Bascarsija – Old TownBascarsija is the old part of town with craft shops and petite traditional cafés and restaurants which should not be missed. The square dates back to the 15th century as an Ottoman trade centre and rises around the central fountain – Sebilj, spreading across narrow cobbled alleys into small crafts and other shops, mosques, libraries, Islamic schools… Ottoman style smoothly intertwines with the Austro-Hungarian design of the nearby Town Hall, one of the symbols of Sarajevo built in pseudo-Moorish style.
Multi-religious BlendMosques, synagogues, Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches standing next to each other create a unique heritage of this multicultural city. Strolling from Bascarsija you will come across the Old Orthodox Church built during the Ottoman period, a splendid Gazi-Husrev-bey’s Mosque, a nearby Jewish Temple and gallery and finally the Catholic Cathedral. Those are not just to be visited but enjoyed as the sound of church bells and muezzins call for prayer intertwine and create spiritual magic filling the air.
Sarajevo Museum 1878 – 1914The museum is located on the exact spot of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand thus triggering World War I. However the museum portrays the entire period of the Austro-Hungarian reign over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Combined with Svrzo House, Despic House which resemble life in the 17th and 18th century, and other Sarajevo Museum annexes, you will be able to grasp and emerge into our past, the way of living, our traditions and customs.
Olympic MountainsIn only half-an-hour drive discover why we hosted the best Winter Olympics of its time, and will host the European Youth Winter Olympics Festival in 2017! Our Olympic mountains Bjelasnica and Igman are great for intermediate and advanced skiers, whereas Jahorina offers 20 km of beginner, intermediate and snowboarding tracks. In addition to the Olympic mountains, visit other striking natural sites – outstanding Lukomir village, the second largest European waterfall Skakavac, famous Bosna River Spring...
Sarajevo Film FestivalSoutheast best filmmakers and major film stars gather at this not-to-be-missed festival featuring main-stage showings, world’s best documentaries, film workshops and similar. This is a good time to try out some of lively cafés and nightlife in Sarajevo. Sarajevo Film Festival, along with Bascarsija Nights (folklore and music, June), Sarajevo Winter dedicated to the 14th Winter Olympic Games with over a thousand participants (February-March) and numerous other events make Sarajevo buzz with entertainment.
Other top tourist attractions:
Bravadziluk was a street of locksmiths’ shops. Nowadays, it is a delicious-cuisine street with numerous tiny traditional restaurants serving pies (buregdzinica), saucy meat and vegetables (ascinica) and cevapi and other grilled meat specialties (cevabdzica). It is a must-visit attraction in Sarajevo. One of the first streets built in early 16th century was the Saraci Street. It is the central street leading to Bascarsija, named after "sarac”, a craftsman who makes and sells leather items. Some of the craftsmen were the wealthy Sarajevans and city’s benefactors. The street holds some of the most significant cultural, historical and tourist landmarks in the city: Kolobara Inn, Ghazi Husrev-Bey’s Mosque, Kursumlija Madrasah, Hanikah, Moric Inn, Ghazi Husrev-Bey’s Bedestan (Bazaar), Tower-Clock...
Ghazi Husrev-Bey’s EndowmentGhazi Husrev-Bey is a well-known governor and benefactor of Sarajevo, son of Ferhad-Bey (Bosnian) and Selçuka (Turkish princess, daughter of Sultan Bayezid II). He gave his entire fortune to Sarajevo and endowed numerous buildings through his waqf (religious endowment). His waqf is comprised of the largest mosque in the Balkans – Ghazi Husrev-Bey’s Mosque, hamam, bazaar, Taslihan (Stone Inn), Kursumlija Madrasah, Hanikah (Dervish tekke), imaret (public soup kitchen), musafirhana (inn for visitors to Sarajevo), and the library. He also established two hundred shops (used to maintain his waqf). After his death, funds collected from the shops’ turnover were used to build the Clock-Tower, Moric Inn and the first hospital in Sarajevo. According to a legend, Ghazi Husrev-Bey gave up his wealthy suit as well, and wore clothes the Court donated to him instead.
City HallThe need to construct a new building for a city administration came along with the Austro-Hungarian conquerors. Area of a medieval village (Brodac), where Isa-Bey’s Ishakovic established the city itself in the 15th c., was identified as ideal for the new government. The Austro-Hungarians bought off several buildings and two inns and designated Alexander Wittek as the main architect. He chose the pseudo-Moorish style for one of the most expensive projects in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. Allegedly, Wittek was a perfectionist. He even projected the number of bricks used to build the City Hall with a variation of only 3 bricks.
