Although still perhaps best known for the turmoil of war, much has changed in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With an abundance of history, great food, friendly locals and a unique mixture of Eastern and Western cultures, architecture and religions this “Jerusalem of Europe” is ideal for a long city break. Also easy to get to with many cheap tickets available for flights from other parts of Europe, Sarajevo may not seem like the obvious choice, but check it out before everyone catches on. One can also easily avail cheap tickets from various online travel agents.
Home to around 600,000 people, Sarajevo is nestled in a valley and encircled by the imposing Olympic mountains. A mild continental climate, with average summer temperature of about 20 C and average winter temperature hovering just below freezing make it ideal to visit year round. The Sarajevo public transport system is fast, safe and efficient and is made up of a complex network of trams, trolley buses, buses and mini buses, connecting residents and tourists to all parts of the city. The Sarajevo taxi service is a great alternative, with some of the cheapest taxis in Europe
What to Do
The Old Town
Usually the first port of call for any visitor, Sarajevo’s Old Town is something special. With cobbled streets, eastern style shops and restaurants, mosques, Orthodox Churches and Synagogues, the Old Town shows the city’s diverse history at its best.
Bosnian Historical Museum
Poignant and moving, the display on the siege of Sarajevo is a must see. Heartbreaking photos that tell the sad story of the lives lost in the siege. Closes early at the weekends.
A small (and yellow) fortress that offers great views of the city. To get there walk through the war cemetery or simply follow the river upstream and then take the right turn up to the fortress.
The Sarajevo Tunnel Museum
Located a few kilometres out of the city, this museum houses the tunnel which was used to access the airport during the siege and ferry supplies into the city.
Begova Dzamija (Bey’s Mosque)
One of the biggest and most beautiful mosques in the region , Bey’s mosque is several hundred years old and open to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike (but don’t forget to dress modestly, and ladies must cover their hair)
The Goat Bridge
The first of many bridges on the road from Sarajevo to Constantinople. For centuries the Bosnians have crossed this beautiful stone arch on their way to trade in the mighty Ottoman empire.
This is where the river Bosna begins, only a fifteen minute walk from the city centre. Pure countryside, ice cold water and great views. Ideal for a picnic on a warm day.
The Cemetery at Alifakovac
Bosnian, Bogomil, Orthodox, Islamic and Catholic graves stand together in this remarkable cemetery. Can be a bit of an emotional visit, but the cemetery is a beautiful example of the local architecture and impressive stone-masonry.