Last month I went to Bosnia and have not stopped telling other people to go since I got back. Carry on reading to see why I would recommend everyone go to Bosnia!
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a long and turbulent history. It is located in the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It was part of Yugoslavia until the early 1990s. Bosnia gained independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War until 1995. In recent years Bosnia has been able to develop and thrive and is fast becoming a very popular destination for people to travel to.
Getting There: We flew to Tuzla, in northeast Bosnia with Wizz Air for £14 only! Wizz Air is a low-cost Hungarian airline, which currently serves 42 countries. Wizz Air have only recently started flying to Tuzla in Bosnia. Although Tuzla is a small town and requires a further few hours drive to the capital, we found it to be the cheapest way into Bosnia. It also meant that we are able to travel down the country and see the different landscapes and areas of Bosnia.
Accommodation: We arrived in the tiny Tuzla airport in the late evening and were met by the friendly driver we had arranged through email with the Bed and Breakfast we were staying at. The airport is about a 20 minute drive from the city centre. We found the Bed and Breakfast on booking.com and were really pleased with the accommodation. It was a newly opened hotel, which was exceptionally clean and run by a lovely and helpful couple. Here is a link through booking.com for the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at in Tuzla – I would highly recommend it – https://www.booking.com/hotel/ba/heartland-city-b-amp-b.html.
View from hotel room
Things to do: The present-day name of Tuzla is derived from the Turkish word Tuz, meaning salt as Tuzla is home to Europe’s only natural salt lake. The Pannonian salt lake is the most popular thing to visit in Tuzla and is only a short walk away from the city centre. It was opened in 2003 and has thousands of visitors every year. There are 3 lakes, whose water is directly supplied from the local wells of salt water. One of the lakes has water slides and there are artificial waterfalls coming down into the lakes. Tickets to go to the lakes cost between 1 to 4 Bosnian Mark (between 1-2 euros), depending on what time of the day you visit. You are free to swim and relax in the lakes, as well as enjoy the sunshine. However be aware that during the summer months the lakes get very busy with visitors. We went on a day where it is was very quiet, with just a few people around. We explored the lakes and dipped our feet in the water, enjoying the sunshine.
Pannonian salt lake
The Old Town of Tuzla is quite small and can be explored in a few hours. It is best explored by walking through the streets. The Old Town is lined with cafes and shops you can explore and has a public fountain marking the centre. The city centre also has a mosque you can visit and pray in. When walking through the old town you can also visit Kapija place, where a massacre of 72 people took place in 1995 through Serbian artillery fire.
Masjid in Tuzla
Weather: When we visited Bosnia in September the temperature during the day was around 25 degrees and offered a perfect balance of warmth and wind to explore comfortably. In the evenings it can get a little colder, so you may need a jumper or shawl.
Currency: The currency in Bosnia is the Bosnian Mark (KM). Some places are also happy to take euros. I personally found Bosnia to be really affordable.
Food: All food in Bosnia is halal so you will have no problem finding something to eat. Check back in the next part of my Bosnia series to find out about some of the delicious Bosnian food we had on our trip.
Final Thoughts: Tuzla is a small, quiet town that you can explore within a few hours. I think it is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap flight into Bosnia or if you want a cheap and quiet weekend away. The small town captures the beauty and culture of Bosnia and is a lovely snapshot of the country.
Be sure to check out my next blog post about the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo!