Bosnia and Herzegovina is an amazing Balkan destination. And it has been on my travel bucket list since I was in University (studying World History and Politics). Most people think of war when they hear “Bosnia” or “Herzegovina”, but the truth is that this country has some amazing cultural and natural wonders. This article will give you an overview of the most beautiful places in Bosnia and Herzegovina so you can plan your trip accordingly.
We also included a map with locations for easy reference!
15 Most Beautiful Places in Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia Herzegovina. It is truly one of the underrated cities in Europe.
Filled with the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian, Ottomans, and Yugoslavian, Sarajevo will delight any traveler looking for an offbeat destination.
Sarajevo is the European city that set off the sirens for the First World War when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. This incident took place right in the center of Sarajevo on the Latin Bridge. Today you will find a small placard mentioning the event, and a museum nearby.
During your visit soak in the old world charm of Sarajevo’s main market, Baščaršija. You can join a free walking tour to learn about the history of the Ottomans and check off all the prime attractions from fountains, mosques, and iconic landmarks.
As part of your walking tour, don’t forget to drop by the Ferhadija Pedestrian Street, and sight Sarajevo roses, in memory of those who lost their lives during the 1992 Siege.
One of the most important items to add to your one day in Sarajevo itinerary is to enjoy a hearty feast with delicious cevapi, pies, and the famous Bosnian coffee. Most authentic restaurants and cafes are located in the old town and inside the market.
The Yellow Fortress is another must-visit landmark in this Bosnian city. Head there in the evening for some of the amazing sunset views. This fortress is completely free to explore.
Outside of the Old Town, take a moment to understand Sarajevo’s heart-wrenching past – of the Siege of 1992. You can go on a guided tour with a local to explore the Sarajevo War Tunnel and Museum, along with a tour of the abandoned Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track.
Sarajevo was different in 1984 when it hosted the Winter Olympics – it was growing. In about less than 10 years (1992) it was engulfed in a war, and today the same Olympics complex speaks volumes of a different story altogether – as if time stood still, and the city abandoned!
We highly recommend visiting Sarajevo as part of your Balkans trip itinerary.
Pro tip: Sarajevo is very affordable as compared to many European capital cities.
Accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott Sarajevo
Mostar is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This city has been on the rise over the last couple of years – catering more to world travelers than before.
There are numerous museums that you can explore, depending on your interests. The Armija Mostar Museum or Museum of War and Genocide Victims is a must-visit to learn about the 1992 Siege of Mostar and the iconic Old Bridge.
The Herzegovina Museum is another one worth visiting in Mostar to learn about the city’s history. This museum was established in 1950 with the purpose to find, collect, keep and present the cultural and historical heritage of Mostar and Herzegovina, which is the southern region of the country.
As part of your tour of Mostar, you simply cannot miss the Stari Most, a bridge that crosses over the river Neretva.
The “Old Bridge” is considered to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, and with good reason – it has survived centuries of tectonic activity, earthquakes, and wars.
During the Ottoman era, the bridge was restored several times. It was destroyed during the Bosnian War in 1993, but it was rebuilt using the original stones. This bridge has become a symbol of Mostar and is an iconic landmark to the city.
Stari Most is also known as Mostar Bridge. It was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2005.
Accommodation: Kriva Cuprija Hotel
Kravice Waterfalls is one of the most beautiful places in Bosnia Herzegovina. These cascading falls make for a picturesque stop on your Balkans road trip.
Kravica, as the Bosnians call it, is located about an hour’s drive from Mostar. This natural wonder is a popular spot for locals and tourists to take some time out in the fresh air. You can walk down into the falls or go horseback riding.
Alternately, you can also swim at one of the five pools carved into the rocks for a small fee, in the summer months.
Kravice Waterfalls are open during the summer season between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm (June to September).
The entrance fee to Kravice Falls is around 3 to 8 euros for adults, depending on the season. You can visit the falls on a day tour from Mostar, Sarajevo, or Dubrovnik.
No public transportation is available to this spot, so either you drive or join a tour. There is a huge parking lot on-site (fee 1 euro).
Accommodation: Stay in Mostar at Kriva Cuprija Hotel
Počitelj is a town located on the banks of river Neretva, between Mostar and Čapljina. The old fortified city was built between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Its narrow streets are lined with stone houses that have traditional open porches with wooden pillars supporting the upper floors.
A walk through this town gives a sense of its past – humble and rooted in the Ottoman Empire. There are several old mosques, churches, inns, and bridges that depict this past.
Over the years the strategic importance of Počitelj has changed, but much of its characteristics from the Ottomans have stayed. The iconic clock tower and the madrasa define the beauty of this open ‘history’ museum.
Počitelj is very popular with tourists today because it has managed to retain its authenticity as a living community and as an ancient settlement on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
This historic village is easily accessible from Mostar. It takes about 40 minutes to get there.
Blagaj and Buna River
Blagaj is a picturesque village along the Neretva river sporting a long history.
