I Visited Sarajevo For 4 Days And Was Shocked By What I Experienced

I Visited Sarajevo For 4 Days And Was Shocked By What I Experienced


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Welcome To Sarajevo, The Melting-Pot Of Europe  

The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo is a metropolis with a troubled previous however a really brilliant future. This small Balkan capital is filled with historical past, colourful locals, superb meals, and countless cobblestone alleys to discover.

Recently named a finest worth destination for 2023, the explanations to go to Sarajevo simply continue to grow. I spent 4 days exploring this metropolis and left with a robust impression of not solely Sarajevo, however Bosnia and Herzegovina as an entire. 

Aerial view of city of sarajevo

Sometimes known as the Jerusalem of Europe, Sarajevo is a metropolis of contrasts round each nook. In the identical afternoon, you’ll be able to go to a Mosque, a Synagogue, an Orthodox Church, and a Catholic Church. Turn a nook on this metropolis, and you may see hints of Vienna and Istanbul in its structure and historical past in every single place you look. 

Is It Safe?

The very point out that you’re touring to Sarajevo is likely to be met with some trepidation or fear out of your family members, because it’s identified for its violent previous. While the notorious siege from 1992 -1996 is among the essential issues individuals find out about Sarajevo, at this time, it’s safe to visit.

sarajevo, a stream runs in front of a historic building

The Balkan area is no stranger to politically complex cities, and Sarajevo isn’t any exception. The complexities of the political scenario that led to the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992 are a historical past lesson in itself, so I gained’t get into it right here. There are quite a few assets to study in regards to the longest siege in army historical past and the way it got here to be. A go to to Sarajevo is a historical past lesson in itself, and the various native guides who lived via will probably be your finest option to find out about this main historic occasion. 

So, why did I enterprise to Sarajevo, and what sort of impression did it depart on me? 

Let’s simply say that after an 8-month journey exploring the Balkans, this metropolis was one place that basically caught with me for a lot of causes.

5 Reasons You Should Consider A Trip To Sarajevo 

sarejvo fountain in a square

Historical Importance 

Did you recognize World War I technically began proper within the middle of Sarajevo?

The Latin Bridge in the course of city is the place Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his spouse had been assassinated whereas using in his motorcar. This occasion triggered a political disaster among the many main European superpowers and led to a domino impact of selections resulting in the beginning of WWI.

sarajevo bridge with people walking over

Endless Things To Do

There is simply a lot to see and do on this small capital metropolis, and my 4 days weren’t sufficient time to discover the whole lot. The whole metropolis is principally a historical past lesson in itself, with many strolling excursions devoted to the siege, historical past, structure, or avenue artwork.  When you’re exploring, ensure that to search for the Sarajevo Roses. I gained’t spoil it for you right here, however let’s simply say they don’t seem to be what you suppose. 

While there’s SO a lot to do in Sarajevo, here’s a transient listing of issues I did and 100% advocate:

sarajevo street with people walking across it and a church in the background
  • Take a siege tour to essentially get the complete expertise of what occurred when the town was blocked off from the remainder of the world within the 90s. I went with FunkyTours, and they’re often known as essentially the most respected company on the town for a great cause. Our information spoke passionately about his expertise, and the tour was very eye-opening. 
  • You can not miss the warfare tunnel expertise, the place you’ll be able to witness the drastic measures locals took to maneuver items out and in of their metropolis.
  • Head up Trebević Mountain and stroll alongside the deserted bobsled observe used within the 1984 Winter Olympics. 
  • Check out the historic Sarajevo Brewery, style the native brews and study why this brewery is taken into account to have saved the city
  • Spend hours wandering across the outdated bazaar, filled with steel works and different stalls. Sit in Baščaršija Square and sip a Bosnian Coffee subsequent to the well-known Sebilj Fountain. I spent far longer than I care to confess watching the locals and vacationers feed, {photograph}, and get bombarded by the well-known pigeons that decision this space residence. 
  • Head up previous the hanging Alifakovac cemetery to the Yellow Bastion for a fantastic sundown over the town. While you’re up there, take a look at the little hidden Kamarija cafe close by. This place has superb views over the valley, nestled within the bushes of the hillside. 

A City Full Of Characters 

The individuals of Sarajevo have been via quite a bit, that goes with out saying. The siege was not all that way back and many of the residents are sufficiently old to recollect the each day terror they lived via for 4 years, and each native I spoke with had misplaced household or associates within the violence. 

(*4*)

Despite their bloody previous, the individuals of Sarajevo are absolute characters. I couldn’t imagine the grins, stomach laughs, and total happiness that I noticed on this metropolis. I was anticipating tough and difficult and was blown away by the alternative. Sarajevo is filled with talkative, pleasant, and sure typically solemn locals. If you ask questions, they’re wanting to reply and educate foreigners on the complexity of their metropolis’s previous. After 8 months of touring all through the Balkans, I rapidly listed Sarajevans because the friendliest individuals I had encountered.  

Connectivity

Sarajevo is turning into more and more related to the U.S. and Canada, with extra airways together with it of their 2023 routes, and this is among the essential causes I was capable of sneak it into the top of my Balkan journey. 

cable car going down a mountain

Finding ourselves in Split, Croatia, and needing to get again to New York moderately rapidly, the perfect flights I might discover had been truly out of Sarajevo. After a fast search, I realized that reaching Sarajevo from cut up was pretty easy, cost-effective, and allowed us to cease in Mostar on the way in which. So not solely did we save tons of of {dollars} on flights, we additionally bought to discover Bosnia and Herzegovina a bit. 

Aside from flying, Sarajevo is nicely related to the remainder of the Balkan area through bus and rail, and touring these strategies is straightforward and low-cost. Located between Belgrade and Croatia, the town makes a logical stopping level to discover. 

One factor to not miss when speaking about Sarajevo transportation is the tram community. In reality, this is likely to be the place my love of tram journey began. Sarajevo’s trams crisscross the town and into the suburbs. Some are fairly outdated and rustic, whereas others are a bit extra fashionable. A neighborhood instructed us that the Sarajevo tram community is definitely one of many oldest in Europe and was used because the mannequin for different well-known tram programs, akin to Vienna. 

One Word: Mostar

As I talked about earlier than, our journey from Split, Croatia to Sarajevo required a cease within the small city of Mostar. Being a kind of locations I have at all times wished to see for myself, there was no manner I was settling for simply a day on this little gem tucked into the southwest nook of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While we stayed 3 days and needed to pry ourselves away, Mostar is a straightforward day journey from Sarajevo if you wish to get out of the town for a bit. 

mostar city view with mountain in the background

Reachable in beneath 2 hours from the town by bus or practice, a day journey to Mostar is a should when visiting Sarajevo. Amble among the many hilly cobblestone streets and market stalls, and head for Stari Most (Old Bridge), simply essentially the most well-known landmark in Mostar. If you’re fortunate, there can be high-rise divers on the day of your go to, amassing cash and taking the death-defying plunge into the shallow Neretrva River under. 

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