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First Info

SARAJEVO OPEN 2018

FIRST INFO

The Skating Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina would like to extend our warmest welcome to all competitors, event officials and guests of the ISU members to Sarajevo Open 2018, which will be held at the Olympic Complex "ZETRA" (Olympic hall "JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH"), Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina, from March 1st to March 4th 2018.

This guide provides important information you will need as you prepare your trip to the host city - Sarajevo

Transportation   |  Health   | Safety   |   Official Hotel   |   Money   |   Interacting   |   Budgeting   |   Gastronomy

panoramic view of sarajevo


ENTRY VISA INFORMATION

With the right papers, entering Bosnia and Herzegovina is easy. Procedures at both the borders and the airport are standardized and uncomplicated.

Citizens of the following countries are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry,exit, and transit and stay onthe territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days within the six month period from the date of first entry:

 Andorra  
 Hungary 
 Poland  
 Argentina
 Ireland
 Qatar
 Australia
 Iceland
 Romania
 Austria
 Italy
 Singapore
 Belgium
 Japan
 Slovakia
 Bulgaria
 Republic of Korea
 Slovenia
 Canada 
 Latvia
 Serbia
 Croatia
 Liechtenstein
 Spain
 Cyprus
 Lithuania
 Sweden
 Czech Republic
 Luxembourg
 Swiss Confederation
 Denmark
 Mexico
 Turkey
 Estonia
 Monaco
 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
 Finland
 Netherlands
 United Arab Emirates
 France
 Norway
 United States of America
 Germany
 New Zealand
 
 Greece
 
 

 

(1) Citizens of Azerbaijan who are holders of valid ordinary passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of  Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days within a period of six months from the date of  first entry.

(2) Citizens of Azerbaijan who are holders of diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 30 days and in  compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 6 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Brazil)

(1) Citizens of  Brazil who are holders of  valid ordinary passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of  Bosnia and Herzegovina for a period of stay not exceeding 90 days, while the total length of stay does not exceed 180 days period per year fromthe date of first entryand in compliance with concluded international agreement.

(2) Citizens of Brazil who are holders of diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the  obligation to obtain a  visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia  and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in  compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 8 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Indonesia)

Citizens of Indonesia who are holders of diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 9 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Israel)

(1) Citizens of  Israel who are holders of  valid ordinary passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of  Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days within a period of six months from the date of first entry.

(2) Citizens of Israel who are holders of diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the  obligation to obtain a  visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia  and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in  compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 10 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Kazakhstan)

Citizens of Kazakhstan who are holders of diplomatic and service passports are  exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 30 days and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 11 (Visa-free regime for holders of valid passports of the People's Republic of China, passports of Taiwan and passports issued by the Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China)

Citizens of the People's Republic of China who are holders of diplomatic, service and business- ordinary passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a  visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in Taiwan  passport  holders,  as  well  as   holders  of   passports  issued  by  the  Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China (Hong Kong and Macao)are exempted from the obligation to obtain a  visa for entry, exit, transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days within aperiod of six months from the date of first entry only if the passport contains the ID card number.

Article 13 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Malaysia)

Citizens of Malaysia who are holders of ordinary, diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transitand stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina for a  period of  stay not exceeding 90 days and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 14 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Moldova)

Citizens of Moldova who are holders of diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of  Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 15 (Visa-free regime for citizens of the Russian Federation)

(1) Citizens of the Russian Federation who are holders of ordinary passports, Seaman's book (to be in possession ofa certificate of vessel documentation) and identification document (travel document) for their return to the Russian Federation are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, transit and stay on the territory of  Bosnia and Herzegovina for a period of stay not exceeding 30 days within every 60 days period from the date of first entry and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

(2) Citizens of  the Russian Federation who are holders of  diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 16 (Visa-free regime for citizens of Ukraine)

(1) Citizens of  Ukraine who are holders of  valid ordinary passports, child travel document, Seaman\\u2019s books and identification document for their return to Ukraine are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina for a  period of  stay not exceeding 30 days within the two months from the date of  first entry and in compliance with concluded international agreement.

