10 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING BIH
Updated: Dec 28, 2018
So you've read our ''how we spent one full day in Bosnia Herzegovina'' post, you've seen our Instagram pictures from Mostar and Sarajevo and you're making some serious thoughts of visiting BIH in the future. Well, congratulations!!! Here are 10 things you should know, before visiting the country, to make your decision and experience in Bosnia Herzegovina a bit easier.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina mark is the country's official currency, however lots of places also accept euros or even Croatian kuna, especially in areas close to the
Bosnian - Croatian borders. The bosnian mark equals to 0,51 EUR or 0,57 USD.
Most restaurants, shops, cafes etc do not accept credit or debit cards, so carrying cash with you will be extremely helpful. Best thing to do is to always ask before buying/ ordering something about the payment methods they accept.
Almost half of Bosnia Herzegovina's population is Muslim, while the rest of it is Orthodox or Roman Catholic Christian. An ideal reminder of how people can and should co-exist in peace.
There are three official languages spoken in Bosnia Herzegovina : Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Most of the people who deal with commerce and especially young people also speak English.
5. Getting around
Bosnia Herzegovina is not the easiest country when it comes to transportation and moving around, as a big part of its railway system was damaged during the war. There are however some railway connections, but do not expect them to get you fast to your destination. Bus connections are more developped, yet a bit slow as well.
6. Entering the country
Bosnia Herzegovina is not an EU member state, neither part of the Schengen Area. However european citizens can enter the country using their ID card or passport. Make a phone call to the bosnian embassy in your country, to be sure of what kind of travel documents you need in order to enter BIH legally.
7. Meeting with the locals
Bosnians are nice and friendly. War memories are however recent and it might be wise to avoid conversations about this issue, as many people might have physical or psychological traumas. If people want to talk about it and share war stories with you, they'll bring it up themselves.
Despite what some people might think, especially because of the recent war, Bosnia Herzegovina is a safe country to visit. Of course you need to beware of pickpocketers in crowded places, as you have to in any destination or even in your home town, but crime levels are in general low.
Winters in BIH can get really cold and although summers are said to be hot, we had to deal with the -not so high- temperature of 10 degrees Celsius when we visited Sarajevo in mid August. Pack some extra layers of clothing, even during the summer, just in case.
10. UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Bosnia Herzegovina hosts three of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites : The Old City and Old Bridge of Mostar, The Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad and The Stecaks-Medieval Tombstones.