- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina for short stay visits of up to 90 days.
A valid passport is required for travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 90 days from the date of your departure from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Passport cards cannot be used.
For more information on visa and passport requirements, please see the Additional Information tab.
Visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Citizens can also follow the Embassy on Twitter@ irlembljubljana to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Bosnia and Herzegovina by dialling 112. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 122
- Fire brigade: 123
- Ambulance: 124
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
As there is no Irish Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Slovenia.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
As elsewhere in Europe, terrorist attacks may occur with no advance notice. Irish citizens are advised to monitor local media and follow the advice of the local police and local authorities. It is important to exercise increased vigilance, especially when travelling on public transport, if attending large public gatherings or visiting other crowded locations, particularly those that have a large concentration of foreign citizens. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas. Citizens should remain aware of their surroundings and ensure they have access to exits or escape routes at all times.
Protests, often at short notice, can be expected across major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Protests have remained largely peaceful but there remains a small risk of violence. Keep up-to-date with developments, be vigilant, and avoid protests. Remain aware in of your surroundings while in public spaces, and respond accordingly.
Landmines remain a very real danger in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Highly populated areas and major routes are now clear of mines and are generally safe to visit, but material can be dislodged during periods of heavy rainfall. Isolated areas in the mountains and countryside, including Sarajevo’s immediate hinterland, have not all been cleared.
We recommend that you don’t stray from roads and paved areas without an experienced guide and that you avoid the open countryside, especially destroyed or abandoned buildings and villages. Never enter areas that are taped off.
Crime remains relatively low in Bosnia and Herzegovina but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- There have been a number of thefts from 'locked’ compartments on trains so make sure that the compartment door is properly locked and that all valuables are placed out of sight or well away from the door.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Bosnia and Herzegovina, report it to the local police immediately and get a report. You can call the police on 122, and you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Ljubljana if you need help on +386 1 300 8970.
If you’re planning to drive in Bosnia and Herzegovina, be aware that driving after dark is especially dangerous and street lighting is uncommon outside the larger towns. Conditions can also be hazardous due to poorly maintained roads, the effects of harsh winter weather and morning and evening fog in the mountains. Remember, traffic laws and regulations are similar to those in other Western European countries and vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road. If you want to drive:
- Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught. The blood alcohol limit is 0.03.
- Be aware of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s traffic laws, such as speed limits. Traffic police have the power to impose on-the-spot fines for any traffic offence.
- Driving with dipped headlamps is required at all times in Bosnia and Herzegovina and not just after dark.
- Between 15 November and 15 April, it’s obligatory to have winter tyres on your vehicle. Alternatively, you may use summer tyres with a minimum thread of 4mm as long as you have snow chains in the vehicle and you can demonstrate, if asked, how to fit them correctly.
- You can get more information on traffic and safety from the Automobile Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Make sure you bring all of the relevant ownership/rental and registration information as border guards may ask to see them.
If you’re driving to, or through, Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the 9.5km road section at Neum on the Dalmatian Coastal Highway, you should ensure that your Green Card includes cover for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Medical services can be limited in parts of the Bosnia and Herzegovina. In some towns, first-aid centres often operated by medical volunteers provide only basic first-aid treatments. In addition, the officially sanctioned payment arrangements for medical services can vary across the country.
People intending to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, including to Medjugorje, with an existing medical condition are advised to consult a doctor before making travel plans and travelling.
In many of the larger cities and towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the air quality can be quite low between November and March. People with, in particular, respiratory conditions or with other health situations should consult and monitor advisory websites such as the World Air Quality Index.
As the heat can become quite intense, particularly during the period June-September, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, visitors are strongly advised to remain hydrated by regularly drinking water, to keep their heads suitably covered, and to keep their eyes hydrated.
Check with your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a member of the EU/EEA. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) cannot be used to access healthcare services in this country.
Before travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is very strongly recommended that comprehensive travel insurance is obtained which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. The comprehensive medical insurance taken out should also be tailored to include any pre-existing medical conditions.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
The entry requirements are that holders of Irish passports do not need visas for short stay visits of up to 90 days. Please note, however, that the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities require that passports must be valid for a minimum period of 90 days from the date of departure from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Make sure your passport is valid for a minimum period of 90 days from the date of your departure from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
A number of airlines during the checking-in process require that a passport would also be valid on the date of the return flight. It is therefore advisable to renew a passport to ensure validity of the passport for the entire period of travel and any visa or other requirements.
All foreign nationals must register with the police within 48 hours of arrival. Hotels will usually arrange this for their guests. If you’re intending to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than six months you must apply for temporary residence as well as registering with the local police.
You can get more information on entry and stay of foreign nationals from the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Travelling with children
A person under 18 who has his/her own passport can cross the Bosnia and Herzegovina border if he/she is accompanied by one or both parents, custodian or a legal guardian. A minor travelling without one or both parents, custodian or legal guardian must have a notarised statement from them stating that they permit the minor to cross the border.
The statement must contain the following data:
- Personal information of the minor (name, date and place of birth, passport number, current address).
- Personal information of both parents or legal guardians.
- Personal information of the person accompanying the minor (if the minor is travelling with another adult).
- Dates and reason for travel to and from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Time period for which the statement is valid.
- Signature of both parents, custodian or legal guardian.
The statement must be in one of the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian) or in English and must be notarised by a person authorised by law to take oaths, such as a notary public. For more information, please contact the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in London.
Most transactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are made in cash. The local currency is the Konvertible Mark, and although some businesses may accept Euro notes in place of these, the Euro is not legal tender in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It’s also possible to cash travellers’ cheques at most banks. However, it’s still advisable to bring enough cash with you when you are travelling outside large cities.
ATMs are increasingly available and credit and debit cards are accepted in Sarajevo, and increasingly, elsewhere across the country. If you have an ATM card bearing a Maestro or Cirrus symbol, you should be able to withdraw funds from your Irish account.
Local rail, bus and tram services are generally reliable, but are currently not operating or severely restricted.
The taxis service is also currently very limited and in addition please note that taxi drivers from the two political entities in the country (the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) may be unwilling to travel from one entity to another.
Earthquakes aren’t uncommon in Bosnia and Herzegovina and small tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences.
In the event of an emergency situation in Slovenia or Bosnia and Herzegovina, you can contact the Embassy in Ljubljana on +386 (0)1 300 8970.
The mobile telephone number of the officer on duty will be available on the answering machine.
Embassy of Ireland
Palača Kapitelj, 1st floor
Poljanski nasip 6
Monday to Friday 09h00-12h30 and from 14h30-16h00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.