Bosnia and Herzegovina
Earth > Europe > Southern Europe > Balkans > Bosnia and Herzegovina
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|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).
I was traveling with my friend around Bosnia in May 2013 and I speak local language. We change a lot of cars and heard a lot of stories from drivers. When we traveled from Gradiska, Banja Luka to Sarajevo, in this part of Bosnia people are a little bit afraid to pick you up. They said to me 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 on petrol station. Area around Sarajevo and toward Tuzla and forward Croatia are better for hitchhikikng people are more friendly in this area. Area around Mostar, they also said to me some stories about accidents with hitchhikers. They only have this accidents with local people that were hitchhiking, there were not problems with foreigners. Even that we heard all this stories we 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. When we went from Banja Luka to Sarajevo it was not so easy to catch ride in Travnik. We really stuck in Travnik, first we were at end of city at big bus station and it is very good place to hitchhike but a lot of cars were driving to Sarajevo and they did not want to stop. So we move after one hour and something 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 here on petrol station and even that a lot of cars were going in direction of Sarajevo nobody did not want to stop again. So we were in Travnik for 5 hours waiting for our savior and he finally pick us up on petrol station and drove us right to Sarajevo.
People from the Balkans are very friendly and may help you a lot. They may not only pay you a drink (Notice that in the Balkans countries, one person pays the drinks for all the people drinking together! So either pay for everybody or enjoy your free drink!), but they might accommodate you at their place.
In Bosnia, you will find a lot of partially built/destroyed houses (war!) where it is often possible to sleep (many of them still have a roof). Those houses are empty for years and are often quite clean, so a mattress and a sleeping bag may be enough to spend a good night.
There are still some uncleared landmines, so when walking outside of cities, try to stay on the road or on generally used paths. Try to avoid hitching within cities as you will most likely attract a taxi.
Thousands of unmarked land mines are still present in the country and walking off the road into the bushes on a spot you are not familiar with is not a good idea.(see map http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_mine_contamination_in_Bosnia_and_Herzegovina 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.
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