Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How To Vacation In Sarajevo, The Capital Of Bosnia–Herzegovina


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Cody Slone



Welcome to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where history and culture blend seamlessly with stunning natural landscapes. This vibrant city has risen from the ashes of war to become a thriving destination that offers visitors a rich and diverse experience. Sarajevo is known for its fascinating historical sites, charming old town, and warm hospitality.


Getting to Sarajevo is easy, with direct flights available from major European cities. As you arrive at Sarajevo International Airport, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains, setting the stage for an unforgettable visit.


Accommodation options in Sarajevo cater to a range of budgets and preferences. From luxurious hotels in the heart of the city to cozy guesthouses tucked away in the old town, there’s something for everyone. Staying in the old town puts you right in the center of the action, just steps away from the bustling Baščaršija Square and its vibrant market.


Once you’ve settled into your accommodations, it’s time to explore the city’s must-see attractions. Start with a visit to the iconic Latin Bridge, where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked the beginning of World War I. Walk along the banks of the Miljacka River and admire the beautiful architecture that reflects Sarajevo’s Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav influences.


Exploring the historic center is like stepping back in time. With its narrow cobblestone streets and well-preserved buildings, it’s easy to imagine what life was like during the Ottoman era. Don’t miss the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture in the Balkans, or the historic Clock Tower, which dates back to the 17th century.


Sarajevo’s cultural scene is vibrant and diverse, with a variety of galleries, museums, and theaters to explore. The Sarajevo National Theatre hosts a range of performances, including ballet, opera, and theater productions. The National Museum, on the other hand, offers a glimpse into Bosnia-Herzegovina’s rich history.


Getting to Sarajevo

Sarajevo is well-connected to major cities in Europe, making it easily accessible for travelers from around the world. The Sarajevo International Airport is the main gateway to the city, with direct flights available from cities such as London, Istanbul, Vienna, and Munich. Upon arrival, transportation options to the city center include taxis, private transfers, and public buses.


If you prefer a scenic journey, you can also consider traveling to Sarajevo by train or bus. The train station is conveniently located in the city center, and there are regular connections to neighboring countries such as Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Buses are another popular mode of transportation, with frequent routes operating from cities across Europe.


For those who enjoy road trips, driving to Sarajevo is a great option. The city is well-connected to the European road network, and the drive offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Just be sure to check the visa requirements and driving regulations for each country you’ll be passing through.


Once you’re in Sarajevo, getting around the city is easy and convenient. The public transportation system includes trams, buses, and trolleybuses, which provide efficient and affordable options for getting from one point to another. Taxis are also readily available, and Uber operates in the city as well.


Walking is a delightful way to explore Sarajevo’s old town and historic center. The city’s compact layout allows for easy navigation on foot, and you’ll have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in its charm and atmosphere. There are also bike rental options available for those who prefer cycling.


When planning your trip to Sarajevo, it’s important to consider the weather and seasons. The city experiences a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Spring and autumn offer mild temperatures and beautiful foliage, making them ideal seasons to visit if you prefer pleasant weather for outdoor activities.


Overall, traveling to Sarajevo is a straightforward and enjoyable experience. Whether you choose to fly, take the train, or embark on a road trip, you’ll be rewarded with a mesmerizing city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation in Sarajevo, there are a wide variety of options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, the city offers a range of choices in different parts of the city.


For those looking for a luxurious stay, there are several high-end hotels located in the heart of the city. These hotels offer top-notch amenities, elegant rooms, and stunning views of the cityscape. Some of them even come with spas, rooftop bars, and fine dining restaurants.


If you prefer a more charming and intimate atmosphere, consider staying in one of the boutique hotels or guesthouses in the old town area. These accommodations often feature traditional architecture, cozy rooms, and personalized service. You’ll be within walking distance of popular attractions, restaurants, and shops.


For travelers on a budget, Sarajevo also has a variety of affordable lodging options. You can find budget hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in different parts of the city. Hostels are a popular choice for backpackers and solo travelers, offering dormitory-style rooms and communal spaces where you can meet fellow travelers.


An alternative to traditional hotels is renting an apartment or staying in a private guesthouse. This gives you the opportunity to experience Sarajevo like a local, with the added comfort of having your own space. There are many rental options available, ranging from cozy apartments in residential neighborhoods to stylish lofts in the city center.


