Bosnia and Herzegovina
Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Currency:||Convertible mark (BAM), Euro (€) often accepted|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='ba' />|
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Bosnia and Herzegovina is generally good for hitchhiking as the people here are very warm and friendly. If you are from a western country, chances are good that the people you meet in the street will have friends or relatives living in your country (due to refugees who left Bosnia during the war). This makes for an easy conversation with locals (if you can communicate with them).
Police won't give you any trouble here. In some places you may have to wait for quite some time, though. Indeed, Bosnia is quite poor and not so many people can afford traveling far away by car.
The roads are not in such a good quality (you will notice some small wood bridges, and your speed average may not excess 60 km/hour on most of the roads...), there is just one short highway in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But Bosnia is a beautiful country, so get in a truck and enjoy the landscape. :)
Some car drivers will not understand the concept of hitchhiking, and private taxi is a major form of public transport. Therefore, make sure before you board a vehicle that the driver is not an informal taxi. Also make sure to keep an eye on the road - if the driver makes sudden turns or there are any other uncommon for usual driving changes in his behavior, it is likely that he is either a taxi driver or that he thinks he is doing good by bringing you to the local bus station. You therefore will have to be reiterative on stating that you travel exclusively by autostop.
Note that signs like "20km" could be misunderstood, as "km" is not interpreted as kilometers but as their currency (marka).
If you will go from Gradiska, Banja Luka to Sarajevo, in this part of Bosnia people are a little bit afraid to pick you up. They said things like some people that was hitchhiking robe some drivers and they are afraid to pick up hitchhikers but truck drivers are not so afraid so try more with them, you do not have anything to lose just ask every car if you will hitchhike on petrol stations or anywhere else. Area around Sarajevo and toward Tuzla are better for hitchhiking, people are more friendly in this area. Area around Mostar, people also have stories about accidents with hitchhikers. They only have this accidents with local people that were hitchhiking, there were not problems with foreigners. Even that you could heard all this stories, it is possible to always catch rides and you will always find some good people to help you. Sometimes you will wait few minutes, sometimes one hour or more but you will find your way. From Banja Luka to Sarajevo it is not so easy to catch ride in Travnik. You can really stuck in Travnik, at end of city is a big bus station and it is very good place to hitchhike. A lot of cars will go to Sarajevo but they do not like to stop. You can move to different place at entrance of city. In Travnik you have at beginning of city one petrol station and it is good place to hitchhike but very small number of cars are stopping there on petrol station but also a lot of drivers are going toward Sarajevo and if they want they have a lot of space to stop on this petrol station. Bus station at end of city is better place but you need to have luck on both places.
Country has one of the most severe land mine problems in the world and accidents happen every year. Be aware that serious flooding in May 2014, shifted some land mines, and also shifted some notices marking unsafe or cleared areas. Walking off the road into the bushes on a spot you are not familiar with is not a good idea. Stick to paths, tire tracks and well grazed fields.
In the war houses were often rigged with mines as their owners fled during the war. If something looks "too abandoned", stay away from it. In general, any area which seems visited recently is safe to go, but any area which is all overgrown, and clearly not visited by anyone for a decade is not to be trusted until locals confirm it's safe.
Try to avoid hitching within cities as you will most likely attract a taxi.
I always reference Bosnia as being one of the easiest countries I ever hitchhiked through and a small country with plenty of character. I came in from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Mostar, onward to Sarajevo and then I continued towards Belgrade, Serbia. I found Bosnians very friendly and proud to see tourists in their country. Some people speak English because of the emigration during the war but even if they have no English they understand the concept of hitchhiking as many people here have hitchhiked before. Most towns like Mostar don't require any special spots or petrol stations just walk out of the town towards your next destination and find anywhere with space for cars to stop and stick your thumb out. Old Volkswagons make up most of the traffic in the countryside and I got collected by a taxi and public bus both for free. I also shared a back seat with a goat. -HoboSpirit
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