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Hotels of Banja Luka

A hotel in Banja Luka is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Banja Luka hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Banja Luka are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Banja Luka hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Banja Luka hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Banja Luka have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Banja Luka
An upscale full service hotel facility in Banja Luka that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Banja Luka hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Banja Luka
Full service Banja Luka hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Banja Luka
Boutique hotels of Banja Luka are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Banja Luka boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Banja Luka may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Banja Luka
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Banja Luka travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Banja Luka focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Banja Luka
Small to medium-sized Banja Luka hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Banja Luka traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Banja Luka hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Banja Luka
A bed and breakfast in Banja Luka is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Banja Luka bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Banja Luka B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Banja Luka
Banja Luka hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Banja Luka hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Banja Luka
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Banja Luka hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Banja Luka lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Banja Luka
Banja Luka timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Banja Luka often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Banja Luka on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Banja Luka
A Banja Luka motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Banja Luka for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Banja Luka motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Banja Luka

Banja Luka
Бања Лука
Banja luka.jpg
Саборна црква Христа спаситеља 10.JPG Tvrdjava Kastel, Banja luka.jpg
Clockwise from top: Panoramic view of Banja Luka, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Kastel Fortress on the left bank of the Vrbas River
Coat of arms of Banja Luka
Coat of arms
Location of Banja Luka (municipality) within Republika Srpska
Location of Banja Luka (municipality) within Republika Srpska
Coordinates:  / 44.767; 17.183  / 44.767; 17.183
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Region Krajina
• Mayor Igor Radojičić (SNSD)
• Total 1,238.91 km (478.35 sq mi)
Elevation 163 m (535 ft)
Population (2013 census)
• City


Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 78000
Area code(s) +387 51
Website Official website

Banja Luka (Serbian Cyrillic: Бања Лука), pronounced [bǎɲa lǔːka]) or Banjaluka (Serbian Cyrillic: Бањалука) is the largest city and the de facto capital of the Republika Srpska entity and second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the capital Sarajevo. Traditionally, it has been the centre of the Krajina region, located in the northwestern part of the country. It is home of the University of Banja Luka, as well as numerous state and entity institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city lies on the River Vrbas and is well known in the countries of the former Yugoslavia for being full of tree-lined avenues, boulevards, gardens, and parks. According to the 2013 census the City of Banja Luka, has 199,191 inhabitants.

Banja Luka: Name

The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated 6 February 1494, by Vladislav II. The name is interpreted as "Ban's meadow", from the words ban ("a medieval dignitary"), and luka ("a valley" or "a meadow"). The identity of the ban and the meadow in question remain uncertain, and popular etymology combines the modern words banja ("bath" or "spa"), or bajna ("marvelous") and luka ("port"). A different interpretation is suggested by the Hungarian name "Lukácsbánya", i.e. "Luke's Mine", which is also the meaning of Slovak "Banja Luka". In modern usage, the name is pronounced and usually declined (u Banjaluci) as one word, and often written as such; the citizens reportedly prefer the form with inflected adjective (u Banjoj Luci).

Banja Luka: Geography

Banja Luka: Overview

Kastel fortress and Vrbas river.

Banja Luka covers some 96.2 km (37.1 sq mi) of land in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the Vrbas River. The city is located at  / 44.78; 17.19. Banja Luka's downtown is at 163 m (534.78 ft) above sea level, surrounded by hills.

The source of the Vrbas River is about 90 km (56 mi) to the south. The tributary rivers Suturlija, Crkvena, and Vrbanja flow into the Vrbas at Banja Luka. Banja Luka has also a number of springs close by.

The area around Banja Luka is mostly woodland, although there are mountains a little further from the city. The city itself is built in the Banja Luka valley, which is located at the transition between high and low mountain areas. The most notable of these mountains are Manjača (1,214 meters), Čemernica (1,338 meters), and Tisovac. These are all part of the Dinaric Alps mountain range.

Banja Luka: Settlements

The city of Banja Luka counts the following settlements:

Agino Selo, Banja Luka, Barlovci, Bastasi, Bistrica, Bočac, Borkovići, Bronzani Majdan, Cerici, Čokori, Debeljaci, Dobrnja, Dragočaj, Drakulić, Dujakovci, Goleši, Jagare, Kmećani, Kola, Kola Donja, Krmine, Krupa na Vrbasu, Kuljani, Lokvari, Lusići, Ljubačevo, Melina, Motike, Obrovac, Pavići, Pavlovac, Pervan Donji, Pervan Gornji, Piskavica, Ponir, Potkozarje, Prijakovci, Priječani, Prnjavor Mali, Radmanići, Radosavska, Ramići, Rekavice, Slavićka, Stratinska, Stričići, Subotica, Šargovac, Šimići, Šljivno, Verići, Vilusi, Zalužani, Zelenci.

