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Tourism Safety in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Bosnia and Herzegovina is as safe for tourists as any other European country. Beautiful, historic, heart shaped land makes a great way to see the one of the loveliest areas of Europe. But you should be careful when you’re there, keep in mind that this region was subject to repeated wars and there are still scars remain. Despite of all historical events, turmoil and wars Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that offers a wealth of resources and natural beauties, attractive locations. The greatest wealth of Bosnia and Herzegovina is rich forests, and crystal clear mountain rivers you should not miss to see.

When it comes to crime, Bosnia and Herzegovina is relatively safe. As in most the case of traveling in any other country, tourists should take precautions and be careful to stay safe. Sarajevo does not have a high level of street crime, but pick-pocketing and purse snatchings do occur, and of course, tourists are prime targets. The mine issue has been narrowed down to the minimum and there is no threat of landmines in any highly populated area, national parks or other tourist destination. It is all perfectly safe. Avoid marked areas — red or yellow sign indicate that the area might still be contaminated and listen to locals.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is very safe place for anyone to visit, but does that means that tourists don’t have anything to vworry about when it comes to tourism safety. We take a look at crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The crime rate in Bosnia and Herzegovina is moderate. Each city in Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from the same criminal activity as any other city around the world. The level of crime against tourists is generally low, but you should be careful of pickpockets in the tourist and pedestrian areas of Sarajevo and other bigger cities and in public transportation. Also, you should pay close attention to your personal belongings, avoid wearing expensive watches, jewelry and cameras, particulary on public transport and in crowds. Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location. Use ATMs in controlled areas such as within banks, shops, and shopping centers and avoid ATMs that open onto the street, especially at night. Be alert at all times, especially after dark. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues. But you shouldn’t decide not to visit this amazing country located in the heart of southeast Europe, just because you’re concerned about crime that could happen anywhere else in the world. Safety adviceThere’s so much to see, from historic temples to scars from the war to amazing landscapes and peaceful spa resorts. Bosnians are extremely friendly what comes from their pride in their heritage.

Sarajevo, Zenica and Tuzla have awful levels of air pollution from facotry emissions, coal and ancient vehicles. If you’ve got asthma or other respiratory diseases, there’s a chance you might react negatively to the air quality. Also, if cigarette smoke is a problem for you, be prepared because Bosnians love to smoke!Adventure riskIf you love the mountains and want to go hiking, skiing or even water rafting, Bosnia and Herzegovina is perfect place for you, since the country is pretty mountainous. You can enjoy Olympic Mountains in many different ways. If you want to try skiing for the first time, consider taking a guide and all ski centers offer professional and licensed trainers. The same goes for rafting on unpredictable water of the beautiful Neretva or Una, so always use proper equipment and a guide. Also, there is a certain risk of landmines in some mountainous areas and in the countryside, so going on a guided tour is highly recommended. Don’t enter abandoned villages, abandoned and ruined buildings and unpaved roads outside the cities as they can also be dangerous for the same reasons.

Road Travel

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a spectacular landscape which makes very beutifull drive through the country. Most of the travel you will pass through the mountains and hardly get to drive on highway because there is almost none of it. Make sure you have enough fuel, cause going uphill will drain your tank fast and not everywhere is easy to find Petrol station. Driving in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not hard as traffic is pretty chilled and road conditions are good. One of the highlights to see and experience in Bosnia is its scenic winding roads and also driving from place to place you will get to see the most beautifull landscapes. If you get lost, ask locals to help you. Bosnians are the most friendly people and always happy to help tourists. Hovever, if you leave main roads you might find problematic roads, but driving even there should not be a big problem. The only problem are aggressive drivers who do not respect speed limits and other rules, so just drive carefully and you will not face any problems. Petrol statios are usually placed on the edge of towns and cities. But for first ensure you are allowed to drive there because licensing may be an issue. Drivers should carry with them their “green card” liability insurance, drivers license and ownership documents, which is usually inspected at border crossings. Be sure to have the rental document that shows the actual dates that the car is contracted for.

Air travel

The best time to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina is on spring and summer since in winter times there is a high possibility of fog. Sarajevo (Butmir) International airport (SJJ) is prone to fog from October to March and especially during December and January. If you decide to travel there during winter, make sure you have enough money if you are forced to extend your stay due to delays caused by adverse weather. HealthHealthcare in Bosnia is not of the standard as in Western Europe. The biggest danger in Bosnia and Herzegovina are uncleared landmines. Avoid marked areas and abandoned villages. If you’re planning on going hiking or wandering off paths in rural areas, make sure you go with a guide or local who knows the terrain. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 124 and ask for an ambulance. Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number. Tap water is considered safe to drink in Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, due to the different mineral content, some people may get stomach upsets from drinking the water if they aren’t used to it.

