I am planning a trip to the Bosnia and Serbia in a couple of weeks time and would like to have some tips on what to do and what not to do while I'm there. Is a visa required?
I'd also like to know who people used to fly with as there don't seem to be many options available?
Where in Bosnia and Srbia?
When we went over this year we flew into Budapest. If you are travelling from the UK you'll be hard pushed to get a cheap flight into Serbia its self but there are plenty to Budapest. Trains from there South to Serbia are twice daily and calls in at Novi Sad (second biggest city) in Northern Serbia. Belgrade is amazing. I dont know what Novi Sad will be like when the Exit Fest isnt in town. You dont need a VISA for Serbia if you are a British citizen.
Hope this is some help. Enjoy the trip.
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 5, 2006 3:22 AM by Simon1983 ]
Ok, as for flights there are onlu BA and JAT airways that fly directly. Depending how early you book, JAT sometimes has special offers that can be very good (around £110 including tax for return), but you cannot get this online, rather have to phone their office in London. Otherwise Swiss via Zurich has good offers sometimes, and so does Alitalia. Low cost airlines are not always the best option since when you add coach/ train fare they can come up to be similar to JAT/ BA. However, if you want to do it you can fly to Budapest if you want to go into Serbia first, or Croatia if you want to enter Bosnia first.
What to see? In Bosnia I can certainly recommend Sarajevo and Mostar. I am not that good on turism there so I cannot recommend much.
In Serbia, Belgrade is a must since it has amazing night life and cafe culture, that is almost unique to it. You will love it (everyone I know does). I live in London and I still think that Belgrade has nicer feel to it. In terms of culture and sightseeing there is lots to see but do not expect it to be well sign posted, or, indeed, do not expect it to be advertised. I gave someone else some instructions few weeks ago (post about travelling in Balkans/ Romania or sth like that) and there are sugestions there. Close to Novi Sad there is Sremski Karlovci, to where you can take one of the old trains (I mean rustic and old-fashioned rather than just well used) from Belgrade.That place has the oldest lycee in Serbia and is very quaint and picturesque.
Going north you have Novi Sad which is a lovely place, but very close to Hungarian border is Sombor that is a great example of Austro-Hungarian town in Serbia and is lovely to visit. Going south you have Kragujevac (right in the centre of Serbia), which used to be a capital some time ago, but not for long. Close to it is Oplenac, which has a mausoleum church of one of Serbian royal families with stunning mosaics and breadth-taking crypt.
In the same direktion is Ovcarsko-Kablarska klisura (small kanyon) where there is an unusually large concentration of Orthodox monasteries. They are certainly worth a visit, especially if you cannot make it further south to see monasteries such as Studenica, Ravanica etc. Carrying on from Ovcar, you can go to Zlatibor, a mountain that is becoming more and more of yuppie resort every time I go there. nonetheless, it is beautiful in terms of its nature and it also has a bit of a nightlife so you would enjoy it. There is an etnovillage there built bya famous director from Serbia, Emir Kusturica. You can go ona train ride that I would highly recommend. It was on that ride that I realised, maybe for the first time, how much I actyually love that country. I took an english friend of mine there and she was mesmerised.
Of course, there is even better mountain (Read higher), called Kopaonik, further south. It's more of a skiresort although it can be lovely all year round.
Please contact me if you want any more info. I will be in serbia myself from 17th to 25th October so might be able to help with anything.
Well, yes Sarajevo and Mostar are must-sees in Bosnia, both very nice places. Though I found the country-side very beautiful and scenic, with its mountains and valleys and small villages.
You should also visit Travnik, (unfortunately, I did not go there), Pocitelj and Medugorje.
Maybe you should check out this link: http://www.greenvisions.ba/gv/
By the way, they accept Euros as payment in Bosnia.
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 6, 2006 4:34 PM by rweb ]
Thanks for all the ingo guys!
Has anyone done the journey from Belgrade to Sarajevo before? can this be done by train or does it have to be bus, if so how long for each?
Belgrade to Sarajevo is by bus, and takes abaout 8hours (some are quicker, some slower).
What are the busses like?
Variable, but on "prestige" route like this normally more than good enough. You are unlikely to get a bus with a toilet - although it's possible - but there will be stops.