Belgrade to Sarajevo: Bus, Plane or Train?

countryside_belgrade_to_sarajevo

Good day,

If you’ve found this searching before your trip to Belgrade or Sarajevo, I commend you for your forethought. I wish I had a little more and it would have proven quite useful for my recent foray into the area. You see, the distance between Belgrade to Sarajevo is simply 255 miles or so which isn’t far. When I saw that I thought it would be no big deal and there would be regular buses running without a care in the world. I even booked a night in Mostar thinking I’d make it there, oh how wrong I was. The question is what’s the best way to get to Sarajevo from Belgrade; by bus, train or plane?

The ticket for a plane isn’t astronomical but it’s the same price I just paid for a flight from Belgrade to Barcelona which I’ll be taking in ~10 days. Also, the scenery is quite stunning so you’d miss out on a lot of that. The real issue is that there is no highway and you go through the mountains which doesn’t sound so bad. It gets worse when you realize the roads aren’t so great and you could get stuck behind a logging truck; quickly this small distance turns into a long journey.

There is regular bus and train service between the two cities however they only go once a day from my very basic and not so thorough research. I left a comment on a friend’s blog as I saw she had written about it and moments before I got a reply, I found a place called Gea Tours; the service she recommended in her reply. This company runs a shuttle of sorts which is a mini-bus which goes direct between the two cities. It leaves twice a day and is quite the trip; I know this as I’ve taken said journey both ways now.

Just to let you know how things are, it’s faster sometimes to drive from Belgrade, through Croatia and into Bosnia than going direct to Sarajevo. We took the direct route back because there is something going and the border to Serbia from Croatia had what looked like a six year wait when crossing into Serbia. Back tothe shuttle service, yes? What I liked about it was that it cost 25E and goes door to door. The morning shuttle will pick you up between 6:30am and 7:30am usually and the evening one is schedule to get you into the opposing city late at night so it leaves mid afternoon. Yours truly took the morning option both times.

I am writing this as a recommendation because it really was a scenic trip and the shuttle can only hold 8 passengers so the border crossings were a bit of a breeze. Have you ever crossed an international border on a bus or even worse, a train? It can move slowly but if there are a few suspicious characters it can really slow things down.  Also if it’s at night it means you’re up and at attention when the crossing happens which is usually at some odd and extremely inconvenient time.

So yeah, if you’re going from Belgrade to Sarajevo or Sarajevo to Belgrade, I recommend you look into Gea Tours; they were a real life saver.  The plane seemed a little dear for the distance and the over nights seemed dreadful; this was a happy medium at a decent prices. I spoke with a gent who came here by bus and he said it wasn’t really that much cheaper either. As always, make your own decisions but I hope this helps in your plan making process.

Tips hat,

P.S: Pardon the photo, it was taken from a moving van…

16 Comments

  1. Cate Smith-Brubaker

    July 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    We ended up renting a car and driving from Belgrade to Sarajevo, and it was incredible, albeit a little bit slow! It was part of our 10 day road trip through the Balkans and it was easily one of the coolest trips I’ve ever been on! Great and informative article!

    • Rob

      July 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks and I considered a car but obviously it never happened. Glad it was a good time and perhaps I’ll do that next time I’m in the area as lots of places I’d have loved to stop and snap some shots.

  2. Tash

    July 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I drove, solo, in a hire car. It let me stop at places that caught my eye, and make a slight detour to drive through Srebrenica. I recommend this option, too, if you can!

    • Rob

      July 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Well played and looks like it’s a great way to see the area.

  3. Ruby

    July 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    i did a bus trip when i visited montenegro, croatia and albania.. this is a very informative one..thanks for sharing Rob..do you travel for work or as a hobby? thanks and safe travels to you.

    • Rob

      July 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      I travel as a hobby but more and more it’s turning into something bigger which is really cool as there is nothing I’d rather be doing. 🙂

  4. Ryan

    August 4, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I took a bus between Sarajevo and Belgrade, and while it was long, the scenery really helps pass the time. I’d imagine if there was any sort of construction (which we thankfully avoided), the bus trip would be a little less pleasant. But totally agree: a shuttle (or car) rather than public bus would be the way to go if you weren’t on an ultra-tight budget.

    • Rob

      August 4, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Thanks for the input and yes, can’t imagine if there was some construction or an accident of sorts. There was an accident on my trip from Zlatibor to Belgrade and that slowed things down to a crawl for about an hour or so.

  5. danny

    December 22, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Am in belgrade right now and considering a trip to Sarajevo. There are mixed reviews of this mini-bus company GEA Tours with one review saying they did not have a license to cross into Sarajevo. I would rather take the minibus than the regular bus (car for the next time with company).

    So undecided what to do as the flight is too expensive for the distance.

    • Rob

      December 24, 2014 at 2:58 am

      Just take the mini bus, good sir.

  6. Jolinar

    January 5, 2015 at 7:49 am

    How many hour approx takes this journey?

    • Rob

      January 5, 2015 at 11:59 am

      It’s about ~6 if I remember correctly.

  7. Gavin

    May 25, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Hello Rob,

    Can I rent a private car from GEA tour ? (or only shuttle bus available)

    My family of 4 will visit Sarajevo and then to Belgrade. We think Private car can allow us to stop everywhere if we want and take some photo during the way.

    Hope can hear your reply.

    Thanks

    • Rob

      May 26, 2015 at 11:58 am

      I have no idea, you’ll have to give them a call and apologies for not being of more help.

      Sincerely,
      Rob

  8. Matt

    August 15, 2015 at 7:41 am

    hey great article, i was just curious when you traveled with GEA Tours how much luggage did you have with you? i’m considering using them from Sarajevo to Belgrade but i will have a carry on + 20kg suitcase would that be alright or would it cause problems? thanks

    • Rob

      August 17, 2015 at 4:57 am

      That would be fine I’m quite sure. I had a smaller one but it’s a big van.

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