5 days in Bosnia and Herzegovina is perfect for a trip around this country. With this Bosnia travel itinerary, expect to indulge in breathtaking nature and the country`s complicated history.
This 5 day Bosnian itinerary is a balanced trip of city sightseeing and nature musings. There are many things to do in Bosnia, and this trip will take you from the capital town, Sarajevo through central Bosnia, towards the southern Herzegovina region.
Besides rich nature and culture, Bosnia has delicious cuisine. One thing is for sure, you will not be hungry! The portions in Bosnia are usually big, so much so that two people can share one dish! Also, Bosnia coffee is very unique. Be it the preparation or the method of indulgence, be sure to give it a try!
This 5 day Bosnia itinerary is prepared by a local, who was born and raised in Sarajevo. As a guide, she is very passionate about showing her home country to anyone who wishes to learn more!
Day 1: Sarajevo
Sarajevo, Bosnia is a beautiful town. It would be ideal to spend 2 days in Sarajevo, although if you only have 5 days in Bosnia, dedicate at least a day to the destination. Sarajevo’s main attractions are located in its old town. I’d recommend staying in a hotel in the center so you can forgo transportation.
There are many things to do in Bosnia. Start with the Eternal Flame and move onto Ferhadija & Saraci, two streets with plenty of restaurants, stores, and monuments.
Within a short distance, you will come across several places of worship and the former border between a town during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and one in the Ottoman Empire. This is where East meets West.
Next, head to the Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918. This is where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg took place. Afterward, take a stroll towards Bascarsija, a splendid plaza during the days of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of this street, you will stop at the Sarajevo City Hall. You can visit its interior, which features exhibitions that showcases the history of Sarajevo.
After lunch, explore the Yellow Fortress, and catch a cable car towards Mount Trebevic. Or, choose to visit the Tunnel of Hope and Vrelo Bosne on the other side of town.
Tunnel of Hope is a museum that depicts the history of the 1990-1995 Bosnian War. Vrelo Bosne sits at the foot of Mount Igman. Due to its beautiful natural scenery, it is one of the local’s favorite spots to sit and relax.
Day 2: Travnik & Jajce
Travnik is a great destination to visit in central Bosnia and is just 90 kilometers west of Sarajevo. It is a must for those with 5 days in Bosnia, especially for travelers who are interested to learn more about the history of the country.
In the times of Ottomans, Travnik was one of the major cities in Bosnia. It’s situated at the foot of Vlasic Mountain, in the Lasva Valley, which was once the main trading route toward Dalmatia, Serbia and beyond.
In Travnik, make sure to visit Stari Grad (Old Town) Fortress and Museum of Ivo Andric.
The fortress is situated on the slopes of Vlasic Mountain and offers a wonderful view of the town. Inside the fortress, there are interesting displays regarding the history and natural heritage of the Travnik region. You will have more insight into the life of locals throughout the centuries.
Visiting the Museum of Ivo Andric is one of the best things to do in Bosnia. It situated in the birth house of Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric. This Yugoslav novelist, poet, and short-story writer won the 1961 Nobel Prize in literature. Besides the exhibits about Andric’s life and literary work, there is also an ethnographic exhibit depicting the appearance of the traditional Bosnian room in the time of the Ottoman Empire.
Following your trip around Travnik, head to Jajce, which is just 50-60 km away. This small, charming destination is situated in the valley of two rivers-Vrbas and Pliva.
During your 5 days in Bosnia and Herzegovina, do remember to stop by Jajce. Jajce has many landmarks and museums worth visit, so I’d recommend getting a daily ticket that covers the majority attractions. Get tickets in the Tourist Information Center close to the waterfall.
The main attractions are:
- Mithraeum Monument
- Katakomba, an underground church
- Jajce Fortress
- Ethno Museum
- Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia Museum
- Jajce Waterfall
All museums and landmarks are within walking distance to each other. If you’re staying in the old town or close to it, you don’t need to rely on any transportation. Just make sure you check the attraction hours beforehand! You should make the Tourist Info Center the first stop so that you can better plan your sightseeing route.
Day 3: Mostar
In 4 hours (164 km) you will arrive in Mostar from Jajce. Enjoy the drive along Vrbas and Neretva river, and the view of Mount Cvrsnica and Mount Prenj as you approach Herzegovina.
The first day in Mostar should be spent walking around its old town, and the next day for exploring its surroundings.
The main attractions in Mostar are:
- Old Bridge
- The Museum of the Old Bridge
- Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
- Biscevic House
- Crooked Bridge
- Franciscan Church
All landmarks and museums are within walking distance from one another.
If you want to learn about the Siege of Mostar during the Bosnian war in the ’90s, book a city tour with locals from Fortuna Tours. No matter how you go about exploring the area, do remember to check the video about the Siege of Mostar. The video screening is in a small souvenir shop next to the bridge.
The Museum of the Old Bridge is situated in one of two towers. The Old Bridge is the most famous landmark in Mostar. This museum will tell you the captivating story about the bridge, its reconstruction, and the archeological artifacts found at the site. Also, there is a nice view from the top of the tower.
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque is one of the few mosques that are open for tourists in the old town. It is one of the best things to do in Bosnia as it gives a glimpse into the complicated history of the country. Climb to the top of the minaret of this mosque, and enjoy the amazing view of the ground below.
If you’re interested in seeing the interior of the Bosnian houses under the Ottoman Empire from the 17th century, visit Biscevic House.
