14
Jul-2013

Sarajevo

  • Le long du fleuve Miljaca

  • Le quartier turc Bascarsija

  • Le quartier turc Bascarsija

  • Le jeu d'échec géant

  • Plaque commémorative assassinat de Franz Ferdinand

  • Roses

  • Academy des Beaux Arts

  • Musée Srebrenica

  • Musée Srebrenica

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Sarajevo is an amazing city, because it has reinvented itself despite its tragic past, which finally attracted a touristic crowd, but also because the city is known for its religious diversity. You will feel like you have landed in the Middle East: synagogues, Turkish bazaars, pitas and cevapis at every street corners, mix of veiled women and miniskirts… exotic and very festive at night :-)

What to visit in Sarajevo?

We only stayed one day, so we made a tour of the city rather quickly. Sarjevo is more lived than visited anyway.

Here is a small list of essentials to see and do in Sarajevo:

  • walk in the old Turkish quarter Bašcaršija and buy some metal souvenirs made ​​from old artillery during the war.
  • watch locals playing giant chess on a square downtown ,
  • walk along the Miljaca river and on the bridge going to the Academy of Arts. You will notice the small shelter with super modern benches, apparently created by students of the Academy.
  • cross the Latin Bridge, famous for being the place where, on 28 June 1914, the achiduc of the Austro -Hungarian empire Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which triggered the First World War. There is a sign and some photos to commemorate the event on a street corner and also a small museum.
  • look down the “roses“, these holes in the ground caused by the war which were filled with pink, in memory of the war.
  • pass the eternal flame, another memorial of the former Yugoslavia war.
  • visit Srebrenica museum, which is very interesting, with lots of intense pictures. It is 10 KM (or 5 €), and you have a free guide, according to the time you arrive. You can even come back for free once because there are videos that trace the entire history of Srebrenica and you can spend hours there.

We ran out of time but we would have liked to do one of the Free Walking Tours to learn more about the painful history of the city and the local way of life told by enthusiastic guides. There are two free Sarajevo tours, which have excellent reviews on Trip Advisor.

  • Neno ‘s Free Sarajevo Walking Tours: in summer, there are several organized tours per week. In winter, the tour must be booked in advance and is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The tour lasts 3 hours.
  • Sarajevo Insider Free Tour : Daily at 16:30 .

Other backpackers have also recommended us to do the tunnel, which was used during the siege of Sarajevo to link the city to the Bosnian territory. Another trace of their terrible war which is located just outside the city.

Where to stay in Sarajevo?

There are many hostels in Sarajevo, we were really impressed. It seems that many backpackers enjoy spending time here. We chose a new hostel, Balkan Han, which was well located and whose manager was very friendly. There is a small bar in rock-decorated basement, a terrace and a small garden, and the beds are very comfortable. The manager even offered us a shot of rakja on arrival! Only negative point : there was almost no one other than us in the hostel which is very small. It is therefore not a place where you could meet people…

Transportation in Sarajevo

There is a good network of tram that goes around the city center. Tickets must be bought in advance in kiosks on the street (or from the driver but it is more expensive). You must validate the ticket when boarding. You don’t really need to often take the tram to visit the city, which is really at human scale : almost everything is within walking distance.

Which restaurant to eat in Sarajevo?

There are small snack restaurants at every street corner, where you can eat bureks, cevapis and pljeskavica (the Balkan version hamburgers) or other pitas. We were recommended to go to the Cevabdzinica Zeljo, which is apparently well known by locals. There are two of the same name. It was very good, but very simple and a bit dry. The cevapis are served on a plate with meat, onions and bread separate, but no sauce.

Another restaurant that we tested is “To be or not to be” : very good dishes, beautiful setting, we particularly loved the seafood pasta and the veal stew (sort of goulash with rice).

Another great place, the Butik Badem (Trg djece Sarajeva 1) , a shop that has been offering almonds and peanuts for 5 decades, and also rahatlokums, a Turkish confectionery made ​​of starch and sugar gelatin. There are many varieties to taste !

The nightlife in Sarajevo

There is a good atmosphere at night. We went out to the Hacienda bar: couches, good music and many cheap cocktails (about 3 €) !

Watch movies About Sarajevo before or after the visit

We recommend the movie “Welcome to Sarajevo“, released in 1997 and directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film shows realistically how journalists have risked their lives in Sarajevo to show the world what was happening there and try to make things happen. The film shows archive images, which makes it even more poignant.

Hitchhiking from Sarajevo to Belgrade

It was very difficult to get out of Sarajevo by hitchhiking. We recommend to first go to Pale, but beware, do not stop in the city because you will be gone too far! Take the direction towards Zvornik.

Corruption when crossing the border from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia

Cross the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia is not an easy task. Corrupt customs will ask you proof of where you stayed in Bosnia. It is therefore imperative that you ask your hostel a paper stating that you have spent the night there, or at least that you print a paper with the address of the hostel. Otherwise, customs may ask you to pay a fine of up to 150 €. Never accept to pay ! It is a scam. We had no evidence but have refused to pay and they eventually let us go thanks to a paper where we had printed the address of the hostel.

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