Though often thought of as a war-torn country, Bosnia-Herzegovina is now a safe place that offers visitors plenty to see and experience. The country has a rich history. It's been inhabited for thousands of years and was once a major point on European trade routes. Travelers can see mosques and churches, as well as ancient ruins and modernizing cities that retain their old world charm.
As a former host of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, it's little surprise that Bosnia is home to first-class ski resorts. Bjelasnica and Igman are mountains with ski centers and three ski lifts. Though both were damaged by war in the 1980s, they have undergone extensive repairs. Bjelasnica has steep slopes suited for expert skiers able to handle a rapid and dramatic descent. Igman is more suited to families and has a children's lift and small, easy slopes for kids and beginners.
The cities of Bosnia buzz with attractions for visitors. Sarajevo, the country's capital is described by Lonely Planet as a "living museum of history." The city is filled with historic buildings such as the 18th-century Orthodox church and the 16th-century Gazi-Husrevbey Mosque. Banja Luka is Bosnia's second biggest city and is divided in two by the Vrbas River. The town has been conquered many times and is home to various ruins, such as the Castellum, an old Roman fort, in addition to many parks.
Many conquerors have marched through Bosnia, building great fortresses along the way. The Srebrenik Fortress rests atop a mountain and was first mentioned in 1333, according to the Northeast Regional Development Association. The Vranduk Fortress was first established by the Romans, though its current incarnation dates from the 13th century -- it was the biggest fortress on the Bosnia River for generations. Every year, various festivals and concerts are held at the Vranduk Fortress, thanks to its convenient location near the city of Zenica.
Bosnia has thousands of years of history preserved at various museums. The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina showcases archaeological finds and natural history through enriching exhibits. The museum, which also has a botanical garden, contains Roman mosaics, carvings and traditional Bosnian textiles. The Tunnel Museum, near the airport in Sarajevo, shows the remains of a tunnel used during the war. Everyday, Bosnians used the tunnel to smuggle in food, help the injured escape and fight against a brutal genocide.