Fire and rescue services
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they can still happen.
Terrorists have staged attacks in European cities in recent years. Targets include:
Security services have stopped some planned attacks.
Take official warnings seriously.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Ethnic and religious tensions may result in demonstrations or conflict.
Events can happen with little or no warning and may target foreigners.
To stay safe during periods of unrest:
The crime rate is moderate.
Robbery from homes occurs. Vehicle theft is common, particularly in Sarejevo.
Pickpocketing and bag snatching is common. Take extra care in:
Firearms are widely available. Travellers may not be targets, but you run the risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially late at night.
To protect yourself from crime:
Fires can happen during summer but are usually limited to uninhabited areas.
To protect yourself if there's a natural disaster:
If you can, access the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
There's a risk of tick-borne encephalitis in forests. Ticks are very common in the countryside and are active from spring to autumn.
Cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There's no vaccine to prevent it.
To protect yourself from disease:
Check your body for ticks during and after visiting forested areas. Carefully remove whole ticks as soon as possible.
Be alert for any signs of infection.
Measles cases can routinely occur, with Bosnia and Herzegovina currently experiencing an increase in measles activity. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before you travel.
Outbreaks of foodborne and other infectious diseases sometimes occur. These include:
To reduce your risk of illness:
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical help straight away.
Get medical advice if you develop symptoms.
Medical facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina aren't up to Australian standards.
If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug possession, use or trafficking include heavy fines and imprisonment. This includes marijuana.
You must carry ID at all times.
It's illegal to photograph military and police:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina recognises dual nationality only in certain circumstances.
If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Always travel on your Australian passport.
Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina for advice on:
Same-sex relationships are legal but not widely tolerated. Avoid public displays of affection with someone of the same sex.
You don't need a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, you'll need a temporary residence permit.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina for details about visas, currency, customs and other travel requirements.
Ensure your passport is stamped when you enter the country. If it isn't stamped, you could face difficulties when trying to leave.
You need to register with the local police within 48 hours of arrival. Hotels can organise this for you and will confirm this when you check in.
Children aged younger than 18 years old travelling alone or with one parent may need to produce:
Check with an embassy or consulate of Bosnia and Herzegovina before you travel.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Bosnian Mark (KM or BAM).
You'll find ATMs in major centres.
While credit and debit card use is increasing, outside Sarajevo you'll still need cash.
Some banks will cash traveller's cheques for KM, but many won't accept them.
There has been a significant increase in asylum seekers into Europe in recent years. In some cases, police are preventing them crossing borders and accessing transport.
This has caused disruption to some cross-border road and rail services. More transport disruptions and border delays are possible.
To avoid delays at local borders, you should:
Unmarked landmines and other unexploded remnants of war are widespread throughout the country. They are found mostly in forests and isolated areas.
Avoid these areas.
See the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre before you travel.
To drive a vehicle, you'll need both:
Driving without an IDP could void your travel and vehicle insurance.
Driving can be dangerous due to:
Black ice, fog and landslides can make roads hazardous in winter and spring.
You need to have the correct insurance cover to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina in a vehicle. If you don't, border police will direct you to an insurer at the border crossing to buy insurance.
If travelling by car, research and prepare before entry.
Not all border crossings have an insurer's office and credit card payments aren't always possible.
You must have your headlights on at all times.
From 15 November to 15 April, you must use winter tyres or tyres with snow chains.
The blood alcohol limit is 0.03%. For drivers younger than 21, or with less than 3 years driving experience, the limit is 0%.
Police can collect traffic fines on the spot.
Speed limits for driving are:
They're not always signposted on rural roads.
Check with your travel insurer if your policy covers you riding a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Taxis are available in most towns and for inter-city travel.
Use only registered taxis with licence plates beginning with 'TA'.
Ensure the meter is running throughout your trip. Pay particular attention at the airport.
Public transport is usually reliable but it can be crowded and standards vary.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Bosnia and Herzegovina's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
For non-emergency criminal issues, contact the local police.
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have a consulate in Sarajevo. Contact the Australian Embassy in Vienna for consular assistance.
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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