What to see in Sarajevo | Amazing local guide for 2022

What to see in Sarajevo is a complete guide for tourists about places to visit in Sarajevo or things to do in Sarajevo. Must see Sarajevo to do list!

If you wonder what to see in Sarajevo, well you don’t have to wonder anymore!

Through this guide for travellers, you will get to know everything about Sarajevo – a city with the most diverse culture in the world. Before you depart, make sure to get yourself prepared with some of the most interesting facts about Sarajevo and things to do in Sarajevo.

What to see in Sarajevo | Introduction

Sarajevo

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in Southeastern Europe and Western Balkans. It is a political, historical and economical centre of the country. It has a population of around 300.000 and covers an area of 141.5 km².

What to see in Sarajevo
Sarajevo panoramic view | What to see in Sarajevo

Most interesting facts about Sarajevo

  • Sarajevo had the first tram in Europe, second in the World
  • Sarajevo was first to have water supply network in 1400s
  • Sarajevo's event triggered the World War 1
  • Sarajevo held the Winter Olympic games n 1984
  • Sarajevo siege is the longest siege in modern hsitory
  • Sarajevo is called the "Jerusalem of Europe" due to cultural diversity

Geography in brief

Let us first tell you a few interesting facts about geography in Sarajevo. It is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the Balkan peninsula. It is situated at 550 meters altitude and is surrounded by three mountains: Bjelasnica (native: Bjelašnica), Igman, and Trebevic (native: Trebević). Due to its morphology, it is a typical valley city.

“It has mostly continental climate and what represents this type of climate is warm summer months with a temperature above 25°C and cold winter months with temperatures up to -20°C, but the average in recent years is around 0°C to -5°C.”

The river that runs through the city is Miljacka. Miljacka belongs to the stream of river Bosna which forms in the surrounding valley of Sarajevo, near Ilidža. “Vrelo Bosne” is a river Bosna spring and a very popular destination for recreation in Sarajevo.

Sarajevo natural beauties

Mountains

Three mountains that are surrounding Sarajevo are actually Olympic mountains. In 1984 Sarajevo was a host to the Winter Olympic Games. In that period these three mountains were fully equipped and prepared for all activities and competitions. 

Bjelasnica (Bjelasnica) is the highest of those three mountains where the highest peak is 2067 meters above sea level. It is called Bjelasnica, which in the native language means white („Bijelo“ is white in the Bosnian language). Back then in 1984 hosted alpine ski events. In recent years a lot of things were done to improve the infrastructure of the Olympic centre Bjelasnica. Ski lifts were introduced, as well as an artificial snowing system. One can find many hotels, apartments and restaurants upon arrival on Bjelasnica.

Igman is a mountain plateau with a peak at 1510 meters altitude. During the winter Olympics Igman was the location for the competitions in alpine and nordic sports disciplines like ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country skiing. Nowadays, Igman is most popular as a destination for mountain biking, hiking and skiing.

Trebevic (Trebević) is the closest mountain to Sarajevo and it is connected to the city centre by cable car Trebevic and you need only 12 minutes a cable car ride to reach the mountain. The highest peak is at 1627 meters altitude. During winter Olympics were most popular for their bobsledding. Trebevic bobsleigh is one of 13 bobsledding in the world. Nowadays it serves only for visiting and taking pictures but not for any kind of sports activity.

Bjelašnica

What to see in Sarajevo

Igman

What to see in Sarajevo

Trebević

What to see in Sarajevo

If you want to know more, check our tour related to this adventurous activity.
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Waterfalls

Waterfalls in Bosnia are one of the natural beauties that will forever captivate our eyes. Waterfalls probably arouse emotions in most people that we didn’t even know existed. It is safe to say that waterfall is water in its most beautiful form.

What to see in Sarajevo - Skakavac waterfall
What to see in Sarajevo – Skakavac waterfall
Spring of river Bosna

Spring of river Bosna is a beautiful natural gem, hidden underneath the Bjelašnica mountain. If you are in search of a really relaxing, greeny hideaway from city concrete make sure to visit the spring. Read more here.

River Bosna in summer

What to see in Sarajevo

River Bosna in winter

What to see in Sarajevo

Horse-drawn Carriage

What to see in Sarajevo

Bijambare caves

Bijambare caves are located not far from Sarajevo and it is an amazing place to visit. In addition to that, it is a protected area. The Bijambare caves protected landscape is an official name for this natural monument, located some 40 min drive from Sarajevo, next to Sarajevo-Tuzla (M-18) road in Ilijaš municipality.

Visitors wishing to visit Bijambare caves can enjoy landscapes of incredible natural beauty while riding in the tourist electric train, have access to walking and biking trails, use the bike rentals service, as well as a chance to rest and have some refreshments or drink the traditional Bosnian coffee in a cosy mountain hut.

Bijambare Caves - What to see in Sarajevo
Bijambare Caves – What to see in Sarajevo
If you want to know more, check our tour related to this beautiful nature landscape.

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What to see in Sarajevo | Chapter 1

Coming to Sarajevo

How to get to Sarajevo?

Whether you are coming from another continent or another country, getting to Sarajevo from some parts of the world can be quite tricky or expensive in some cases. Just in a recent period, Sarajevo began to merge with some cities as the company Wizzair started operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, Sarajevo is connected directly with Germany, Sweden, Italy, UAE, England… 

Germany to Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo)

By car

What is the distance from Munich to Sarajevo?

