Safety Tips in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by croisbeauty
  • The Old Bridge
    The Old Bridge
    by croisbeauty
  • Bombed out building.
    Bombed out building.
    by IreneMcKay

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Keep in mind:

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 20, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. Nature are fantastic but there are mines in some areas.

    2. While you in any town you should find local touristic offices witch kind be hard to find because many locals don't know or care for it. Mostly there are in town center.

    3. Public transportation is efficient but without online sites. Trains ride are limited but cheapest way of traveling. Mostly bus or train station are without luggage storage.

    4. There no tourist traps! Still no enough tourist in country to local "entrepreneurs" bother with it. Still, I could imagine many things that could be miss leading that would be looks like "trap". It could come from great expectations and prejudice! Some big landmarks like hotels, shopping malls or industrial complex is just it - monument to glorious past.

    5. It is nice to meet locals - well it is hard to that since many migrations for every possible reasons you could imagine (sadly). That could be cause confusion due to asking questions about locations.

    UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Landmines

    by Odiseya Written Oct 3, 2014

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    I recommend to have high degree of caution during planing your trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially if you planing hiking, mountain climbing or camping in countrysides. It is all because due unmarked and marked landmines. It is still remain potential danger, particularly in isolated mountainous areas and in the countryside.
    It is usually area around ethnic borders but after floods this summer it is moved.

    There no necessary panic! Many people live here and I am among them. I do walk and hike. Do not give up! There is solution!

    It is advisory to contact local touristic organisation and local hiking clubs and Mountaineering association.
    There no possibility for expedition even it is off-beaten-path country. There is official sites (even many of them don't have English version) with tracking maps and you could take your own maps in touristic offices across country.

    Landmines poster (Cyrillic)
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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Floods

    by Odiseya Updated Aug 8, 2014

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    Summer in region is usually very hot and dry. Something goes wrong and this year (2014) is different. Springs ware rainy but not so often that cause some damage.

    Start from May it was registered floods mostly in region Northen Bosnia (area around upper level of river Bosnia), Posavina (lower parts of central area around river Sava) and Semberija (area around upper level of river Drina).
    Newly flooded area is around rivers Vrbas and Tinja.

    Due to heavy rainfall has caused that spill rivers and torrential streams from the bed there was a flooding of a large number of infrastructure, facilities housing and agricultural and other land.

    In May and August 2014 was registered heavy rains and that caused flow of water on roads and housing. It have also 17 casualties and mostly - 10 was in Doboj. Severely damage was in municipalities: Doboj, Modriča, (Bosanski) Šamac, Bijeljina, Brčko, Janja, Pelagićevo, Maglaj, Banja Luka, Petrovo (Bosansko Petrovo selo), Srbac, Prijedor and Tuzla.

    In beginning of August 2014 government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was declare state of natural disaster in area of Tuzla canton and Zenica-Doboj canton. Severely damage was in municipalities: Doboj, Modriča, (Bosanski) Šamac, Bijeljina, Brčko, Janja, Pelagićevo, Maglaj, Banja Luka, Srebrenik Čelinac, Petrovo (Bosansko Petrovo selo) and Tuzla.

    I recommend for future travelers to follow weather and hydro-meteorological reports and roads condition.
    I live here whole my life and I don't remember this weather conditions and natural disasters.

    Not give up of planning to visiting this area! Follow news (mostly national) and find right time for visiting and enjoy!

    I wish you nice vacation!

    Doboj 16 May 2014 Doboj August 2014
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  • tampa_shawn's Profile Photo

    Landmines

    by tampa_shawn Updated Apr 24, 2013

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    There are over one Million landmines in Bosnia so the danger if still very real.

    Bosnia, is a country where you really cannot walk on the grass!! In fact it is recommended that you do not walk or drive on any surface that is not paved. You will need to talk on dirt paths on occasion, but when you do please make sure that you only use well traveled paths and do not step off the path, even an inch!

    Only about 97% of the landmines are really cleared after the landmine teams leave an area. Landmines are still being found in supposedly safe areas in the center of town in Sarajevo. The suburbs are known danger zones.

    A view of Sarajevo today, communist block apartment houses, mortar damage and grass that cannot be walked or played on.

    Note added 4/2013 - I just finished reading the hunger game series and their was a part of the book that made me think of Yugoslavia. I thought it said something important and something other than just "never forget"...I have posted it here

    "Now we're in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors (war, violence) should never be repeated..but collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction....Although who knows? Maybe this will be it..."

    What?

    "the time it stick. Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that"

    Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) page 379 of 390 (my kindle pages)

    Don't walk on the grass

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Avoid speaking about politics,...

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 6, 2012

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    Avoid speaking about politics because each national side have their own "truth" regarding passed war. Otherwise you are risking to be dragged into endless conversation which you couldn't understand.
    There are three religions in Bosnia; catholic, ortodox and muslim. While the cities could be mixed, the country side is pretty much compact regarding religion. Watch carefully the bell towers!
    Enjoy the beautiful nature, good tasteful and very cheap food and just act friendly.

