Sarajevo Travel Guide: Tips for Traveling to Sarajevo

Are you considering traveling to Sarajevo? Nestled in the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo stands as a captivating city that seamlessly blends its rich history with modern charm. This comprehensive Sarajevo travel guide will unveil the hidden treasures, iconic landmarks, and cultural delights that make the city a must-visit destination.


General Information about Sarajevo


As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Sarajevo had an estimated population of around 395,133 people. However, please note that population figures can change over time, so it's always a good idea to refer to the latest data for the most accurate information.

Sarajevo has a rich and diverse history. It was first settled by the Slavic peoples in the 9th century and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire's Bosnia Eyalet in the 15th century. Under Ottoman rule, Sarajevo experienced significant growth and development, with the construction of mosques, bridges, and public buildings.

This city is known for its diverse cultural and architectural heritage. The city features a blend of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav architectural styles. Some notable landmarks include the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, the Old Town (Baščaršija), Sebilj (a wooden fountain), and the Sarajevo Cathedral.

Moreover, Sarajevo has a multicultural identity, with influences from various ethnic and religious groups, including Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs, and others. This diversity is reflected in the city's cuisine, traditions, and cultural events.


Sarajevo on the Map


Here we show you where Sarajevo is located.

Sarajevo map on Google Maps


Traveling to Sarajevo: Things to Do in Sarajevo


From exploring the enchanting Old Town to savoring the gastronomic delights, and from practical travel tips to discovering the pulse of the city through its football club, this section will help you make the most of your Sarajevo adventure.


Old Town Sarajevo: A Glimpse into the Past


Step into the atmospheric lanes of Sarajevo's Old Town, where history comes alive. Wander through Baščaršija, the heart of the city, and soak in the charming Ottoman-era architecture. Visit the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, marvel at the iconic Sebilj Fountain, and immerse yourself in the vibrant marketplaces where artisans craft their wares.


Iconic Landmarks: The Bridge of Sarajevo


The Bridge of Sarajevo, also known as Latin Bridge, holds significant historical importance. This bridge witnessed the event that sparked World War I—the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Walk across this historic landmark, feel its solemnity, and admire the picturesque views of the Miljacka River.


Cultural Gems: Sarajevo's Magnificent Library


Discover the architectural marvel of the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This splendid library houses a vast collection of books and manuscripts, making it a paradise for literature lovers. Explore its exhibitions and cultural events, which pay homage to Sarajevo's rich literary heritage.


Festivals in Sarajevo: Celebrating Art and Cinema


Sarajevo is a city that pulsates with cultural celebrations. One of its most renowned events is the Sarajevo Film Festival, attracting filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, attend film screenings, and celebrate the magic of the silver screen.


Photo of Sarajevo's Old Town in the Afternoon
Photo of Sarajevo's Old Town in the Afternoon

Photo by ADEV on Unsplash


Christmas at Sarajevo


Christmas in Sarajevo is a unique and culturally rich experience. The city's history and diverse population contribute to a vibrant and festive atmosphere during the holiday season. This is an overview of what you might expect based on past celebrations.

  1. Decorations and Lights: Sarajevo embraces the Christmas spirit by decorating the city with lights, ornaments, and festive displays. The main streets and squares, such as Baščaršija and Ferhadija, are adorned with beautiful decorations, creating a magical ambiance.
  2. Christmas Markets: One of the highlights of the Sarajevo Christmas season is the traditional Christmas markets. The most popular market is located in the heart of the city, at Baščaršija Square. Here, you can find various stalls selling crafts, ornaments, local delicacies, and warm drinks like mulled wine or hot chocolate. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the holiday atmosphere and pick up unique gifts.
  3. Concerts and Performances: Sarajevo is known for its rich musical heritage, and during Christmas, you can enjoy numerous concerts and performances throughout the city. The National Theatre, Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, and other cultural institutions often organize special festive events featuring classical music, choir performances, and traditional folk music.
  4. Midnight Mass: The majority of the population in Sarajevo follows the Orthodox or Islamic faith, but there is a Catholic minority as well. If you're interested in attending a Christmas midnight Mass, you can visit the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the largest Catholic church in the city. It's a beautiful and serene place to celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas.
  5. Traditional Cuisine: Christmas in Sarajevo also offers an opportunity to savor delicious traditional Bosnian cuisine. Local dishes like burek (pastry filled with meat or cheese) and baklava (sweet pastry) are often enjoyed during the holiday season. Many restaurants in Sarajevo serve festive menus, allowing you to indulge in the local flavors.

It's worth noting that the specific events and activities may vary from year to year, so it's a good idea to check local listings closer to the time of your visit for the most up-to-date information on Christmas events in the city.


Gastronomic Delights: Savoring Cevapi in Sarajevo


No visit to Sarajevo is complete without indulging in cevapi, a traditional Bosnian dish. Sink your teeth into these mouthwatering grilled meat sausages served with warm bread and onions.


Planning Your Trip to Sarajevo: Practical Information


Getting There: Flights to Sarajevo


Sarajevo city is easily accessible by air, with regular flights connecting it to major cities across Europe. Explore the options, find the best deals, and plan your journey to this vibrant city.


Navigating the City: Sarajevo Map and Location


To make the most of your time in Sarajevo, familiarize yourself with the city's layout and attractions using a Sarajevo map. Discover the different neighborhoods, locate key landmarks, and plan your itinerary accordingly.


Exploring Beyond Sarajevo: Belgrade to Sarajevo


If you're seeking to expand your journey, consider a side trip from Belgrade to Sarajevo. Explore the contrasting cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and historical treasures as you venture from Serbia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Day Trips: Sarajevo to Mostar


Embark on a memorable day trip from Sarajevo to Mostar, a charming city known for its iconic Old Bridge (Stari Most). Discover the UNESCO-listed Old Town, wander through its cobbled streets, and immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of this enchanting destination.


Safety and Tips: Enjoying Sarajevo with Peace of Mind


Sarajevo is a safe city to visit, but like any other travel destination, it's important to take certain precautions. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, be mindful of your belongings, and stay informed about any current safety advisories. Embrace the warmth and hospitality of the locals, who are always ready to assist and offer guidance to make your visit memorable.


Sarajevo Football Club: The Heartbeat of the City


Sarajevo is a city passionate about football, and the local football club FK Sarajevo (or Sarajevo FK) holds a special place in the hearts of its residents. Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of a match, witness the dedication and love for the sport, and experience the unity that football brings to the city.


Trip to Sarajevo: Conclusion


Sarajevo offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a remarkable destination to explore. From the historic streets of Old Town to the iconic landmarks that narrate the city's past, Sarajevo presents a journey that will leave you enchanted.

Indulge in the flavors of its gastronomic delights, plan your trip with practical information, and embrace the city's vibrant spirit. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a food lover, or a football fan, Sarajevo promises an unforgettable experience that will linger in your heart long after your visit.


More Travel Guides


If you have been interested in our Sarajevo travel guide and you want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our travel guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

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