Munich (Munchen) Sarajevo distance: 946 kilometres

What is the distance from Frankfurt to Sarajevo?

Frankfurt Sarajevo distance: 1294 kilometres

What is the distance from Berlin to Sarajevo?

Berlin Sarajevo distance: 1383 kilometres

Train + flight

How to get from Munich to Sarajevo?

Cheap flight from Munich (Munchen) to Sarajevo – Munich to Memmingen by train then flight (Wizzair) from Memmingen to Sarajevo.

How to get from Frankfurt to Sarajevo? 

Train from Frankfurt to Frankfurt Hahn airport then direct flight (Wizzair) from Frankfurt to Sarajevo.

How to get from Berlin to Sarajevo?

Train or flight from Berlin to Vienna or Frankfurt then flight to Sarajevo with Austrian airlines (Vienna – Sarajevo, more expensive) or Wizzair (Frankfurt Hahn, cheapest version).


 

United Kingdom (UK) to Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo)

By car

What is the distance from London to Sarajevo?

London Sarajevo distance: 1620 kilometres of airline

In terms of distance, it is rarely possible to come from the UK to Sarajevo by car, so the easiest option would be to take a flight from London to Sarajevo.

Train + flight

How to get from London to Sarajevo?

The cheapest option would be to take a train to London Luton, then to switch to a flight to Sarajevo by Wizzair.


 

Sarajevo bus station

Sarajevo bus station address: Put života 8, Sarajevo 71000

Sarajevo bus station telephone number: +38733213100

What is the distance from Sarajevo bus station to Sarajevo city?

Sarajevo bus station is around 2.5 kilometres far away from the city by foot. If you want to take public transport the best option is the tram line 1 that rides directly to the city centre. 

Sarajevo bus station is a small station but you can, however, buy something to eat, drink coffee while you wait for a bus and you have a tobacco shop inside for water, juice etc. 

The busiest time at the station is on Friday in the afternoon hours, around 4 o’clock. 

Sarajevo train station

Sarajevo train station address: Put života 2, 71000 Sarajevo

Sarajevo train station telephone number: +38733655330

What is the distance from Sarajevo bus station to Sarajevo city?

Sarajevo train station is also around 2.5 kilometres far away from the city by foot. If you want to take public transport the best option is the tram line 1 that rides directly to the city centre. 

Sarajevo train station is not very popular in terms of public transport since railways haven’t really progressed much from the latest war in Bosnia. We would recommend you take a bus for everything you need.

Sarajevo airport

Sarajevo airport is in recent years constantly expanding, but in comparison with other airports in the world, it is a small 1 terminal airport. Another terminal will be completed soon. 

The most famous companies operating at Sarajevo airport are Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Croatia Airlines, Serbian Airlines, Swiss Airlines…

How far is Sarajevo airport from the city centre?

By car: 10.5 kilometres

By foot: 8.9 kilometres

Sarajevo public transport

Public transport in Sarajevo is easy to understand but as a tourist, you need to check some things before you start using it to ride through the city and surroundings.

The transportation system is made of trams, trolleybusses and buses. It is a very cheap means of transport if you compare it to the other European cities. What you need to know is that public transport in Sarajevo is not punctual, so beware of delays and wrap yourself up with patience. 

What is the most popular way of transport in Sarajevo?

The answer is the tram. It has the most frequent lines but you can see it almost always circling around the town.

How much tram ticket cost in Sarajevo?

1.80 BAM (KM) – around 0.92 cents.

  • Beware of pickpocketing!
  • Make sure to check your ticket using the machine in public transport

Tram

What to see in Sarajevo

Trolleybus

What to see in Sarajevo

Tram station

What to see in Sarajevo

What to see in Sarajevo | Chapter 2

Things to know before you depart

Before you jump to things to see or things to do in Sarajevo, make sure to know a few facts. This must see Sarajevo guide will provide you with enough information to start cruising like a local as soon as you arrive. 

Sarajevo history

When you ask somebody what to see in Sarajevo, people will give you some information but you will not be able to understand it until you fully read about Sarajevo’s history. It is fulfilled with numerous events.

The history of Sarajevo begins in the neolithic period, goes through the great Bosnian medieval empire and many battles to maintain the freedom of the local people, but two occupations were to left the mark on the city as it is today. 

Neolithic period

The history of Sarajevo begins in ancient times – The neolithic period exactly. Findings from that period are also known as “The Butmir culture”. Butmir is a settlement near Ilidža, a suburb of Sarajevo city. 

Illyrian times

Illyrians are the people who settled the whole area of Miljacka river that runs trough the Sarajevo. In this area, they were called Daesitiates and this tribe fought the last against the Roman occupation.

Roman times

Romans in Sarajevo were located around a settlement called Lužani (near Ilidza). Roman colony was called Aquae Sulphurae. This area is well known for its baths and thermal water so the Romans chose to settle themselves there and built villa’s, bridges etc.

Kingdom of Bosnia

This is a time of the Middle Ages when Bosnia had its own kingdom. Sarajevo was a part of Vrhbosna province. There are just a few pieces of evidence from these times, but there are indications that a place called Tornik existed in the Middle Ages in the location of today’s Marijin Dvor (In the city centre). Tornik was a small marketplace.

