It took me a couple years but finally I completed my ultimate Balkan itinerary and saw all the countries, my last unexplored region in Europe. If you have been keeping up with my adventures you know I visited Paris to get my ear drum fixed. The result was that I was not allowed to fly for two months. Traveling in Europe by car was the only option! Perfect timing for a Balkan road trip of course including the best places to visit in Bosnia.
Balkan road trip with Peugeot
You know I love to explore countries I have never been before, so I was super excited to jump in my Peugeot 5008 and drive all the way down southeast to start my Balkan itinerary. The road trip had started and first on the list was to visit Bosnia, for me country nr. 89.
My Bosnia road trip
Like always I actually had no clue what I was doing and I think that is a great way to go into a Bosnia road trip. Because when there are no expectations, nothing can be disappointing. I didn’t search the internet for Bosnia tourism or things to do, I was just winging it. Looking back this was the best idea, because my trip to Bosnia contained one highlight after the other. Traveling in Bosnia honestly was one of the highlights of my Balkan itinerary, visiting Srebrenica may be even one of the highlights of all my trips in 2018. It left a deep impression!
Having a lunch with a view at Kravice Waterfalls, one of the best places to see in Bosnia.
If you start looking for places to see in Bosnia you will obviously find the usual stuff like Sarajevo, Mostar, and Trebinje, but there are more places to see in Bosnia. What about Kravice, Blagaj, Pocitelj, Mrkonjic Grad, Srebrenica, Lake Jablanica? All amazing stops on a road trip to Bosnia.
9 Best places to see in Bosnia on a road trip
1. Visit Sarajevo
The countries capital can’t be missed! May be not the most pretty city you have seen, but full of history. Sarajevo is one of the cities that suffered the most during the Yugoslavian war that only ended in 1995. When I visited Sarajevo I did a free walking tour. You just gather at a certain place in the city and join a group on a walking tour. The free walking tour in Sarajevo is a tip-based tour, so free to join, happy to tip the guide.
This walking tour through the city is not just another guide. My guide was a professional local lady born and raised in Sarajevo knowing the city like the back of her hand. Her passionate way of telling about her city was captivating and hearing what happened over the years in Sarajevo was intriguing, especially when she added her personal stories about the war when she was a little child, basically living in hell. It made me realise how blessed I was growing up inNetherlands, and never had to deal with any safety issue in my life ever.
There are two walking tours in Sarajevo: a historical walking tour and one that focusses on the war. Click here for more info about the free walking tour in Sarajevo that starts every day at 10.30 in the morning.
1.1 Old Town Sarajevo
This is where my walking tour ended and definitely a must visit in Sarajevo. This is also the place where they recommend you to try the local eateries in all the Bosnia travel guide books. It was here where I tried the Burek and Cevapi.
2. Road trip from Sarajevo to Mostar
Some of my favourite places to see in Bosnia are along the road from Sarajevo to Mostar. This extremely scenic ride with plenty of tunnels and bridges will take you through stunning gorges, over mountains and along the river. Views are constantly to die for and I stopped many times along the way to enjoy the road trip from Sarajevo to Mostar to the max.
It came all as a massive surprise as I had never heard that driving in Bosnia was so incredible. After I stopped several times I decided to give up on Mostar as my final destination for that day. This place was simply to gorgeous to just keep on driving.
3. Camping Lake Jablanica
Why would I not be willing to stay here for the night? Mostar was my goal for that day, but I already found my peace on the side of Lake Jablanica. Coincidentally I stumbled upon an extremely laid-back camping place called Auto Camp Miris Ljeta in Ostrozac. To put up your tent and wake up with a view like this will cost you around €10.
After seeing these photos I am sure you would be willing to spend your holidays in Bosnia like this, right?
Of course this town will always be known for the famous Mostar Bridge, but there is more than that. Around the Stari Most there are narrow cobblestoned streets with souvenirs shops, little coffee places, restaurants, coloured houses, terraces, hidden courtyards, rooftop bars and more. Mostar honestly stole my hear the moment I walked in and I think is one of the highlights of Bosnia tourism. If you are lucky some daredevil will jump off the bridge as it is a common thing to do. It is great to hit one of the terraces and watch the spectacle.
4.1 Jump from the bridge in Mostar
If you are a fan of extreme sports you might want to try the bridge jump yourself. This is a legal thing to do, but for something so extreme you probably want some local advice. Find someone from the Divers Club, they are mostly around and if not ask in the nearby souvenir shop and they will point you in the right direction. You will have to pay them €30, including some practice jumps. This jump is a reason for some people to travel to Bosnia.
