Things to Do in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This content was last updated on 06.02.2024 22:53

Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was under the rule of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire for many years, offers a perfect combination of history, culture, and natural beauty adorned with its unique atmosphere.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, where you can witness numerous Ottoman works, you can also get acquainted with the subtleties of Balkan culture. We are here with a comprehensive travel list ranging from the Old Bridge of Mostar to Baščaršija, from the Tunnel of Hope to the Sebil, to provide you with detailed information about Bosnia and Herzegovina! Before we start our article, we are answering the most frequently asked questions for those who will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

How Many Days Do You Need in Bosnia?

We recommend allocating at least 4 days to fully enjoy Bosnia and Herzegovina and explore its history, culture, and natural beauty.

What to Eat in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

  • Cevapi
  • Bureg
  • Begova Soup
  • Klepe
  • Dolma sahan
  • Punjena Pleskavica
  • Tufahije
  • Sampita
  • juniper juice

When is the Best Time to Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina?

The best season to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina is during the spring months, as the country experiences average temperatures of around 39°C in July and August. If you enjoy skiing holidays, we also recommend visiting during the winter.

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Places to Visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

1. Sebil Sarajevo

Sebil Sarajevo

The focal point of our Bosnia and Herzegovina travel list generally revolves around the capital, Sarajevo. One of the must-visit places when you come to Sarajevo is the area known as Sebil Sarajevo. The origins of this sebil date back to the mid-1700s. The historic structure has undergone several restorations until it reached its current state. It's worth noting that the last restoration of the sebil was undertaken by the Municipality of Bursa.

Located in one of the most touristy areas of the city, Sebil Sarajevo is surrounded by numerous Ottoman mosques. Moreover, the majority of the shops on the street where the sebil is located are built in wooden structures, creating a fitting atmosphere for the area. The water network of the sebil, which is one of the symbols of Sarajevo's bazaar, was established through the efforts of Ishakoglu Isa Bey. In later periods, with the contributions of Bosnia's Beylerbeyi Gazi Husrev Bey, the sebil grew even further.

2. Baščaršija


One of Bosnia and Herzegovina's largest tourist bazaars, Baščaršija, encompasses the country's cultural motifs. This vast bazaar, built during the Ottoman era, also hosts the aforementioned sebil. Within the bazaar, wooden shops, mosques, and covered markets stand out. You can prioritize visiting here both to trace the footsteps of history and to enjoy shopping in a delightful manner.

Facing a major fire disaster in the 1800s resulting in significant damage, the bazaar underwent extensive restoration and renewal afterward. This historic bazaar, actively used since the 15th century, hosts more than 80 crafts. You can find original gifts here that will delight your loved ones while experiencing the Ottoman ambiance at every step.

3. Mostar Bridge

Mostar Bridge

Mostar Bridge, which divides the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina into two halves, is a structure highly esteemed by the local population for its magnificent appearance and historical significance. Positioned over the Neretva River, the bridge evokes a sense of awe with its shimmering presence. This unique bridge, located on the southern side of Mostar, was built in 1566.

The bridge suffered significant damage during the post-war period but was later reconstructed. During this process, great effort was made to remain faithful to the original structure, leading to its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Jumping off the 24-meter-high bridge was a famous tradition in past times, where men would prove their courage to their fiancées.

4. Blagaj Tekija

Blagaj Tekija

Blagaj Tekke, located within Mostar, is situated right next to the Buna River. The Blagaj Tekke, built in 1446, stands on the right cliff of the river source. Over the years, the structure has suffered damage due to various reasons but has been restored to its current appearance through restoration efforts. Today, it serves as a place of worship for Sufi dervishes, just as it did in the past.

Offering an impressive view due to its proximity to the cliff, the tekke consists of picturesque-style buildings. The total length of the rock on which the tekke stands is approximately 250 meters. The building, which remained closed after World War II, features Turkish Baroque architectural style. Particularly, the colorful ceiling in the semahane area receives high praise from visitors.

5. Latin Bridge

Latin Bridge

Located on the Miljacka River, the Latin Bridge is a popular destination for both local and foreign visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also known as the "Princip Bridge," this historic bridge has significant remnants of the Ottoman era, often referred to in the region as the "Ottoman Bridge." Built in 1914, the Latin Bridge has four arches.

