Sarajevo is a big city but to walk through but the streets seem quite the opposite, since the center consists of narrow alleys, although long they are more reminiscent of a small town. There is a main street right in the center and is where the rest of lanes depart. This road is completely paved and has great charm because it is always crowded, there are souvenir shops and the tourist office, but it has a fairly limited schedule and we never got to find it open. If this happens to you I recommend you buy a small City Guide at any kiosk, but they usually only have them in English and Italian. In summer the streets are packed with terraces where you can relax while enjoying the movement that usually takes place at all times. My recommendation is that after a walk eat something in one of the hundreds of fast food restaurants in the center (plus the quality is usually very good, although some do not serve alcohol due to their religion) and then eat/drink something on a terrace. We did and we were mesmerized by the people of Sarajevo, I assure you that I have never seen so many beautiful people, both boys and girls. It seemed that we were in a fashion show. In the neighborhoods the streets are more common but you can also find places with charm, especially because there is a lot of vegetation, and that always embellish places. The only drawback is the low or non-existent lighting at night. You have to know where you want to go otherwise it will be very easy to miss.
The tunnel of war is an amazing place. It was home to a normal family during the war and the invasion of Sarajevo by the Yugoslav army. The owner offered to build a tunnel that would leave his home and go straight to the neutral zone controlled by the UN by the airport. The tunnel, which measures 800m long, allowed the 300 000 inhabitants of Sarajevo to receive food but also gasoline and weapons during the three years of the military blockade. The tunnel took four months to build, during which hundreds of people died trying to go through the airport to get to the free zone to buy food for their family. When the tunnel was opened, many wagons were going nonstop along carrying goods. With courage, people learned to survive and not to leave the city. It meant also that people could have a phone line to communicate with the outside world. The museum tells the history of the tunnel.
Sebilj is the emblem of Sarajevo. It's a Moorish style fountain located in the heart of the beautiful old city centre. The name comes from the Arabic Sebilj, and describes a public fountain in the form of a kiosk. It was drawn by architect Alexander Vitek Tcheco in 1891. Along with the city council, it's one of the most famous, and appreciated, monuments in the city. The Sebilj is in a pedestrian square and is surrounded by beautiful cafes and restaurants where you can sample dishes from Bosnia. It's the meeting point for anyone in hte city going out in the old quarter, which is much nicer than the outskirt extensions that are large, charmless gray buildings. Sebilj helps give the city its eastern aspect. With minarets and mosques, the city seems a meeting ground of East and West. Even today, the fountain is used for cooling down and occasionally someone will use it to wash their clothes. It's one of the few fountains left in the city, in which, at one time, there were so many fountains that people used to say you could never be thirsty in Sarajevo!
If you are lucky enough to go to Mostar to Sarajevo, stop to try the Janjetinja Jablanica, "grilled lamb". This is delicious and yet at an affordable price. Also here you can visit the city "the museum. It´s alright.
The Gazi Husrevbey Mosque is the oldest domed mosque in Sarajevo (it was built by Mustafa Haji Muslihudin in 1526). The original part has survived natural disasters and war. There are 45 stores in the nearby bazaar, so the mosque has long served as the spiritual meeting place for all the workers in the district. The interior is painted with geometric designs and the minaret as designed by the architect Hajrudin. Many of the nearby shops closed during the last war, and some have still yet to reopen despite the renovations of the year 2000. It's in a quieter part of the city, with a really Middle Eastern feel.
The mosque was constructed in the year 1561 by Ferhad Beg Vukovic and gradually in a residential neighborhood known as the Ferhadija. School, public kitchen, drinking fountain and fountains were constructed around the mosque were and were in a fire in the year 1897. The mosque reflects the classical Ottoman Art, with a port adorned with small domes, the main dome of the mosque and the minaret which shows the wealth that they used to construct.They found many different frescoes from different periods. The oldest are from the 16th century, and in the dome and in the mihrab. Next to the mosque is a lovely cemetery. The main street right door was also a victim of the war, but nothing happened to the mosque.
Morica Han Han is the latest center of Sarajevo. The hotel Han was a a place where the caravan traders coming from the east stopped. Morica Han was constructed at the end of the 16th century and is named after the Moric brothers who bought it in the 18th century, and were known as opponents of the regime. The Gazi Husrev Bey Waqf, a Muslim religious movement, bought it afterwards. It is the typical business hotel, which could accommodate 300 caravans and more than 70 horses. The cafe in the northern part of the courtyard is the oldest one to have coffee in the city, and you can see the men and politicians and city leaders passing by for centuries. It was a meeting place for artisans, merchants, and the people who gathered there to make decisions about the city. The first floor and roof structure Morica were damaged many times by a fire, and the building was renovated many times, but always according to its current appearance. Now there's a a carpet store and art gallery. The last restoration was from the year 1974.
It was built in the year 1551, by the Grand Vizier Rushem Hvrat Pasha, the son of Suliman the Magnificent. The name comes from the city of Bursa in Asia Minor, known for its high quality fabrics. The building has six domes; once home to the silk market, today it houses the town museum. It has a rectangular floor, and there are still market stalls nearby. Since 2004, it has been a museum, telling the history of Sarajevo through photographic panels and a model that shows the city as it was in 1878. Highly recommended.
The Seher Cehaja Bridge was built between the 15th and 16th centuries and is one of the 13 bridges that cross the river Miljacka in Sarajevo. There aren't a lot of documents explaining its history, but it's said to have been renovated by the Mayor of Sarajevo, Husein Hodzic, after the floods of 1619 which destroyed six of the city's bridges as well as many houses and trees. In 1880, the bridge was damaged again by the high water level, but in 1897, the river was tamed and these events stopped. The bridge is one of the city's historical monuments, and was renovated after the last war. It's surrounded by beautiful buildings, but be aware that the water that runs under the bridge is hardly the cleanest or clearest.
