Introduction to Bosnia and Herzegovina – a heart shaped country


A charming country that will please your motorcycle touring appetites

Meeting people from around the world: be it travelers, motorcycle adventurers or just ordinary people and talking to them about South-Eastern Europe (where Bosnia and Herzegovina, or BiH, is located) left me pretty surprised with how much prejudices about this beautiful country there are. One can’t really blame people for their views and opinions because things in BiH have changed quickly and greatly in the last 15 years or so and it’s hard to stay updated if you don’t visit the country by yourself.

Shaken by the turmoil of war in the early nineties, modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina not only fully recovered and shook off the dust from its shelled and bombed streets, but it evolved into a beautiful and culturally fascinating European country. With its beautiful nature and landscapes, national parks and unbelievably interesting urban centres such as Sarajevo and Mostar, the least we can say it’s a one of a kind touring and traveling stop on the European map. So let’s see what a Balkans motorcycle tour through Bosnia can offer to us.

So what’s it like there?

Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina) is a European country located on the Balkan peninsula. It was formerly part of Yugoslavia but gained independence in 1992. It borders Croatia to the north, west and southwest, Serbia to the east and Montenegro to the southeast. As you probably already know, MotoTrip’s native country is Croatia for which we’ve also written two introductory posts on our blog for all of you motorcycle travel fans, so you can check them later if you already haven’t – part 1, part2. The uniqueness of BiH as a part of our No Borders Tour is that it’s mainly a continental country with just a tiny access to the Adriatic Sea, as opposed to Croatia and Montenegro that have long Adriatic coastlines. We’ve made sure that on balkans motorcycle tour with us you experience all the diversity of this part of the Europe.

If we would have to put it in a sentence, than the next one would probably do the job. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique architecture and the Sarajevo Film Festival and Sarajevo Jazz Festival, both the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe. The country is home to three ethnic groups or. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. It’s population is a little more than 4.5 million with the capital being Sarajevo.

A significant part of Bosnia’s magic lies in the fact that it still has very limited tourist infrastructure, which means that the country’s attractions aren’t unspoiled by the droves of tourists that blight most European attractions. Now we’ll talk about some of the must-see places in BiH.

Food on Balkans motorcycle tour

Must-see attractions and great cuisine while on Balkans motorcycle tour

Sarajevo is a charming city where everyone will instantly feel welcome. It’s not a very large city and there won’t be many large business buildings and standard “big city” infrastructure to see here. Sarajevo has kept its captivating charm with its numerous busy cafés, lively streets and squares and hospitality of the locals. A walk through Sarajevo is a walk through its past where visitors can admire the old buildings such as the oriental Ottoman quarters, bustling with sweet shops, cafés and handicraft workshops, to the administrative and cultural centre dating back to Austro-Hungarian times. The main spot that will amaze you for sure is the old historical and cultural center of Sarajevo called Bascarsija (Bash-char-sheeya). If it was the only thing that Sarajevo could offer to you, it would make worth a stop on your motorcycle tour.

The city of Mostar is definitely a place to see while on motorcycle vacation through BiH. An icon of the war, the Stari most (the Old Bridge) over the Neretve river, that was completely ruined by the raging fires of war in 1993 is now completely restored and it’s one of the most beautiful and well known symbols of the country. There are total of three National parks in BiH: Sutjeska, Kozara and Una. Sutjeska is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s oldest National parks and it‘s famous for the Partisan victory over the Germans in WW II and there are large stone monuments commemorating the event. The park itself is 17,500 hectares of magnificent and untouched wilderness.

There are many natural sites to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina but we would need a book to describe them all. So we’re just giving you a glimpse of what’s there to see. But besides beautiful nature, Bosnian cuisine is definitely something you don’t want to miss. The local dishes are meat and starch based, which is typical of the region, but they’re deftly and deliciously prepared everywhere. A plate of ćevapčići (minced meat sausages served with onions, flatbread and ricotta cheese – first picture above) or burek (a minced meat-filled phyllo pastry) will run you less than $3, fill you up for half a day, and are ubiquitous. Oh yeah, if you are a coffe lover you will fall in love with the taste of traditional Turkish, but Bosnian adopted coffe (on a picture below). The taste and the aroma are simply joy for the senses.

That’s it for now. Hope you’ve had a nice taste of what’s waiting for you on a Balkans motorcycle tour through Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’ve picked out a short video about BiH at the bottom of this post that you can check out. Stay tuned into Ride the adventure blog, because there’s more coming soon.


Thing you need to know

  • Population: around 4.5 million
  • Language: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian
  • National currency: Convertible Mark (BAM) – 1 EUR is around 1,96 Convertible Marks; 1 USD is around 0,6 Convertible Marks
  • Capital city: Sarajevo
  • Time zone: Central European Time (GMT+1)
  • Personal documents you need: all you need is a valid passport. People from most countries don’t need a visa if they’re staying for less than 90 days
  • Prices: slightly cheaper than the neighboring EU countries like Croatia, Italy and Austria
  • Climate: warm and dry summers and fairly cold winters
  • Electricity plug: standard European Type C plug, 220V, 50Hz
  • MotoTrip’s motorcycle tour covering the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina: No Borders tour

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