Bosnia and Herzegovina

From Halal Explorer

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Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian: Bosna i Hercegovina, Босна и Херцеговина, usually shortened to BiH) is a European country located on the Balkan peninsula. It used to be part of Yugoslavia but gained independence in 1992. It borders Croatia to the north, west and southwest, Serbia to the east and Montenegro to the southeast. Mostly mountainous, it has access to a tiny portion of the Adriatic Sea coastline in the south.

Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Islam has played a significant role in shaping the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a faith that promotes peace, tolerance, and unity, Islam has been an integral force in the development of a harmonious society in this multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation. It has brought about a unique fusion of cultures and traditions, creating an atmosphere of respect and understanding among the diverse populations of Bosnia.

The Islamic influence in Bosnia dates back to the Islamic Ottoman Empire's expansion into the region in the 15th century. It was during this time that many Bosnians embraced Islam, which has since become one of the main religions in the nation. The Ottoman period left an indelible mark on Bosnia's architectural and cultural landscape, with the construction of beautiful masjids, madrasas, and public buildings, which continue to be treasured historical sites today.

One of the most enduring symbols of Islam's positive impact on Bosnia is the city of Mostar. Its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture, stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of different faiths and cultures throughout the centuries. The bridge, which was painstakingly reconstructed after being destroyed during the war in the 1990s, has become a symbol of hope and unity for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Islam has also contributed to the enrichment of Bosnian culture through its customs, cuisine, and arts. Traditional Bosnian dishes, such as cevapi, burek, and baklava, have been influenced by Islamic culinary traditions, and are enjoyed by local residents and tourists alike. Islamic arts, such as calligraphy and the ornate decoration of masjids, have added an aesthetic dimension to Bosnia's cultural legacy.

Furthermore and the values of charity and social responsibility, which are central tenets of Islam, have been widely adopted in Bosnian society. Many Muslims in Bosnia engage in acts of charity and volunteer work to support their communities and those in need. Such activities contribute to the development of a compassionate, supportive, and cohesive society.

An Introduction to the Region of Bosnia & Herzegovina

While the nation is divided into two "entities"; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a predominant Bosnian/Croatian population and the Republika Srpska (i.e. Serbian Republic/Republic of Serbs or RS) with a Serbian majority population, here is a "traveller-friendly" division of the nation based on traditional regions.

Gornji Orahovac, Bosnia y Herzegovina, 2014-04-14, DD 01 - Gornji_Orahovac,_Bosnia_y_Herzegovina,_2014-04-14,_DD_01

  Bosanska Krajina
northwest of the nation "hugged" by Croatia
  Central Bosnia
  Herzegovina
south of country, traditionally inhabited by Croats mostly and the only region with coastal access.
  Northeastern Bosnia
  Posavina
along the Sava River
  Sarajevo Region
the capital and its environs

Other Muslim friendly Cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Sarajevo — the national capital; a cosmopolitan European city with a unique Eastern twist as can be seen in its vast diversity of architectural styles
  • Banja Luka — the second largest city, serving as the capital of Republika Srpska, with some historical sights and a rich culture
  • Bihać — city near the Croatia border, surrounded by an impressive nature
  • Jajce — a small city with a beautiful waterfall and number of historical attractions dotted around its centre
  • Mostar — nice old town on Neretva River, symbolised by its medieval bridge
  • Neum — the only coastal town, with sandy beaches backed by steep hills
  • Tuzla — third largest city with much industry, though has a lovely old town and monuments to the brutal war too
  • Teslic — а health spa resort with the biggest tourist capacity in the nation
  • Zenica — city with an Ottoman old quarter

Other Muslim Friendly Destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Kozara — national park in the north-west with dense forests and hilly meadows, a hiking and hunting destination.
  • Međugorje — inland town between mountains with a mild Mediterranean climate, but perhaps best known due to claims of apparitions of the Virgin Mary to six local residents.
  • Srebrenica — small town in the north-east, exquisite nature (third deepest canyon, of river Drina in the world), best known as the site of a genocide during the Bosnian War.

