Traveling Around BiH
Traveling by car
Traveling around Bosnia and Herzegovina is an immense pleasure to the eyes but could be a little more challenging to the nerves and the stomach. For those who get motion sickness easily, bring motion sickness medicine.
Traveling through the mountains in the winter and spring by car could pose a challenge due to abundant snow coverage. Before taking a trip, make sure to purchase chains for your tires. Chains are sold at most gas stations and supermarkets. Don’t be shy to ask the workers to show you how to put them on.
Road maps of the country are available at most gas stations.
Traveling by bus
Depending on the company that provides the bus service, the duration of the trip could vary. Some companies include more stops on the way than others. While you will always get to your destination, there could be a significant difference in time spent traveling. Consequently, when purchasing bus tickets, seek out the shortest possible route. Depending on the duration of your trip, the bus may have at least one restroom stop.
Note: There are smoking and non-smoking drivers. Those with health issues should inquire upon purchasing the tickets.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Medical Emergency 124
Fire Station 123
Roadside Emergency 1282 or 1288
Hospital 216 725 (if calling from a mobile phone, dial 051 first)
Simeuna Đaka 8
tel. 051 212 395
Croatian General Consulate
Milana Kranovića 1
tel. 051 259 300
Radomira Putnika bb
tel. 051 227 060
Kralja Petra I Karađorđevića 85A
The United States of America Consulate
Jovana Dučića 5
tel. 051 211 500
fax 051 211 775
Center Police Station (CJB)
Kralja Petra 1 Karađorđevića 5
tel. 051 337 100
051 337 201
fax 051 337 294
Citizen's Identity Protection System (CIPS)
Kralja Petra 1 Karađorđevića 5
Service of Foreign Affairs Center
Ivana Franje Jukića 7
tel. 051 213 925
051 213 926
To send a postcard or a letter, a trip to the local post office is required. Additionally, sending packages is a complicated process and very costly. There are several companies that are available for faster shipping services.
Jovana Dučića 23a
tel. 051 244 300
DHL expo d.o.o.
Bulevar Desanke Maksimovic 18
tel. 051 250 888
fax 051 250 881
Aleja Svetog Save 52
tel. 051 225 380
For sending and receiving mail via Federal Express, a courier comes to any address.
Post Office (Central Location)
Kralja Petra 1 Karađorđevića 93
tel. 051 246 063
When expecting a letter, most of the time it will make it to your mailbox. Receiving a package, however, is a bit trickier. Usually a notice will come to you stating that there is a package waiting to be picked up at the main post office location. To avoid having your package returned to the sender, it is advisable to pick it up within five days of notification. For identification purposes, it is recommended that you have your passport at the time of the pick up.
Main Post Office
Braće Podgornika 45
tel. 051 305 989
Using a telephone for international calls is quite expensive.
To place a call:
• To Bosnia and Herzegovina: dial +387
• From Bosnia and Herzegovina: dial either 00 or + – country code – city code without the number 0
For local calls, phone booths are usually the best option. Phone booths are often located by the post offices and train/bus stations. To make a call, a relatively inexpensive phone card can be purchased at the post office or at a newspaper kiosk.
Make sure to check the price before making calls from any hotel.
During the week, most stores in Banja Luka open at 8 in the morning and close at 8 at night. Saturdays have shorter work hours with stores opening from 8 in the morning to 1 or 3 in the afternoon. On Sundays, most stores are closed. However, grocery stores—which are small neighborhood shops—often work more extended hours and many are open on Sundays. Supermarkets are open until 10 at night. The open-air markets of Banja Luka are open seven days a week from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon.
Gifts And Souvenirs
If you want to buy gifts for those who could not make the trip to Banja Luka, go to our Gifts And Souvenirs section of the website.
When it comes to eating and drinking, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a fantastic place to be. The local cuisine is known for its hearty dishes, often with vegetables and meat as the main ingredients. Most food is organic and locally produced. The quality of local produce and water is very high—therefore it is very safe to consume.
Leaving Tips (Gratuities)
It is not expected that you tip in Banja Luka. However, if you feel like a gesture of saying “thank you for your service” is necessary, then leaving anywhere between 1 and 3 Marks is more than appropriate. It will definitely make the restaurant or café worker very happy.
