Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina that has radically transformed into a beautiful city. It’s tragic past has helped in shaping it into a magical and strong town. Travelers usually visit the place to savor the taste of different cultures, as Sarajevo is famous for being a city where cultures meet. You will find a Mosque, Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Church altogether in close vicinity.
Summer is the best season to visit the city as you can enjoy the weather by relaxing in outdoor cafés and restaurants. Also, in the month of August you can view the internationally acclaimed Sarajevo Film Festival. It snows in winters so if you are interested in skiing then visit the city and head straight to Jahorina.
The inhabitants of Sarajevo are called as Sarajevan and they are extremely kind and helpful people. You can spend your entire day talking to them while gaining knowledge about the past of the city or acquire tips for visiting the most attractive places of Sarajevo.
There is so much to see and do in Sarajevo for first-time travelers that you won’t be able to decide where to go and what to do. To help you in solving your dilemma, listed below are the things that you should do during your visit to Sarajevo.
Attractions Of Sarajevo
Baščaršija is the oldest bazaar of Sarajevo that attracts innumerable tourists from across the world. It is located in the heart of the city and highlights its cultural and historical significance. In these narrow streets of Bascarsija, you will find several small shops selling a different kind of crafts like pottery, metalwork, jewelry, and more. As the bazaar is the main tourist attraction of the city, there are many artisans who have converted their shops into cafés and souvenir stores.
Sarajevo War Tunnel
To know the past of Sarajevo, you should visit the Sarajevo War Tunnel. Also known as the Tunnel of Hope, your visit will enable you to gain information on the sufferings that the inhabitants of Sarajevo had to go through in the 90s. You will require about half a day to explore locations like the War Tunnel Museum, Jewish Cemetery, Yellow Bastion, and Kosevo Olympic Stadium. You can even consider hiring a guide who would provide detailed information on the history of the city.
The Yellow Fortress
Also known as Jekovac Fortress, the Yellow Fortress provides a fantastic view of the city. Tourists visiting Sarajevo ensure that they add the Yellow Fortress to their ‘to-do’ list. It is about 15 minutes walk from Bascarsija. You need to climb a hill to reach the pinnacle of the fortress, so it is not a pram or wheelchair friendly place. During the Islamic month of Ramadan a cannon is fired at sunset from the fortress to mark the time for breaking the fast. If possible, try to reach there to view the sunrise or sunset as the sight is breathtaking.
Sarajevo City Hall
The Sarajevo City Hall is an attractive monument that should be added to your itinerary. It comprises of national and university libraries, city council, and a museum. The interior is as beautiful as the exterior of the building. Single ticket to enter the city hall costs 10 KM for adults and 5 KM for children / senior citizens / students / disabled individuals. If you are visiting in a group of ten or more people the ticket would cost 8 KM per person. The architecture and decoration of the building is worth exploring. On a regular basis, there are special events held in the city hall that highlights the culture and arts of the city. You can acquire more information on the events by visiting this webpage.
The Latin Bridge
It is one of the most important historic sites of the city. The bridge is at a walking distance from the old town and is built over Miljacka River. At the northern end of the bridge and across the road there is a spot where Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in the year 1914. The assassination was the main cause of World War I; hence, the bridge plays an important role in world history. If its history does not attract you, then you can visit the bridge for its pretty views.
Recommended Tours in Sarajevo
Hotels in Sarajevo
To have a comfortable stay in Sarajevo, you can book a room in Hotel Boutique Libris, which is about 300m away from Bascarsija Street. The most attractive spot of the hotel is its terrace from where you can view the mesmerizing river. Depending on your preference, you can book a single room, twin room, or triple room. As it is close to some of the popular tourist attractions like Sebilj Fountain and Latin Bridge, you won’t have to travel much to visit them. Also, the hotel is brand new and it costs not more than 30-40 Euros per night. I have never seen such modern and cheap hotels anywhere else!
Traveling In Sarajevo
Public transport in Sarajevo is extremely cheap and comprises of tram, bus, trolleybus, and minibus. Tickets can be purchased from the kiosks or the drivers. Ensure that you get your tickets punched upon entering any public transport vehicle. If you do not enjoy walking then you can consider hiring a taxi as their rates are among the most inexpensive in Europe. You can even hire the cab to explore the nearby areas of Sarajevo.
Tips For Traveling To Sarajevo
- A souvenir can help you preserve lasting memories of a city. While shopping for souvenirs, check the Sarajevo Original Quality Seal, so that you can be assured that the product is of best quality as well as authentic.
- There is a special street where the East meets the West, so ensure that you click pictures by visiting the spot. On the road you will see a marker on the pavement with the text that reads, ‘Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures’.
- Make sure that you book for the cable car ride to Trebevic and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. A return journey would cost 20 KM per person.
- If you want to shop for authentic stuffs of Sarajevo, then buy sparkling gold jewelry, handmade carpets, and traditional Bosnian wares from the local shops.
- Before hiring a cab or getting into a bus, make sure you exactly know where you need to go as most of the drivers speak very little English.
Food In Sarajevo
The locals of Sarajevo start their day with a cup of hot Bosnian coffee. For lunch, you can relish their traditional meal that includes Bosnian pitas, grilled ground meat rolls served in flat bread, with choices of wines that are produced in the vineyards of Herzegovina. Your dinner would be incomplete without a glass of Sarajevsko Pivo, which is their local beer. If possible, try visiting Sarajevo in the holy Islamic month of Ramadan to relish delicious iftar spread.
Is Sarajevo Safe To Travel?
Sarajevo is one of the safest capital cities in Europe. However, you should be vigilant while traveling in public areas and using the public transport system as you may become a victim of a pickpocket. If you are driving or renting a car, you should park them in parking lots that provide security. In any case, if you encounter any kind of problem then you should take help from the locals. The Sarajevans are well-known for their hospitality and kindness, so they will certainly help you out.
To conclude, Sarajevo does not attract much tourist due to the devastation it saw in the 1990’s war and also because Croatia, its popular neighbor has become a favorite place among travelers. However, that is the past of Sarajevo and at present, it has turned into a beautiful holiday destination. It is absolutely safe to travel to the city and explore its architecture for at least a few days or longer. Also, those traveling on a budget would totally enjoy their trip as it is an inexpensive city. So, plan your itinerary and get going!