Bosnia and Herzegovina
Last updated: ET
Still valid: ET
Latest updates: An editorial change was made.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to crime and the risk of unmarked landmines and unexploded ordnance in rural areas and in isolated mountainous areas.
Safety and security
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 a pickpocketing and purse snatching) is prevalent, particularly in large urban centres and crowded public areas. Foreigners are often targeted. Avoid displaying jewelry, which thieves will often snatch.
Home break-ins and vehicle theft are common, particularly in Sarajevo. Foreigners have been targeted by thieves in Trebević.
Random armed violence by organized crime occurs, particularly in Sarajevo. Foreigners are rarely targeted but 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 occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Travel by road can be hazardous due to traffic congestion and poorly maintained roads and vehicles. Drivers do not always follow safe driving practices and are known to speed and drive drunk. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a disproportionately high rate of death and injury due to motor vehicle accidents.
Extreme weather conditions, such as dense fog, also pose risks. In winter, the emergency number for assistance, road conditions and towing service is 1282.
During winter months, many roads are particularly hazardous, particularly due to black ice. Secondary roads and many mountain roads 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 and with sufficient fuel, food and water supplies.
Local rail, tram and bus services are reliable. Inter-city bus service is widely available and a few train lines operate. 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; their licence plate begin with “TA.” To avoid being overcharged, make sure the driver turns on the meter.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Avoid isolated and poorly lit areas after dark.
Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Stray dogs pose a risk to pedestrians. While some dogs may be docile, dog attacks have occurred. Avoid contact with street dogs and if bitten, immediately go to the hospital.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Bosnian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina for up-to-date information.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
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.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
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. If not, you can find the registration form on the Ministry of Security’s Service for Foreigners’ Affairs website.
Children and travel
Children travelling alone must carry, and present upon request, 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.
See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
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.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
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.
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.
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.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
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 (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
- 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)?
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.
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.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, 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 medical services and facilities are available, but service could be limited outside of major cities. Private clinics are available. Immediate payment is required. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
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
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
You must always carry valid photo identification, such as the passport you used to enter the country. You are required to show photo ID when requested by local authorities.
Illegal and restricted activities
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
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.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Bosnian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Bosnian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Dual citizens may be subject to national obligations, such as taxes.
Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Homosexual activity is not widely accepted. Visitors are advised to exercise discretion.
See Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians abroad for more information.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
All vehicles must be equipped with the following emergency travel equipment:
- warning triangle
- tow rope
- spare tire
- first-aid kit
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.
The use of headlights and seatbelts is mandatory throughout the country, at all times.
The use of a cellular telephone, even hands-free, while driving is prohibited.
Speed limits may not be clearly visible in rural areas. Most roads have a speed limit of 50 km/h, with certain roads having a limit of 80 km/h; highways are generally 100 km/h. 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.
Children under the age of 12 cannot sit in the front seat of a car. Children under 5 must use an appropriate child seat.
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. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are widely available in major centres, but are limited in rural areas. ABMs affiliated with international banks are the most reliable.
Some credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Maestro) are accepted in most large cities. American Express and traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Severe flooding in the spring or after heavy rains is a potential risk year-round. Exercise caution in narrow river valleys at such times.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in an active seismic zone, and minor earthquakes are common.
Bush and forest fires are common in the summer, but are generally contained within inaccessible areas. In the event of a wildfire, avoid the affected areas, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. If you suffer from respiratory ailments, be aware that the air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance, or:
- 122 for police
- 124 for ambulance
- 123 for fire rescue
There is no resident Canadian government office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Embassy of Canada in Vienna, Austria, is responsible for providing consular services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Vienna - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Vienna, Austria 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. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
- Date modified: