– Guest post by Raza from Bosnia and Herzegovina –
Bosnia and Herzegovina is the cross-cultural center of Eastern Europe; the place where East meets West. Although this heart-shaped land has been dubbed an underrated country, things are changing and tourism is picking up.
Some of the most well-seasoned travelers visit this country only to rave about it afterward. People are finally rediscovering the beauty that has always lay hidden within this mountainous, breath-taking country.
Enjoy the following pictures as I outline the places that make Bosnia and Herzegovina so unique.
Sarajevo is the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s heavily influenced by the Turks, as it was a part of the Ottoman Empire many years ago. You can find many of these spots anywhere in Sarajevo, including Baščaršije (bash-char-shee-ya), a cultural center and marketplace. The name itself is of Turkish origin.
The capital is considered the “Jerusalem of Europe” because of its wide diversity of Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, and Jews. It’s normal finding mosques, churches, and synagogues close to one another. Sarajevo is one of the most diverse and tolerant capitals.
There are also plenty of more modern spots to see within the city – like I said, it is where East meets West. Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian are all spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although they’re the same language with slightly different dialects.
See also: Holiday like a local in Sarajevo
Mostar is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most visited sites. It is the city where the Stari Most (or “old bridge” pictured below) is situated. Destroyed in the early 90’s and rebuilt afterward, it has stood as a proud symbol since.
There really is no other place like Mostar. It’s one of the most charming, clean, and interesting places you may ever see in your travels. Stari Most hovers above the Neretva River, which is also where you might see divers jumping from the bridge.
Surrounded by mountains in the distance, Mostar is both naturally and architecturally magnificent.
Roaming around and exploring this area will allow you to stumble upon quaint little spots and cafés, as pictured below. If you want to find out more about Mostar, read this article on my blog!
#3 Vrelo Bosne
If you travel just southwest of Sarajevo, you will find one of the country’s most beautiful natural landmarks, Vrelo Bosne. Located in Ilidža, this park is the spring of the River Bosna, and offers a wide variety of activities.
Playgrounds, cafés, ice-cream stands, horse and carriage rides, photographers, and painters are all found here. Yes, the water really is as crystal clear as in the pictures! It’s normal to find swans and ducks swimming around, and small bridges from which you can view them. If you go to Bosnia, I recommend you definitely stop by Vrelo Bosne.
Moving North, Tuzla is the third largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s just one more of the many multi-religious, multi-cultural cities in the country.
Tuzla is also home to Panonsko Jezero – an artificial lake, but one that is nonetheless gorgeous, recreational, and family-friendly; a great place to spend a hot day!
Brčko is a city also located in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina and lies on the Sava River, which borders Croatia. You can stand along the Sava in Brčko and see Croatia just across the river.
Brčko is also close to the Serbian border, so you can guess that this city is filled not only with Bosnians, but Serbs and Croats as well – just like the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brčko is an underrated city, but has so much to offer.
If you plan on visiting, Bosnia and Herzegovina should be pushed to the top of your travel list. Try to visit this country before tourism sky rockets, which it’s bound to do. Take advantage of the reasonable prices as well as the natural, cultural, and architectural beauties this country has to offer. Let me tell you – I’ve visited this country every summer for the past four years, and I still continue to uncover new places that intrigue me.
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Are you planning your trip to Bosnia yet? What are you most excited about?
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