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 shiny future. This small Balkan capital is stuffed with historical past, colourful locals, superb meals, and countless cobblestone alleys to discover.

Recently named a greatest 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 powerful 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 possibly can 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 perhaps met with some trepidation or fear out of your family members, because it’s recognized for its violent previous. While the notorious siege from 1992 -1996 is likely one of the principal issues folks learn about Sarajevo, in the present day, 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 is not 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 received’t get into it right here. There are quite a few assets to be taught in regards to the longest siege in navy historical past and the way it got here to be. A go to to Sarajevo is a historical past lesson in itself, and the numerous native guides who lived by means of it will likely be your greatest option to find out about this main historic occasion. 

So, why did I enterprise to Sarajevo, and how much 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 realize World War I technically began proper within the heart 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 choices 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 mainly a historical past lesson in itself, with many strolling excursions devoted to the siege, historical past, structure, or road artwork.  When you’re exploring, make sure that to search for the Sarajevo Roses. I received’t spoil it for you right here, however let’s simply say they aren’t what you suppose. 

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

sarajevo street with people walking across it and a church in the background
  • Take a siege tour to actually get the total expertise of what occurred when town was blocked off from the remainder of the world within the 90s. I went with FunkyTours, and they’re generally known as essentially the most respected company on the town for a very good purpose. Our information spoke passionately about his expertise, and the tour was very eye-opening. 
  • You can not miss the conflict tunnel expertise, the place you possibly can 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 be taught why this brewery is taken into account to have saved the city
  • Spend hours wandering across the outdated bazaar, stuffed with metallic 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 putting Alifakovac cemetery to the Yellow Bastion for a fantastic sundown over 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 timber of the hillside. 

A City Full Of Characters 

The folks of Sarajevo have been by means of loads, that goes with out saying. The siege was not all that way back and a lot of the residents are sufficiently old to recollect the every day terror they lived by means of for 4 years, and each native I spoke with had misplaced household or pals within the violence. 

(*4*)

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

Connectivity

Sarajevo is changing into more and more related to the U.S. and Canada, with extra airways together with it of their 2023 routes, and this is likely one of the principal causes I was capable of sneak it into the tip of my Balkan journey. 

cable car going down a mountain

Finding ourselves in Split, Croatia, and needing to get again to New York fairly shortly, 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 simple, 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 obtained to discover Bosnia and Herzegovina a bit. 

Aside from flying, Sarajevo is nicely related to the remainder of the Balkan area by way of bus and rail, and touring these strategies is straightforward and low-cost. Located between Belgrade and Croatia, 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 perhaps the place my love of tram journey began. Sarajevo’s trams crisscross town and into the suburbs. Some are fairly outdated and rustic, whereas others are a bit extra fashionable. An area 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, equivalent 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 type of locations I have all the time wished to see for myself, there was no means 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 town for a bit. 

mostar city view with mountain in the background

Reachable in beneath 2 hours from 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 will probably be high-rise divers on the day of your go to, accumulating cash and taking the death-defying plunge into the shallow Neretrva River under. 

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