Travel Guide to Banja Luka

Travel Guide to Banja Luka

Banja Luka is a picturesque town located in the green hills of western Bosnia and Herzegovina on the banks of the Vrbas River. Despite the not serious character of the charming old streets and cozy squares, Banja Luka bears the proud title of the capital of the Serbian Republic and is the second largest city in the country.

The rich and multinational history of these places has endowed Banja Luka with a mass of interesting sights: an ancient Roman fortress, monasteries, mosques and medieval mansions. In the vicinity of the city, there is a real expanse for outdoor enthusiasts; hiking, climbing, rafting in the canyon of Vrbas and much more.

How to get to Banja Luka?

The most convenient way to get to Banja Luka is by bus. Most often, transport arrives from Sarajevo six buses a day, departing from the capital from 5 am to 4:30 pm. The trip will take about 5 hours.

When going to Banja Luka from Sarajevo, please note that first, you need to get to Serbian Sarajevo (and not its Muslim part), where you can find a bus station and a direct bus to Banja Luka. Recall; in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is no mixed bus service between Christian and Muslim cities.

Entertainment and Attractions Banja Luka

The first thing in Banja Luka is to go to the ancient Roman fortress, towering on a low hill on the banks of the river Vrbas. There are well preserved massive walls, but there are not too many buildings inside. The city hall of Banja Luka, built in 1932, refers to the best examples of medieval Serbian architecture here there is an elegant light facade, and high false arches, and white stucco. Another noteworthy secular building is the Governor’s Palace, which now houses a concert hall and an art gallery.

Also worth seeing is the Cathedral, built in 1887, but destroyed by an earthquake a century later. The present building was recreated according to the original plan only in 1974. The Church of Christ the Savior is one of the richest in the Balkans.

In the Gomionitsa monastery, there is a magnificent collection of icons from the 18th century, and the monastery in Pivara Banja Luka is known for much more mundane things excellent wines and cheeses. Well, the most remarkable building of Islamic architecture is the Ferhat-Pasha Mosque (16th century), which is listed on the UNESCO List until 1993, when it was destroyed. Today, restoration work is underway here.

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Nadja Kovačević
Nadja Kovačević
English editor of GuideBosnia
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