Constructed mainly of plaster stone material, the bridge is associated with a significant event. It marks the site where Archduke Ferdinand, also known as the Austrian Duke, was assassinated just before the outbreak of World War I. This event is widely recognized as the trigger for the start of World War I. The latest renovation works on the bridge were completed in 2014, reopening it for visitors.

6. Museum of War and Genocide Victims

The Museum of War and Genocide Victims, originally named "Museum Of War Genocide Victims," is located in the city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the construction of the museum began in 1992, it took three years to complete. Inside the museum, you can encounter numerous artifacts reflecting the genocides that occurred both in Bosnia and throughout the Balkans.

Bosnia, experiencing one of the greatest tragedies in recent history, lost more than 100,000 people during the war. Additionally, over 2 million people were displaced from their homes. Following the events in Srebrenica, many belongings donated by the relatives of the deceased were contributed to the museum. The extensive tortures in detention camps and the committed atrocities against humanity are palpable in every section of the museum.

Admission fee:

  • $6.50 USD per person
  • Free for children under 12 years old

Opening hours:

  • The museum can be visited between 08:00 and 20:00 every day except Sunday.

7. Morića Han

Morića Han

Located within the boundaries of Sarajevo, Morića Han has managed to survive since 1551. This historic inn, where you can witness traces of the Ottoman era, is now exhibited under the auspices of the Gazi Husrev Bey Foundation. It is known that during its active use, the inn could accommodate a total of 70 horses and 300 passengers. With its size, the venue played an important role as a genuine caravanserai in history, despite facing several fire disasters throughout its history, it has been restored in accordance with its original form.

The last significant restoration works took place in 1974. Exquisite poems by the Iranian poet Omar Khayyam are used as decorative elements in many parts of the inn. Evliya Çelebi also frequently mentioned Morića Han in his works. In these works, the inn is generally referred to as "Hadzi Besir Han."

8. Sarajevo Stone Inn

The Sarajevo Stone Inn, proudly carrying the rich legacy of the Ottoman era, is located in the heart of the city. Built in the 16th century, the Stone Inn bears the signature of Gazi Husrev Bey. During that period, the structure was used both as a caravanserai and an inn, and it is known to have housed many shops, fountains, and mosques within its premises. However, massive fires rendered the Stone Inn unusable. The area where the Stone Inn is located is archaeologically rich, leading to numerous excavation works in the area. The Stone Inn is considered the oldest inn in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

9. Trebinje Freedom Square

Trebinje Freedom Square

Known as Trg Slobode in Serbian, Trebinje Freedom Square is located in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the name suggests. Serving as the largest square in the city, Trebinje Freedom Square has witnessed many historical events. Situated in the city center, the square is also within walking distance of various tourist destinations in the region.

This large square, which has been inherited from the Austro-Hungarian period to the present day, features traces of Baroque architecture. One of the most striking structures in the square is the large fountain located in the center. Along with the fountain, the decorative elements on the exterior walls of the historical building in the square attract significant attention from tourists.

10. Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope

Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope

Located in the capital, the Tunnel of Hope holds significant importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina's recent history of war. It was dug during that period to access essential supplies like food and medicine. The 800-meter-long tunnel aimed to enable the population to leave the city.

Alija Izetbegovic facilitated access to the UN-controlled airport with this tunnel. Construction of the tunnel began in 1993 when Sarajevo was cut off from the outside world. During that time, it is known that about 1000 people passed through the tunnel daily, which was approximately 1 meter wide and 160 cm high. Today, a 20-meter section of the tunnel is used as a museum.

Admission fee:

  • 10 KM per person (Bosnian Convertible Mark)
  • 5 KM for students

Opening hours:

  • The museum can be visited between 09:00 and 17:00 every day of the week.

11. Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque

Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque

When exploring the city of Sarajevo, it is common to come across various Ottoman mosques from different periods. One of these mosques is the Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque, built in 1530. The inscription of the mosque commissioned by Gazi Husrev Bey is still in place, indicating that the mosque was built during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Suleiman (Suleiman the Magnificent).

The Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque is currently situated within a large complex. Another name for this historic mosque is the "Bey Mosque," and a mosque identical to it was built during the same period both in Turkey and Syria. It is possible to see Gazi Husrev Bey's signature in the construction of other mosques as well. It's worth noting that the Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque is a work of the renowned architect Mimar Sinan.

12. Vrelo Bosne

Vrelo Bosne

Located in Sarajevo, Vrelo Bosne is situated at the foot of Mount Igman. Spanning over a large area, Vrelo Bosne stands out with its green spaces and streams. This tourist nature park boasts a unique beauty in every season. The total area of the region, considered as the lungs of the city, is around 600 hectares.

Completed in 1954 and continuously serving since then, Vrelo Bosne features magnificent lakes adorned with swans. These lakes also merge with the Bosna River. On the other hand, Vrelo Bosne is home to various animal species and endemic plants. Wooden bridges, restaurants, and special playgrounds for children make it indispensable for families. Vrelo Bosne is located approximately 10 km away from the city center.

13. Mostar Mary Cathedral

Mostar Mary Cathedral

One of the most famous religious structures in the country, Mostar Mary Cathedral serves as the center for the Mostar-Duvno bishopric. Built in the 6th century, Mostar Mary Cathedral is adorned with six massive bells that are quite striking. The cathedral, which has a unique architecture, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Having suffered significant damage over the years, rendering it unusable, Mostar Mary Cathedral began serving again after restoration works in 1980. The restoration efforts also included the addition of a large bell tower to the structure. Additionally, there is a small crypt within the cathedral housing the tombs of two important bishops.

14. Srebrenica Genocide Memorial

Srebrenica Genocide Memorial

The Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, a large cemetery, was established in 1995 when the war ended. The memorial is located in the Srebrenica region, the focal point of the genocide. It is known that there are around 7,000 Muslim Bosniak graves in this area today. Every year on July 11th, a special commemoration ceremony is held at this site.

Many stories about the people who died in the area are shared with visitors at the memorial. Excavations have been regularly conducted in the Srebrenica region since the end of the war in 1995. These excavations sometimes unearth human bones even years later.

15. Kovači Martyrs' Cemetery

Kovači Martyrs' Cemetery

The Kovači Martyrs' Cemetery, where Alija Izetbegović's grave is located, consists of two separate sections. The older part of the cemetery dates back to the 1400s and contains Ottoman graves that have survived to this day. This area is also recognized as the oldest cemetery in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The reason for Alija Izetbegović's burial here is his wish to be buried next to the martyrs before his death. Special efforts are being made by the Sarajevo Museum to preserve the Ottoman tombstones that currently lie underground.

16. Jewish Museum

During the Second World War, the names, personal belongings, and photographs of those who lost their lives are exhibited in the Jewish Museum. All the names are displayed on a massive book hanging from the ceiling. The museum is housed in a synagogue dating back to 1581. In fact, the prayer area is actively used independently of the museum floor for worship.

Admission fee:

  • Regular entrance ticket: 3 KM
  • Discounted entrance ticket: 1 KM

Opening hours:

  • The museum can be visited between 10:00 and 18:00 every day except Saturday.

17. Sarajevo Cathedral

Sarajevo Cathedral

In Sarajevo, it's worth noting that alongside Muslims, there is also an Orthodox Christian population. Therefore, you can come across many cathedrals and churches in the city. One of these is the Sarajevo Cathedral, which belongs to the Catholic community.

This stunning venue, known as the "Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus," captivates visitors with both its exterior and interior. Built in the 19th century, the religious structure is constructed in the Neo-Gothic style. Designed by Hungarian architect Josip Vancas, the famous cathedral is often compared to Notre Dame Church by visitors.

18. Inat House (Inat Kuća)

Inat House

The next place on the list is a site that is as intriguing as its name suggests. The story of the Inat House dates back many years. When Austria-Hungary came to power in Bosnia, a decision was made to demolish many buildings in the center. At that time, all the houses located right on the banks of the Miljacka River were demolished except for one. The owner of the house in the place where the municipal building was planned to be built could not be convinced to agree to the demolition.

Finally, he said that he would allow the demolition only if they built an exact replica of his house on the other side of the river. Indeed, they built a replica of his house in the specified location, and when the demolition began, the man moved to his new house. This very special house has been used as a restaurant since 1997. You can visit the Inat House to see it up close and enjoy delicious Bosnian cuisine.

