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capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Latin Bridge, close to where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, triggering World War I.

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its largest city, with 430,000 citizens. Most of the city is within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but some parts are in the Republika Srpska. Sarajevo is very tourist friendly, especially in the Old Town in the center of the city.

UnderstandEdit

HistoryEdit

Sarajevo is one of the most historically interesting and varied cities in Europe. It is a place where the Western and Eastern Roman Empire split; where the people of the Roman Catholic west, Eastern Orthodox east and the Ottoman south, met, lived and warred. It is both an example of historical turbulence and the clash of civilizations, as well as a beacon of hope for peace through multicultural tolerance. The city is traditionally famous for its religious diversity, with Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Jews coexisting here for centuries. Additionally, the city's vast historic diversity is strongly reflected in its architecture. Parts of the city have a very Western-European look, while other parts of the city, often blocks away, have a completely distinct Ottoman feel. It is truly the city where east meets west.

Some important events in Sarajevo's history include the 1914 assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which led to World War I, and the 1984 Winter Olympics.

The city has physically recovered from most of the damage caused by the Yugoslav Wars of 1992-1995. Sarajevo is a cosmopolitan European capital with a unique Eastern twist that is a delight to explore. The people are very friendly, be they Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs or anyone else. There is little crime, with the city ranking as one of the safest in Southeastern Europe.

OrientationEdit

The city of Sarajevo stretches west-east along the river Miljacka; the main arterial road and tram routes tend to follow the west-east orientation. It is set in a narrow valley, surrounded by mountains on three sides.

Most tourists spend a lot of time in Old Town (Stari Grad). The eastern half of Old Town consists of the Ottoman-influenced Bascarsija (BAHS CHAR she ya; etymologically baš (head, main), čaršija (bazaar, trading area) in Turkish), while the western half showcases an architecture and culture that arrived with Austria-Hungary, symbolically representing the city as a meeting place between East and West.

ClimateEdit

Sarajevo has a humid continental climate, since mountains surrounding the city greatly reduce the maritime influence of the Adriatic Sea. Summers are typically hot (record high of 41°C in 2008) with an average of 46 days per year above 32°C, while winters are snowy and cold with an average 4 days per year below -15°C. Rain can be expected in every season, with an average of 75 days of precipitation per year, which in winter often falls as snow.

Sarajevo
Climate chart (explanation)
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See the Sarajevo forecast at World Meteorological Organization
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

  • 1 Sarajevo Airport (Medjunarodni Aerodrom Sarajevo, Butmir Airport, SJJ IATA), Kurta Schorka 36, Sarajevo 71210 (Butmir, 6 km SW of railway station), +387 33 28 91 00. This is Bosnia's principal airport, hemmed in by mountains and fog-prone, so flight delays are common in winter. It's poorly connected to western Europe (eg nothing direct to London, Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt) but better to the Near East. There are flights (not all daily, and some seasonal) to Belgrade (by Air Serbia), Budapest (by Wizz), Cologne-Bonn, Berlin Tegel TXL and Stuttgart (by Eurowings), Doha (by Qatar), Dubai (by Fly Dubai), Istanbul (IST by Turkish Airlines and Sabiha Gökçen SAW by Pegasus), Gothenburg, Stockholm ARN and Oslo (by Norwegian), Ljubljana and Podgorica (by Adria), Munich (by Lufthansa), Jeddah and Riyadh (by Flynas), Sharjah (by Air Arabia), Vienna (by Austrian) and Zagreb (by Croatia Airlines). The only passenger terminal is Terminal B; it's closed overnight 23:00-05:00. In the groundside main hall (ie after customs on arrival, before security on departure) there are currency exchange booths, car rental desks, a bookshop that sells local SIM cards (BH Telecom), and a fast food area upstairs; there's no luggage storage. Airside is small, with a cafe and duty free shops accepting major currencies. New terminal facilities are under construction, to open in 2020. Hotel Octagon (see "Sleep") is a 400 m walk northeast. About 1 km away, walkable by the route to the trolleybus (below) then keep straight on, is the East Bus Station for destinations in Republika Srpska.    

While you're at the airport, consider visiting the Tunnel of Hope Museum (Tunel Spasa). This saves you a trip from city centre later on, though you'll probably have to drag your luggage along. The museum is southside of the runway (the terminal being north), which they tunnelled beneath in 1993 to create a lifeline to the beseiged city.

Transport to the city is a choice of bus, taxis notorious for scams, or a bit of a hike to catch the trolleybus.

Bus: Centrotrans bus runs daily between airport and Baščaršija in city centre. It runs roughly hourly 05:30-22:00, timed to connect with flights, taking 20-30 mins. A one-way ticket is 5 KM, return 8 KM, the first bag (up to 23 kg) per person is included and each extra bag is 5 KM. You pay on boarding the bus. It stops on request at downtown bus stops, which may not be specifically marked for the airport bus but they're usually next to tram stops.

Taxi: A ride downtown should not exceed 20 KM. Flagfall is 1.90 KM then it's 1.20 KM per km for a 6-7 km ride - any "airport supplement" is bogus. Insist on them using the meter. One scam is to wave a "fixed price list" at you, but it's just the product of a greedy imagination. Your hotel may offer an airport transfer, with rates varying from the competitive to the silly. A further option is to walk through Dobrinja as described below to pick up a taxi, though the saving on an honest fare is small.

Walk then trolleybus: This involves a walk of 600 m through the burbs of Dobrinja to reach the stop on Bulevar Mimara Sinana. You might want a map or a compass: the general direction is northeast with the terminal directly behind you, but it involves a zigzag. You exit the airport at the main gate onto Kurta Schorka highway. Turn right (southeast) and walk 200 m, there's no sidewalk. Take the first left, Andreja Andrejevića, and cut through residential Dobrinja passing near Hotel Octagon. Emerge onto the main road and turn right (again southeast) along Bulevar Mimara Sinana. On the opposite sidewalk (with westbound traffic) after 200 m, before you reach Mercator Center, is the bus stop Dobrinja škola B. Trolleybus 103 runs every 6 – 7 minutes daytime to Trg Austrijski, downtown on the south riverbank, taking 25 min; walk across the Latin Bridge to come into Old Town. (Don't take the 107 or 108 if you're aiming for Old Town.) The fare is 1.80 KM, pay the driver, and note there are frequent ticket inspectors on this route.

  • Tuzla Airport is another way in, as it has budget flights by Wizz from across Germany and Scandinavia. Tuzla airport is 120 km north of Sarajevo. An airport bus runs direct from Sarajevo to meet the Wizz flights, taking 2 hours and costing €22 each way. Or you can travel via the frequent standard buses to Tuzla, taking a leisurely 3 hours.

By trainEdit

There are no international trains to Bosnia: since 2016 it's been cut off from the rest of the European network, and therefore excluded from websites such as Deutsche Bahn. Coming from the west, the work-around route is to travel first to Zagreb in Croatia. From Zagreb main station (Glavni Kol) take the local train at 09:00 to Hrvatska Kostajnica, arriving by 10:45: see Croatian Railways timetable. The fare's about €8. You're now 3 km from the Bosnian borderpost, either take a taxi, or walk south into town then east and cross the river by the first bridge. Once you've entered Bosnia, find a taxi to Banja Luka, 100 km southeast, costing around €50 and taking maybe 90 mins. You'll reach Banja Luka in plenty of time to catch the 15:49 local train to Sarajevo via Zenica, arriving by 20:41. The train is a modern Spanish Talgo and the fare is about €13. When checking the Bosnian Railways website, use the timetable menu not the ticket menu, as the latter only offers the main towns and bookable trains.

For the reverse journey, be on the 10:15 train from Sarajevo to Banja Luka in order to make the 19:15 from Hrvatska Kostajnica and reach Zagreb at 21:00. And confirm that your taxi driver has agreed to take you to the correct Kostajnica on the Croatian border (ie north-west, a printed map may help), not accidentally-on-purpose to some other Kostajnica, eg the one 80 km east near Doboj.

The only other railway route you're likely to get in by is Čapljina - Mostar - Sarajevo, with only two trains a day, departing in each direction around 07:00 and 19:00. Since 2015 there are no passenger trains south of Čapljina into Croatia and the port of Ploče (which has transport to Dubrovnik, Split and the Adriatic islands), though the line is still open for freight.

2 Sarajevo Railway Station (Nova željeznička stanica), Put života 2 (near Avaz Twist Tower), +387 33 65 53 30. This Soviet-era station is in a dilapidated state, with few trains and lots of down-and-outs, though it's reasonably central in this strung-out city. The ticket office is cash only and they laboriously write out tickets by hand, so service is slow. There are toilets and cafes. Staff at the information desk speak good English and their stock reply to any traveller's enquiry is to try the bus station next door: this is good advice.

If your accommodation is in the west of the city, eg the Ibis Styles Hotel, then coming from Banja Luka you could change at Zenica for the local train to Sarajevo, which also stops at 3 Alipašin Most on Safeta Zajke. But it doesn't save much time or effort. The trains from Čapljina and Mostar trundle through this station without stopping.

By busEdit

There are two bus stations in Sarajevo, Main Station for most long-distance services and East Station for Serbia and towns in Republika Srpska.

On all intercity buses you pay a fee for luggage, usually 1 KM or €1 per piece. The driver will insist on exact change in one or the other currency pretty much at random, and then get picky about the denomination of the exact small change you give him.

The Main Bus Station (Autobuska stanica Sarajevo) is at Put života 8 next to the railway station, see that marker. It's at the terminus of Tram #1 to the Old Town, fare 1.60 KM. Direct international services include Belgrade (7 hr), Budapest (12 hr), Budva (9 hr), Zagreb (8 hr), Maribor (9 hr), Ljubljana (9 hr), Split (7-8 hours), Dubrovnik (6 hr), Graz (11 hr) and Vienna (14 hr). Pristina in Kosovo may involve a change in Novi Pazar, else travel via Podgorica in Montenegro. Flixbus is the main international operator. Tickets can be bought online from them or Centrotrans, from the bus station itself, or from a downtown travel agent such as Centrotrans on Ferhadija behind the cathedral.

Major bus routes within the country are to Tuzla (hourly, taking 3 hours, fare 11 KM), to Mostar via Konjic and Jablanica (hourly, taking 2 hours 30 min, fare 14 KM) and to Banja Luka via Zenica (every couple of hours, taking 3 hours, fare 11 KM.)

4 East Bus Station (Autobuska stanica Istočno or Lukavica) is away west, thanks to the bitter geography and politics of this region. It's in East Sarajevo in Republika Srpska, and the route from downtown Sarajevo has to sweep west to get round the hills then approach south then eastwards near the airport. It has better connections to Serbia than Main Station; both stations have buses to Montenegro. The main services are to Belgrade, Novi Sad, Herceg Novi and Nis. Routes within the country are to Bijeljina, Kalinovik and Trebinje not far from Dubrovnik.

To reach East Station, take trolleybus 103 from Austrijski Trg downtown all the way to the end, or a taxi for around 15 KM. There are no controls to cross into Republika Srpska, it's just like crossing a US or Schengen interstate line. There's not much at the station, but East Sarajevo has cafes, shops and ATMs, eg in TOM shopping centre 200 m southwest along Radomira Putnika.

By carEdit

The main route from the west is past Zagreb east on E70, then south on E661 to enter Bosnia and towards Banja Luka thence Sarajevo. All approaches to the city involve twisty narrow mountain roads, where oncoming madmen overtake on blind bends and crests.

Hitching is fairly easy, make sure your sign is in both Bosnian / Croatian (Roman alphabet) and Serbian (Cyrillic). Sarajevo is a long thin city: if you can't get a lift into the centre, at least get yourself dropped by the tram tracks.

Get aroundEdit

Sarajevo is a small, beautiful city with many landmarks. Getting lost is next to impossible if you have a map (although getting lost in Bascarsija's winding streets can also be part of the fun!) Very good and free maps can be obtained from the tourist information office, shopping centers, and hotels. A map app on your smartphone is fine, too, and some bookstores may also sell the traditional printed maps of the city.

Asking Sarajevans for directions is an exercise in futility. People don't know the names of streets a block from the building they've lived in all their lives. However, they won't tell you this, and as a rule will point you in some direction, usually not the right direction. Taxi drivers can't be expected to find anything but the most obvious addresses unless you tell them where to go, in Bosnian—showing the driver on your map will come in handy.

By footEdit

In Sarajevo, street signs are few and far between, and small and on the sides of buildings too far away to see when you're standing on a street corner. Building numbers are more or less consecutive but don't follow the "hundreds" styles of the United States, e.g., 23 Bjestiva street may be blocks from 27 Bjestiva street.