(2) Citizens of  Ukraine who are holders of  diplomatic and service passports are exempted from the obligation to obtain a visa for entry, exit, and transit and stay on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina up to 90 days and in  compliance with concluded international agreement.

Article 17 (Visa-free regime in the case of possession of a Schengen visa or a residence permit in the countries which are signatories to the Schengen Agreem ent or in the European Union member states)

(1) Citizens of  the countries with whom Bosnia and Herzegovina has a visa regime may enter Bosnia and Herzegovina with passport and without the obligation to obtain avisa for entry, exit, transit and stay on the territory ofBosnia and Herzegovina only if  they have a valid multiple entry Schengen visa or a  visa issued by the EU member state or the properresidence permit in the Schengen Area or the European Union member state sand after inspection done by the Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(2) Provisions from the paragraph (1) of  this Article are valid only if holdersof the Schengen Visa or a visa issued by the European Union member state or the proper residence permits in the Schengen Area or the European Union member states are coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina From:

a) Countrywhich is signatory to the Schengen Agreement

b) European Union member state

c) Countrywhich signed the Readmission Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina that have entered into force.

(3) A period of stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina in cases of this Article is possible up to 90 days within a period of six months from the date of first entry while the one continuous stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina cannotbe longer than 15 days and within validity period of a visa or residence permit issued by the country of  the Schengen Area or the European Union member state.

(4) Provisions from paragraph (1) of  this Article do not apply to persons who are forbidden to enter, exit, transit through or stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For more information about the above visa exemption program, please visit the official website of Ministry of Foreign affairs. The website link is provided below:

http:\\www.mvp.gov.ba\konzularne_informacije\vize\default.aspx


TRANSPORTATION

BY PLANE

Sarajevo airport (www.sarajevo- airport.ba) is located at the base of Mount Igman.

The airport is 12 km from the town centre. There are no shuttle buses but there is a bus line from the airport to Bezistan (Old Town) provided by the Public Transportation Company "Gras" (www.gras.com.ba) In the cold months, early- morning flights may be delayed or cancelled as the area is sometimes covered with heavy fog until late morning or later. But usually this airport is a pleasure to arrive at and depart from.

You can change money at the airport exchange desk, rent a car from one of the car rental booths located in the arrival hall, and, in case you need to contact your hotel, buy a phone card at the post office.

The airport is open from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Transfer from Airport to the Hotel can be provided by OC at one-way ticket. Shuttle bus from the Hotel to the Ice Rink and return will only be provided for invited ISU Officials.

From the Official Hotel "Holiday Inn" to the Ice Rink and return will be provided for invited ISU Officials.Taxi transport for team members max 4 persons per car with price of 4 EUR one way.

BY CAR

Bosnia and Herzegovina has begun major construction on the C5 corridor that will link BiH with major motorway routes to the Croatian coast to the south and Budapest to the North.

Road conditions have drastically improved in the past year making driving throughout BiH a safer and more pleasant experience. The road system in BiH tends to be rather curvy as many of the main motorways are constructed through mountain valleys. Although you may not be able to travel by car at the speed of other European destinations, driving from town to town in Bosnia and Herzegovina is as pleasant as driving gets.

There is lots of beautiful scenery, the roads tend to be quiet, and there are plenty of quality places to stop for a drink or a meal. Some of the country's best restaurants are right next to a major road. There is little chance of running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere as there are many petrol stations along all major routes. Equally comforting is the number of garages. For relatively small amount of money, the "automehanicar" will make repairs and the "VULKANIZER" will fix your flat tire.

We do offer a few warnings whilst traveling by car in BiH:

Take a good map with you. Road signs in some areas are frequent and accurate but they may suddenly be gone altogether.

Road signs in the Republika Srpska are mostly in Cyrillic.

The law stipulates that you always have to carry a spare tyre, a jack, an extra headlight bulb, a first-aid kit, a tow rope and a hazard triangle. During a routine police check you may have to show that you do indeed have all that.

In the winter period, snow chains are vital.

