- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
For most people, the word “Bosnia” conjures up memories of the heart-breaking footage during the 1990s Bosnian War. And beyond that, most people know little else about this mysterious country.
That’s why visiting the ethnically diverse Bosnia and Herzegovina is bound to be an eye-opening experience. Situated in southeastern Europe, this exotic land is 40 percent Muslim, 31 percent Orthodox, and 15 percent Roman Catholic.
The landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina is embellished with mountainous terrain, medieval villages, and Muslim and Christian architecture.
Sarajevo is a fascinating city to visit. Be prepared to be blown away by this ethnically diverse city and its friendly people!
Here are some reasons to visit Sarajevo.
It's an excellent starting point
Sarajevo is located in the heart of Southeastern Europe and is an excellent starting point when taking in the entire region. Only 126 kilometers further south is the seat of Herzegovina – sunny Mostar – whose symbol, the Old Bridge, is included on UNESCO’s list of protected cultural monuments. Fascinating Dubrovnik, a living museum on the coast, is 239 kilometers from Sarajevo; and Split, the main city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, is 246 kilometers from Sarajevo. The distance between Sarajevo and regional capital cities is as follows: 293 kilometers from Belgrade, Serbia; 405 kilometers from Zagreb, Croatia and 231 kilometers from Podgorica, Montenegro.
Excellent value for the money
Sarajevo finds itself at the very top of lists of European capital cities where visitors can certainly get a good value for their money. Whether it’s accommodation, purchasing souvenirs, taking interesting tours around town, visiting attractions, eating delicious meals in quality restaurants with spectacular views, spending an evening in one of the top clubs, looking for wellness treatments and health services or having unforgettable weekends in some of the ski resorts near town, Sarajevo is sure to surprise visitors with the superb quality they can enjoy for the money.
A unique cultural mix
For several hundred years, the borders of two great empires, the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian, which represented the two poles of the world at that time – East and West, Islamic and Christian – met in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This made the country and its capital a crossroads for different worlds – a place where Orient met Occident in the heart of the Balkans. Sarajevo is one of those rare cities where, during a ten-minute walk, you can see places of worship for the world’s most important monotheistic religions: Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues and mosques. All of these traditions have given Sarajevo a specific aroma and a particular cultural mix.
An ideal size
Sarajevo is large enough that there is a lot to see and experience, yet also small and compact enough to get wherever you want on foot. The best way to take in nearly all of Sarajevo’s attractions is on foot, as most of them are only a few kilometers from one another. It’s also the best way to discover the charm of the narrow streets in the old part of town, as well as the beauty of Sarajevo’s many façades, which are decorated with fascinating bas-reliefs. If walking is not really your thing, don’t worry – the taxi rates here are among the most inexpensive in Europe, so you can use this means of transportation not only to get around town, but also to visit some of the nearby picnic grounds.
Delicious and organic food
Mornings in Sarajevo traditionally start with Bosnian coffee, which is served in small copper pots (džezve). For lunch, you have a choice of wines that are produced in the many vineyards of Herzegovina, including authentic grape varieties such as Žilavka and Blatina, and evening entertainment would be almost unthinkable without Sarajevsko Pivo (beer) from the local brewery which has been in operation since 1888. Traditional food is both delicious and organic. Ćevabdžinice serve ćevapčiće, small, grilled ground meat rolls served in flat bread (somun); aščinice have a rich selection of traditional cooked meals and in buregdžinice you can choose from among some Bosnian pitas (pies).