What to do in Sarajevo?

…European cultural Jerusalem and gastronomical Mecca…

Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a rich history and a unique blend of cultures, and is known for its diverse and delicious cuisine, making it an exciting destination for travelers. Here are some things you can do in Sarajevo.

Explore the Old Town

Narrow streets and alleys of the Sarajevo old town

The Old Town of Sarajevo, known as Baščaršija, is a must-visit destination. The narrow streets and alleys of the old town are filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can find traditional Bosnian souvenirs, try local food and sweets, and enjoy the atmosphere of the old town.

Visit historic landmarks

Sarajevo City Hall, also known as the Vijećnica, the building which houses the National and University Library of Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sarajevo has a rich history, and there are many historic landmarks you can visit. Some of the popular ones include the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, the Sarajevo City Hall, and the Latin Bridge, which is where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, an event that sparked the First World War.

Learn about the Siege of Sarajevo

Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum displays a tunnel dug during the Bosnian War & Sarajevo siege, used to smuggle supplies and people into the city.

Sarajevo was under siege for 1,425 days during the Bosnian War. You can learn about the siege by visiting the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum, the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide 1992-1995, the Memorial Cemetery Kovaci and Markale.

Enjoy the local cuisine

A Bosnian meat pie

Sarajevo is known for its delicious food, which combines influences from Ottoman, Austrian, and Mediterranean cuisine. Some popular dishes to try include cevapi (grilled meat served with pita bread), Bosnia pie (a savory pastry filled with meat or cheese), and dolma (stuffed vegetables).

Take in the views

A cable car above the city of Sarajevo on it’s way to mountain Trebević

Sarajevo is surrounded by hills and mountains, and there are many places where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. Some popular viewpoints include the Yellow Fortress, Trebević Mountain which can be reached by scenic cable car ride,

Or stay at the place with the view

View from Sarajevo Tower 24th floor apartment

Sarajevo Tower 24th floor apartment is located on the 24th floor of a residential and commercial building with a recognizable view of Sarajevo Tower. The western orientation of the apartment provides a unique view of the new parts of Sarajevo, with an unforgettable sunset. Sarajevo Tower is centrally located between the Old Town on one side and Ilidza on the other, making it a perfect central location for exploring both historical landmarks and natural beauty that surrounds the city of Sarajevo. More…

Attend cultural events

Sarajevo Film Festival Open Air Programme offers the first-class film achievements to the satisfaction of the most demanding film fans. Every night, this attractive programme offers an unforgettable experience of watching films in Open Air Cinema, under the stars on the biggest screen in the region and at top projection quality.

Sarajevo is a cultural hub, and there are many events throughout the year, including the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Sarajevo Winter Festival. Check out the program at the Sarajevo National Theater, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, or the Jazz Fest Sarajevo to see what’s on offer.

Experience Sarajevo’s nightlife

Great atmosphere in the club Cinemas Sloga

Sarajevo has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Some of the most popular spots include Sloga, Underground, and Kino Bosna.

Observe, Discover, Learn & Engage in critical thinking in Museums & Galleries in Sarajevo

The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a cultural institution exhibiting archeological and ethnographic collections.

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the oldest and largest museum in the country, with a collection spanning over 3 million artifacts. The museum is housed in a beautiful Austro-Hungarian building and features exhibits on Bosnian and Herzegovinian history, culture, and natural history.

History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the city center and offers exhibits on the history of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum is housed in a beautiful Ottoman-era building and is a great place to learn about the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Svrzo House: The Svrzo House is a traditional Bosnian house located in the city center that has been preserved as a museum. The house offers a glimpse into the daily life of a wealthy Sarajevan family in the 18th and 19th centuries, with exhibits on traditional Bosnian architecture, furniture, and clothing.

Gazi Husrev-bey’s Museum: The Gazi Husrev-bey’s Museum is located in the city center and offers a fascinating look at the life and legacy of Gazi Husrev-bey, a prominent Ottoman-era statesman and philanthropist. The museum is housed in a beautiful Ottoman-era building and features exhibits on Islamic art, calligraphy, and religious artifacts.

Jewish Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Jewish Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the city center and features exhibits on the history of the Jewish community in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The museum is housed in a historic synagogue and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the city’s Jewish heritage.

The Museum of Illusion in Sarajevo is an interactive museum featuring exhibits and installations that challenge perception and stimulate the mind.