    The mosque at Cazin
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  • etfromnc's Profile Photo

    Watch your step

    by etfromnc Written Aug 5, 2011

    DO NOT walk alone in rural BiH unless you have previously been there with someone very familiar with this specific area. BiH is the third largest repository of land mines in the world. Known mine fields are usually fairly well marked with red, downward pointing triangles depicting an explosion, but you cannot be certain that all mines have been identified. My guide on my first trip to BiH told me that she had seen cows blown up and there does seem to be a disproportionate number of men with only one, or no, leg.

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  • GILON23's Profile Photo

    Policija!!!

    by GILON23 Written May 27, 2009

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    Well Thats amazing but, Sarajevo Police is all over the place and they will get you
    if you'r driving a rental car so forget about drinking & driving and drive slow otherwise you'r
    totally Fu#$@ed!! oh...and don't get inside the city center at night they got all kinds of night time trafic traps for taking money out of your pocket! Take a taxi - belive me i had to pay!!

    Cheers!

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  • SKUL-ONE's Profile Photo

    LANDMINES, Sarajevo,Mostar

    by SKUL-ONE Updated Jan 21, 2008

    I read some travell warnings about these dangerous killing fields that surrounds Bosnia before planning my trip down there.

    Location I found dangerous signs:
    SARAJEVO
    Hrid Mahmutovac (south-east Sarajevo) also the entire mountains surrounding Sarajevo

    MOSTAR
    Mountainside near Zahum with big lighted Crucifix, along the surrounding mountainsights

    Don't leave builded streets, don't ask locals, they often moved from other places and have no idea about the place they live. Always try to catch organized official tours or trips who actually know the safe places.
    I was in 2 situations surrounded by warning signs according landmines, in the two situations in Mostar and Sarajevo I asked the wrong people who had the nerves to send me to death. So actually I outlived luckily both minefields and I want all you common tourists not to leave paths and began such adventures.

    The dangerous is that often mines are hiding in the bushes footsteps beyond a frequented road. In such cases don't leave them, when you should find a yellow tape it could be to late.

    In a landminefield near Mostar / Zahum
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  • piotrbog's Profile Photo

    Is Malta in Europe?

    by piotrbog Written Apr 22, 2007

    Be aware if you are Maltan and want to travel in Bosnia. When I was at the border point between Serbia and Bosnia, border guard has a strong doubt where Malta lies and therefore, if it does no belong to EU, whether Maltans do not need visas. Fortunately for our Maltans colleagues I showed border guard a map of Europe and they might travel without visas ;-)

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  • WanderingFinn's Profile Photo

    Obey the signs - still unexploded explosives!

    by WanderingFinn Written Jan 8, 2007

    Even though the Balkan countries have cleaned their land out of old unexploded mines and other explosives, there are still some left. Another similar threat is a broke-down building or ruins that may collapse any time.

    In the cities they are usually marked and isolated, but on the countryside necessarily not. And it is only human that they have not found all of the landmines for instance. That is why, when for instance driving a car in Bosnia (especially in the Republika Srpska), it is better not to turn to small unpaved roads at all; not even turn your car around on these places. The same applies no matter walking or driving - stay on the paved roads.

    A sign warning of collapsing building
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  • Kardrew's Profile Photo

    Tunnels!

    by Kardrew Written Aug 30, 2006

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    Take care when entering the many road tunnels when driving through mountain roads in Bosnia, especially if it is sunny. They are not lit so completely black & often wet & potholed. Make sure you take sunglasses off before you enter or you wil not see a thing. Quite scary!

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  • urbangorilla's Profile Photo

    Post-war Dangers

    by urbangorilla Written Dec 11, 2004

    Fairly obvious, but a serious problem that remains from war time is... the landmine. Chances are of course small you would step on one, but its common sense to avoid the risk - by sticking to paved surfaces and not exploring old war ruins (see photo). Sarajevo's suburbs are still heavily mined so take care in those areas.

    SFOR Soldiers examining a war ruin

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  • Land Mines

    by dan780 Written Mar 13, 2004

    When in Bosnia you have to watch out for landmines. The biggest tip is to just stay off the grass and dirt shoulders of the roads. If you go to Sarajevo you especially have to watch out in the suburbs.

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  • lonely_traveller's Profile Photo

    Dangerous Ruins: Never enter any ruin buildings!

    by lonely_traveller Written Jan 29, 2004

    Bosnia and Hercegovina is a heavily mined country, with over 1 million landmines in its territory. To make it worse, over 500,000 landmines are still undetected. Therefore, always stick to asphalt surfaces and never pees into or go off the main roads. Moreover, never enter any ruin buildings, whether you are base on curiosity or not. Unless you want to blow your leg off or something...

    Warning Sign: Dangerous Ruins! Mostar

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  • american_tourister's Profile Photo

    Bad roads, even worse drivers

    by american_tourister Updated Jan 2, 2004

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    These roads are in terrible condition and the drivers are all in a big hurry to get somewhere special. They will not hesitate to pass on blind curves or on one lane roads. There are little shrines to traffic victims along the roads all over this country. Even though they know it is dangerous they almost all drive recklessly. They are not being rude, they are just driving Bosnian style.

    A new bridge, no guardrails
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