Daily budget Basic €25, occasional treat €40 Drink Bosnian coffee €0.50–1 Food Čevapčići (meat rissoles) €2–4 Hostel/budget hotel €12/€2 Travel Bus: Sarajevo–Bihać €25; train: Sarajevo– Mostar €5
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Crime and personal safety
With the war still fresh in many minds, travellers often arrive expecting Bosnia-Herzegovina to be a dangerous place; it will quickly become clear that this is not the case, and that the crime rate is very low by European standards. The country’s two police forces are usually easy to deal with, but keep your passport or a copy handy in case of a spot check. One very important danger to note is the presence of landmines. Strewn liberally during the war, the vast majority have now been cleared, and there’s no danger in any urban area. In the countryside, however, it’s advisable to stick to clear paths.
Police 122; Ambulance 124; Fire 123
Pharmacies usually follow shop hours, though in larger cities you’ll find that some stay open until late, and are sometimes open 24 hours.
Larger cities have tourist information offices with plenty of good English materials; some can make accommodation bookings. Free city maps are handed out at most hotels and all tourist offices.
wwww.bhtourism.ba Official tourist board site.
wwww.bhmac.org Contains some useful information about landmine dangers.
wwww.sonar.ba Excellent site on all things to see and do in Sarajevo.
Wi-fi is common in Sarajevo and Mostar, and where you do find an internet café, expect to pay 1–2KM/hr.
Most post offices (pošta) are open weekdays from 9am to 5pm, and often on Saturday mornings too.
Money and banks
The currency of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the convertible mark, usually abbreviated to KM, though internationally it is BAM. Notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 KM are in circulation, as are coins of 10, 20 and 50 feninga, and 1, 2 and 5 KM. Exchange rates are currently around 1.95KM to the euro, 2.28KM to the pound, and 1.50KM to the US dollar. Accommodation prices are sometimes quoted in euros, as are meals at some upmarket restaurants. In urban areas you won’t have to look too far for an ATM, and exchange offices (menjačnica) are plentiful in places used to tourists. Banks are usually open weekdays from 9am to 4pm, and often on Saturday mornings too. Credit/debit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops.
Opening hours and holidays
Times are less rigid here than in most countries – shops usually open when they want to open, which in most cases is from 10am to 7pm, and in larger cities there’s little difference on weekends. All banks and post offices will be closed on public holidays: January 1, March 1, May 1 and November 25 – though these dates are far from the end of the story as the Catholic and Orthodox churches celebrate Easter and Christmas at different times, and Muslims celebrate a biannual holiday known as Bajram.
Public phones use cards, which can be bought at post offices and kiosks, but it’s usually cheaper to make international calls at a post office.