Republika Srpska: Pretty Trebinje

Trebinje photos

Are you old enough to remember the Balkan wars of the 1990s? The feeling of horror that such a thing could happen in Europe yet again, less than 50 years after the last war on the continent? Seems we never learn.

As a result of the Dayton Accords of 1995, war-town Bosnia & Herzegovina was divided between Croats/Bosniaks and Serbs in the ratio 51 – 49. The Croat/Bosniak part (called the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina) is the better known, and home to famous cities and tourist sites like the capital Sarajevo, the beautiful, evocative city Mostar and the unusual pilgrimage town Međugorje.

The other political entity, Republika Srpska, is less familiar. Of course, a few of its citizens are famous – or infamous, rather, such as former president of the republic, Radovan Karadžić, and former Chief of Staff of the Srpskan army, Ratko Mladić, both still detained by the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) in the Hague, on trial for genocide.

But enough about politics. Curious to visit this little-known country, I decided to have a closer look when I was next in the area. It was closer than I thought. Just 25 minutes after driving out of Dubrovnik airport, I crossed the border to Republika Srpska, and soon entered the city of Trebinje.

Trebinje

What I discovered was a very pretty riverside town with mills, bridges, leafy squares, ancient city walls and an Ottoman old town. Despite its proximity to Dubrovnik, Trebinje is not at all a tourist town. In fact, what I really liked about it, was that the old town is simply a neighbourhood where people live.

Here’s a little photo gallery of this quaint town in southeastern Herzegovina. Enjoy!

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Trebinje has some lively markets. Again, nothing touristic about them at all, simply local markets selling fruits and vegetables or flowers – or clothes from under an ancient overpass, presumably to keep the sellers out of the heat of the sun. Then, there are books! Lots and lots of books.

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Practicals:

  • Trebinje is very easily accessible, from both Dubrovnik in Croatia and from Herceg-Novi or Kotor in Montenegro. Depending on time/money, either hire a car or take a taxi from Dubrovnik airport (should cost about 40-50 EUR) or catch the daily bus from Dubrovnik bus station which takes twice the time and costs about 1/10 the price. The bus leaves at around 1.30 pm. The bus back to Dubrovnik leaves Trebinje in the morning. There’s also a bus from Trebinje to Mostar.
  • There are a number of hotels in town, all very affordable (and certainly in comparison with Dubrovnik).

Trebinje, Republika Srpska

Ever been in Republika Srpska?

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31 Responses to “Republika Srpska: Pretty Trebinje”

  1. Salika Jay 4 June 2013 0504 #

    It sure doesn’t look like a touristy town. I’d like it that way as well so we can see the town for what it is rather than focused on tourists.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Best Ways To Travel Around Sri Lanka

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 June 2013 1103 #

      I quite liked that too. Almost surprising these days…

  2. Hi Sophie, no I haven’t been. This is the first time I heard about Republika Srpska, in fact. I like Trebinje’s charm of not being touristic at all. I love market places that purely cater to locals. I’ll keep Trebinje in mind when I visit Dubrovnik. Thanks for telling me about it.
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted..Jordan: Petra by Night

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 June 2013 1514 #

      Oh yes, do try to make it to Trebinje when you’re in the area, even for just a daytrip.

  3. kami 4 June 2013 1500 #

    What w lovely place!! I remember the war very well, even if I was 10 or so then. And after my last year visit in Bosnia (sadly only to Mostar and Sarajevo) I developed a strong interest in that topic. Ever since I came back I’m planning another visit in the region and now I’ll remember to include Trebinje in it too!
    kami recently posted..relaxing in the charming, bohemian Baie St Paul

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 4 June 2013 1517 #

      There’s quite a lot to see in Bosnia, so lots to cover :) (I haven’t seen Sarajevo yet, but very curious to.)

      • kami 5 June 2013 0740 #

        Sarajevo is really great! It doesn’t feel like a big city at all, the atmosphere is so charming and the location is just breathtaking! You can’t see all that much that the war was there recently (not like in Mostar) however there are lots of graveyards on the hills, clearly seen from the center…
        kami recently posted..relaxing in the charming, bohemian Baie St Paul

        • Anne-Sophie Redisch
          Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 June 2013 1041 #

          Thanks, Sarajevo is on my list. Just the name alone is so evocative…

  4. Sojourner 4 June 2013 1641 #

    Wow, your pictures are both haunting and hopeful. I remember the war well. It’s nice to see the beauty of Trebinje.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 June 2013 0934 #

      Thanks.