Banja Luka: Climate

Banja Luka has a moderate humid subtropical climate which borders a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The warmest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 21.3 °C (70.3 °F). The coldest month of the year is January, when temperatures average near freezing at 0.8 °C (33.4 °F). These temperatures makes setting a climatic classification difficult, but technically is could be described as oceanic, due to its relatively mild winter temperatures (warmer than −3 °C (27 °F) continental threshold) and summers just below the subtropical threshold of 22 °C (72 °F).

Annual precipitation for Banja Luka is about 988 millimetres (39 inches). Banja Luka has an average of 143 rainy days a year. Due to the city's latitude, it snows in Banja Luka almost every year. Strong winds come from the north and northeast. Sometimes southern winds which bring hot weather are also prevalent.

Climate data for Banja Luka
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.3
Average high °C (°F) 6.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.7
Average low °C (°F) −2.1
Record low °C (°F) −22.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 71.7
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.9 9.7 9.4 9.2 9.8 8.1 7.9 5.8 7.9 8.9 8.1 10.2 104.0
Average relative humidity (%) 82 80 73 69 71 71 70 73 78 82 84 83 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 54 71 125 158 206 222 272 238 186 133 70 46 1,781
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst (temperatures, 1992–2016, extremes 1973–2016, precipitation, 1926–2016, precipitation days, 1992–2016, humidity, 1973–1991 and sun, 1961–1990)

Banja Luka: History

Banja Luka: Roman times

The history of inhabitation of the area of Banja Luka dates back to ancient times. There is a substantial evidence of the Roman presence in the region during the first few centuries A.D., including an old fort "Kastel" (Latin: Castra) in the centre of the city. The area of Banja Luka was entirely in the kingdom of Illyria and then a part of the Roman province of Illyricum, which split into provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia of which Castra became a part. Ancient Illyrian maps call the settlement in Banja Luka's present day location as Ad Ladios, a settlement located on the river Vrbas.

Banja Luka: Middle Ages

Slavs settled in the Balkans in the 6th century. Medieval fortresses in the vicinity of Banja Luka include Vrbas (1224), župa Zemljanik (1287), Kotor Varoš (1323), Zvečaj (1404), and Bočac (1446). The name "Banja Luka" was first mentioned in a document dated 6 February 1494, by Vladislav II.

Banja Luka: Ottoman rule

Banja Luka fell to the Ottomans in 1527. It became the seat of the Sanjak of Bosnia some time prior to 1554, until 1580 when the Bosnia Eyalet was established. Bosnian beylerbeys were seated in Banja Luka until 1639. Ferhad Pasha Sokolović, a relative of Grand Vizier Mehmed-pasha Sokolović, had upon his return to Bosnia in 1574, begun the building of over 200 buildings ranging from artisan and sales shops to wheat warehouses, baths and mosques. Among more important commissions were the Ferhadija and Arnaudija mosques during which construction a plumbing infrastructure was laid that served surrounding residential areas. This stimulated the economic and urban development of Banja Luka, which soon became one of the leading commercial and political centres in Bosnia. It was also sanjak centre in Bosna Eyalet.

In 1688, the city was burned down by the Austrian army, but it quickly recovered. Later periodic intrusions by the Austrian army stimulated military developments in Banja Luka, which made it into a strategic military centre. Orthodox churches and monasteries near Banja Luka were built in the 19th century. Also, Sephardic Jews and Trappists migrated to the city in the 19th century and contributed to the early industrialisation of the region by building mills, breweries, brick factories, textile factories and other important structures.

The Trappist monastery built in the 19th century lent its name to the neighbourhood of Trapisti and has left a large legacy in the area through its famous Trappist cheese and its beer production.

In 1835 and 1836, during the Ottoman administration, numerous people from the Banja Luka Krajina emigrated to Lešnica, Lipnica and Loznica, the villages around Loznica, and to Šabac.

Banja Luka: Austro-Hungarian rule

Banja Luka, Nova iskra (1899).

