Getting the bus from Sarajevo to Split is a very convenient way to see the Balkans. It’s only ~300km away, it’s pretty much a straight line and, best of all, it’s cheap!
There are two bus stations in Sarajevo. If you’re heading to Split you’ll want Autobuska Stanica Sarajevo on the street Put života. If your bags aren’t too heavy, you won’t need a taxi and can walk from the city centre. It takes about 30 minutes from the Eternal Flame memorial (Vječna vatra).
If you booked your ticket online (which I would recommend either on GetByBus.com or BusTicket4.me) then you have to make sure that you go inside the station to the correct booth, not just around to where the buses are parked up. I think it’s counter 13 but somebody will help you. Here they will exchange your print-off for the actual bus ticket. They won’t let you on the bus without that. The original ticket costs €22 – €28, and they charge you another few euro when you’re collecting your ticket. Sometimes they try to charge you for keeping your luggage in the compartment under the bus – I just brought mine on as it was only a rucksack.
Sarajevo – Split
07:00 – 15:00
08:15 – 15:20
10:00 – 18:00
16:30 – 22:30
21:00 – 04:30
We got the 10:00 bus from Sarajevo which got us into Split at 18:00 (8 hours). That sounds like an awfully long time, I know, but amazingly it passed by quickly. I will say this – it was, by far, the best bus journey of my life.
If you can afford to be flexible with your time of travel, I would highly recommend going during daylight hours because the views are stunning. I really didn’t expect to be glued to the windows for that length of time.
And it’s a good thing the scenery is so distracting – because there’s no WiFi. The seats are comfy though, there was air conditioning, and there were only a handful of people travelling so you had your own space.
On the Bosnian side of the border, some things to look out for are:
- Zdrava Voda (your first of two stops) and you’re here for about an hour. There’s a restaurant, toilets and a nice little lookout point.
- About 15km (I saw a signpost in one of my photos, heehee) from the previous stop, you’ll be surrounded by mountains and follow the incredibly blue Neretva river which runs right by the roadside.
- You’ll eventually come to Mostar, and crane your neck as much as you want but you won’t get a view of the Old Bridge without leaving the bus, sorry!
There’s a chance the bus could be delayed around the border crossing, so make sure you allow yourself enough time. You don’t have to leave the bus. The driver collected everyone’s passport (or ID if they were local) and left the bus with them, showing them to the authorities, then came back on and handed them back. Then he drove for another minute and a police officer came on and did the same thing. As he gave me mine back though he asked me if I had cigarettes in my bag and asked me to hold it open for him to check. I think it was just because I was the only person on the bus under 30. It all worked out anyway – I wasn’t smuggling anything!
Once you’re through to Croatia, you’ll have your second and last stop by a small cafe and big carpark. You’re not here for as long though, just enough time to grab a drink and go to the toilets. There’s a nice view here but in my opinion it’s not as picturesque as the stop on the Bosnian side.
A few minutes later and you’ll be driving up the Dalmatian Coast, the sun and sea beside you, watching people whizz by on their scooters. I’m not usually one for beach holidays but this scene really is inviting. You’ll be able to join in the fun in just under 2 hours from now. Hope you enjoy it!