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 stuffed with historical past, colourful locals, wonderful meals, and limitless 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 may go to a Mosque, a Synagogue, an Orthodox Church, and a Catholic Church. Turn a nook on this metropolis, and you’ll 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 may be 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 among the primary issues folks learn about Sarajevo, at present, 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 state of affairs 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 sources to be taught 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 by means of will probably be your greatest solution to study this main historic occasion. 

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

Let’s simply say that after an 8-month journey exploring the Balkans, this metropolis was one place that actually 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 understand 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 have been assassinated whereas driving 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 all the pieces. The whole metropolis is mainly 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 aren’t what you suppose. 

While there’s SO a lot to do in Sarajevo, here’s a temporary checklist 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 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 often called probably the most respected company on the town for a great purpose. Our information spoke passionately about his expertise, and the tour was very eye-opening. 
  • You can’t miss the warfare tunnel expertise, the place you may 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 monitor 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 previous bazaar, filled 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 dwelling. 
  • Head up previous the placing 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 wonderful views over the valley, nestled within the bushes of the hillside. 

A City Full Of Characters 

The folks of Sarajevo have been by means of so much, 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 by means of for 4 years, and each native I spoke with had misplaced household or buddies within the violence. 

(*4*)

Despite their bloody previous, the folks of Sarajevo are absolute characters. I couldn’t consider the grins, stomach laughs, and total happiness that I noticed on this metropolis. I was anticipating tough and hard and was blown away by the alternative. 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 rapidly listed Sarajevans because the friendliest folks I had encountered.  

Connectivity

Sarajevo is turning into more and more linked to the U.S. and Canada, with extra airways together with it of their 2023 routes, and this is among the primary causes I was in a position to 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 most effective flights I may discover have been really 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 best way. So not solely did we save a whole lot of {dollars} on flights, we additionally obtained to discover Bosnia and Herzegovina a bit. 

Aside from flying, Sarajevo is properly linked 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, 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 may be the place my love of tram journey began. Sarajevo’s trams crisscross town and into the suburbs. Some are fairly previous and rustic, whereas others are a bit extra trendy. An area advised 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 methods, reminiscent of 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 needed to see for myself, there was no method 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 simple 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 probably the most well-known landmark in Mostar. If you’re fortunate, there will likely be high-rise divers on the day of your go to, accumulating cash and taking the death-defying plunge into the shallow Neretrva River beneath. 

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