Bosnia and Herzegovina travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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Bosnia and Herzegovina - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to crime and the risk of unmarked landmines and unexploded ordnance in rural and isolated mountainous areas.
Safety and security
Unmarked landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to pose a risk, particularly in isolated mountainous areas and in the countryside.
- Stay on main roads and paved surfaces
- Avoid abandoned houses and buildings
- Travel only during daylight hours
- Do not touch war relics and unknown items. Report these to local authorities
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in large urban centres such as Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla and Mostar. Criminals often target foreigners in crowded tourist areas and on public transportation.
Home and vehicle break-ins are common, particularly in Sarajevo and on Trebevic mountain. Foreigners have been targeted by thieves in Trebević.
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as jewellery, and carrying large sums of cash
- Avoid isolated and poorly lit areas after dark
Organized crime is prevalent in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Random acts of armed violence occur as a result, particularly in Sarajevo. Though foreigners are rarely targeted, they are advised to exercise caution as there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as in nightclubs and cafés late at night and in the early morning hours.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a disproportionately high rate of death and injury due to motor vehicle accidents.
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. Poorly lit roads and poorly maintained vehicles pose a risk to tourists.
Drivers do not respect traffic laws and are known to speed. Drinking and driving is prevalent.
Extreme weather conditions, such as dense fog, excess snow and black ice also pose risks. During the winter months, many roads are particularly hazardous, particularly secondary roads and mountain roads which may be blocked by landslides. During the summer, traffic is frequently stopped to enable landmine clearance and road repairs.
Many secondary roads have no service stations.
- Undertake travel on secondary roads only with a vehicle in excellent mechanical condition
- Ensure that you have sufficient fuel, food and water supplies
Exercise increased caution on public transportation due to pickpockets and those posing as ticket controllers.
Local tram and bus services are reliable. Inter-city bus services are also widely available.
Local and inter-city rail lines are reliable.
- Lock compartment doors from the inside when travelling on an overnight train
Taxi service is available in most towns and for inter-city travel.
- Use only registered taxis whose license plates begin with “TA.”
- To avoid being overcharged, make sure the driver turns on the meter
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Bosnian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the date you expect to leave from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Ensure that your passport is stamped by customs when you enter. The absence of an entry stamp could create difficulties when trying to leave the country.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
If you plan to visit for 3 or more days, you must register with local police within 48 hours of your arrival in the country.
If you’re staying in a hotel, the staff will register you. Otherwise, you need to fill the registration form and submit it at the closest police station.
Children and travel
Children travelling alone must carry a notarized letter of permission from their parent(s) or a guardian(s).
For children travelling with only one parent or guardian, authorities may ask for a letter of permission from the parent or guardian not travelling. If the accompanying parent has sole custody, border authorities may require supporting documentation.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is only available in major cities. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.
Private clinics are available. Immediate payment is required.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Bosnia and Herzegovina to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities. This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
You must carry photo identification, such as a passport, as you are required to show photo ID to local authorities upon request.
Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place in case it’s lost or confiscated.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Bosnian law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Bosnian society.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Bosnia and Herzegovina court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Bosnia and Herzegovina to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Photography of military or police installations, vehicles and personnel, as well as hydroelectric dams, is prohibited, unless you have obtained prior permission from local authorities.
You should carry an international driving permit.
If you are entering Bosnia and Herzegovina in a vehicle, you must have valid insurance. If you don’t, you will be required to buy border insurance upon entry.
Not all borders have offices that sell border insurance. Travellers are advised to use the crossings at:
- Crveni Grm
Credit card payment is not always accepted.
All vehicles must be equipped with the following emergency travel equipment:
- safety vest
- warning triangle
- tow rope
- spare tire
- first-aid kit
- spare light bulbs
Vehicles must be equipped with winter tires from November 15 to April 15. Additionally, you must carry chains, which are required on certain roads during heavy snow.
Accidents and fines
Speed limits may not be clearly visible in rural areas. Police can collect traffic fines on the spot.
In case of an accident, you must remain at the scene and not move your vehicle until the police arrive.
Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.03%. Passengers under the influence of alcohol cannot sit in the front seat. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines. Traffic authorities may also confiscate the driver’s licence.
The currency is the convertible mark (KM).
The economy is primarily cash-based. ATMs are limited in rural areas.
Natural disasters and climate
Severe flooding in the spring or after heavy rains can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
This is a potential risk year-round. Exercise caution in narrow river valleys.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in an active seismic zone, and minor earthquakes are common.
Bush and forest fires
Bush and forest fires are common in the summer, but are generally contained within inaccessible areas.
The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire:
- stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
Dial 112 for emergency assistance, or:
- 122 for police
- 124 for ambulance
- 123 for fire rescue
In winter, the emergency number for assistance, road conditions and towing service is 1282.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Embassy of Canada to Hungary, in Budapest, is responsible for providing consular services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Budapest - Embassy of Canada
Bosnia and Herzegovina, SloveniaAppointment Book your appointment online
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada to Hungary, in Budapest, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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