Bosnia’s historic capital is where east and west quite literally meet at a compass inscribed on the pavement in the old town. You’ll find this fusion everywhere – in its architecture, food and language. 

Adorned by the pine forested Dinaric Alps encircling it, there’s more to this bustling Balkan city than first meets the eye. Think tumbling white water rapids, ski runs, hiking trails… and you’re halfway there. 

If you’re joining us on our 7 day multi-activity holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll get a chance to explore Sarajevo before we whisk you away to raft the Neretva River and make pottery in Visoko. 

Sarajevo old town

Sebilj Fountain in Baščaršija
Sebilj Fountain in Baščaršija

You could easily while away a day in this cobbled maze alone. Home to stunning places of worship such as the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and Sacred Heart Cathedral, there’s something at every turn inside Sarajevo’s Ottoman old quarter. 

Baščaršija (the old bazaar), fronted by the famous Sebilj Fountain, isn’t short of treasures to pick up for souvenirs. It’s also a great spot for feeding the pigeons (our kids loved doing this). While there, follow the sound of metal being bashed to Kazandžiluk Street where coppersmiths have made and sold coffee sets, plates and other crafts for centuries. 

Don’t miss the intricately designed frontage of the Town Hall which was built by the Austro-Hungarians. It’s best admired from the opposite side of the Miljacka River, which you can reach by crossing the Latin Bridge.

Hungry? You won’t be short of places to try ćevapi, the national dish and popular lunch for Bosnians on the go. This hearty all-in-one meal consists of grilled mincemeat sausages stuffed inside a pitta bread with chopped onions – simple, yet delicious. It can be found all over the Balkans and each country will have its own spin on it, but Bosnia is the place to try it. Željo servces the best ćevapi in town, according to locals.

The Yellow Fortress

View of Sarajevo and the Dinaric Alps in the background from the Yellow Fortress.
The view from the Yellow Fortress | Credit: Laura Sanders

Once a defence post against the Austro-Hungarians for the walled city of Vratnik, this small bastion is now a place to relax, grab a coffee and enjoy the best view in town. 

The 15-minute uphill walk from Baščaršija is great training for your hike to Skakavac Waterfall later on in the tour. Your reward is far reaching views of the city and surrounding Dinaric Alps. 

A chill spot enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, it’s especially beautiful up there around sunset.

The spite house

Inat Kuca, meaning “Spite House,” in Sarajevo is now a restaurant | Credit: Visit Sarajevo

You can’t help but chuckle when you hear the backstory to this Swiss guesthouse. A perfect example of Bosnians’ stubbornness and determination – as well their dry sense of humour.

In order to build their city hall, the Austro-Hungarians needed to move residents off the land. One man really didn’t like being forced to move, so he didn’t make it easy for them. He agreed on one condition: they’d have to take every brick, window and beam and rebuild his house across the river exactly how it was. Astoundingly, they granted his wish. 

For over 170 years Inat Kuca, which is now a restaurant, has stared back at the grand Town Hall in literal spite. 

Tunnel of hope

Inside the Tunnel of Hope in Sarajevo
Inside the Sarajevo Tunnel | Credit: Visit Sarajevo

The Sarajevo Tunnel was built in 1993 by the Bosnian Army during the height of the war. With Sarajevo under siege and completely cut off by the Serbian forces, this tunnel provided a vital link between the city and Bosnian-held territory on the opposite side of the airport (controlled by the UN). 

Now the Tunnel of Hope – because that’s what it brought to a wavering Sarajevo, visitors can walk part of the tunnel and learn about the war in the museum. 

Sarajevska žičara

Photo by <a href="">Sead Dzambegovic</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Sarajevo Cable Car. Credit: Sead Dzambegovic/Unsplash

See Sarajevo in all its glory with a gentle gondola ride to the top of Trebević mountain. Here, you can explore the forests and hike along the old Olympic bobsled tracks. During the summer, it’s a great picnic spot.

The Trebević cable car was originally constructed in 1959 and had to be rebuilt after being completely destroyed during the Bosnian war. It was reopened in 2018 and is now one of Sarajevo’s top attractions.


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