If you are thinking of traveling to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, you are in the right place. When we look at the historical administrations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of which Sarajevo was the capital, the Ottoman Empire between 1461-1878, the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1878-1918, the Serbian, Croat and Slovenian State in 1918, the Serbian, Croat, Slovenian Kingdom between 1918-1929, It was governed by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1929 to 1941, by Croatia from 1941 to 1945, and by SFR Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1992.
Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a city established on the valley, mostly on the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and partly in the Republika Srpska. Sarajevo, one of the most historical and interesting cities in Europe, is located at the point where the Western and Eastern Roman Empires were separated. Sarajevo came to the forefront as the “Jerusalem of the Balkans” when Catholic, Western Roman, Orthodox, Eastern Roman and later the Ottoman Empire were added to it.
The city was also called “Damascus of the North” during the Ottoman Empire. The diversity of the city is harmony Despite everything, Sarajevo blends multiculturalism with peace and tolerance and shines as a beacon of hope in the region. You can feel the religious diversity in daily life in the city, which is not very big. you can see in between.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose name has always been remembered for the pain caused by the Bosnian War between 1992-1995, transforms a little more every year and rises from its ashes. Political and economic developments directly affect the social environment of the country. You can feel the friendliness of people in Sarajevo, a cosmopolitan European capital. The city, where the crime rate is very low, is shown as the safest region in South East Europe.
The country, whose name is always remembered for the pain left behind by the war, is now waiting to complete the conditions for EU membership and to become a member of the European Union, just like Croatia, another part of the former Yugoslavia.
The proportion of young population in the city is quite high. However, the unemployment rate is also high. Young people have a very positive attitude towards foreign investors coming to the country. It is believed that the unemployment rate will decrease with the arrival of foreign investors. Women are very active in business life.
Where Is Sarajevo?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Sarajevo. Sarajevo is located in the central part of triangular Bosnia and Herzegovina, a little closer to the east. Located in the middle of the Dinare Alps, Sarajevo is approximately 520 meters above sea level. It covers an area of 141.5 square kilometers. Built on the Sarajevo Valley, the city is surrounded by five important mountains. The mountains are: Treskavica, Bjelašnica, Jahorina, Trebević and Igman.
When To Go To Sarajevo?
Sarajevo experiences all four seasons. With warm or hot summers and very cold winters, four different seasons make themselves felt. Since Sarajevo is in a mountainous area, winters can be much colder in this city than in other capitals in the region. For example; Do not be surprised if you witness snowfall in mid-October or after May.
It is useful to prepare your travel bag, knowing that it may snow in these months, albeit rarely. The autumn season is also mostly cool. In Sarajevo, which has an altitude of 520 meters, autumn is usually foggy and less sunny.
The heat of summer makes itself felt exactly in July. In July and August, the temperature ranges from 34 to 38 degrees Celsius on average. The lowest average temperature in these months is measured as 25 degrees Celsius. The cool air after August is the harbinger of the autumn season, but you should wait until the end of October for a real autumn weather.
In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, winter reminds itself with the cold of November. In December, January and February, the air temperature reaches minus 20 degrees Celsius. Normally, however, the air temperature is between minus 10 and minus 15 degrees Celsius. Winters in Sarajevo sometimes last even 5 months.
The spring season is mostly warm, but don’t forget to be prepared for cold weather waves that may come in late March and early April. Visiting Sarajevo in May or June can make your holiday more enjoyable.
Best Places To Visit In Sarajevo
We have compiled for you the most important places that should not be missed in Sarajevo. You can explore Sarajevo in about 2-3 days. In this city, which is famous for its museums, mosques, churches and bazaars, you will also be able to see the most beautiful state of cultural diversity, namely East and West. Because of this diversity, Sarajevo has been called the “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. It was also called the “Damascus of the North” during the Ottoman Empire period due to its lively city life.
Sarajevo is a fairly small city, but all the must-see sights are worth mentioning. That’s why we have compiled the 10 most touristic addresses for you. By the way, we recommend that you make time for Mostar, which is about two hours from Sarajevo. On the way to Mostar, which is famous for its bridge, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, you can also stop by the Blagaj Lodge on the way, where you can see the source of the Buna River.
Sarajevo even stands out as the most touristic center of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Known as the old bazaar of Sarajevo and the historical and cultural center of the city, Bascarsija was founded in the 15th century when Isa-Bey Isakovic was building the city.
