If the road ever takes you to Southeast Europe, you must see Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country that may not be that big, but is rich in many natural beauties. Banja Luka, the largest and most beautiful city in Republika Srpska, one of the two entities in BiH, is also located in this country.
Banja Luka is a city located on the banks of the river Vrbas, rich in greenery, many tourist attractions, and rich architecture that you must experience. The nightlife is equally exciting, especially in the summer when many events and open-air concerts begin. This city has about 200,000 inhabitants. Banja Luka girls are considered very beautiful, so this city is a real little paradise for men. In support of this is the fact that the ratio of women to men is 8: 1.
What do I need to see in Banja Luka?
In addition to the many attractions, we have tried to single out some that you must not forget to visit
This famous promenade stretches through the very center of the city. While walking, you can enjoy the showcases of famous fashion brands. In the second part of the promenade, you will reach the municipal building, the cultural center Banski Dvor and the President’s palace. What will especially attract your attention is the Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior, a church that was built in 2009 on the site where the existing church was demolished in 1941. The newly built temple is identical in size and architecture to the demolished one and is considered the tallest religious building in Banja Luka.
This is one of the oldest buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina and stretches along the banks of the river Vrbas, in the city center. Although there is little information about this building, it is believed that it was built by the Romans in the 3rd century. The fortress is surrounded on all sides by stone walls, and a few years ago it was rebuilt. Inside the fortress, there is a restaurant that has an incredibly beautiful view of the river Vrbas and the city bridge. What is particularly interesting about the fortress is that in the summer it becomes a major gathering place for young people. It is within the walls that many music festivals take place that attract guests from neighboring countries to come and have a good time.
At the entrance to the fortress, you will be able to see a monument erected to Safikada, a girl who fell in love with an Austro-Hungarian soldier. After they were forced to part, she heard of his death, threw herself in front of the cannon, and was killed. The girl, throwing her body in front of the cannon, which marked the noon from Kastel, shouted: “I am faithful to your grave.” Her grave is very close to the Ferhadija mosque and the monument is in front of the Kastel fortress. Very often you can see young people lighting candles in front of it. The Banja Luka version of Romeo and Juliet will be remembered and retold for a long time.
Coffee by the river Vrbas and rafting
If you are someone who loves an active vacation, then you can rent a bike and enjoy a ride through the city. Next to the Vrbas river, you will find many coffee shops where you will enjoy drinking coffee. If you are a fan of adrenaline, then you should not miss rafting or kayaking, for which this city is famous.
Although it is a small city compared to some world capitals, what we are proud of is our diversity. This is one of the three most famous mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is considered one of the greatest achievements of Islamic architecture from the 16th century. It is located in the city center, not far from the fortress Kastel.
Krupa on the Vrbas
If you go southeast of Banja Luka, at 25 km you will find Krupa on the Vrbas. Here you will be able to enjoy many natural and cultural beauties such as waterfalls, mills, walks through the forest, and the springs of Krupa. Nearby you will have the opportunity to see the monastery of St. Elijah, which dates back to 1289, the medieval town of Greben from 1192, as well as a log cabin from the 16th century.
Banj hill is located 413m above sea level and is about 5km away from the city. At the very top, there is a monument built in 1961. The complex of monuments to the fallen Krajina people includes the access road to the monument and the roundabout around it, the characteristic access plateau with a staircase, and a memorial mausoleum. This place is recognized as one of the most famous destinations for picnics and promenades.
Thermal water springs
Vrućica beach, a place where the hot water of the spring mixes with the cold Vrbas. These springs are warm all year round and very popular among the people of Banja Luka. They are located on the left bank of the Vrbas, in the settlement of Srpske Toplice.
In this city, you will surely find something for yourself, whether you are a fan of the rock music scene, electronic, or commercial music. The party is guaranteed until the early morning hours. Give yourself the opportunity to drink coffee in one of the cafes in the city center, get in touch with the locals who are extremely kind to foreigners. And don’t forget to taste Banja Luka cevap (minced meat specialty) in one of the recognizable Banja Luka restaurants.
Where to stay in Banja Luka
Banja Luka is full of many accommodation units, hotels, and motels, and apartments that will make your stay pleasant. What is especially popular is renting apartments, so you choose the location that suits you, and your privacy is guaranteed. You can visit here to find out more.
All you have to do now is relax and enjoy. We are sure that you will discover many interesting places yourself. The city is perfectly connected by public transport, so you will be able to easily get to any location you want.