For all its leadership to the region however, Banja Luka as a city was not modernised until Austro-Hungarian occupation in the late 19th century that brought westernisation to Banja Luka. Railroads, schools, factories, and infrastructure appeared, and were developed, which led to a modern city

Banja Luka: Yugoslavia

After World War I, the town became the capital of the Vrbas Banovina, a province of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The provincial capital owed its rapid progress to the first Ban Svetislav Milosavljević. During that time, the Banski dvor and its twin sister, the Administration building, the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, a theatre and a museum were built, the Grammar School was renovated, the Teachers College enlarged, a city bridge was also built and the park renovated. 125 elementary schools were functioning in Banja Luka in 1930. The revolutionary ideas of the time were incubated by the "Pelagić" association and the Students' Club. Banja Luka naturally became the organisational centre of anti-fascist work in the region.

Banja Luka: World War II

During World War II, Banja Luka was part of the Independent State of Croatia. Most of Banja Luka's Serbs, Muslims, and Jews were deported to concentration camps such as Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška. On 7 February 1942, Ustaše paramilitaries, led by a Franciscan monk, Miroslav Filipović (aka Tomislav Filipović-Majstorović), killed more than 2,300 Serbs (among them 500 children) in Drakulić, Motike and Šargovac (a part of the Banja Luka municipality).

The city's Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity was totally demolished by the Ustaše, as was the Church of St. George in Petrićevac. The Bishop of Banja Luka, Platon Jovanović, was arrested by the Ustaše on 5 May 1941, and was tortured and killed. His body was thrown into the Vrbanja river. The city was liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans on 22 April 1945.

Banja Luka: 1969 earthquake

On 26 and 27 October 1969, two devastating earthquakes (6.0 and 6.4 on the Richter scale) damaged many buildings in Banja Luka. Around 20-23 people were killed, and over a thousand injured. A large building called Titanik in the centre of the town was razed to the ground, and the area was later turned into a central public square. With contributions from all over Yugoslavia, Banja Luka was repaired and rebuilt. That was a period when a large Serb population moved to the city from the surrounding villages, and from more distant areas in Herzegovina.

Banja Luka: Bosnian War

During the 1990s, the city underwent considerable changes when the Bosnian War broke out. Upon the declaration of Bosnian-Herzegovinian independence and the establishment of the Republika Srpska, Banja Luka became the de facto centre of the entity's politics.

The Ferhat Pasha Mosque, erected in 1579, was demolished in 1993. Following meticulous reconstruction it was opened again in 2016.

Nearly all of Banja Luka's Croats and Bosniaks were expelled during the war and all of the city's 16 mosques including the Ferhat Pasha Mosque were destroyed. A court ruling resulted in the authorities of Banja Luka having to pay $42 million for the destruction of the mosques. Later, an estimated 40,000 Serbs from Croat and Bosniak dominated areas of Bosnia, having been exiled from their homes, settled in Banja Luka. However, the Banja Luka district court later overturned the ruling stating that the claims had exceeded a three-year statute of limitations. The Bosniak community vowed to appeal against the decision.

On 7 May 2001, several thousand Serb nationalists attacked a group of Bosniaks and members of the diplomatic corps attending a ceremony of marking the reconstruction of the historic 16th-century Ferhadija mosque. There were indications of police collaboration. More than 30 individuals were injured during the attack, and on 26 May, Murat Badić, who had been in a coma after the attack, died from head injuries. Fourteen Bosnian Serb nationalists were jailed for starting the riots.

Banja Luka: Demographics

Ethnic composition of settlements in Banja Luka municipality 1991. Serbs (red), Croats (blue), Bosniaks (green), Yugoslavs (purple), others (yellow), uninhabited (black).
Street map of the city.

The 2013 census in Bosnia indicated a population of 185,042, overwhelmingly Serbs. During the war from 1992-95 some 60,000 people, mostly Bosniaks and Croats, left Banja Luka.

