You’re interested in living as an expat in Bosnia and Herzegovina, eh?
Or for all you digital nomads out there, you might be interested in being a mini retired person in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a period of time maybe? Well whichever you are, you’re awesome for that.
BiH (“i” = “and” in Bosnian language) has beautiful history, incredible world heritage sites and is cheap. So I completely understand why you’re searching for the cost of living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
So just how much money do you need to survive as an expat or retired person there?
In order to help you answer that, I have focused on 7 areas where your money will consistently go each month to examine how much money you need.
These numbers reflect the costs of living alone in the more prominent cities, like the capital Sarajevo and tourist hotspot Mostar. If you are coming as a couple or a family, you can do the necessary multiplications to figure out how much money you need for your specific situation. Also, keep in mind that smaller and less touristy towns will have a lower Bosnian cost of living. This rule pretty much goes for all the other countries in the Balkans as well.
Aaaand… here’s where your money will go!
For a studio apartment or a one bedroom, the price should be around 200 euros per month in Sarajevo. Depending on what you find, it could be 50 euros more than that, or 50 euros less. Naturally, cheaper apartments under 200 euros will be smaller, not as renovated or outside of the main towns and city centers. Also let me remind you that if you live in the center of town, apartments will be pricier than those further away from the city center. As for Mostar, you can find even cheaper apartments there than you will find in Sarajevo.
Basic utilities (electricity, heating, water) are of course cheaper in the summer and more expensive in the winter. If you are paying for phone, internet, and TV (which will be about 15 euros), as well as heating in the winter months, and you don’t have central heating, utilities could be 60-90 euros for a studio or 1 bedroom apartment. If you have central heating, it could be more, especially if you are also paying for trash, parking and any other building facilities. The summer’s utility bill total is usually about half of the winter’s or less.
For a month long bus pass, you can expect to pay about 15-20 euros depending on which town you are living in. A one-way bus ticket will be less than 1 euro.
Social life varies from person-to-person of course. A nice club in Sarajevo might cost you 15-20 euros by the end of the night. If you stick to a pub or a small bar, you could spend 10-15 euros the whole night. Restaurants as well vary. If you go to the trendy restaurants in the city center, you could spend 15-20 euros for some sort of main dish and a couple of drinks. In places like Mostar though, you will be shocked to see you can have a nice meal and some drinks for 10 euros or under!
As an expat, you can’t receive the free public healthcare. Be prepared to pay 10-25 euros to see a doctor privately. General physicians will be cheaper than a doctor who specializes in specific or advanced treatments for certain disorders and diseases. In regards to pharmacies, most antibiotics should be less than 5 euros. Other prescription medications for disorders and diseases could be 15-25 euros.
Groceries will be pretty cheap in Bosnia by western standards. If you are just shopping for one or two people, expect to spend about 20-30 euros a week to every week and a half. This is where the cost of living in Bosnia and Herzegovina is just awesome!
You can get by on as low as 600-650 euros a month in Bosnia. But to live more comfortably as a one-person expat, ideally you want at least 700-750 euros a month.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or have anything you want to say about your experience living in Bosnia and Herzegovina if you have lived there, please do so below! Also feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you need help with anything.