How to get around in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The best way to get around with public transport is with bus and train. There is a dense network of bus lines, all run by relatively small private companies. Be aware that if you buy a return ticket for a line which is served by more companies, you can only make the return trip with the company you bought the ticket at.

Trains are infrequent and slow. Many train lines were damaged in the war and have not yet been rebuilt. There is also a lack of carriages and trains to provide frequent services - even on the busy lines like Mostar-Sarajevo, Tuzla-Banja Luka and Sarajevo-Banja Luka. However and the rides are scenic, especially that Mostar-Sarajevo stretch.

Hitchhiking is fun in Bosnia as you will get rides from local people who you won't much encounter through hospitality exchange networks as couchsurfing. However be careful of landmines and if you're not sure, stay on the paved road and ask local residents.

Cycling is beautiful in Bosnia. Other traffic is not so much used to how to relate to bikes on their way, though.

Local Language in Bosnia & Herzegovina

The official languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, all three known as Serbo-Croatian as they are practically the same language. Serbo-Croatian is written in both Latin and in Cyrillic, making it the only Slavic language to officially use both scripts. In the Republika Srpska you'll see signs in Cyrillic, so a Serbian-English dictionary would be helpful there.

Variants among the Serbo-Croatian language differ only in the most academic of venues and also in traditional homes. There are different versions of the language throughout the area and spoken language changes between regions. However and the vocabulary differences are only cosmetic and do not hinder communication between Bosnian Muslims, Catholic Croatians and Orthodox Serbs.

Many Bosnians speak English, as well as German owing to family connections as well as tourism in former Yugoslavia before the war. Some older people are also able to speak Russian, as it was taught in schools during the communist era. Other European languages (e.g. French, Italian, Greek) are only spoken by a few educated individuals.

What to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

If Bosnia and Herzegovina makes you think of concrete Communist architecture or 1990s images of war-demolished town centres double-torn by ethno-religious strife, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Of course this country bears the marks of its tumultuous history, but visitors today find rebuilt and well restored historic city's, a warm and welcoming atmosphere, bustling city life and -overall- more medieval monuments than Socialist housing blocks. In fact, some of the remains of the Communist era, like the Tito bunker near Konjic, have become attractions of their own.

The country's main visitor draws however lie in its charming historic town centres, ancient legacy sites and splendid nature. Famous Sarajevo has some of the most extensive Socialist housing projects, but is also a colourful historic mix of East and West, where religions and cultures coexisted for centuries. It's a vibrant town that resurrected into what it always was; the nation's modern capital, proud of its legacy and a popular destination for Muslim travellers of all kinds. Top sights include the lively Baščaršija or Old Bazaar and the Sarajevo cathedral and the Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosque and of course the legacy sports facilities of the 1984 Olympics. Equally interesting is the Tunel spasa, or tunnel of hope, which brought supplies to the people of Sarajevo in the war and is now a museum. The beautiful old town of Mostar is another city gem, with the famous an Unesco World Heritage listed Stari Most bridge as a main landmark. Carefully rebuilt, it's widely recognised as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. Višegrad has a Unesco listed bridge of its own, namely the impressive Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge. For more city grandeur, try the green gardens and avenues of Banja Luka. Finally, most components of the world legacy Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards (medieval decorated tombstones) are located in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Great natural attractions can be found all around, even close to the main city's. Take a horse carriage to Vrelo Bosne (the spring of river Bosna) to join Sarajevo families for quiet getaways and picknicks. The waterfalls of Kravice, about 40km from Mostar, make for another fabulous natural trip. A popular spot for city dwellers and rafters and the water of the Trebižat River drops some 30 meters in a beautiful natural setting of tuff walls. Other dramatic waterfalls can be found in the far west of the nation, in the lush Una National Park. And then of course and there is the famous Jajce waterfall, where the clear waters of the Pliva river drop 17 meters right in the middle of the town. Nature lovers may also want to include Hutovo Blato Natural Park for bird watching or Sutjeska National Park, with a waterfall as well as one of only two remaining primeval forests in Europe.