When choosing your accommodation in Sarajevo, consider the location and transportation options. Staying in the old town area not only puts you in the heart of the action but also allows you to easily explore the city on foot. However, if you prefer a quieter atmosphere, there are plenty of accommodations available in residential areas outside the city center.


Regardless of where you choose to stay, Sarajevo’s warm hospitality and welcoming atmosphere will make your visit memorable. The locals are known for their friendliness and willingness to help, ensuring that you feel right at home during your stay.


Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, as Sarajevo is becoming an increasingly popular destination. With the range of accommodation options available, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay and make the most of your time in this captivating city.


Must-See Attractions

Sarajevo is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, offering a myriad of must-see attractions for visitors to explore. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, here are some of the top attractions that you shouldn’t miss during your visit to Sarajevo.


The Latin Bridge is a significant historical landmark that holds great importance in the city’s history. It was on this bridge that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand took place, sparking the beginning of World War I. Today, you can walk across the bridge and visit the Museum of Sarajevo located nearby to learn more about this pivotal event.


Baščaršija is the heart and soul of Sarajevo’s old town. This bustling square is a hub of activity, lined with traditional shops, cafés, and restaurants. Here, you can immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere, explore the vibrant market, and discover local crafts and souvenirs.


A visit to the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque is a must for those interested in Ottoman architecture and Islamic history. This stunning mosque, built in the 16th century, is one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the region. Take a guided tour to learn about the mosque’s rich history and admire its intricate design.


To gain a deeper understanding of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s complex history, a visit to the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum is essential. The museum showcases the vital role that the Sarajevo Tunnel played during the 1992-1995 siege of the city. Explore the preserved section of the tunnel and learn about the bravery and resilience of the Sarajevo people during this difficult time.


For breathtaking panoramic views of Sarajevo and its surrounding mountains, head up to the Yellow Fortress. This medieval fortification offers a stunning vantage point and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the sunset or have a picnic. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the incredible vistas.


A visit to the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a must for history and art lovers. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including archaeological finds, ethnographic exhibits, and a renowned collection of Bosnian contemporary art. It provides a comprehensive overview of the country’s rich cultural heritage.


These are just a few of the many attractions that Sarajevo has to offer. As you explore this captivating city, allow yourself to get lost in its narrow streets, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in its fascinating history and culture.


Exploring the Historic Center

Sarajevo’s historic center is a captivating blend of Eastern and Western influences, with a rich tapestry of history and culture woven into its streets and buildings. Exploring the historic center is like stepping back in time, as you wander through narrow cobblestone streets and soak in the charm of the city’s well-preserved architecture.


A great starting point for your exploration is Baščaršija, the heart of Sarajevo’s old town. This bustling square is teeming with life, filled with traditional shops, cafés, and restaurants. Take your time to stroll through the market stalls, where you’ll find a variety of local crafts, handmade goods, and irresistible food items. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional Bosnian coffee, a rich and aromatic beverage that is an integral part of the local culture.


As you venture deeper into the historic center, you’ll come across a myriad of architectural wonders that bear testament to Sarajevo’s diverse heritage. The Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque is a must-visit, with its stunning Ottoman design and intricate calligraphy. Nearby, you’ll find the Morića Han, a 16th-century caravanserai that once provided shelter to travelers passing through Sarajevo. Today, it has been transformed into a cultural center and houses traditional craft workshops.


Not far from Baščaršija, you’ll discover the Sarajevo Cathedral, a symbol of the city’s Catholic heritage. Its neo-Gothic façade and impressive stained glass windows make it a captivating sight. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the Old Orthodox Church, known for its beautiful frescoes and peaceful ambiance.


Take a leisurely stroll along Ferhadija Street, one of Sarajevo’s most vibrant pedestrian streets. Lined with shops, cafés, and historical buildings, it offers a pleasant atmosphere for wandering and exploring. As you continue your walk, you’ll reach the Eternal Flame, a monument commemorating the victims of World War II. Nearby, you’ll find the Sarajevo City Hall, an architectural masterpiece that has been lovingly restored after the war.