  5. Leigh 5 June 2013 1620 #

    Love hearing about a place that isn’t touristy but could be if the word got out. Looks like a timeless kind of place. Your images are beautiful.
    Leigh recently posted..A Kayaking Trip in the 1000 Islands, Ontario

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 June 2013 1042 #

      Thanks, Leigh. It did feel timeless.

  6. Andrea 5 June 2013 1909 #

    What a pretty town! Love the markets – my kind of place
    Andrea recently posted..St. John’s, Canada: A Colourful Town on the Edge (of the Atlantic)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 June 2013 1042 #

      If you’re ever in Dubrovnik…

  7. Freya 8 June 2013 0917 #

    It’s indeed a very pretty town. I haven’t been there yet, but I would to go. I like that it’s not very touristy yet, but they have a lot of things to offer to travelers.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 June 2013 0934 #

      It’s still a bit off the beaten track.

  8. Mette - Italian Notes 8 June 2013 1243 #

    Love the gallery. Would be good to go there and wash all of the 90s horror out of the place.
    Mette – Italian Notes recently posted..Facts about Santa Maria degli Angeli Assisi

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 June 2013 0935 #

      So true, Mette!

  9. Kori 15 June 2013 0416 #

    Great post with wonderful pictures! I just found this site and its great. I hope to read more reviews soon!

  10. Global Nomads 16 June 2013 0038 #

    We travelled last autumn all Balkan countries and Serbia became our favourite. The only downsides were numerous border crossings and somewhat expensive bus trips. You can travel cheaper from Belgium to Netherlands than Albania to Macedonia. Other than that, it was an awesome experience. Hope we will soon get rid of ridiculous passports, borders. and countries.
    Global Nomads recently posted..Documentary film: Crossing the Darién Gap (2013)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 16 June 2013 1120 #

      Wouldn’t that be something: no more borders… A hundred years ago, passports weren’t necessary to travel around in Europe – but then with wars and everything they were needed to keep out spies.

  11. Global Nomads 16 June 2013 1258 #

    Yes, until the 1st world war. Now they are needed to control us and spy our movements.
    Global Nomads recently posted..What do Global Nomads really do?

  12. Jenna 21 June 2013 0628 #

    I like how you captured a bit of the everyday life there and not just the pretty buildings but also some that are run-down. I have been to Croatia but nowhere else in the area but have heard only good things.
    Jenna recently posted..Traveler of the Week: Alison, an Expat in Belgium

  13. Cathy Sweeney 16 July 2013 0125 #

    You are always introducing me to new places & interesting information about them. I’m definitely old enough to remember the Balkan wars of the 90s, but would never have known about such a nice little town as Trebinje. Would be lovely to visit there and walk in your footsteps.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 21 July 2013 2232 #

      Thanks, Cathy. Not many seem to know about it, despite its proximity to Dubrovnik.

  14. A 28 July 2013 0753 #

    Sad to think I was born in trebinje a few years before the war and the Serbs now own my land, took my house and made us flee. I wanna go visit one day but I know it won’t be the same.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 July 2013 1545 #

      So sorry to hear that, A. I can’t even begin to imagine how it would be to live through a brutal war in my country, even as a small child.

  15. Bernard, Ireland 25 April 2014 1139 #

    Have visited Yugoslavia every year since 1981 from Kotor to Ulcinj all along the Adriatic coast(apart from one year when there were no flights from Ireland or U.K.) . In recent years have combined Makarska and Herceg Novi (both convenient from Dubrovnik airport). will definitely include Trebinje for a week on next trip.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 April 2014 2102 #

      It’s a pretty little town. Thanks for stopping by :)

  16. Marko 18 May 2014 1544 #

    Congratulation Sophie,this is great post .There is no much information about Trebinje on the internet,so tourists can’t be inform enough about this beautiful Mediterranean town.Trebinje has around 260 sunny days a year and is surrounded with water.There is Bileca lake north of Trebinje,through the town flowing the Trebisnjica river and only 25 km southern is Adriatic Sea :) There are about 20 wineries around Trebinje and wine tourism is popular in recent years.One more interested fact is that Trebinje is town with most of National Monuments in the Bosnia and Herzegovina.Also prices of accommodation,food and tourism services are much more favorable than in Croatia and Montenegro so that is reason why tourists visit Trebinje more and more every year.

    These two links can be useful:

    http://www.trebinjetravelguide.com/

    http://trebinjeturizam.com/index.php?page=home

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