Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

It has been noted lately that some European like Venice, Paris, London are so increasingly overrun with tourists that residents are getting fed up and pushing back or leaving city centers. Such overcrowding will likely have tourists turning their eyes to lesser known destinations and Bosnia and Herzegovina is a best kept secret you should discover while it’s still relatively unknown.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

The country was rocked by the Balkan conflicts of the 90’s and emerged as one of the poorer players in the region, however what it may lack in international appeal, it has more than enough to entertain in authentic and local charms.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

We made the journey to the capital city of Sarajevo to spend New Year’s Eve and it was a spectacular celebration. Music filled the city squares and thrilled locals made us feel at home so that the crowd never felt overwhelming.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

Sarajevo, like many of the cities still bears its scars of the conflict, buildings that are chipped and marked by arms, but the city has really risen from the ashes. It has a blossoming hostel, hotel and homestay market. Cafes and restaurants are filled with young people enthusiastic about life and culture.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

It is possible to see churches, mosques and synagogues which demonstrate the deep roots of this ancient crossroads. The old town market holds delightful coffee, souvenirs and local foods that smell and taste savory. It really feels like a small town even though it is the capital.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

Mostar is the second most visited city on the list so that’s where we went next. The blue green waters of the Neretva river are iconic and they stand out even more against the famous white stone bridge which arches high above the waters. Mostar is a tiny town, but it was largely undisturbed by the war and so offers a window into past architecture and culture.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

One of the best ways to see all of these cities is to take advantage of the country’s high functioning bus system between towns or to rent a car. The dramatic views of steep mountains, deep forests and pure rivers. Small towns are everywhere and being able to catch a glimpse of local life feels like traveling backwards in time to of a few centuries ago.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

A town we did not get time to see but we recommend and want to see in the future is Tuzla. It’s the third largest city and it has a well preserved old town along with a young population that promises a city filled with culture and opportunities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Why to discover this European gem before the crowds do

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