Roman bridge

What to see in Sarajevo

Today's Tornik

What to see in Sarajevo

Ottoman era

The Ottoman era in Sarajevo begins in the 1450s. First Ottoman governor Isa-beg Ishaković formed a first formed city in this area consisting of a marketplace, mosques, bridges, baths…

The most important fact is that Sarajevo was actually built by the Ottomans in an architectural, cultural, and educational sense. Their governance had a great impact on Sarajevo’s culture and religion today as it is a  town with a mostly Muslim population.

What to see in Sarajevo - Bascarsija
What to see in Sarajevo – Bascarsija
Austro-Hungarian occupation

In the year 1878, Bosnia therefore Sarajevo was annexed from Austro-Hungarian forces. This period is also significant in terms of the city’s development as Sarajevo get to be one of the first cities to have a tram in the world!

When these forces entered the city, a big catastrophe happened – a great fire that burned almost all the city centre (Bosnian: “Čaršija”). 

Empire left a great impact on Sarajevo architecture and engineering.

City Hall outside

What to see in Sarajevo

City Hall inside

What to see in Sarajevo

Gavrilo Princip

How the World war 1 started?

Gavrilo Princip was a member of the association Young Bosnia (Bosnian: “Mlada Bosna”) who made an assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.

Franz Ferdinand was an Austrian archduke. This is a history-changing event that marked the start of the First World War.

 

 

If you want to know more, check our tour related to this history event.

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SHS Kingdom (later: Kingdom of Yugoslavia)

During the WW1 and upon its ending, Sarajevo was no longer a capital and Bosnia was included in the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes.

The beginning of WW2 meant the entrance of Nazis in Sarajevo and Bosnia became part of  NDH – the fascist party of Croatia.

In 1945 partisan forces enter Sarajevo liberating it from the fascist regime. 

Social Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (real Yugoslavia)

Bosnia became the Socialist Federative Republic as a part of Yugoslavia, formed from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

The capital of Yugoslavia was Belgrade.

In this era, Sarajevo was a meaningful industrial part of the country and most of the heritage comes from the period of Tito’s governance.

Sarajevo Winter Olympic Games

Olympic tour | Vucko

When did the Winter Olympic games start in Sarajevo?

In 1984 Sarajevo was a host to the Winter Olympic Games. In that period these three mountains were fully equipped and prepared for all activities and competitions, and Sarajevo was the centre of the World at that time for multiple reasons. It was the first Olympic Games held in a Slavic language speaking country.

Only Winter Olympics are held in a communist country, until Beijing Olympics in 2022.

Sarajevo won the Olympics bid in competition with Gothenburg (Sweden) and Sapporo (Japan)

Sarajevo Winter Olympics were the first Olympics organized by Juan Antonio Samaranch who will turn out to be the longest-serving president of the Olympic Committee and one of the most influential people in the sport has ever had. He was blown away by the organization of the Olympics and he continued to have a tight connection with the city he became an Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo, and also Olympic Hall bears his name: Olympic Hall Juan Antonio Samaranch as eternal gratitude to all he has done for the city.

If you want to know more, check our tour related to this history event.

Olympic Tour in Sarajevo – Greatest Winter Olympics story

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Sarajevo war – modern history

Back in 1992, the history-changing conflict started in Bosnia and Herzegovina and last until 1995. The war started on 6th April 1992 and its final purpose was the fall of Yugoslavia. First to “abandon” the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, and then a Socialist Republic of Croatia (Yes, countries that formed Yugoslavia had a prefix the Socialist Republic of…).

When the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a referendum of independence on 29th February 1992, Bosnian Serbs banned the referendum because of a higher percentage of Bosnian Muslims in such a complicated multi-ethnic country.

When Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović withdrew the previous Cutileiro Plan that proposed the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina into multiple ethnic cantons, Bosnian Serbs led by Radovan Karađić and supported by the Serbian government of Slobodan Milošević and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), decided to form an army and attack in order to secure their territory.  The war spread quickly and it included a strategy of ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks.

War ended on 14th December 1995 and resulted in numerous war victims, the Srebrenica genocide, demolishing of important cultural and historical buildings.

Kurt Schork

Kurt Schork

Who was Kurt Schork?

Kurt Schork was a foreign, American correspondent from the 90’s war in Bosnia and in particular – Sarajevo. His story about Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet who were killed by Serbian forces using snipers became world-famous.

Sarajevo played a big role in his life, so he made a request to move half of his ashes to Sarajevo and to be put next to Boško and Admira’s graves.

If you want to know more, check our tour related to this history event.
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Sarajevo religions

Sarajevo is a multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious city in Europe. The four biggest monotheistic religions found their pillars in Sarajevo. Islam, Christianity – followed by Catholic and Orthodox, and Judaism forms a cultural essence of this area.  One can find mosques, churches and synagogues within a radius of just 500 meters.

Islam in Sarajevo

Islam, religion and culture, came to Sarajevo together with the Ottoman empire back in the 1460s. The people of Sarajevo slowly embraced it, as the Ottomans continued to build numerous mosques around the city. which had a great impact on the city life. The number of Muslims grew bigger and bigger over time.

Nowadays, Islam is the most common religion in Sarajevo. Muslims in Sarajevo are going daily on their prayers to mosques, respecting Ramadan as the feast month and celebrating “Bajram” (Eid) as their holiday.

The most important sacral building for Muslims is Gazi Husrev Bey’s mosque.

