Getting to Bosnia
No visa is needed for entry by citizens of the US , Canada, Australia , New Zealand and the European Union . Another thing to remember is that citizens of Croatia and Serbia can enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with an ID only.
You can check on the website of the ministry of foreign affairs if you need a visa.
Sarajevo Airport is in the suburb of Butmir and is relatively close to the city centre. There is no direct public transportation, and taxi fares to/from the airport are surprisingly expensive for the short distance - your best bet is to take a taxi to the tram terminus at Ilidza and board the tram for the last part of your journey, cost 1.8KM)
The national carrier of Bosnia & Herzegovina is BH Airlines (formerly known as Air Bosna ). Until early 2009, the relatively-unknown airline flew few infrequent routes using two old ATR-72 planes. However, the airline is now acquiring larger planes and serving many more destinations, primarily around Europe. Their website now has flight information and a new booking facility. Some of their destinations include Skopje, Copenhagen , Prague and Istanbul.
Croatia Airlines connects Sarajevo via Zagreb at least twice daily, and from there connections are possible to Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London , Munich , Paris , Zurich and several other European cities. Croatia Airlines was the first airline to operate regular passenger flights into Sarajevo in 1996 following the recent conflict.
Serbia's Jat Airways connects Sarajevo daily via Belgrade, and from there one can connect with other JAT domestic and international flights.
Norwegian opens new routes from Sarajevo to Oslo -Rygge and Stockholm -Arlanda in May/June 2009. There will be two flights a week to each destination. For other services, check the Sarajevo Airport website.
Mostar , Tuzla and Banja Luka also have international airports, though services to these Istanbul , Frankfurt, Zurich and Belgrade and are spasmodic at present.
Train services across the country are slowly improving once again, though speeds and frequencies are still low. Much of the rail infrastructure was damaged during the recent conflict, and lines have been opened on a priority basis, though not to the high level of service pre-war. The train services are operated by two separate entities (based on the political situation in the country), but in nearly every instance results in the locomotives being changed rather than changing from one train carriage to another to continue your journey.
- To/from Croatia
There are two daily trains running from Sarajevo to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and onwards to the rest of Europe.
The 'day' train leaves from Zagreb at 855AM and arrives in Sarajevo at 18.30h, before continuing on to Mostar and Ploce. The return journey departs Sarajevo around 10AM. Ticket costs 24 EUR one way (return ticket holds some discount). A 'night' train now operates with sleeping facilities on board leaving both Zagreb and Sarajevo at 2120 (9:20PM) - from Sarajevo there is an ill-timed passport check to ensure you won't get a full night's sleep! There is no buffet car on this route - be advised to take supplies beforehand for the spectacular 9hr trip, though men with small trolleys will occasionally walk through the train selling overpriced soft drinks etc.
Trains also operate from Sarajevo heading towards Mostar and the Adriatic Sea terminating at Ploce in Croatia. Services operate a few times daily, are relatively empty and provide possibly the most stunning rail journey in all of Bosnia!
Aim to buy your ticket before you board the train. If you don't buy before you board then buy from the conductor onboard but beware that he/she may only sell you a ticket for his/her part of the journey - the staff and locomotives usually change when the train leaves Croatian territory and again when the train goes from the territory of Republika Srpska into the Federation.
- To/from Hungary
The night train service between Budapest and Sarajevo ended on December 15, 2006. A day train now leaves Budapest (Keleti station) daily at 9.30, arriving in Sarajevo at 21.39 via Osijek in Croatia. One-way tickets cost ˆ52 or the return ticket costs ˆ48.10 (11,600 forint + 750 forint compulsory reservation). Note that this is cheaper than a single ticket. There is a dining car. You will be bothered at least four times for your passport, and around four times for your ticket, and once by very nosy and insistent EU customs staff.
The return train departs at 7:14 every morning for Budapest and costs 96 KM arriving at Keleti station at 19:03.
- To/from Serbia
There is no direct train service from Serbia into Bosnia. However, there is a train from Banja Luka into Eastern Croatia which connects to the trains operating to/from Belgrade (Beograd) each day.
A direct train from Belgrade to Sarajevo is in operation, taking 9 hours and passing through a small sliver of Croatia. As such, expect to be bothered four times for your passport and three for your ticket.
Bosnia is a beautiful country to drive in as the scenery is often spectacular.
However, due to the mountainous terrain, atrocious driving by many road users (including dangerous overtaking on narrow highways), and generally poor condition of the road around the country, do not expect speeds will be fast - especially given the relatively short distance 'as the crow flies'.
As of 2009, the main routes from the coast via Mostar to Sarajevo, and north from Sarajevo to the Croatian Border at Slavonski Brod/Slavonski Samad, have been restored and are of excellent quality. A new highway which follows this path is under construction, with the first part north of Sarajevo readily available, although some construction may slow down traffic at each end of this projected highway.
When finished, this highway will connect the northern part of Croatia with the coast as well as the new highway from Zagreb to Split, which eventually will extend to Dubrovnik.
Petrol stations can be hard to find in some spots - often the best place to fill up is on the edge of towns and cities rather than in them.
Border crossings normally pose few problems.
Mechanics who speak English may be hard to find, and licensing may be an issue so ensure that you are allowed to actually drive there. Police regularly set up road blocks on the road and don't be surprised to be pulled over to check your papers and have a chat!
Renting a car is also an option, especially if you are visiting remote destinations outside of Sarajevo. You can book On-line at IzziCarHireBosniandHerzegovina.com .
Most international buses arrive at the Sarajevo bus station (autobuska stanica) which is located next to the railway station close to the centre of Sarajevo. However, buses from Belgrade, the Republika Srpska entity and Montenegro mostly use the Lukavica bus station in Istocno, or Eastern Sarajevo (a Serbian neighbourhood of Sarajevo).
International bus services are nearly always in modern, luxurious 5-star coaches - the only exceptions to this are normally the local buses operating slightly over the border (max. 3 hour trips).