If you’ve found this searching before your trip to Belgrade or Sarajevo, I commend you for your forethought. I wish I had a little more and it would have proven quite useful for my recent foray into the area. You see, the distance between Belgrade to Sarajevo is simply 255 miles or so which isn’t far. When I saw that I thought it would be no big deal and there would be regular buses running without a care in the world. I even booked a night in Mostar thinking I’d make it there, oh how wrong I was. The question is what’s the best way to get to Sarajevo from Belgrade; by bus, train or plane?
The ticket for a plane isn’t astronomical but it’s the same price I just paid for a flight from Belgrade to Barcelona which I’ll be taking in ~10 days. Also, the scenery is quite stunning so you’d miss out on a lot of that. The real issue is that there is no highway and you go through the mountains which doesn’t sound so bad. It gets worse when you realize the roads aren’t so great and you could get stuck behind a logging truck; quickly this small distance turns into a long journey.
There is regular bus and train service between the two cities however they only go once a day from my very basic and not so thorough research. I left a comment on a friend’s blog as I saw she had written about it and moments before I got a reply, I found a place called Gea Tours; the service she recommended in her reply. This company runs a shuttle of sorts which is a mini-bus which goes direct between the two cities. It leaves twice a day and is quite the trip; I know this as I’ve taken said journey both ways now.
Just to let you know how things are, it’s faster sometimes to drive from Belgrade, through Croatia and into Bosnia than going direct to Sarajevo. We took the direct route back because there is something going and the border to Serbia from Croatia had what looked like a six year wait when crossing into Serbia. Back tothe shuttle service, yes? What I liked about it was that it cost 25E and goes door to door. The morning shuttle will pick you up between 6:30am and 7:30am usually and the evening one is schedule to get you into the opposing city late at night so it leaves mid afternoon. Yours truly took the morning option both times.
I am writing this as a recommendation because it really was a scenic trip and the shuttle can only hold 8 passengers so the border crossings were a bit of a breeze. Have you ever crossed an international border on a bus or even worse, a train? It can move slowly but if there are a few suspicious characters it can really slow things down. Also if it’s at night it means you’re up and at attention when the crossing happens which is usually at some odd and extremely inconvenient time.
So yeah, if you’re going from Belgrade to Sarajevo or Sarajevo to Belgrade, I recommend you look into Gea Tours; they were a real life saver. The plane seemed a little dear for the distance and the over nights seemed dreadful; this was a happy medium at a decent prices. I spoke with a gent who came here by bus and he said it wasn’t really that much cheaper either. As always, make your own decisions but I hope this helps in your plan making process.
P.S: Pardon the photo, it was taken from a moving van…