Top picks for village life can be found in the historic fortress of Počitelj, Blagaj (where you'll also find the spring of the river Buna) or, for environmentalists, in the Zelenkovac ecovillage near Mrkonjić Grad. Just outside of Radimlja is the largest collection of Stećak, a remarkable kind of pre-Ottoman tombstones that are found throughout the ancient Bosnian Kingdom.

Top Muslim Travel Tips for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rafting

Rafting on the Neretva river and the Una river and the Tara with the Drina river, with some shorter courses on the Krivaja river and the Vrbas river and the Sana river.

2009 World championship of rafting was held in Banja Luka on the Vrbas river and in Foča on the Drina, both in RS.

Kayaking and canoeing

The Neretva river and its tributary the Trebižat and the Unac river, also the Krivaja river and its tributary Bioštica river are great kayaking destinations with a lot of whitewater on the Krivaja river. The Pliva river and its lakes Veliko and Malo are great canoeing destinations, also the middle and lower Una river and the Trebižat river.

Canyoning

The famous Rakitnica canyon of the Rakitnica river, tributary of the Neretva river, offer great canyoning adventure, but even extreme canyoning route can be found in the Bjela river another tributary of the Neretva river. The Unac river and its canyon offer great canyoning route.

Also close to Banja Luka you can explore the canyons of the Svrakava and Cvrcka rivers.

Mountain biking

Sport is popular in the nation, while mountainous terrain of the nation getting increasingly popular destination for bikers from all over the world.

Winter sports

Bosnia and Herzegovina was the 1984 host for the Winter Olympics and it still takes pride of its winter sports potential. Especially around Sarajevo there are challenging venues. During the war of the 1990s many Olympic venues were severely affected, but at present all is put in place to give the skier a great experience.

Close to Sarajevo there are the Bjelasnica, with over 8 km of ski trails and the Jahorina (20 km) and Igman mountains. Close to Travnik is the Vlasic Mountain with 14 km. Other resorts are Blidinje, Vlasenica in the east and Kupres in Western Bosnia.

Bjelašnica and Jahorina are also beautiful for hikes during summer.

Fly-fishing

The most fly-fishing areas in Bosnia are in the North-West of the Bosanska Krajina, within National Park "Una" and around the river Sana. Fly-fishing fanatics can go on a tour by the different trout-hotspots on the river Una and the Klokot and the Krušnica and the Unac and the Sana and the Bliha and the Sanica and the Ribnik and the Vrbas and the Pliva and the Janj and the Sturba and the Trebižat and the Buna and the Bunica and the Neretva and the Tara and the Sutjeska and the Drina and the Fojnica and the Bioštica and the Žepa and many other smaller rivers and streams; most famous centres are Konjic, Glavatičevo, Tjentište within National Park "Sutjeska", Foča, Goražde, Bosanska Krupa, Bihać, Martin Brod, Drvar, Ribnik, Ključ, Sanica, Sanski Most, Šipovo, Jajce, Livno, Blagaj. In several of those towns there are resorts specially geared towards the needs of the angler.

Shopping in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Money Matters & ATM's in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The official currency is the konvertibilna marka (or marka) (convertible mark), denoted by the symbol "KM" (ISO code: BAM). It is fixed to the euro at the precise rate of 1.95583 for €1.

There are two sets of banknotes, with distinct designs for the Federation and the Republic of Srpska. However, both sets are valid anywhere in the nation.

Before you leave the nation, be sure to convert back any unused currency into something more common (euros, dollars) as most other countries will not exchange this country's "convertible marks".

