- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
- There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurring in a number of European cities, such as Glasgow, London, Madrid, and Moscow. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years, underscoring the continuing interest of terrorists in attacking European locations.
- You should avoid protests and demonstrations as they may become violent and foreigners could be targeted.
- Australia has a Consulate in Sarajevo headed by an Honorary Consul which provides limited consular assistance. The Australian Embassy in Vienna provides full consular assistance to Australians in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
- subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued.
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the most up to date information.
You are required to register with the local police within 48 hours of arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hotels will usually organise this for you on arrival. You do not require a visa for stays of up to three months. If you are intending to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina for longer than three months you should obtain a temporary residence permit.
For children (under 18 years of age) travelling alone or with one parent, local immigration authorities, in addition to the child's passport, may require a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent(s) and a copy of the child's birth certificate. You should check these requirements with an Embassy or Consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
There is a risk of terrorist attack in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurring in a number of European cities, such as Glasgow, London, Madrid, and Moscow. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years, underscoring the continuing interest of terrorists in attacking European locations.
Landmines and unexploded ordnance
Widespread danger from unmarked landmines and other unexploded ordnance continues throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly on minor roads, unpaved surfaces and in abandoned or derelict buildings.
Civil unrest/political tension
Serious ethnic and religious tensions remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina and occasionally result in demonstrations or conflict.
You should avoid protests and demonstrations as they may become violent and foreigners could be targeted.
We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
The incidence of violent crime is increasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including shoot-outs and explosive attacks, often associated with organised criminal gangs. Firearms and explosives are widely available. Home robbery and vehicle theft are increasingly common.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching is also prevalent, particularly at markets and bars, at train and bus terminals, and on public transport.
Money and valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, cash payment in local currency (the Bosnian Mark), or in Euros, is often expected. ATMs are becoming more common in major centres. Credit cards and debit cards are increasingly accepted outside Sarajevo, however, it is advisable to carry enough cash with you if travelling outside of the major cities. Travellers’ cheques can be cashed at some banks.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
Black ice, fog and landslides can make roads particularly hazardous in winter and spring. It is a legal requirement that winter equipment (winter tyres or tyres with snow chains) is used on all vehicles from 15 November to 15 April each year.
Driving can be dangerous due to local driving practices, poorly maintained roads and vehicles, and inadequate road lighting. When driving, headlights must be on at all times. For further advice, see our road travel page.
Please refer to our air travel page for information about aviation safety and security.
When you are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
Penalties for the possession, use or trafficking of drugs, including cannabis, include heavy fines and imprisonment.
Photography of military and police personnel, establishments, vehicles and equipment is prohibited.
While homosexual activity is not illegal, it is not widely accepted in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Overt public displays of affection by persons of the same sex should be avoided.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
Information for dual nationals
Bosnia and Herzegovina only recognises dual nationality in certain circumstances. For more information you should contact the Bosnian and Herzegovina Ministry of Civil Affairs, Department of Citizenship and Travel Documents. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance if you are arrested or detained. We strongly recommend you travel on your Australian passport to avoid any issues with the provision of consular assistance.
Our Dual Nationals brochure provides further information for dual nationals.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our 'Travelling Well' brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas
Medical facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, even in city centres, may not be up to Australian standards. In the event of a serious accident or illness, medical evacuation to a destination with the appropriate facilities may be necessary. Costs could be considerable.
Outbreaks of food-borne and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, trichinosis, brucellosis and rabies) occur from time to time. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before travelling. We recommend you avoid raw and undercooked food, and avoid unpasteurised dairy products. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
Travel in forested areas brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are active from spring to autumn. We recommend you take measures to avoid tick bites, particularly in rural areas.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For more information see our travel bulletin on avian influenza.
Where to get help
Australia has a Consulate in Bosnia and Herzegovina headed by an Honorary Consul. The Consulate provides limited consular assistance which does not include the issue of Australian passports. You can obtain full consular assistance from the Australian Embassy with consular responsibility for Bosnia and Herzegovina which is in Vienna:
Telephone: + 43 1 506 7400
Facsimile: + 43 1 513 1656
Contact details for the Consulate are:
BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA
Telephone: +387 33 206 167
Facsimile: +387 33 251 238
If you are travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in an active seismic zone and is subject to earthquakes.
Information on natural disasters, including earthquakes, can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children brochure.
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or childcare facilities overseas we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise the same precautions you would take before placing children into schools or childcare facilities in Australia.