Many people still associate Bosnia & Herzegovina with devastation and tragedy, but present-day Bosnia is a complete departure from the war-torn image you might hold in your mind. The country is constantly transforming and continues to establish itself as one of the most unique and underrated destinations in Europe.
Plus, it just so happens to be absurdly beautiful and extremely affordable. So, what are you waiting for? Here are six reasons to get to Bosnia ASAP.
Delving into Bosnia’s tumultuous history is a sobering experience. There’s a good chance you’ll end up engaging with someone who lived through a horrific war only twenty-odd years ago.
Whether you’re coming face-to-face with a building destroyed during the siege, standing on the bridge in Sarajevo where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, or visiting the site of mass killings at Srebrenica, one thing is certain: you’ll leave the country feeling humbled and awed by the resiliency and spirit of Bosnia and its people.
The natural beauty
Driving through the Bosnian countryside will leave you speechless. Dramatic mountain peaks give way to lush valleys and emerald-toned rivers course alongside picturesque villages. The country is packed with natural wonders, from unspoiled national parks to cascading, turquoise waterfalls.
The prices in Bosnia are so cheap, you might actually forget you’re still in Europe. Hostel dorm rooms start around €9 per night, a cup of coffee costs less than €1, and a heaping portion of cevapi will only set you back €3 or €4. It’s entirely possible to live like a king or queen while sticking to a modest budget.
Bosnian food is seriously delicious. We’re talking smoky meat cooked to perfection, flaky pastries brimming with tangy cheese, organic vegetables bursting with flavour – I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Two of the most popular dishes are burek – phyllo pastry filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables, and cevapi – minced meat sausages served with grilled flatbread and chopped onions. Ask for a dollop of kaymak (a rich, creamy cheese similar to clotted cream) with your cevapi and you’ve got one insanely tasty and indulgent meal.
It’s still largely off the beaten path
Imagine visiting untouched natural sights and significant historic landmarks without having to fight through hordes of tourists. In Bosnia, you don’t have to imagine – it’s reality. Nearby cities of Dubrovnik and Kotor have become tourist hotspots, but Bosnia remains a hidden gem, a place where you can get an authentic taste of Balkan culture without the unbearable crowds and inflated prices.
The vibrant capital: Sarajevo
Sarajevo is so much more than museums and bullet-ridden buildings. The city is home to a thriving café culture and a burgeoning craft beer scene. You can get lost among the winding alleys of a traditional Ottoman bazaar by day and sip cocktails in contemporary bars at night.
If you prefer outdoor pursuits, head to Sarajevo’s surrounding mountains for scenic hiking trails, hilltop fortresses, and sweeping panoramic views of the city.
RELATED: 15 MUST-DO’S IN SARAJEVO
Have you got an insiders guide for a new destination? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…