A Winter Wonderland – Bosnia

A must visit when in Eastern Europe

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Important Information about Bosnia 

Food Considerations: This part of the world is hard for vegetarian/vegan travellers. Meat/beef is very embedded into the culture and with so little English being spoken, it can be hard to communicate dietary restrictions. But the fresh food at markets is easy to acquire. Plan on eating a lot of spinach and cheese pitas! Also, make sure to scroll down to find out the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants you can acquire there.

Best Time to VisitMay through September is the best time. Winters are bitterly cold in the region, but summer is hot and sunny. If you want a winter wonderland then visit in winter like we did.

Visas: Americans and Europeans do not need a visa to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina for up to 90 days. Most middle eastern countries require either a Bosnian visa or a Schengen Visa. Check the latest visa requirements here.

Currency: Bosnian Convertible Marka (BAM) { 1$= 1.677 BAM)

Electricity: European 2-pin adaptors


Sarajevo

Sarajevo is the perfect size city, in my opinion. It’s the capital of Bosnia and the biggest city in the country, but it’s still small. You can stand in the centre of town and see the hills surrounding the city. Moreover, You can take a cable cart up those hills and look over the city from the top, a spectacular view that you shouldn’t miss out on especially if the city is covered in snow!

I truly loved my time in Bosnia, perhaps even more because it’s not a tourist hot-spot. So you don’t queue for hours and it’s easy to strike up a conversation with locals (at least, with those who speak English!). You can easily use the tram system to explore the city. Just buy your tickets from the all-purpose magazine stands and shops—be warned the tram police will come on board regularly to check tickets. Had a funny incident with one of them actually, we forgot to buy our tickets and hopped on one of the trams to get back to our hotel just then, the tram police came on board… please bear in mind they never did the other times when we took the tram and actually had tickets in hand. Anyways they were very nice and told us to pay the driver as he can issue a ticket himself and so we did.

Plan many of your activities around food, this was my primary activity in the city, especially that we visited in winter where the temperature got to -13*C. Find good spots to sample baklava, the traditional burek – Pita, and take the time for full tea and Bosnian coffee.

Places to visit, eat and entertain in Sarajevo

1- city center 

The city center is packed with restaurants, entertainments, and state of the art shopping malls. So take a stroll around the city center it will give you a real feel of how the locals live.

2- Sebilj & Bascarsijaand square 

Sebilj is a kiosk-shaped public fountain made out of wood and stone, usually built at the public squares or intersections of important roads. Such fountains were common in the lands that were ruled by The Ottoman Empire.  Sebilj is built in Bascarsijaand square located in the old town a beautiful area where you can sit and admire the old architecture and feed the pigeons.

3- Old Town

Brusa Bezistan Museum provides an overview of the city’s history and is housed in an old covered bazaar. Be sure not to miss a single spot in town where East and West meet, including Vijećnica – a symbol of the meeting of civilizations – which has countless interesting stories to share with visitors.
one suggestion is the Museum of Sarajevo: 1878-1918, which is across the street from the Latin Bridge – where WWI commenced. The old city is the home of sebilJ and is surrounded by mountains for those interested in a hike with spectacular views. Make sure to also visit the Latin bridge and take some amazing pictures.

4- Mountain Trebevic

Take a hike outside the city. The city sits flush into the surrounding hills, and there are beautiful landmarks in the distant hills. If you are in the old city you can take a cable cart up to mountain Trebevic, then walk down or ask your hotel or hostel for a good path out of town, and then set off with comfortable shoes. Even if you don’t make it to the right place, the hike is gorgeous, as are the views of Sarajevo.

5- Vrelo Bosne

Just on the outskirts of Sarajevo around 20 min drive, you can find this spectacular natural reserve. It is a public park, featuring the spring of the River Bosna, at the foothills of the Mount Igman.

7- Karouzo Restaurant 

Karouzo is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that is a must visit when in Sarajevo old city. This place is very cozy and reservation is a must but I promise you the food is another level. To reserve: http://www.restaurantkaruzo.com/ba/index.html                                                                       


Bjelasnica

Bjelašnica is a ski mountain southwest of Sarajevo, bordering Mt. Igman. Bjelašnica’s tallest peak, by which the whole mountain group got its name, rises to an elevation of 2067 meters. The perfect place for a skiing getaway. We stayed in hotel Han which is the only hotel in the area to be directly overlooking the slopes.

Hotel HAN http://www.hotelhan.ba/v2/


Mostar

Small and touristy, this lovely city in the south is flat-out charming. A true fairy tale and if you’re staying in town for a while and you can visit the gorgeous waterfalls, towns, and scenic spots nearby.

Things To Do in Mostar

  • Explore the Old Town. There aren’t a ton of particular activities in the area, but the town was recently war-torn and that is still incredibly evident in many of the buildings, and certainly the vibe. Explore the shops, buy souvenirs and visit all the cafes and restaurants.
  • Visit the Stari Most bridge at various times of the day. Stari Most bridge is a bridge where lovers jump to prove their love for their partners. It is a beautiful bridge overlooking the river and the old town.
  • Visit Kravice Waterfalls. It’s 40 km outside of town, so it’s doable in a day and there is a cafe on site where you can grab lunch and coffee. It is a gorgeous turquoise waterfall that is worth visiting.
  • Splendid views from Pocitelj. Much of this town was destroyed during the war, but it’s in a gorgeous location and just 30 km outside Mostar.
  • Buna river. The Buna is a short river running near Blagaj; it is a left bank tributary of the Neretva. Its source, a strong karstic spring, southeast of Mostar. 

Places to Eat

  • Food house Mostar Old Town – Another place where you can have vegan/vegetarian food that is mouthwatering. This place has one of the best aubergine dishes that I have ever tasted.

A video summing up the experience

Until next time, Crave the dish…

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