Banja Luka: Ethnic composition

Ethnicity Number Percentage
Serbs 165,750 89.57%
Bosniaks 7,681 4.15%
Croats 5,104 2.76%
Others 6,507 3.52%
Total 185,042 100%

Banja Luka: Religious composition

Religion Number Percentage
Serbian Orthodox Church 165,955 89.14%
Islam 10,526 4.07%
Roman Catholic Church 4,842 2.62%
Agnostic 612 0.33%
Atheist 3,685 1.45%
Others 4,422 2.39%
Total 190042 100%
Census of the municipality of Banja Luka
year of census 1991 1981 1971
Serbs 106,826 (54.61%) 93,389 (50.86%) 92,465 (58.25%)
Croats 29,026 (14.83%) 30,442 (16.57%) 33,371 (21.02%)
Bosniaks 28,558 (14.59%) 21,726 (11.83%) 24,268 (15.28%)
Yugoslavs 23,656 (12.08%) 31,347 (17.07%) 4,684 (2.95%)
others 7,626 (3.89%) 6,714 (3.65%) 3,948 (2.48%)
total 195,692 183,618 158,736
City of Banja Luka
year of census 1991 1981 1971 1879
Serbs 70,155 (49.03%) 51,839 (41.82%) 41,297 (45.46%) 1,893 (19.8%)
Bosniaks 27,689 (19.35%) 20,916 (16.87%) 23,411 (25.77%) 6,474 (67.7%)
Croats 15,700 (10.97%) 16,314 (13.16%) 17,897 (19.70%) 1,006 (10.5%)
Yugoslavs 22,645 (15.82%) 30,318 (24.46%) 4,606 (5.07%)
others 6,890 (4.81%) 4,550 (3.67%) 3,620 (3.98%) 187 (2%)
total 143,079 123,937 90,831 9,560

Banja Luka: Government

The building of the Assembly of the City of Banja Luka

Banja Luka plays an important role on different levels of Bosnia and Herzegovina's government structures. Banja Luka is the centre of the government for the Municipality of Banja Luka. A number of entity and state institutions are seated in the city. The Republika Srpska Government and the National Assembly are based in Banja Luka. The Bosnia and Herzegovina State Agencies based in the city include the Indirect Taxation (VAT) Authority, the Deposit Insurance Agency as well as a branch of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly the National Bank of Republika Srpska). Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Serbia, the United Kingdom and the United States maintain diplomatic representation through consulates-general in Banja Luka.

Banja Luka: Economy

Although the city itself was not directly affected by the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, its economy was. For four years, Banja Luka fell behind the world in key areas such as technology, resulting in a rather stagnant economy. However, in recent years, the financial services sector has gained in importance in the city. In 2002, the trading began on the newly established Banja Luka Stock Exchange. The number of companies listed, the trading volume and the number of investors have increased significantly. A number of big companies such as Telekom Srpske, Rafinerija ulja Modriča, Banjalučka Pivara and Vitaminka are all listed on the exchange and are traded regularly. Investors, apart from those from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, now include a number of investment funds from the EU, and from Norway, USA, Japan and China.

A number of financial services regulators, such as the Republika Srpska Securities Commission and the RS Banking Agency are headquartered in Banja Luka. This, along with the fact that some of the major banks in Bosnia, the Deposit Insurance Agency and the Value-added tax (VAT) Authority are all based in the city, has helped Banja Luka establish itself as a major financial centre of the country. In 1981 Banja Luka's GDP per capita was 97% of the Yugoslav average.

Banja Luka: Culture

Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska

Due to its long history, Banja Luka is rich in culture. The Museum of Republika Srpska inherited the Ethnographic Museum established in 1930, and broadened its setting with collections of archeology, history, art history and nature. The Museum of Modern Art of Republika Srpska, also called MSURS, the Museum of Contemporary Art, displays exhibitions of noticed artists, both domestic and worldwide known, such as Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry . Banja Luka is also the home of the National Theatre and National Library, both dating from the first half of the 20th century, and of numerous other theatres. The headquarters of the Archives of Republika Srpska is situated in the building known as Carska kuća or Imperial House, built around 1880. It has been in continuous public use longer than any other structure in Banja Luka.

Promenade – Gospodska street

One of the most famous cultural sites in Banja Luka is the cultural centre of "Banski Dvor" (Halls of the Ban), built in the 1930s as the residence for the Bans of the Vrbas Banovina. It is a representative building in the very centre of the city housing the National Assembly along with a concert hall, gallery, state television, and a restaurant. Most of the main cultural and political events nowadays take place in the building. The relatively poorly preserved Kastel Fortress is found in the city centre. This mediaeval castle is one of Banja Luka's main attractions. Located on the left bank of the Vrbas river, it gives a specific charm to the city. During the summer, music concerts take place in the fortress.

