Tap Water Safety in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last Update8:50 pm, May 8, 2020

The estimated price of bottled water

NA in USD (1.5-liter)

Tap water ratings

  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility
  • Water Pollution
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility
  • Water Quality

Can you drink the tap water in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Bosnia and Herzegovina (source). Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in Bosnia and Herzegovina think about the tap water?

Tap water is generally drinkable throughout the country.

Wikitravel

Like in much of Europe, smoked meats are one of staples of Bosnian cuisine, more so even than the stereotypical foods of pita & cevapi. Amongst the non-Muslim populations pork is king, and prosciutto, smoked neck, smoked ribs, bacon, and hundreds of other varieties of smoked sausage make this a real BBQ and dry-cuts country. The Muslims, of course, have equally-tasty lamb or beef alternatives. The meat is prepared by first curing in salt for several days, which removes water & dehydrates the meat, while the high-concentrations of salt preserve the meat from spoiling. After being cleared of salt, rubbed with spices (a Bosnian dry rub is usually very simple, and includes some combination of high-quality fresh peppercorns, hot paprika, salt, onions & garlic, and sometimes with a few spoons of Vegeta, a popular powdered all-spice mix similar to an Oxo flavor cube), the meat is then hung over a heavy smoke made by a wood fire. Fruit trees are well-known by BBQ aficionados around the world to produce the most flavorful smoke and apple, cherry, and walnut trees are the most commonly used in Bosnia. Whereas commercially produced deli meats (of the sort you may buy at your local deli) are most often dry-cured or hung in dehydrating fridges and only then pressure-smoked for a few hours to allow some flavor to permeate the meat, Bosnian smoked meat is painstakingly smoked up to three months. The meat hangs in a "smoke house," a tiny wooden shed usually only big enough to light a fire and hang the meat. Bosnians will only smoke meat in the fall or winter, because the low temperatures, together with the salt curation, allow the meat to hang for months without spoiling. During this time, it is smoked up to 4 times a week, for 8-10 hours at a time, which infuses the meat with the flavor of the smoke and removes any remaining water. The finished product has an incredibly strong aroma and flavor of smoke, with the texture of chewy beef jerky. Depending on the cut of meat, the most noticeable difference between smoked meat produced this way and the commercially produced meat available in North America, is the color inside the meat. Whereas commercial deli meat is usually soft, red, a little wet and fairly raw, Bosnian smoked meat is black throughout with only a slight tinge of pink. Larger cuts of meat, like the Dalmatian prosciutto, do tend to be a bit more pink & softer inside, but the difference is still dramatic, since the Balkan-made prosciutto has much less water, is chewier and overall better smoked. Such meat is most often consumed at breakfast time, in sandwiches, or as meza, a snack platter of meats, cheeses, peppers, Ajvar, and other small bites commonly brought out to greet and welcome guests to one's home. For the visitor, smoked meats are a cheap and incredibly flavorful lunch meat, and can be bought at Bosnian marketplaces from people who usually prepare it themselves. Have a pork neck sandwich with some Bosnian smoked cheese and a salad of fresh tomatoes in a bun of fresh and crisp homemade bread, and you'll never want to leave.
Tap water is safe for drinking around the country. If you're unsure, buy bottled water, which is cheap to buy.

What Do People In Bosnia and Herzegovina Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data. A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

Reminder

Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources


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