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Top 10 Things to Do in Sarajevo: A Guide to the Best Attractions and Activities in the City

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About Sarajevo

Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is known for its rich history and unique culture. Located in the heart of the Balkans, Sarajevo has long been a melting pot of different cultures and influences and is home to a diverse population of people from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. The city has a rich history that dates back to ancient times and has been inhabited by a number of different cultures over the centuries.

Sarajevo is perhaps best known for its role in modern history as the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which sparked the First World War. However, the city has much more to offer beyond this tragic event. Sarajevo is home to a number of cultural and historical landmarks, such as the Sarajevo Cathedral and the Bascarsija, the city’s vibrant main square and marketplace. The city is also home to a number of museums, galleries, and cultural centers that showcase the city’s rich history and diverse culture.

Beautiful Sarajevo, surrounded by mountains. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Being surrounded by mountains, Sarajevo is also an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Overall, Sarajevo is a unique and fascinating city that offers something for everyone. Its rich history, diverse culture, and beautiful natural surroundings make it an ideal destination for travelers who are looking for an authentic and memorable experience.

Map of Sarajevo

The Old Town streets of Sarajevo. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Explore the Old Town

The Old Town (Stari Grad) is a historic neighborhood in Sarajevo that is known for its winding streets, colorful houses, and historic landmarks. It was founded in the 15th century by the Ottoman Empire and has a rich history that reflects the city’s diverse cultural heritage. Some of the must-see sites in the Old Town include the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, which was built in the 16th century and is one of the largest and most important mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is an architectural masterpiece and a popular tourist attraction, with its beautiful minarets and grand interior.

The Sebilj fountain is another popular spot in the Old Town and was built in the 18th century. It is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists and is a great place to sit and relax while soaking up the atmosphere of the Old Town of Sarajevo. The Latin Bridge, which was the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, is also located in the Old Town and played a significant role in the outbreak of World War I. Today, it is a very popular point of interest and a poignant reminder of the city’s past and the events that followed.

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Walk by Miljacka River

The Miljacka River flows through the city of Sarajevo and is a popular spot for a leisurely stroll or picnicking. Along the river, you can find a number of parks, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a number of historic landmarks. The Sarajevo City Hall (Vijecnica) is one of the most iconic buildings in the city and was built in the late 19th century in the neo-Moorish style. It is a beautiful and imposing building, attracting many visitors and the eyes of bypassers.

The Sarajevo City Hall (Vijecnica). Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The National Theatre, which was built in the early 20th century, is another popular landmark along the river. It is a popular venue for cultural events, such as concerts, plays, and ballets, and is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau architecture.

The Miljacka River is also home to a number of other important landmarks, such as the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Miljacka River is the main artery of the city. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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The Sarajevo War Tunnel

The Sarajevo War Tunnel was a crucial lifeline for the city during the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s. The tunnel was built by Bosnian soldiers and civilians during the war and was used to smuggle supplies into the city, which was surrounded by Serbian forces. The tunnel was an engineering feat, as it was dug by hand through solid rock and was over 800 m / 2 620 ft long. Today, the tunnel is open to the public as a museum, and visitors can learn about its history and see exhibits about the war. It is a powerful reminder of another important historical event of the city’s past and the resilience of its people.

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Visit City Museum

The Sarajevo City Museum showcases the city’s rich history and cultural heritage, with exhibits covering topics such as the Ottoman Empire, World War I, and the Siege of Sarajevo. The museum is located in the Old Town and is a great place to learn about the city’s past. It features a variety of artifacts, documents, and photographs that provide insight into the city’s history, as well as interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Sarajevo is a city surrounded by mountains. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Appreciate The Olympic Mountains

The Olympic Mountains are located just outside of Sarajevo and offer breathtaking views of the city and surrounding area. They are named after the 1984 Winter Olympics, which were held in Sarajevo. These games put the Olympic Mountains on the global stage and helped to establish the region as a premier destination for winter sports. The notable points of interest from the Olympic Games in the Olympic Mountains include the Jahorina Olympic Center, which served as a hub for sports and cultural events, and the various ski slopes and trails that were used for the Winter Olympics.

Overall, these mountains are known for their beautiful natural landscapes and recreational opportunities. The mountains are a popular spot for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities, and offer a variety of trails and slopes that cater to different skill levels. They are also home to a number of ski resorts, which offer a range of amenities such as ski rentals, ski schools, and après-ski activities. The Olympic Mountains are a must-see destination for anyone visiting Sarajevo, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes, take a leisurely hike, or simply take in the stunning views, the Olympic Mountains are sure to delight you.

