The best places in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo sights

Neretva River National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Military tunnel in Sarajevo Casino Club Colosium Bridge Romeo and Juliet Ilija House Svrzo

This site contains Sarajevo attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Sarajevo, where to go and where to find popular and interesting places in Sarajevo.

Neretva River

Neretva river (photo)

Neretva is a river in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The length of the river is 225 kilometers.

The Neretva begins in the mountains of Herzegovina, near the border with Montenegro. In its upper reaches, the Neretva is a river flowing in a narrow and deep gorge, with clear and very cold water. In the middle reaches of the gorge turns into a wide valley with fertile soil. Above the town of Jablanica on the Neretva is a reservoir, which is formed by the dam of the city’s power plant.

On the territory of Croatia, in its lower reaches, the Neretva River forms a delta with many branches. The land here is very fertile and of great agricultural value. In 1943, a battle took place on the river, which was chronicled in the movie “The Battle of Neretva”, the highest budget movie in the history of the Yugoslav cinema.

Coordinates: 43.15710900,17.74941700

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (photo)

The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in central Sarajevo. It was established in 1888.

The first idea for a museum back in 1850. In 1913, the museum was expanded by the Czech architect Karel Parik. He developed the structure of the building: four symmetrical pavilions with a facade in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The pavilions housed the departments of archeology, ethnography, natural history and the library.

For a while the museum was closed because of severe damage sustained during the last war. It was reopened after a few years, but on October 4, 2012 it was closed again due to financial problems.

Coordinates: 43.85468400,18.40274200

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Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (photo)

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the largest cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in Sarajevo. It is also known to many as “Sarajevo Cathedral.”

Standing on Ferhadija Street near the central quarters, the cathedral is among the main architectural landmarks and acts as the center of the Catholic faith in the city. It was built in 1889 by architect Josep Vance in neo-Gothic style with Romanesque architectural elements, following the model of Notre Dame de Paris.

During the siege of Sarajevo, the cathedral was damaged, but fortunately it was quickly rebuilt by the city authorities. Its building is a symbol of the city and is used in Sarajevo’s flag and seal.

Coordinates: 43.85926000,18.42552300

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Military tunnel in Sarajevo

Military tunnel in Sarajevo (photo)

The Sarajevo Military Tunnel is one of the reminders of the siege of Sarajevo during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.

It was built by Sarajevo’s inhabitants to make it possible to escape from the besieged city as well as to enter it with humanitarian aid. The tunnel was 720 meters long. It connected Butmir and Dobrynja districts. The tunnel led to Sarajevo airport, which was supposed to be neutral territory under the control of the United Nations. The tunnel was completed in less than six months. Volunteers dug it in shifts of eight hours a day. Bosnia’s then-president Alija Izetbegovic passed through the tunnel several times.

The 20 meters of the tunnel, preserved to this day, are now part of the museum created by the Kolar family.

The museum is open to visitors every working day from 9 to 16 hours.

Coordinates: 43.81979900,18.33738600

Colosium Casino Club

Colosium Casino Club (photo)

Casino Club “Colosium” is the only casino in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where you can have fun at one of the gaming tables, slot machines or roulette. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the Skend Guesthouse hotel.

The casino offers its visitors 11 gaming tables, including American Roulette, Black Jack, Texas Hold’em Poker, Omaha Hold’em Poker and others.

The atmosphere of fun and the magical light of the slot machines leave no one indifferent. In addition, free drinks are provided in the gaming rooms. In addition, every weekend there are dance parties with live music and many other activities.

Coordinates: 43.85416600,18.41222600

Romeo and Juliet Bridge

Romeo and Juliet Bridge (photo)

Romeo and Juliet Bridge is a bridge in the center of Sarajevo. It is also known as Vrbanja Bridge or Suada and Olga Bridge.

“Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo.” – is a documentary about the deaths of Admira Ismić and Bosko Brkić. The couple were natives of the former Yugoslavia, living in the city of Sarajevo. Like many other couples and families in Bosnia, they belonged to different ethnic groups: she was Bosnian and he was a Bosnian Serb. Admira Ismić and Bosko Brkić were killed on the Vrbanja bridge on May 19, 1993, while fleeing the besieged city. The couple became a symbol of the suffering of people on all sides of the conflict.

The bridge is also named after Suada Dilberovic and Olga Susic, the first official victims of the Sarajevo siege, who were killed by Serbian soldiers on April 5, 1992, during peaceful anti-war demonstrations. The inscription engraved on the plaque on the bridge reads: “A drop of my blood fell and Bosnia did not dry.

