Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe - Stein Travel
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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small, heart-shaped country in southeastern Europe steeped in history, with everything from Roman annexation and Slav invasion to 500 years of Ottoman empire playing a major role in its past. More recently, in the 1990s Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from socialist Yugoslavia in a violent upheaval that the country has now emerged from. Its tumultuous background has furnished Bosnia and Herzegovina with a culturally diverse and surprisingly hospitable population.

Travellers can enjoy the rich history of the capital city Sarajevo, the warm and sunny Mediterranean climate of Neum, a resort town on the Adriatic coast, or venture out to the fascinating Vetrenjica Caves. Other attractions to draw visitors are Medugorje, the Catholic pilgrimage site where visions of the Virgin Mary were reported in the 1980s, and the Kravica Waterfalls near Ljubuski. Bosnia and Herzegovina also offers great city breaks, winter sports and eco-adventures - the latter where this country is rapidly making its name.

As it proudly establishes itself as a new and exciting tourist destination, visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina will prove to be a remarkable and fulfilling vacation experience for those willing to explore the road less travelled on their European holidays.

Information & Facts

Business

Business is conducted in quite a formal manner and shaking hands is a frequent practice. Business cards are required and translation facilities are available on request. Business hours are generally 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Climate

The best time to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina is from May to October, when it is warmer and drier. Winters are very cold and often there is a lot of rain, snow and wind. The climates are different for each province, with Bosnia experiencing much higher rainfall than Herzegovina. Average temperatures in Sarajevo range from -.5ºC (31ºF) in January to 19ºC (66ºF) in July.

Communications

The international access code for Bosnia and Herzegovina is +387. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Public phones, cell phone reception and Internet connections are available in most places, with Internet cafés located in the main towns.

Customs

The local people observe very traditional hosting etiquette, offering guests cigarettes, coffee and sweets. The war and politics are not welcome topics of conversation, and alcohol should not be consumed in the company of Muslims.

Duty Free

Travellers may import 200 cigarettes, 20 cigars or 200g of tobacco, 1litre of wine or spirits, one bottle of perfume and gifts to the value of EUR76.70 without incurring customs duty.

Electricity

220 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.

Health

While there are no serious health risks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended, as well as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations. A typhoid vaccination is also advisable for travellers who may eat or drink outside the main restaurants and hotels. Travellers should take out comprehensive medical insurance.

Language

Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are the official languages. English and German are also widely spoken and understood.

Money

The currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Konvertibilna Marka (BAM), comprised of 100 pfeninga. Some Euro notes (but not coins) are accepted. The Euro and US Dollar are the preferred foreign currencies. Credit cards are not generally accepted but ATMs are available in the major cities. Travellers cheques can only be exchanged at select banks. Banking hours are from Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm.

Passport Visa

Travellers are advised to hold return or onward tickets, as well as all documents required for next their destination and sufficient funds.

Safety

A visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina should be trouble free but there is, however, an underlying threat from terrorism and attacks could occur in places frequented by travellers. Take normal precautions to avoid mugging, bag-snatching and pick-pocketing. Travellers are urged to avoid public demonstrations.

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October).

Tipping

Tipping in bars and restaurants is expected, usually 5 - 10% of the total bill.

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