Catholicism in Sarajevo

Catholicism existed in this area much before Islam became popular. Firstly it came with the Roman people, then afterwards came together with Croats from the southwest who kept Catholicism during the time although Bosnia had strong religious influences from different sides. Catholic supremacy was led by the Republic of Ragusa as the representative of Rome’s influence in central Bosnia. The story got complicated when Bosnia had its own religion called “Crkva Bosanska” (English: Bosnian Church) which was declared a heretic from the Pope.

Today, Catholics have a great part in religious life in Sarajevo. 

The most popular Catholic church is Sacred Heart Cathedral located in the city centre.

Orthodoxy in Sarajevo

Orthodoxy in Sarajevo exists under the influence of the Serbian Orthodox Church and it exists for centuries in this area. Eastern Orthodoxy is the second largest religion in Bosnia, therefore it has a great impact on Sarajevo.

A sacral building of importance is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos.

Judaism in Sarajevo

As the result of the Spanish Inquisition, Jews came to Sarajevo as Sephardi for the first time in history. Later on, Ashkenazi Jews came from Hungary in 1868 when Ottoman Turks were expelled. That was the beginning of the prosperous life of Jews in Sarajevo. 

Since the times of the Spanish Inquisition, there is  Sarajevo Haggadah, an illuminated manuscript that represents a significant part of the Jewish religion. It is kept in National Museum in Sarajevo.

The most popular building for Jews is Ashkenazi Sinaguoge in the city centre.

Bosnian Church

Bosnian Church is a religion practised in central Bosnia during the medieval period. Bosnian church was proclaimed as a heretic by both Catholic and Orthodox churches. From this period we have a whole stone-shaped culture called “Stećci” which were medieval tombstones from an old Bosnian religion.

You can find “stećak“, a tombstone in the park of the National Museum in Sarajevo.

Sarajevo culture

Sarajevo is probably most famous for its multiculturality and for being known as the Jerusalem of Europe.

Nowhere else in Europe nor World you will find such diversity in all aspects of life as you will in Sarajevo.

One of the most popular sights in Sarajevo is a meeting of cultures spot. That spot literarily marks a meeting of the two most influential cultures in Sarajevo, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian.

When you stand on the meeting of cultures mark and you look to your east you will see Istanbul and when you look to your west, you will see Vienna.

In approximately 500 meters walk from Sebilj, on Baščaršija square to Sarajevo Cathedral, you will be able to see at least three different sacral objects. You will see a Mosque, a Catholic Church, and Orthodox Church.  If you try a little harder, you will also see a Jewish Synagogue. Have you ever been to a city as special as Sarajevo?

Facts to know about Sarajevo culture

Do you know that in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is, as you might think, located in Sarajevo, find one of the oldest Jewish sacred books? Yes, indeed you can. It is called Sarajevo Haggadah. Do you know that Sarajevo has a mosque that is the first electrified mosque in the World? Do you know that the construction of the Orthodox Church was approved by Ottoman Sultan and financed by the citizens of Sarajevo? 

When we speak about more recent cultural facts, we should point out a fact that Nobel Prize winner and probably most famous writer in Bosnia and Herzegovina ever had, Ivo Andrić attended high school in Sarajevo. Also, the second Nobel Prize winner connected to Bosnia and Herzegovina, well-known chemist, Vladimir Prelog, was born and raised in Sarajevo, and in fact, due to his importance to the city, there is a street named after him in one of the Sarajevo neighbourhoods.

Sarajevo music scene

One of the most interesting aspects of Sarajevo culture is music. Even though Sarajevo wasn’t the capital of Former Yugoslavia, among the citizens of the former republic it was called the capital, and that was because of the music. It is well known that Sarajevo was the most influential city in the Balkans in the 20th century.

From our traditional music, Sevdalinka (it is similar to Portuguese Fado) and a great example of Sevdalika is notably the most popular song – Kad ja pođoh na Bentbašu (When I went to Bentbaša) which is in some way, unofficial city anthem, to pop and rock in Yugoslavia, Sarajevo was the centre of attention.

Most notable bands from the Sarajevo pop-rock scene, Bijelo Dugme and Indexi are arguably the greatest Yugoslav rock bands of all time. Also, other bands and performers are considered “greats” and “legends”, such as Crvena Jabuka, Plavi Orkestar, Zabranjeno Pušenje, and others.

Solo artists such as Kemal Monteno and Dino Merlin also gained much prominence. Sarajevo Ljubavi Moja (Sarajevo Love of Mine) is another unofficial anthem of Sarajevo and it was written and performed by Kemal Monteno. It was his way to express his love for his hometown.

Is Sarajevo a safe destination?

YES, Sarajevo is a safe place to travel to. 

Even though politics make an impact on this matter, people live here peacefully. 

It is true that people’s nationality is the main reason why the situation can be a little tense between nations who battled a war in the 90s.

There is no war here, even if the news portals are constantly exaggerating the “situation in Bosnia” to make it seem much more unstable than it really is.

What can we advise you to do as a tourist? While travelling, rather google for answers than dare to ask the locals for their opinion on the war.

Why do we say this? Here, everyone will tell their side of the story and you will lack the objective truth.

Personal safety

Same as visiting other cities, we advise you to take safe paths, more frequent streets and enlightened areas. Sarajevo can be a little dangerous if you stray into the dark. This in particular is important to women travelling alone or in small groups. 

So, if you have doubts is Sarajevo safe? Hopefully, we clarified your question.

