Although it's best remembered for three-year conflict that saw the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 90s - Bosnia-Herzegovina is today on its way to becoming reacquainted with the world as a top Eastern European travel destination.
Along with neighbors Croatia
and Serbia, (with the Adriatic Sea lapping up against its 21 mile-long coast), Bosnia-Herzegovina has in fact built up one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the world.
Evolving from "Eastern Europe's best kept secret", millions of visitors each year now come to experience for themselves the natural beauty found in Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with its rich history and culture and friendly people, and plenty of opportunities for skiing, white water rafting, hiking, ecotourism, and adventure travel.
In larger cities like Sarajevo, college students and professionals can be heard speaking perfect English, but for the most part Serbian is the language most often used, so knowing at least a smattering of Serbian travel phrases (see below) will help make it easier navigating your way.
Sarajevo, the scene of the 1984 Winter Olympics, is where most first-time tourists are introduced to Bosnia and Herzegovina to drink up local culture in the capital city's cafes, visit its startling mix of churches, cathedrals and mosques, or tour the battle scars still seen from the Balkan conflict.
Serbian travel phrases
YES - Da (dah)
NO - Ne (neh)
PLEASE - Molim (mo-leem)
THANK YOU - Hvala Vam (hvah-lah vahm)
HELLO - Zdravo (zdrah-vo)
GOODBYE - Do videnja (do-vee-jehnyah)
DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? Govorite li engleski? (go-vor-eeteh
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? - Koliko kosta? (koh-lee-ko kosh-ta)
While here, also don't miss a trip up to the nearby Bjelanica Mountain with its popular
hiking trails in summer and world class winter downhill skiing trails.
Throughout the rest of the Sarajevo region, also take in Sutjeska National Park, one of the last primeval forests in Eastern Europe, or perhaps a whitewater rafting trip (bordering on a national obsession) on the pristine Tara River.
Must-sees throughout the rest of the country include the beautiful northwest region offering winding rivers and lush green countryside on a visit to the country's newest natural preserve, Una National Park.
In central Bosnia and Herzegovina, head directly for the old medieval city of Jajce, with its nearby picturesque views and a prize 'photo op' at the Jajce waterfall.
More about Bosnia and Herzegovina travel around the Web:
Bosnia and Herzegovina Tourism - The official site, with information on major Bosnia and Herzegovina tourist destinations, a special guide to the Adriatic coast, with practical travel tips, photos, maps.
and Herzegovina travel guide - Wikitravel -
Great overview for the first-time traveler with insider guides
to the people and culture (including an extensive discussion on
the country's cuisine) along with how to's on getting around and
other practical travel information, safety tips.
and Herzegovina Travel | Lonely Planet - Excellent
overview of top attractions including special looks at Sarajevo,
the Stari bridge, rafting in Bihac and an overview of Medugorje,
site of the Virgin Mary apparitions, plus more on typical travel
costs, hotel and restaurant reviews, photos galleries, maps.
Association of Sarajevo - The official site with information
on must-see attractions, practical guides to getting around, restaurants
and shopping, searchable hotel database, photos, maps.