Exploring the historic center of Sarajevo is an immersive experience that allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past and present. Take the time to admire the intricate architecture, learn about the different cultural influences, and soak in the unique atmosphere that surrounds you. Whether you’re a history buff, architecture enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, the historic center of Sarajevo will leave a lasting impression.


Discovering Sarajevo’s Cultural Scene

Sarajevo is a city that pulsates with a vibrant and diverse cultural scene, offering a wealth of artistic, musical, and theatrical experiences for visitors to enjoy. From museums and galleries to live performances and festivals, there is something to cater to every interest and taste.


A visit to the Sarajevo National Theatre is a must for theater enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the city, this historic theater hosts a wide range of performances, including ballet, opera, plays, and concerts. Immerse yourself in the world of performing arts and witness the talent of local and international artists.


The Sarajevo Film Festival, held annually in August, is one of the most significant cultural events in the city. As one of the largest film festivals in Southeast Europe, it showcases a selection of the latest international and regional films, attracting filmmakers, actors, and film enthusiasts from around the world.


Art lovers will appreciate the numerous galleries scattered throughout Sarajevo. The Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a collection of contemporary works from both local and international artists. The National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina displays a range of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, giving insight into the country’s artistic heritage.


To learn more about Bosnia-Herzegovina’s complex history, a visit to the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is highly recommended. The museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts from different historical periods, including the medieval era, the Ottoman Empire, and the recent conflicts in the region. It offers valuable insight into the country’s past and the resilience of its people.


Music plays a significant role in Sarajevo’s cultural fabric. Traditional Bosnian music, influenced by Ottoman and Balkan traditions, can be experienced in intimate settings such as the Svrzo House or during regular performances at local cafes. For a more contemporary music scene, check out the vibrant live music venues, where local bands and international artists perform a variety of genres.


Food and storytelling come together at Sarajevo’s traditional restaurants and teahouses. Discover the rich flavors of Bosnian cuisine, which combines influences from the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Balkan traditions. Don’t miss the chance to sample Bosnian specialties such as cevapi, burek, and baklava while enjoying a traditional Bosnian coffee in a cozy teahouse.


Sarajevo’s cultural scene is dynamic and ever-evolving, with a calendar full of festivals and events that celebrate the arts, music, and local traditions throughout the year. From the Sarajevo Winter Festival, which showcases music, dance, and theater performances, to the Zmaj Children’s Games, which offers a range of activities for kids, there are numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural fabric.


Whether you’re seeking artistic inspiration, musical performances, or a taste of traditional Bosnian culture, Sarajevo’s cultural scene has it all. Allow yourself to be captivated by the city’s creative energy and embrace the opportunity to connect with the local arts and cultural community.


Enjoying Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Sarajevo is indulging in the delectable local cuisine. Influenced by Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Balkan traditions, Bosnian cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors and aromas that will leave you craving for more. From hearty meat dishes to mouthwatering pastries and sweet treats, there is something to satisfy every palate.


Start your culinary journey with cevapi, a beloved Bosnian specialty. These small grilled sausages made from a mixture of beef and lamb are served with freshly baked somun bread and a side of chopped onions. The combination of smoky flavors and the soft, pillowy bread is truly irresistible.


Another must-try dish is burek, a savory pastry that has become a staple in Bosnian cuisine. Layers of thin dough are filled with various fillings such as meat, cheese, spinach, or potatoes, and are baked until golden and crispy. Enjoy it as a breakfast treat or grab a slice as a quick and satisfying snack.


Bosnian cuisine is also known for its hearty meat dishes. Try Bosanski Lonac, a traditional meat stew prepared with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices. Slowly cooked to perfection, this dish will warm your heart and soul.


No meal is complete without dessert, and Sarajevo has some sweet treats that you simply can’t resist. Baklava, a rich pastry made of layers of filo dough filled with nuts and sweetened with syrup, is a true delicacy. Savor each bite and appreciate the delicate balance of textures and flavors.


Don’t miss out on trying traditional Bosnian coffee, a ceremony in itself. Served in a long-handled copper pot called a džezva, Bosnian coffee is strong and rich. Take your time to enjoy the ritual of preparing and savoring this aromatic beverage, which is often accompanied by a small piece of Turkish delight or a sugary treat.