This beer factory is the main attraction of the picturesque residential area of the quiet town of Bistrik, on the left bank of the river Miljacka. This is a huge nineteenth century building, with arches and towers stained ochre and red. It dates back to the year 1864, and is built in the Viennese fashion. On the ground floor, next to the beer factory, is a bar-restaurant, which opened in 2004. They serve Turkish coffee, and perfect beer. It's worth making this small detour to soak up the atmosphere of multicultural Sarajevo.
Library of Sarajevo. I had read somewhere that the Library of Sarajevo had already restored its facade, I'm sorry but NO. I can confirm that for now the facade is equal to or worse than it was a few years ago. By 2005, the central dome was restored and now some columns of the central dome have also been restored - that is all for the moment but I hope that we can enjoy this building again sometime soon. In July 2008 I had the opportunity to visit Bosnia, including Sarajevo and like the Library, I was surprised to be able to enter because of the works that was being performed that day. I finally uploaded a couple of the Library photos and I have more if anyone is interested, I can also provide information if you are thinking of visiting this country.
This is a beautiful, impressive cathedral that you can't miss. The avenue that opens in front of it is one of the most crowded streets in the city, with several bars and trendy clubs. This imposing Catholic cathedral was built between 1884, and 1889, in the neogothic style, with two huge twin bell towers. It was designed by Josip Vancas, who did a lot of work for the Habsburgs in Sarajevo, and is reminiscent of the Notre Dame de Dijon in Burgundy.
This is a huge park, which is dotted with ancient trees, as well as some roads and ancient tombs. It's in the city centre, and dates back to 1500. Originally it was used as a cemetery, and was later donated to the city by Muslihudin Ekrekija (he himself was buried here). It became a park in the year 1886, by decision of the Austrian authorities. It is a very nice place to visit, on a gentle slope of the mountains that surround the river valley. In winter, the slope seems bigger due to frequent snowfall. Recommended.
The Miljacka River is in the heart of Sarajevo, which was built in the valley through which it runs. The "Jerusalem of the Balkans" lies in a longitudinal direction, following the course of the extensive river, with long avenues that cross the old town and the modern part of the city. If you want to explore the city on foot, be prepared to walk a lot! The Miljacka is a slow river, crossed by several bridges and occasionally showing some wounds of war that have not yet healed. Highly recommended visit.
This is another place full of Turkish charm in Sarajevo. It is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Baarija, the Turkish quarter, which is completely filled with paved, narrow pedestrian streets. Take a left after the Baarija Mosque, and on the left you'll see the Sebilj fountain. It's a lively place, now popular with tourists, where you can buy traditional copper objects made by craftsmen. Full of charm, a must-see.
Anyone who recalls the summer of 1992, when the Twin Towers of Sarajevo burnt, will have that image in their mind, just as terrible as what happened in New York, on September 11, 2001. The towers of Sarajevo were left ruined after the war, along with many other buildings of the city. In recent years, however, they have been rebuilt and now house the Unitic company, a large business.
In addition to the great mosque, the great artist Gazi Husrev Bey also built the Islamic School (Kurumlija Medresa), which can be freely accessed through the main gate in the courtyard of the sacred building. It was built around the year 1538, and is very unique. It has more than 24 domes and 12 chimneys. Above the door there's an inscription in Arabic, reading "Gazi Husrev Bey constructed this building for those in search of knowledge and God's love ... this is the meeting place of humility, home of the perfect man." The interior looks like a large courtyard, with rooms around it, occupied by the school's students. This was the first educational establishment in Bosnia, with library of texts about Islamic philosophy, law and theology. Nowadays it houses some temporary exhibitions, too. Well worth visiting.
Saraci is one of the oldest and most beautiful streets in the city of Sarajevo. The street is completely pedestrianised, and was originally built in the 1600's. Along the open road you can see the old leather tanning shops, a trade that still continues to this day. This is an Ottoman neighbourhood, close to the modern part of the city. It is full of souvenir shops and artisan stores, and at night it becomes especially attractive thanks to the different coloured lanterns hanging outside the shops, which create a beautiful view. Along Saraci, there are numerous monuments and places of tourist interest: the great mosque, with its Medresa and the Clock Tower, the two former caravanserai, and Kolobara Morica Han Han, converted into restaurants and bazaars. You simply must take a walk down this road to get a taste of the true Sarajevo spirit.
One of the first things to see in Sarajevo is Bascarsija, the old quarter and the historical and cultural center of the city. You can stroll through its streets, buying typical crafts from the many shops and meet the local people while shopping at the bazaar. This neighborhood is home to the Sebilj, one of the most emblematic places to visit in Sarajevo. There is a kiosk with two fountains, and legend has it that if you drink from them you'll have the heart of the city in you for a long time, so definitely add it to your list of Sarajevo activities.
Nearby there are also two important attractions in Sarajevo: the Gazi Mosque Husrev-beg, considered the most important Islamic structure throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Sahat-kula, the clock tower dating from the 18th century. Many more Sarajevo attractions include the cobblestone streets, the mosques, and the Oriental style shops. For the best views of the city, go to the Yellow Fortress or the surrounding hills, both of which offer fantastic views, but be careful because some land mines still exist in some of the hills.
Visiting the many museums is one of the other interesting things to do in Sarajevo if you're looking for culture. There's the Museum of Sarajevo, the Museum of Contemporary Art Ars Aevi Sarajevo, National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Institute, and some libraries, like the Gazi Husrev. Still wondering what to do in Sarajevo? Check out the descriptions shared by minube users to find out all about the stuff to do in Sarajevo.