12 Feb 8 Things To Do In Sarajevo
8 Things To Do In Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in the Balkans with a past that includes periods of independence, occupation by neighboring countries, as well as Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian rule. It has accumulated countless remnants of its long and rich history, most evident in its capital city of Sarajevo – the Jerusalem of Europe. If you are planning on visiting Sarajevo, this article will give you an overview of many of the things to do there.
1. Try Bosnian Coffee
First things first, you have got to start your day with a nice cup of coffee. Not the Starbucks lattes that you are probably all too familiar with, though. Instead, this is a great opportunity to try some Bosnian coffee which is served in many cafés, especially in the Old Town district. Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sarajevo in particular, have quite the coffee culture. The locals have developed their own unique brand of coffee, a slightly stronger variation on Turkish coffee. We are sure that Bosnian coffee which will kickstart your day.
2. Explore the Old Town
Now that you have had your coffee, you are ready to start exploring Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s centuries-old bazaar located in the Old Town. Dating all the way back to the fifteenth century, Baščaršija has retained a lot of its Ottoman influence. All of this is seen in its cobblestone roads and countless handmade copperware and haberdashery shops. In the center of Baščaršija square is the Sebilj – the iconic wooden fountain that has become a symbol of the city. Only a couple of minutes away from the eastern end of the Ottoman-styled Baščaršija is the Sarajevo City Hall (Vijećnica) – one of the most important examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture. Following its destruction in the Bosnian war and subsequent renovation, it has become a national monument and a popular tourist attraction.
3. Visit the Many Religious Sites
More important than just these various architectural styles is the role of Sarajevo as a center of cultural and religious diversity. The best part is that you won’t need to venture far from Baščaršija to see why it is often called the Jerusalem of Europe. In Baščaršija itself is the Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque, built in the sixteenth century. Not five minutes away is the Old Temple, a synagogue about a half-century younger than the Gazi-Husrev Beg Mosque, which has been turned into the Jewish Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A short walk away is the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Orthodox Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos, within hailing distance from each other.
4. Take in the History
Other places worth putting on a list of things to do and see are the White Fortress and the Yellow Bastion overlooking the city. Of course, one cannot forget the Latin Bridge where Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, starting one of the bloodiest wars in history – World War I. Near the site of the assassination is the Sarajevo Museum 1878-1918, which portrays Sarajevo during the Austro-Hungarian period. The National Museum and the Historical Museum are a bit farther away, in the New Sarajevo district. If you get tired from all the walking, you’re in luck because Caffe Tito is a minute’s walk away. It is a café dedicated to the communist President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito, and it features many photographs and memorabilia from that period. All of these places can be visited while on our Sarajevo Walking tour – tour of Old Town Sarajevo.
5. Try Bosnian Food
You have probably worked up quite the appetite from all this walking through Sarajevo Old Town. So now is the perfect time to try some ćevapi. Ćevapi is a variation on the kebab popular in the countries of the Balkans. Although this dish is served throughout the country, Sarajevo variation is unique with the types of meat and spices. It is a meal you won’t soon forget. This is just our favorite, but Bosnian cuisine offers many more delectable dishes for you to try.
6. Take a Stroll in Nature
Besides its many architectural and historical attractions, Sarajevo also has many natural landmarks. Probably the most popular of these in the spring of the river Bosna, located on the far west end of the city. The park can be entered by foot via the 3-kilometer-long main avenue, or better yet, by horse-carriage. Vrelo Bosne is filled with beautiful natural sights and crisscrossing streams. The park provides a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. On the other end of the city is another natural landmark – the walkway Dariva. Dariva is the site along which you will find the fabled Goat’s Bridge.
7. Take a Ride to the Olympic Mountain
Of course, we have to mention the Sarajevo cable car, an aerial lift connecting the Old Town with the mountain Trebević. The 2.2-kilometer ride will give you a stunning view of the entire city. In addition to its natural attractions, you will be able to explore the old bobsled track used in the 1984 Olympics.
8. Visit Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope
You cannot visit Sarajevo without visiting the most important landmark of the past war of 90’s. Tunnel of Hope was the only connection of besieged Sarajevo with the outside world. It was build during the war in 93′ and had enormous significance for people living under the siege. Part of the tunnel is open for visiting so you can feel how it was to pass through it. Definitely a must do when in Sarajevo !
There are surely many more things to do and see in Sarajevo. But hopefully, this article have given you some ideas of what to do when you visit this beautiful city.