Bascarsija, considered the center of Sarajevo, is a typical example of the Ottoman Empire’s understanding of urbanism. In Başçarşı, all the elements that make up the traditional Ottoman bazaars are found together. In the main square there is a fountain shaped fountain, Sabil, with its Bosnian name, one of Sarajevo’s most recognizable symbols. There is also a restaurant and cafe next to the shop in the bazaar. The activity in the bazaar, where shops open at 8 o’clock, continues until night hours.
While you’re all the way to Bascarsija, there is one more important thing to do here. Be sure to try Bosnian pastry in one of the pastries you will come across in the bazaar. Answer, known as Balkan meatballs, is among the flavors that should be tried. The best address for this is Zeljo, which is also located in Başçarşı.
Gazi Husrev Memorial Mosque
Due to the influence of the Ottoman and Islamic religions, mosques were built in many parts of Sarajevo. Gazi Hüsrev Yadigâr Mosque also draws attention as one of the important mosques in Sarajevo. The mosque, also known as the Bey Mosque, is one of the most outstanding works of Ottoman architecture, and it was built by Mimar Sinan in 1531 by the Bosnian Sanjak Bey Gazi Hüsrev Bey.
Gazi Husrev Bey had the same mosque built in Aleppo in Syria or Bilecik in Turkey between 1531 and 1534. Built in the 16th century, it is the largest historical mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the most outstanding Ottoman buildings in the Balkans. Gazi Hüsrev Yadigar, the largest mosque in Sarajevo and even in Bosnia and Herzegovina, completed in a short time, is one of the main Ottoman structures in the Balkans.
The Sarajevo Tunnel is one of many structures describing the hardships during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also known as Spasa Tunnel and Hope Tunnel.
Established between March and June 1993 to connect Sarajevo, which was under siege, to the airport in the middle of the Bosnian War, this tunnel was used during the war for food, humanitarian aid and ammunition to reach the city and for people to leave the city. Today, it welcomes visitors as a museum.
The tunnel, which is 1 meter wide, 160 centimeters high and 800 meters long, was used by an average of 1000 people per day during the war period. Sarajevo Tunnel receives visitors between 9 am and 5 pm every day of the week. Sarajevo Tunnel is one of the must-visit locations in order to know the experiences of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina who found themselves in a brutal war in the recent history.
It is one of the few houses opened as a museum in Sarajevo. Established during the Ottoman Empire, Svrzo House attracts attention as a historical and cultural structure in Sarajevo. The House of Svrzo, which dates from the period when the Ottoman Empire ruled the region, was divided into separate rooms for men, women and servants. The house, which is extremely well preserved, is entirely made of wood. In recent years, it is seen that wooden structures are not preferred much in the region.
The historical building serves as a branch of the Sarajevo Museum. Located on Glođina 8 street, the museum is open to visitors on other days of the week except Sundays. Svrzo’s House can be visited from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday.
National Museum Of Bosnia And Herzegovina
Sarajevo is gaining importance as one of the most well-equipped museums in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the center of the capital Sarajevo. The historical building, founded in 1888, is located on the 3rd street of Zmaja od Bosne.
The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered great damage during the war between 1992-1995 and the museum director, Dr. It is known that Rizo Sijaric died in an explosion on 10 December 1993, while trying to obtain materials to close the holes in the building during the war years.
The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is closed on Monday, is open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. All kinds of items related to nature and history in Bosnia and Herzegovina are exhibited in the museum.
Bosnia And Herzegovina History Museum
The Museum, which was not closed even during the war years between 1992-1995, was closed in 2012 for financial reasons. During this period, many diplomats, clergy and non-governmental organization officials supported the campaigns launched for the reopening of the museum. Bosnia and Herzegovina History Museum contains more than 340 thousand historical artifacts related to the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Located on the 5th street of Zmaja od Bosne, the museum accepts visitors every day of the week.
The History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be visited between 9 am and 7 pm. Bosnia and Herzegovina History Museum, which is a large museum, contains many historical artifacts as well as artifacts related to the recent Bosnian War. The museum is still under maintenance, but if you are interested in the recent history of Bosnia, you should definitely stop by here.
The bazaar, which was established in 1551 to sell silk in the Middle Ages, still attracts the attention of shopping enthusiasts. Apart from the bazaar where the shops are located, there is also a history museum in the building. The covered bazaar, located on Abadžiluk 10 street, is open to visitors on other days of the week except Sundays. Bedesten, which is a very beautiful structure with Ottoman style, is a small Turkish bazaar with its products and design. If you want to buy souvenirs or gifts from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo, this may be your first choice.