By public transportEdit

Trams: Sarajevo's tram network is among the oldest in Europe, and it looks it. A single line runs east from Ilidža passing within 2 km of the airport - an extension to the airport has been planned and intermittently constructed since the 1990s. It runs up the middle of the main highway into the city, with a spur north (Trams 1 & 4) to the main railway and bus stations. At Marijin Dvor it divides into an anti-clockwise loop, same direction as the traffic flow. All trams go east along Hiseta and the riverbank through Baščaršija (Old Town) as far as City Hall. Here they loop to return west along Mula Mustafe Bašeskije (a few blocks north of the river) and Maršala Tita to Marijin Dvor. Only Tram 3 runs the entire line out to Ilidža, the others go part route, eg the 1 & 4 terminate at the railway station.

Buy tickets in advance from kiosks labeled tisak on the street or from the driver, where they cost slightly more (1.80 KM, paid in cash). Validate your ticket immediately on boarding: it's only good for one trip, with no transfers. A day card for unlimited travel on all local public transport in Zone A costs 5 KM. There are frequent ticket inspections: if you can't reach the validator because the tram is too crowded, then don't board. If you are caught without a valid ticket, you will be escorted off and fined 26.50 KM.

Buses: you'd only use these for the few sights or accommodation well off the tram route, eg the airport (see "Get in") or Vratnik district east of the centre, Buses 51, 52 or 55.

By bicycleEdit

Only for seasoned urban cyclists: Sarajevo traffic is as hostile to cyclists as to fellow-motorists, only with worse results.

Nextbike has a bike rental scheme here and in Tuzla. First you need to register and pay a 20 KM deposit, easiest done online. It may take 24 hours to activate but if you're already registered with them in another country, you should be good to go. There are 14 pick-up / docking stations all along the tram lines out to Dobrinja near the airport, their map shows real-time availability. The first 30 mins per day are free, a further 30 mins cost KM 1.50.

By taxiEdit

Taxi scams are common especially at the main train & bus stations and the airport. Know roughly what the honest fare should be, and insist on them using the meter. All legitimate taxis have a "TAXI" sign on top, license plates with "TA", and have a meter. Flagfall is 1.90 KM then it's 1.20 KM per km, plus maybe 1 KM for luggage, so a trip between Baščaršija and airport shouldn't exceed 15 KM. Pay in cash, the driver will issue a receipt upon request. Legitimate operators (as of mid 2019) include:

  • Žuti (Yellow) taxi +387 33 66 35 55
  • Sarajevo taxi 1515
  • Crveni (Red) taxi +387 33 76 06 00
  • Samir & Emir taxi 1516
  • Holand taxi tollfree 0800 20234

SeeEdit

With the exception of the Tunnel Museum and the Bosna spring, all landmarks are in or within walking distance of Old Town. Several walking tours are available, a free guided tour starts every day at 10:30 at the crossing of Gazi Husrev begova street and Mula Mustafa Baseskija street (address: Velika Avlija 14) and covers most of the Baščaršija.

  • 1 Avaz Twist Tower, Tesanjska 24a (100 m east of railway station), +387 33 281 350. 07:00-22:00. The easiest way to orient yourself in the city is to look for this distinctive 176 m twisted tower, completed in 2008, and hosting the media company Dnevni avaz. There's a café-bar & restaurant on Level 35, reached by lift (free access). From there you pay 2 KM in coins to pass the turnstile and walk upstairs to Level 36, which has an observation deck with outside walkway. The café-bar and restaurant are smoky and the food & service aren't much. 2 KM.    

BaščaršijaEdit

Baščaršija is the historic district of Sarajevo. The cobbled streets, mosques and oriental-style shops at the heart the city feel like a world away from Europe when the call to prayer starts. You could be walking by a Catholic church, Orthodox church or a synagogue and hear the Islamic call to prayer at the same time. In this old bazaar you can find dozens of shops selling handmade copperware, woodwork, and sweets. Many historic monuments are situated around Gazi Husrev-begova street.

 
Sebilj, the most iconic fountain of Sarajevo in the Baščaršija district.
  • 2 Sebilj (   1  2  3  5  Baščaršija, Pigeon Square). 24/7. Pseudo-Ottoman wooden fountain in the middle of an open square in the old town of Sarajevo. It was built by Mehmed Pasha Kukavica in 1753, and under Austro-Hungarian rule moved to its current location in 1891 by Austrian architect Alexander Wittek. Three replicas of the fountain exist, respectively in Belgrade and Novi Pazar in Serbia, and in St. Louis. The fountain offers shadow and drinkable water to travelers. The surrounded Pigeon Square got its name from the countless pigeons swarming around. Feeding pigeons is allowed, and a seller with a mobile trolley sells corn to tourists to feed the birds. Free.    
 
The Sacred Heart Cathedral.
  • 3 Sacred Heart Cathedral (Katedrala Srca Isusova), Trg Fra Grge Martića 2 (   1  2  3  5  Katedrala), +387 33 210 281, toll-free: +387 33 225 591, . Tu-Su 09:00-17:30. The largest Christian cathedral in Bosnia, and the seat of Archbishop of Vrhbosna. It was built in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a neo-gothic style with Romanesque Revival elements, and modeled after the Notre-Dame of Dijon. Construction of the cathedral began on 25 August 1884, under Austro-Hungarian reign, was carried out by the Viennese contractor Baron Karl Schwarz, and supervised by architect Josip Vancaš. The cathedral was the scene of peace demonstrations in fall 1991 before the Bosnian War broke out, and subsequently damaged during the Siege of Sarajevo. The design above the door to the entrance is part of the flag and seal of the Sarajevo administrative canton and the Romanesque towers are featured on the flag and coat of arms of Sarajevo, making the building a symbol of the city. The niche above the portal features an octagonal rosette and a statue of the Sacred Heart. The interior of the cathedral was designed by architect Josip Vancaš, including the main altar which is made from Grisignano marble and rests on four columns of red Tyrolean marble. The frescoes were commissioned to Alexander Maximilian Seitz in 1886 but due to deteriorating health, they were only completed in 1887, and he died a year afterwards. Most of the actual work was undertaken by his assistant Alberto Rohden. A prominent feature is the grave of archbishop Stadler, the first archbishop of Vrhbosna, and the sculpture is of the hand of Marin Studin. The stained-glass windows ornamenting the cathedral were manufactured by the Viennese workshop of the Tiroler Glasmalerei (German for glass painting artisan). An English mass is held on Sundays at 12:00. For candles, ask the information desk at the entrance (1 KM each). Free.    
 
Entrance of the Morića Inn.
  • 4 Morića Inn (Morića Han), Sarači 77 (   1  2  3  5  Baščaršija, entrance is on the south side of the block, from the Sarači street), +387 33 236-119. 08:00-22:15. The only preserved Ottoman Inn (han literally means roadside inn) in Sarajevo, built in 1551, under the benevolence of Gazi Husrev-Beg's endowment (vakuf). It served as a caravanserai, able to accommodate up to 300 guests, 70 horses, and offered 43 rooms where travelers could spend the night. On 29 July 1878, the inn became the scene of the protest movement against the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia, and the People's Council (Narodni Odbor) was founded here. The building was damaged or destroyed by fires numerous times and rebuilt each time, notably in 1697 and most recently in December 1957 when the entire complex was burnt to the ground. Reconstruction took place from 1971 to 1974, and Persian calligraphic inscriptions from poems written by Omar Khayyám, a 12th-century Persian poet, were added as decorations. The property ownership to the inn was returned to the Gazi Husrev-Beg endowment in 1998, and houses a carpet shop and traditional restaurant, occasionally hosts exhibitions, and offers business space for purposes that match the historical context and purpose of the building. Stairs on either side of the inner patio allow visitors to reach the first floor with the rooms. Free.    
  • 5 Clock Tower (Sahat-kula), Mudželeti veliki (next to the Gazi Husrev-bey's Mosque), +387 62 626 626. The clock tower, at 30 metres, is the tallest in all of Bosnia, and dates back to the 17th century when it was constructed by Gazi Husrev-beg next to the mosque that also bears his name. The tower has a staircase with 76 wooden steps arranged in a square, and displays the time on all 4 sides. When Eugene Savoy of the Austrian army laid siege on the city in 1697 and looted it, the tower was set on fire, but restored in 1762. After the Austro-Hungarian occupation, the upper part of the tower was upgraded, and the decaying Turkish clock mechanism was replaced by a new one from Gillet & Johnston, made in London in 1873. The original clock mechanism was moved to the Vratnik mosque where it remains on display until today. The last upgrade dates from 1967, when the dials were gold-plated. A peculiarity of the clock tower is that it appears to be the only remaining clock tower in the world that displays the lunar clock (a la turca, lunar reckoning). This method of measuring time counts hours up till the moment of (astronomical) sunset instead of midnight, as with contemporary time calculation, so the hands are in the 12 o'clock position at every sunset, when a new day also begins. Since the setting of the sun is uneven throughout the year, the time needs to be manually controlled and recalibrated every 2 to 3 days. The task of recalibrating the clock was assigned to the muvekit (timekeeper), who used astronomical instruments in a special room called the muvekithana to calculate the position of the sun. The current muvekit, Mensur Zlatar, who works at a nearby jewellery shop, has been assigned the responsibility since 1960s. The exact timing of the sunset used to be an important moment for locals to schedule their time of prayer, but the original religious purpose behind the lunar time has long since had its meaning forgotten, causing many to think that the clock is simply bad at proper time keeping. In 2006, the Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments proclaimed the clock tower as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The tower cannot be visited, but it is possible to stand at its base by following the tunnel leading to Pekara Imaret right next to the tower.    
 
Ruins of Tašlihan between Hotel Europe and the bezestan.
  • 6 Tašlihan, Zelenih beretki (   1  2  3  5  Latinska ćuprija). 24/7. Tašlihan served as one of the three stone caravanserais in Sarajevo (the others being the Morića Han and Kolobara Han), the name literally translates to 'stone han'. It is believed that Tašlihan was the largest and most representative inn of its kind in the region, and built between 1540-1543 by craftsmen from Dubrovnik, who equipped the building with lead cupolas unlike the other two inns. It had a square foundation with sides of 47m, guest rooms on two levels, and a fountain in the courtyard. Several fires damaged the building, and the last one in 1879 completely destroyed it. The last remaining bits of rubble were removed in 1912, except for the shared wall with the bezestan. When archaeological research was carried out as part of the 1998 renovation of adjacent Hotel Europe, the remains of Tašlihan were uncovered in the hotel's garden. The site was declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Committee for the Preservation of National Monuments in 2004. Free.  
 
Interior of the City Hall.
  • 7 City Hall (Vijećnica), Obala Kulina Bana (   1  2  3  5  Vijećnica), +387 33 292-800, . 10:00-20:00. Iconic pseudo-Moorish revival style building in Sarajevo, constructed between 1892 and 1894 under Austro-Hungarian occupation of the city. It was designed in 1891 by Czech architect Karel Pařík, but after disagreements with the ministry, it was Alexander Wittek who continued work on the project from 1892 to 1893 until he fell ill and died in Graz in 1894. The work was completed in 1894 by Ćiril Iveković, at a total cost of 984,000 crowns. The city hall was formally commissioned in 1896 by the City Authority which occupied the building until 1949, after it became the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 25 August 1992, the building was set ablaze by Serbian shelling at the beginning of the Siege of Sarajevo, causing its complete destruction. Most of the 1.5 million volumes in the library's collection, of which 155,000 rare books and manuscripts were lost in the fire, despite civilian efforts to save them. Vijećnica was restored between 1996 and 2013 with financial aid from Austria, the European Commission and the city of Barcelona, at a total cost of 25 million KM. It is now a national monument, reopened since 2014, and designated as a cultural building for protocol events, concerts and exhibitions. 5 KM.    
  • 8 Officers’ Casino (Dom Oružanih snaga Bosne i Hercegovine), Zelenih Beretki 2 (   1  2  3  5  Drvenija), +387 33 285-800. The Officers’ Casino was built in 1881 according to Karl Pařík’s design. It was the core of Sarajevo’s social life in late 19th and early 20th century. The Army Hall of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been used by the military ever since its establishment for various purposes, such as art exhibitions and public lectures. It holds two grand halls for receptions and cultural events, and was the venue of the first military music concert in the city, held in 1881.    

MuseumsEdit

Sarajevo hosts numerous museums on a variety of topics. The museums can offer an air-conditioned refuge from heat during Sarajevo's hot summers, or a place to warm up in the chilly winter months.

History and archeologyEdit

  • 9 Brusa Bezistan, Abadžiluk 10 (Two short blocks north of Emperor's Bridge), +387 33 239 590. M-Sa 10:00–16:00. Small museum in a 1551 Ottoman silk shop, tracing Sarajevo's development from prehistory through Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and modern times. Its centerpiece is a model of the Old Town on the ground floor, made by Husein Karišik in the 1950s, depicting the era when the Tašlihan caravanserai was intact. On the second floor there is a famous blue garment with golden threads and fine yataghan (short Turkish sword). 3 KM.  
 
