Route map:  London to Sarajevo & Mostar by train

Ride the train to the Balkans...

A train journey across Europe from the UK to Sarajevo is a real adventure, yet it's safe, comfortable and affordable.  You can leave London in the morning on day 1 and arrive in Sarajevo in the early evening of day 2, travelling via Paris, Munich and Zagreb as shown on the route map below.  This page will help you plan the journey and buy your tickets.

Train times, tickets & information...

small bullet point  London to Sarajevo & Mostar by train

small bullet point  Hotels in Sarajevo, Mostar & Bosnia

small bullet point  Useful country information

On other pages...

small bullet point  Zagreb to Sarajevo by train

small bullet point  Sarajevo to Mostar by train

small bullet point  General information about train travel in Europe

small bullet point  Luggage   Taking bikes   Taking dogs

Route map...

Route map:  London to Sarajevo & Mostar by train

large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator:

ˇFBH (Zeljeznice Bosne i Hercegovine),, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

ˇRS in Republika Srpska,

Eurostar times & fares   All-Europe train times



Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:



£1 = 2.1 BAM, €1 = 1.95, known locally as marks or KM. Euros widely accepted although only BAM is legal tender.   Currency converter

Tourist information:

Recommended guidebooks


Find a hotel in Sarajevo or Mostar


UK citizens do not need a visa to visit Bosnia. 

Check travel advice at before going to Bosnia.

Page last updated:

25 November 2021.

large bullet pointLondon to Sarajevo & Mostar


Inside Sarajevo railway station


Inside Sarajevo station...

Photo courtesy of Krzysztof Sokol


Sarajevo-Mostar train


A train from Mostar to Sarajevo arrived at Sarajevo.  The blue coach appears to be a second-hand Swedish or Norwegian one!

Photo courtesy of Krzysztof Sokol

  Scenery from the train to Ploce, Bosnia.

Superb scenery from the Sarajevo to Mostar train...  Photo courtesy of Simon Russell

  Mostar station

Mostar station...

Photo courtesy of Krzysztof Sokol

  The bridge at Mostar, Bosnia

The famous bridge at Mostar...

Photo courtesy of Simon Russell

London ► Sarajevo & Mostar

Mostar & Sarajevo ► London

Fares & how to buy tickets...

Travellers' reports...

Traveller Simon Hodge travelled by train from Zagreb to Sarajevo in 2011:  "The train was the morning InterCity service from Zagreb.  When it rolled into the somewhat dated, Tito-era station at Banja Luka, the train consisted of two coaches from Republika Srpska railways and one from Croatian Railways.  Having noticed that the “No Smoking” signs were being largely ignored in the Bosnian carriages, I made my way into the Croatian carriage, where I found a seat in a ubiquitous 6-seat compartment.  Once we reached Doboj, the locomotive changed and the journey became faster (well it’s all relative, we perhaps reached a speed of 50mph) and a steward plied up and down the carriages with a shopping trolley containing a range of soft drinks and some moderately chilled Sarajevsko Pivo, the top-selling beer in these parts.  Given that it was after 6pm and I had been a good boy, I treated myself to a Sarajevsko for around 80 pence, then leant almost rebelliously out of the window and enjoyed the views as the scenery became more mountainous.  The light of the evening sun played stunningly on the mountain villages, which are all focused on the minaret of the village mosque.  We twisted and turned in time with the Bosna river, as does the main road and the new motorway running north out of the capital.  Eventually we swept round to the left, bringing into focus the bullet hole-ridden tower blocks of western Sarajevo."

...and from Sarajevo to Mostar:  "After 2 days of breathing in this most refreshingly diverse of European Capitals, I left on an early morning train to Mostar.  Although there was a mixture between open coaches and compartments, all of which are designated as 2nd class non-smoking, I found myself in a “First Class” compartment.  Alongside me on one side there were two symbols – one of which was “No Smoking” and the other was “No Dogs”.  To my amusement, across the aisle, an elderly Bosnian man sparked up a Camel Light and had a large Golden Labrador taking up all the aisle space!  The train itself was a relic of 1950s Sweden.  Signs in Swedish were still prominently displayed, much to the delight of a Swedish couple a few rows away! Although decrepit, the seats were comfortable and extremely spacious – I could just about touch the seat in front with my outstretched foot.  As we settled in, a lady from the buffet car made her way through the carriage offering a dose of typically strong Bosnian coffee, the sort that makes sleep a challenge for the next two days, for a reasonable 1 KM (about 45p).  The train quickly climbs through the mountainous hills once occupied by Bosnian Serb aggressors – that hostility is barely conceivable now, as the line cuts through valleys, alongside rivers and through long tunnels.  Approaching the small town of Konjic, the scenery is so spectacular that even the locals are glued to the window admiring the beauty.  Nobody worries that the train is going so slowly – this is one of the most scenic and memorable journeys I have made anywhere in the world, right up there alongside the train to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Rhine Valley in Germany or any of the scenic trains in Switzerland.  Just when you think you’ve been through the best of it once you pass the town of Jablanica, the train snakes along the upper valley of the Neretva River, which is the same watercourse that is bridged so famously at Mostar."

