Banja Luka

 

 

The city of Banja Luka (Serbian-Cyrillic: Бања Лука; German historical: Lukasbad) is located in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is the second largest city of Bosnia-Herzegovina with around 220,000 inhabitants.

Banja Luka has been the de facto capital of the Republika Srpska, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 1998. The city is the administrative and cultural center of the Bosnian Serbs. During the Bosnian War Banja Luka was spared combat operations, which is why the city is in a relatively good condition.

 

Getting here

By plane
Banja Luka has an airport about 23 km from the city center: http://www.banjaluka-airport.com/index.php/en/ There are (as of February 2020) flights from some European countries. Ryanair will fly to Banja Luka from Berlin, Brussels, Stockholm, Memmingen and Frankfurt Hahn, and Lauda will also fly from Vienna to Banja Luka from May 2020. There are other flights from Belgrade which are operated by Air Serbia.

By train
Rail traffic in Bosnia and Herzegovina is repeatedly affected by disruptions. Currently (2020) there are connections between Banja Luka and Sarajevo, Doboj, Novi Grad / Dobrljin and Bihac.

Railway station in Banja Luka: Prote Nikole Kostića bb, Tel: +387 (0) 51 301 229

The old station building from 1891 now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republika Srpska.

By bus
The best way to do this is by taking one of the numerous public buses that connect Banja Luka with all major cities in Bosnia and the surrounding countries. There are buses to Zagreb several times a day (travel time 3 hours) and even every hour to Belgrade (8 hours travel time via Brcko and Bjeljina). The buses are usually very inexpensive. You can also arrive by train or plane, but there are far fewer connections here. If you are arriving by car, you should note that the road signs, like everywhere else in the Republika Srpska, are almost without exception in Cyrillic. There are only a few streets with directions in English because of the Eufor troops. The bus and train stations are in the same location on the outskirts of Banja Luka. Numerous taxis stop there and it takes about 30 minutes to walk to the city center. Bus station in Banja Luka: Braće Podgornika bb, Tel: +387 (0) 51 922 000

Buses to Austria or Germany also run several times a week.

In the street
Numerous roads from Croatia, Serbia or the Federation lead to Banja Luka.

The recommended journey from Central Europe is via the Croatian A3 motorway (Zagreb-Belgrade) to the Gradiška exit. From there you cross the border on the E 661 and follow a newly built motorway after the border. Other highways to Banja Luka - for example from Jajce or Bijelina, are only two-lane. The signage is almost without exception in Cyrillic on the main routes.