From music festivals to sporting events and cultural shows, Bosnia offers these and so much more. With a diverse culture spanning centuries, Bosnia has turned into a hotbed of festivals and events. No matter what time of the year you choose to travel to Bosnia, you will find plenty of opportunities to experience the best of the Bosnia festivals. You can choose from traditional events to contemporary shows to see this diverse country from different perspectives. Whether it is the rich culture of this quaint country or the excitement to celebrate, there is never a quiet moment in even the smallest of towns here.
Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia is renowned for its wide array of events and festivals – featuring the Jazz festival, International Winter Festival of Sarajevo, Kids Festival, and Sarajevo Film Festival among others. Here's a list of some of the most glorious festivals celebrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
International Sarajevo Winter Festival (February to March)
The longest of all the Sarajevo festivals, the International Winter Festival of Sarajevo, lasting over two months has become an inseparable part of the Bosnian capital city. The festival is held between February and March every year and showcases dance, music and theatre shows. With more than 3 million visitors, 30,000 participants and more than 3,000 performances, it has become a symbol of Bosnian cultural creativity. The performances include music concerts, contemporary art shows, sculpture exhibitions, modern dancing and cultural shows among various others.
Kids Festival – The largest independent Youth festival in South East Europe (June)
If you are planning a family vacation, then try your best to participate in the largest independent youth festival - Kid’s Festival held in Sarajevo. From children to teenagers, this festival is a great place to keep your children entertained by the cartoon films, entertainment kiosks, fun activities and gaming zones. The festival also features dancers, jugglers and magicians, who will entertain them thoroughly.
Bascarsija Nights – the biggest cultural festival in Sarajevo (July)
Every year, Sarajevo becomes a true centre for all cultural events. The Nights of Bascarsija is the biggest open-air festival where you will get a chance to experience the various aspects of Bosnian culture. Approximately 1, 50,000 people come to experience diverse cultural events by top performers from around the world. These performances includes a traditional ballet show, opera, music concerts, film screenings, literary evenings, and children’s programs that span everyone’s interests. Over the years, Bascarsija Nights has featured many international performances like Whirling Dervishes from Turkey, ‘Aditi Mangaldas’ by the remowned Indian Dance Group, Latin American Dance Group from Chile and many more.
Summer on the Vrbas (July)
It is the perfect combination of cultural pursuits with athletic events that make this event a unique event. Held in Bosnia’s most interesting city – Banja Luka, athletes and artists show their abilities and impressive skills, right from bridge jumping, boat and kayak racing, rafting, parachute jumping among others during this event held in the month of July.
Sarajevo Film Festival- the largest film festival in Southeast Europe (August)
The premier and the largest film festival in the Balkans region, Sarajevo Film Festival is also one of the largest in Europe. Whether you are a movie buff or are simply looking to catch a glimpse of the Bosnian culture, it won’t disappoint you. SFF has become the most honoured festival in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from the performances on the main stage, the regional shows and the ‘Panaroma’ hosts some of the world’s best documentaries. This event is definitely the best venue to get a taste of the works of some of southeast Europe’s best filmmakers.
Banja Luka Summer Games – the traditional sports and cultural event (August)
Enjoy a youthful spirit in the balmy city of Banja Luka as its Summer Games draw hordes of visitors from all over the globe. A premier sports and cultural event held every year, Banja Luka Summer Games offers a variety of concerts showcasing theatre performances, rock and ethno music and poetry nights. Many artists and bands from nearby countries also come to Banja Luka to take part in this festival which lasts for two months.
MESS Theatre Festival - the oldest festival in the region (October)
MESS has celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2015. MESS Theatre Festival is the largest and one of the oldest theatre festivals in the region. This festival is celebrated every October, and it lasts for nearly two weeks. The festival stands for all kinds of theatrical experiences and creative performance such as comedy, tragedy, drama, and musicals, among others.
Jazzfest Sarajevo – annual celebration of contemporary music (November)
Sarajevo Jazz Festival is an international music festival held in November’s first week every year and is the largest festival of its kind in south-eastern Europe. It has a perfect blend of international music and local culture making it the ideal mix for locals and tourists alike. For any music connoisseur, this is the golden chance to experience jazz in a traditional European setting where musicians from different countries perform in several concerts.
Head back to Bosnia Tourism page for more information.