In the city there are many Cultural Artistic Associations. The oldest is CAA "Pelagić" (founded in 1927), one of the oldest institutions of this kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Banja Luka: Sport

In 2009. Banja Luka was host of World Cup in rafting.

Banja Luka has one major football stadium and several indoor sports halls. The local handball, basketball and football teams bear the traditional name Borac (fighter). The three football teams from Banja Luka are Borac Banja Luka (2010/2011 season champions of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina), BSK Banja Luka, and Omladinac Banja Luka (both in the First League of the Republika Srpska), FK Naprijed Banja Luka and FK Vrbas Banja Luka

Borac Banja Luka is the most popular football club in the Republika Srpska. The club has won several major trophies in its history such as trophies as a champion of Mitropa Cup, Yugoslav Cup, Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup, First League of the Republika Srpska, Republic Srpska Cup. They have participated in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

The city has a long tradition of handball players and teams. RK Borac Banjaluka was the European Champion in 1976, the European Vice-Champion in 1975 and the winner of the IHF Cup in 1991.

Also, the city has a scout group named "22nd April". Recently, there was another scout group, but it was shut down. Now, the leader of the group is Miodrag Stanivukovic, the senior instructor is Nikola Sodic, and the vice-leader is Darko Mitrasinovic. The group participated in the 9th Serbian Scout Jamboree, in 2014, and has plans to go to World Scout Jamboree in Japan in July 2015. The group had many awards in former Republic of Yugoslavia, and in 2014 was named the "Eagle group" of Bosnia and Herzegovina Scouts. The group's sister scout group is "Garesnica", from Garesnica, Croatia. There are two competitions organised by "22nd April": the May Meetings (late May, mostly for scouts under 16 years), and the November Meetings (late November, mostly for more experienced scouts and scouts above 16 years).

Recently, tennis has taken on a bigger role in the city. The local tennis tournament, "Memorijal Trive Vujića", has become professional and has been awarded ATP status in 2001, with the rank of a Challenger. The Banja Luka Challenger takes place in September each year. Also, in 2006, the Davis Cup matches of the Europe/Africa Zone Group III took place in the city. Apart from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the teams included Monaco, Estonia, Turkey, Lithuania, Moldova, Armenia and Andorra.

Since 2015, city hosts Banjaluka Half marathon, a race that will take you through this undiscovered gem in the heart of the Balkans and bind you forever to this city. When you take a part in our half marathon, you will become a part of an unforgettable story, a story of a city and people who came to meet and create strong bonds of friendships.

In 2005, the European Championships in Rafting were held on the Vrbas river. According to the International Rafting Federation, "The event was hugely successful and the hosts are to be praised for the exemplary manner in which they ran the event, managed the media and looked after the competitors, staff and spectators...". Many nations took part, with the Czech Republic being the most successful. In May 2009, the World Championships were held on the Vrbas and Tara rivers.

Banja Luka: Tourism

Krupa River

The natural beauties of the surrounding area guarantee the city of Banja Luka a good position in tourism. Banja Luka has a number of hotels, one of the best being Hotel Cezar Banja Luka. One of the hotels right on the Vrbas river's bank is the Marriott. The city and surrounding area boast a number of popular tourist attractions. Among the most famous are the pools, thermal springs, and spas in the region. Due to its parks and over 10 000 trees Banja Luka was once nicknamed the "Green City". The area is popular among nature lovers, while the city centre is attractive to tourists due to its historical structures and many restaurants. Other attractions of Banja Luka are the Banj Hill and a waterfall of the Vrbas river near Krupa. Rafting on the Vrbas river is currently becoming popular among the local tourists. There is fishing, rock climbing and hiking along the canyon of the Vrbas between Banja Luka and Jajce, and there is plenty of accommodation for visitors.

Banja Luka: Transportation

Banja Luka west transit road
Railway station
B&H Airlines ATR 72 at Banja Luka airport preparing for the flight to Zürich, August 2010

Public transportation within Banja Luka is exclusively operated by the bus services. Over 30 bus lines connect downtown with the rest of the city and its suburbs. The oldest bus link in the city is line No 1. Taxis are also readily available. The expressway E-661 (locally known as M-16) leads north to Croatia from Banja Luka by way of Gradiska, near the Bosnian/Croatian border. A wide range of bus services are available to most neighbouring and larger towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to regional and European destinations such as Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovakia.

