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.

Lately 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 robust impression of not solely Sarajevo, however Bosnia and Herzegovina as an entire. 

Aerial view of city of sarajevo

Typically 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. Flip a nook on this metropolis, and you may see hints of Vienna and Istanbul in its structure and historical past in all places you look. 

Is It Protected?

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 identified for its violent previous. Whereas the notorious siege from 1992 -1996 is likely one of the most important 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 is not 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 concerning 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 via will probably be your greatest technique to study this main historic occasion. 

So, why did I enterprise to Sarajevo, and how much 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 Causes You Ought to Think about A Journey To Sarajevo 

sarejvo fountain in a square

Historic Significance 

Do you know World Warfare 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 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

Countless Issues To Do

There may be simply a lot to see and do on this small capital metropolis, and my 4 days weren’t sufficient time to discover every part. Your complete metropolis is principally a historical past lesson in itself, with many strolling excursions devoted to the siege, historical past, structure, or avenue artwork.  When you find yourself exploring, ensure to search for the Sarajevo Roses. I gained’t spoil it for you right here, however let’s simply say they don’t seem to be what you assume. 

Whereas there may be SO a lot to do in Sarajevo, here’s a transient record 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 complete expertise of what occurred when the 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 great cause. Our information spoke passionately about his expertise, and the tour was very eye-opening. 
  • You can not miss the struggle 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. 
  • Take a look at 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, stuffed with metallic works and different stalls. Sit in Baščaršija Sq. and sip a Bosnian Espresso 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 hanging Alifakovac cemetery to the Yellow Bastion for an ideal sundown over the town. When you are up there, try the little hidden Kamarija cafe close by. This place has superb views over the valley, nestled within the timber of the hillside. 

A Metropolis Full Of Characters 

The folks of Sarajevo have been via 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 day by day terror they lived via for 4 years, and each native I spoke with had misplaced household or pals within the violence. 

sarajevo market with wares lining the streets

Regardless of 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 used to be anticipating tough and hard and was blown away by the other. Sarajevo is stuffed with talkative, pleasant, and sure generally solemn locals. When you ask questions, they’re wanting 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 changing into more and more linked to the U.S. and Canada, with extra airways together with it of their 2023 routes, and this is likely one of the most important causes I used to be capable of sneak it into the top of my Balkan journey. 

cable car going down a mountain

Discovering ourselves in Break up, Croatia, and needing to get again to New York relatively rapidly, the perfect flights I might discover had been truly out of Sarajevo. After a fast search, I spotted that reaching Sarajevo from cut up was pretty easy, cost-effective, and allowed us to cease in Mostar on the best way. So not solely did we save a whole bunch of {dollars} on flights, we additionally bought to discover Bosnia and Herzegovina a bit. 

Other than flying, Sarajevo is effectively linked to the remainder of the Balkan area through bus and rail, and touring these strategies is straightforward and low-cost. Situated between Belgrade and Croatia, the town makes a logical stopping level to discover. 

One factor to not miss when speaking about Sarajevo transportation is the tram community. In actual fact, this may be the place my love of tram journey began. Sarajevo’s trams crisscross the town and into the suburbs. Some are fairly previous and rustic, whereas others are a bit extra trendy. 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 techniques, resembling Vienna. 

One Phrase: Mostar

As I discussed earlier than, our journey from Break up, Croatia to Sarajevo required a cease within the small city of Mostar. Being a kind of locations I’ve at all times wished to see for myself, there was no means I used to be settling for simply a day on this little gem tucked into the southwest nook of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whereas 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 the town for a bit. 

mostar city view with mountain in the background

Reachable in beneath 2 hours from the 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 (Previous Bridge), simply essentially the most well-known landmark in Mostar. If you’re fortunate, there might be high-rise divers on the day of your go to, gathering cash and taking the death-defying plunge into the shallow Neretrva River beneath. 

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