Is Bosnia safe? Bosnia is one of the best countries in Europe for budget traveleres, but the concerns about its safety still remain

Is Bosnia safe? (2023)

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Bosnia is a country in the Balkan Peninsula that’s known for major historic events, ethnic diversity, and many wonderful landmarks like Mostar, Sarajevo, and the Perucica – the biggest remaining rainforest in Europe. 

One of the few Muslim countries in Europe, Bosnia offers a unique mix of culture and history. It’s also a perfect budget destination that has lower prices and is less crowded than more popular destinations.

Still, many travelers wonder if Bosnia is safe to visit. Since the country went through a devastating war just a few decades ago, it’s no surprise that there are concerns about safety in Bosnia, even after nearly 1 million foreign tourists visited the country in 2022.

Let’s go over some of the most common safety concerns about Bosnia travel! I visited the country as a solo traveler and have a good share of advice for your trip! 

if you wnat to stay safe in Bosnia, always keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of common tourist scams.


Although Bosnia is a safe country, you should be aware of pickpocketing and tourist scams in popular areas. Given Bosnia’s tragic history, it’s best to stay away from politics in your conversations and hire local guides if you want to get off the beaten track.

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To better understand the topic of safety in Bosnia, let’s look at some of the key events from its history. 

Bosnia has experienced several significant throughout its history. It was under Ottoman rule for nearly four centuries before it was annexed by Austro-Hungary in 1908. 

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, in 1914 sparked the First World War, which led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

After World War I, Bosnia became a part of Yugoslavia. From 1992 through 1995, the country went through a horrible war and is currently focused on recovery and rebuilding a multi-ethnic society. 

Still, it faces challenges related to political stability, economic development, and reconciliation among its population.

Read: Is Duborvnik safe?


Bosnia and Herzegovina has an overall crime index of 42.46, according to Numbeo, which is moderate. The Numbeo safety rating goes from 0 to 100, with 0 being perfectly safe and 100 being the most dangerous.

The country has seen a moderate crime increase over the last 3 years, with some of the biggest issues being theft and vandalism and people dealing or using drugs. Common worries include car break-ins, and car thefts.

The biggest type of crime in the country according to the website is corruption and bribery, which stands at 80.33.

What to know about safety in Bosnia 

Bosnia is generally safe, and while it’s not crime-free, as a tourist, you are usually not a target of serious crime. Pickpocketing, petty theft, and tourist scams are all common in popular areas like Mostar and Sarajevo. 

Some visitors have safety concerns about Bosnia since over half the population of the country is Muslim, but Bosnia is not a place for radical Islamic groups, and the risk of terrorism here is very low. 

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What are the most common types of crime in Bosnia?

According to the Global Organized Crime Index, local criminal networks, state-embedded actors, and foreign criminal groups operate in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mafia-style groups are heavily involved in drugs and arms trafficking. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina also serves as a country of origin, and a transit point for human trafficking, according to the report. Child trafficking is reportedly a significant issue and is on the rise. 

Arms trafficking is another problem. Many arms from the 1990s remain in circulation and it is among the top countries globally in terms of the number of legal and illegal firearms in possession. 

Corruption levels are high, and many criminal actors enjoy protection from individuals in the government. Political groups and criminal networks often have overlapping interests.


Is Bosnia safe?

To travel to Bosnia safely, check out some of my tips below. 

1. Be aware of the earthquakes 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in a seismically active area, and it’s not uncommon to have a small earthquake now and then. There’s also a chance of bigger earthquakes, although it’s not as high.

2. Always lock your car  

Unfortunately, Bosnia has a problem with car break-ins and car burglaries, which means you should be extra careful when traveling around the country in your vehicle. Cars with foreign license plates could be targeted by criminals who might assume you have something valuable that they can take. 

Leave your car in a guarded parking lot instead of a regular street, if you plan to be out and about for at least a couple of hours.

Don’t leave any valuables in your vehicle, especially in the front seat.

3. Avoid remote areas 

The tragic war has left thousands of landmines around Bosnia. The official data estimated that 2 percent of the country is covered by unexploded landmines, which might seem insignificant, but for a small country like Bosnia, it’s a real issue. 

Although many organizations are working on trying to make Bosnia free from landmines, there are still thousands of active landmines around the country, especially in remote areas.

If you are going for a hike, always stay on designated trails, and better yet, find a guide who knows the area well and can tell you where to avoid.

The known landmines are marked with a red sign with a white skull. If you come across this sign, don’t go past it. 

Still, many mines have not yet been located, that’s why you shouldn’t go off marked paths or wander off into the Bosnian countryside by yourself. 

The best way to stay safe while in Bosnia is by taking guided tours

3. Join guided tours

Areas like Kravice waterfalls, Una National Park, Banja Luka, and Blagaj are all incredibly scenic and you can visit them with a guided tour, which will take the safest route and ensure you have a safe and fun experience.

4. Stay away from abandoned buildings

When visiting Bosnia, you will come across many buildings that have been riddled with bullets during the war. While these buildings make an eerie sight and you might want to explore them – you should stay away from any buildings that have been abandoned.

 Abandoned buildings, particularly those that have any marks of bullets or any other damage could have landmines inside, and you should NOT go there for safety reasons. 