As you dine in Sarajevo, you’ll notice that meals are often accompanied by a variety of condiments and side dishes. Ajvar, a red pepper and eggplant relish, and kajmak, a creamy cheese spread, are popular accompaniments that add extra flavor to your meals. Pair your dishes with a glass of local Rakija, a fruit brandy, or sip on a refreshing Bosnian beer.


When exploring Sarajevo, be sure to try the local restaurants and cafes scattered across the city. From cozy traditional establishments to modern fusion eateries, the culinary scene in Sarajevo caters to every taste and preference. Embrace the opportunity to try new flavors and savor the rich culinary heritage of Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Remember, in Sarajevo, dining is not just about nourishment, but also an experience that celebrates the city’s vibrant culture and hospitality. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the delightful flavors that Sarajevo’s local cuisine has to offer.


Outdoor Activities in Sarajevo

Sarajevo, nestled amidst breathtaking mountains and beautiful natural landscapes, offers a range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventurers. Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, or simply exploring the great outdoors, Sarajevo has something to offer for everyone.


For those seeking adventure, the mountains surrounding Sarajevo provide ample opportunities for hiking and trekking. From beginner-friendly trails to challenging mountain ascents, there are options suitable for all fitness levels. Mount Bjelašnica and Mount Trebević are popular destinations, offering stunning panoramic views and a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of Bosnian nature.


During the winter months, Sarajevo transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting skiers and snowboarders from around the world. The nearby Olympic Mountains, such as Jahorina and Bjelašnica, offer well-groomed slopes and modern facilities for a fantastic skiing experience. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, these mountains provide a winter paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.


Not far from the city, you’ll find the stunning natural landscapes of the Vrelo Bosne Park. Take a leisurely stroll along the trails that meander through lush greenery, passing by crystal-clear streams and small waterfalls. This park is a perfect escape from the bustling city and offers a serene and peaceful setting for relaxation and picnicking.


If you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities, consider white-water rafting on the Neretva River. This thrilling experience allows you to navigate through the rapids while taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains. The Una River, known for its emerald green waters, also offers fantastic rafting opportunities amidst stunning natural scenery.


For a unique experience, take a ride on the Sarajevo Cable Car to Mount Trebević. As you ascend to the mountaintop, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscapes. Once at the top, you can go hiking, have a picnic, or simply admire the beauty of the city below.


Sarajevo’s outdoor activities are not limited to the mountains and parks. The Miljacka River, which flows through the heart of the city, offers the opportunity for leisurely walks along its banks. You can rent a bike and cycle along the river, or simply enjoy a peaceful stroll while admiring the bridges and architecture that line its shores.


As with any outdoor activity, it’s important to respect the natural environment and follow safety guidelines. Be sure to bring suitable clothing, footwear, and equipment, and check local weather conditions before venturing out. Additionally, consider hiring a local guide or joining organized tours to ensure a safe and rewarding experience.


With its stunning landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities, Sarajevo is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Embrace the beauty of the mountains, rivers, and parks, and embark on unforgettable outdoor adventures that will create lasting memories of your visit to this enchanting city.


Day Trips from Sarajevo

While Sarajevo itself offers a wealth of attractions and experiences, taking a day trip to the surrounding areas allows you to further explore the beauty and cultural heritage of Bosnia-Herzegovina. From charming towns to historical landmarks and natural wonders, here are some recommended day trips from Sarajevo.


Just a short drive from Sarajevo, you’ll find the town of Mostar, famous for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a symbol of the city and a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. Wander through the picturesque streets of Mostar’s old town, visit the vibrant bazaar, and soak in the unique atmosphere of this enchanting town.


A visit to the historic town of Jajce is like stepping back in time. This medieval gem is known for its stunning waterfall, which cascades from the Pliva River into the Vrbas River. Explore the well-preserved citadel, wander through the charming streets, and visit the fascinating Museum of the AVNOJ, which provides insight into the country’s WWII history.


If you’re a nature lover, a day trip to the stunning Kravice Waterfalls is a must. Located near the town of Ljubuški, this natural wonder features a series of cascades that plunge into emerald-green pools below. Take a refreshing swim, hike along the lush trails, and marvel at the beauty of this hidden gem.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Srebrenica Memorial Center is a poignant and educational experience. Located in Potočari, this memorial pays tribute to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide. Gain a deeper understanding of the tragic events that unfolded in the region and pay your respects at the memorial cemetery.


