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10 Reasons to Visit Sarajevo

Sarajevo claimed the title of European Jerusalem and a melting pot of a great number of religions and cultures. Being the most multicultural and multi-religious city in Europe, Sarajevo found a way of reconciliation by a commitment to equality and love towards diversity. We are bringing you 10 most important reasons why you should book your ticket right now and catch a first flight to this incredible city.

1. Sarajevo Is An All-Inclusive European Capital

Interesting fact about Sarajevo is that it is a strongest traditional melting pot in the Balkans (probably in the entire Europe as well). Even with a little or no knowledge about the city itself, an easy stroll through its charming narrow streets will make you notice and understand a fascinating fusion of different periods and architecture.

If you turn around 360°, you’ll be able to see a bit of Vienna and Istanbul in one place. Traces of history are round every tiny corner in Sarajevo.

Best way to learn about Sarajevo would be one of the many walking tours that will provide a perfect insight into the city, its culture, history, and people.

Sarajevo Art Academy and Festina Lente bridge are just a tip of the iceberg of incredible architectural design.

2. It Is Incredibly Easy To Travel To Sarajevo

It is very easy and budget friendly to travel to Sarajevo so do not be discouraged by lack of the direct flights. In a worst case scenario you will have a layover in Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul or Belgrade on  your way to Sarajevo.

If landing in some of the West Balkans neighbouring airports (Belgrade, Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb), there are a variety of options on how to get to Sarajevo. Bus lines are relatively easy to get. 

If you’re not a fan of sterile bus rides, with boring breaks on either bus or petrol stations, connecting tours is what you should consider. 

3. Sarajevo is a Perfect Size City

Sarajevo is a capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it is placed in between the metropolis and a town. It is large enough to offer plenty to see and yet it is still a walkable size. The ideal way to explore almost all of the city’s attractions is on foot. The usual amount of days people are staying here is between three and seven. However, we assure you that, by the time your trip comes to the end, you might feel lack of time to see everything this city and it’s surroundings offer.

Self Guided Tour of Sarajevo: 2 Days with Itinerary and a Map

If you wish to feel the most authentic and traditional way of transport in the city, then alow yourself to experience the tram ride. Some of the legends attached to the city’s history of the trams will surely make you want to do this.  

4. Sarajevo Is One Of The Budget Friendliest European Travel Destinations

Sarajevo doubtlessly one of the most budget friendly cities in Balkans. It represents the place positioned high on the list of European capitals where visitors are getting the best for the price they are paying. 
Regardless of the service they’re getting, in Sarajevo, and in Balkans generally, visitors will be absolutely satisfied with the splendid quality they can get there. 

Some shops in touristy parts of the old town, will accept Euros, but be aware that it wouldn’t hurt to exchange some money to a local currency, Bosnian convertible mark (BAM). 1 € = 1.95583 BAM. You can find the exchange office at almost every corner of the city.

Sarajevo nightlife during the Sarajevo Film Festival

5. Bosnian Coffee As An Expression Of Local Lifestyle

Bosnian coffee is not the same as the Turkish one. Despite the tremendous crowd that everybody can witness in Sarajevo during the high tourist season, a relaxed, carefree, and laid-back life rhythm will amaze you. This kind of lifestyle goes hand in hand with the coffee drinking ritual

A “slowpresso” way of lifestyle and alike tradition of drinking the coffee will “contaminate” visitors and make them to reorganise the vacation in terms of  staying in Sarajevo longer than originally planned. 

You can never “grab” a coffee when in BiH. Coffee is a way of life for every Bosnian man and woman and, no matter how important is the “thing you have” you must find some time for a coffee.

Coffee is not an urge or an need, it is a tradition. Therefore, it doesn’t really mean anything if you are not a coffee lover, you should still have one. Coffee as a way of life is one of the reasons we love Sarajevo.

6. Sarajevo Is A European Jerusalem

Being on a crossroads of the civilizations Balkans, and especially Bosnia, acquired an unique and authentic trademark. Therefore, Sarajevo was given equally an unique nickname – The European Jerusalem. 

Whether the border between the Western and Eastern Roman Empire, later border between the influence of the Eastern Orthodox, Western Roman Catholic or Ottoman Islamic influence the territory of the present Bosnia and Herzegovina has represented a certain frontier. Later on, a commonly known Ottoman unreserve was the main reason why a significant number of Sephardim Jews found in Sarajevo a safe haven, and stayed there to live, officially since 1566. 

All of the mentioned contributed when making Sarajevo a unique place to live and work.

Calligraphy

Bey’s mosque is one of the most elegant works of architecture in BiH and a masterpiece of Ottoman period. The mosque has suffered through much of a damage over the centuries but it never closed its door to its visitors.

7. World Wide Known Local Hospitality

Sarajevans would tell you that the modern term, coexistence, popularised through the media is something that they never emphasised, or even mentioned in the past, since it was taken for granted. There is an opinion that Bosnian language lacks its authentic word for tolerance, since we didn’t need it. Tolerance was a part of the local DNA code, and it goes without saying. 

If the main criteria for the impression of the one place is tied for the locals, Sarajevo will be the top-rated on your “come back again” list. Sarajevan spirit is like a condiment that everybody needs once in a lifetime.

Take a stroll in cobblestone streets of Bascarsija and enjoy meeting the local artists, craftsmen and vendors.

Take a stroll in cobblestone streets of Bascarsija and enjoy meeting the local artists, craftsmen and vendors who will find a way to communicate no matter the possible language barrier.

8. Sarajevo Is A Safe City

Sarajevo is an utterly safe place to be. Generally, Balkans is free of “no-go areas”, and visitors have to know they are coming to one of the safest places in the world. 

Like in any other capital or touristy location, you should be aware of the occasional pickpockets. As long as you follow the overall rules of personal safety, you won’t experience any unpleasant situation. 

If you’re scared of the leftover landmines, you should know that more than 95% area in and around the city is cleaned. Parts which are unsafe, are not on the main tourist routes and they are specially marked. 

Sarajevo old and abandoned Olympic Bobsled is one of the favourite locations to explore and feel the atmosphere of the Olympic city.

9. Firsthand Storytelling

Sadly, most of the Sarajevo reputation nowadays is determined by the last war that ended 25 years ago. The last time when most of the world heard about both Bosnia and Sarajevo, that was through the war context. 

Nevertheless, in the last decade tourism has done a tremendous job when it comes to changing the reputation. Sarajevo, up to pandemic outbreak, was regularly the inevitable part of every global tour operator working in the Balkans. The war tours are definitely most popular at the moment in Sarajevo, and will stay for a long time. 

reasons to visit sarajevo

Hotel Holiday Inn during the Sarajevo Siege and After. Brace yourself, you will hear heartbreaking stories, yet the encouraging ones.

10. Sarajevo’s Amazing Cuisine

One thing is certain when in Sarajevo, you will have to cope with some extra weight after you leave the city. Regardless of your food preferences, Bosnian cuisine has plenty to offer to everybody. 

First thing most people feel once they leave the bus or car is the scent of ćevapi or burek. Traditional cuisine, which is much more than the latter two, still meets organic requirements. Vibrant history made a huge influence on food and food making, so dipping yourself in the parallel world of the Bosnian food will help you to understand the past and historic circumstances. 

For those who are into cooking, the afternoon or evening option of “cooking class” stands as a very suitable option, and very popular as the part of the city’s offer. 

Sarajevski cevap – most popular dish in Balkans.

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