1685990726 The lesser known destination in Europe where the locals are | phillipspacc

The lesser known destination in Europe where the locals are excited to see new visitors


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Western Europeans aren’t exactly famous for their warmth towards tourists.

Whether it’s French locals rolling their eyes at Americans in awe of the sights of Paris, or Italian waiters being a little too direct when taking orders, it can sometimes feel like you’re not welcome at all visiting Europe.

That’s no surprise, as the continent has become awash with visitors, with as many as 23 signatory cities to the Alliance of European Cities urging the European Commission to act on their behalf to severely limit short-term rentals across the bloc.

The lesser known destination in Europe where the locals are excited to see new visitors

they want tourists outside.

Fortunately, not all of Europe has fallen for Americans: there is one destination in particular that not only encourages foreigners to visit, but the locals are really enthusiastic to host them.

Why you should add Bosnia and Herzegovina to your bucket list

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) would not normally be high on your list of places to visit, unless you are well-versed in geopolitics and have heard of the Bosnian War of the 1990s.

The medieval bazaar in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Balkans, Eastern Europe

Once part of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina fell into civil war following the disintegration of the former country, causing an insurmountable loss of life and paving the way for one of the bloodiest conflicts on European soil since World War II. World.

Home to three main ethnic groups: ethnic Serbs, who are Orthodox Christians, Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians, who form a majority at 50.1%, Bosnia’s diversity and multi-ethnic character were precisely what gave rise to the conflict at that time.

Indeed, the country has gone through a dark periodbut has risen from the ashes much more stable of what once was.

A male tourist contemplating the Sarajevo skyline in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Balkans, Eastern Europe

Now, it is one of the safest countries in Eastern Europe for foreigners.

Added to the US Department of State Level 2 Travel Advisory, which means it is as safe as France or the UKand in recent years, tourism has been growing significantlyas more visitors become aware of its historical value, its beautiful nature, and most importantly, the unmatched bosnian hospitality.

Bosnians will make you feel like part of the family

Forget the reservation of some Western Europeans.

Bosnian Muslim women strolling through a bazaar in an unspecified town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Balkans, Eastern Europe

If you have ever been to the Balkans, you know the friendliness of the locals is hard to matchand being a Balkan country at heart, although with its internal struggles, Bosnia is no exception to that rule.

Unlike other Europeans who live in heavily visited areas, Bosnian citizens a warm welcome to foreignersand they are famous for their generosity.

It is not uncommon for residents to befriend guests and happily invite them into their family home for homemade cheese and brandythe quintessential Balkan drink, as many small towns and villages in the heart of Herzegovina have preserved their centuries-old hospitality values.

Cevapi on a restaurant table in Skopje, North Macedonia, a traditional dish from the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe

As Mustafa, a local Bosnian who has been teaching Bosnian cooking classes since 2018, has fixed in an article published by The Guardiantourism can offer us hope‘.

The businessman points out that they want to ‘share’ their home, food and country with visitors, in stark contrast to the French, Italian or Spanish, who have repeatedly expressed their anger at tourists and they have gone as far as fining instagramers for taking selfies at certain points of interest.

However, not Bosnia.

Still a rarely visited gem

Latin bridge in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eastern Europe

Last year, the country recorded only 1.9 million overnight stays81% more than in 2021, but still behind the record numbers posted by some of its more famous neighbors, such as Croatia, Montenegro and the increasingly modern Albania.

Bosnia tends to be overlooked as a summer destination, as its Mediterranean coastline stretches across just 12 miles.

The Neum Corridor, which it retained after the breakup of Yugoslavia, provides the country with its only access to the sea, as Croatia fences off most of its access to the Dalmatian coast.

coffee in bosnia and herzegovina

That’s not to say that Bosnia lacks natural beauty: with its Mediterranean wildlife, mild weathermagnificent lakes with crystal clear waters, virgin reserves and a picturesque mountain range of the Dinaric Alps running through its center, it is an escape to nature waiting to be discovered.

Some of the most beautiful national parks in Bosnia and Herzegovina include sutjeskaa popular hotspot for nature lovers and history buffs, having served as the setting for the Battle of Sutjeska in World War II, the vast expanse of green that is Kozara National Park, and Una, with his majestic waterfalls and aquatic lagoons.

Stari Most, Mostar Old Town and the Neretva river on a sunny day seen from the top of the minaret at the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Mostar, Herzegovina, part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eastern Europe

In addition, the country has a fascinating culture and no shortage of bucket list destinationsfrom the capital city of Sarajevo, where an archduke was assassinated, starting the first world warto the fairy tale city of Mostar, famous for its reconstructed stone bridge spanning a turquoise river, and the countless medieval castles and ancient monasteries that lie in between.

Some also say that the train journey between Sarajevo and Mostar is one of the most picturesque in Europeand we are inclined to agree.

Unlike its Balkan partners that straddle the Adriatic coast, Bosnia will be much less crowded this summer, and there’s no better time to start exploring its rich cultural diversity than this next season.

Panoramic view of Sarajevo, capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Balkan Peninsula, South East Europe

Bosnia is an affordable summer destination

You can also expect to find much more attractive hotel dealsand comparatively low consumer prices, as Bosnia is not part of the Westernized European Union or the Eurozone.

Staying overnight at the Hotel Art, a four-star listing in the center of Sarajevo, will set you back $67, and if you want to go cheaper than that, nightly rates at the Hotel Grand, 2.5 km from the center, will set you back will cost. for only $29.

sarajevo market

In addition, young backpackers can expect to pay a paltry $8 to $19 sharing a six-bed room in a hostel. there is something in booking.com for each traveler profile, and for each budget.

as for Daily expensesyou will be billed an average of $4.40 for a meal at a cheap restaurant, and you should also expect to pay as little as US$1.65 for a pint of domestic beer.

Find out more about Bosnia and Herzegovina, and why it deserves to be on your travel radar this year, by clicking here.

traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com