Coordinates : 43.85332600,18.40661100

Ilija

Ilija (photo)

The town of Ilijah, located a few kilometers west of Sarajevo, is known as a great balneological resort. The area around the town has always been famous for its natural sights.

In the spacious and picturesque park of Vrelo Bosne it is very nice to take a relaxing stroll through the cosy alleys. People like to come to the park with their families for picnics. One of the main attractions of the park is the waterfalls, one of which has a small restaurant. Here you can taste dishes of national cuisine.

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Near the mineral and thermal springs Iligi, which can be reached by car, horse-drawn carriage, bicycle or on foot through the park. Very close to the town towers Belasnica mountain, where fans of skiing prefer to relax.

Coordinates: 43.81867500,18.30179800

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Svrzo House

Svrzo house (photo)

Svrzo House is a house-museum of traditional Bosnian architecture from the Ottoman period. It is a real house, not a reconstructed one, which belonged to the Svrzo family. It is in honor of their last owners that the museum was given this name. The main purpose of the museum is to give visitors an idea of the culture and lifestyle of wealthy Muslim families from the end of the 12th century until the 19th century.

The Svrzo house is a classic example of Bosnian architecture before the Europeanization of the region. It was built of raw bricks and wood. But of particular interest to visitors is usually the interior of the house, as it consists of two parts: male and female, which indicates the patriarchal family relationships that were specific to the whole period of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to the interior, it will also be interesting to see the courtyard, the fountain and the garden.

Coordinates: 43.87908800,18.43025200

The most popular attractions in Sarajevo with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Sarajevo on our website.

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Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo is one of the most interesting spots in the Balkans. First of all, a unique mixture of cultures, religions and nationalities occurred here. In addition, it is one of the few European cities where most people identify themselves as Muslims, and there are more mosques than Christian temples. Second, traces of tragic history still linger in the city’s streets. During the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995, Sarajevo was under siege for four years, making it the longest siege of the city in modern history. The war caused great destruction and loss of life, including civilian casualties.

Ottoman Empire

Throughout its history, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been inhabited by different nationalities. During the Ottoman rule most practiced Islam, during the Middle Ages the city was inhabited by people of different religions: Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, and Jews. In later years, the population grew mainly due to Christians from other regions. The conquest of the country by Austria-Hungary in the 19th century also contributed to the increase in the number of Christians. By the beginning of the 20th century, there was no predominant nationality and religion in the city.

Each of the historical eras has left its mark on the appearance of the city. For more than four centuries Sarajevo was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and it was often called the “New Damascus” and the “Balkan Jerusalem. The central districts, built up at the time, resembled Istanbul more than the European capital. Around the Sebil Fountain, one of Sarajevo’s symbols, there are plenty of shopping stalls with coffee turks, jewelry and souvenirs, as well as cafes and hookah houses. The main mosques, Gazi Husrev-beg and Tsarev, are also located here.

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Austria-Hungary

The most striking example of the heritage of the era under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is the Academy of Arts. The building, which remotely resembles other famous monuments of the former empire, was originally built as an evangelical church. After World War I, all evangelicals disappeared from the city, and the church became the Academy of Art.

The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina is another typical example of Austro-Hungarian architecture in Sarajevo. During the war, the library was semi-destroyed and unique manuscripts and other historical relics were burned. A few years ago it was reconstructed.

The rest of the building of this period was influenced by Austrian architecture and the Moorish style. At the same time, due to the change in the religious composition of the population, the main Catholic and Orthodox churches appeared.

Sarajevo’s central districts are in a lowland area surrounded by mountains. The hills around the city are occupied by areas with mostly private houses and small streets.

Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

The most famous point in Sarajevo is the site of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. The Archduke’s motorcade left the City Hall (now the national library) and drove along the embankment along the Miljacka River. At the Latin Bridge, the Serbian anarchist Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Many countries had their own interests in the Balkan Peninsula, so the murder provoked a crisis that grew into an international conflict and led to World War I. The murderer was convicted and died four years later in prison of tuberculosis.

New neighborhoods

New buildings are also being built in the city, mostly business centers and shopping malls.

The new buildings are mostly concentrated around the square in New Sarajevo. It was badly destroyed during the war, including the hotel and the Momo and Uzeir towers, which were later rebuilt.