A better option is to find filtered water rather than rely on bottled water. All tap water in Sarajevo is clean, pure and most definitely safe.

However in other parts of Bosnia, especially the Posavina Region and Eastern Bosnia, drinking tap water is highly discouraged as it is the cause of illness. Boiled tap water is still not safe to drink. Most cities in these regions have tap areas (especially near hospitals) with clearly marked labels reading “Water for drinking”. This water is safe to drink as well as bottled water you can buy in shops and from street vendors. Be aware of the harmful thick smog that blankets cities such as Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla, Brčko and Visoko. If you are an asthmatic or sensitive on the lungs, be sure to wear a medical mask as to avoid illness and wrecking your trip. Air pollution is caused by emissions from industry, motor vehicles and burning of rubbish, which is very common around the country. It is worst during the winter time in Sarajevo when soot covers the basin. It is recommended to escape to the mountains on bad days, and to breathe clean air found above the “smogbank”. Since the food is very rich, some extra exercise may helpSmoking is allowed everywhere in the country, and over half the population use tobacco. Therefore, be prepared to endure very smoky restaurants, bars and shopping centers.

Travel Insurance

When you are traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina it’s important to take vacation travel insurance to ensure you have access to travel assistance and coverage if your travel plans are interrupted or if you require emergency medical assistance. It is recommended to take comprehensive travel insurance. Read the policy description all the way through, and check if all valuable items will be fully covered. Also, check that the policy covers an emergency flight home.

Legal System

Bosnia and Herzegovnia have a legal system that is comparable to most first-world countries. But there are exceptions. One is that photography of military installations, government checkpoints, troops and the U. S. Embassy are forbidden. Be aware this may include civilian airports, bridges and equipment being used for military purposes, so if you have doubts, just ask. Better safe than sorry. You wouldn’t want to cut your holiday short just for taking a quick pic of a bridge. Some local laws are also different than other countries in Europe. For instance, there are no anti-smoking laws. So expect restaurants, cafes and even public transports to be filled with clouds of smoke. Political situationWhen it comes to the political situation,it is important to mention that occasional protests in major cities are possible to occur. These are normal peacefull demonstrations but they can cause disruption to traffic and limit access to public buildings. It is recommended for tourists to keep up to date and avoid all protests.


The important travel advice for anywhere you go is to invest in a good travel guide to help you plan your trip. Also, first check the entry requirements and make sure you have correct visas and that your passport is valid. Make a photocopy of your passport and take it with you, or store it online. If you decide driving through Bosnia and Herzegovina make sure your licence is current and valid and be aware of the driving laws. Get travel insurance and make sure it covers you for any activities you are likely to do, including extreme or water sports. find out about local customs and dress, behave accordingly and obey local lawsstore useful numbers on your phone such as the local policeif you intend to take part in any adventure sports or water sports during your trip, only use properly licensed and insured operators. Be smart when you are traveling on foot. Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks. Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas. Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.

Respect Locals

Respect the religious differences of the people in the region and their effort to move past the Yugoslav war. It is important to be careful in areas where there is still tension and to ensure that one does not offend a particular group due to indifference or sheer ignorance. Similarly, respect the environment. A lot of the country has been saved from pollution and it is important to be careful of one’s influences. Moreover, it is equally important to be careful as the rivers tend to be fierce, the mountains and valleys often unguarded and the footing unsure. Always have a tour guide with you or consult a local for advice on the natural dangers and land mines.

Driving in Bosnia and Herzegovina

If you decide driving in Bosnia, choose a newer vehicle, they have more safety features and are more reliable and consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area. Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis. Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina may be poor. Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal). Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas. If you choose to drive a vehicle in Bosnia and Herzegovina, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork. Make sure you have liability insurance.

Flying in Bosnia and herzegovina

Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft. Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Stay safe outdoors

Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe. Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit. Eat and drink regularly, wear loose and lightweight clothing, and limit physical activity during high temperatures. If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.


The currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Bosnian Mark (KM or BAM). ATMs are common in major centres. Credit cards and debit cards are increasingly accepted outside Sarajevo but you’ll still need cash on hand, particularly outside of the major cities. Bosnia is a cash-based society, perhaps because the country’s only just starting to recover a result of the economic crash after the Bosnian War. ATMs are available where you can expect to pay up to 7 percent in fees, conversions and commissions. Not all places accept credit card. Bring cash. Delays at borders Keep up-to-date on border conditions by checking local news sources and asking transport providers directly. If travelling by road or train, allow additional time to cover any disruption and make contingency plans. Avoid large groups. Follow the instructions of local authorities.


