Sarajevo is a small city located in the heart of the Balkans but still unknown to the world of major international tourism. This young European capital has been nicknamed ” Jerusalem of Europe ” because different cultural ethnic groups have lived and still coexist today, making it a true cultural melting pot, like other large cities such as London and Istanbul.
What to see in Sarajevo?
Yes, we know that you are wondering and our task is precisely to give you all the information you need to better enjoy your experience in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Where is Sarajevo located?
Before leaving for our journey to discover Sarajevo, we want to give you some useful information about this city.
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, hidden in the Dinaric Alps, divided into two parts by the Miljacka River, and with its 340,886 inhabitants, it is the largest city in the nation. This is located 511 meters above sea level and the historical part of the city instead of in a wide valley in the shape of an amphitheater.
The Bosnian city is sadly famous for being the scene of the killing of the Austrian archduke Francesco Ferdinando who triggered the First World War. The capital in its history has known the Winter Olympic Games in 1984 and the recent war with Serbia, which lasted three years (from 1992 to 1995), still in the memory of many today.
What’s the weather like in Sarajevo?
The climate that you will find in the city is continental, like all Balkan countries, with cold winters and temperatures that drop below zero, especially in January, but with mild and cool summers that allow them. a pleasant stay in the city. In fact, the best time to visit the Bosnian capital is undoubtedly spring, when the not too cold climate (with an average maximum temperature of around twenty degrees) allows a visit that is anything but cold. But be careful in the evening, because temperatures drop sharply as the sun goes down and therefore we recommend that you bring something warm and comfortable to wear with you.
The official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Bosnian M bow, in the jargon BAM, whose exchange rate with the euro is quite favorable, settling at 0.51 euros per mark. So if you have to travel and move around the country, we always recommend that you make the change before departure or take a credit card for your purchases.
What to see in Sarajevo
The capital of Bosnia, contrary to what you may think, is a city rich in history and gives visitors a number of ideas to make contact with its culture.
Bascarsija is one of the best places to start our trip to the Bosnian capital. In fact, this is the historic center of Sarajevo and one of the most fascinating and evocative points of the city.
What is particular about Sarajevo is its mixture of different cultures and religions: in fact, faithful Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox religions coexist in the city, giving Sarajevo a very strong cosmopolitan and heterogeneous imprint, which can also be seen from the buildings religious present in it.
Walking along its cobbled streets, you will find some of Sarajevo’s main religious buildings, such as:
- Sarajevo Cathedral, the seat of the Catholic Diocese in Bosnia and completed in 1889;
- Church of San Giuseppe, located in the Marijin Dvor district;
- Church of Sant’Antonio di Padova, located in the old quarter of the city, built after the arrival of the Austrians and dedicated to the famous Italian saint;
- The old Orthodox church, completed in 1539 and dedicated to the archangels, Gabriel and Michael.
- The Orthodox church, more recent and dated 1868, which is the largest religious building of Orthodox worship in all the Balkans;
- Gazi Husrev-Beg, that is the Islamic mosque, dated 1530-31 and considered an example of typical Ottoman architecture;
- King Fahd Mosque, the largest in the city;
- Tsars Mosque, even older than the previous ones and built between 1462 and 1566;
- Sarajevo Synagogue, the only place of prayer of the Jewish community;
- Old Synagogue of Sarajevo, built in 1581 and now a museum;
Continuing along the streets of Sarajevo’s old town, you will come across the Turkish quarter, one of the most fascinating places in the city. Here you can breathe a breath of oriental air, stumbling upon bazaars, local restaurants, and craft shops.
Sarajevo’s historic center can be reached via the Latin bridge, another of the city’s landmarks. In fact, it was on this bridge that the assassination of Archduke Francesco Ferdinando and his wife Sofia took place, thus starting what we all know as “The First World War”.
Visiting Sarajevo also means visiting its museums. Among the most important are:
Tunnel Museum, a real tunnel used during the siege of Sarajevo in the 90s to allow people to escape and to deliver humanitarian aid to the population;
National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, inaugurated in 1888 and inside which you will find many artifacts, some of which are very ancient, including the Haggadah of Sarajevo, the oldest Sephardic document in the world;
Paleta Gallery, which offers works by classical and contemporary artists as well as a permanent exhibition of Bosnian classics;
Sarajevo Historical Museum, where you can retrace the millennial history of the Bosnian city;
War Childhood Museum, dedicated to the harrowing experiences of children during the war in Bosnia, where you will specifically find childhood memories related to that tragic historical period
What to eat in Sarajevo
Once you arrive in Sarajevo, don’t preclude yourself from trying the typical Bosnian dishes. Local gastronomy is in fact a traditional cuisine strongly influenced by the different cultural ethnic groups present in the country.
The result? A cuisine is rich in variations, which really makes everyone agree! The dishes you absolutely must try are:
- Cevapcici, that is our spiced sausages;
- Burek, a tasty savory pie, which also offers different variations;
- Moussaka, a dish of Greek origin and also available here in Sarajevo;
- Sarma, a dish of Ottoman origin made from a grapevine, cabbage, rhubarb, orchard leaves, rolled around a filling of cereals, such as bulgur or rice and minced meat;
- For sweets lovers, Sarajevo will not disappoint your expectations. Our suggestions, among the desserts to try, fall on:
- Baklava, a typical Turkish and Ottoman dessert in general, which you will find throughout the Arab, Greek, Jewish world;
- Kadaif, very similar to spaghetti and also of Ottoman origin;
- Sutlija, a typical milk rice cake, with cinnamon and chocolate powder;
- Tulumbe, a Turkish native dessert made with yogurt;
What to do in the evening in Sarajevo
We are almost at the end of our journey to discover Sarajevo, but before saying goodbye, we cannot fail to tell you about Sarajevo by night.
The Bosnian capital is not only a city with a great historical heritage but also has a very active nightlife, so much so that it is nicknamed “City of parties”. In fact, Sarajevo offers all its tourists plenty of things to do to have fun. There is nothing left to do but go to the hotel and choose the right outfit for your evening!
Sarajevo has a good concentration of bars, restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs, so the choice is yours!
The best clubs in Sarajevo are:
- The Trezor DV Club ;
- The Cinemas Slogan ;
- The Pussy Galore ;
- The Bacchus Club.