Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the heart of southeast Europe. It is here that eastern and western civilizations met, sometimes clashed, but more often enriched and reinforced each other throughout its long and fascinating history. Perhaps what is most important for the visitor to know today, though, is that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a stunningly beautiful country with a vast array of landscapes, cultures, traditions and people.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a long name for a country that measures just over 50,000 km2. Bosnia is the northern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, encompassing roughly 80% of the country; the other eponymous region, the southern part, is Herzegovina. Bosnia is an informal term for the whole country.
Bosnia has five main cities (Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar and Zenica) and numerous smaller towns. In the course of recent decades the population underwent a decisive shift towards industrialization and urbanization, producing in the main cities a vibrant, sophisticated, and highly educated population. Some of the most successful firms in the former Yugoslavia were located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Winter Olympics, held in Sarajevo in 1984, lifted Bosnia and its capital to a special status.
In the countryside, a more traditional rural lifestyle continues to exist. Bosnia is a country of exceptional natural beauty, with dramatic mountains and turquoise rivers, and striking contrasts between the green wooded hills of Central Bosnia, the bare limestone landscapes of Herzegovina and the fertile agricultural flatlands in the north.
The official languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina are: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian.
Though, they are very similar and in the time of Yugoslavia they were actually one language. By learning one of these languages, the other two are automatically learned too.