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When to visit Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina in many ways offers the best of all seasons. Summer and spring are the obvious warm seasons with plenty of fun and sun. 

But winter skiing and fall colors are equally nice. People are always out and about in this country - it’s certainly one of the most social places you'll come across. You’ve got the best of both worlds here, Alpine and Mediterranean - enjoy them both, any time of year! In spring, the country is at its best. So green, so many flowers. The days are pleasantly warm and the evenings are refreshingly cool. In summer time, it is nice and warm in BiH and even warmer (30+ °C) in Mediterranean Herzegovina. October and November are good months to avoid the crowds and enjoy the barrage of orange, red and yellow leaves that paint the forests. These months see both rainy and cool, but as many sunny days as well. Bosnia in general and the mountainous regions in particular have very cold winters and high snow precipitation. If you are a skier, the best time for a visit is from January to March. Olympic skiing on Bjelasnica, Igman and Jahorina mountains is perfect in these three months. In this period, people from the region flock to these areas. If you plan on coming and you want a hotel close to the ski lifts, it is best to make reservations. And make sure to buy snow chains: the road clearance teams are getting better but the roads in winter are still not quite as good as they would be in other parts of the world. 

 

Health

The chance of getting one of the standard travelers' illnesses is very slight, as drinking water throughout the country is excellent and food hygiene is good. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina has no legal requirements for vaccinations. To find a pharmacy, ask for 'apoteka'. In major centers, there are many of them, and there is usually at least one that is open 24 hours a day. These pharmacies will generally have all regular prescription drugs readily available. In villages and smaller towns, you may not find a pharmacy at all. If you do find one, it may not stock what you need. There are many public health clinics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and some very good doctors in most towns. It is advised to contact your embassy if you need medical attention, as embassies usually have lists of doctors they have good experiences with. 

 

Money

Originally, the KM was pegged to the German mark. With the introduction of the Euro, the KM changed its peg without the least bit of trouble (1.95 KM for 1 Euro).

Most shops will accept payment in Euro bills, using a 1 to 2 ratio. There are many ATM machines in all major towns and cities. US dollars, British pounds, yens and other major currencies can be exchanged at the banks and exchange offices that are present in most major towns. They also swap your leftover KMs back into any of these main currencies. Most banks do not have a fixed fee, but take a percentage of the total amount. As this percentage varies, you should do a bit of research before exchanging large amounts of money. Although credit cards are increasingly widely accepted in major towns, you should not rely on them. 

VISA and Master will be accepted in most places, but almost nobody accepts American Express. Make sure you have all the cash you need before leaving the major towns, as it is next to impossible to find a money machine or anybody who accepts credit card payments in smaller towns and villages.

 

Post

Sending letters or postcards to an address abroad is a standard process and can only be done in the post office. Post offices can be found in every city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and most towns as well. Stamps need to be purchased at the post office as well. Packages are a bit more time-consuming but there are express services available at the post office as well as from DHL, FEDEX, and UPS. 

 

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