Tourist SIM cards in Sarajevo 

The most popular option for tourists in terms of SIM cards for internet and telephone are:

BH Telecom tourist packages

Ultra tourist package 1 – costs 20 BAM (around 10€), offers you 15GB of Internet data, 5BAM bonus for calls and text messages (SMS) and unlimited internet access. Validity period: 10 days.

Ultra tourist package 2 – costs 40 BAM (around 20€), offers you 30GB of Internet data, 10BAM bonus for calls and text messages (SMS) and unlimited internet access. Validity period: 30 days.

Tourist group – costs 100 BAM (around 50€) and offers you 100GB of Internet data and unlimited internet access. Validity period: 15 days.

You can buy it in any Tobacco shop in Sarajevo (iNovine) or BH Telecom offices or gas stations.

HT Eronet !hej Tourist

Activates upon a code via call and SMS. 

Options for activation: 

Daily 10GB is 3BAM (around 1.5€),

Weekly 20GB is 20BAM (around 10€),

Talk B&H for 7 days is 3BAM (around 1.5€).

m:Tel 

Tourist package 10BAM (around 5€) – 2GB of mobile data valid for 7 days,

Tourist package 25BAM (around 17.5€) – 5GB of mobile data, 30 bonus minutes for calls in some countries

Haloo tourist prepaid SIM

Offers 20GB of Internet data, 100 minutes and 100 messages towards all networks in B&H and it is valid for 15 days upon activation. It will automatically renew if your account balance is sufficient, otherwise, it will be deactivated.

What to see in Sarajevo | Chapter 3

Things to see in Sarajevo

Sarajevo is a city with a lot of things to see, from numerous sacral objects to historical and cultural heritage so when you arrive, make sure to plan your Sarajevo sightseeing tour carefully. If you wonder what are places to visit in Sarajevo, buckle up and read further our Sarajevo guide.

What are must see things in Sarajevo?

Must see things in Sarajevo are: 

  • Sebilj
  • City Hall
  • Latin Bridge
  • Academy of Fine Arts and Festina Lente bridge
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Cathedral Church of the Nativity of Theotokos
  • Gazi Husrev Bey’s Mosque and Clock Tower
  • Spring of river Bosna
  • War tunnel
  • Sarajevo viewpoints: Yellow Bastion
  • Sarajevo viewpoints: White Bastion
The best way to explore the city is to take a free walking tour by Meet Bosnia.
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Sebilj

Sarajevo sightseing tour can begin with Sebilj.

Sebilj is the wooden fountain and one of the greatest and most popular monuments in Sarajevo. It is located in the centre of historic square Baščaršija. It was built during the Ottoman Empire, around the year 1753.

You can find Sebilj on many souvenirs as it is a representative symbol of Sarajevo. Replicas of Sebilj you can find also in other places in the world like Belgrade, St. Louis, Novi Pazar… 

Sebilj - What to see in Sarajevo
Sebilj – What to see in Sarajevo

City Hall

Sarajevo City Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings ever built in this area. It carries a lot of stories from history as it was at one time a city’s library, archive and city’s administration. It was built in pseudo-Moorish style by architect Alexander Wittek.

While it served as a library, it had a fond of more than 2 million books in its archive which testified to the long history of Bosnia. It was totally destroyed during the 90s war. It was finally reconstructed and opened to the public in 2014.

It is open every day for visitors from 10 am to 6 pm. 

The entrance fee is approximately around 5BAM (2.5€).

City Hall - What to see in Sarajevo
City Hall – What to see in Sarajevo

Latin Bridge

Latin Bridge was built during the Ottoman Empire, probably the first version was constructed from wood. It is called Latin Bridge because it was merging the right and left sides of the river while on one side was a settlement of Christians called Latins.

Latin Bridge is significant and famous because of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Gavrilo Princip, the man we mentioned earlier, shot the Austrian dutch and his wife Sophie just at the bridge as they were passing by in a car. During the period when Bosnia was a part of Yugoslavia, this bridge was called also a “Princip’s bridge” and most of the people kept calling it like that.

Latin Bridge can be found in almost every Sarajevo what to see guide!

Latin Bridge - What to see in Sarajevo
Latin Bridge – What to see in Sarajevo

Eternal Flame

When you arrive at the city centre, it is impossible to miss out the Eternal Flame at the crossing of Maršala Tita and Ferhadija streets. Eternal Flame is a memorial to the victims both military and civilians from the Second World War. It represents the liberation of Sarajevo from the Nazis.

What to see in Sarajevo - Eternal Flame
What to see in Sarajevo – Eternal Flame

Academy of Fine Arts & Festina Lente bridge

During the Austro-Hungarian rule, in 1899, an evangelical church was built according to the designs of the architect Karel Pařík. The building was built in the Romanesque – Byzantine style. It has been declared a cultural and historical monument and is protected by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage. Academy is probably one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and it is a great place to take a nice photo.

Directly in front of the Academy, there is the Festina Lente Bridge, which in Latin means “hurry slowly” and was built in 2012 when the Association of Architects of Sarajevo announced a competition, and the winning project was the work of the second-year students of the Academy of Fine Arts.

Academy of Fine Arts and Festina Lente Bridge - What to see in Sarajevo
Academy of Fine Arts and Festina Lente Bridge – What to see in Sarajevo

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Must see Sarajevo continues with nothing more than – museum.

The National Museum is the oldest museum institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the only one built-in Southeast Europe for museum purposes. It has been open to the public since February 1, 1888. The architect was the famous Karel Pařík and it consists of four separate pavilions connected by a terrace.