BY BUS

The bus system of Bosnia and Herzegovina functions well. Centrotrans/Eurolines and a range of smaller bus companies have reliable bus routes to many locations throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There are daily bus routes from neighbouring Croatia and Serbia. Bus travel is reasonably priced and a one-way ticket to the furthest in-country destination from Sarajevo will not cost more than 15,00 EUR. At the smaller stations, you pay when you get on the bus. At the main bus stations, you are meant to buy your ticket at the ticket booth, but even there you can normally get it on the bus as well. Usually there is an extra charge of 1,00 or 2,00 KM for each sizeable bag you carry with you.

Useful terms

place of departure - mjesto odlaska  |  destination - destinacija  |  day of trip - dan voznje

(Pon-Mon, Uto-Tue, Sri-Wed, Cet-Thu, Pet-Fri, Sub-Sat, Ned-Sun)

time of departure - vrijeme odlaska  |  search - pretraga  |  departure - odlazak

arrival - dolazak  |  duration - trajanje  |  price - cijena  |  

Centrotrans is a Eurolines member and runs regular buses from many European destinations to Sarajevo. Bus schedules, on-line reservations and main European office addresses can be found on the Centrotrans website: www.centrotrans.com.

BY RAIL

Getting around by train is a little slower than other modes of transport, but much more comfortable. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, trains are punctual and low-cost. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the Interrail system so train lovers from the rest of Europe can easily include Bosnia and Herzegovina in their travel plans. For more information visit:  www.zfbh.ba and  www.zrs-rs.com.

BY BOAT

Bosnia and Herzegovina has only one tiny strip of coast at Neum and there are no ferries that dock there.

With seasonal schedules, ferries do come from Italy (Ancona and Bari) to the ports of Split and Dubrovnik. If you are traveling by car, these ferries may save you traffic jams along the Croatian coast. If you do not have your own means of transport, you will find the transfer to the bus stations at the port (in Split) or close to it (in Dubrovnik) easy and hassle-free.

If you are a ferry person, check the ferry companies websites: SEM (www.sem-marina.hr), Jadrolinija (www.jadrolinija.hr) and Adriatica Navigazione (www.adriatica.it). right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean.


HEALTH

The chance of getting one of the standard travelers "illness" is very slight, as drinking water throughout the country is excellent and food hygiene is good.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has no legal requirements for vaccinations. To find a pharmacy, ask for "APOTEKA". In major centers, there are many of them, and there is usually at least one that is open 24 hours a day. These pharmacies will generally have all regular prescription drugs readily available. In villages and smaller towns, you may not find a pharmacy at all. If you do find one, it may not stock what you need. There are many public health clinics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and some very good doctors in most towns. It is advised to contact your embassy if you need medical attention, as embassies usually have lists of doctors they have good experiences with.


SAFETY

You are going to Bosnia? Are you sure? Why would you do that? Is it safe there? Aren't there mines? You can't come to Bosnia and Herzegovina without having this conversation. Apart from the mines, Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the safest places in Europe. Violent crime is virtually non-existent. For men and women alike, walking the streets of any town or city at any time of day or night is a relatively safe bet.


OFFICIAL HOTEL -  All activities regarding the competition will be held here

hotel

HOTEL HOLIDAY SARAJEVO COMFORT AND LUXURY

Hotel Holiday is a modern and luxurious hotel,  located in the heart of Sarajevo and epicenter of business activity. It was built in 1984 during the 14th Winter Olympic games Sarajevo, and since then is a witness of Bosnia and Herzegovina's recent history and a certain check point  for businessmen and tourists. The creator and mastermind behind the design is the celebrated Bosnia and Herzegovina's architect Ivan Štraus. With his specific artistic expression he succeeded in conveying the essence of the people and the aesthetic of the traditional house into a structure of such contemporary design. That approach is best articulated in the interior which is designed to portray the intimacy and the aesthetic of the courtyard indigenous to Bosnia and Herzegovinas architectural and cultural tradition.