Banja Luka is the hub of the railway services of Željeznice Republike Srpske, comprising one half of the railway network of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Services operate to most northern Bosnian towns, Zagreb (Croatia) and Sarajevo. The outdated rail network and a lack of carriages make services slow and infrequent compared with neighbouring countries.

Banja Luka International Airport (IATA: BNX, ICAO: LQBK) is located 23 km (14 mi) north of Banja Luka. The airport is served by Air Serbia, which operates daily flights to Belgrade. There is also Banja Luka Zalužani Airport, a small airstrip.

Banja Luka: International relations

Banja Luka: Twin towns – Sister cities

Banja Luka twinned with the following cities:

  • Serbia Belgrade, Serbia, since 2003
  • Serbia Novi Sad, Serbia, since 2006
  • Serbia Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia
  • Greece Patras, Greece, since 1995
  • Russia Moscow, Russia, since 2003
  • Germany Kaiserslautern, Germany, since 2003
  • Ukraine Lviv, Ukraine
  • Slovenia Kranj, Slovenia, since 1965
  • Italy Campobasso, Italy
  • Italy Bari, Italy
  • Italy Bitonto, Italy
  • Israel Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Israel, since 2010
  • Austria Graz, Austria
  • Sweden Västerås, Sweden, since 1969
  • Serbia Zemun, Serbia
  • Romania Focșani, Romania, since 2012

Banja Luka: People

  • Petar Kočić, novelist
  • Marijan Beneš, boxer and poet, European amateur champion
  • Anton Josipović, boxer, Olympic champion
  • Ivan Merz, Catholic lay academic; beatified by Pope John Paul II
  • Tomislav Knez, football player, Olympic champion and European Championship silver medalist
  • Velimir Sombolac, football player and manager, Olympic champion
  • Nikola Pejaković, Serbian actor and musician
  • Anton Josipović, boxer, Olympic champion
  • Mustafa Nadarević, actor
  • Franjo Komarica, Roman Catholic Bishop of Banja Luka
  • Slađana Golić, basketball player, Olympic and World Championships silver medalist
  • Neven Subotić, Serbian footballer
  • Muhamed Filipović, philosopher, historian and writer
  • Nasiha Kapidžić-Hadžić, writer and poet
  • Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska
  • Milorad Karalić, handball player, Olympic champion
  • Ivan Ljubičić, Croatian tennis player, World No. 3 and Olympic bronze medalist
  • Nela Eržišnik, actress and comedian
  • Saša Lošić, singer and composer
  • Marija Šestić, singer
  • Romana Panić, singer
  • Božidar Jović, handball player
  • Abid Kovačević, retired footballer
  • Nikola Pejaković, actor
  • Mladen Bojinović, Serbian handball player, World Championship bronze medalist
  • Aleksandar Knežević, Serbian handball player, European Championship bronze medalist
  • Osman Karabegović, politician
  • Zlatko Saračević, Croatian handball player, Olympic and World champion
  • Draženko Mitrović, Serbian athlete, two-time Paralympic silver medalist and European champion
  • Ognjen Vranješ, footballer
  • Saša Čađo, Serbian basketball player, Olympic bronze medalist and European champion
  • Srđan Babić, Serbian footballer, World U-20 champion
  • Srđan Grahovac, footballer
  • Darko Maletić, footballer
  • Nikola Čačić, Serbian tennis player

