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Things to see and do in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tourism Association of Bosnia and HerzegovinaAddress: Sarači 58, 71000,
Telephone: (33) 252 928.
Attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cross Mostar Bridge
Visit Mostar to see the elegant bridge that links the two sides of the town across the Neretva River. The original 16th-century Ottoman bridge was destroyed in the 1990s conflict, but has since been reconstructed to the original specifications with Turkish help. In Mostar itself, there are also many well-preserved 16th and 17th-century mosques, medieval buildings and cobbled streets worth visiting.
Feel the history of Sarajevo
Although scarred by war, the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital is a vivacious place once more, with a great café culture and buzzing nightlife. The Ottoman quarter is particularly pretty with its historic mosques and timeworn monuments strewn about aged lanes and bazaars. The history is fascinating, too: visit the site where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, an event that sparked WWI, and learn about the terrible Bosnian War in the Tunnel Museum and Sarajevo History Museum.
Get the popcorn out for Sarajevo Film Festival
Pop along to the Sarajevo Film Festival, the most popular of all Sarajevo's festivals, which is held annually in August. The jamboree showcases movies from mostly Balkan countries and consistently unearths films of an excellent artistic standard.
Go rafting near Bihac
See what was historically the westernmost Muslim settlement in Europe, the Bihac pocket in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the Croatian border. As well as being home to the Fathija Mosque, formerly a church, the town is also a superb base for rafting on the Una River.
Hike the hillscapes
Bosnia and Herzegovina's undulating landscape provides numerous hill-walking opportunities, although it is imperative to avoid areas where landmines still pose a threat. Bjelasnica Mountain offers the potential for combined hiking, rafting and village tourism. The hills around Sarajevo are also worth trekking into, home as they are to the ruined remains of the bobsled track used in the 1984 Winter Olympics.
Hit Bosnia's only beach
For Bosnia and Herzegovina's only beach, head to Neum. The tiny, solitary stretch of coast that divides Croatia's seashore is nevertheless beautiful, with golden sands and emerald waters courtesy of the fabled Adriatic Sea. Climb the hills for incredible views of the Neum corridor, a narrow dagger of sea slicing into the Dalmatian coast.
Marvel at Bosnian nature in Sutjeska National Park
Don't miss the wildlife and unspoiled beauty of Sutjeska National Park. This nature reserve boasts both Maglic Mountain – at 2,368m (7,769ft), the highest point in Bosnia and Herzegovina – and Perucica Forest, one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe.
Pilgrimage to Medjugorje
On of Europe's most visited Catholic shrines, Medjugorje, south of Mostar, is where many claim to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make their way to this holy town, which sits near the border with Croatia.
Revel at the Winter Festival
The Winter Festival in Sarajevo (usually held in February or March) is an arts festival established long before the war in the 1990s and, indeed, was determinedly held every year during the siege (the festival is usually bi-annual). The cultural festival is a two-month celebration of diversity and talent through assorted performances and workshops.
Ride the rivers
Go white-water rafting along one of the country's many mountain rivers. Rafting tours are available along the Neretva, Una and Tara rivers, which offer some of the most exciting locations in Europe for this activity. Kayaking is another water sport for which Bosnia and Herzegovina offers great potential.
See the Dervish house of Blagaj
Near Mostar, Blagaj is one of the prettiest sights in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With dramatic cliffs, turquoise waterways and mysterious caves, this peaceful village is a feast for the eyes, though the main attraction is the old Dervish house, which looms perilously over the river at the foot of a 200m-high rock face. Blagaj lies just a half-day trip from Mostar.
Visit Bosnia's second city, Banja Luka
Although most visitors to Bosnia make a beeline for Sarajevo, Banja Luka is definitely worth a visit. The country's second largest city is a hilly, picturesque town with a pleasant snaking river that's lined by many cafes, and willows dipping into the waters. Also check out the Ottoman fortress, originally Roman, and choose between several Orthodox monasteries.