Successor of the best know hotel chain and hotel "Holiday Inn", our hotel  is now part of the most successful brand Europe group with hotel Europe at its lead, whose own tradition goes back to 1882. With such rich background hotel Holiday will delight guests with its traditional elegance, high quality service and special features.

Spacious and comfortable, with a modern interior and intimate ambience, hotel Holiday has ten floors with 380 graciously decorated accomodation units, from which 364 are rooms and 16 suits. All hotel rooms have air conditioning, tv and a mini bar, bathroom that includes a tub and shower, hair dryer and bathrobes. All facilities include sitting areas, satellite TV and free WIFI.

A representative hotel lobby, with its intricate design holds the olyimpic essence, taking guests back through time, to a time of greatest postmodern architectural, artistic and cultural achievements in the former Yugoslavia and beyond. A city in itself, the olympic lobby offers guests numerous features such as: Hair salon, Tobacco shop, renowned boutiques, rent-a-car, exchange office etc.

We invite guests to try out our National restaurant well know for its illustrious national and international cuisine, where you can experience the essentia of our historically rich culture in just one bite.  At your disposal are also na Aperitive bar, Patisserie, Caffe Inn, Welness spa and a Gym. The largest congress centre in the region is situated in our hotel. Nine acclimatized congress halls can accommodate around 1500 participants  with state of the art audio-visual equipment as well as simultaneous translation services.

The hotel holds a garage with the capacity for 50 vehicles, an outside parking lot with circa 500 parking spaces suitable for cars as well as buses.

Whatever the reason for your stay in Sarajevo, in one of the most beautiful cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Europe - whether leisure or business, hotel Holiday is the ideal place for you. A charming blend of tradition and the contemporary, luxury and comfort, above all professionalism and practicality, hotel Holiday is perfect for You.

You too can experience the spirit of Olympism, feel the energy which has for years in one place gathered eminent world leaders, statesmen, artists and sportsmen. Become a part of our history, history of hotel Holiday. Let us be a part of Your lives and Your memories.

Special prices  for teams participating in Sarajevo Open 

37,00 EUR per person - Double and Triple rooms with breakfast

52,00 EUR per person - Single rooms with breakfast

(WIFI Internet access is available FREE of charge )

Address: Zmaja od Bosne 4, Sarajevo 71000   |   Contact person: Samer Residat, E-mail: Ova e-maila adresa je zaštićena od spambotova. Omogućite JavaScript da biste je vidjeli.


MONEY

Originally, the KM was pegged to the German mark. With the introduction of the EUR, the KM changed its peg without the least bit of trouble (1,95 KM for 1,00 Euro). There are many ATM machines in all major towns and cities. US dollars, British pounds, Yens and other major currencies can be exchanged at the banks and exchange offices that are present in most major towns. They also swap your leftover KMs back into any of these main currencies. Most banks do not have a fixed fee, but take a percentage of the total amount. As this percentage varies, you should do a bit of research before exchanging large amounts of money. Although credit cards are increasingly widely accepted in major towns, you should notrely on them.

VISA and Master will be accepted in most places.


INTERACTING WITH LOCAL PEOPLE

Even without the increasing number of tourists visiting BiH, the locals are more than familiar with guests from every country in Europe, North America and the Near & Middle East.

Local people will almost always be very friendly. This is common to the region but Bosnian hospitality is something special. Bosnians will go out of their way to assist you in finding something and often invite someone to their home for a coffee. Once you enter someone's home as a guest, expect the red carpet treatment. Rich or poor, your host will most certainly serve you coffee, followed by an offer of cigarettes. The unwritte rule is never to light up without offering the people around you a cigarette as well. More than likely the host will bring out sweets (biscuits or chocolate) and if the energy is right out comes the local spirits and food. Coming from the west, one might see it as going a bit overboard, but the tradition of treating guests like one of their own is taken seriously. Most young people will speak English, as it is taught in all the schools from an early age. American movies are popular here and many people have learned English from watching films.

