Bosnia & Herzegovina Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Bosnia & Herzegovina
How safe is Bosnia & Herzegovina?
Threat level: Low-Medium
COVID-19 Situation in Bosnia & Herzegovina
Further to the coronavirus outbreak, Bosnia & Herzegovina had imposed a curfew but as the infection rate has sharply fallen, the country is progressively easing off lockdown restrictions. Bosnia & Herzegovina has lifted its curfew and shops and restaurants are allowed to reopen. However, so as to avoid a second wave of the virus, entry to foreign travellers is still banned, wearing a face mask or other face covering in public is compulsory and public transport services are not fully operational. For more advice, refer to our healthcare section.
Security in Bosnia & Herzegovina
The current travel advice for Bosnia & Herzegovina is for visitors to Bosnia & Herzegovina are advised to remain vigilant, due to the underlying threat of terror attacks within Europe. This risk is relatively low in Bosnia & Herzegovina, but it is still advised to remain cautious at all times.
Its many years of conflict in the 1990's saw an increasing number of mujahedeen fighters to enter the country. It is now said that Bosnia & Herzegovina exports home-grown extremists spurred on by the conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, following the ideology of Al-Qaida and ISIS.
The last terrorist incident in Bosnia & Herzegovina was a 2015 shooting at a police station in Zvornik, where one person was killed. This attack was a result of Islamic extremism.
Bosnia & Herzegovina has a long association with Al-Qaida; a plot was foiled in 2005 to carry out an attack on the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Italy. The same year a plot was unfolded to attack the British Embassy in Sarajevo.
The level of general crime in Bosnia & Herzegovina is quite low. There are some activities of petty crime, like pick-pocketing and muggings in the main cities that are often targeted at foreigners. Sarajevo in particular, still remains as a relatively high crime rate place. Most commonly to be armed robberies, residential break-ins and thefts of vehicles. However, in all, the level of crime is particularly low when compared to many European cities.
It is important to note that same-sex marriage is not recognized in Bosnia & Herzegovina and it is not widely accepted in most places. It is advised when visiting to be discreet, particularly in public places.
Unmarked landmines, minefields and unexploded ordnance are a prevalent risk, especially in isolated mountains and the countryside. It is advised to keep to main roads, paved surfaces and avoid abandoned houses and buildings. These areas should be well-marked and if in doubt, seek local knowledge and clarification.
Bosnia & Herzegovina's International Relations
The main political objective of Bosnia & Herzegovina is EU integration; it initiated the Stabilisation and Association Process in 2007 and therefore is seen as a potential candidate country to join the EU
On 23 April 2010, Bosnia & Herzegovina received the Membership Action Plan from NATO, which is the last step before full membership in the alliance.
Since the implementation of the Dayton Agreement in 1995, relations with its neighbouring countries of Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia have been fairly stable.
Travelling around Bosnia & Herzegovina
English is not widely spoken and therefore it may be worth learning a few phrases before visiting Bosnia & Herzegovina.
It is recommended when driving in Bosnia & Herzegovina to obtain an International Driving Permit. All vehicles must be equipped with emergency travel equipment, including: warning triangle, tow rope, spare tyre and a first-aid kit.
Road travel is hazardous in many rural areas and road conditions are particularly poor. Road users are dangerous and are known to speed and drink drive. During the summer months, traffic is often stopped in order to clear landmines and carry out road repairs.
Public transport is relatively good and reliable, but is known to be slow and schedules can be unreliable. Taxi service is available in most towns, but only use registered taxis with the letters marked ‘TA’ at the beginning of licence plates.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Bosnia & Herzegovina
Police emergency: 122
Military Police: 1206
Fire emergency: 123
Medical emergency: 124
Bosnia & Herzegovina Overview
Religion: Islam & Christianity
Currency: Convertible Mark
Time now in Sarajevo:
Consular information for Bosnia & Herzegovina
U.S. Embassy Sarajevo
1 Robert C. Frasure Street,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Telephone: +387 33 704 000
British Embassy Sarajevo
39a, Hamdije Cemerlica street,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Telephone: +387 (0) 33 282 200
Telephone: +387 (0) 51 212 395 (Banja Luka)
Email: DLSarajevoBLOfficeProtect@fco.gov.uk (Banja Luka)
Visa requirements for Bosnia & Herzegovina
Visitors to Bosnia & Herzegovina from the UK, EU and US can enter Bosnia & Herzegovina visa-free for up to 90 days. Further advice can be found here: Visa advice Bosnia & Herzegovina
Cultural advice for visiting Islamic countries
If you have never visited an Islamic country before, you maybe have some unanswered questions the culture, what you can wear and general dos and don'ts. Intelligent Protection International Limited is highly experienced at working in Islamic countries and has done so for the past decade. We have written a guide that will help you understand what is culturally acceptable and hope you find it useful. See our page: Guide to Islamic culture for travellers.
Healthcare and Immunisations
COVID-19 cases have been reported in Bosnia & Herzegovina. There is no vaccination against the disease, to avoid contracting the disease: self-isolate, wear a face mask in public places, apply good hygiene practices, maintain social distancing, avoid unnecessary contact with others. If you are coughing and have fever, it is required to quarantine yourself and only call emergency services if you have severe respiratory issues.
It is advised that visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis B and Tick-borne Encephalitis. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
The UK and Bosnia & Herzegovina have a reciprocal healthcare agreement, which entitles British passport holders to free hospital treatment and some dental treatment in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Although, British nationals are entitled to free treatment, in practice the healthcare authorities in Bosnia might not have the immediate resources to provide treatment without charging you.
Medical healthcare is not to the same standard to Western countries, especially outside Sarajevo and other major cities. It is important to obtain the correct health and travel insurance in order to cover all costs overseas.
Tick-borne Encephalitis, spread mainly through the bite of an infected tick. Risk is higher during the warmer months, for those exposed undertaking outside activities in forests, woods, and grassy areas, we recommend you regularly check for ticks and remove them immediately with an appropriate technic.