Credit cards are not widely accepted - ATMs are available in the most city's (Visa and Maestro). Try to not pay with KM100 bills, as smaller shops might not have enough change.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This guide will help you navigate the shopping scene in Bosnia and identify the best items to shop for as a Muslim.

Traditional Bosnian Clothing:

As a Muslim in Bosnia, you will find an array of traditional clothing options that are modest and align with Islamic guidelines. Look out for stores selling "ženska dimija" (women's traditional trousers) and "feredža" (a long, loose outer garment). These garments are both stylish and respectful of Islamic dress codes.

Islamic Books and Art:

Bosnia has a rich Islamic legacy, and its bookstores and galleries offer a treasure trove of Islamic literature, calligraphy, and art. Visit local bookstores to find a selection of Islamic Books in Bosnian, Arabic, and English. Additionally, explore art galleries that exhibit traditional Islamic art, including intricate calligraphy and geometric designs.

Handmade Crafts:

Bosnian artisans are known for their exceptional craftsmanship. Look for handmade items such as traditional Bosnian carpets, pottery, and copperware. These items make excellent souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home.

Organic and Natural Products:

Bosnia is known for its pristine nature and abundant resources. Shop for natural and organic products like honey, herbal teas, and crucial oils. These items are not only healthy but also make for great gifts for your loved ones.

Tax-free shopping

If you have a temporal (tourist) residency status and you buy goods worth more than KM100 you are entitled to a PDV (VAT) tax refund. PDV consist of 17% of the purchase price. The refund applies to all goods bought within three months before leaving, except petroleum, soft drinks or tobacco. At the shop, ask the staff for a tax-refund form (PDV-SL-2). Have it filled out and have stamped (you need your identity card/passport). Upon leaving BiH and the Bosnian customs can verify (stamp) the form if you show them the goods you bought. A PDV refund in Marks can be obtained within three months, either at the same shop where you bought the goods (in that case the tax will be refunded to you instantly), or by posting the verified receipt back to the shop, together with the account number into which the refund should be paid.

Be aware that upon entering another country you might be obliged to pay VAT over the goods exported from Bosnia. But there is always a free amount, mostly a few hundred euros; EU: €430. Also and the procedure at the border might take a bit of time, so it is not wise to try this when travelling by train or bus, unless the driver agrees to wait.

Halal Restaurants & Food in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The influence of Ottoman, Mediterranean, and Central European cuisines makes the food in Bosnia unique and flavorsome. As a significant portion of the population is Muslim, halal cuisine plays an crucial role in the Bosnian food scene. In this article, we will explore some of the best halal dishes that Bosnia has to offer.

Ćevapi

Ćevapi is the undisputed king of Bosnian cuisine, and it's a must-try for anyone visiting the nation. These small grilled Sausages,made from a mix of minced beef and lamb, are traditionally served with somun (a flatbread similar to pita), chopped onions, and a red pepper relish called ajvar. Many halal restaurants and street food stalls offer this delicious and filling dish. Ćevapi is typically eaten with hands, making it a fun and interactive meal.

Burek

Burek is a savory pastry that traces its origins back to the Islamic Ottoman Empire. It is made with thin layers of phyllo dough filled with various ingredients, most commonly spiced ground Meat, spinach, or Cheese. The halal version of burek, filled with minced beef or lamb, is a popular and tasty option. Served piping hot with a side of yogurt, burek is the perfect comfort food and a staple in Bosnian bakeries.

Begova čorba (Bey's Soup)

Begova čorba, or Bey's soup, is a traditional Bosnian halal dish that showcases the culinary influences from the Islamic Ottoman period. This rich and hearty soup is made with tender chunks of Chicken, a variety of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers, and a generous amount of okra. The dish is flavored with herbs like parsley and finished with a dollop of sour cream. It is often enjoyed as a starter or a light meal with a piece of crusty bread.