It has an impressive 16th-century Turkish house, the Dervish tekke or Dervish Monastery, that is part of the Blagaj Tekija complex of buildings which also includes a mosque, hammam (bath), and cemetery.
The Blagaj Tekija dates back to the 16th century, and it showcases Ottoman architecture and the Mediterranean style of architecture.
The weather in Blagaj is very mild as compared to its Bosnian counterparts.
The most beautiful sight in Blagaj is the Buna River, and of course the waterfalls for which it’s named. A clear turquoise stream cascades down some 15 metres (49 ft) into a large plunge pool with rich green algae coloring its depth.
This area around Buna Waterfall has been popular as a spa resort since Roman times, and it’s easy to see why. The water falling down the cliff face is cool and refreshing, which makes for a great escape from the summer heat.
Lake Blagaj located here is a glacial lake filled with clear water and surrounded by mountains, adding to its astounding beauty. It was formed in the early Quaternary period and is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s largest karst poljes (flat plains).
The area received under special protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Blagaj Tećija from Mostar is just a 20 minute car ride away.
Konjic is one of the oldest permanent settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This town sits in a mountainous region and dates back to almost 4000 years old.
Its long history can be traced back to ancient Illyrian times. Konjic is best characterized by the bridge – Stara Ćuprija, that is built over the Buna River, its wooden cobbled streets, and Ottoman old-town quarter called Čaršija with a central mosque.
Konjic is also home to Tito’s Nuclear Bunker. You can spend an hour or so exploring the site. There are a lot of historical and natural sites located in this town. And when you are visiting don’t enjoy a hike in the Prenz mountains.
Konjic is a truly beautiful place with lots to do and it’s easy to get there as well. It takes an hour by car from Mostar and Sarajevo.
The city of Banja Luka is one of the largest cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is known for its beautiful riverside promenades, galleries, cafes, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
Although it is the second biggest city in Bosnia, it has managed to keep its small-town coziness.
There are many interesting historical landmarks in this city including the old part of town. Banja Luka (“Baths of St. Luke”) became an important military centre under the Ottoman rulers.
In the subsequent years, it lost its sheen but later rose to significance during the uprisings of the Bosnians against Turkey, as well as in the revolts of the Serbs.
The Cultural Heritage Route makes the city of Banja Luka even more beautiful. This route was established to connect all major historical sights in this medieval town, including fortresses, churches, mosques, museums, galleries, libraries, etc.
You can get there by car from Sarajevo, and it takes about three and a half hours.
Accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott Banja Luka
Jablanica is a town located on the Neretva river and Jablanica lake. It’s a great place to enjoy nature and relax.
One of the primary attractions in Jablanica is a damaged bridge, built over the Neretva River. This bridge was destroyed during World War II (and a few times before and after that), and when you visit the site today you can still see the wounds of the war (in reel time).
So this rail bridge blew up during the Battle of the Neretva in 1943, while a train was in the middle of crossing. Then in the 1960s, the bridge section and the locomotive as seen today in the river gorge were left as parts of a movie set.
You can visit the park and monument commemorating the actual event from World War II. It is lovely to enjoy a stroll in and around the area, surrounded by greenery and mountain views.
There are quite a few restaurants in the area that offer amazing views of the lake and nearby areas. Stop by any of the following places for a bite to eat – Restoran Sedmica, Restoran Kovacevic Jablanica, or Zdrava Voda.
Jablanica is about an hour and a half drive away from Sarajevo. It takes about 2+ hours to get there by public transportation.
Accommodation: Hotel Jablanica
Jajce Town and Pliva Waterfall
Jajce is a small but stunningly beautiful town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the Pliva River.
Nestled in the mountains Jajce offers a picturesque destination with river views of Vrbas and Pliva and lakes like Pliva lake. Jajce is known for the beautiful 22-metre (72 ft) high waterfall, called the Pliva waterfall right in the middle of town. This is where the Pliva River meets the river Vrbas.
You can combine a trip to explore Jajce, along with the nearby town of Travnik, and Banja Luka. Jajce town and Pliva waterfall can also be visited on a day tour from Sarajevo.
Accommodation: Hotel Plivsko Jezero
Višegrad is a town located in eastern Republika Srpska, on the confluence of the Drina and the Rzav river. Prior to the Bosnian War, the town was inhabited by a majority of ethnic Serbs.
The old part of this medieval town is well preserved and offers great examples of Ottoman architecture with its mosques, spas, and hammams (baths).
The Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge (16th century UNESCO listed site), and the River Drina together make for an important attraction in this historic town. You can book a River Drina Cruise to understand its past and soak in the scenery
There are quite a few monuments dedicated to Ivo Andric, a Yugoslav novelist and Nobel Prize winner. He wrote a novel, called The Bridge on the Drina, which won the Nobel Prize in 1961.