Probably, two of the most valuable items that can be found in the museum are:

Bosnian Medieval Tombstones – commonly known as Stećci. They speak for themselves and transmit all of the Bosnian history to you through the carvings that can be found on the stones. They can be found in the museum’s garden and if you choose to visit them, the museum curator will happily explain to you all you need to know.

Sarajevo Haggadah – the oldest written Jewish sacred book. It was brought to Sarajevo by Spanish Jews who had to flee the country and they settled in Sarajevo.

National Museum - What to see in Sarajevo
National Museum – What to see in Sarajevo

Gazi Husrev Bey’s Mosque and Clock Tower

Bey’s Mosque

The Bey’s Mosque was built in 1531 and is currently one of the most important monuments of sacral Islamic architecture in the Balkans. It is an endowment of the ruler Gazi Husrev Bey and was designed by the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire, Ajem Esir Ali. The entire mosque complex has been declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Clock Tower Sarajevo

The specific timekeeping used by this clock tower is referred to as the “ala Turca” time and its distinct feature is showing midnight at the moment of sunset.  This label was predominantly used in the 19th century Balkans when the Ottoman empire was disappearing from the region and a new, modern culture was making inroads into the territory once called European Turkey. The term ” ala Turca” referred to all the things pertaining to the Ottoman (Turkish) empire and “ala Franca” referred to the modern (Frankish) European culture, dress code, music, etc.

Although this clock is actually connected to the time of sunset many people believe it is a lunar clock tower. The lunar clock is usually part of an astronomical clock showing phases of the moon (new moon, full moon) and has a dial indicating numbers 1 to 30. Many such clocks can still exist throughout Europe, from the astronomical clock in Prague to Le Gros Horloge in Rouen.

The Sarajevo clock tower is not related to the moon in any way but since Muslims all over the world are following a lunar calendar (at-taqwīm al-hijrī) people believe the clock itself is also a lunar one. In fact, the clock has 12 dials and shows midnight at the exact moment of sunset which is the moment when one day ends and another day begins in Islamic tradition. Five minutes on this clock correspond to five minutes on our modern clocks, the only difference being the starting point of the timekeeping.

Bey's Mosque

What to see in Sarajevo

Clock tower

What to see in Sarajevo

Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in 1889, and its project was done by the Hungarian architect Josip Vancaš, combining elements of Romanesque and Gothic.

It is one of the most important buildings in the city of Sarajevo. In front of the cathedral is a memorial to Pope John Paul II, who visited Sarajevo in 1997.

Sarajevo tours
Sacred Heart Cathedral – What to see in Sarajevo

Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos

The Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the Balkans and is located in the very centre of Sarajevo. It was built in 1874.

The building permit was given by Sultan Abdul Aziz, and the church was built with donations from the citizens of Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, Belgrade, Trieste and Vienna merchants, and it is also said that the Sultan himself was one of the donors.

Sarajevo, sarajevo bosnia, Sarajevo rooftops, Cathedral church of Nativity of Theotokos - What to see in Sarajevo
Cathedral church of Nativity of Theotokos – What to see in Sarajevo

The Spring of river Bosna

The Spring of river Bosna is the most beautiful natural oasis in the Sarajevo suburbs. It is located approximately 15 kilometres from the city centre and the best way to reach the spring is by car or taxi since the tram line to Ilidža is currently under reconstruction. 

The entrance fee per person is 2BAM (around 1€) and one can really enjoy a natural and green environment, birds, swans, fishes etc.

You will be able to see the spring, take memorable pictures or even get a refreshment or something to eat in nearby restaurants.

Additional info: In case you are interested, you are able to take a ride on a horse carriage and you will agree on a price with the driver. That can be an unique experience.

Spring of River Bosna - What to see in Sarajevo

War Tunnel

Sarajevo war tunnel or commonly known as Tunnel of Hope is a handmade tunnel dug by the army under Sarajevo airport during the Sarajevo siege.

The tunnel was the only way to supply the city with essential groceries, water, fuel, newspapers and weapons. It also had a downside as a few black markets emerged, but it was important to fulfil the most essential needs at the time.

It is important to understand that this was a clandestine operation, and only a bunch of the people knew about it. The codename was Object D-B, symbolically, as it was planned to connect to of above-mentioned neighbourhoods, Dobrinja and Butmir.

The total length of the tunnel was close to 800 meters, 785.5 meters to be exact. The whole tunnel was dug in less than 4 months, imagine that? It gets even more fascinating when you know that Army did not have anything else than their bare hand, showles and picks.

War tunnel was also a path for humanitarian aid which was incredibly important as Sarajevo was under siege for 1,425 days.

Also, the multipurpose war tunnel was a gateway card from the sieged city of Sarajevo, and a lot of citizens fled the city through the tunnel. Roughly, 3 million trips were made through the Sarajevo war tunnel during the war.

Sarajevo war tunnel is one of the must see things in Sarajevo.

What to see in Sarajevo - Sarajevo war tunnel
What to see in Sarajevo – Sarajevo war tunnel
The best way to explore the city is to take a free walking tour by Meet Bosnia.
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Sarajevo viewpoints

One of the facts about Sarajevo is that due to its geography, Sarajevo is surrounded by a lot of hills and mountains. Sarajevo’s old city has very uneven terrain and a high incline. Your Sarajevo sightseeing tour must include Sarajevo viewpoints. Two fortresses from the times of the Ottoman empire are surely must see Sarajevo things!

