Sarajevo: Experience it like a local!
October 29, 2018
by Samra Ribić
Like other European cities, Sarajevo is becoming more and more crowded as years pass by. Nobody likes to wait for a group of tourists taking hundreds of photos, only to cross the street, but it would still be nice to experience all that city offers – just like locals do. To do that, you need a few tricks and bits of advice from somebody who knows exactly what to do. If you’re planning your trip to this marvelous encounter of East and West that many call European Jerusalem, stroll down to the list.
Take a walk to Kozja ćuprija (Goat’s bridge)
Located on the banks of the small but beautiful river Miljacka, Sarajevo is the city of interesting bridges dating from different eras of the history. There are four stone bridges, made in the era of The Ottoman Empire which represent the oldest preserved parts of the road that was connecting Sarajevo and Istanbul. The most interesting one, Goat bridge, is located 3 miles from the city center in the upper stream of river Miljacka. This is one of the favorite walking trails for the local people since it’s surrounded by wonderful nature and embraced with the sound of the water. On this trail, you can find equipped climbing cliff if you’re up for an adrenaline shot or just enjoy a great walk and finish it with a picnic by the bridge, with the inspiring view to the remains of the golden ages of Sarajevo.
Drink Bosnian coffee with the view
Sarajevo is a perfect city for those who enjoy hiking and great view! When you move in basically every direction from the city center, you will find great spots to enjoy the view! What we like to the is to enjoy Bosnian traditional coffee while romantically looking at our city! There are some great coffee places that locals are crazy for and are also very easily accessible from the city center. My favorites are Cafe “Kamarija”, 15 minutes walking distance from Baščaršija and Cafe Zmajevac, 3 euros Taxi ride from Baščaršija. Choose your favorite and enjoy sunset coffee while making great photos for your travel collection!
Eat Ćevapi – Bosnian traditional meal
Famous worldwide, Ćevapi is traditional Bosnian dish that you have to try while visiting Sarajevo! Made from the fresh beef, professionally prepared on the grill, wrapped in the homemade somun (a type of bread) and served with onions and yogurt, Ćevapi will only make you crave for more! Even though The Old Town – Baščaršija is always crowded with tourists, locals also enjoy Ćevapi in this part of the city, because the rumor has it – they are the best! If you’re in Sarajevo and also happen to be hungry, hurry up to catch your table at one of the numerous little restaurants and enjoy one of the best meals you will ever have!
Visit Trebević – Olympic mountain
Surrounded by mountains, Sarajevo was the perfect candidate for Winter Olympic games, held in 1984. Games were a large success and even after war destructions, Olympic mountains are still perfect spots for enjoying nature when in Sarajevo. The closest one is Trebević, locally called ‘lungs of the city’ that is now connected by cable car! The best way of visiting Trebević is to go up via cable car, experiencing great views of the city center and enjoy a 1,5h walk down to the city while visiting old bobsleigh, drinking tea in the wonderful garden of Pino Nature hotel or just explore narrow streets of the oldest Sarajevo neighborhoods!
Buy organic food at local markets
If you are not a hotel and restaurant type and you rented an Airbnb with your own kitchen, nothing will make you happier than visiting Sarajevo local markets and buying fresh, organic food, grown on the farms around Sarajevo. You can buy fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and a large spectrum of dairy products! But that’s not even the best part! The excitement and politeness of the people working there will sweep you off your feet! Those are truly hard workers who respect the value of organic food and somehow have the power to pass it on you! Believe me, you will come to your place with hands full of the great groceries and heart full of happiness. The best three markets around the city center are Markale, Ciglane and Grbavica market! Bon Appetit!
Drink Sarajevsko beer
Sarajevo has been home to the great Sarajevsko brewery, Bosnian brewing company since 1864. and it’s something we are very proud of! Bosnians are big admirers of the domestic beer! We drink Sarajevsko beer all the time, but the one with the best quality is, of course, served in the restaurant of the brewery. Beautiful beer house restaurant in the city center will offer you the best Sarajevsko beer accompanied with delicious food and live music, mostly performed on the piano from the local artists. During the wartime, this brewery helped citizens by giving them much needed water from their powerful water source so you can sense why this product is of such a special value to the people of Sarajevo.
Of course, Sarajevsko beer is served everywhere in the city and is also a perfect souvenir from your trip to this majestic city!
Visit Franz&Sophie world of organic tea
Cruel murder of the Austrian prince Franz Ferdinand that led to the beginning of the World War I is definitely something that Sarajevo is famous for but hidden in a narrow Petrakijina street, this beautiful tea shop will blow your mind with its interior, products and friendly hosts! Here you can breathe the world of tea, literally! You can smell as many tea mixtures as you wish for, before picking and buying the one perfect for you. While doing that, hosts will tell you wonderful stories about the importance of the tea culture. Besides tea, here you can find all the tea equipment you didn’t even know exist! It’s a perfect place to buy gifts for your loved ones, suitable for every occasion!
Enjoy Bosnian theatre
Sarajevo loves theatre! Even during the hardest times, there was always electricity reserved for theatre needs! It’s our culture and something we are very proud of. In the city, there are five theaters, different kinds, depending on what you prefer. The most interesting to me, if you like alternative stuff, is Sarajevo War Theatre with a great lineup of modern interpretation of some of the greatest masterpieces of all the time. You will enjoy Orwell as you’ve never seen it before.
Of course, if you’re more into classic pieces, visit marvelous National theatre of Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Open your heart to this city! It will show you its beautiful perks and leave you with some wonderful memories, I am sure of it!