Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a beautiful city set against the backdrop of mountains, whose slopes formed a perfect setting for the Winter Olympics in 1984.
With a population of about half a million people, Sarajevo is one of the most culturally rich and vibrant cities in Europe. As a city where Western & Eastern Roman Empires split it’s also a place of major historical importance and stands as living reminder of clashes of civilizations.
The city has risen up after the destruction of the war, and its vibrancy can be felt in the bustling businesses and the massive buildings sprouting up every day. It is now one of the cities of choice for tourists in Europe.
Sarajevo’s Historical Significance
Sarajevo has many historical monuments through which visitors can learn the country’s past and culture. The city became infamous for igniting the First World War when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in the city in 1914. The site where he was killed is a national historical monument. Other monuments include the Tunnel Museum, which is a 2,600 feet underground passage that was dug in 1993 to create a secret route to smuggle food and other supplies during the siege.
You also need to visit Sarajevski Ratni Teatar, the war theater that was started immediately after the city’s siege to give morale to local fighters to protect the city.
What To Do In Sarajevo
There are many galleries in Sarajevo. They include the Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1992 by a group of artists. It features works by artists such as Jannis Kounellis and Robert Kushner.
Get a different view of the city by catching the views from surrounding hills. The hills offer a fresh look at the city which is invaluable if you’re a photographer or simply have the itch to explore. The hills also offer a taste of suburban Bosnian life, including some of the surviving wooden mosques from before the war that can be found at the foothills.
The city provides many cultural festivals that you may attend: the Sarajevo Film Festival, Sarajevo Winter Festival, Sarajevo International Music Festival and Sarajevo Jazz Festival.
You can also visit the Sarajevo City Museum in Old Town. This newly opened museum traces Sarajevo's development from pre-historical times through the Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and modern era. This small museum holds a model of Old Town and visitors get an unknown (non-alcoholic) traditional beverage as part of the admission price.
Eating in Sarajevo
Sarajevo has a vibrant hospitality industry with many restaurants that serve locals and the increasing numbers of tourists visiting the city. There are many restaurants to choose from.
For an Unforgettable Ambience: 4 Sobe Gospode Safije
You can visit Sobe Gospode Safije, an elegant restaurant that is highly regarded for its superb service. The restaurant serves delicious meals such as grilled veal accompanied by anchovy sauce or sea bass.
For Great Halal Dishes: Restaurant Kibe
Restaurant Kibe, which is situated in the heart of the city, serves delicious local dishes. The restaurant is set on a tall building and offers a stunning view of the city through wide glass windows. The local dishes include sour-cream-smothered klepe and Bosnian ravioli, which is made with meat.
You can also order roasted lamb or fresh pita od jabuka. This restaurant is unique as you have to make a reservation before visiting, and doing so guarantees that you will get the best freshly prepared food.
More Halal Dishes: Zaatar & Co.
For fine Arabic cuisine make sure to give Zaatar & Co. a visit. This quaint restaurant is tucked in the small yard in the beginning of the Bascarsija bazaar and serves a wide range of Middle Eastern dishes.
For Vegetarians: Karuzo Restaurant
For vegetarian visitors, there are vegetarian restaurants such as Karuzo Restaurant. This small restaurant in the shape of a boat can accommodate up to 20 people at a time. It serves a variety of dishes such as pumpkin gratin.
For Coffee Lovers: Cajdzinica Dzirlo
If you like coffee, visit Cajdzinica Dzirlo, where local and meticulously brewed Bosnian coffee is served. What’s more, the café has a relaxed atmosphere enriched with music.