The Latin Bridge is an arch-shaped bridge that sits above the Miljacka River that runs through Sarajevo. The bridge, which is open only to pedestrians, draws attention with its history. The bridge has four arches and three strong columns. Due to heavy traffic in Austro-Hungarian times, the sidewalks of the consoles were included in the vehicle traffic. The Latin Bridge, where it stands today, was built by Hussein, son of Širmed.
Later, this building was renovated in stone by Ali Ajni Bey from Sarajevo. The Sarajevo assassination, also known as the cause of the First World War, was carried out here. Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofie were killed a few meters from here on 28 June 1914. This event is accepted by historians as the beginning of the First World War.
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Sacred Heart Cathedral is known as the largest cathedral in Sarajevo and is called Sarajevo Cathedral. The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart at Trg Fra Grge Martića 2 is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vrhbosna. There is a statue of Pope John Paul II in front of the door of the church, also known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The cathedral was designed and built in gothic architecture by architect Josip Vancaš. In front of the Catholic church, there is an area in a rectangular frame, painted red in places.
This area is called the Roses of War. In the area where these red spots are located, many people lost their lives as a result of air strikes during the war. The historical cathedral is one of the important structures of the cultural diversity and richness of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is very rich in terms of architecture both outside and inside, so do not forget to add this historical building to your list of places to visit.
Transportation In Sarajevo
When you travel to Sarajevo, you should also know how to get there. Since the center of Sarajevo is small, it can be great to explore the city on foot. But keep in mind that even in the city surrounded by mountains and hills, there are hilly roads. For this reason, walking out of the city center can be a bit tiring for you.
Sarajevo public transport is operated by GRAS. GRAS transports passengers in the city by trams and buses. Trams are the most used form of public transport in Sarajevo and are often very crowded. Sarajevo has quite old trams and tram routes alongside new trams. You have to identify the tickets when boarding the tram. In addition, tickets can only be used once. In other words, if you want to transfer between tram and bus, you need to buy a new ticket. Daily tickets are sold for those who use public transportation more frequently.
It is also possible to visit Sarajevo city center by tram. The tram, which moves in the form of a ring, passes through many touristic points such as the City Hall, Bascarsija, Cathedral, museums or the Latin Bridge. But as we mentioned at the beginning, it is recommended to walk around the city center especially.
If you are planning to visit some of the neighborhoods located a little further from the city center, it is recommended to take a taxi because bus and tram services to these areas are not very frequent.
Your trip to Sarajevo continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Sarajevo. Bosnian cuisine is a cuisine where spices are used a lot, but generally spices are used in balanced amounts in meals. Most dishes are light because they are cooked in a lot of water. The sauces of the dishes are completely natural, the sauces are made from the juices of the meat and vegetables cooked in the pot.
Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, dried and green beans, and red pepper are indispensable flavors in traditional Bosnian recipes. In traditional meat dishes, primarily beef and lamb are preferred. Pork is not consumed by Muslims.
With its beautiful, favorable climate, Bosnia has an amazing selection of natural fruits and natural vegetables. Cherry, apricot, nectar, artichoke, avocado, raspberry, walnut, celery are consumed quite a lot. You can visit Ciglane, the city center and Grbavica for food markets and experience the consumption habits of Bosnians on the spot.
The effects of Turkish cuisine are also felt in Bosnian desserts. Baklava is the most famous dessert. Bosnian coffee is also served with Turkish delight, as in Turkish coffee.
Shopping In Sarajevo
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Sarajevo trip with shopping? Sarajevo offers a large number of products produced by local producers. You will have a lot of fun wandering the side streets and main shopping streets of the lively city center with its cute boutiques and workshops. There are nice shops selling books, souvenirs and clothes here that are worth visiting. Apart from the small artisan shops in the city center, there are also big shopping centers and big brands in these centers. You can wander around Bascarsija, Ferhadija, Titova streets and Marijin Dvor in the center and find a suitable gift for yourself and your loved ones. During the tour, you will not be able to take your eyes off the Bosnian handicrafts in Bascarsija. Carpets and handicrafts decorated with local motifs attract the attention of both tourists and local people. Besides clothes and handicrafts, local wine is also among the items to be bought from Sarajevo.
