Bosnia & Herzegovina
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency treatment or for repatriation of remains.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Bosnia and Herzegovina is relatively safe country. However, sensible precautions should be observed when carrying passports and money in busy tourist areas.
There have been a number of thefts from 'locked" compartments on trains. You should ensure that the compartment door is properly locked and that all valuables are placed out of sight or well away from the door.
All incidents of crime should be reported to the local police station and a report obtained.
The telephone number for the police is 122, and for ambulances, it is 124.
Landmines remain a very real danger in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Highly populated areas and major routes are now clear of mines and are safe to visit. However, isolated areas in the mountains and countryside, including Sarajevo’s immediate hinterland, have not all been cleared. You should therefore be careful not to stray from roads and paved areas without an experienced guide and to avoid the open countryside, especially destroyed or abandoned buildings and villages. Never enter areas that are taped off. For further information, please visit the website of the Mine Action Centre
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Irish passport holders do not require visas for short stay visits of up to 90 days to Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you are planning to stay for a longer period, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina for advice.
Irish citizens travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina should ensure that their passports are valid up to and including the day of their departure from the country.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
All foreign nationals must register with the police within 48 hours of arrival. Hotels will usually arrange this for their guests. If you are intending to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than six months you must apply for temporary residence in addition to registering with the local police.
Further information on entry and stay of aliens in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found on the website of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina: http://msb.gov.ba/inf_za_strance/?id=3068
Diplomatic Representation for Bosnia and Herzegovina is handled by the Irish Embassy in Slovenia. Irish citizens intending to remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a prolonged period of time are encouraged to register with the Embassy in Slovenia. For contact details, please click here.
Travelling with children
A person under 18 who has his/her own passport can cross the BiH border if he/she is accompanied by one or both parents, custodian or a legal guardian. A minor travelling without one or both parents, custodian or legal guardian must have a notarised statement from them stating that they permit the minor to cross the border.
The statement must contain the following data:
Personal information of the minor (name, date and place of birth, passport number, current address)
Personal information of both parents or legal guardians
Personal information of the person accompanying the minor (if the minor is travelling with another adult)
Dates and reason for travel to and from BiH
Time period for which the statement is valid
Signature of both parents, custodian or legal guardian
The statement must be in one of the official languages of BiH (Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian) or in English and must be notarised by a person authorised by law to take oaths, such as a notary public. For further information, please contact the nearest Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (for people in Ireland, the nearest Embassy is in London – Tel: + (44 207) 373 08 67/ Website: www.bhembassy.co.uk)
Rules in road transport
Vehicles are driven on the right hand side of the road in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Caution should be exercised on the road network.
Traffic laws and regulations are similar to those in other Western European countries. Please note that traffic police have the power to impose on-the-spot fines for any traffic offence.
Driving with dipped headlamps is required at all times in Bosnia and Herzegovina and not just after dark.
Road travel is possible throughout most of the country. However, if you plan to drive in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you should note that driving conditions can be hazardous due to poorly maintained roads, and morning and evening fog in the mountains. Driving after dark is especially dangerous and street lighting is uncommon outside the larger towns. The use of seatbelts, front and back, is compulsory. Drivers are not permitted to use a mobile phone while driving unless it is "hands free". The national authority responsible for traffic information and safety is the Automobile Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIHAMK).
When travelling by car, please ensure that you bring all of the relevant ownership/rental and registration information as border guards may ask to see them.
If you are driving to, or through, Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the 9.5 km road section at Neum on the Dalmatian Coastal Highway, you should ensure that your Green Card includes cover for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Between 15 November and 15 April, it is obligatory to have winter tyres on your vehicle. Alternatively, you may use summer tyres with a minimum thread of 4mm as long as you have snow chains in the vehicle and you can demonstrate, if asked, how to fit them correctly.
Irish citizens travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina should be aware that for the purposes of drink driving offences, the blood alcohol limit is 0.03. The limit in Ireland is 0.08.
NATURAL DISASTERS AND CLIMATE
Earthquakes are not uncommon in Bosnia and Herzegovina and small tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences.
Most transactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are made in cash. The local currency is the Konvertible Mark, and although some businesses may accept Euro notes in place of these, the Euro is not legal tender in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ATMs are increasingly available and credit and debit cards are accepted in Sarajevo, and increasingly, elsewhere across the country. Those in possession of an ATM card bearing a Maestro or Cirrus symbol should be able to withdraw funds from their Irish accounts. It is also possible to cash travellers’ cheques at most banks. However, it is still advisable to bring enough cash with you when you are travelling outside large cities.
English is not widely spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina but travelling around the country is not difficult. Local rail, bus and tram services are generally reliable. Please note that taxi drivers from the two political entities in the country (the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) may be unwilling to travel from one entity to another.
Diplomatic and Consular Missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Diplomatic Representation for Bosnia and Herzegovina is handled by the Irish Embassy in Slovenia. Irish citizens intending to remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a prolonged period of time are encouraged to register with the Embassy in Slovenia.Top