City Guide For Sarajevo
A stunning and natural setting, with some of the most beautiful places to visit is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo.
The place has a wonderful, yet, at some times, slightly turbulent history. It is a busy city situated across the Miljacka River, against the misty backdrop of the Dinaric Alps.
You will find Islamic, Orthodox, Catholic, and Judaic influence in the community. The population of the city is around 527,000 and all the traditions and communities exist side by side.
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So, here’s a little tour of the city through our eyes.
Things To Do While in the City:
● Visit Bascarsija
Bascarsija is an old, historic downtown area, is a must visit place in Sarajevo. It is an exciting maze of winding alleys and boasts of some of the most iconic architectural monuments in the city.
You will find a multitude of traditional cafes with outdoor seating to enjoy your coffee.
You can also explore the range of copperware from the local market.
● Sarajevo’s Religious Sites
This city is famous for its religious diversity. Due to the influence of various cultures on religious beliefs, there are diverse religious sites in the city.
This city is often referred to as the “Jerusalem of Balkan” or “Jerusalem of Europe”. Various mosques, synagogues and cathedrals crowd this city.
● Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was a monarchic union that existed for 52 years and dissolved in 1918.
This realm included Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with several other European countries.
If you are visiting this place, you must experience the Austro-Hungarian heritage, including the Presidential Palace and the Town Hall.
● Gallery 11/07/95
This gallery packs stories of several broken lives, detailing the narratives of the Srebrenica massacre victims through photographs and documentaries.
This disaster shook the whole country. If you want to grasp the scale of this disaster, you need to make time to visit this gallery.
(P.S. We recommend having an audio guide while visiting this gallery.)
Take a Serbrenica day tour from Sarajevo
● Latin Bridge
The bridge might not be the most important landmark of the city, but the events that took place right here almost a century ago in 1914 led to the beginning of WWI.
You can visit the exact location where Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia were assassinated on that decisive day.
● Gazi-Husrev Beg Mosque
Located in the heart of Sarajevo’s historic city, Bascarsija, Gazi-Husrev is one of the religious monuments that is still in operation.
This building is a fine example of Ottoman architecture, and its well-kept courtyard is an escape from the busy outskirts of the town.
● Sarajevo Brewery
The brewery, which is dated back to 1854, is one of the first establishments that started the industrial production of beer in Sarajevo.
You can visit the museum or arrange a tour of the brewery to complement a visit to Pivara’s very first restaurant.
● Svrzo House
To gain a better understanding of the Bosnian lifestyle of historical times, you can visit this wonderful household, preserved as a home turned into a museum.
This place provides an intricate understanding of what a Muslim house would’ve looked like, if you visited it in the late 18th or 19th century.
Buy entrance ticket to Svrzo House
● Zuta Tabija (Yellow Fortress)
This bastion itself is not much of a tourist location, but the secrets hidden beneath are a sight to behold.
Take a walk uphill from Sarajevo’s historic town, passing sobering cemeteries of those who died in the Bosnian War, and you can reach the Sole Open cafe’s unbeatable vistas.
● Sebilj Brunnen (Fountain)
This fountain is a landmark of the old city, which has seen a lot of good and bad things in the past few centuries.
This place is always crowded and busy. On Ramadan, the crowd is here till even as late as 2 AM.
Travellers who are wandering around the town are most likely to stumble upon this landmark on their way around. You can drink the water from this fountain.
● Inat Kuka
Inat Kuka is one of the oldest and the most authentic restaurants in Sarajevo, serving traditional cuisine..
The restaurant is located in a historic building, across the bridge from the old town hall.
Whenever you visit this place, make sure to try Bosanki lonac, hearty lamb, and vegetable stew, or you could choose from the range of other Bosnian specialities, off the extensive menu.
The ambience of the place is elevated by the traditional music played (sevdalinka).
● Apetit Restaurant
The personal aesthetic of this restaurant is one of the biggest specialities of this place. You’ll find many locals as well as tourists eating at this restaurant.
There is an open kitchen so you can directly interact with the chef who recreates the entire menu every single day, based on the local, fresh ingredients available.
Choose from a set menu or let yourself get surprised by the chef.
● Cakum Pakum
Walking into this restaurant will feel exactly like walking into a vintage shop. This place is filled with antiques, old leather suitcases, and various retro-themed decorations.
Along with this ambience, the taste of food is also something you’ll remember and cherish forever. There are a variety of cuisines available, but Italian is their main focus.
● Mala Kuhinja
This restaurant has a unique way of serving your meals. You won’t find menus here like any other restaurant. You will have a one-on-one conversation with a waiter to tell them your preferences and your likes and dislikes.
Based on this conversation, the staff will suggest something for you to eat, and fresh food is prepared right in front of your eyes, using local ingredients .
● Buregdzinica Bosna
Burek is a must-try fast food item on this list. If you are going to Sarajevo, you shouldn’t leave without tasting this fantastic dish.