National Museum (right) and Parliament building (left).
  • 10 National Museum (Zemaljski muzej), Zmaja od Bosne 3 (   1  2  3  5  6  Muzeji, in a large classical building across the road from the Holiday Inn), +387 33 668-027, . Tu-Su. Static displays of the natural and human history of Bosnia and Herzegovina - including an exhibition of traditional Turkish-style homes of Sarajevo prevalent in the nineteenth century, an extensive collection of insects and stuffed mammals and a large geology section with samples from around the world and a number of meteorites. The newly reopened museum also offers access to the botanical garden in the middle of the four main buildings: (1) archaeology from the Roman period up to the ninenteeth century, (2) Library, (3) Ethnology and (4) Natural sciences. 6 KM.    

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Gavrilo Princip


By 1914 Franz Ferdinand-Este had become ruler of Austria-Hungary as the old emperor retired from public life. The Empire had occupied Bosnia & Herzegovina since 1878 and annexed it in 1908, angering Serbia and Russia, and provoking resistance. On Sun 28 June 1914 the Archduke and his wife Sophie arrived in Sarajevo to open the new museum. A team of assassins was waiting along the route, and one threw a bomb: it bounced off the Archduke's car and exploded under the next, injuring 20. The motorcade sped away to a reception at Town Hall. There the Archduke decided he should visit the injured in hospital, but when they set off at 10:45 the drivers hadn't been briefed on the change of plan. 19 year old Serb student Gavrilo Princip was among the assassins but had failed to shoot as the car sped away from the bomb. Hoping for a chance on the return journey, he stood in front of the delicatessen next to Latin Bridge, and got lucky. The Archduke's car was about to take a wrong turn and they shouted at the driver to stop, which he did just front of Princip. Princip strode up to the footplate and fatally shot the Archduke and Sophie point-blank. This led to a diplomatic crisis which escalated, and by early August most of Europe was plunged into a terrible four years of war. Princip died in prison in April 1918.

  •  
    Sarajevo Museum 1878-1918, where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand occurred.
    11 Sarajevo Museum 1878-1918 (Muzej Sarajevo 1878-1918), Zelenih beretki 1 (   1  2  3  5  6  Muzeji), +387 33 533-288. M-Sa 10:00-16:00. The museum is dedicated to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Sarajevo, which started with the Berlin Congress in 1878 and ended with World War I in 1918. The exhibition portrays life in the Austro-Hungarian era from different perspectives and themes, including the resistance against the occupation, lifestyle, culture, religion, industry and architecture. The time line ends with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in front of the building. In the museums collection are numerous artifacts and photographs, along with wax statues of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie.    
  • 12 Svrzo's House (Svrzina kuća), Glođina ulica 8 (200 m north of the old town), +387 33 475-740. M-Fr 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. Part of the Sarajevo City Museum, Svrzo's House shows the living conditions of a Muslim family at the end of the 17th century. The house was built by the eminent Sarajevo family Glođo during the Ottoman occupation of the city, but ownership was transferred to the Svrzo family since the Glođo family had no male successors. The interior is divided in two sections: the public part (selamuk) and the family part (haremluk), which in turn is split in the traditionally separated living quarters for men, women and servants. Despite being constructed entirely out of wood, the building was surprisingly well preserved until the Siege of Sarajevo during which it sustained heavy damage. It was rebuilt after the siege and reopened in 1997, and renovated again in 2005. 3 KM.    
  • Gazi Husrev-Bey's Library Museum (Muzej Gazi Husrev-begove biblioteke), Gazi Husrev-begova br. 46 (next to Gazi-Husrev beg Mosque), +387 33 238 152, fax: +387 33 205 525, . M-F 09:00-18:00, Su 09:00-16:00. In a modern building opened in 2014, the museum has a collection of over 1200 items, displaying Islamic calligraphy, time-keeping and everyday objects of Muslim life. It's within the library which holds some 100,000 historic manuscripts, printed books, periodicals, and archive documents, but these are only accessible to registered users. 5 KM, includes mosque.    

War memorialsEdit

 
Sarajevo Rose marking first Markale massacre

Scars from the Bosnian War can still be seen in many parts of the city, as bullet holes in walls or abandoned buildings. The unresolved conflict (see box The Yugoslav Wars) left traumatic memories, and museums and memorials associated with the Bosnian War are scattered around the city.

  • Sarajevo Roses are scars left in the concrete from mortar blasts during the Siege of Sarajevo, filled with red resin. Around 200 can be found throughout the city.
 
The Tunnel of Hope under the airport.
  • 13 Tunnel of Hope (Tunel Spasa), Ulica Tuneli 1, 71210 Ilidža (Tram 3 to Ilidža terminus then Bus 32a to Butmir, or taxi from downtown for ~17 KM), +387 33 684 032, . Apr-Oct daily 09:00-17:00, Nov-Mar daily 09:00-16:00. Sarajevo was besieged and bombarded from 1992, and by 1993 the blockade was total. Serb forces seized the airport, but handed it over to UN peacekeeping forces to avert international intervention. The UN used the airport to bring in humanitarian aid, but wouldn't allow any military support to the city's defenders, and they severed the city from Bosnian-controlled areas to the south. A secret tunnel was therefore dug between Dobrinja just north of the airport to Butmir just south: 340 m of true tunnel, plus covered trenches either side, totalling over 800 m. It enabled arms, munitions, oil and food to be brought into the city, and served as an evacuation route for officials and civilians. Later it was equipped with rail tracks, an oil pipe and electricity and telecoms cables. A museum has been built over the Butmir entrance, with 20 m of tunnel accessible to visitors, plus displays on the siege. City tours often include this museum. 10 KM.    
 
Exhibition hall of the War Childhood Museum.
  • 14 War Childhood Museum (Muzej ratnog djetinjstva), Logavina 32 (walk north from the bezestan until you see the museum sign to the right of the street), +387 33 535-558, . 09:00-20:00. Opened in 2017, the museum has personal belongings on display that illustrate the experience of a childhood during the Siege of Sarajevo. An audio guide reveals the stories behind the items, complementing the exhibits with additional pictures, audio and video. Video testimonies of inhabitants who grew up during the war are also shown throughout the visit. Only around 50 are in the permanent collection at any time, but the book War Childhood offers a compilation of them all. The book is for sale in the museum or can be consulted for free in the library section. 10 KM.    
 
The Eternal Flame.
  • 15 Eternal Flame (Vječna vatra), Ferhadija (   1  2  3  5  Banka, at the end of Marsala Tita street and beginning of Ferhadija street). 24/7. Memorial site designed by architect Juraj Neidhardt, honoring the victims of World War II with an eternal flame and inscription. The memorial was dedicated on 6 April 1946, the first anniversary of the liberation of Sarajevo from the four-year-long occupation by Nazi Germany and the fascist Independent State of Croatia. Free.    

The Yugoslav Wars


After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, different ethnic groups in the Yugoslav Federation also started to seek independence. This resulted in a series of armed conflicts in the Balkan region, leading to the independence of Slovenia and Croatia, while the goal pursued by the Serbs was a unified greater Serb state. This conflict of interest caused the Yugoslav army to lose support from Croats and Bosniaks, and effectively became a Serb dominated army, which evolved into the army of the newly created Republika Srpska. When Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence in 1992, the Bosnian War broke out, and Sarajevo found itself on the front line between Bosnia and the Republika Srpska, resulting in the Siege of Sarajevo. The war concluded in 1995 with independence for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the formation of an autonomous Republika Srpska within the country. The conflict was overshadowed by heavy civilian casualties and war crimes, including genocide, of which the Srebrenica massacre is the most infamous one. The UN enforced peace treaty froze the conflict rather than resolving it, and anti-Serb sentiments can still be felt in Sarajevo.

  • 16 Museum of crimes against humanity and genocide 1992-1995 (Muzej zločina protiv čovječnosti i genocida 1992-1995), Ferhadija 17 (   1  2  3  5  Katedrala, or continue Ferhadija street from the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the direction of the Eternal flame, the museum entrance is a door to the left of a narrow alley), +387 62 467 764, . 09:00-22:00. Small museum about the genocide in the Bosnian Civil War of 1992-95. The humanitarian side of the conflict is portrayed with shocking pictures and film fragments of the raw truth of the darkest era in recent Bosnian history. Complementary to the 11/7/95 Gallery, which focuses on the Srebrenica Massacre in particular. Warning: the authentic photographs and video fragments of the genocide may be shocking to young visitors. Parental advisory and visitor discretion is advised.  
  • Gallery 11/07/95, Trg Fra Grge Martića 2 (next to Sacred Heart Cathedral), +387 33 953 170, . Daily 09:00-22:00. A small but compelling exhibition about the Srebrenica Massacre of July 1995, when 8372 people perished. Events are described from the perspective of investigative journalists visiting the site of the genocide. The audio guide (3 KM) is highly recommendable. Allow 60 - 90 minutes. The photos and video footage are shocking, visitor discretion advised especially with youngsters. 12 KM.    
 
Islamic cemetery in Sarajevo
  • Cemeteries: those who died in the 1990s war were buried in pre-existing cemeteries. In these you find old Ottoman turbe, Austro-Hungarian dignitaries, casualties of two World Wars, Yugoslav citizens - and then row upon row upon aching row of simple white marble stones for people in their twenties slain in the latest conflict.
A good example is 17 Alifacovac (Alifakovac grobljanska cjelina) on the headland south of the river where it emerges from the canyon.
See also Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery in Vratnik, and St Mark's (Groblje Sveti Marko) north edge of the city with the mausoleum of Gavril Princip.
  • 18 Sniper Alley (Snajperska aleja), Zmaja od Bosne (   2  3  4  5  6  Katedrala). 24/7. Sniper Alley was the informal name primarily for streets Zmaja od Bosne Street (Dragon of Bosnia Street) and Meša Selimović Boulevard, the main boulevard in Sarajevo which during the Bosnian War was lined with snipers' posts, and became infamous as a dangerous place for civilians to traverse. The road connects the industrial part of the city (and further on, Sarajevo Airport) to the Old Town's cultural and historic sites. The boulevard itself has many high-rise buildings giving sniper shooters extensive fields of fire. Signs reading "Pazi – Snajper!" ("Watch out – Sniper!") became common. People would either run fast across the street or would wait for United Nations armored vehicles and walk behind them, using them as shields. According to data gathered in 1995, the snipers wounded 1,030 people and killed 225 — 60 of whom were children. Free.    
  • 19 Memorial for the Children of Sarajevo, Maršala Tita (   1  2  3  5  Park). 24/7. Monument erected in 2009 by sculptor Mensud Kečo and dedicated to the 1,600 children who were killed during the Siege of Sarajevo. The monument is located in Veliki Park, and consists of a glass sculpture constructed by stacking individually cut layers of green glass with a total height of 5 m, and is 1.7 m in diameter at its base. In 2010, the names of 521 children were inscribed in seven cylinders of anodised aluminum and placed on a concrete plinth around the sculpture. Free.  
  • 20 Bosnian Historical Museum (Historijski muzej), Zmaja od Bosne 5 (next to National Museum), +387 33 226-098, toll-free: + 387 33 210 416, . 09:00 - 19:00. The museum was founded 70 years ago, but heavily damaged by shelling during the war and still in a perpetual state of disrepair. The exhibitions primarily focus on the war, but the presentation of the artifacts is outdated, and the museum lacks content overall. Some of the displays are worth a visit, at least if you are able to cope with the graphic pictures. The 11/7/95 Gallery and War Childhood Museum offer similar content for a much better value. 5 KM.    
  • 21 Museum of the 105th Motorized Brigade (Muzej 105. motorizovane brigade), Grdonj. T-F 12:00-22:00; Sa-Su 10:00-22:00. A memorial dedicated to the 105th Motorized Brigade of the Bosnian Army, which took part in the defense of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 siege of the city. Since 1993, over 7,000 members have passed through the brigade, of which 312 were killed in action and more than 2,000 were wounded. The museum is housed in a renovated fortified tower at Pointy Rock.  

ArtEdit

  • 22 National Gallery (Umjetnička galerija), Zelenih beretki 8, +387 33 266-550, toll-free: +387 33 266-551, . M-Sa 10:00-20:00. Established in 1946 after the Second World War, the National Gallery contains over 6000 pieces of art, with a focus on works of Bosnian interest. Interestingly, the gallery remained open and held exhibitions during the Siege of Sarajevo. It was closed in 2011 and reopened to the public in 2012. The permanent exhibition, Intimacies of Space, highlights Bosnian life from all angles.    
  • 23 Museum of Literature & Performing Arts (Muzej književnosti i pozorišne umjetnosti), Sime Milutinovića Sarajlije 7, +387 33 201-861. M-F 8:00-19:00; Sa 12:00-20:00. A small museum dedicated to the importance of literature and expressive arts in Sarajevo, with attention to prominent local writers and poets. Worth a visit to those interested in arts and literature. 3 KM.  
  • Modern Art Museum (Ars Aevi), Terezija bb (Skenderija, just east of bridge), +387 33 216-927, . Daily 10:00-18:00. Museum for contemporary art, formed during the war as a "resistance of culture". It has 130 works by notable artists such as Italian painter and art theorist Michelangelo Pistoletto, Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, German performance artist and sculptor Joseph Beuys, and US conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth. Tatty concrete building, they hope for a new museum building by Renzo Piano someday.    
  • 24 Despić House (Despića kuća), Despićeva 2, +387 33 215-531. M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. A dependency of the Sarajevo City Museum, constructed in several stages during different periods, the oldest parts dating back to the 17th century. The property belonged to the wealthy Serb Orthodox Christian Despić family, which donated the house to the city, which turned it into the Museum of Literature and the Performing Arts. It gained fame as the venue for the city's first theater performances, so it may be regarded as the precursor of modern theater. Together with Svrzo's House, the Despić House presents visitors with the lifestyle of wealthy merchant families that contributed to Sarajevo's growth and prosperity.    
 
