History, nature, character, energy and beauty. The more you think about you, the more you realise that Banja Luka and its surroundings really do have it all. Bosnia and Hercegovina’s second largest city is finally coming out of its shell, confidently emerging from its historical cocoon to show the world just what its got. The city proper is a veritable conveyer belt of everything that makes this part of the world special, from historic monuments to lip-smackingly great restaurants via exciting nightlife and that cafe culture that we all love about the Balkans. Banja Luka is a stunner in its own right.
And what of its surroundings? The phrase ‘something for everyone’ springs to mind. Lovers of nature will be in their element, with waterfalls, cascades, protected reserves and dramatic cliff-faces around every corner. Adrenaline seekers will arguably get the best seat in the house, hurtling down river rapids as the natural beauty of the region unfolds all around. If you are into high octane activity, this is the destination for you.
But above all else, Banja Luka is about stories, tales that come in many guises. These are the tales of the city’s churches and mosques, the stories told in its cafes and bars, the history of its dishes and drinks. More importantly, it is the anecdotes of its people, whether told over a glass of Gazdina rakija in the city or next to a idyllic stream in a countryside village. All you need to do is listen.