The establishment we are talking about serves the best Burek in town. You can choose any stuffing and customise the Burek according to your preferences, Order yoghurt to be served as a side.
Located right in the heart of Sarajevo, Bazeni is a family-owned restaurant with a unique and unusual setting by the water.
You can enjoy your meals while overlooking the whole town. The quality of food is excellent for the price. It is one of the best locations to have lunch in the neighbourhood.
● Restoran Dveri
This is another restaurant serving traditional cuisines. As a tourist, you should go and check out the traditional dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.
You’ll find that the portions served in these restaurants are rather large and the service is very warm.
There is an extensive range of local wines available, and you can choose from a range of various lunch and dinner options.
● Bosanca Kuca
Bosanca Kuka is a traditional restaurant serving a range of various mouthwatering dishes. This restaurant is known for its seafood.
This seafood is ordered and imported on a daily basis to ensure that everything that is served at the restaurant is fresh.
High-quality fish, crabs, mussels, chicken, and chicken and veal combined vegetable dishes are the prominent items on the menu.
Vinoteka offers beautifully presented Italian dishes from an innovative menu.
Meals are served inside the authentic wine cellar and at Fresco dining, it is made possible at the enclosed veranda during summer.
Try taking a Bosnian Cooking Lesson
or book a Gourmet Food and City tour
Where To Shop?
Sarajevo has everything to offer for the shopaholics. You can buy anything, from local garments to modern and high-end clothing items. You can get things for every room in your house. So make sure you leave enough room in your luggage for your shopping needs.
● Pijaca Markale
You will be surprised to know that what is now a prime destination in Sarajevo for shopping, once faced a brutal attack during the siege of Sarajevo.
Even though the place has completely evolved, the evidence of these horrendous events are imprinted at the back of the wall of the market, to serve as a reminder of the turbulent history of the town.
● City Centre
The newest, modern addition to the shopping locations of Sarajevo, this is one of the best places if you just love wandering through shops and looking at different things.
It is a bright shopping mall with a variety of different shops (both local and international) to cater to all your shopping needs.
There are numerous cafes and restaurants spread across the mall.
● Gazi-Husrev Beg’s Bezistan
The environment of this place can not be defined in words. If you ever visit this place, you’ll understand what we are talking about.
Housed inside a wonderful, centuries-old building, the Gazi-Husrev Beg’s Bezistan is one of the best destinations if you want to experience traditional shopping .
There are a variety of goods sold at this place, but the apparent emphasis is on the jewellery and leather items.
Apart from that, you can find souvenirs, accessories, and clothing as well.
● Ferhadija Pedestrian Street
This is one of the places where the essence of Austro-Hungarian heritage remains immortalised.
Once you start walking along this street, you’ll notice various boutiques, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
This street is famous for modern shopping, as well as for the fact that you can clearly see the flow of this area as it transition from the old part of the town to the new part.
● Baklava Shop
If you go shopping to eat, this is the place for you. Bosnia is the only one claiming the invention of dessert, Baklava since many centuries.
Baklava is a pastry made out of filo dough, drenched in honey syrup and often served with nuts for crunch.
These pastry taste like heaven and there are often multiple varieties from which you can choose. Boxes of Baklava will make perfect, mouthwatering gifts for your friends and family.
Spajz is a store that gathers items made from small manufacturers all over the world. So it is like a local market for a global platform.
The ware is organic, additive-free, and eco-friendly. You can get edible items here as well. But it is mostly famous for souvenir shopping.
● Kalajdzisalihovic Design
If you are looking for local style footwear or Turkish style slippers or mules, then you are at the right place.
You can visit Ahmed Kalajdzisalihovic design shop. This business dates back to 1822 and it has the most extensive collection of beautifully designed footwear.
This footwear is now exported throughout Europe.
Sarajevo International Airport
The International airport of tow is around 12 km away from central Sarajevo. The best way to travel from the airport to the town is to get a pre-arranged travel bus, minivan, or taxi.
The taxi stand is located near terminal B. You can also opt for local travel like a bus or a trolleybus.
Taxis are the best option to travel throughout the city. But if you want to experience the local life of the city, you should go for local transport.
There are various local transport options like minibuses, buses, trolley buses, which you can use to explore the city. You can obtain the schedule for these buses from the Internet.
That was it, as far as it being your tour guide for the city is concerned. But if you want to explore the city for its true essence, you could take the assistance of the locals. They know the city better than anyone else.
You can hire a local guide for help. Or even better, you can ask for directions and can go to the places they suggest.
Make sure whenever you go to Sarajevo, you explore the historical significance and its effect on the modern culture of the city. You must visit all the places that embody the essence of religious diversity.
Understanding the roots of Sarajevo should be our main goal while touring this city, especially given all the historic monuments.
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