Bosnia and Herzegovina travel advice

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Risk level

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.

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Safety and security

Landmines

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

Landmines - Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre

Crime

Petty Crime

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

Violent Crime

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.

Terrorism

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

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

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Road safety

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

Public transportation

Exercise increased caution on public transportation due to pickpockets and those posing as ticket controllers.

Buses

Local tram and bus services are reliable. Inter-city bus services are also widely available.

Trains

Local and inter-city rail lines are reliable.

Lock compartment doors from the inside when travelling on an overnight train.

Taxis

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

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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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.

Passport

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.

Official travel

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.

Useful links

Visas

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

Passport stamp

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.

Registration

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.

Registration of aliens - Service for Foreigners Affairs

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.

Travelling with children

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

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.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations 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 may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

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.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • 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.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. 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 occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.

Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk  during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.

Protect yourself from tick bites. The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Measles

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.

COVID-19

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.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

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.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

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.

Travel health and safety

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.

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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.

Transfer to a Canadian prison

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.

Identification

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.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Bosnian law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Bosnian society.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

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.

Travellers with dual citizenship

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.

Useful links

Photography

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.

Driving

You should carry an international driving permit.

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:

  • Bijaca
  • Crveni Grm
  • Zubci
  • Karakaj
  • Raca
  • Samac
  • Kamenso
  • Izacici

Credit card payment is not always accepted.

Equipment

All vehicles must be equipped with the following emergency travel equipment:

  • safety vest
  • jack
  • 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.

Money

The currency is the convertible mark (KM).

The economy is primarily cash-based. ATMs are limited in rural areas.

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Natural disasters and climate

Flooding

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.

Earthquakes

Bosnia and Herzegovina is in an active seismic zone, and minor earthquakes are common.

Wildfires

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

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

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.

Consular assistance

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.

Sarajevo - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressMaglajska 1, 5th Floor, 71000 SarajevoPostal AddressMaglajska 1, 5th Floor, 71000 SarajevoTelephone387 (60) 32-32-407Emailsarajevo@international.gc.ca
Budapest - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressGanz utca 12-14, 1027 Budapest, HungaryTelephone36 (1) 392-3342Fax36 (1) 392-3390Emailbpest.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-HungaryFacebookCanada in HungaryTwitter@CanadaHungaryConsular district

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia

Appointment 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.

Disclaimer

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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