Traveller Jasper Goldberg took the Zagreb-Sarajevo train in 2010:  "I think that most of the people who took it the full distance were tourists like myself. However, it does get pretty crowded at times. The reason that the train takes 9 hours (instead of the pre-war 6) is that the train crosses Croatia and there are four passport and ticket checks, as well as two crew and locomotive changes. The Bosnian part of the trip is the nicest because of the scenery and friendly locals, and it was one of my favourite train journeys in Europe."

Traveller Neil Edwards took the train from the UK to Sarajevo in 2008:  "The three of us who made the train journey from London to Sarajevo can confirm that it was certainly a great experience and worth the effort if you can spare the extra travelling time.  The Zagreb-Sarajevo daytime train isn't the most decadent, modern or rapid of trains, though in a way this adds to the charm. There's no buffet car although a chap with a small pull-a-long trolley tried to sell us small bottles of fizzy drink on a number of occasions.  It's a long journey and you will need supplies for the 9-10 hour journey.  Don't expect to pick up anything decent for the trip at Sarajevo station, there are a couple of kiosks nearby but you can only get fluids and chocolate.  Ah, and as for bathroom facilities, go early on as they quickly become flooded or soiled!

Traveller Phillip Mullen took the overnight train from Zagreb to Sarajevo in October 2008:  "There was no problem in buying the ticket from the International travel desk at Zagreb Glavni Kolod (main station), where a return cost me the equivalent of £40 including a couchette for the outward journey [Note:  There are no longer any couchettes on this train].  The train had only a few passengers on it, and being so empty I had the whole 6-person compartment to myself and was settled down and sleeping by 10pm.  I was woken twice during the night by border guards, the first time around 11pm when they hammered on my door, which locked from the inside for security, as the guard had told me. I waited just a little too long to open up because I'd been warned about beggars! Oh well, they were a bit irate!  The second time was around midnight and I'm not sure what that was for, but they seemed fairly content after glancing at my passport.  As I recall the train arrived on time in Sarajevo, around 6:30am.  It was not possible to book a couchette for my return journey at the ticket office in Sarajevo train station, and I was prepared to sleep in a seat on the way back to Zagreb.  But I boarded the train 20mins before it was due to leave, found the guard and asked for a couchette.  He didn't speak much English, but he mentioned a fee of €10, which I thought was a bargain for a night's rest! Whether this was an official fee or a perk-of-the-job I don't know, as no receipt or alteration to my ticket was made, but it seemed a modest sum."

London to Sarajevo via Budapest or Belgrade...

Sadly, the Budapest to Sarajevo and Belgrade to Sarajevo trains are discontinued from 9 December 2012, due to massive cuts to services in Croatia.

large bullet pointEuropean Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at (UK addresses) or (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at (shipping worldwide) or for £9.67 at (UK addresses).

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large bullet pointRecommended guidebooks

Amazon logoLonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at AmazonYou should take a good guidebook.  I think that the Lonely Planets and the Rough Guides are easily the best for the independent traveller.  Both guides have plenty of background historical and cultural information, plus lots of practical information.  You won't regret buying one of these guides!

Click the images to buy at Amazon...

My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called The Man in Seat 61, was published in June 2008 with a new edition in April 2010, and is available from with shipping worldwide.


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large bullet pointFind hotels in Bosnia

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites: is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on,, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at

Other hotel sites worth trying... is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels...  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

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large bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN


Staysure travel insurance logo

Always take out travel insurance...

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I use an annual policy myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & covers you even if the FCDO advises against non-essential travel.

UK flag

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

 Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct.

 US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.


Curve card

Get a Curve card to save on foreign transaction fees...

Banks often give a poor exchange rate, then charge a currency conversion fee as well.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I use a Curve Blue card myself - I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.


Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.


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