19. Eternal Flame (Vječna Vatra)

Eternal Flame

The monument called the Eternal Flame is located on Ferhadija Street in the center of Sarajevo. Positioned right at the beginning of the street, the monument serves as a significant symbol of the city's survival during World War II. The monument, built in 1946, features an eternal flame that never extinguishes.

The perpetual flame aims to keep the memories of the deceased alive. It's quite common to encounter tourists wanting to take photos in front of the monument. Despite facing a serious attack in 2011, the monument did not sustain significant damage.

20. Yellow Fortress (Žuta Tabija)

Yellow Fortress

The area known as the Yellow Bastion, or Žuta Tabija, allows you to see the city of Sarajevo from a 360-degree angle. This impressive viewing terrace is integrated with a vast green area. The location of the Yellow Bastion is considered quite ideal for watching the sunset over the city.

The fortress wall, which now hosts the viewing terrace, dates back to the 18th century. In 1878, the fortress was used for defense against the Austro-Hungarian armies. Additionally, inside the Yellow Bastion, there are also graves of some soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

21. Trebević Mountain and Cable Car

Trebević Mountain and Cable Car

If you're looking for a peaceful and serene natural environment in Sarajevo, we recommend the Trebević region. Trebević, a mountainous area, offers a wonderful atmosphere with its lush greenery and clean air. It's also quite close to the border with Serbia. The most important area of Trebević Mountain is undoubtedly its cable car and fountain. When you hop on the cable car, which is within walking distance of the Sebil Fountain, you'll have the chance to see the city from a wide angle.

At the top of the cable car, you'll find many cafes and restaurants. So, you can easily spend half a day enjoying yourself in this area. Trebević also hosts various outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain climbing. In fact, some events of the 1984 Winter Olympics were held in this area. However, the ski slopes from that time were damaged during the war and are not actively used anymore.

22. Miljacka River

Miljacka River

Another natural wonder of the country, the Miljacka River, is located within Sarajevo. With its breathtaking beauty that could be the subject of postcards, the Miljacka River inspires especially photography enthusiasts with its scenery. The Miljacka River is not only appreciated for its visual qualities but also for its historical significance.

The famous Goat Bridge and Latin Bridge, which hold an important place in Bosnian history, are directly located on the Miljacka River. Additionally, the renowned Inat House, mentioned above, is also situated directly on the banks of this river. When you take a leisurely walk along the river with your loved ones, you can also visit the Inat House. Structurally dividing the city in half, the Miljacka River is also known as the "Calm River." Moreover, there is a 10 km special running track along the riverbank.

23. National Library

National Library

Historic buildings dating back to the Austro-Hungarian era stand out with their architectural features. One of these structures is the National Library, known as "Vijecnica" in the region. Unfortunately, Vijecnica, one of Sarajevo's oldest buildings, suffered greatly during the war years.

The most tragic story related to the National Library occurred in the early 1990s during the war when it was burned down, resulting in the loss of around 2 million books. The restoration of the building after the war symbolizes the remarkable resilience of the Bosnian people. However, extensive restoration works could only be completed in 2014.

24. Počitelj Village

Počitelj Village

We wanted to dedicate a special place in our list to the villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Počitelj, one of the country's most touristy villages, is located between Blagay and the Kravice Waterfalls. Due to its Turkish heritage, Počitelj receives special attention, especially for the Visoko Castle, which is famous in the area. This castle is also included in UNESCO's official list.

Located about a 30-minute drive from Mostar, the village earns admiration for its stairs, stone streets, and peaceful atmosphere. Počitelj, which is adjacent to the Neretva River, received significant contributions from the World Bank for restoring its old texture after the war.

25. Panonsko Jezero

Panonsko Jezero, a salt lake, is not natural as commonly believed but an artificial lake. Despite being man-made, it attracts tourists with its appearance and surroundings. Panonsko Jezero is rich in minerals and salt.

Resembling a large swimming pool in the heart of the city, this clean lake consists of three separate sections. During the summer months, Panonsko Jezero is used like a beach, and there are special water parks for children. Surrounding the lake in Tuzla, there are many bars and restaurants.

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