Top 10 places to visit in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
by Ana Krstajic
Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also the largest city of Federation which has a very long history of cultures and also rich religious history. Because of that Sarajevo is also sometimes known as the „Jerusalem of Europe“ or „Jerusalem of the Balkans“. Another interesting thing is that Sarajevo is also known as the only big city in Europe which has a mosque, Catholic church, Orthodox church and synagogue in the same quarter. When you are walking throw Sarajevo you will have a feeling like there is a mix of present and past all around you.
In recent years, Sarajevo is often a destination visited by people all over the world. This is an ideal city that you can visit at any season. Near Sarajevo, there is also the Jahorina Mountain which is excellent for both winter sports lovers and those who prefer to spend summers on the mountain.
What is interesting is that you can visit all the important sights of Sarajevo in one day and that – by walking. If you are still not a lover of walking, you can use public transport that includes trams, buses, and trolleybuses. Regarding the prices, Sarajevo belongs to cheap cities. So in the city center, you can have coffee for less than 2 euros, lunch for about 5 euros per person, and a ticket for city transport is about 1 euro.
So, here are 10 places that you have to visit if you are in Sarajevo:
Bascarsija is the most famous neighborhood of the old part of the city. It is the center of culture and history of Sarajevo. It was built in the 15th century and the word Bascarsija means “main bazaar” in Turkish. Today is you can find a lot of antique cafes, pastry shops, and restaurants here, as same as old craft shops selling souvenirs. When you enter Bascarsija you will have the feeling like you are is some Oriental city in the 18th century. You will get the best impression of Bascarsija if you come here early in the morning when it is not crowded and it is a time of a day when Sarajevo is most beautiful.
Don’t forget to try famous Sarajevo specialty here – ćevapi. Ćevapi are a type of kebab but are found traditionally in the Balkans. They are the national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. This grilled dish of minced meat originates from the Ottoman Empire period and they are served in portions of five to ten pieces. The recommendation is that you take yours in flatbread called lepinja or somun, and they come with onion and another specialty – kajmak. In Sarajevo, ćevapi are made from beef meat, but in Serbia, ćevapi are from lamb, beef or pork meat.
The Sebilj is a famous fountain made from stone and wood in the center of Bascarsija. It was built in 1753 and it is an important landmark for this city. This part of Bascarsija is also called „Square of Pigeons“ and it is almost always crowded. The legend says that if you drink the water from The Sebilj you will get back in Sarajevo someday. Here you can find a lot of photographers who will make you a perfect memory from this place.
This mosque was built in 1530. and it’s the central building of Gazi Husarev-bey’s waqf. This is also the largest historic mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the first in the world provided with electricity during Austro-Hungarian rule. If you come here it is recommended to visit Gazi Huserev Bey’s Bezistan witch is covered bazaar. The mosque is open a few times a day for tourist visits. The mosque is also near Bascarsija.
Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart
This cathedral is one of the first important buildings in Sarajevo made in European-style and it was designed by Joseph Vancaš. It is also the largest cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The inspiration for the design was the Notre Dame Cathedral in France and St. Teyn Cathedral in Prague. In front, there is a statue of Pope St. John Paul II who visited Sarajevo and it is located in the square in the center of Sarajevo.
Eternal Flame is a memorial to all those who lost their lives fighting for their homeland and Sarajevo in World War II, including many innocent civilians. It is located in the Austro-Hungarian pedestrianized area.
Vijećnica – City Hall
This is one of the most beautiful and memorable buildings in Sarajevo. It is located on the bank of the river Miljacka. This is the most representative building from the Austro-Hungarian period and a perfect example of famous Neo-Moorish architecture. Inside there is also a museum that you can visit.
Žuta Tabija – Yellow Fortress
Yellow Fortress is located on a Jekovac hill with a stunning and unforgettable view. It was built in 1809 as an additional bastion because the White Fortress was not enough to defend the city. It takes a little time and effort to come here but the view of the whole city is worth it. You will have amazing photos of entire Sarajevo to share with your friends.
Museum of the Sarajevo Brewery
This museum is located in The Sarajevo Brewery which is founded in 1864. The museum is separated into 4 historical periods: Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, World Wars, and the Socialist era. Also, you can enjoy in cold beer here.
The Academy of Fine Arts
The Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo was originally built as an Evangelical Church. By the end of the World War I, most Evangelicals had left Sarajevo, along with the Austro-Hungarian Army, so the church began to lose its original function. At the end of the 1970s, Vlado Nagel, one of Sarajevo’s last Evangelical Christians, signed over the Church property to the city authorities, who later renovated and adapted the building in 1981, making it a home for the Academy of Fine Arts. In front of this great building, there is a bridge designed by students of the Academy.
Avaz Twist Tower
Avaz Tower is the tallest skyscraper in Sarajevo built in 2008. The tower is 175m tall and has 40 floors. At the top, there is a restaurant, from which you can enjoy a phenomenal view of the city while sipping your favorite drink. Avaz is the tallest building in all former Yugoslavia countries. Also here is the head office of Bosnian newspapers called Avaz.