After providing a rundown on budgeting for the Czech Republic, I thought another country worth some insight into expenses was Bosnia and Herzegovina. These numbers will be based on travel for one person and are generally at a level of travel comfort somewhere middle of the range. I know that you can certainly travel on a smaller and tighter budget if you’re willing to, but these numbers relate to how I’m most comfortable travelling.
I visited Bosnia Herzegovina in June 2015, initially because of its proximity to Montenegro and Dubrovnik, but I came away with an appreciation for this now-quiet country. As would be expected, being situated in the Balkans means that the country is a considerably cheaper destination than Western Europe, but I also found it quite a bit cheaper than neighbouring Croatia and Montenegro. The currency in Bosnia Herzegovina is the mark, shown here as ‘km’.
Over 10 days my stops within Bosnia Herzegovina were: Sarajevo, Jajce, Mostar (including a day trip to Blagaj) and Trebinje. Here’s how my Bosnia Herzegovina budget broke down.
Accommodation was a bit of a mixed bag in Bosnia Herzegovina, not regarding quality but rather availability and therefore cost. In the major tourist spots of Sarajevo and Mostar, there is plenty of accommodation options available across the range of budget to comfort. However in both Jajce and Trebinje where international tourists are less common, accommodation options were limited and I ended up staying in higher-end hotels than I was used to. This naturally had an impact on my expenses but nothing overly drastic.
My accommodation in Bosnia Herzegovina consisted of 2 nights in a 2* Hotel, 2 nights in a swanky 4* Hotel, 4 nights in a B&B and 2 nights in a Hotel/Inn. During my stays, breakfast was complimentary with each booking, which never hurts. My stay in Mostar at B&B Mooostar Apartments was particularly impressive, with really friendly owners, spacious rooms and freshly cooked breakfast.
Visiting just before summer started meant that prices and availability in Sarajevo and Mostar were more reasonable than can be expected in high season. I’m a big believer in travelling during shoulder season as you can have better luck with accommodation.
Accommodation = 571 km (292€) / 29.2€ a night
Food and Drink
As is usual with my travels, I took the slack approach and dined out every night. By this I don’t mean anything fancy, but of course eating at restaurants is generally much more expensive than cooking. Dinner at restaurants for a main course, drink and occasional dessert came to roughly 10€ which isn’t too bad. Interestingly, I had decided to have a dry-June and since soft drink was actually more expensive, I would have saved money had I been drinking!
In Bosnia Herzegovina, as they are throughout the Balkans, bakeries are a great solution for cheap lunches. Often you could get some burek and a dessert, more than enough food, for under 2€.
Food and Drink = 282.35 km (144.41€) / 14.41€ per day
Bosnia and Herzegovina may seem like a relatively small country but it’s not the easiest to get around. A fairly mountainous landscape and a lack of widespread trainlines means getting around by bus takes a while. Each of my intercity buses took around 5 hours to arrive which means paying under 15€ per trip is excellent value.
I’m usually reluctant to take taxis wherever possible because there’s usually a cheaper alternative but I did end up taking two in Sarajevo. I found them to be closer to prices found in Western Europe or Australia, with my taxi from Sarajevo Airport to my hotel right near Old Town cost 30 km (15.3€).
I did have an interesting experience flying in to Sarajevo from Switzerland. At the gate in Zurich Airport, the gate staff announced that the flight may be overbooked and were seeking people to fly out the next day. In no rush, I quickly got up and was the first to put my name down. In the end, I was the only person bumped and was given fantastic compensation for waiting til the morning, with a night in the Zurich Airport Radisson Blu, and enough money to cover my flight cost and several days expenses. I haven’t included the saved money here, but it was definitely a boon to my wallet. If you ever get the chance to do this, I’d seriously consider it.
Transport = 111.6 km (57.08€) / 13.91€ average per trip
During my time in Bosnia Herzegovina I spent very little money on activities, but that isn’t to say I did nothing during my visit. Many of the sights in this country are free to see, from Sarajevo’s old town and Yellow Bastion, to Mostar’s Bridge and the Pliva Lakes of Jajce. The few times I needed to pay for entry were at places like the castle at the top of Jajce or the Koski Mehmed-pašina džamija Mosque in Mostar.
Even my day trip to Blagaj from Mostar only cost a few euros with bus fares there and back and entrance to the Dervish Monastery. As always, there were opportunities to spend money but I was able to find enough free sights to keep me thoroughly entertained.
Activities = 15.2 km (7.77€) / 0.77€ per day
Final Numbers – Bosnia Herzegovina Budget for 10 Days
Days = 10
Accommodation = 571 km (292€)
Food and Drink = 282.35 km (144.41€)
Transport = 111.6 km (57.08€)
Activities = 15.2 km (7.77€)
Misc = 6 km (3.07€)
Total = 986.15 km (504.33€) / 50.43€ per day
I hope that this Bosnia Herzegovina budget has given you an idea of what to expect when budgeting a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you have any questions or comments about travel costs or anything really, let me know in the comments below.