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History up close: Things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I highlight the most important things to do in Sarajevo with this practical city guide featuring sights as well as restaurants and accommodation – this way you can make the best out of your time!

Sarajevo. This name stands for dramatic historic events like the assassination of the Archduke of Austria that sparked World War I, but also the longest siege of a city in the history of modern warfare (almost 4 years) during the Bosnian War which ended in 1996.

Even though the scars of the past are still visible all over the city this is now a place where different cultures and religions are living together peacefully. Churches, mosques and synagogues can be found almost next to each other which is why Sarajevo is often called “European Jerusalem”.

If you are interested in learning more about the history this city got you covered. But Sarajevo is also a very young and dynamic city with cool bars and cafés as well as modern luxury hostels. Moreover the locals are very friendly and helpful.

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1) Things to do in Sarajevo

The following list of things to do in Sarajevo is my personal selection of recommendable activities and sights which you can easily fit into a 1-2 day stay in the city.

a) City Center of Sarajevo

As stated Sarajevo is a melting pot of cultures – nowhere else you'll have better proof than in the center of the city. Here you can find one church next to another.
You can easily discover the city on foot as the center doesn't stretch out that much. While walking the streets of Sarajevo you can still see the bullet holes from the Bosnian War in the buildings. Best is to get a map at the reception and doing your own little walking tour!

In der Innenstadt von Sarajevo stehen die Gotteshäuser verschiedener Religionen Tür an Tür
In Sarajevo you can find many different religions and cultures in one place


b) Baščaršija square

This square in the old bazaar is one of the top sights in Sarajevo and part of the historic and cultural center. The wooden fountain Sebilj can be found in the center of the square and is one of the landmarks of the city.
Once you are there you should check out the many handcraft shops where you can buy pencils made out of bullet casings or a handmade coffee set made out of copper. The area is also a great place for having a typical coffee or eating at one of the Čevabdžinicas.

Der Sebilj-Brunnen auf dem Baščaršija-Platz in der Altstadt
The Sebilj fountain at the Baščaršija-Platz in the old town


c) Yellow Fortress

Coming from the Baščaršija square you need to go up the hill after passing the Sebilj fountain, then you walk through one of the many cemeteries and will find one of the best viewpoints in the city to see the city from above. You don't have to pay an entrance fee – a great spot to watch the sunset!

Die gelbe Bastion - einer der besten Aussichtspunkte der Stadt
View from the Yellow fortress


d) Latin Bridge

This bridge marks the location of the assassination of the Archduke of Austria that sparked World War I and is also one of the oldest bridges in town. More precisely the assassination took place right opposite to the end of it where you can find a small museum and a memorial tablet today.

Die Lateinerbrücke - zentraler Ort des Attentats auf Franz Ferdinand im Jahr 1914
The Latin Bridge of Sarajevo


e) Promenade at the Miljacka River

Starting from the university you can go for a little walk along the Miljacke river – sometimes also open air exhibitions take place at the quieter side of it in front of the Academy of Fine arts.
The walk will take you to a Café, to the Latin Bridge and the old town hall. Afterwards you should go uphill to one of the many cemeteries on the right hand side – here you'll realize the dimension of the war, especially when focussing on the age carved into the graves.

Die Akademie der Künste am Ufer des Miljacka
The Sarajevo Academy of Fine arts


f) War Tunnel Museum

Unfortunately we couldn't manage to visit this museum but got a lot of recommendations from friends to visit this spot. The “Tuneli 1” displays a small part of the important, life saving tunnel which has been the only connection out of the city during the siege of Sarajevo.
The museum is located nearby the airport, you can arrange and book a tour at the tourist office in town.

Geography of the tunnel and its environs, Photo by: Jennifer Boyer


2) Restaurants, Bars & Nightclubs

Compared to Dubrovnik the prices are very budget friendly in Sarajevo – you can get snacks starting at 2€ while meals start at 5€.

a) Čevabdžinica Zeljo

Locals as well as tourists rated this Čevabdžinica as the best in town. If you like Cevapcici this is the place to go!
Address: Kundurdziluk 19

b) Pub/Bar Cheers

Quite a big and very popular Pub right in the center – this is where we watched the historic semifinal of the football Worldcup 2014 between Germany and Brasil. The atmosphere has been great! 😉
Address: Muvekita 4

c) old town

This is the best spot if you want to eat in one of the many snack bars – here you'll find Döner, Cevapcici but also tasty soups.
The old town is also a good spot to go out as you'll find a lively nightlife scene here, though you need invitations to get into the clubs (ask locals in a bar or ask at the reception of your Hotel/Hostel).

Bosnischer Kaffee - sehr lecker!
Some tasty Bosnian coffee – you have to try it!


3) Accommodation in Sarajevo

The Hostel Massimo is a great new Hostel right in the center of Sarajevo providing free WiFi and breakfast. The rooms are modern (Dorms as well as Private rooms) and clean, the staff is very friendly and helpful – we had a great stay and can highly recommend staying here!
Find more accommodation options at the Sarajevo overview page on Booking.

Blick von der gelben Bastion auf Sarajevo
The view over Sarajevo from the Yellow fortress


4) Connections & Where to go next

Sarajevo has 2 bus terminals which are located a bit out of town, depending on where you want to go: the central bus station called “Autobusna stanica” (international bus connections to Croatia, Kosovo) or to the “Autobuska Stanica Istocno” station (for Montenegro, Macedonia & Serbia).

to Serbia: There are regular connections to Belgrad with several stops in between. The trip takes about 20€ and costs 20€.
to Croatia & Mostar: There are 2 daily bus connections to Dubrovnik (6h) and Mostar (3,5h). I paid around 25€ for the whole trip from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo.
For more bus connections you should checkout Balkanviator, the bus tickets can be bought right at the bus station prior your trip. Make sure to show up with some time buffer or get your ticket the day before Departure to be safe.

Einer der vielen Friedhöfe in Sarajevo
One of the many cemeteries in Sarajevo


More great things to do in in Sarajevo?

If you have more recommendations please tell us your tips in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post contains Affiliate Links for services and products I’m using on my travels – therefore I can highly recommend using them. By using this links you won’t pay any additional fees!

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