In Visegrad, you will also find his statue, a pink Ivo Andric House which showcases the author’s younger days, and a theme park called Andricgrad. Andricgrad aka Stone Town was built to honor the author by re-creating a setup from the novel – The Bridge on the Drina.
Visegrad is another great day trip from Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. The drive takes around 2 hours.
Accommodation: Hotel Višegrad
This town is known for its fairytale-looking Turkish bridge. It was built in the 16th century by the Bosnian King to connect two parts of the city, i.e. the old and new towns that are divided by the river Fojnička River.
The bridge has become a symbol of Fojnica and has given its name to the town.
Fojnica is known for its Gajret association, which was established in 1894. It’s also known for its beautiful nature, lovely riverside promenades, and historical sites including the old mosque built in 1575.
In terms of sightseeing spots, do stop by the Holy Spirit Franciscan Monastery which is home to some of the cultural nuances of Bosnia.
The monstery along with the Carsijska dzamija mosque showcases the dual religious heritage of Fojnica as a place of significance to both Muslims and Catholics.
There is also a spa in this little town.
Nearby Prokosko Lake and the Vranica mountains give Fojnica its unique charisma of a mountain town.
You can get to Fojnica from Sarajevo by car, and it takes about an hour.
Accommodation: Stay in Sarajevo at Courtyard by Marriott
Located on the banks of the Trebišnjica river is the hidden gem of Trebinje. It is the largest city in the southern part of the country; and is also situated close to Dubrovnik in Croatia.
This destination is home to lots of historic sites including churches, old mosques, and orthodox monasteries, as well as a riverside promenade.
The city’s old town quarter dates to the 18th-century Ottoman period and includes the Arslanagić Bridge, also known as Perovića Bridge.
What’s unique about the city is that it had witnessed a lot of wars from the Ottoman era, Austro-Hungarian rule, to the recent Yugoslav and Bosnian – so it truly is a historic area. Many of the historical remnants are very well-preserved towns in this part of Europe.
Trebinje is often called “the city of the sun and platan trees”, with warm temperatures all throughout the year.
Trebinje is about 4 hours away from Sarajevo.
Accommodation: Hotel Platani
Foča is a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located near the border with Montenegro and Serbia, on the banks of the Drina river.
In the past, Foča was known as a major Islamic seat that housed Bosnia’s most important Islamic high schools, the Madrasa of Mehmed Pasha Kukavica. It was also home to the “Seminary of Saint Peter of Sarajevo and Dabar-Bosna” – Serbian Orthodox Church.
Foča today, reveals the horrors of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Bosnian Serbs in 1992.
Since the war, many of the mosques and buildings that were destroyed were rebuilt. The old clock tower of Foča that you see today is a symbol of the town of the 18th century.
Foča is beautiful during the summer, but in winter it becomes even more beautiful when all the trees are covered in snow. You can visit this cute village for its history, riverside walks, or mountain hikes.
Accommodation: Rafting Center Drina Tara
Sutjeska National Park
Sutjeska National Park is one of the oldest parks, located in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, bordering the neighboring Balkan country of Montenegro.
It was established in 1962 to protect a large part of forested mountainous terrain with endemic flora and fauna. It includes the highest peak of Maglić at over 2,386 metres (7,828 ft).
There are many things to do around this area including hiking, taking boat tours, visiting forests and lakes for fishing, horseback riding, etc. You will find many beautiful lakes located inside the park.
Other than the natural sights, the park is remembered as the location of the Battle of the Sutjeska which lasted from 15 May to 16 June 1943 during World War II. In this battle, the Yugoslav army was led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito and was victorious over the German occupying forces.
You will also find several large Partisan’s Memorial stone monuments to commemorate this event.
Sarajevo to Sutjeska National Park is a 2.50-hour drive away.
Accommodation: Hotel Mladost (in Tjentište, about 3.7 km from the park)
Una National Park
There are many gorgeous national parks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the most stunning one is definitely Una National Park. It is the largest national park in the country centered around the rivers Upper Una River, Krka, and the Unac.
With its dense forests and over 300 animal species, this park offers many opportunities for activities such as fishing and hiking. It’s also a popular destination for bird watching.
In short, it has everything you need to have an amazing day out – beautiful nature, riverside promenades, picnic areas as well as a number of activities.
Una National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s also a place where you can connect with nature and feel relaxed at the same time.
Unlike many of the places mentioned in this guide which can be done as day trips, Una National Park is an exception as it is located a 5-hour car ride away from Sarajevo.
This park is actually close to Plješivica mountain virgin forest, and it stretches to Croatia, particularly Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Accommodation: Japodski Otoci (about 10 km away)
Planning tips: Best places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with an amazing mix of natural beauty, culture, history, and food. If you are looking for someplace new to explore this year or even just want to see what’s out there in the world, don’t forget about this picturesque little country!
There are so many wonderful places that are waiting for you from historical sites, mountains, coastlines to waterfalls – you’ll never be bored and will always find something beautiful no matter where you go.