Second photo Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Bosnian War

Next to the new buildings, residential buildings with traces of shelling and bombing were left behind. At the breakup of Yugoslavia, Bosnia declared its independence. The Bosnian Serbs did not agree with it, as the decision was made by the Bosnian Muslims without discussion. The country was divided, and neither side was willing to compromise. The conflict was mostly interethnic and interreligious, since the escalation of tensions between the Bosnian, Croatian, and Serb populations began long before the direct detachment of Bosnia from Yugoslavia. The main features of this war were ethnic cleansing, high civilian casualties and war crimes.

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The clashes began near the border with Serbia, but quickly spread throughout the country. When the conflict began, the Serbian army outnumbered the Bosnian army, which was also largely concentrated in the city center, so Sarajevo was besieged.

Sniper Alley.

The city was subjected to both aerial bombardment and local military clashes. Snipers posed a great danger during the siege. Sarajevo’s main street, Gradašćević Street, was named Sniper Alley or Alley of Death. It runs through the entire city, and the elevations around it created favorable conditions for sniper fire. Most of the dead from the shelling on this street were civilians.

Sarajevo Roses.

Some of the streets were left with so-called Sarajevo roses – marks from shell splinters. They have been painted red, which symbolizes the fact that a person was killed by a shell on that spot. Now the roses can be found including on the main street.

At the airport began the territories controlled by UN peacekeepers and the Bosnian army. The siege led to shortages of food, water and medicine. So it was decided to create a tunnel that would connect the occupied territory with the outside world. In the shortest possible time, a tunnel of about 800 meters long was dug. Through it the necessary food and ammunition were transported and people fled from the besieged city. Now the first 200 meters are open to the public.

In the area around the airport there are still damaged and dilapidated buildings.

Abandoned Olympic sites

Although the Bosnian region was the poorest during the Yugoslavia, it was actively developing and in 1984 it hosted the Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, almost all the Olympic facilities were destroyed during the war. The Kosevo sports stadium was partially turned into a cemetery, and the bobsled track in Mount Trebevic, built from scratch, became a military stronghold and is now abandoned.

Photos from outside sources.

To this day, much is still unknown about this war. Many facts have been concealed and changed through propaganda. It is known that war crimes and ethnic cleansing were carried out by each side, but for the most part only the Serbian military was convicted. Even the actions of UN peacekeepers during the war were controversial in many ways, but most of the crimes of those times have never been impartially investigated.

Second photo by Mark H. Milstein/ Northfoto

Yellow Bastion

Near the Yellow Bastion (part of the 18th-century fortress) is a memorial cemetery where Muslims who died during the Bosnian War are buried. Almost every tombstone that catches your eye shows that the dead were no more than 25 years old. Opposite the cemetery is a memorial wall with the names of those killed.

The siege, which began in 1992, lasted four years and ended in 1995 after the NATO bombing of Serbia. Many conflicts arose during the breakup of Yugoslavia, but the Bosnian War and the siege of Sarajevo were the fiercest of them all. There is no other city in Europe that has undergone such destruction since World War II.

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Sarajevo now.

Many of the houses damaged by shelling and bombing have been restored and continue to be restored and painted over, but many buildings still retain them. Because of this, one constantly imagines, in one way or another, the horror that reigned here during the siege. And while modern neighborhoods and new business centers show that Sarajevo is ready to develop and catch up, looking at the ubiquitous chipped facades and dilapidated buildings, it often seems that this is not entirely true. The daily reminder of the past war reflects how hard it is to forget it and move on.

During the conflict, most Serbs and Croats fled the city. Now the population is predominantly Muslim, but the country remains divided and many of the contradictions have not disappeared. Both during the war and now, neither side is willing to make great compromises, which leads to the intervention of other states, which often act in their own interests.

Overall impression

Sarajevo is a city that, despite its tragic history, has managed to maintain its authenticity and multiculturalism. There are still mosques and Christian churches, and the old eastern neighborhoods are juxtaposed with modern European neighborhoods. At the same time Sarajevo is unlike any other city, it is unusual and unique. This atmosphere of an ancient city with a complicated past, which is gradually changing and evolving, is difficult to describe. And so, despite the fact that Sarajevo is relatively easy to get to, everyone should visit here.

Flights to Sarajevo are best viewed on the low fares calendar. Usually these are flights with a connection. The cheapest option from Russia is most often tickets from Wizzair with a connection in Budapest.

The best accommodation options are easier to choose on Hotellook

Bosnia can be visited as part of a trip through the Balkans. Click here for a complete itinerary including seven countries.

Excursions

Sarajevo offers interesting tours in English that better reveal its complicated history. For example, a tour of all the city’s war-related sites; a military tour of the tunnel that connected the besieged city to the rest of the world; a visit to Tito’s secret atomic bunker; or a trip to Srebrenica.

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