What to see in Sarajevo - View from Yellow Fortress
What to see in Sarajevo – View from Yellow Fortress

Yellow Fortress

Ahh, one of the best vantage points in the beautiful city of Sarajevo, this fortress will take your breath away. It was built in the mid-18th century and it was part of the defensive walls of old town Vratnik. This fortress held a very important function, but it lost its purpose when Austro-Hungarians took over the city. Since it’s on high ground, when you climb on top of it, you have Sarajevo city in the palm of your hand.

You can also sit in a wonderful cafe and take your time enjoying the vantage point. Another specific thing you can find in that fortress is medieval cannon. You read it right, a cannon. And it’s still in use.

Cannon is used 30 times per year, during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are fasting, shooting from that cannon is a sign that they can break their fast. It’s shot at the sunset. Important note: Don’t touch the cannon! Besides that don’t lean over the edges there’s no fence.

What to see in Sarajevo - Yellow Fortress
What to see in Sarajevo – Yellow Fortress

White Fortress

The White Bastion is a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located at an altitude of 667 meters and its walls are the remnants of the old town of Vratnik, which protected the eastern entrance to the city. It was built around 1550 during Ottoman rule. The bastion offers a fascinating view of the entire city of Sarajevo and is an ideal place for photography.

The best way to get to the White Fortress is by taxi from Baščaršija. The ride itself should not take more than 5 minutes and it should cost 5 BAM (2.5€) max. 

If you for some reason opt to go by foot, it will take you 20 minutes to half an hour walk, and you should take into consideration that the incline is really high.

Beware that sometimes White Fortress may be closed to the public, but usually, working hours are from 10:00 AM to 04:00 PM.

What to see in Sarajevo - White Fortress
What to see in Sarajevo – White Fortress
What to see in Sarajevo | Chapter 4

Things to do in Sarajevo

There are a lot of things to do in Sarajevo, but as locals, in this Sarajevo guide, we managed to sort out the 7 most important ones. 

What are must do things in Sarajevo?

Must do things in Sarajevo are: 

  • eat ćevapi
  • go hiking
  • attend Sarajevo Film Festival
  • feed the pigeons on Baščaršija
  • take a ride by cable car to Trebevic mountain
  • ride tram in Sarajevo
  • go shopping

Eat ćevapi

We are starting off with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national dish – ćevapi. Ćevapi is a grilled dish made out of minced meat. You can find this type of food in other countries as well since the Ottomans brought it to the Balkans around 1500. But only in Bosnia, they are considered to be a national dish. Now, since it’s a national dish, obviously many restaurants will serve it but here is the best one in the entire city of Sarajevo and that is – NUNE.

Ćevapi at NUNE Čevabdžinica

Nune restaurant is a ćevabdžinica, which means that they mainly serve ćevapi alongside some other BBQ dishes. This place has a long tradition and it’s existed since 1967. It’s near the old town and many locals love to visit this place. Some even come from the other side of the city just to eat here. If you want to try the best ćevapi ever this is your place to go.

Curious about other types of dishes, check out our blog about Restaurants in Sarajevo.

NUNE Restaurant

What to see in Sarajevo

Ćevapi dish

Feed the pigeons on Baščaršija

The main square in the city of Sarajevo often called The Pigeon Square (only by tourists, the real name of the square is Baščaršija), is home to hundreds of pigeons. It’s a huge attraction to see so many pigeons at the heart of the city. The mesmerizing sight of hundreds of them flying in the sky in a split second is worth it.

If you are a good photographer you can catch them and make that moment eternal. But even after that, your adventure doesn’t have to end. For a small price, you can buy food for them from the locals that sell it there, so you can personally feed them. Don’t be scared. They don’t bite!

Feed the pigeons – What to see in Sarajevo

Take a ride by cable car to Trebevic mountain

Cable car by definition is a must in every city, but in Sarajevo, it is added value, and because of it, it has to be on everyone’s things to do on Sarajevo list. After 26 years this Cable car is once again, fully functional. Why is it so unique?

This cable car was quite popular before the siege of Sarajevo, and when it was destroyed, part of the city’s soul was destroyed with it. You can only imagine how locals were happy to find out that the Cable car will once again become a lively place with many local and foreign people. Every car cabin is equipped with cameras and all of them are pet-friendly.

As for the price, the cost of a one-way ticket for tourists is 15 KM, and the return ticket costs 20KM. In case you have a bike with you, you will be charged 4KM extra. While at the top of the mountain Trebević you can walk around and enjoy the clean air and beautiful panoramic point of view. You can also walk around the Olympic bobsled track.

Imagine going on the rollercoaster while having a panoramic view of Sarajevo?

Exactly that can be found on Trebevic mountain. It will be one hour walk if you decide to walk from the Trebevic Cable Car exit on Trebevic mountain to the Sunnyland. On the other hand, if you call a taxi, you will be there in 10 minutes. Besides an incredible rollercoaster experience, you will be able to eat delicious food and take memorable pictures of Sarajevo, since all of the Sunnyland complexes is overlooking Sarajevo.

Want to have an incredible experience in an award-winning hotel?

It is only 20 minutes walk from the Cable Car on Trebevic mountain to Pino Nature hotel, or 5 minutes if you opt to go via taxi. It is one of the most prominent hotels in Sarajevo and it will for sure blow you away with its architecture and gastronomic offer as well. 