5. Stay away from controversial topics 

After the Breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnia declared independence leading to the war, a terrible conflict that lasted from 1992 through 1995. While the peace has been restored, it’s somewhat shaky, as the country is still divided ethnically and politically. 

Depending on whom you talk to, you could hear different interpretations of the conflict, some of which could be very controversial – which is why it’s best to just stay away from politics in the first place.

What does the US State Dep say about safety in Bosnia?

The US State Department advises to exercise an increased caution when visiting Bosnia due to terrorism and land mines. 

Similar to other countries, the United States sites the potential risk of terrirism as one of the top safety concerns over travel to Bosnia. According to the official statistics, terrorism is not a risk in the country.


Poor road conditions are something to be aware of when traveling around Bosnia by car. Most roads in the country are two-lane, and in many places, they can be very narrow and winding. 

Not many roads in Bosnia have guardrails, which could make your drive very challenging, especially in the mountains. If you are driving early morning, when there could be some fog, so it’s doubly important you slow down and pay close attention to avoid accidents. 

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Safety Tips for Driving in Bosnia 

Although Bosnia has plenty of scenic drivers, the road conditions can be tricky espcially around mountain passes and rural areas, which is why you must proceed with caution and follow the rules. 

  • Do not drive at night – Since road conditions in many areas of Bosnia are less than ideal, it’s better to plan your trips for daytime when the visibility is the best. 
  • Always check the weather – If you are visiting Bosnia in the fall or in winter, you might encounter some adverse weather like fog or even snow, which can make driving very challenging. 
  • Carry tire chains – Because of the poor driving conditions, between November and April, the local law requires all vehicles to use snow chains and winter tires. Although Bosnia doesn’t have steep fines, it’s better to have tire chains, as roads in winter can be treacherous. 
  • Watch out for local drivers – It’s not uncommon for drivers in Bosnia to skirt the rules while driving and even drive recklessly, even along the winding roads in the mountains. 
  • Have all your documents ready – this includes your car registration, insurance, or anything else that’s required for you to drive a vehicle. 


Yes, Bosnia is generally safe for solo female travelers. Since the country has a signficant Muslim population, you should dress more modestly and avoid responding to any catcalls or harassment that you might encounter on the streets. Always be aware of your surroundings, don’t accept drinks or food from strangers, and keep a low profile. 


If you are traveling solo to Bosnia as a woman, you stay safe by following some basic precautions

Monitor local news

Many people still think Bosnia is still in conflict, which is not true, but you should still monitor local news to be aware of what’s going on in the country. 

Always keep an eye on your belongings

Whether you are exploring a popular destination like Mostar or taking a guided tour of Karvitse waterfalls, don’t leave your belongings out of sight.

Exercise caution in busy areas

Stay alert when visiting popular landmarks and places with high tourist traffic. Leave your valuables in a safe in your hotel. 

Double-check prices and carefully count the change

Tourist scams can occur in popular destinations in Bosnia, so you must always check prices in restaurants, taxis, and ticket counters. If you are going out for a drink, always pay upfront instead of running the tab. 

Avoid dark or poorly lit areas

If you are staying out late, it’s best to avoid poorly illuminated areas. If you are visiting Dubrovnik by yourself, it’s also a good idea to avoid staying out late and skip areas with bars and nightclubs where you can find intoxicated people. 

Be careful in bars and nightclubs

Spiking food and drinks with drugs is unfortunately not uncommon in Bosnia, which means you should be particularly careful when going out. Always keep your eyes on your food and drinks and don’t leave them unattended even for a short time. 


Sarajevo is one of the best places to visit in Bosnia

What is Bosnia like for tourists?

Bosnia is a perfect place if you are looking for a less crowded destination with affordable prices, and plenty of culture and history. Although the country is facing some challenges related to its economic stability and ethinic conflicts, it’s mostly safe for tourists, as long as you stick to the beaten path and exercise reasonable caution in popular areas.

How long can Americans visit Bosnia?

U.S. citizens can stay in Bosnia for up to 90 days without a visa within six months from the date of first entry. 

Is Bosnia cheap?

Bosnia and Herzegovina is more affordable than Western European countries, especially when it comes to accommodations, food, and transportation. 

Is Bosnia safe for American tourists? 

Yes, Bosnia is relatively safe for Americans or any other tourists. 

Can Americans visit Bosnia?

U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days total within six months from the date of first entry. Bosnia and Herzegovina does not issue visas to U.S. travelers before traveling for any length of stay or purpose of travel, including diplomatic assignments.

Is Sarajevo safe?

Despite its turbulent history, Sarajevo is a safe destination, and serious crimes against tourists are extremely rare. As a visitor, you should watch out for pickpocketing, tourist scams, and petty theft, especially in popular parts of the city.

Is Mostar safe?

Mostar is one of the most popular destinations in Bosnia. The city sees thousands of tourists per day, and makes for a great cultural trip, if you want to learn more about the history of the area.

Is it safe for tourists in Bosnia?

Keep a low profile, be aware of your surroundings in public places, and always keep an eye on your belongings to avoid becoming a victim of petty crime. Stay away from remote rural areas and abandoned buildings that could have land mines.