Bosnia and Herzegovina Travel Information

Photo Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991, was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For the first centuries of the Christian era, Bosnia was part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of Rome, Bosnia was contested by Byzantium and Rome's successors in the west. Slavs settled the region in the 7th century, and the kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia split control of Bosnia in the 9th century. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the rule of the region by the kingdom of Hungary. The medieval kingdom of Bosnia gained its independence around 1200 A.D. Bosnia remained independent until 1463, when Ottoman Turks conquered the region.

Next to Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the poorest republic in the old Yugoslav Federation. For the most part, agriculture has been in private hands, but farms have been small and inefficient, and food has traditionally been a net import for the republic. The centrally planned economy has resulted in some legacies in the economy. Industry is greatly overstaffed, reflecting the rigidity of the planned economy. Under Tito, military industries were pushed in the republic; Bosnia hosted a large share of Yugoslavia's defense plants. Three years of interethnic strife destroyed the economy and infrastructure in Bosnia, caused the death of about 200,000 people, and displaced half of the population.

Important: Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Bosnia and Herzegovina visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: none
Capital city: Sarajevo
Area: 51,197 sq km
Population: 3,879,296
Ethnic groups: Bosniak 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6%
Languages: Bosnian
Religions: Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%
Government: emerging federal democratic republic
Chief of State: Chairman of the Presidency Nebojsa RADMANOVIC
Head of Government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Vjekoslav BEVANDA
GDP: 31.57 billion
GDP per captia: 8,100
Annual growth rate: 1.3%
Inflation: 3.7%
Agriculture: wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables
Major industries: steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, aluminum, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, ammunition, domestic appliances, oil refining
Natural resources: coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt, manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, timber, hydropower
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia
Trade Partners - exports: Slovenia 18.1%, Croatia 16.4%, Italy 14.7%, Germany 13.8%, Austria 12.2%
Trade Partners - imports: Croatia 21.6%, Germany 13%, Slovenia 12.9%, Italy 9.5%, Russia 7.5%, Austria 6.1%, Hungary 4.7%