Academy of Performing Arts
  • 25 Festina Lente Bridge, Obala Kulina bana. 24/7. A 38 m long pedestrian bridge over the Miljacka, opened in 2012, with an unusual loop in the middle. Seats in the loop invite travellers to sit down, enjoy the view and "make haste slowly." Free.    
  • The grandiose Academy on the south bank facing Festina Lente bridge was originally a church, built in 1899 to Karl Pařík’s design. It's now the Academy of Performing Arts within the University of Sarajevo, but no longer fit for purpose and they plan to move elsewhere. So just admire the facade.
  • 26 Bosniak Institute (Bošnjački institut), Mula Mustafe Bašeskije 21, +387 33 279 800. 08:00-16:30. The institute is a cultural center focusing on Bosniak culture. It was established by former Bosnian Vice President Adil Zulfikarpašić. The institute is housed in a renovated sixteenth century Turkish bath and includes a library and an art center.    

Administrative buildingsEdit

  • 27 Presidency Building (Zgradu Predsjedništva Bosne i Hercegovine), Maršala Tita 16. The Territorial Government Building (today, the official residence of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina) was designed by Josip Vancas and opened in March 1886. The building is modeled after Florentine Medici Ricardi Palace and reflects Florentine Early Renaissance style. It also houses the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ustavni sud Bosne i Hercegovine) and the Archives of Bosnia and Herzegovina.    
  • 28 The Parliamentary Assembly Building (Parlamentarna skupština Bosne i Hercegovine), Trg Bosne i Hercegovine 1 (across the Sarajevo City Center), +387 33 284 450, fax: +387 33 233 480. The Building of the Bosnian Parliamentary Assembly was commenced back in 1954, designed by the architect Juraj Neidhard (who was a close associate of Le Corbusier), and finally built during 1978–1982. At the time it was finished, the building of the Assembly of SRBiH was the only building for that purpose in this part of Europe designed in a modern style. Also houses the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate for European Integration. The building became an icon of the Siege of Sarajevo after it was shelled by Serb artillery and photographed while on fire in 1992.    
  • 29 Konak (Rezidencija "Konak"), Ulica Konak 5. The Konak was built as an Ottoman governors’ residence in 1868 in Late Baroque style during the rule of Topal Osman Pasha, an Ottoman vizier. It was built on a site of a former konak (an official residence in the Ottoman Empire). From 1878 to 1918 during the Austro-Hungarian occupation the Konak was the residence of the Habsburg family, and the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef resided in Konak during his visit in May, 1910. During the Yugoslav Republic (1918 to 1941) Konak hosted generals, governors, district-prefects and many politicians from around the world. Today, it is a state residence used by the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.    
 
Classic Austro-Hungarian interior of the Central Post Office
  • 30 Central Post Office (BH Posta), Obala Kulina bana 8, +387 33 252-834. 7:00-20:00. Austro-Hungarian era post office, designed by Czech architect Josip Vancas, and opened in 1913. It is a monumental building with tall doors leading visitors into a classic caged foyer in Secession style, with some decorative elements resembling the post office of Vienna. It was damaged in May 1992 during the Siege of Sarajevo, but restored in 2001 under supervision of architect Ferhat Mulabegović. Free.    

Religious buildingsEdit

IslamicEdit

 
Emperor's Mosque
  • 31 Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosque (Begova dzamija), Saraci 8, +387 33 573 151, . 09:00-19:00. Beautiful medieval mosque at the heart of Old Town. Non-Muslims welcome, but dress appropriately and respect prayer times. It was built in 1530 / 1531 AD (937 AH) in what's called "classical Ottoman" or "early Istanbul" style. It was badly damaged in the 1990s wars, being targeted by the besiegers, but restored and re-opened in 2002. 5 KM, includes library-museum next door.    
  • Hanikah (Gazi Husrev-begova Hanikah), Ulica Sarači 49 (next to Gazi Husrev-beg mosque). M-Sa 09:00-20:00. A khanaqah is a Sufi lodge or centre for the study of Islamic mysticism. This one is a 1998 replica of the original built in 1531 with 14 study rooms, a simahana (room used for Dervish religious ritual), mihrab niche to indicate the direction of Mecca, and a šadrvan fountain in the inner courtyard. It's nowadays an art gallery.    
  • 32 Emperor's Mosque (Careva dzamija), Obala Isa-bega Ishakovića (on the south bank of the river). This is the oldest mosque in Sarajevo, the first one to be built in 1457 after the Ottomans occupied the city. It is the largest single-subdome mosque in the country, constructed under supervision of Isaković-Hranušić who dedicated it to sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. It was destroyed at the end of the 15th century but rebuilt in 1565 and dedicated this time to Suleyman the Magnificent. The mosque was damaged again in the Second World War and most recently during the 1992-95 Civil War, and restoration work on the painted decorations and interior are still pending. The adjacent cemetery hosts the graves of many former city viziers, mullahs, muftis, sheikhs an other prominent historical figures of Sarajevo. There is also a café inside the walls. The mosque is open both to Muslims and non-Muslims, but a visiting woman needs to cover her hair and wear long skirt or dress within the mosque.    
  • 33 Ali Pasha Mosque (Alipašina džamija), Hamze Hume. The mosque was constructed during 1560–61 as a vakıf (legacy or perpetual endowment) of Sofu Hadım Ali Pasha, the Ottoman former governor of the Bosnia Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire, after his death in September 1560. It was built according to the classical Istanbul architectural style. The dome covers the prayer area and three small domes cover the cloister. Because of its noble proportions it stands at the top of the scale of all sub-dome mosques that have been constructed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the framework of the complex there is a domed burial site (turbe) with two sarcophagus of Avdo Sumbul (d.1915) and Behdžet Mutevelić (d.1915), Gajret activists who died in the dungeons of Arad. The mosque was heavily damaged by Serbian forces during the conflict of the early 1990s, especially the dome. The most recent renovation of the mosque occurred in 2004 and in January 2005, the Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the Ali Pasha Mosque to the list of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.    
  • 34 Ferhadija Mosque (Džamija Ferhadija), Ulica Zelenih Beretki (walk down Ferhadija street to the west). The mosque is named after Ferhad Bey Vukovic Desisalic, a Bosnian Sanyak Bey, who had the mosque built in 1562. Archaeological research into the painted decorations inside the mosque, carried out between 1964 and 1965, revealed 6 paint layers dating from different periods. The oldest and most valuable layer, found in the main dome, belongs to a group known as Rumi ornament, and dates back to the 16th century. Next to the mosque is a small cemetery, where members of the Janissary Order and of the old Sarajevan aristocratic families were buried.    
  • 35 Tomb of the Seven Brothers (Jedileri), Bistrik 8 (take bus 103 to terminus Trg Austrije), +387 33 712-800, toll-free: +387 33 71 28 01, . The history of the tomb dates back to the founding days of Sarajevo, and it is assumed that a certain sheik who had arrived with the army of Sultan Mehmed II el-Fatih was the first to be buried at this spot. The sheik built his house next to the current tomb, and in his will asked to be buried at the base of his garden, with the remaining area used as Muslim cemetery. Later on, two dervishes were also buried here, falsely accused of stealing gold from the Sarajevo treasury in 1494. Over two centuries later, 4 army commanders who were accused of collaboration with Prince Eugene of Savoy in his raid of the city, were also buried in the tomb after, according to the legend, a heavenly light descended upon their grave as evidence of their innocence. Thus, the tomb unites the 7 individuals, who are brothers by faith rather than brothers by birth. In 1815 a wall with seven windows was built around the tomb, and a room for a tomb keeper was added. Some of the property was demolished in 1937, but the wall and tomb still stand today.  
  • 36 Hajji Sinan's Tekke (Hadži Sinanova tekija), Ulica Alije Đerzeleza 1. Thursday: 19:00 - 22:00. The tekke was built by Hadzi Sinan Aga, a wealthy merchant from Sarajevo, or his son Mustafa-Pasha, who was a silahdar (an officer in charge of the weapons) at Murad IV Sultan's Court, from 1638 to 1640. The tekke is comprised of several rooms: a room where zikr (the Dervish prayer) is performed, the sheik's residence, musafirhana (a visitor's inn) and an area for coffee making. In addition to regular Dervish rituals, the tekke gathered Sufis (mystics), who practiced tesavuf (mysticism) and studied works in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. Over a hundred inscriptions have been preserved at this site. Sinan Tekke’s greatest visual attraction is the calligraphy design on the wall of the courtyard, known as “Suleiman's Seal”, the rosette design is nearly three meters wide with the words, “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his Messenger”, painted 12 times in the fresco style. In 1768, the first asylum for psychiatric patients was opened in Hajji Sinan’s Tekke, marking the beginning of organized health care in BiH.  

ChristianEdit

 
Bell tower of St. Anthony's Church in the Fransciscan Monastery complex.
  • 37 St Anthony's Church (Franjevačka crkva svetog Ante Padovanskog), Franjevacka. Roman Catholic church in Gothic Revival style, built 1912-14 on the site of previous versions. The current interior dates from 1960s, with works by leading 20th C artists including Meštrović. The church serves the adjacent monastery.    
  • The Franciscan Monastery (Franjevački samostan na Bistriku) next to the church was built in 1894, also in Gothic Revival style and designed by Karel Pařík. It's still a monastery and therefore seldom open to visitors, but its collection of paintings, sculptures, organ, manuscripts and books are occasionally put on view.
  • 38 Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos (Saborna Crkva Rođenja Presvete Bogorodice), Zelenih beretki 1, +387 33 269 261. The Cathedral is the largest Serbian Orthodox church in Sarajevo and one of the largest in the Balkans. It is dedicated to the nativity of the Theotokos, and erected at the request of the Orthodox parish of Sarajevo, with construction taking place between 1863 and 1868. The church is constructed as a three-section basilica inscribed in a cross-shaped plan, and has five domes. The domes are built on the beams; the central one is much larger than the other four side domes. The church is arched by round elements. The small gilded baroque-style belfry is built in front of the entrance. The interior walls are decorated by painted ornaments. In the lower zones of the walls the painted ornaments are simulating the marble stone construction look. Arches and vaults are decorated in ornaments only. In 1898, the Orthodox Metropolitan Palace was built near the cathedral.    
  • 39 Old Orthodox Church (crkva sv. Arhanđela Mihaila i Gavrila), Mula Mustafe Bašeskije 59, +387 33 571 065. Also known as the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel (Cyrillic: црква св. Арханђела Михаила и Гаврила) is a Serbian Orthodox church. It was first mentioned in Ottoman sources dating to 1539. The church was built on older foundations, and is one of the oldest sacred buildings in the region, built in a medieval Serbian-Byzantine architectural style. Its interior is known for outstanding woodcarving art, paintings, and contains the fifth largest collection of religious icons in the world with a total of 140 icons present, dating from the 13th to 19th century. Among its collection are also 13 historic books and 37 liturgical garment items. The bell tower was constructed in 1883 and renovated in 1960. The site was declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006.    
 
Neo-Romanesque St. Joseph church with characteristic bell tower.
  • 40 Church of St. Joseph (Crkva sv. Josipa), Ulica Fra Anđela Zvizdovića (across the Sarajevo City Center). Roman Catholic church with 3 bells designed by Karel Pařík in a Romanesque Revival style, funded by Pope Pius XI. Construction began in 1936 and the building was consecrated in 1940, during the early months of the Second World War. The triple aisled basilica is built on top of a sanctuary with a crypt containing the tomb of Archbishop Ivan Šarić. The high altar of St. Joseph and the terracotta Stations of the Cross were gifted by Pope Pius XII. There are a total of 15 tombs in the walls of the church, hand carved by sculptor Franjo Rebhan. The stained glass windows were designed by Ivan Marinkocić, but destroyed at the end of the war in 1945, and subsequently restored. It was damaged again during the 1992-95 Bosnian civil war, restored in the early 2000s, and classified as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.    
 
