Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina!
In our “Getting Around” section, we’ll provide you with essential insights on railways, buses, taxis, road trips, e-cars, safety, health, money, mobiles & communications, interacting locally, etiquette, language, and accessible tourism. Discover the best ways to explore this diverse and welcoming country with ease.
Explore picturesque train journeys and an efficient bus network that connects towns and cities. Taxis are readily available for convenient transportation. Uncover hidden gems on unforgettable road trips, and consider sustainable travel with electric cars and charging stations. Prioritize your safety and well-being, and manage your finances effectively. Stay connected with mobile services and learn how to interact with locals gracefully. Understand cultural nuances and key phrases to enhance your experience. We also provide insights into accessible tourism, making your journey inclusive and enriching.
Explore the enchanting landscapes, embrace the warm hospitality, and make the most of your visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina with our comprehensive “Getting Around” guide.
Two rail bodies operate within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Railways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska Railways. Both companies offer different routes that allow domestic, intercity travel and a few routes across the country, most of which are in the form of round trips or one-way departures. The country’s main train stations are in Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka and Bihać. Most trains have equipment such as power sockets, air conditioning and WIFI. One of the most fascinating routes is Sarajevo – Mostar, a well-known line that regularly operates, recognized as a route that tends to amaze everyone who experiences it. Some of the most traveled routes are those from and to cities such as Sarajevo, Mostar, Konjic, Čapljina, Bihać and Banja Luka. International train travel to the country does face significant limitations and a lack of direct routes, which will require you to have transfers or combine transportation types once you enter the country.
For more details on the stations, available routes, departure schedules and ticket information, visit:
Bus travel usually represents one of the safest forms of transportation. In many urban centers and towns in the country, there is a designated bus terminal, while in smaller areas, it’s feasible for buses to make stops at covered parking areas or locations marked by signage denoting stops for all buses. Certain cities may even have buses making stops along public roads, gas stations, or hotel parking facilities. In metropolitan areas, comprehensive bus stations can be located, offering essential amenities like restrooms, luggage storage, kiosks, fast-food eateries, and various traveler-friendly conveniences. In most major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, public bus transportation is readily available. Cities like Sarajevo and Banja Luka have extensive bus networks that connect suburbs with the city centers. When it comes to intercity buses, there are many travel routes available, with the most popular lines and routes being those that connect major cities, towns and airports.
The process of purchasing tickets varies from city to city. Sometimes, tickets are available for sale at designated outlets, while in other cases, they can be bought directly on the bus. Therefore, it is advisable to check your options before traveling to the city you are visiting and perhaps buy ticket ticket in advance.
Many bus companies are in operation within Bosnia and Herzegovina, offering a range of services including domestic, intercity lines, regional and local routes, nationwide lines linking various cities, and international routes or excursions, connecting Bosnia and Herzegovina to the neighboring countries as well as some other European countries like Germany, Austria, Slovenia, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Italy, Spain.
Most of the time, taxis are easily accessible and serve as a versatile means of transportation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are different taxi companies in the country, which means taxi service is available in most towns, for inter-city travel, and for most of the remote areas. Most of the time, taxis can also be found in the vicinity of the country’s airports. When it comes to urban areas, they are commonly found at their designated taxi stands, near prominent visitor destinations, transportation nodes, and key squares. Taxi service can be ordered by dialing taxi companies, especially in largest cities. Furthermore, in order to communicate your desire for a taxi service to a moving taxi vehicle, it is customary and accepted practice to raise a palm in its direction. This gesture serves to indicate to the driver that you are seeking a taxi service. To overcome any potential linguistic obstacles, it is advantageous to have the address of your destination near you or saved on your mobile device. When it comes to utilizing the taxi service, it’s important to know that registered taxis have license plates that begin with “TA”. Additional notice is to use taxis that have functional taximeter. Taxi services have reasonable and affordable fares compared to many other European countries. If traveling longer distances, it is also recommended to inquire about the total fare before the trip. For example, in Sarajevo, the approximate starting price for taxi vehicles in most cases is 1,30 EUR (2,5 KM), while each additional kilometer is charged at around 0,80 EUR (1,5 KM).
Bosnia and Herzegovina borders three countries: Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Several border crossings are available when arriving from each country, as can be seen on the interactive map. If entering from Serbia from the northeast, after crossing the border, the first destination to stop may be Bijeljina, from which you can continue to major hubs such as Tuzla or Banja Luka on the northwest. If entering from Serbia or Montenegro from the east or southeast, the first major destination will beVišegrad. From there, it would take approximately up to 2 and a half hours to reach the city of Sarajevo. Upon arrival, you can further travel to Mostar and Herzegovina or venture north to towns and cities such as Visoko, Zenica, Travnik, Jajce, and Banja Luka. While in VIšegrad after crossing the border on the east or southeast, perhaps go south to the towns such as Goražde, Foča, and National Park Sutjeska. If traveling from Montenegro on the south, Trebinje and Bileća are some of the first destinations to discover or pass by.
If arriving from Croatia from the northwest or west, one of the first destinations often tends to be Bihać and National Park Una, Novi Grad, Gradiška, Banja Luka, Prijedor, Sanski Most or Ključ. If entering from Croatia on the southwest or south, first stops often take place in towns Neum, Čapljina, Ljubuški, Posušje, Čitluk, Mostar and Trebinje.