Apart from the shops in the side streets and main streets of the center of Sarajevo, shopping centers also attract attention. Sarajevo’s most popular shopping centers are BBI Center and Sarajevo City Center. Located in the center of the city, BBI Center provides service with many shops and options. Sarajevo City Center also stands out as the largest shopping complex in Sarajevo. This mall is located in Marijin Dvor, where many government institutions and business centers are located.
It is widely believed that the Sarajevo City Center shopping center, which was opened in 2014 and located right across the Alta Shopping Center, is one of the buildings that change the energy and face of the city.
In addition to these, there are many open food markets in the city. You can find organic products, fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers in these markets. Make sure to visit the Markale Market as you wander around the city centre. A few meters from Markale you can also see the city market Tržnica.
When you travel to Sarajevo, do not leave without tasting the nightlife! In Sarajevo nightlife article, we present you the best places to go out and have fun in the nightlife in Sarajevo. Let’s share the tip from the beginning; No one goes out on Sunday evenings, everyone rests at home. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings are the days you should not miss as the atmosphere is great everywhere.
The most important nightclubs are Zlatna Ribica, La Cava, Birtija, The Brew Pub, Kino Bosna, Cafe Barometar, Koktel Bar Que Pasa, Bambus Lounge Club, Mevlana Caffe, Jazz Club Monument, Ma Jaba Bar, City Pub – Mala Otvorena Kulturna Scena , Pink Houdini, Rock & Jazz Club Underground, People’s Cafe, Baghdad Cafe, Mucha Lucha, Caffe Libris, Fildzan Viska, Club Jez, Club Jez.
One night in Sarajevo, you can wander around the city’s bars street and drink coffee, beer, cocktails, wine or juices.
Nightlife in Sarajevo is cheaper than in other cities around. Sarajevo has a good drinking culture. The famous drinks of Sarajevo, in a broader sense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are: Slivovitz made from plums, rakiya made from grapes, orahovaca made from walnuts, visnavaca made from cherries, and local drinks made from apricots can be found in Sarajevo’s bars and nightclubs.
People in Bosnia and Herzegovina revel in celebrations, festivals and annual traditions in every season and month of the year. Sarajevo draws attention with its wide-ranging cultural festivals, namely the latest films, the latest jazz sounds, alternative theater productions… Some of the festivals that take place in Sarajevo are as follows:
Sarajevo Fashion Week:
Sarajevo Fashion Week is held in November every year. Everything you would expect from international fashion weeks is here, too. In addition, handmade Bosnian local clothes worn by Bosnian actors and singers can still be seen today.
This festival is held in February and March and is known as the longest running festival among all Sarajevo festivals. During the festival, which lasts for two months, an event is held every day. The festival includes many types of art.
Kozara Ethno Festival:
Kozara Ethno Festival, held in June or July, lasts for two days. The festival is colored by original ethno songs and music, ethno sound.
International Folklore Festival:
Held in the second half of July, this festival coincides with the Bascarsija Nights. For a week, folk groups come from different corners of the world to perform in Sarajevo.
Write in Vrbas:
Summer in Vrbas is a traditional event and takes place in the second half of July under the walls of Kastel Castle. Writers, actors, cultural-artistic associations and artists also participate in this event.
Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF):
SFF stands out as the biggest festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is held from July to August. Unlike the untouchable glow of Cannes or Venice, this event offers the perfect opportunity to meet both local and international stars. The festival invites you to enjoy the best filmmakers of Southeast Europe.
The Children’s Festival has become a traditional event that all children in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been waiting for. Children’s festival is a unique combination of education and entertainment. Held in June, the Festival hosts more than 20 events and films.
Held in October, this festival shows theater lovers directing, performance, speech, movement, costume, music and other important elements through experimental projects.
Sarajevo Public Holidays
- January 1: New Year
- January 2: New Year (Day 2)
- January 6: Orthodox Christmas Eve
- 7 January: Sunday Orthodox Christmas Day
- March 1: Independence Day
- March 30: Good morning
- April 1: Easter Sunday
- April 2: Easter Monday
- April 6: Orthodox Good Friday
- April 8: Orthodox Easter Sunday
- April 9: Orthodox Easter Monday
- May 1: Labor Day
- May 2: Labor Day (Day 2)
- May 9: Victory Day
- 15 June: Ramadan Feast
- 22 August: Eid-Al-Adha
- November 1: All Saints’ Day
- November 21: Dayton Peace Agreement Day
- December 25: Christmas
Useful Information For Sarajevo
- Fire Brigade: 123
- Police: 122
- Ambulance: 124