Dolma

Another dish that reflects the Islamic Ottoman influence on Bosnian cuisine is dolma, a dish made of vegetables stuffed with a mixture of minced Meat and Rice. The most common variations include stuffed bell peppers, zucchini, and grape leaves. The halal version of dolma uses ground beef or lamb seasoned with herbs and spices, such as parsley, dill, and mint. Served with a side of yogurt, this flavorful and satisfying dish is a favorite among Bosnians.

Tufahija

For those with a sweet tooth, tufahija is a delightful halal dessert to try in Bosnia. It consists of a poached apple stuffed with a mixture of walnuts and sugar and then topped with whipped cream or a vanilla custard. The dish is often flavored with cinnamon, lemon zest, and a light sugar syrup. Tufahija is a perfect example of Bosnian sweets that are both delicious and satisfying without being overly heavy.

eHalal Group Launches Halal Guide to Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia & Herzegovina - eHalal Travel Group, a leading provider of innovative Halal travel solutions for Muslim travelers to Bosnia & Herzegovina, is thrilled to announce the official launch of its comprehensive Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Bosnia & Herzegovina. This groundbreaking initiative aims to cater to the diverse needs of Muslim travelers, offering them a seamless and enriching travel experience in Bosnia & Herzegovina and its surrounding regions.

With the steady growth of Muslim tourism worldwide, eHalal Travel Group recognizes the importance of providing Muslim travelers with accessible, accurate, and up-to-date information to support their travel aspirations to Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide is designed to be a one-stop resource, offering an array of invaluable information on various travel aspects, all carefully curated to align with Islamic principles and values.

The Travel Guide encompasses a wide range of features that will undoubtedly enhance the travel experience for Muslim visitors to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Key components include:

Halal-Friendly Accommodations in Bosnia & Herzegovina: A carefully selected list of hotels, lodges, and vacation rentals that cater to halal requirements, ensuring a comfortable and welcoming stay for Muslim travelers in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Halal Food, Restaurants and Dining in Bosnia & Herzegovina: A comprehensive directory of restaurants, eateries, and food outlets offering halal-certified or halal-friendly options in Bosnia & Herzegovina, allowing Muslim travelers to savor local cuisines without compromising their dietary preferences in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Prayer Facilities: Information on masjids, prayer rooms, and suitable locations for daily prayers in Bosnia & Herzegovina, ensuring ease and convenience for Muslim visitors in fulfilling their religious obligations.

Local Attractions: An engaging compilation of Muslim-friendly attractions, cultural sites such as Museums, and points of interest in Bosnia & Herzegovina, enabling travelers to explore the city's rich heritage while adhering to their values.

Transport and Logistics: Practical guidance on transportation options that accommodate Muslim travel needs, ensuring seamless movement within Bosnia & Herzegovina and beyond.

Speaking about the launch, Irwan Shah, Chief Technology Officer of eHalal Travel Group in Bosnia & Herzegovina, stated, "We are thrilled to introduce our Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide in Bosnia & Herzegovina, a Muslim friendly destination known for its cultural richness and historical significance. Our goal is to empower Muslim travelers with accurate information and resources, enabling them to experience the wonders of Bosnia & Herzegovina without any concerns about their faith-based requirements. This initiative reaffirms our commitment to creating inclusive and memorable travel experiences for all our clients."

The eHalal Travel Group's Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Bosnia & Herzegovina is now accessible on this page. The guide will be regularly updated to ensure that Muslim travelers have access to the latest information, thus reinforcing its status as a reliable companion for Muslim travelers exploring Bosnia & Herzegovina.

About eHalal Travel Group:

eHalal Travel Group Bosnia & Herzegovina is a prominent name in the global Muslim travel industry, dedicated to providing innovative and all-inclusive travel solutions tailored to the needs of Muslim travelers worldwide. With a commitment to excellence and inclusivity, eHalal Travel Group aims to foster a seamless travel experience for its clients while respecting their religious and cultural values.

