Confusion sets in when solo travelers book their next trip to the Western Balkans. Doesn’t it make more sense to choose somewhere more well-known, such as Greece or Spain?
As one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Europe, there is one Balkan country that should certainly be on every solo traveler’s list.
Creeping onto people’s radars, the Balkans have seen an increase in tourism in the past few years. Often overshadowed by its neighboring countries of Croatia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina still hasn’t quite made it on most traveler’s maps.
Remnants of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tumultuous past still linger, but the country hasn’t let that stop it. A historic capital city with medieval charm and picturesque villages ready to be explored: it truly is a solo traveler’s playground.
The Country Welcomes Travelers
There are fewer people as welcoming to tourists as Bosnians. With the country still on the mend from the 1900s War, tourism plays a huge role in the economy and recovering what it used to be.
As you wander through the streets, you’ll notice businesses are eager to show you their goods. As a religiously diverse country, there’s an array of people living in Bosnia. Locals are extremely friendly and talk about their cultures with newcomers.
Costs are a huuuge draw for solo travelers. The Balkans are a cheaper alternative to other destinations in Europe, but Bosnia puts the icing on the cake here. You’ll notice you get a lot more bang for your buck, and your money will go a long way.
Travelers are often surprised when a traditional hearty meal costs them anywhere between $5-8. If you’re planning to explore the country, a one-way ticket on a local bus will typically cost you $1. Buying groceries is the best way for solo travelers to save, and you’ll be happy to know a loaf of bread costs about $0.81- we’ll take it!
With so many people and religions in one region, Bosnians have mastered the art of acceptance and intertwining cultures. The country has a welcoming community of locals and expats built on the foundations of pride and learning.
With an array of public holidays, celebrations, and traditions, it’s easy for solo travelers to fall into a groove here and find their place.
Every year, people travel from all over the country to witness the infamous Mostar Bridge jump. It’s a great way to cheer on the brave, immerse yourself in a deep-rooted tradition, and meet other solo travelers and locals!
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s true beauty comes from its diverse landscapes. One minute you could be admiring the turrets of an old Mosque; the next, you could be walking the cobblestone streets of Mostar’s fortress.
With incredibly blue rivers, tall bridges, and breathtaking mountain-scapes, it’s difficult not to fall in love. For the adventurous bunch, Bosnia is a country to experience it all: white-water rafting, cliff jumping, hiking, and swimming.
Mixing cultures, Bosnia has a foodie culture full of mouthwatering flavors and inspirations. The perks of being a solo traveler are trying it all (and as many times as you want!)
There are numerous quaint restaurants to enjoy or simply grab and go from a local street vendor. Ćevapi is a popular meat dish, made with minced beef or lamb (yum), or opt for the Burek, which is a flaky dough filled with different fillings.
There’s a little something for everyone here and at a very affordable price!
Although often overshadowed by its past, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very safe destination for solo travel. Like anywhere in the world, it’s important to remain diligent and be smart.
Being here for a few hours, there’s no doubt you’ll experience the kindness of the locals and their rich culture. If you’re in a restaurant alone, always ask what the locals recommend: because you’ll definitely get a lot of conversation going!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com