The Franciscan Church allows a visit to the 107.2m high bell tower of the church. Inside the bell tower, there is a viewpoint with a bird’s eye perspective of the town. You need to buy an entrance ticket.
For adrenaline junkies or those that look for the best views, make sure to visit Fortica hill. There is a hut with homemade juices, delicious food, and the best view of Mostar. If you have 5 days in Bosnia, definitely spend some time for adventures like zip-lining, climbing, via-ferata, hiking, and biking!
Day 4: Trip to Pocitelj, Kravice Waterfall & Blagaj
The second day in Mostar is for exploring the Herzegovina region. Take a day trip, and loop around Pocitelj, Kravice Waterfall and the town of Blagaj.
Just 30 km away from Mostar, in the valley of Neretva River sits Pocitelj. This fortified town is situated within a natural karst amphitheater. All houses are made out of the rock and connected with cobble-stone streets. Go early in the morning to have the whole place for yourself. Walk around the streets and visit the fort, bastion, and mosque. If you come in the late afternoon you will enjoy an amazing sunset.
Kravice Waterfall is also known as Bosnian Niagara falls. The fall is made of numerous springs falling from a height of 28 meters. It’s a popular swimming spot and is worth a visit if you have 5 days in Bosnia. Besides swimming, you can take a short walk along the Trebizat River or jump on a boat along the river to the foot of the fall. There are two or three cafes around the fall.
On the way back to Mostar, stop in Blagaj and visit Blagaj Fort and Dervish Monastery. Blagaj is a great place for a lunch break, especially if you like fresh trout. It’s possible to get to Blagaj Fort by car, and then walk some 20 minutes, or just walk for one hour from the town. There are no attractions inside the fort. But it has an amazing view of Buna River and Neretva Valley.
Below the hill with Blagaj Fort, at the source of Buna river, stands Dervish Monastery (Tekke). This tekke gives you insight into the life of dervishes in the time of the Ottoman Empire.
Day 5: Trebinje
Trebinje is a town situated in the southeast of Bosnia and Herzegovina, just half an hour away from the border with Croatia. Following your 5 days in Bosnia, you can head to its neighbor for a 7 day visit around Croatia! Similar to Sarajevo and Mostar, Trebinje is also surrounded by mountains.
The road from Mostar to Trebinje takes you through the settlements in Herzegovina, and its long fields used for growing native grapes and Mediterranean fruit. In the region of Herzegovina, there is a popular wine road that leads travelers from one cellar to another to taste different types of local wines. Besides wine, Trebinje is popular for its delicious honey. Do visit both!
Explore the old town and visit the Hercegovina Museum that has great archeological and ethnographic exhibitions.
One of the best things to do in Bosnia is visiting the beautiful landmarks in Trebinje. One such monument is the Arslanagica Bridge, which derives from the Ottoman Empire. To get to the bridge, take a nice, relaxing 20-minute stroll from the old town along the Trebisnjica river.
Finish your day watching the stunning sunset over Trebinje from Crkvina Hill, where the beautiful Orthodox Church Hercegovacka Gracanica is situated. Close to the church, there is a cafe with a terrace to enjoy a drink or three!
5 days in Bosnia may be short, but there so many things to do in Bosnia that you will still be able squeeze in quite a few sights! From amazing and rich nature to vibrant cities. Here are some tips and advice that you may find helpful for your travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What is the Best Time to Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Late spring and early autumn offer plenty of sunny days, definitely some beautiful colors of nature, and mild temperatures. Summers can be touristy and hot (central Bosnia around 34 Celsius degrees, Herzegovina around 38). But there are also a lot of activities and events you can partake in.
I believe the best time to visit Bosnia are the end of May, the beginning and mid of June, and the end of September.
Mountains and ski resorts are recommended during the winter. The best ski resorts are around Sarajevo are on the Olympic Mountains. Here’s what to pack for a trip in Bosnia!
How do I Travel around Bosnia?
The best airport to land when traveling to Bosnia is in Sarajevo. For your return, you can also think about the airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The airport Cilipi is very close to the town of Trebinje, which is the last stop in your 5 day Bosnia itinerary.
When traveling through Bosnia and Herzegovina, use local buses or Getbybus and Flixbus. These companies have good connections between all the towns in the itinerary, and tickets are very cheap.
How Much to Budget for a Bosnia Trip?
The local currency in Bosnia in Herzegovina is the convertible mark (BAM). But, in places like Mostar, Pocitelj, Blagaj, and Trebinje you can use the Euro and Croatian Kuna in restaurants and souvenir shops.
Prices in Bosnia and Herzegovina are among the cheapest in Europe. Long-distances buses are around EUR 15. Accommodation is from EUR 15 to EUR 100 per night. In some hotels in Sarajevo, you can get a bed in a very nice dorm room for only EUR 15 or less with breakfast included. In some hotels, you can get a very nice single room with breakfast included for just EUR 40.
Food is also cheap. In the restaurants in touristy places like Sarajevo and Mostar, lunch for two can cost under EUR 25. Most attractions are under EUR 10 and the cable car in Sarajevo is EUR 10/return ticket. Drinks are under EUR 5.
How can I Support Sustainable Tourism in Bosnia?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very beautiful country. It’s rich in nature and culture but has a very low level of income. Sadly, the unemployment rate is very high.
The country has a lot to offer to travelers. Tourism, with your help, can become an important industry that will employ and sustain locals.
Please, support locals by buying homemade food, handmade souvenirs, eating in small family restaurants, and using services provided by locals, e.g. city guides, travel agencies, etc.