Banjaluka is second largest city in Bosnia and Hercegovina and also capital of city of Republic of Srpska entity. . Moreover, city is home to University of Banjaluka. Banjaluka is as well as known numerous entity institutions of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Banjaluka city lies on the Vrbas river , the green river that flows through the heart of the city . Few miles from city center is international airport and its connected by high way so basically you need 30 minutes driving. Banjaluka is connected to Croatia and only one-hour driving is border. There are plenty things to do in this beautiful place and around.
First thing you do in Banjaluka is walking through down town. The main street called Gospodska and its walking zone. Here you can find numerous sophisticated coffee shops and restaurants or lunch spots. This street is well known as street to be seen because people sometimes walk here just to be seen or see other people. Serbian people are very famous by drinking coffee , so there is the fact why so many coffee shops are here. During the year and special in summer , Serbian’s like to sit in the coffee shop and enjoy their time with friend. You will always find a crowded down town.
If you decide to visit Banjaluka , you must try the famous dish which is “ćevap”. One of the places I would like to recommend is Ćevabdžinica “Kod Muje”. You can find them on the Facebook and if you ask any person , they will guide you. Do not miss chance to try this national meal.
Nearby Ćevabdžinica “Kod Muje” is the other place I would like to recommend to visit. It is amazing orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. This building was the first large construction after first world war. The church was built from the most precious stone from the middle east in colors red and yellow. Because of the way how its build inside and outside this Cathedral is one of the finest and largest architectural works of Orthodox Churches in the Balkan.
Across the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is Banski Dvor. Officially 1998 , Banski Dvor become a public cultural and most important center of the city Banjaluka. Thousand and thousand of visitors see this place per year. It holds concerts, exhibitions of local and foreign artists, book presentations and realization of important happenings and festivals of the city.
After you pass the Gospodska street you will find Krajina Square. Small shopping area is excellent place for retail therapy. Boska is the most famous building in the square and it is the home place for al lot international brands. If you are not fan of shopping just keep going down the street and you will see the magnificent building from your left side. It is Kastel fortress. Fortress is very close to the city center of Banjaluka and it was the most important military fortification and strategic hub during Ottomans and Austro-Hungarian wars. The view from a top of fortifications is on the Vrbas river. Kastel is the oldest historical monument in Banjaluka and prehistorical settlement were found in Kastel dating from period 2000 years BC which makes Banjaluka on of the oldest cities in Europe.
Now, If you have more time to explore Banjaluka and river Vrbas I would say go out from the city. River is beautiful where ever you look but the Kanjon rafting center is the best place to enjoy beauty of the river Vrbas. It is about 20 minutes driving from down town and it is located on the road to Jajce. The reason why I would like to recommend this place is because you actually can try rafting. Kanjon rafting center has amazing restaurant with local made food and barbecue. Moreover, you can swim here or do kayaking . More info on this link
On the way back to down town, do not miss opportunity to enjoy one more stop next to the river Vrbas. It is restaurant called Slap and it is only five kilometers from down town. This place is unique because of the location and collection old timer cars. Inside of the restaurant are antiquities just to decorate and make this place special. Terrace is huge and you can enjoy sounds of waterfall or if you brave enough you can swim too.
Nevertheless , I can say Banjaluka is more than friendly city with untouched nature and it is worth to see. If you still have energy after long day exploring you can try night life too.
The famous night clubs are Boom Boom Room , club Opium and Night club Rudi .
More about Banjaluka on my YouTube canal here:
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Written by Travel