I Visited Sarajevo For 4 Days And Was Shocked By What I Experienced

I Visited Sarajevo For 4 Days And Was Shocked By What I Experienced

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Welcome To Sarajevo, The Melting-Pot Of Europe  

The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo is a metropolis with a troubled previous however a really shiny future. This small Balkan capital is filled with historical past, colourful locals, superb meals, and infinite cobblestone alleys to discover.

Just lately named a greatest worth destination for 2023, the explanations to go to Sarajevo simply continue to grow. I spent 4 days exploring this metropolis and left with a powerful impression of not solely Sarajevo, however Bosnia and Herzegovina as a complete. 

Aerial view of city of sarajevo

Typically known as the Jerusalem of Europe, Sarajevo is a metropolis of contrasts round each nook. In the identical afternoon, you may go to a Mosque, a Synagogue, an Orthodox Church, and a Catholic Church. Flip a nook on this metropolis, and you may see hints of Vienna and Istanbul in its structure and historical past in every single place you look. 

Is It Secure?

The very point out that you’re touring to Sarajevo is likely to be met with some trepidation or fear out of your family members, because it’s identified for its violent previous. Whereas the notorious siege from 1992 -1996 is likely one of the important issues folks find out about Sarajevo, right this moment, it’s safe to visit.

sarajevo, a stream runs in front of a historic building

The Balkan area is no stranger to politically complex cities, and Sarajevo is not any exception. The complexities of the political scenario that led to the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992 are a historical past lesson in itself, so I received’t get into it right here. There are quite a few sources to study concerning the longest siege in army historical past and the way it got here to be. A go to to Sarajevo is a historical past lesson in itself, and the various native guides who lived by way of it is going to be your greatest option to study this main historic occasion. 

So, why did I enterprise to Sarajevo, and what sort of impression did it go away on me? 

Let’s simply say that after an 8-month journey exploring the Balkans, this metropolis was one place that basically caught with me for a lot of causes.

5 Causes You Ought to Contemplate A Journey To Sarajevo 

sarejvo fountain in a square

Historic Significance 

Do you know World Warfare I technically began proper within the heart of Sarajevo?

The Latin Bridge in the course of city is the place Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his spouse have been assassinated whereas using in his motorcar. This occasion triggered a political disaster among the many main European superpowers and led to a domino impact of choices resulting in the beginning of WWI.

sarajevo bridge with people walking over

Limitless Issues To Do

There may be simply a lot to see and do on this small capital metropolis, and my 4 days weren’t sufficient time to discover every part. Your complete metropolis is principally a historical past lesson in itself, with many strolling excursions devoted to the siege, historical past, structure, or avenue artwork.  When you find yourself exploring, make certain to search for the Sarajevo Roses. I received’t spoil it for you right here, however let’s simply say they aren’t what you assume. 

Whereas there’s SO a lot to do in Sarajevo, here’s a temporary record of issues I did and 100% advocate:

sarajevo street with people walking across it and a church in the background
  • Take a siege tour to actually get the complete expertise of what occurred when the town was blocked off from the remainder of the world within the 90s. I went with FunkyTours, and they’re generally known as essentially the most respected company on the town for purpose. Our information spoke passionately about his expertise, and the tour was very eye-opening. 
  • You can not miss the battle tunnel expertise, the place you may witness the drastic measures locals took to maneuver items out and in of their metropolis.
  • Head up Trebević Mountain and stroll alongside the deserted bobsled observe used within the 1984 Winter Olympics. 
  • Try the historic Sarajevo Brewery, style the native brews and study why this brewery is taken into account to have saved the city
  • Spend hours wandering across the previous bazaar, filled with steel works and different stalls. Sit in Baščaršija Sq. and sip a Bosnian Espresso subsequent to the well-known Sebilj Fountain. I spent far longer than I care to confess watching the locals and vacationers feed, {photograph}, and get bombarded by the well-known pigeons that decision this space residence. 
  • Head up previous the hanging Alifakovac cemetery to the Yellow Bastion for a fantastic sundown over the town. When you are up there, take a look at the little hidden Kamarija cafe close by. This place has superb views over the valley, nestled within the bushes of the hillside. 

A Metropolis Full Of Characters 

The folks of Sarajevo have been by way of so much, that goes with out saying. The siege was not all that way back and many of the residents are sufficiently old to recollect the day by day terror they lived by way of for 4 years, and each native I spoke with had misplaced household or mates within the violence. 

sarajevo market with wares lining the streets

Regardless of their bloody previous, the folks of Sarajevo are absolute characters. I couldn’t imagine the grins, stomach laughs, and general happiness that I noticed on this metropolis. I used to be anticipating tough and difficult and was blown away by the other. Sarajevo is filled with talkative, pleasant, and sure typically solemn locals. In case you ask questions, they’re desperate to reply and educate foreigners on the complexity of their metropolis’s previous. After 8 months of touring all through the Balkans, I shortly listed Sarajevans because the friendliest folks I had encountered.  


Sarajevo is turning into more and more linked to the U.S. and Canada, with extra airways together with it of their 2023 routes, and this is likely one of the important causes I used to be capable of sneak it into the top of my Balkan journey. 

cable car going down a mountain

Discovering ourselves in Cut up, Croatia, and needing to get again to New York fairly shortly, the most effective flights I might discover have been truly out of Sarajevo. After a fast search, I spotted that reaching Sarajevo from cut up was pretty simple, cost-effective, and allowed us to cease in Mostar on the best way. So not solely did we save tons of of {dollars} on flights, we additionally obtained to discover Bosnia and Herzegovina a bit. 

Except for flying, Sarajevo is effectively linked to the remainder of the Balkan area through bus and rail, and touring these strategies is straightforward and low-cost. Situated between Belgrade and Croatia, the town makes a logical stopping level to discover. 

One factor to not miss when speaking about Sarajevo transportation is the tram community. The truth is, this is likely to be the place my love of tram journey began. Sarajevo’s trams crisscross the town and into the suburbs. Some are fairly previous and rustic, whereas others are a bit extra trendy. An area informed us that the Sarajevo tram community is definitely one of many oldest in Europe and was used because the mannequin for different well-known tram methods, reminiscent of Vienna. 

One Phrase: Mostar

As I discussed earlier than, our journey from Cut up, Croatia to Sarajevo required a cease within the small city of Mostar. Being a kind of locations I’ve at all times wished to see for myself, there was no method I used to be settling for simply a day on this little gem tucked into the southwest nook of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whereas we stayed 3 days and needed to pry ourselves away, Mostar is a simple day journey from Sarajevo if you wish to get out of the town for a bit. 

mostar city view with mountain in the background

Reachable in below 2 hours from the town by bus or practice, a day journey to Mostar is a should when visiting Sarajevo. Amble among the many hilly cobblestone streets and market stalls, and head for Stari Most (Outdated Bridge), simply essentially the most well-known landmark in Mostar. If you’re fortunate, there will likely be high-rise divers on the day of your go to, gathering cash and taking the death-defying plunge into the shallow Neretrva River beneath. 

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