Orthodox church of the Holy Transfiguration
  • 41 Church of the Holy Transfiguration (Crkva Svetog Preobraženja), Ulica Zmaja od Bosne 43. Orthodox church designed by Alexander Deroko and built in 1940 in Byzantine Revival style. It was originally planned to be built in Split, owning its resemblance to similar buildings along the Adriatic coast, but eventually constructed in Sarajevo instead and consecrated by Serbian patriarch Gravillo V. It is the primary place of worship for the 50,000 Orthodox Christians in the region. The church has been the target of numerous attacks throughout its history. It was heavily damaged during the 1992-95 Siege of Sarajevo but renovated in 2003. Reworking of the valuable frescoes began in 2004. In 2016, the church was set on fire by pyromaniacs, without injuries. It was targeted by looters again in the same year, and 2 rare icons were stolen.    
  • 42 Mausoleum of Gavrilo Princip (Groblje Sveti Marko), Patriotske lige (follow Marsala Tita, pass the park, take Kosevo and walk half an hour uphill). 24/7. Cemetery of St. Mark, with a chapel doubling as the mausoleum of Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofie at the Latin Bridge in 1914. Gavrilo Princip was buried here together with other Serb revolutionaries beneath the chapel. There is a plaque on the wall of the chapel to commemorate for eternity our Serb heroes. Free.    

JewishEdit

The Jewish population was first established in 1492-97 when Sephardic Jews fled the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal, and settled here and in other Ottoman cities. The Ashkenazi Jews mostly arrived during Austro-Hungarian rule in the late 19th century. Inter-community relations were mostly amicable and the population was relatively unharmed by the First World War, collapse of Austria-Hungary and formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. By 1940, their numbers peaked at around 14,000, 20% of the city population. In 1941 the Nazis invaded, placing the country under the control of the Croatian Ustaše, who vigorously set about the deportation and extermination of minority groups. Those who could, fled to the west, and after the war most exiles remained abroad. Some 2000 Jews did remain or return, but when the 1990s civil wars broke out, there was a mass evacuation to Israel of Jews living in former Yugoslavia. Fewer than 1000 remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina today, perhaps half of them in Sarajevo.

  • 43 Jewish Museum (Muzej Jevreja), Velika avlija bb, +387 033 535 688. M-F 10:00-16:00, Su 10:00-13:00. This is housed in the Old Temple (Il kal vjezu) or Grand Temple (Il kal Grandi) built in 1581 for the Sephardic settlers. It's a three-nave building with the front area used for preaching and the upper floors for the women's section. It's mostly a story of harmony and prosperity, but the third floor relates events of 1941-45. The building was badly damaged then and in the 1990s civil wars but has been well restored. KM 3.  
  • The Jewish New Temple (Il kal muevus) next door, built in 1820, is now an exhibition space open Su-F 15:00-19:00.
 
Ashkenazi Synagogue interior
  • 44 Ashkenazi Synagogue (Aškenaska sinagoga), Ulica Hamdije Kreševljakovića 59, +387 33 229-666. The Old then the New Temples were for the Sephardic congregation, so the Ashkenazi synagogue (nowadays the only functioning synagogue in Sarajevo) was built for that community in 1902, designed by Karl Pařík in Moorish revival style. It escaped Nazi destruction and features large arches with painted decorations and a ornate ceiling highlighted by a ten-pointed star. A stone menorah at the entrance commemorates the 400-year anniversary of Jews in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tours are available in English on request.    
  • 45 Jewish Cemetery (Jevrejsko groblje s kapelom na Borku), Ulica Urijan Dedina. The cemetery lies on the slopes of Trebević mountain in the Kovačići district of southern Sarajevo. It is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in South-East Europe, and in use from 1630 until 1966. It was established by Sephardic Jews during the Ottoman period, and also became the burial ground for Ashkenazi Jews after they arrived in Sarajevo in the late 19th century. It contains over 3850 tombstones and stecci, as well as four monuments dedicated to the victims of fascism. It began as a medieval necropolis of stecak tombstones, as still exist in Jablanica and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Sephardi of Sarajevo created tombstones with a unique morphology, of which the symbolic motifs are not found on any other Jewish monuments elsewhere in the world. The cemetery was the front line during the Bosnian War, and was used as artillery position by the Bosnian Serbs. Several tombstones were severely damaged by bullets and explosions. It was also heavily mined, but completely cleared in 1996. In 2004, the cemetery was declared as National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Free.    

Ottoman bridgesEdit

During Ottoman rule of Sarajevo, 13 bridges were built over the Miljacka River and Bosna River. Four stone bridges remain: the Latin Bridge, the Šeher-Čehajina Bridge, the Goat Bridge and the Roman Bridge.

 
The Latin Bridge in winter.
  • 46 Latin Bridge (Latinska ćuprija), Obala Kulina Bana. 24/7. Archduke of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated on this bridge on 28 June 1914, sparking the beginning of World War I. A plaque commemorates the event. On the bridge was a memorial to the assassin Gavrilo Princip, but it was removed during the 1992-1995 War. Free.    
  • 47 Šeher-Čehajina Bridge (Šeher-Ćehajina ćuprija) (between the City Hall and House of Spite). 24/7. Built in 1585/1586 and survived major damage from flooding in 1619, 1629, 1843 and 1880, but was repaired each time. When the Miljacka River was dammed in 1897 to regulate the water flow, the riverbed was altered and one of the original 5 arches of the bridge on the left bank was buried, a subtle change that can still be seen by observers with a keen eye. According to the legend, the city's vizier Hadzi Husein had ordered to erect the bridge and embed a diamond in one of its pillars to finance future repairs. One night the diamond disappeared, and a poor young man confessed to have stolen it as a gift to a girl he fell in love with. Swayed by the love between the two and the return of the diamond, the man was released from prison, but the diamond was never embedded back into the bridge. In 2005, the Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments declared the bridge a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Free.    
 
The iconic Goat's Bridge
  • 48 Roman Bridge (Rimski most) (on the Bosna half way between Ilidza and the Bosna spring). 24/7. Crossing the Bosna River at the historic Western entrance into the city. It is the only preserved stone bridge over the Bosna River, and considered one of the most authentic Ottoman bridges in the country. It was built out of carved stone between 1530 and 1550 using lime mortar and stones from ancient neolithic, Illyrian and Roman settlements in the bridge's vicinity, most importantly the Roman village Aquae Sulphurae (Latin for sulfur waters) which served as the region's cultural and administrative center. Numerous archaeological artifacts from that period (jewelry, coins, ceramics etc.) from the Roman period have been found around the bridge. Some of the stone tiles (kaldrma) have shallow engravings of Roman origin, from which the bridge derived its name. Free.    
  • 49 Goat’s Bridge (Kozija ćuprija) (follow the Dariva scenic walkway East from the City Hall until the bridge). 24/7. Architecturally interesting bridge at the historic Eastern entrance into the city. It had an important ceremonial function, as it served as the place where each Ottoman vizier was welcomed by the previous vizier and citizens of Sarajevo. The bridge is constructed from white marble, has a single arc with two circular apertures, and is 42 m long and 4.75 m wide. The span of the main arc is 17.5 m. According to the legend, before the bridge's existence, a poor shepherd noticed his goats sniffing on a shrub along the Miljacka River. Upon inspecting the shrub, he found a treasure with golden coins, which he used to finance his own education. After he became wealthy and influential, he had the bridge constructed at the shrub where his goats found the treasure, which gave the bridge its name. The truth in the legend was lost in history, but the bridge was almost certainly built between 1565 and 1579, a time when the road network underwent major infrastructure upgrades under reign of Mehmed-paša Sokolović. Free.    

VratnikEdit

In the 17th century conflict between Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, the decisive battle came at Zenta (now in Serbia) in 1697, when the Ottomans were routed, and their grip on central Europe was broken. The Austro-Hungarian forces then devastated Sarajevo before marching home. Further attacks were likely so a fortified city was built here 1727-1739, east of the old centre of Baščaršija. Later suburbs surrounded it, and the name Vratnik (probably meaning "gates") applies to this wider district, but the sights of interest are all in the Vratnik redoubt.

From Baščaršija either walk up Kovači past the war cemetery onto Jekovac and Carina (Buses 51, 52 & 55 run this way); or follow the river upstream taking the right fork just before the road goes into a tunnel, then ascend right for White Fortress or left for Yellow Fortress.

 
Alija Izetbegović tomb in the Kovači Memorial Cemetery at dusk.
  • 50 Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery Kovači (Sehidsko mezarje Kovaci), Sirokac. Here lie victims of the 1992-95 Civil War. The centrepiece is the tomb of Alija Izetbegović (1925-2003), first president of the independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The tomb is a dome suspended on 8 marble pillars, with a military honour-guard. Free.  
 
Museum of Alija Izetbegović in the Ploča Gate.
  • 51 Museum of Alija Izetbegović (Muzej Alija Izetbegović), Kapi-kula Ploča, Kovači, +387 33 237-220, . Apr-Sept M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-15:00; Oct-Mar M-F 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. Small museum within the Ploča and Širokac gates of Vratnik, dedicated to Alija Izetbegović, first president of the independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served 1992-2000, much of that time only nominally as he was besieged in Sarajevo in the early years, and overshadowed by the EU High Representative after the war. The museum has a library of Alija's work and a few personal items. The first floor exhibits his life, the passage between Ploča Gate and Širokac Gate exhibits his role as commander of the army. See also his tomb in nearby Kovači cemetery.  
  • 52 Yellow Fortress (Žuta tabija). Small bastion and cannon fortress, regularly smashed up and rebuilt. The latest renovation was in 1998, so it's a pleasant place to picnic and gaze over the city, but that's about all there is. Café Kamarija (adjacent on Pod Bedemom) is open daily 08:00-23:30, but their prices reflect the view. Fortress free.    
  • Jajce Kasarna are Austro-Hungarian barracks 200 m east of Yellow Fortress. They're derelict and unsafe to enter.
  • 53 Visegrad Gate (Višegradska kapija (Zidine Vratničkog grada)). One of the three gate-towers of Vratnik, controlling the road east towards Visegrad and Istanbul. It was built 1727-1739 in limestone and Bosnian stone hreša with roof shingles.    
 
View from the White Fortress
  • 54 White Fortress (Bijela tabija) (1 km east of City Hall). 24/7. This natural bastion had a fort at least from 1550, the nucleus from which the later fortifications of Vratnik were extended. It was rebuilt in the Austro-Hungarian period but nowadays is a shattered ruin, and not entirely safe - stealing the masonry for other buildings has done as much damage as later bombardments, such as in 1992-95. Good views over the city especially at sunrise / sunset, but don't get caught here in darkness. Free.    

OlympicsEdit

Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. These (officially the XIV Olympic Winter Games) were the first held in a socialist state, though Moscow had hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics. Structures remaining from that era are in a sorry state.

  • 55 Olympic Museum (Olimpijski muzej), Alipašina bb, +387 33 226 414, . M-F 09:00-17:00. A museum aimed at the preservation of the memories of the organization of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. From 1984 to 1992, the museum was located in the city center, in a mansion owned by Nikola Mandić, former Sarajevo citizen and later president of Croatia during the Nazi occupation in WWII. Declared an enemy of the state at the end of the war, Nikola Mandić lost his life and property, and the mansion was donated to the museum by the Sarajevo city council. At the start of the 1992-95 Civil War, the building was shelled by Serb forces and damaged beyond repair. A significant part of the museums collection went up in flames. The remaining collection was salvaged and transferred to the Zetra Olmypic Complex, and in 2004 the new museum at its current location was opened to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1984 Olympic Games.  
  • 56 Skenderija, Terezija BB (take tram 6 until Skenderija terminus), +387 33 201-203, toll-free: +387 33 211-016, . Tito-era cultural and sports center on the south bank of the river, constructed in 1969 and opened with the premiere of the film Battle of Neretva. It was later expanded for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, and features a market and shopping mall. Because of its concrete construction, it only sustained minor damage during the war, but gradually decayed afterwards due to neglect. In February 2012, after a record snowfall in Sarajevo, the roof of one of the halls collapsed under the snow pressure, which was estimated to be around 160 kg/m². The building was subsequently restored by the city and returned to service, and receives 500,000 visitors per year.    
  WARNING: As part of the Siege of Sarajevo from 1992-95, extensive mine fields were laid in the hills around the city, of which most had no or inaccurately recorded locations. Although extensive demining efforts were carried out and are still ongoing, land mines may still be hidden in the forests. Never leave paths when walking in the hills around the Olympic facilities, and never enter abandoned buildings.
  • A cable-car, restored in 2018, runs from Franjevačka south of the river downtown, up to the former 57 Ski Station. Nice views and hilltop strolls, the station is a ruin. Forest paths lead to the Pino Hotel (accessible by road, eg drive or taxi) and the Trebevic Bobsled Track which mad off-road bikers hurtle down, and which is being restored for winter sports.

