In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the climate is Mediterranean in the small stretch of plain near the sea (see Mostar), it is colder and more continental in the hilly and mountainous west-central area, mainly because of altitude (see Sarajevo), while it is continental, with cold winters and hot summers, in the northern plains (see Bihac, Tuzla).
Cold waves from the north and the north-east, typical of the Balkan Peninsula in the winter months, bring snow and frost in most of Bosnia, while they only bring wind and a bit of cold in the plain of Mostar.
Precipitation is abundant in most of the country, except in some sheltered valleys and in the northernmost area, near the border with Croatia.


The western plain

The country has a very short coastal stretch, about 7 kilometers (4 miles) long, for the rest, the border is just a few kilometers from the sea, while the coast belongs to Croatia. The maritime area has a Mediterranean climate, mild but rainy in all seasons except summer.
Near Neum, the Adriatic sea is warmest in July and August, when the water temperature is 24/25 °C (75/77 °F), while it's still acceptable in September, when the water temperature is 23 °C (73 °F), and a bit cool in June, when it's 21 °C (70 °F).
Neum - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)141414151821242523201715
Temp (°F)575757596470757773686359


Behind this stretch of coastline, there's a plain, where the city of Mostar is located (but also the pilgrimage site of Medjugorje), which has a transitional Mediterranean climate, with winters a bit cold (in Mostar, the average in January is 5 °C or 41 °F) and hot summers (the average in July is 25 °C or 77 °F). In summer, owing to the location a bit isolated from the sea, hot days are possible, with peaks of 40 °C (104 °F). Here are the average temperatures of Mostar.
Mostar - Average temperatures
Min (°C)235813161918151173
Max (°C)81115192428313127211510
Min (°F)363741465561666459524537
Max (°F)465259667582888881705950

This is also a rainy area, where almost 1,500 millimeters (60 inches) fall per year, and the only relatively dry months are July and August, with respectively 40 and 50 mm (1.5/2 in) of rain. Here is the average precipitation.
Mostar - Average precipitation

In Mostar, the sun does not shine very often in winter, while it frequently shines in summer. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Mostar - Sunshine

Hills and mountains

If you exclude the small region near the sea, the rest of western Bosnia consists of hilly and mountainous areas, in fact, it is crossed by the Dinaric Alps, so the climate is colder. Let's start with the cities located at an altitude of a few hundred meters.
In Livno, about 50 km (30 mi) away from the sea and 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, the monthly average temperature ranges from in 0 °C (32 °F) in January and February to 18 °C (64 °F) in July.


In Sarajevo, the capital, 120 kilometers (75 miles) away from the sea and 650 meters (2,100 ft) above sea level, the average ranges from -0.5 °C (31 °F) in January to 19.5 °C (67 °F) in July and August; in the latter months, highs are around 26 °C (79 °F) and lows around 13 °C (55 °F), so nights are pretty cool. In winter, during cold waves, the temperature can drop to -20 °C (-4 °F) and even lower, while in summer, it can sometimes get hot, with peaks of 35/37 °C (95/99 °F), although it usually cools off at night. Here are the average temperatures.
Sarajevo - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-4-21491113131062-3
Max (°C)361015202326262217104
Min (°F)252834394852555550433627
Max (°F)374350596873797972635039

In Sarajevo, precipitation is not as abundant as in the coastal area, and amounts to about 900 mm (35.5 in) per year, but it's well distributed over the seasons. In fact, the rains brought by western frontal systems in the cold half of the year are replaced by afternoon thunderstorms in late spring and summer. In winter, there is a fair amount of snowy days.
Here is the average precipitation.
Sarajevo - Average precipitation

The sun in Sarajevo is rarely seen in winter, while in summer, it shines quite often, though not as often as in Mostar and along the coast.
Sarajevo - Sunshine

Throughout this area of hills and low mountains, the wind is quite frequent. In Sarajevo, the south-west wind, which blows more frequently in spring, is similar to the Foehn, that is, a warm and dry wind descending from the mountains.


In the high mountains, the climate gets naturally colder. The highest mountain is Maglic, 2,386 meters (7,828 feet), on the border with Montenegro. In Mount Treskavica, south of Sarajevo, at 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level, the average temperature ranges from -6 °C (21 °F) in January to 10 °C (50 °F) in July.

The northern plain

In the northern plains, in cities like Bihac, Tuzla, and Banja Luka, the climate is continental, with an average around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) in January and around 20 °C (68 °F) in July.

Banja Luka

Here are the average temperatures in Banja Luka.
Banja Luka - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-5-21591214131062-3
Max (°C)471217222527272317115
Min (°F)232834414854575550433627
Max (°F)394554637277818173635241

Here too, precipitation amounts to around 900/1,000 mm (35/40 in) per year, so it's still quite high, and also well distributed because of the frequent thunderstorms in summer. Here is the average precipitation in Banja Luka.
Banja Luka - Average precipitation

In Banja Luka and in the northern plain, the sun shines more or less the same number of hours as in Sarajevo and in the hilly area.
Banja Luka - Sunshine

Best Time

The best time to visit most of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely the towns in the hilly area and in the inland northern plain, is from June to September. Given that some hot days are possible in July and August, you may prefer June and September if you don't like the heat. The summer weather is often sunny, but thunderstorms can break out in the afternoon. Normally, nights are cool.
The short coastal stretch, because of its Mediterranean climate, is good for a beach holiday in summer (especially in July and August).
In the lower valley of the Neretva River, in Mostar or Medjugorje, where the climate is almost Mediterranean, you can choose May, June, and September. In July and August, rainfall is rare, but it can sometimes be hot. From October to April, and therefore even in winter, the weather is usually mild, but sometimes it's windy, and in addition, the rains are abundant.

What to pack

In winter: for Sarajevo and inland areas, bring warm clothes, such as a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, gloves, and a raincoat or umbrella. For the plain of Mostar and the coast: warm clothes, such as a sweater, a coat, and a raincoat or umbrella.
In summer: bring light clothes, T-shirts, but also long pants, a light jacket and a sweatshirt for the evening and for cooler days, especially in inland areas; an umbrella.

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