For Halal business inquiries in Bosnia & Herzegovina, please contact:

eHalal Travel Group Bosnia & Herzegovina Media: info@ehalal.io

Buy Muslim Friendly condos, Houses and Villas in Bosnia & Herzegovina

eHalal Group Bosnia & Herzegovina is a prominent real estate company specializing in providing Muslim-friendly properties in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Our mission is to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the Muslim community by offering a wide range of halal-certified residential and commercial properties, including houses, condos, and factories. With our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and adherence to Islamic principles, eHalal Group has established itself as a trusted name in the real estate industry in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

At eHalal Group, we understand the importance of meeting the unique requirements of Muslim individuals and families seeking properties that align with their cultural and religious trainings. Our extensive portfolio of Muslim-friendly properties in Bosnia & Herzegovina ensures that clients have access to a diverse selection of options tailored to their needs. Whether it's a luxurious villa, a modern condominium, or a fully equipped factory, our team is dedicated to assisting clients in finding their ideal property.

For those seeking a comfortable and modern living space, our condos are an excellent choice. Starting at US$ 350,000 and these condominium units offer contemporary designs, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations within Bosnia & Herzegovina. Each condo is thoughtfully designed to incorporate halal-friendly features and amenities, ensuring a seamless integration of Islamic values into everyday living.

If you are looking for a more spacious option, our houses are perfect for you. Starting at US$ 650,000, our houses provide ample living space, privacy, and a range of customizable features to meet your specific requirements. These houses are located in well-established neighborhoods in Bosnia & Herzegovina, offering a harmonious balance between modern living and Islamic values.

For those seeking luxury and exclusivity, our luxury villas in Bosnia & Herzegovina are the epitome of sophistication and elegance. Starting at US$ 1.5 million and these villas offer a lavish lifestyle with private amenities, breathtaking views, and meticulous attention to detail. Each luxury villa is meticulously designed to provide a serene and halal environment, allowing you to enjoy the finest living experience while adhering to your Islamic principles. For further details please email us at info@ehalal.io

Muslim Friendly hotels in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina you can choose from the great number of hotels, hostels, motels and pensions. At the seaside town of Neum you can book hotels from 2 to 4 stars. In the other city's many hotels are 3 stars, 4 stars and some of them are 5 stars.

In Sarajevo the best hotels are: Hollywood, Holiday Inn, Bosnia, Saraj, Park, Grand and Astra.

How to work legally in Bosnia and Herzegovina

With one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe (in some areas up to 40%, official rate 17%), it will be unlikely you will find legitimate employment in the nation unless you are working for a multi-national organisation.

Stay safe as a Muslim in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Be careful when traveling off the beaten path in Bosnia and Herzegovina: it is still clearing many of the estimated 5 million land mines left around the nationside during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. In rural areas try to stay on paved areas if feasible. Never touch any explosive device.Houses and private properties were often rigged with mines as their owners fled during the war. If an area or property looks abandoned, stay away from it.

Bosnia experiences very little violent crime. In the old centre of Sarajevo, be aware of pickpocketing.

Medical Issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina

All Bosnian employees undergo regular health checks to ensure that they can physically do their jobs and that they will not transmit any disease or injure anyone. People in the food industry are particularly checked and random health and safety checks for the premises are held often. Food handlers and providers are held to the highest standards. Bosnian kitchens and food storehouses are expected to be sanitary and spotless and food safety is very important.

Tap water is drinkable.

Since the food is rich, some extra exercise may help.

And as above, never walk off dedicated paths in case of land mines.

Cope in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Smoking is allowed nearly everywhere in the nation and over half the population use tobacco. Even bus drivers often smoke while driving.

Telecommunications

Each entity has its own postal service, so stamps bought in the Federation cannot be used in the RS and vice versa.

There are only three mobile phone networks in Bosnia and Herzegovina: HT ERONET (Mostar), GSMBiH (Sarajevo) and m:tel (Republika Srpska, Banja Luka). You can buy a prepaid SIM card from any network at any kiosk for KM10 or less.


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