Amazing sights in Bosnia and Herzegovina not to overlook

By Jaclynn Seah, 02 February 2018 6057

Bosnia and Herzegovina may not have any natural coastlines, but you will hardly miss the sea breeze as this beautiful Balkan country is covered with forested mountains and clear rushing rivers. While there are visible reminders of the tragic war fought in the 90s throughout the country, I found that Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to some of the warmest people, a unique cultural and historical mix and also very affordable for most travellers and highly recommend anyone passing through the Balkans to visit this lovely country – here are some of the most beautiful things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Experience a mini-Niagara waterfall

Kravice Waterfalls. Photo by Mario Fajt via Flickr
Kravice Waterfalls are located near the southern city of Mostar and the many cascades around a turquoise pool makes it a popular scenic spot for visitors. The water temperature is always a little chilly – I was shivering in the water even in the summer – and the 25m tall falls are most impressive at peak volume during winter.
There is no public transport option to get here, you will have to hire a car or taxi to visit Kravice Waterfalls, or join a day tour that shows you the main sights around Mostar like Blagaj Monastery and Počitelj Citadel for the best value.

Watch daredevils jump off an iconic bridge

Photo by Jaclynn Seah via The Occasional Traveller
The famous pointed arch bridge Stari Most or Old Bridge in the centre of the old city of Mostar is an iconic sight that was first built in the 16th century. It was destroyed during the Bosnian war of the 90s, and rebuilt in 2004 as a symbol of reconciliation.
Tourists flock to the bridge for that postcard worthy-shot and to watch for the daredevils from the local dive club take a plunge into the Neretva River 24m below... for tips of course. What used to be a rite of manhood for the local boys is now tightly regulated and the only other people allowed to make this dangerous leap today are divers during the annual bridge diving competitions or visitors willing to pay for it and undergo mandatory training before they make the jump.

Raft down a river so clean you can drink from it


Photo by Jaclynn Seah via The Occasional Traveller
The tiny town of Konjic is one of the oldest settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina with almost 4,000 years of history. Today it is the base for adventurers looking to navigate the white-water rapids of the Neretva River. I spent a day riding the waves of a river so clean that I was told I could drink from it, and admired the scenic mountain view of the surrounding valley from the raft.
It is easy to drive or catch a bus from Mostar or Sarajevo to get to Konjic, and there are several rafting operators, make sure to pick one that is licensed and well-rated.

Visit a top secret nuclear bunker


Photo by Jaclynn Seah via The Occasional Traveller
Hidden in the mountains around Konjic is a secret nuclear bunker built by revered former Yugoslavian leader Josip Tito. The construction of Atomska Ratna Komanda or ‘the Ark’ at the foot of Mount Zlatar started in 1953 during the Cold War era and took 26 years to finish, and is one of the largest Yugoslavian nuclear shelters meant to house 350 people including Tito and his inner circle in the event of a nuclear attack. This bunker was so secret that the general public only found out about its existence in the 1990s.
Today you can see a lot of the original furnishings in the rooms of the bunker, and it has also been transformed into a contemporary art museum of sorts, and it is rather surreal to see various art works amidst this time capsule. The bunker is only open on certain days and you have to take a guided tour to visit.

Walk across the bridge where World War I started

Photo by Jaclynn Seah via The Occasional Traveller
History buffs will know that the start of World War I is attributed to the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and it all happened right here on the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo back in 1914. The story of the bungles, mishaps and pure happenstance involved in this assassination and the subsequent attempt to flee the scene was something I learned from the guide of my free walking tour around downtown Sarajevo. It’s hard to imagine that such an innocuous looking bridge from the Ottoman Empire was the site of such a momentous historical global event.

Relive the 1984 Winter Olympics even without the snow

Photo by Jaclynn Seah via The Occasional Traveller
One of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s high points in a rather eventful 20th century was hosting the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. Many of the venues and structures were either destroyed during the war or left to crumble after the games, but one structure that has remained mostly intact is the bobsled track on Mount Trebević near the capital city Sarajevo. These days the bobsled track is covered in graffiti and though crumbling in spots, still sees curious tourists walking along its track, and even the occasional skateboarder or cyclist fearlessly zip down the chute.

Things to note

Despite its chequered history, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a relatively safe country for travellers but it never hurts for you to take extra precautions just in case of the unexpected. I was glad that I paid for a comprehensive travel insurance plan because I could focus on my travel adventures without worrying about incurring unplanned expenses such as medical expenses or missed flight connection.
Bonus tip: Income offers 38% off single trip plans in the month of February (2018) so hurry, redeem your discount today!

Do note if you are in rural areas to stick to marked paths and look out for red signs with skulls that demarcate potential landmine areas, remnants of shelling from the Bosnian War. Road infrastructure may also be iffy in spots and there is potential seismic activity and landslides in this mountainous region. 


Important Notes:
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.