Banja Luka: Footnotes and references

Banja Luka: Footnotes

  1. Station ID for Banja Luka is 14542 Use this station ID to locate the sunshine duration

Banja Luka: References

  1. Preliminary Results of the 2013 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013
  2. General information about Banja Luka, http://www.banjaluka.rs.ba/
  3. Ivan Lovrenović, " ‘Serb’ towns in Bosnia", BH Dani, 20 July 2001
  4. "Klimatafel von Banja Luka / Bosnien und Herzegowina" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  5. "Station 14542 Banja Luka". Global station data 1961–1990-Sunshine Duration. Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  6. Pleiades
  7. Društvo istoričara Bosne i Hercegovine (1952). Godišnjak: Annuaire. Бања Лука је постала сједиште босанског санџака нешто прије 1554 и остала то све до 1580 када је основан босански пашалук. У Бањој Луци су столовали и босански беглербези све до године 1639.
  8. Kolovos, Elias (2007). The Ottoman Empire, the Balkans, the Greek lands: toward a social and economic history : studies in honor of John C. Alexander. Isis Press. p. 192. ISBN 975-428-346-X. ISBN 9789754283464.
  9. Jovan Cvijić, Balkansko poluostrvo i južnoslovenske zemlje /Balkan Peninsula and South Slav Countries/ (Belgrade: Zavod za izdavanje udžbenika, 1966), pp. 151-152.
  10. "Radio-Televizija Republike Srpske". Rtrs.tv. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  11. Svestenomucenik Platon, spc.org.yu; accessed 14 December 2015.
  12. NOAA National Geographical Data Center, Significant Earthquake Database states that the 15:36 26 October 1969 earthquake was 6.0 magnitude (intensity 8 Mercalli scale) and killed 14 people and causing $50 million damage, whilst the 08:10 27 October 1969 earthquake was 6.4 magnitude (intensity 9 Mercalli scale) and killed 9 people. The earthquake location was 44.9 Lat 17.3 Long on 26 October, and 44.9 Lat 17.2 Long on 27 October. Both had a focal depth of 33.
    Observing our environment from space: new solutions for a new millennium, proceedings of the 21st EARSeL Symposium, Paris, France, 14–16 May 2001, edited by Gérard Bégni, pub Taylor & Francis, 2002, p267 claims that the earthquake in the vicinity of Banja Luka in 1969 had a magnitude of 6.4. (Comparison of other earthquakes mentioned shows that this is 6.4 on the Richter scale.)
    Chronology of Extreme Weather, by Ken Polsson, claims: "magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurs. 20 killed, 150 seriously injured, and 65,000 left homeless."
    Sarajevo Rocked by Two Earthquakes BalkanInsight.com 31 March 2009, which claims that: "The biggest earthquake in Bosnia and Herzegovina's history took place in 26 and 27 October 1969... That tremor measured 5.4 on the Richter scale and between 7 and 8 on the Mercalli scale."
    Gymnasium Banja Luka History Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. claims that the 26 October 1969 earthquake had an intensity of 7.5 on the Mercalli intensity scale, whilst the 27 October 1969 earthquake had an intensity of 8.5 on the Mercalli scale.
  13. "Serbs ordered to pay for mosques". BBC News. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  14. "Neriješena ubistva banjalučkih Hrvata". Orbus. 3 April 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  15. Perlez, Jane (7 August 1995). "CONFLICT IN THE BALKANS: THE SERBIAN REFUGEES; Serbs Become Latest Victims In Changing Fortunes of War". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  16. Mackic, Erna (13 November 2009). "Historic Decisions by Banja Luka Court". Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010.
  17. Saric, Velma (13 November 2009). "Bosnian Muslims Appeal Mosque Ruling". Institute for War & Peace Reporting.
  18. "UN: Officials Alarmed By Mob Violence In Bosnia". Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  19. Strauss, Julius (8 May 2001). "Serb mob attacks Muslims". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  20. "UN condemns Serb 'sickness'". BBC. 8 May 2001.
  21. "Bosnian Serb Crowd Beats Muslims at Mosque Rebuilding". The New York Times. 8 May 2001. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  22. "Helsinki Commission releases U.S. statement on tolerance and non-discrimination at osce human dimension implementation meeting". Helsinki Commission. 20 September 2001. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015.
  23. HRCC Human Rights Quarterly Report, 1 April-30 June 2001, HRCC Human Rights Quarterly Report, 1 April-30 June 2001
  24. "Bosnians jailed over mosque riots". BBC News. 21 October 2002. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  25. "Popis 2013." (PDF) (in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian). Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  26. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina: U.N. Cease-Fire Won't Help Banja Luka". UNHCR. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  27. OSCE Regional Centre Banja Luka: Fact Sheet
  28. "nacion po mjesnim.xls" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  29. Radovinović, Radovan; Bertić, Ivan, eds. (1984). Atlas svijeta: Novi pogled na Zemlju (in Croatian) (3rd ed.). Zagreb: Sveučilišna naklada Liber.
  30. "RKUD "Pelagić", Banja Luka". Rkud-pelagic.org. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  31. Градови партнери [City of Banja Luka - Partner cities]. Administrative Office of the City of Banja Luka (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
  32. e-patras.gr – Διεθνείς Σχέσεις0
  • Banja Luka travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Banja Luka City homepage
  • Official Banja Luka Tourism page
  • Banja Luka Tourism page
  • Banja Luka Half marathon page
  • Banja Luka Travel Guide - android application
  • Banja Luka News
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