More information on orientation points and border crossing sections can be seen on the interactive map.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is transitioning towards adopting more sustainable and environment-friendly solutions within many sectors, including transportation. The number of electric cars in the country slowly rises as well as number of public and private charging power stations. Bosnia and Herzegovina currently has around 200 charging stations for electric vehicles, mainly situated in major urban centers such as Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka. Although the current number of stations is relatively modest, it is anticipated that their number will increase in the coming years. A significant portion of these electric chargers and charging stations are presently available for use at no cost. However, there are also places established by hotels, various institutions, or private companies that require payment for their usage.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has an exceptionally low rate of violent crimes. The country is also generally safe for female travelers. There are still some land mines found in isolated mountain areas of the country, but they are well-marked. In most cases, mine warning signs are red with the words “МИНЕ!“ or „MINE“ written across them. The Via Dinarica hiking trail is completely mine-safe and well-marked for anyone wishing to explore the mountains. It is always recommended to stay on proven and tested routes.
Bosnia and Herzegovina contains modern hospitals and quality facilities primarily located in the major cities of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, and Tuzla. While other towns may have hospitals or medical clinics, they may not always have the capacity to handle complex medical issues. Language barriers can also be a challenge at local clinics. The healthcare system in Bosnia and Herzegovina is socialized, and payment for services can vary from place to place. Major cities usually accept international insurance, but smaller areas may not. It’s common for cash payment to be required for services rendered. For a more professional and modern experience, private clinics are recommended, although insurance acceptance may vary, so it’s advised to check in advance. Private practices are more likely to have English-speaking staff. Foreigners can expect to receive good treatment throughout the country. In major cities, there are medical facilities that are open 24 hours, even though most pharmacies usually follow shop hours.
The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a convertible mark (KM or on international currency exchange, BAM), directly pegged to the euro, which keeps inflation under control. The standard and fixed value of 1 euro is 1.95 KM. Credit cards are accepted in most urban areas but it is recommended to carry some amount of cash as well. ATM can be found in all cities and smaller towns in BiH. The local coin currency comes in 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 1, 2 and 5 KM coins. Banknotes are printed in 10, 20, 50, 100 & 200. Banks are usually open on weekdays. Most hotels and restaurants accept credit and debit cards. Banks tend to be closed on public holidays.
Mobiles & Communications
There are several GSM servers and relatively good network coverage throughout the country. American or Canadian mobile phones may not have roaming in BiH, so check with your service provider before you set off. European GSM mobiles have a roaming agreement with BiH. Roaming prices are high. If you plan to use the phone a considerable amount during your stay, it may be wisest to buy a local SIM card. The first purchase of a local SIM ultra-card costs 5 BAM. You can purchase these cards at the post office or kiosks, and top up credit at any time for any price above 2KM. There are three main GSM servers in BiH (BiH Telecom – 061/062; ERONET – 063; M-tel– 065/066) and the signal from any of them is valid throughout the country.
Wi-Fi is available in all urban areas, including accommodation facilities, cafés, bars, and restaurants.
Engaging with the locals in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an enriching experience. The people of this country are known for their exceptional warmth and genuine hospitality towards visitors. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself invited for a cup of traditional Bosnian coffee or offered a small gift as a gesture of friendship. While many locals are eager to share stories about their history and culture, it’s important to be a respectful listener and show interest in their perspectives. Engaging in conversations with an open mind will provide you with unique insights and a deeper understanding of the local way of life. Embrace the opportunity to interact with the friendly residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you’ll create unforgettable connections and memories that will last a lifetime.
Respecting the local customs and practicing good etiquette will ensure a positive experience during your visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here are some helpful tips for different encounters:
When entering someone’s home, it is customary to remove your shoes, irrespective of your religious background. This practice is primarily rooted in hygiene. If you are invited for a drink or a meal, it is common for your host to pay the bill. Conversely, if you extend the invitation, you may be expected to cover the expenses. Tipping is not obligatory but can be given as a token of appreciation for exceptional service. Generally, leaving a 10 percent tip for a meal and a small change for a drink is customary. Adjust the amount accordingly based on the level of service received.
If you plan to visit a mosque or a church, it is important to dress appropriately. Wearing shorts and mini-skirts is generally considered inappropriate. In mosques, women may be asked to wear headscarves, which are often provided by the mosque itself. Functional mosques usually require visitors to remove their shoes, while those exclusively open to tourists may not have this requirement.
When exploring the magnificent nature attractions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is essential to practice a “leave no trace” policy, even if your guide or host does not emphasize it. Be mindful of the environment and ensure that you carry out any waste or items you bring in. This preserves the natural beauty for future visitors to enjoy.
By adhering to these etiquette guidelines, you will show respect for the local customs and traditions, fostering a harmonious interaction with the people and the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There are three official languages spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. For the local ethnic groups, there is a great importance attached to the name of the language. In practice, they all sound the same or very similar. The differences are similar to those between American and British English. Cyrillic and Latin alphabets are used throughout the country. English-speaking people are very common to find in most of the urban areas. Most young people will have at least some knowledge of English almost anywhere you go.
Tourism For All
- Solo Female Travelers
Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomes solo female travelers with its warm hospitality and safe environment. While it is generally a safe destination, it is advisable to take standard precautions such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being aware of your surroundings. Embrace the vibrant culture, explore the historical landmarks, and enjoy the local cuisine. Connect with other travelers or join organized tours to enhance your experience and make lasting memories.
- LGBT Travelers
Bosnia and Herzegovina is committed to creating a more inclusive environment for LGBT travelers. While attitudes may vary, larger cities like Sarajevo and Banja Luka offer inclusive spaces and establishments that support the LGBT community. It is recommended to exercise discretion.
- Traveling with Disabilities
Bosnia and Herzegovina is working towards improving accessibility for travelers with disabilities, although there is still progress to be made. While some accommodations and attractions may have limited accessibility, the warm and accommodating nature of the locals can help overcome challenges. Plan ahead, inform your accommodation of any specific needs, and consider traveling with a companion for assistance.