Go to Brus recreational centre

In case you are a nature enthusiast, take a walk and explore Trebevic nature, overlook Sarajevo, and take amazing and memorable pictures on your way to Brus recreational centre. It only takes 30 minutes to walk from the Trebevic Cable Car exit to Brus. By the way, you will purify your lungs, experience mesmerizing sceneries and create incredible memories.  Also. when you arrive, a Brus restaurant will be there waiting for you with their amazing gastronomic offer and all other facilities at your disposal.

What to see in Sarajevo - Trebevic cable car
What to see in Sarajevo – Trebevic cable car

Ride the tram around Sarajevo

Ride tram around the city is one of the most adventurous things to do in Sarajevo. You are probably wondering, “Is this person sane? How can the usage of public transport be adventurous?” Well, here’s a thing, if you go to Berlin or Istanbul or any other city with a fancy transportation system, it won’t be an adventure. Just a normal ride to your destination.

Here sitting in a tram and riding the entire round through the city is unquestionably an adventure. The trams are quite loud and very old. You will often hear locals say that they are “from the Austro-Hungarian period”. If you are looking for experience please enjoy loud trams.

Can the power go out? Will it stop all of a sudden? Will it take the wrong turn and go to the station instead of going to the other side of the city? You never know. One tram ticket is 1.60KM (if you buy it outside of the team at local stores you can find it at almost every tram stop) and 1.80KM if you buy it from the drivers.

Trams in Sarajevo
Sarajevo tram – What to see in Sarajevo

Go hiking

Sarajevo hiking trails are a very special and interesting activity for travellers around the world. Hiking in Bosnia offers you an incredible experience because Bosnia and Sarajevo in particular offer you an incredible mountain ambience just a few kilometres outside the city centre. Most people, even in Sarajevo, don’t know what beauty their city holds. Most of the hiking routes are really easy so you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to visit and explore them. 

It is quite incredible to go hiking just 10 kilometres outside the city and on the hiking route to be in a position to visit 1 out of 13 Bobsleigh tracks in the world, right? That is exactly what you can experience while hiking in Sarajevo and its surrounding. 

Choose to hike to the mesmerizing village and one of the most picturesque locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Lukomir, Olympic mountain Trebevic or waterfall Skakavac.

Lukomir Village
Hiking to Lukomir – What to see in Sarajevo
Take a hiking tour from Sarajevo to Lukomir with Meet Bosnia agency.
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Attend Sarajevo Film Festival

The greatest film festival in this part of Europe happens exactly in Sarajevo. Amazing, right? All Sarajevans are really proud to host the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) for almost 27 years.

This festival really transforms the city into an epicentre of southeastern Europe because of the noisy nightlife, amazing events, and crowdy streets. If you happen to visit Sarajevo during SFF, make sure to visit the city centre. You will get a chance to sit and drink in an open bar and feel the festive atmosphere, especially in two streets: “Zelenih beretki” and “Branilaca Sarajeva” which are basically one next to each other. The main event usually occurs behind the entrance of the National Theatre, Susan Sontag square.

Sarajevo Film Festival happens usually around the 15th of August and if you choose to visit the event you will maybe get a chance to see some of the most popular movie stars. SFF until now hosted Robert De Niro, Angelia Jolie,  Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig, Kevin Spacey etc.

 

Sarajevo Film Festival - What to see in Sarajevo
Sarajevo Film Festival – What to see in Sarajevo | Photography by sff.ba

Go shopping

Have a fun time shopping in Sarajevo! You can choose between shopping for souvenirs, artisan products related to Sarajevo’s culture or shopping for some nice piece of clothing.

The most popular place for tourists is Gazi Husrev Bay’s Bezistan, Baščaršija square and especially Kazandžiluk street due to its instagrammable scenery.

Where to buy souvenirs in Sarajevo?

The best places to buy souvenirs are small shops in Baščaršija. Best Sarajevo Souvenir is usually pictures or motifs made on the copper base which are mainly made by coppersmiths. Those are handmade products that can make a really great memory of Sarajevo. Another suggestion is to buy a traditional “džezva” – coffee pot for making a traditional Bosnian coffee which usually comes in set with “fildžan” – a small coffee cup to drink from it. Most of them have beautiful motifs and decorations and they will always remind you of Sarajevo.  One can also find handmade woollen socks or Bosnian carpets which have a great resemblance to Persian ones.

Shooping for souvenirs

What to see in Sarajevo

Bosnian coffee pot

What to see in Sarajevo

Shopping for clothes, shoes..

If you opt for classic shopping, you can choose between shopping in Ferhadija street, BBI centre or Sarajevo City Centre (SCC). SCC is the biggest shopping centre and you can find numerous fashion brands, from cheap to really expensive ones, but most importantly, prices are cheaper than in most European countries so shopping in Sarajevo can be a great opportunity for you – make sure you have enough space in your baggage!

BBI Center

What to see in Sarajevo

SCC Center

What to see in Sarajevo

So, when you come to Sarajevo, make sure to read our What to see in Sarajevo | Amazing local guide for 2022. We are constantly adding must see Sarajevo things to do and places to see.


Follow us on our Facebook and Instagram accounts where we regularly post our activities or get in touch with us and we will be your tour guides.

If you are a traveller who would like to add something to our list, or you know some amazing facts about this city, make sure you contact us with the message subject “Suggestions Meet Bosnia”. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Let’s fill in your Sarajevo what to see checklist!

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