In western Herzegovina and northern Bosnia many people speak German. Over 300,000 refugees lived in Germany during the warand many more lived and worked in Germany before the conflict began. For the most part, young people here don't want to speak about the war or politics. They would rather hear about new music, cool movies, good books or just shoot the breeze with you. The older generation often brings the war and politics into conversation. As a visitor you will see BiH has a very dynamic blend of all walks of life. Some women dress in more traditional styles or will be covered. That by no means makes them different or unapproachable.


BUDGETING

If you are used to Western Europe and North America, you will find Bosnia and Herzegovina surprisingly inexpensive. Food, going out, transport: all costs are very cheap and the prices get even lower when you leave the urban centres.

Most food in Bosnia and Herzegovina is of high quality and very affordable. A fine meal in a good restaurant will cost some 10,00-15,00 EUR, including modestly priced beverages. If you have much less to spend it is possible to have a 3,00 KM meal with pies and yoghurt or to get affordable food from any of the many supermarkets. Going out is possible whatever your budget. Transport between cities is very reasonably priced. Mostar to Sarajevo will cost you between 10,00 and 18,00 KM, for example. Within town, buses are always cheap, but taxi prices depend on the town you\'re in.

Accommodation is a little more expensive then in the main cities. Most hotels will not accommodate you for less than 35,00 EUR per night in a single, or less than 38,00 EUR in a double. In smaller towns, you can find hotel/motel accommodation for 25,00 EUR. If you are a budget traveler you should pay anything between 15,00 and 25,00 KM per night for a bed in a private house. For low budget travelers Bosnia and Herzegovina should not cost you more than 40,00 KM (20,00 EUR) per day. For hikers and adventure-seekers, day trips cost between 25,00 and 75,00 KM. A weekend trip with food, guide, transport and accommodation will cost around 150,00-200,00 KM.


EATING AND DRINKING

From whatever angle you look at it: the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina take eating and drinking very seriously. Traditional foods are very hearty and mainly meat based.

Meat is extremely well prepared and often organic. In the urban centres on can find a wide range of great quality restaurants serving mainly Italian, Mediterranean, Viennese and traditional cuisine.

Water

Almost every town has one of more public fountains - often to be found in front of the mosque - and the water is invariably excellent. There are roadside fountains as well, built long ago for travelers, and most mountain walks will pass by small springs and streams of sparkling fresh water. In short, you have no worries when drinking the water in Bosnia from the tap or elsewhere. It is probably higher quality water than you have at home!

Coffee and tea

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we drink coffee. It is the backbone of social life. Nowadays, coffee is widely available and affordable. The traditional coffee is "bosanska kafa". It is similar to what the rest of the world calls Turkish coffee, and it is served with oddly-shaped sugar cubes and "rahatlokum" (Turkish delight). By now, espresso and white coffee are available everywhere in towns and cities. In town, an espresso will cost you 1,00 KM. The other coffees are more expensive. In villages, you may well get your Bosanska kafa for 0.50 KM. There is a tea drinking tradition as well. You will enjoy your tea most if you drink what the locals drink. Don't ask for black tea with milk. People here don't drink it, don't know about it and don't serve it well. Try the herbal teas instead. There are a great many types and they generally have a very nice fragrance. They are often organic and come straight from the forest.

Beer

Local beer is cheap. The first word learned by many foreign visitors is pivo. If you like beer, this word is crucial to your trip. A half-liter bottle costs 1,00 KM in the shop and only 2,00 or 3,00 KM in restaurants and bars. Other imports are available everywhere. They are reasonably priced, but of course more expensive than local beers without really tasting any better.

Wine

The wine-making tradition of Herzegovina dates back to Roman times, and in terms of price and quality the savory reds and dry whites of Herzegovina easily deserve a share in the world wine market

Spirits

Made from plums, pears, apples or grapes, the local spirits are amazing. They are strong, very strong, with alcohol levels commonly exceeding 40%. They are drunk at all times of the day and at all times of the year. Sljivovica (plum) or kruska (pear) are found more in Bosnia. Loza, made of grapes, is the specialty of Herzegovina and Dalmatia (which share the same climate and topsoil and therefore produce very similar grapes).

There are a few brand names that you will find everywhere, but the best spirits are home-made. 

 


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