If you’re looking for a mix of nature and history, head to the beautiful village of Lukomir. Located in the Bjelašnica mountain range, this remote village is one of the last remaining traditional Bosnian mountain villages. Take a guided hike through the stunning Rakitnica Canyon, visit the ancient mosque, and immerse yourself in the traditional way of life.


Another captivating destination is Visoko, known for its controversial Bosnian pyramids. Explore the excavation sites and visit the Pyramid of the Sun, which is believed to be the largest pyramid in the world. Whether you believe in their authenticity or not, it’s a fascinating place to visit, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


These are just a few of the many day trip options from Sarajevo. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or cultural experiences, the surrounding areas offer a wealth of attractions to discover. Plan your day trips accordingly and delve deeper into the beauty and diversity that Bosnia-Herzegovina has to offer.


Practical Tips for a Smooth Vacation

Planning a vacation to Sarajevo? Here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

  • Check visa requirements: Depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a visa before traveling to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Make sure to check the visa requirements and apply in advance if necessary.
  • Research the weather: Sarajevo experiences different seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. Check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly, including appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities.
  • Stay connected: Purchase a local SIM card or consider using international roaming to stay connected during your stay. Free Wi-Fi is also available in many hotels, restaurants, and cafes in Sarajevo.
  • Learn some basic Bosnian phrases: While many people in Sarajevo speak English, it can be helpful to learn a few basic Bosnian phrases to enhance your interactions with locals and show appreciation for their culture.
  • Stay safe: Sarajevo is generally a safe city for travelers, but it’s always advised to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Take general safety precautions and follow local laws and regulations.
  • Use public transportation: Sarajevo has an efficient public transportation system with trams, buses, and trolleybuses. Consider using public transport to get around the city and explore its different neighborhoods and attractions.
  • Try local cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional Bosnian dishes and flavors. Explore local restaurants and cafes to indulge in cevapi, burek, baklava, and traditional Bosnian coffee.
  • Carry cash: While credit cards are widely accepted in most places, it’s a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments, markets, or street food vendors that may not accept cards.
  • Respect local customs: Bosnia-Herzegovina is a culturally diverse country with a rich heritage. Respect local customs and traditions, particularly when visiting religious sites or participating in cultural events.
  • Plan for day trips: Sarajevo’s proximity to other towns and natural attractions makes it an ideal base for day trips. Research and plan your day trips in advance, considering transportation and time needed to fully explore each destination.

By keeping these practical tips in mind, you can ensure that your vacation in Sarajevo is smooth, enjoyable, and memorable. Embrace the culture, history, and natural beauty of this captivating city, and create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.



Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a city that will captivate you with its rich history, cultural diversity, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re exploring the historic center, indulging in delicious local cuisine, or embarking on outdoor adventures, Sarajevo offers a unique and unforgettable experience for every traveler.


From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted with warmth and hospitality. The city’s blend of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav influences is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene. As you stroll through the old town’s cobblestone streets, marvel at the intricate mosques and sample the mouthwatering cevapi, you’ll be immersed in the charm and beauty of Sarajevo.


Take the time to explore the city’s must-see attractions, such as the Latin Bridge, Baščaršija Square, and the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque. Discover the city’s rich history at museums like the National Museum and the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum. Immerse yourself in the cultural scene with visits to the Sarajevo National Theatre and various art galleries.


Venture outside the city to experience the natural wonders that surround Sarajevo. Hike in the mountains, ski on world-class slopes, and marvel at breathtaking waterfalls. Take day trips to charming towns like Mostar, Jajce, and Visoko, and delve into the diverse history and culture of Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Throughout your vacation, keep in mind practical tips to ensure a smooth trip. Be respectful of local customs, stay connected, and embrace the local cuisine. Sarajevo’s warm and welcoming atmosphere will leave a lasting impression, as you create cherished memories in this extraordinary city.


Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, Sarajevo beckons you to explore its treasures. Lose yourself in the enchanting streets, engage with the friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. Sarajevo is more than a destination; it is an experience that will leave you yearning to return time and time again.