If you’re visiting Sarajevo and you’re concerned about safety, make sure to look out for these travel safety tips: Visitors should use common sense to protect themselves. Walking the citySarajevo is a great city for walking. Stick to main streets and pathways and always cross at the intersection, especially be careful at night. Follow the traffic signals and pay attention to cars and cyclists. Avoid wearing high heels when visiting the old town due to specially paved parts. It is easy to slip or roll an ankle when walking in heels.


The most common place for pickpockets is the Old town Sarajevo since it is a major part of the tourism sector. The narrow streets in this part of the city make it easier to steal and disappear into the crowds. To avoid having your belongings stolen you need to play it safe. Keep your wallet in your front pocket and don’t have all your money in one place. Keep your valuables close and be aware of your surroundings. Keep things out of your back pockets and women should consider wearing crossbody handbags.


Unemployment, alcoholism and a lack government help force the unfortunate to the streets, so expect beggars in Sarajevo. Older women roam the streets selling anything from tissues to socks. ‘Buy’ something to donate your money. Others sit in the touristy areas holding their hands out.

Listen to Locals

Ask locals for directions and for recommendations. They will tell you the best path to go and where to avoid so play it safe and go the direction indicated by them. Locals in Bosnia are very friendly and hospitable, and they can also recommend you the best places to eat or drink.

Spots to watch out for

There are some neighborhoods you might want to skip— especially at night. Most of these areas aren’t tourist hot spots, so they’re easy to avoid. If you’d rather visit some of these neighborhoods, be sure to do it during the day.


Sarajevo International Airport (IATA code: SJJ and ICAO code: LQSA), also known as Butmir Airport, is the main international airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is located 12 kilometers from the center of Sarajevo. At the moment there are 17 scheduled airlines operating from Sarajevo International Airport and several charter carriers having flights only during the summer season. Tourists arrive to the airport by way of regular, seasonal and charter flights with the following airlines: Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Serbia, Adria Airways, Eurowings, AtlasGlobal, flydubai, Germanwings, Pegasus, Air Arabia, Norwegian Air, Nesma Airlines, Wizz Air. Make sure your luggage is easy to identify and manageable for you to carry on your own. Don’t leave your bags unattended. Avoid strangers asking to carry your bags. There are several ways to get from the Sarajevo International Airport to the center of town:Airport Bus, Taxi, Rent a Car, Public Transport


To rent a car you need to have an international driving license. Most companies will provide you with the car’s request at the address. In addition to the car, you can rent a van, minibus or bus in Sarajevo. The rental price of the vehicle ranges from 50 to 500 KM, depending on the class of a vehicle. TaxisNever get into an unmarked cab and be careful not to fall victim to scams, especially when picking up from the airport. All Sarajevo taxicabs are clearly identified. Legitimate taxis are required to have a “TAXI” sign on top and license plates with “TA” on them. All vehicles use a taxi meter and the driver will issue a receipt upon request. Taxi fares can only be paid in cash. Public transportationWhile in Sarajevo, if you decide to use public city transport, you can choose between a tram, trolleybus, bus, and minibus. The price of the airport bus is 5 KM, tram and trolleybus tickets are 1,60 KM on the kiosk or 1,80 KM with driver.

The card must be annulled after entering the vehicle. Bosnia and Herzegovina by busA bus is the most used form of public transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina and this system functions very well. From Bosnia, there are all year connections to Germany, Austria, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Extra fee of about 1-2 Euro per piece is charged for luggage for the hold and also is good to know that during the summer season buses can be delayed due to heavy traffic. Next bike Sarajevo has a brand new bike path from Ilidža to Skenderija and Next bike presents a great commuter service for short distances. Bikes are available at a few rental stations and bike paths are marked in most parts of town. Always cross at the light and, where available, use pedestrian crossing zones.

Cyclists should observe all regular traffic rules. Top responsible travel tips for Bosnia & HerzegovinaBe considerate of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s customs, traditions, religion and culture. Support local artisans by shoping locally made products. Ask for permission before taking photos of people, including children. Don’t worry, Sarajevo is a friendly city, it is full of friendly people who are happy to help out with directions or a dinner recommendation. Thanks to the technology, smartphones and all other helpful gadgets, today is easier than ever to plan a vacation, find your way, and stay safe. Don’t be afraid to explore: Use common sense and these safety tips to help you branch out with confidence.

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