Bosnia and Herzegovina is a spellbinding potpourri of history and culture. It has a fascinating timeline that ranges from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires to recent Yugoslavia, which when coupled with its natural splendour, makes it a true delight.
Capital Sarajevo, attracts visitors with its East-meets-West ambience. It is surrounded by verdant mountains and dotted with historical buildings like the city hall (also known as Vijecnica). Heavily damaged in the Bosnian war in 1992, the city hall was reconstructed and reopened in 2014. The Tunnel of Hope is another reminder from the war – this 800m tunnel was the only way out for civilians during the siege of Sarajevo. For security reasons, you can only explore about 25 metres of the tunnel. Other highlights in Sarajevo include the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bascarsija – a grand historic market.
The country’s largest city Mostar is located about 130km southwest of Sarajevo and the iconic bridge, Stari Most is its focal point. This UNESCO world heritage listed bridge was initially built in the mid-16th-century but was destroyed in the war. The present structure had been reconstructed keeping its medieval charm intact. Mostar makes a great base for exploring the cascading Kravice Waterfall and the fortress village of Pocitelj – an open-air museum of historical architecture.
Located in the southernmost part of the country is Trebinje whose walled old town is its main draw. With a mountainous backdrop this is also one of Bosnia’s most scenic places. The country’s central region houses Jajce and Travnik – two historical gems. Jajce, which is more popular among the two, also has a striking waterfall while Travnik is known for its namesake castle.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a tumultuous past but it is now enjoying a period of peace to match its beauty, which makes it one of Eastern Europe’s most sought after destinations.
Mostar’s iconic Stari Most bridge has kept its medieval charm intact even after reconstruction.