DoEdit

  • '1 National Theater (Narodno pozorište), Obala Kulina bana 9 (tram-stop Pošta), +387 33 226-431, . The National Theater has a regular programme of theatre, concerts and opera. It was built in 1899 as a "Gentlemen's Club" by Czech architect Karel Pařík, who contributed to over 160 buildings in and around Sarajevo.    
  • Fox in a Box, Sime Milutinovica 15/I (Next to Museum of Literature & Performing Arts, off Zelenhi berekti), +38 761 10 10 07, . 09:30-22:30. Escape room games. In "Mr Fox's Secret Study", you try to escape from the office by solving riddles. In "The Bank Job", you try to steal diamonds from the bank safe, in the dark by flashlight. In "The Bunker", you try to avert an accidental nuclear war. 60 KM.
  • 2 Skakavac Waterfall (Vodopad Skakavac). Waterfall located 12 km north of Sarajevo, above the Nahorevo Village. With its 98 m in height, it is the second tallest waterfall in Europe, after the Vinnufossen waterfall in Sunndal, Norway. Located in an area of exceptional natural beauty, surrounded by lush forests of spruce, beech, and fir forests, the waterfall is worth a day trip is weather allows it. A wooden pedestrian bridge takes visitors under the waterfall.    
 
Dariva promenade through the Miljacka valley
  • 3 Dariva Canyon, Dariva (west of Goat's Bridge). 24/7. An 8 km long promenade from the historic center of Sarajevo to the Goat's Bridge, following the canyon of the Miljacka. The promenade is very picturesque, and the pedestrian-only route offers magnificent natural views which have been appreciated since the Austro-Hungarians built a railroad through the Miljacka valley. There are 150 linden trees lining the promenade, planted by diplomats residing in Sarajevo at the invitation of the mayor. Some of the trees still have plaques bearing the names of those who planted them. Free.  

Recreation parksEdit

  • Sarajevo City Center mall has a large play area for children. BBI Centar a smaller one. Both malls are slightly west of downtown on the main road.
 
The idyllic park of the Bosna Spring on a summer day.
  • 4 Spring of the Bosna River (Vrelo Bosne), Ilidža (25-minute drive west of Old Town, 3 km beyond the suburb of Ilidža), +387 33 580-999. 08:00-23:00. The beginning of the river Bosna, where the pure and ice cold water surges out of the mountains. Here you can walk in large, well-kept park, picnic, and spend the whole day without getting bored. May 1 festival is held here. 2 KM park admission, 2 KM/hour parking, 30 KM for a horse-and-carriage ride.    
 
Antilopes in the Sarajevo Zoo.
  • 5 Sarajevo Zoo (Pionirska dolina), Patriotske lige 58, +387 33 560 560, fax: +387 33 560 561, . 08:00-21:15. A small zoo and recreation park at the outskirts of Sarajevo, primarily aimed at children. It is the oldest zoo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the Austro-Hungarian period located in Ilidza but later moved to its current location. There are 57 species of animals from all over the world on display, including lions which have been donated by the zoo of Sofia in 2013. A little train and several other attractions and playgrounds are available for the entertainment of kids, some at an extra fee. 3 KM for adults, 2 KM for kids.    
  • 6 Sunnyland, Miljevići bb (take bus 59a from Latinska ćuprija terminal to Hambina carina, then walk up the hill), +387 57 991 339, . 09:00 - 22:00. A newly constructed bobsleigh track on Mt. Trebevic overlooking Sarajevo, and adjacent restaurants and bars selling mediocre food and drinks. Excellent entertainment for kids, with indoor playgrounds and facilities, but not very interesting to adults. 5 KM.  

SportsEdit

  • Watch football (ie soccer) at 7 Olympic Stadium (Koševo City or Asim Ferhatović - Hase Stadium) (2 km north of centre). Multi-purpose arena built for the 1984 Winter Olympics, capacity 34,500, it's now the home ground of FK Sarajevo. They play in the top tier of national football, the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina or "Liga 12", and often qualify for European tournaments. The national team also play home matches here.    
  • Or watch football at 8 Stadium Grbavica, Zvornička 27 (2 km west of centre), +387 33 660-134. This is the home ground (capacity 16,000) of FK Željezničar Sarajevo, who likewise play in the top tier Liga 12.    
  • 9 Ilidza Thermal Riviera (Termalna rivijera Ilidža), Butmirska Cesta 18, 71211 Ilidza (behind the airport, 5 minutes walk from Ilidza tram station), +387 33 771-000. 09:00-22:00. Water park with several indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wave pool, massage amenities, and water slides. Slightly outdated infrastructure, but the natural sulphur rich water makes up for it on hot summer days. Sauna and fitness center available at the adjacent Hotel Hills. Basic entry 9 KM, extra for wellness & fitness centres.
 
The Isa-begov Hamam.
  • 10 Isa-begov Hamam, Bistrik 1 (Next to Emperor's Mosque, across the Latin Bridge), +387 33 570-050, . M-F 10:00-13:30 for men, 14:00-18:00 for women, Sa 09:00-19:00 for women, Su 09:00-19:00 for men. Renovated hamam in the Isa-begov Hotel with traditional ottoman steam room, water pool and massage facilities. 20 KM.  
  • From May to August there are white-water rafting trips down the river Neretva. The usual base for trips is Konjic midway between Sarajevo and Mostar. Operators who do package day-trips from Sarajevo include Sarajevo Funky Tours, Sarajevo Insider and Meet Bosnia Travel. These cost about 100 KM including transport and lunch.
  • See Sarajevo Region for the ski resorts of Jahorina, Bjelašnica and Igman, all about 35 km away.

EventsEdit

Sonar compiles the city's regular calendar of events.

  • 11 Sarajevo Winter International Festival (Sarajevska zima), Maršala Tita 9a/V, + 387 33 266 620, fax: + 387 33 266 621, . Feb-March. Winter counterpart of the Film Festival, with music, visual arts, film and video, performing arts and literature, plus a program for children. Dates for 2020 are not yet confirmed.    
  • Sarajevo International Guitar Festival, Vijećnica, Obala Kulina bana (Info & Box Office within City Hall), . April. Eminent guitar players lead concerts, workshops and competitions. Dates for 2020 are not yet confirmed.    
  • Nights of Baščaršija: throughout July the old town centre has theatre performances, classic and rock music concerts and folklore dances. Various locations but concentrated around Ćemaluša.
  • Sarajevo Film Festival, Branilaca Sarajeva 24 (Bosanski Kulturni Centar), +387 33 221 516, fax: +387 33 263 381, . July or August. Large summer film festival, various venues including the outdoor "Summer Screen". The Culture Centre has a box-office but book online if you can. The next event is 16-23 Aug 2019.    
  • 12 MESS International Theater Festival (Internacionalni Teatarski Festival), Kamerni Teater, Maršala Tita 54, + 387 33 200 392, fax: + 387 33 211 972, . Sept / October. Festival for expressive arts, with special attention to youth and alternative subjects. The next event is 28 Sept-10 Oct 2019.  
  • 13 Sarajevo Jazz Festival, La Benevolencija 14, +387 33 550 480, fax: + 387 33 550 481, . First week of Nov. Large eclectic jazz festival. The next event is 7-10 Nov 2019.    

BuyEdit

 
Fruits, vegetables and walnuts for sale at Markale market.

Most shopping centres and upscale restaurants accept credit cards. Small cafés, clubs and souvenir shops mostly require cash, but might jib at notes larger than 20 KM.

  • 1 Markale Market (Gradska Tržnica) (Big yellow building between Ferhadija and Mula Mustafe Baseskije). 07:00­–17:00. Market Hall opened in 1895 and home to local meat, cheese, and vegetable merchants: walnuts are a specialty. The market was bombed with great loss of life in Feb 1994 and again in August 1995. The first attack was a single mortar, and responsibility was disputed. The second was five rounds undeniably from Bosnian-Serb positions, and precipitated NATO military intervention in the conflict.    

BaščaršijaEdit

The Old Town has plenty of carpets and local copperware on sale. Over a century ago, each street in this area hawked a specific ware: for example, one street had all the coppersmiths, shoes were on another, jewelry on another. An underground souk (open 08:00-20:00) stretches along the west side of Gazi Husrev-begova street.

 
Souvenir shopping in Gazi Husrev-Bey's bezistan.
  • 2 Bedesten (Gazi-Husrev Beg's Bezistan), Gazi Husrev-begova, +387 33 532-144. M-Sa 08:00-20:00, Su 10:00-19:00. A covered market for haberdashery and craftsmanship, built during the Ottoman Empire period, with a design based on the design of the mosques. The bedesten serves as the central building in the historic commercial part of the city, and has its origins in the Greco-Roman basilica or kaiserion which served a similar purpose. During Ottoman times, the bedesten was of such economic importance that cities were classified under two categories: those with a bedesten, and those without.    
  • Isfahan Gallery, Saraći 77 (inside Morića Inn), +387 33 237 429, . Traditional Persian carpet store inside the Morića Inn. The handcrafted carpets are pricey, but the setting inside the reconstructed inn is worth a visit.
  • 3 Sahinpasic, 38d Titova. Has a solid collection of historical literature.
  • 4 Baklava Shop Sarajevo, Ćurčiluk Veliki 56 (on the northern side of Brusa Bezistan), +387 61 267 428. Authentic baklava. A wide selection of baklava in many flavors (walnut, almond, hazelnut, pistachio, etc.), where the baklavas containing orah (walnut) are considered to be the most traditional ones.
  • 5 Kazandžiluk Street. The street is named after Sarajevo’s master coppersmiths, featuring shops such as Sakib Baščaušević and Aganovic.

Shopping mallsEdit

Sarajevo offers numerous shopping malls, the most notable being the Sarajevo City Center in the commercial district. Most shopping malls in Sarajevo have been newly constructed or renovated, and offer a modern shopping experience to those who can stand the annoying pop music they play all day long.

 
The Sarajevo City Center in the business district: shopping, food and recreation.
  • 6 Sarajevo City Center, Vrbanja 1, +387 62 992 492. 10:00-22:00. Landmark in the commercial district, and located centrally in Sarajevo along the boulevard connecting the airport with the historic center of the city. Houses the largest shopping center in the city, with 160 stores, countless restaurants and bars, and a luxury hotel.    
  • 7 Alta Shopping Center, Franca Lehara 2 (accross the street from the Sarajevo City Center), +387 33 953-800. M-Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 10:00-20:00. Shopping center in the commercial district of the city, with 70 stores. Famous for the Lego store inside.
  • 8 BBI Center, Trg djece Sarajeva 1 (across the street from Veliki Park), +387 33 569-990. M-Sa 08:00-22:00, Su 08:00-22:00. Second largest shopping center of Sarajevo, after the City Center, founded in 2010, with 125 stores. It won the ICSC European Shopping Centre Awards in 2011.
  • 9 Bosmal City Center, Milana Preloga 12A, +387 33 725-180. Shopping center on the south bank of the river, opened in 2009, with 50 stores.
  • 10 Importanne Center, Zmaja od Bosne 7, +387 33 266-295. 07:00-23:00. Smaller shopping mall opened in 2010 with around 35 stores.
  • 11 Mercator, Ložionička 16. One of the oldest shopping malls in Sarajevo, opened in 2000, with roughly 35 stores.
  • Grand Centar Ilidža, Butmirska cesta 14, +387 33 629020. M-Sa 08:00-22:00; Su 08:00-21:00. Ilidža shopping center with 33 stores is by the #3 tram terminus and Thermal Spa.

MoneyEdit

The local currency is konvertibilna marka (KM, Convertible Mark, international abbreviation BAM), fixed at €1 = 1.95583 KM (~1 KM = €0.51)), and is used throughout the country. Informally, restaurants may accept euros at €1 = 2 KM. The odd rate is because the Convertible Mark was pegged 1:1 against the Deutsche Mark, which was replaced with the euro at that rate.

There's a whole slew of banks along Maršala Tita at the north boundary of Old Town, usually open M-F 08:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-13:00. Money can also be exchanged at any post office or at currency exchange booths, which stay open till 21:00.

EatEdit

It is said in Bosnia that some people eat to be able to drink, others eat to be able to live and work, but true Bosnians work and live to eat. A lot of attention is devoted to the preparation and consumption of food in Sarajevo. Gastronomy in the city was developed under Eastern and Western influences, and Bosnian cuisine focuses on local produce like meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. For information on typical Bosnian foods, see Bosnia#Eat.

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget < 12 KM
Mid-range 12 - 20 KM
Splurge > 20 KM

BudgetEdit

Cheap food on the go, from a myriad small shops and cafés, is burek, ćevapi or pita. Burek is meat pie. Ćevapi are grilled meats; the word derives from "kebab" and the traditional Sarajevo style is minced beef and mutton in a somun flatbread. Pita is a filo pasty or pie, typical varieties being meat (meso), cheese (sirnica, similar to ricotta), cheese and spinach (zeljanica), pumpkin (tikvenica) and spicy potato (krompirusa).