Galerija 11/07/95: This gallery is dedicated to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and features powerful and moving exhibits that tell the story of the tragedy. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Bosnia’s recent history.

Experience natural beauties near Sarajevo

A natural park, Vrelo Bosne, featuring a spring, walking trails, and wildlife.

There are several natural beauties around Sarajevo that are definitely worth a visit like Vrelo Bosne (a beautiful park, home to a natural spring, walking trails, picnic areas, and wildlife), Skakavac Waterfall (a beautiful waterfall is located about 12 km from Sarajevo and is one of the highest waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Lukomir Village (a traditional Bosnian village located in the mountains near Sarajevo. The village is home to several historic stone houses and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside), or Bijambare Caves (a limestone caves are located about 30 minutes’ drive from Sarajevo and offer a unique underground adventure).

Take a day trip to the Olympic Mountains

Olympic Mountain Bjelašnica during winter time

Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, and the nearby Olympic Mountains, Bjelašnica, Jahorina & Igman offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region. You can also enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities in the summer.

Or a day trip to nearby places

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Bridge in Mostar

Explore Mostar, a beautiful city known for its stunning bridge and charming Old Town, visit the Kravice Waterfalls, a series of cascading waterfalls, a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking, visit the old town of Travnik, the town known for its beautiful Ottoman-era architecture, including the historic fortress and clock tower, the Sutjeska National Park, a stunning wilderness area, home to the tallest mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Maglić, as well as beautiful lakes, forests, and wildlife, or Visoko, the small town is located about 30 minutes’ drive from Sarajevo known for its mysterious pyramids, which some believe to be the oldest and largest man-made structures on Eart.

These are just a few of the many things you can do in Sarajevo. The city has a lot to offer, from its rich history and culture to its stunning natural scenery and delicious cuisine. There is so much to see and do in this vibrant city, and I would highly recommend exploring some of the off-the-beaten-path sights to get a more authentic and unique experience.

Facts about Sarajevo that few know

The city of burek, baklava, ćevapi, good music, and warm people. These are all associations with the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but did you know that Sarajevo was the most developed city at the end of the 19th century? And that the first shopping center was opened here?

  1. Sarajevo had public lighting as early as 1895.
  2. The city had an electric tramway in the same year, which was a rarity worldwide at that time.
  3. Sarajevo had its own water supply before Vienna: the capital of Austria got its first water supply in 1870, while Sarajevo’s founder, Isa-beg Isaković, began building the city’s first water supply, which would have a network almost 55 km long by the early 18th century.
  4. The first public toilet was built in Sarajevo in 1526 in Kovači, and the second in 1529 near the Begova Mosque.
  5. The Zemaljski Museum in Sarajevo houses the Hagaddah, a Jewish illuminated manuscript created in the 14th century in northern Spain that survived the Inquisition and all wars.
  6. The Begova Mosque was the first mosque in the world to have electric lighting.
  7. The Gazi Husrev-beg Library in Sarajevo is the oldest public library in Bosnia and Herzegovina, operating continuously since its founding in 1537.
  8. The main city in Bosnia and Herzegovina got its first shopping center, the Bezistan, which still exists today, in 1540.
  9. The first café in Sarajevo was opened in the 16th century, right after the first café in Istanbul.
  10. Sarajevo is also called the “European Jerusalem,” where all monotheistic religions live together in a small area.
  11. Staka Skenderova was the first female teacher in Sarajevo who opened the first school for girls in the 19th century.
  12. The Sarajevo Assassination – the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie – was the immediate cause of World War I.
  13. The only city belonging to a communist country where the Winter Olympics had been held, the 14th edition, in 1984.
  14. The Bosnian capital has the earliest beginnings of modern tourism in the former Yugoslavia, which began in 1879 with the first organized provision of tourist services.
  15. Sarajevo is surrounded by Olympic mountains, and skiing is only a 40-minute drive away.
  16. The “Eternal Flame” monument to military and civilian victims of World War II, built-in 1946, was only extinguished during the 1990s war due to a shortage of fuel.
  17. The National Theater in Sarajevo was built only three years after World War I, in 1921.
  18. Sarajevo is home to the Sahat-kula, the only public clock in the world that measures lunar time.
  19. Sarajevo was one of the most modern cities of its time at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries because everything was built according to the highest existing standards.
  20. The word Sarajevo comes from the Turkish compound “saray ovasi,” which means “palace and the field around the palace.”

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