Visiting Banja Luka is not only a pleasurable experience, but is also relatively inexpensive. A nice meal at a good restaurant will cost anywhere from 10-15 euro per person. However, there are a few higher-end restaurants that charge more. At least one visit to a higher-end establishment is an absolute must, as the experience is well worth the bill. Fast food is available throughout the city at the price of 1-3 euro. Markets are always full of produce at very affordable prices. Transportation within and outside of the city is very inexpensive. In Banja Luka, a one-way bus trip will cost under 1 euro. The price for a taxi service ranges between 2.5 – 10 euro, depending on your destination.
Hotel prices vary with the size and location. On the more budget-friendly side, expect to pay no less than 35 euro per night for a single and no less than 40 euro for a double. Without question, there are more expensive places to stay at.
Activities and entertainment are very affordable as well. Prices vary with the type of activity.
The currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark (Konvertibilna Marka) BAM, symbol KM. 1 KM=100 feninga.
Notes are in denominations of 200 KM, 100 KM, 50 KM, 20 KM, 10 KM.
Coins are available in denominations of 5 KM, 2 KM, 1 KM, 50, 20, 10 and 5 feninga.
Euros are starting to be widely accepted as well.
Credit/Debit Cards, ATMs
Credit cards are accepted in many places. Various ATM’s are available throughout the city.
Monday – Friday: 8:00 – 19:00
Saturday: 8:00 – 13:00
Currency exchange is available in any bank of Banja Luka.
Current Exchange Rate
Health and Safety
Banja Luka is one of the safest cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Possibilities of theft and violence are negligible. Getting to know Banja Luka at night is as pleasurable as during the day. However, as is true of anywhere, being aware of surroundings is advised.
Health concerns in Bosnia and Herzegovina are very low. The chance of contracting any sickness while traveling is very small.
In general, the tap water is very clean and food does not pose any risks. Of course, common sense is advised. Cleanliness and good hygiene are valued qualities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If you need a pharmacy, look or ask for the “Apoteka.” Most of the pharmacies will have general prescription medication available at relatively inexpensive prices.
Upon Entering BiH and Banja Luka
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
With the correct paperwork, entering Bosnia & Herzegovina does not pose a challenge. Before traveling, please check with the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina about the laws and regulations of entering the country. For more information, visit HERE.
Regardless of the means of traveling, ask for an entry stamp in the passport at the border control. Depending on your nationality, you may not receive a stamp unless you specifically request one. Immigration authorities usually place the stamp in passports at a port of entry or border crossing, as part of their immigration control or customs procedures. Such a stamp is needed for future registration and obtaining the white card at the police of the city you are visiting. If traveling through multiple cities, one registration applies to all places within the country. If staying in a hotel, they will register your presence in BiH for you.
Border crossing into Bosnia and Herzegovina can sometimes be tricky. The location of border control often lacks space and therefore develops a large build-up of traffic, especially trucks. There is no need to wait in line with the trucks. If possible, try to pass the trucks and move with other smaller vehicles toward the border control booths. Passing the trucks will often require driving in the opposite lane where there are sometimes very tight spaces. The biggest build-up of traffic will be experienced during the Easter and Christmas seasons. Be sure to have your passport stamped as you will need that upon arrival to Banja Luka when you register at the Department of Foreigners.
Upon arrival to Banja Luka, there are a few steps you must take as a alien entering Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Within 48 hours, you must register at the Department of Foreigners at the MUP (Police Station), located dowtown.
Keep the white card obtained at the Department of Foreigners with your passport. This serves as your short-term stay visa for a period of 90 days.
Before visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), it is recommended that you contact the local embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in your own country to inquire about the laws and regulations for entering BiH.
For information on entry, stay, and international protection of aliens in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please visit:
When to Visit
Summer is the busiest time for Banja Luka. Many local and international events draw numerous visitors from all over the world. For those who like busy and exciting schedules, summer is the best time to come.
Fall is the season of harvest and preparation for the winter. The number of visitors dwindles, however local celebrations continue to occur. Visiting during the fall season will be more tranquil, relaxed, and comfortable, especially as the temperatures cool in anticipation of winter.
Winter is the slowest season for Banja Luka’s city life. The calendar page for January is almost completely red from the number of holidays the locals celebrate. These holidays include Christmas, the New Year, and several national holidays. Of course, for those who love winter sports, snowy mountains are always ready for visitors during the winter months.
Spring in Banja Luka is known for its stunning magnolia trees and various blooms that add dazzling colors to everyday life. Spring not only brings the awakening of the flora, it also awakens the life of the city.