SarajevoWith its stunning natural setting, culturally diverse - and, at times, turbulent - history, and modern vibrancy, Sarajevo is a busy city which now actively welcomes visitors to its eclectic streets. The Islamic, Orthodox, Catholic and Judaic influences and religious traditions live on side by side here, in the formerly contested capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina set against the misty backdrop of the Dinaric Alps.
The CityThe city of Sarajevo is divided into four municipalities; however, it is Stari Grad (the Old Town) that is undoubtedly the city’s crown jewel. The eastern section of Stari Grad is home to the 15th-century Ottoman quarters. Wandering among the atmospheric alleyways of the Bascarsija, you will be transported to another time and place by the sight of its splendid architecture, the sound of the muezzin from the Gazi Husrey-Beg Mosque and the smell of freshly cooked cevapcici filling the air.
Do & See
If you’re feeling up for the challenge, hike up the hill to the old medieval town and the ruins of Jacje Castle, where panoramic views of the city open before your very eyes. Walking west along the main alleyway of Bascarsija, you will notice the architecture change as you move into Ferhadija Street and into the Austro-Hungarian part of the city. Ferhadija Street is the main pedestrian shopping street in Sarajevo. The streets running parallel to Ferhadija Street are Obala Kulina Bana and Marsala Tita, where you will find many fine examples of Austro-Hungarian legacy.
Like most areas in the Balkan region, Sarajevo’s cuisine is made up of fresh local produce such as meat (particularly lamb), dairy products, different breads, fresh fruit and vegetables. Traditional dishes to look out for include jagnjetina (lamb grilled over open fire), begova corba (chicken), one of the many stews and the local fast food cevapcici (minced meat sausages). However, be sure to leave space for a piece of baklava, a sweet honey pastry.
The cosiest cafés in town are concentrated in the Bascarsija district made up of cobbled streets and packed to the brim with small shops and historic buildings. Sit down and relax with a strong cup of coffee at one of the many outdoor terraces along Ferhadija Street. This is a perfect spot for people-watching.
Bars & Nightlife
Sarajevo’s bar scene is seriously cool, so don some sharp clothes and your dancing shoes and be ready to party hard. If you’re still up for more after hitting the bars, then join Sarajevo’s party people in one of the city’s numerous haunts. Be prepared – the party doesn't stop until the early dawn. In addition to the usual party nights - Friday and Saturday - Sarajevo comes alive on Thursday, the so-called "student night".
Sarajevo has everything to offer the discerning shopaholic – be it traditional craftwork, the latest high street fashions, or simply markets in which to meander. Whatever your shopping needs, be sure to leave room in your luggage for the gifts you’ll undoubtedly take home. Start your shopping spree in the Bascarsija area - a maze of shopping streets in the old town. Specific crafts are located together, so if you want a nice piece of gold jewellery, then Gazi-Husrev Bey Street will cater to your needs, while in Kazandziluk Street you’ll be able to find that copper Turkish coffee set you've always wanted. For Western-style, high street fashions and boutiques, Fernandina street and its environs are where you want to head.