Things to see
If Bosnia and Herzegovina makes you think of concrete Communist architecture or 1990's images of war-demolished town centres, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Of course this country bears the marks of its tumultuous history, but visitors today find rebuilt and well restored historic cities, a warm and welcoming atmosphere, bustling city life and -overall- more medieval monuments than Socialist housing blocks. In fact, some of the remains of the Communist era, like the Tito bunker near Konjic, have become attractions of their own.
The country's main visitor draws however lie in its charming historic town centres, ancient heritage sites and splendid nature. Famous Sarajevo has some of the most extensive Socialist housing projects, but is also a colourful historic mix of East and West, where religions and cultures coexisted for centuries. It's a vibrant town that resurrected into what it always was; the country's modern capital, proud of its heritage and a popular destination for travellers of all kinds. Top sights include the lively Baščaršija or Old Bazaar, the Sarajevo cathedral, the Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosque and of course the legacy sports facilities of the 1984 Olympics. Equally interesting is the Tunel spasa, or tunnel of hope, which brought supplies to the people of Sarajevo in the war and is now a museum. The beautiful old town of Mostar is another city gem, with the famous an Unesco World Heritage listed Stari Most bridge as a main landmark. Carefully rebuilt, it's widely recognized as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. Višegrad has a Unesco listed bridge of its own, namely the impressive Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge. For more city grandeur, try the green gardens and avenues of Banja Luka.
Great natural attractions can be found all around, even close to the main city's. Take a horse carriage to Vrelo Bosne (the spring of river Bosna) to join Sarajevo families for quiet getaways and picknicks. The waterfalls of Kravice, about 40km from Mostar, make for another fabulous natural trip. A popular spot for city dwellers and rafters, the water of the Trebižat River drops some 30 meters in a beautiful natural setting of tuff walls. Other dramatic waterfalls can be found in the far west of the country, in the lush Una National Park. And then of course, there is the famous Jajce waterfall, where the clear waters of the Pliva river drop 17 meters right in the middle of the town. Nature lovers may also want to include Hutovo Blato Natural Park for bird watching or Sutjeska National Park, with a waterfall as well as one of only two remaining primeval forests in Europe.
Top picks for village life can be found in the historic citadel of Počitelj, Blagaj (where you'll also find the spring of the river Buna) or, for environmentalists, in the The Zelenkovac ecovillage near Mrkonjić Grad. Just outside of Radimlja is the largest collection of Stećak, a remarkable kind of pre-Ottoman tombstones that are found throughout the ancient Bosnian Kingdom.