4.2 Sunset at Sniper Tower
There is a famous place to visit in Mostar for sunset. Ask around for the Sniper Tower, an abandoned high rise building. Officially it is illegal, but popular with locals and tourists. If you are interested in the history then join one of the free walking tours.
This touristy but stunning place has to be included on your trip to Bosnia. Head to the spring of the river Buna where an ancient Dervish Monastery is built into a 200 meter high cliff. Right at the place where the underground river gets to see daylight for the first time there are many terraces and a little waterfall. It is a famous Instagram photo spot.
Walk around the restaurants onto an elevated path to get the best views of the monastery and this amazing place to visit in Bosnia. Come early in summers to avoid the crowds, but unfortunately when you come early the spring of the river is in the shadow and looks a little less appealing. Having a coffee here is a great way to wake up though.
6. Kravice Waterfalls
Good wine needs no bush! Kravice is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Bosnia. It is a popular day trip from Mostar or Dubrovnik, but I would recommend you to stay around Kravice and spend an evening dining next to the waterfalls and go for a sunrise dip the next morning. I wrote a travel guide for Kravice Waterfalls with everything you need to know.
This sleepy little village perched into the mountain is a great place to visit in Bosnia on a road trip. It is not too far away from Kravice and is worth a stop on your Bosnia vacation. The steep cobbled stoned streets lined up with souvenir stalls, homestays and friendly locals lead up to a castle on the top with impressive views over the village and the river. Try the homemade fresh juices like strawberry, pomegranate and cherry. They are yummy!
8. Plivsko Jezero
This is not a standard tourist spot in Bosnia and not many people include this in their road trip itinerary. I got this tip from a local, who explicitly told me to go and to camp around the lake. People are extremely happy to see the Bosnia tourism picking up at this gorgeous lake surrounded by green hills.
8.1 Wooden watermills of Jajce
When you are around Plivsko Jezero you should also make your way to the wooden watermills. These little huts above small waterfalls make a great sight and definitely among the cooler things to see in Bosnia. It is called Mlinovi and can be found on Google Maps near the lakes.
9. Pliva Waterfall
The beautiful Pliva waterfalls can be found in the charming old town of Jajce and mark the end of the Pliva River. With its 22 meters high the waterfalls are impressive and one of the best places to see in Bosnia. Add the lovely town of Jajce to it and you want to add this place to your Bosnia road trip itinerary.
This is not a place you will usually find in any Bosnia travel guide. Srebrenica for me is a special place as it historically played a huge roll in Dutch history. Sadly enough Srebrenica is put on the map because of the genocide against the Bosnian Muslims in time of the Yugoslavian war. Almost 10.000 men got deported and killed and buried in mass graves in and around Srebrenica. Visiting the memorial center in Srebrenica and learning about the war in the museum left a deep impression. It gave me goosebumps to see what happened here. It is not a major tourist spot in Bosnia but if you are interested in history then add this to your itinerary of your trip to Bosnia.
If you want to read more about the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial and museum, click on the link. Be aware this contains sensitive content!
Driving in Bosnia
There are a couple things you need to know when you are going on a road trip in Bosnia:
- When driving in Bosnia you will hardly get to travel on highways, simply because there are hardly any.
- Most of the trip you will pass through the mountains. Constantly going up and down, following the winding roads.
- Make sure you have enough fuel, cause going uphill will drain your tank fast and not everywhere it is easy to find gas station, especially off the beaten path.
- Driving in Bosnia is not hard as traffic is pretty chilled and road conditions are good.
- There are many cool things to see in Bosnia, but one of the highlights is also its scenic roads.
- Driving from place to place you will get to see the most scenic landscapes.
- May you get lost, ask locals to help you. Bosnians are the most friendly people and always happy to help tourists.
Thank you for reading my travel blog about Bosnia and I hope it helped you planning your trip to Bosnia. May you still have questions please let me know, I would love to help you make the most of your Balkan road trip.
If you are planning a Balkan road trip then please let Bosnia be part of it, but also take a look at some other stops along the way. I for example discovered amazing things to do in Balkan for you. Read for example how to get to Uvac Viewpoint in Serbia, sleep in the mountains in Kosovo, take the Komani Lake Ferry in Albania or visit Matka Canyon. The Balkan is full of amazing adventures! I surely will be back...
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