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Banja Luka is the administrative capital of the Srpska Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is the second largest city in the country with around 200,000 inhabitants in the city itself, about 250,000 in the total metropolitan area. Banja Luka covers some 96.2 km2 along the Vrbas River.
Due to its long history, Banja Luka is rich in culture. There are several museums including the Museum of Bosanska Krajina, the Ethnographic Museum established in 1930, and the Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska which is also called MSURS the Museum of Contemporary Art. Banja Luka is also the home of the national theatre and library, both dating from the first half of the 20th century, and of numerous other theatres.
Held during April or May, this annual gathering has a series of programs that features some of the most angelic voices in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Held in August, the Summer Games draw crowds from all over the world and Bosnia. Just like Summer on the Vrabas, this event takes place around the historic town of Kastel.
Like the world's greatest centers the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska raised the initiative in 2006 of organizing this event in the Republic of Srpska. The Republic of Srpska Museum celebrates the Night of Museums with a variety of cultural programs.
St. George's children's song festival has been held since 1994. Further, the preparation and implementation of the Festival involves a large number of composers, arrangers, songwriters, producers, set designers, costume designers, actors, and numerous television crews.
Period from 15 May to 15 June is the month of Carnival where many developments are taking place under the name of the Carnival events of the Banja Luka carnival, and the central event of the Carnival are the International children's carnival and the International Carnival Parade.
Banja Luka has a continental climate, with relitavely cold winters and warm summers. Daytime temperatures from May to September are between 22 °C and 27 °C but can hit 40 °C sometimes. Nights are mostly between 10 °C and 15 °C. Winters from December to March see highs of 3 °C to 8 °C, with nights below zero. Snow and severe frost are possible as well though. The average annual precipitation is around 1,000 mm and is evenly distributed throughout the year, with some more severe thunderstorms possible in summer.
|Avg Max||3.7 °C||6.8 °C||12 °C||17.2 °C||22 °C||25 °C||27.2 °C||26.9 °C||23.3 °C||17.4 °C||10.8 °C||5.2 °C|
|Avg Min||-4.6 °C||-2.3 °C||0.7 °C||4.7 °C||9 °C||12.4 °C||13.7 °C||13.3 °C||10.1 °C||5.7 °C||1.6 °C||-2.6 °C|
|Rainfall||69 mm||63 mm||79 mm||87 mm||98 mm||111 mm||95 mm||93 mm||82 mm||74 mm||91 mm||86 mm|
There are many bus services throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and places outside the country, including many international services to central, western and northern Europe.
The tourist office owns fifteen rental bicycles, which are maintained by the above bike shop. Rental costs 1 KM per hour, or 15 KM per day.
If you like meat, you'll love Banja Luka. Meat is a standard for any meal. However, there is still lots of interesting meals you can make do if you are a vegetarian.
Rakia or Rakija is considered to be a national drink. Its alcohol content is normally 40%, but home-produced rakia can be a tongue burner, typically 50 to 60%! Frequently used as a common drink at all celebrations, birthdays, holy holidays, slava (Orthodox Christian custom of honoring a patron saint) and even funerals. Common flavors are slivovitz, traditionally made from plums and lozova, which is made from grapes. But, you can also distill from pears, peaches, apricots, apples, figs and cherries. Plum and grape rakia are sometimes mixed with other ingredients, such as herbs, honey, sour cherries and walnuts after distillation.
Nektar pivo is the local beer, brewed in Banja Luka.
|Hostel Room Banja Luka||Knjaza Miloša 118||HOSTEL||-|
|City Smile Hostel||Skendera Kulenovića 16, Banja Luka||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel Banja Luka||Srpskih ustanika 26||HOSTEL||-|
|Nana Hotel-Banja Luka||Ivana G. Kovacica br.211a||Hotel||-|
|Merriot Hotel||Kozarska br. 85||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Grand-Banja Luka||ul. Suboticka 3||HOTEL||-|
Most cities and major towns have at least one internet café. Wifi is becoming more and more popular as well, especially in cities like Sarajevo and Mostar. Don't rely on it though, as outside the main tourist areas, there might be few options.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Bosnia and Herzegovina is 387. To make an international call from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the code is 00.
There are three mobile phone networks in Bosnia and Herzegovina: HT ERONET (Mostar), GSMBiH (Sarajevo) and m:tel (Republika Srpska, Banja Luka). You can buy a prepaid SIM card from any network at any kiosk for 10 KM or less. Be careful with roaming charges on your smartphone, as mobile internet when abroad is still extremely expensive.
BH Posta offers postal services in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prices and services are very reasonable and reliable. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 4:00 or 5:00pm during weekdays and also on Saturday mornings. The main post offices in big cities like Sarajevo might keep longer hours. For sending packages you might consider a private courier like FedEx, TNT, UPS or DHL.
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