  • 1 Ascinica ASDž, Ćurčiluk mali 3 in Bascarsija, +387 33 238-500. 08:00–19:00. When you get sick of greasy meats, ASDž serves Bosnian-home-cooking, vegetable-centered dishes (but don't expect 100% vegetarian, as many are still flavored with a bit of meat). Order cafeteria-style at the counter: you pay by the plate and can mix-and-match different foods into the same dish.
  • Buregdžinica Bosna, Bravadžiluk 11, +387 33 538-426. Daily 08:00-23:00. Pita & burek café, sandwiched between Mrkva and Bosnian House.
  • 2 Cakum Pakum, Kaptol 10, +387 61 955 310. A little restaurant with great savory pancakes (crepes).
  • 3 Mr Gurman, Kolodvorska (pofalici), +387 62 153 900. Fast food
  • 4 Petica Ferhatović, Bravadžiluk 21, +387 33 537 555. Daily 08:00–23:00. A popular but spacious restaurant serving fresh all-beef ćevapi. The waitresses wear traditional Bosnian dresses. 6 KM for ćevapi.
  • 5 Pizzeria Ago, Mula Mustafe Baseskije 17, +387 33 203-900. 08:00-23:00. Good value pizzas, and pancakes for dessert at only 1 KM, which are a boon for the budget travellers with a sweet tooth.
  • 6 Pizzeria Maslina, Trg Heroja 10, +387 62 751 200. Affordable prices with a diversity of cuisines, from Italian to Bosnian traditional food.
  • 7 Pizzeria Terrazza, Strossmayerova 8, +387 61 569 513. Pizzas and Bosnian sandwiches

Mid-rangeEdit

  • 8 Cafe & restoran Ahar, Zmaja od Bosne 13, +387 67 11 71 777. Nice and quiet restaurant with European-Italian menu and a brick oven.
  • 9 Cappuccino, Grbavica (near river Miljacka in green area). Daily 07:00-22:00. Delicious Bosnian meals and the best pasta and pizza in the region. Good for a full meal or snack or just a coffee.
  • 10 Hacienda, Bazardzani 3, +387 33 441 918. Daily 10:00-03:00. Mexican food, very approximately, eg their "guacamole" is pickles with mustard and cream.Or is this the prototype of a new fusion cuisine called BosMex? Large portions with fresh ingredients and a pleasant atmosphere. A bit pricey as it's in the tourist area. Weekends it morphs into a club, playing House and Techno Music so loud you can't hear yourself think. 8-12 KM for a main course.
 
House of Spite, with a terrace next to the Miljacka river.
  • 11 House of Spite (Inat Kuca), Veliki Alifakovac 1 (from opposite city hall, cross the bridge and take a left), +033 477 867, toll-free: +061 338 177, . 11:00-23:00. The history of this restaurant dates back to the Austro-Hungarian occupation, when Sarajevo underwent large scale infrastructure projects which resulted in the post office, the National Museum, the Faculty of Law, and many others. When the City Hall was to be constructed however, the Austro-Hungarians faced the stubbornness of an old Bosnian man named Benderija who lived in a hourse in that location. He refused to have his house demolished for the construction of the City Hall, and only after long negotiations he agreed to give up his property under 2 conditions: he wanted a bag of golden coins as compensation, and the house had to be moved brick by brick to the other side of the river. Since then, the building is known as the house of spite, and a symbol of Bosnian stubbornness and resistance against the government. In 1997, the house was converted to a lovely restaurant selling hearty stew-like meals and Bosnian specialties. A terrace offers a view over the river and the Sarajevo City Hall which it replaces. The house is decorated in oriental style, and worth visiting for the ambient alone. 6-20 KM.  
  • 12 Karuzo, Dženetića Čikma bb, +387 62 347 456, . M-F 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-23:00, Sa 18:00-23:00. Vegetarian & fish menu, in mostly Italian style. The restaurant only seats 18 and reservations are essential. The boss takes your order, prepares the food and serves it himself. Fast food it's not, you need to set aside 2-3 hours.
  • 13 Mrkva, Bravadžiluk 13, +387 33 532-519. Daily 08:30-22:00. Traditional Bosnian fast food, a local favorite. A small chain with 4 other outlets over the Sarajevo metropolitan area.
  • 14 Paper Moon, Hamdije Čemerlica 45, +387 33 956 939, . A combination of dishes of the international cuisine and a traditional clay oven.
  • 15 Park Princeva, Iza Hrida br. 7, +387 61 222 708, toll-free: +387 33 532 403, . Daily 08:00-23:00. Bosnian food, very mixed reviews for quality, and pricey - you're paying for the city view, especially around sunset, with the minarets ulullating around the valley.
  • 16 Restoran "Apetit", Gazi Husrev begova 61, +387 62 86 81 31, . An "open kitchen" and a daily menu prepared from selected fresh food; meat dishes, fish dishes, risottos, pastas, imaginative salads, fragrant woks and delicious sweet pleasures. Also dishes for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free offerings.
  • Trattoria Uno, Zmaja od Bosne 45 (next to Novotel, see "Sleep"), +387 61 17 22 30. A small Italian restaurant. The grilled vegetables as an appetizer are worth trying.
  • 17 Zeljo (Ćevabdžinica Željo), Kundurdžiluk 19, +387 33 441-200. Daily 08:00-22:00. Traditional Bosnian food, a local favorite. A small fast-food chain with other outlets across the city but this is the most central. A good venue to visit with kids.

SplurgeEdit

  • 18 Bosnian House (Bosanska Kuca), Bravadziluk 3, Bascarsija. 24/7. Steak house. Seats inside and outside - if it's chilly out there, sit against the warm wall with the oven behind it, and start with the muckalica veal broth. Waiters may hassle you to order too much, saying that the servings are small, which isn't the case. Very mixed reviews for quality of food and value for money.
  • 19 Dveri, Prote Bakovića 12, +387 33 537-020, . 09:00-23:00. Homestyle restaurant in heart of old Sarajevo. Very cozy feel, with strands of garlic, lots of delicious warm bread, hearty soups, meats, etc.
  • 20 Mala Kuhinja, Tina Ujevića 13, +387 61 144 741, . M-Sa 10:00-23:00. Tiny restaurant, only seats 15, owned by Bosnian celebrity chef Muamer Kurtagic. No menu, he'll go with what's fresh today and any preferences, and you watch the work in progress.
  • 21 Restaurant Kibe, Vrbanjuša 164, +387 33 441 936, +387 61 040 000 (Mobile), . Offering stunning panoramic views on Sarajevo, Kibe Mahala offers a selection of the finest Bosnian national dishes, whereof the famous spit-roasted lamb, and a wide assortment of wines from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.
  • 22 Restaurant Vinoteka, Skenderija 12 (Near the Skenderija cultural and sports center / hall "Mirza Delibasic"), +387 33 214 996, . Restaurant Vinoteka offers a wide selection of dishes from international cuisine recipe and a large selection of domestic and foreign wines. There is a guarded parking lot next door to the restaurant.
  • 23 Restoran Brajlovic, Samira Ćatovića Kobre 6, Ilidža, +387 33 626-226. 07:00-23:00. At the water front of the Zeljeznica, Brajlovic offers an up scale selection of Bosnian specialties. Their cevapcici is widely known to attract tourists and locals alike.
 
The Sarajevo Brewery
  • 24 Sarajevo Brewery (Sarajevska pivara), Franjevačka 15, +387 33 491-100. Daily 10:00-01:00. A large bar and restaurant near the Latin Bridge. Serves 'western' food, only so-so quality & amount for the price, plus a variety of beers brewed on the premises. Sometimes smoky & lacking ventilation, quality of service variable. The brewery also has a souvenir shop / museum here.

DrinkEdit

Sarajevo has vibrant night life with a plenty small thematic bars. Clubs are usually opened until early morning. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are hot days to hang out despite the rest of the week offers quite good night life. There are probably over 100 cafés in the city, centered in the old town, but a clear distinction is made whether the traditional Bosnian coffee is served or not.

CafesEdit

  • 1 Bosanska kafana "Index", Bascarsija 12 (Kazandziluk), +387 33 447-485. Bosnian coffee
  • 2 Cafe Slastičarna "Palma", Porodice Ribar br.5, +387 33 714 700, . Coffee and pastry shop, located in Sarajevo in part of town called Hrasno, started working back in 1970. In 1985 "Palma" received the CD -Diplomatic Consular Code.
  • 3 Ministry of Ćejf, Kovači 26, +387 61 482 036. Great espresso drinks and well trained baristas. They also have karak and good cakes.
  • 4 Miris Dunja, Ulica Čizmedžiluk 9, +387 62 922 900. Coffee, Bosnian coffee and juices. On a regular day the Bosnian coffee served is usually very good, and on a good day the Bosnian coffee may truly be extraordinary exceptional. Bosnian coffee: 2 KM.
  • 5 Mrvica, Paromlinska 58h (located in the Novo Sarajevo residency area, near "Vjetrenjača" (Windmill)), + 387 62 887 777, . Coffee, brunch or even lunch
  • 6 Mrvica Old Town, Ulica Jelića 5 (near the Sacred Heart Cathedral "Katedrala Srca Isusova"). Coffee and different types of bakery and desserts. Opened ca. 2017. No Bosnian coffee served, only "modern" coffee styles.
  • 7 Opera Bar/Café, B Sarajeva 25 (opposite the city's Opera house), +387 33 831-647. 07:00-12:00. Fast WiFi connection, but the waitstaff are often unfriendly and inattentive. It attracts the acting and musical community among the regulars, though this isn't an exclusive kind of place. A bit smoky. Espresso: 2 KM.

BarsEdit

  • 8 Café de Paris, Hamdije Kreševljakovića 61 (South end of Ćumurija bridge, in the green-and-yellow building.), +387 33 211-609. 07:00–22:00. You might not have expected to find an IPA in the Balkans, but Café de Paris serves a selection of craft beers from Sarajevo microbreweries. They also have a line of very smooth local rakijas (try the quince). Riverside, outdoor seating looks out upon impressive architecture from the Austro-Hungarian times. Craft beer 3–4 KM.
  • 9 Tre Bicchieri Wine Store & Tasting Bar, Cobanija 3, +387 33 223-230. Long list of Italian wines. Very cozy and comfortable place. Good music & relaxing atmosphere.

SleepEdit

You need to register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival. Your hotel or hostel should do this on check-in, but if you wild-camp or stay at a private residence, you need to organise this yourself. Failure to register doesn't normally bother the authorities but could result in a fine or deportation.

BudgetEdit

  • You can wild camp in the park by the River Miljacka. Chances are you'll see tents already there. Follow the road west and stay close to the river. In summer there is a public toilet. No guard or services.
  • Locals may unofficially let you stay in their property, payment to be negotiated.
  • 1 Haris Youth Hostel, Vratnik Mejdan 29, +387 33 23 25 63. Haris is the owner, friendly fellow who also owns a tourism agency near the pigeon square at Kovaci 1 and can take you on tours around the city, annotated with his own personal experiences from the war. The hostel is ten minutes uphill walk from the main square, worth it for the view and hospitality. Dorm €9 ppn, private rooms €20 ppn.
  • 2 Hostel City Centre Sarajevo, Saliha Hadzihuseinovica Muvekita No. 2/3 (Between Ferhadija and Zelenih beretki streets), +387 33 203 213. Check-out: 10:00. Clean and tidy place to stay with kitchen facilities, 2 large living and common rooms, cable TV, free internet and wifi. They have 4- ,5- ,6- and 10-bed mixed dorms plus 2,3 and 4 bed private rooms. You'll need to lug your baggage up 4 flights, no lift. Dorm €15 ppn.
  • 3 Motel Jasmin, Kupreska 26 (Bascarsija), +387 33 71 61 55. Singles, doubles, triples with separate bathrooms and TV. Cleanliness very variable. B&B double €30.
  • 4 Hostel Ljubičica, Mula Mustafe Bašeskije 65 (Old Town, tram stop Bascarsija), +387 33 53 58 29. The hostel itself is friendly, central for Old Town and usually clean. However it's also a travel & accommodation agency, and may place you in any of a number of dorms in the area - it may not be clear at the time of booking what you're getting. Dorm €15 ppn.
  • 5 Hostel Kod Keme (Kemal's Place), Mali Ćurčiluk 15 (Bascarsija), +387 33 531-140. Small friendly guesthouse with private rooms, no dorm. B&B double €40.
  • 6 Pansion Sebilj, Bravadžiluk bb (Obala Kulina baba between Careve cuprija and Novi most at the Miljacka riverside), +387 33 573-500. Most of the staff speaks English fluently. An internet-cafe is downstairs in the same house, a restaurant in the atrium. The restaurants in the Old Town, groceries and a pharmacy are all in walking distance. Good location, friendly staff, hot water, clean. But no internet, walls are paper thin, you can hear everything in the next room, and the downstairs bar plays loud music till midnight, uncomfortable slat beds. Unisex showers (only 2) and bathroom. No way to lock bathroom or shower area when inside. No laundry service, no kitchen. No lockers for gear. €15 ppn.
  • 7 Hostel Tower, Hadzisabanovica 15, +387 61 800 263, toll-free: +387 61 566 350, . Clean & mostly friendly place, wifi weak. On two occasions in the last year guests fell foul of the owner and were literally kicked out, with boot to backside. Dorm €10 ppn, private room from €20.
  • 8 Hotel Hayat, Abdesthana 27 (A less than 5-minute walk northeast from the Kovači Square, near Bascarsija), +387 33 570-370. US$70.
  • 9 Hotel & Hostel Kan Sarajevo, Brace Begic 35 (near the bus station), +387 33 220 531. Single to quadruple bed- bedrooms as well as apartments. Restaurant on site and personal assistance with sightseeing. From 40 KM.

