on the southern bank of the Sava River
  6. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its surroundings


Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of three large ethnic groups: Bosnians, who make up half of the country’s population, Serbs (30%) and Croats (15%). The share of other peoples is about 5%. Interestingly, the state does not have an official language, but de facto the main languages are Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. All of these languages are very similar and are often combined into Serbo-Croatian. Religiously, Bosnia and Herzegovina is also quite diverse. About half of the population professes Islam, almost a third are Orthodox, and 13% are Catholics.


There are 4 international airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla, and Banja Luka), which connect the country with Vienna (Austria), Istanbul (Turkey), Zurich (Switzerland), Munich and Frankfurt (Germany), as well as some other cities and countries in Europe. Bosnia has a regular train service to Zagreb, Croatia, but trains are not the best way to get around the country. Cars and buses are more popular and convenient here.

Many travelers first get to the Croatian cities of Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb, which have more inexpensive charter flights, and from there they go to Bosnia.

Mostar City
Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Sarajevo is the capital of the country and the largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo, built by the Ottomans in the 15th century, is famous for its oriental flavor and cultural, religious, and historical monuments.
  • Mostar is one of the most popular and beautiful cities in Bosnia, symbolized by the medieval vaulted Ottoman bridge. This city is known for its beautiful old architecture and magnificent scenery.
  • Banja Luka is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for its parks and boulevards, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman architecture.
  • Trebinje is a pretty town on the Trebisnice River, located near the border with Croatia. The city has an interesting historical center, which is a mixture of elegant Ottoman houses built mainly in the 18th century.
  • Travnik is an ancient town founded in the 15th century. It is popular among tourists due to its well-preserved buildings of the Ottoman period.
  • Tuzla is the third largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a developed industry and a beautiful old town.
  • Neum is the only coastal city in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Jajce is a small town with a beautiful waterfall and many historical sights, including an ancient temple.
  • Teslych is a balneological resort.
  • Brčko is a city in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the banks of the Sava River.
  • Konjic is a small mountain town surrounded by dense forests and located in the north of Herzegovina. It is one of the oldest permanent settlements in the country.
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sights of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Old Bridge in Mostar is a magnificent example of 16th-century Ottoman engineering architecture, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The bridge over the Neretva River was built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent and, in fact, gave the city its name. It is a single-arch stone structure on powerful limestone pillars, which is protected by two fortified towers.

The old bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War and completely restored in 2004 with the support of UNESCO.

The Mehmed Pasha Sokolović Bridge or Visegrad Bridge over the Drina River was built in the 16th century by Mimar Sinan, who is one of the greatest architects and engineers of the classical Ottoman period and a contemporary of the Italian Renaissance. It is 179.5 meters long and has 11 stone arches with spans ranging from 11 to 15 meters. The Visegrad Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kravitsa waterfall
Kravitsa waterfall

Kravica Waterfall is a very photogenic place located in a remote area of Bosnia south of Mostar. It is a cascade of waterfalls on the Trebizat River in the form of countless streams over green ridges.

Una National Park is the largest national park in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the northwestern part of the country. The park covers the Una River valley and is famous for its waterfalls and picturesque landscapes.


Blagaj is a small historic village southeast of Mostar, located at the source of the Buna River. It has an interesting monastery built for dervishes in 1520 with elements of Ottoman and Mediterranean architecture.

Anemona is the largest cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the Dinaric Alps. It is known for its unique speleological features, waterfalls, karst halls and underground streams. Anemona is the richest cave in the world in terms of underground biodiversity, with more than 200 species of animals.

Lukomyr is the highest mountain village in the country, which is a gem of an important natural, cultural and historical landscape. This settlement was founded in the 14th century and is known for its traditional stone houses with wooden tile roofs.

Jahorina is the largest and most popular ski resort in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the slopes of the mountain of the same name in the Dinaric Alps.

Plivskie waterfalls
Plivskie waterfalls

The Plivskie waterfalls, located near the town of Jajce, are a 22-meter water cascade falling from a height of about 30 meters.

Stacks are monumental medieval stone tombstones included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stacks began to be erected in the 12th century and their construction reached its peak in the 14th and 15th centuries. After the Balkan Peninsula was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, their construction was stopped. To date, about 4000 individual monoliths have survived, grouped in necropolises in 28 locations, most of which are in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Gazi Husrev-Bek Mosque is the largest historical mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in Sarajevo. It was built in the 16th century in the style of traditional Ottoman architecture.

Собор Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Sacred Heart Cathedral is the largest Catholic cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in Sarajevo. It was built in the late 19th century in the Neo-Gothic style.

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Sarajevo is the largest Orthodox church in the country, built in 1874 in the Baroque style.

Bosnian cuisine
Bosnian cuisine


Bosnian cuisine is an interesting synthesis of Eastern and Western gastronomy, generally traditional for the Balkans. It is based on seasonal vegetables, spices and meat.

Traditional dishes:

  • Chevapi  (Ćevapi) – small grilled lamb and beef sausages. Usually served with onions and pita bread.
  • Pleskavitsa(Pljeskavica) – grilled meatloaf
  • Soup (Čorba) — a popular soup made of meat and vegetables
  • Fried sweet (bell) peppers stuffed with minced meat (punjena paprika)
  • Dolma(Sogan-dolma) – onions stuffed with minced meat. There is also the usual dolma, which uses grape leaves
  • Kofti (Ćufte) – meatballs
  • Burek (Burek) – puff pastry with meat filling
  • Musaka – a baked dish of potatoes, eggplant and minced beef
  • Sarma – meat and rice wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves
  • Zhuvech (Đuveč) – vegetable stew
  • Kachamak (Kačamak) – a traditional Bosnian dish made from corn flour and potatoes


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