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Only 38% of the people living in Sarajevo are Muslims. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The Sarajevo Cathedral

The Cathedral of Sarajevo is a beautiful Orthodox church located in the heart of the city. It was built in the late 19th century and is known for its ornate interior and beautiful stained glass windows. The cathedral is a popular place for tourists to visit, and is also an important site for the city’s Orthodox community. It is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture, with its gold-plated dome, intricate frescoes, and elaborate iconostasis. The cathedral is an active place of worship and is a key part of the city’s cultural and spiritual life.

The Sarajevo Brewery is a popular attraction for beer lovers, as it offers tours and tastings of its locally produced beers. The brewery was founded in 1864 and is one of the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in a historic building in the Old Town, and visitors can take a tour of the brewery to learn about the brewing process and taste a variety of beers. The brewery is known for its high-quality beers, which are made using traditional methods and ingredients.

Bascarsija square. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Enjoy The Bascarsija

The Bascarsija is the city’s vibrant main square and marketplace and is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. It is a great place to find souvenirs, try local food, or simply soak up the atmosphere. The Bascarsija was founded in the 15th century and has long been a central hub of commerce and cultural life in Sarajevo. It is a bustling and lively place, with street vendors selling a variety of goods, including handmade crafts, jewelry, and traditional Bosnian food. The Bascarsija is also home to a number of historic landmarks, such as the Clock Tower and the Copper Workshop, which are popular tourist attractions.

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Face the Gallery 11/07/95

It is dedicated to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, which occurred in July 1995 during the Bosnian War. The genocide was a horrific event in which over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the town of Srebrenica, located in eastern Bosnia. The massacre is considered one of the worst atrocities in modern European history, and the Gallery 11/07/95 serves as a reminder of the importance of peace and reconciliation.

The gallery features a range of exhibits and displays, including photographs, documents, and personal artifacts, that provide insight into the events of the genocide and its aftermath. In addition to its exhibits and educational programs, the Gallery 11/07/95 also serves as a cultural center, hosting a variety of events and activities such as lectures, workshops, and concerts. It is a place of reflection and remembrance and is an important part of Sarajevo’s cultural landscape.


Climbing Yellow Fortress. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Climb Yellow Fortress

The Yellow Fortress is a historic fortification located on a hill overlooking the city of Sarajevo. It was built in the late 17th century and offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area. The fortress is a popular spot for tourists and offers a glimpse into the city’s past. It was originally built as a defensive structure, but today it is a peaceful and tranquil place, with beautiful gardens and paths for visitors to explore. The fortress gets its name from the yellow stone that was used to construct it, which is native to the area and is known for its durability and resistance to weathering. Despite its military purpose, the fortress was also used for other purposes throughout its history, such as a storage facility for weapons and other supplies, and as a prison at various times.

In addition to its military and practical uses, the fortress has also played a role in the city’s cultural and social life, serving as a popular spot for picnics and other leisure activities, and as a venue for events such as concerts and festivals. The fortress is a popular spot for tourists and offers beautiful views of the city and the surrounding area. Visitors can climb to the top of the fortress and take in the breathtaking views, or explore the gardens and paths that wind through the grounds.

Panorama of Sarajevo from the Yellow Fortress. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The museum at the fortress is a great place to learn about the city’s history and the role that the fortress played in it. It features a variety of artifacts, documents, and photographs that provide insight into the city’s past, as well as interactive exhibits and educational programs. Overall, the Yellow Fortress is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Sarajevo, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.


Eternal fire is actually powered by gas but it doesn’t make much difference. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Brace Eternal Fire

Located in the center of Sarajevo, the Eternal Fire is a monument that has been continuously burning since 1946. It is a flame that symbolizes the city’s resistance and resilience and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The Eternal Fire was originally lit as a tribute to the victims of World War II, but has since become a symbol of hope and peace for the city. It is fueled by natural gas and has been burning continuously for over 75 years, making it a unique and enduring part of Sarajevo’s cultural identity. The Eternal Fire is an important part of the city’s memorial landscape and is a testament to Sarajevo’s enduring spirit in the face of adversity.

All content and photos by Alis Monte, unless stated differently. If you want to collaborate, contact me on info@ctdots.eu Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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