Mid-rangeEdit

  • 10 Garni Hotel Konak, Mula Mustafe Başeskije 54 (Tram 1 to Pigeon Square, follow tram tracks west for two blocks, look left for the red and white sign), +387 33 476 900, . Built in 1962 and completely renovated in 2008. Staff are friendly, speak English, and in the off season can be persuaded to negotiate. Hotel amenities include breakfast, ensuite bathrooms and internet connected computers, while the hostel rooms are double bed privates with satellite television which share a bathroom among three rooms. B&B double from €70.
  • Hotel Hecco Deluxe, Ferhadija 2 (By Eternal Flame), +387 33 558 995, . Business hotel with suites and terrace restaurant. It's on the top floors of a building that is otherwise empty, so it's a bit spooky in hours of darkness. Often smells of cigarette smoke. B&B double €70.
  • 11 Hotel Michele, Ivana Cankara 27, +387 33 560 310, +387 61 338 177, . In a quiet area. The staff are nice, breakfast and laundry included plus private parking with direct elevator access to the room floors and wireless high speed internet. B&B double €60.
  • 12 Hotel VIP, Jaroslava Černija br 3, +387 33 535533, . Latin bridge is 300 metres from Hotel VIP, while Bascarsija Street is 300 metres away. Sarajevo Airport is 9 km from the property.
  • 13 Motel Sokak, Mula Mustafe Bašeskije 24 (Just down the road from the Bascarsija tram stop.), +387 33 570-355, . It's small clean, quiet, friendly and comfortable, in an old building but modern inside. Double: US$100.
  • 14 Opal Home Sarajevo (Hotel Opal Home), Despićeva 4, +387 37 445 445, . The four-star hotel with modern design and luxury interior, which opened in 2014, offers 12 comfortable rooms and 22 beds.
  • 15 Pansion Stari Grad, Sagrdžije 29A (walk up the hill from the Sebilj), +387 33 239 898, . Check-out: 10:00-11:00. A cozy hotel walking distance from the old town with friendly staff willing to help travelers get around the city with maps and tips. With wifi. Double €50.
  • 16 Hotel Terex, Ive Andrica 23, 71123 Dobrinja (on a walking distance from the airport), +387 57 318 100, fax: +387 57 317 150, . A smaller hotel surrounded by soviet tenements in the residential area of Dobrinja, close to the Dobrinja commercial district. 180 KM.
  • 17 Hotel Imzit, Lukavička Cesta, +387 33 451 423, . Basic hotel at the outskirts of Dobrinja at the foot of Suma Mojmilo hill. 160 KM.
  • 18 Hotel Octagon, Akifa Šeremeta 48, +387 33 789-905. A lovely 3 star hotel in a residential area right across from the airport, ideally suited for business travelers with a lay-over of a night. 160 KM.

SplurgeEdit

 
The bright yellow Hotel Holiday, with Avaz Twist Tower behind
  • 19 Hotel Holiday (formerly Holiday Inn), Zmaja od Bosne 4, 71000 Sarajevo (5 min walk from train and bus station), +387 33 288 200, +387 33 288 300, fax: +387 33 288 288, . Check-in: 12 noon, check-out: 12 noon. Clean, safe, nice private rooms with private bathroom and shower, well-maintained. Friendly staff speaks English. Credit cards accepted. The restaurant on the third floor is great. €118.
  • 20 Novotel Sarajevo Bristol, Fra Filipa Lastrića 2 (Tram stop Pofalići), +387 33 705 000, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Business hotel now part of Accor chain. Great rooms and comfortable beds. Friendly staff, three restaurants/cafés. Halal certified. Held in regard now as one of the best large hotels in the city. Entrance fee to a small spa is included in the room price. B&B double from €90.
  • 21 Hotel Central, Ćumurija 8 (facing Strossmayerova pedestrian mall), +387 33 561 800, . Clean comfy hotel, and it is indeed central. With spa and fitness centre. B&B double €110.
  • 22 Hotel Colors Inn (Colors Inn Sarajevo), Koševo 8, +387 33 276600, . Colors Inn Hotel Sarajevo has 37 luxury single and double rooms and a private parking.
 
Hotel Europe in the heart of Sarajevo, behind the Bezestan and Taslihan.
  • 23 Hotel Europe, Vladislava Skarića 5 (right next to the old Turkish bazaar, Bezistan, and Tašlihan), +387 33 580 570, +387 33 580 444, . Built in 1882 right next to medieval ruins, it was recently renovated, elevating it to five-star premier boutique status. Home to many celebrities who come to work or visit the city, such as John Travolta, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The in-house Viennese Café is great, offering many Central European as well as local specialties. The hotel offers a view over the Tašlihan archaeological site right next to it.    
  • 24 Hotel President Sarajevo, Bazardžani 1, +387 33 575 000, . Located near the centre of the old town of Sarajevo. Hotel President offers 72 comfortable rooms, garage, breakfast room, Congress Hall as well as a Café/lobby bar.
  • 25 Radon Plaza, Džemala Bijedića 185 (foot of Avaz tower, next to BMW showroom), +387 33 752 900, . Swish hotel, named for its owner, who is also the owner of Avaz newspaper and one of the city's wealthiest people. B&B double €100.
  • 26 Hotel Espana, Ive Andrića bb, 71123 Lukavica (on a walking distance from the airport), +387 57 961-200, fax: +387 57 961 202. Hotel in a calmer residential area of Sarajevo on the territory of Republika Srpska. 220 KM.

ConnectEdit

There are four mobile operators in Sarajevo: BH Telecom (060, 061, 062), m:tel (065, 066, 067), HT Eronet (063) and Haloo (064). There is no 4G/LTE coverage, but 3G is widely available. Since Bosnia and Herzegovina is not part of the EU or EEA, the international roaming charges are not capped as those have been since 2017, and can be much higher. However Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of a Balkan roaming zone with Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia, capped at €0.20 per MB from July 2017. But that only applies if you have a local SIM card, from any of the operators, which can be purchased in one of the many kiosks around the city. BH Telecom and m:tel have special offers aimed towards tourists, starting from 20 KM for 5 GB.

The local area code is +387 33 (Kanton Sarajevo) and the local postal code is 71000.

  • BH Telecom, Sarači 60, +387 33 238-573. M-F 08:00-22:00, Sa 08:00-16:00. Several locations, the most convenient for Old Town is on Sarači next to the TIC. Basic mobile internet package for 5 KM or €2.5 (300 MB) and "Ultra Tourist 1" for 20 KM (5 GB). Ask for BH Mobile's Tourist SIM.
  • Central Post Office BH Pošta is a sight in itself, see "Administrative buildings" listing earlier. It's at Obala Kulina bana 8 next to the National Theatre.
  • There's another big post office next to the railway station, open M-F 07:30-18:00 and Sat 08:00-16:00.

Stay safeEdit

 
Mines are still hidden in the forests around Sarajevo

There are still many minefields and unexploded ordnances in the Sarajevo area and its surrounding suburbs. Never go into damaged buildings (which are really rarely seen) and always stick to paved surfaces avoiding grassy hills that surround the city. Areas that are not cleared are marked by yellow tape or signs, but still not all minefields have been identified due to the lack of resources and the lack of international help. Paved roads are always safe. Crime against foreigners is very rare and the city is safe to visit. (As with any country in former Yugoslavia, be careful not to get into sensitive discussions about politics with people you do not know, but even those can be very educational when you come across a person who's willing to discuss it.) Be aware of pick pockets who usually operate on public transportation vehicles.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has double the traffic fatality rate in Europe as a whole, and Sarajevo has recently seen a few high-profile accidents with pedestrians. Be alert whether driving or crossing the street.

Sarajevo has instituted nighttime water restrictions between 00:00 and 05:00. This is to limit water lost from the city's old and deteriorating leaky pipes. Consider filling up a water bottle in the evening. (Rest assured Sarajevo has safe—indeed extremely high quality—tap water, when it's running.)

There are an incredible number of pickpocketers working in the city and very few police officers patrolling the city. To be honest, police is not seen at all. Pickpocketers are very sloppy and it's pretty easy to spot them, but with that number of people picking the pockets they probably will succeed eventually.

A final point on health and safety is that the air in Sarajevo can be noticeably thick with pollution, so that asthmatics or those with other chest problems may find themselves short of breath a lot of the time, particularly at night. Ensure you have ample medication, just in case.

Avoid areas of the city such as Alipašino Polje, Švrakino and the surrounding areas of the Novi Grad municipality as those are mainly dangerous zones with high crime rates, shootings, violence and poverty. Go there only with locals and not during night time. Anyway it is off the tourist trail and you most likely don't have any reason to even go to those parts of town.


ICEEdit

Stay healthyEdit

  • Water from fountains and taps in Sarajevo is safe to drink, but it may have an unpleasant chlorine odour. The mains supply may be turned off overnight.
  • The main risk to your health, land mines aside, is the strong sunlight. Usual precautions: hat, long-sleeved shirt, seek the shade and apply sun screen.
  • Pharmacies (Apotheka) are dotted around the city. Two handy for Old Town are Al-Hana on Ulika Patka, and Apoteka Baščaršija at Obala Kulina bana 40 by the riverside.
  • 3 General Hospital (Dr Abdulah Nakaš Hospital), Kranjčevićeva 12, +387 33 285-100, . Only if it's serious.

RespectEdit

Ramadan

Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month in the Islamic calendar and lasts 29–30 days. Muslims fast every day for its duration and most restaurants will be closed until the fast breaks at dusk. Nothing (including water and cigarettes) is supposed to pass through the lips from dawn to sunset. Non-Muslims are exempt from this, but should still refrain from eating or drinking in public as this is considered very impolite. Working hours are decreased as well in the corporate world. Exact dates of Ramadan depend on local astronomical observations and may vary somewhat from country to country. Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which may last several days, usually three in most countries.

  • 24 April – 23 May 2020 (1441 AH)
  • 13 April – 12 May 2021 (1442 AH)
  • 2 April – 1 May 2022 (1443 AH)
  • 23 March – 20 April 2023 (1444 AH)

If you're planning to travel to Sarajevo during Ramadan, consider reading Travelling during Ramadan.

Cultural heritage from the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and most recently Yugoslav periods has been assimilated into modern Sarajevo as a multicultural, multireligious metropole. Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Jews share the city, and as such, common sense regarding respect towards people of these religious backgrounds should be upheld. Even the younger generation is on average very religious in comparison to other European capitals, although not all religious traditions may be followed equally strictly. For example, young Muslims may choose to drink wine, but refuse pork meat, while older Muslims likely refuse both. Keep this in mind when offering presents to your host family. When visiting mosques, skin-covering clothing should be worn, and women should wear a veil covering their hair. At the most touristic mosques, veils will be available to visitors for this purpose.

Although the Bosnian War ended with a UN enforced cease fire, the underlying conflicts between the different ethnic groups in Sarajevo are far from resolved. Many inhabitants have survived the siege of the city from 1992-95, and almost everyone has lost relatives and/or friends in the conflict. Strong anti-Serb sentiments may be present among the Bosniak population, and scars from the war are left in memory. While the war is not a taboo subject, as evidenced by the many memorials and museums scattered around the city, it remains a sensitive topic that easily brings up negative memories, if addressed uncomprehendingly. Aside from anti-Serb sentiments, many also feel dismay or anger towards the United Nations, which are blamed for the Srebrenica massacre and inadequate protection of Sarajevo citizens during the Siege.

There is an ongoing dispute between Bosnian unionists and Serb separatists, striving for the independence of Republika Srpska. Since some neighborhoods of Sarajevo are on the territory of Republika Srpska, opinions will vary depending on where you ask in the city. The political situation in Sarajevo in particular is complex, and outsiders taking a position may be accused of uninformed interference in internal Bosnian affairs. In general, it is advised to abstain from discussing politics, unless your conversation partner brings up the topic him/herself and asks for your opinion.

CopeEdit

EmbassiesEdit

Go nextEdit

  • Konjic, 43 km southwest of Sarajevo, has Tito's enormous bunker, and white-water trips down the River Neretva.
  • Jablanica, 20 km west of Konjic, has a notable necropolis, and railway bridge scene of the Battle of Neretva.
  • Mostar, 30 km south of Jablanica, has a picturesque old bridge and Ottoman centre. You come this way to reach the Adriatic coast.
  • Belgrade the capital of Serbia, 200 km northeast of Sarajevo, is a lively cosmopolitan city.


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