This grand architectural project was completed in 1896. Wittek did not live to see the completion. Due to his perfectionism, he could have not accepted the fact that the City Hall’s Auditorium did not have enough light. He considered this irreparable, had a nervous breakdown and committed suicide. Ciril M. Ivekovic took over the work, and found a simple solution and designed a glass-dome.
During the siege of Sarajevo, this cultural and historical monument was burnt down, along the fund of the National and University Library (which was at the time seated within the City Hall). The City Hall was recently renovated (2014) and remains one of the most impressive attractions in Sarajevo. It is a symbol of education, hope, art, culture, history, beauty…
Museum of Sarajevo Assassination and Latin BridgeAt the junction of the Apel key and Franjo Josip streets (today Obala Kulina bana and Zelenih beretki streets), Gavrilo Princip, a high school student and a member of Mlada Bosna, a secret organization established by the Black Hand movement, completed the organization’s gloomy plan on June 28th, 1914. Gavrilo assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Austro-Hungarian Monarchy considered Serbia to be involved and sent their ultimatum on July 23, 1914. The First World War commenced soon after.
The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy set a monument dedicated to Franz Ferdinand and Sophie Hohenberg, just across the assassination spot, on Latin Bridge. The monument was removed when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians was established. A year after removing the monument, a new museum "Museum of Sarajevo Assassination” was opened. The Museum portrays the Austro-Hungarian rule, new administration system, new way of living, crafts, economy, architecture, development of science and arts.
The bridge was built by Ali Ayni-Bey in 1565. The name, Latin Bridge, derives from the Latinluk Quarter. Latinluk was a colony of merchants from Dubrovnik and the Mediterranean and Catholics, who were present in Sarajevo for centuries. The Latin Bridge was built on the site of a former wooden bridge. It was the third stone bridge in Sarajevo with 5 arches (one was walled-in during the regulation of Miljacka River bed).
Monumental Complex - War tunnel - "Tunnel of Hope”The war tunnel was constructed during the 1400-day long siege Sarajevo (1992 to 1995 siege), to connect two free territories. Entrance and exit of the tunnel are two houses situated at the opposite sides of the airport. Thus, the tunnel connected Dobrinja and Butmir settlements, and was named "Objekat D-B”. Tunnel construction was initiated in 1993 and completed the same year. The tunnel is 720 meters long, 1.50 meters high. In 1994, narrow rails and mine carts were added to facilitate transportation of food and medicines. Humanitarian aid was being delivered through this tunnel, and wounded soldiers sent out of Sarajevo over Igman Mt. Politicians and world-known reporters such as Susan Sontag used this tunnel to come to Sarajevo and offer their support to the war-torn city. Today, this unique museum structure is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Museum of Contemporary Art "Ars Aevi”The Museum of Contemporary Art features the important international contemporary art collection in South-East Europe, founded in 1992. This permanent contemporary display consists of the masterpieces donated to Sarajevo by world famous artists like Marina Abramovic, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jannis Kounellis, James Rosenquist, Gianni Dessi’, Daniel Buren, Louise Bourgeois, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Kosuth, Jan Fabre, Sandro Chia. The Italian architect Renzo Piano designed the project for a future museum. As a gift to the city of Sarajevo, he also designed the Ars Aevi Bridge built in 2002.
IlidzaIlidza was the first settlement in Sarajevo back in the Neolithic period. The name was derived from the term iladz – the one who heals, as Ilidza was known to Romans (Roman settlement Aquae S…) and their ancestors as the thermal, spa and healing centre of Sarajevo. Ottomans recognized the same values and continued to inhabit Ilidza and built numerous spas. This is one of the most significant thermal spring sites in Europe, thus the Austro-Hungarian built an entire spa and rehabilitation complex with Austria, Bosna, Hungaria and Hercegovina Hotels. During the Austro-Hungarian period, Ilidza was a trendy place for the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie...
A three-kilometre long plane-tree and chestnut tree alley which runs from Ilidza will take you to a beautiful natural monument - Vrelo Bosne. The alley has 726 trees planted in 1894 and it is ideal for family day out, long walks, bicycle and roller skate rides, jogging… The spring (Vrelo Bosne) rises at the foot of Mt. Igman and has over 60 karst springs. It is a morphological, hydrological, botanical and horticultural monument, and one of the locals’ favorite outdoor spots.
Carriage-ride is a symbol of Vrelo Bosne. The traditional horse-driven carriage has run along the tree for over a century. To this day, lives a memory of the first carriage which took Archduke Franz Ferdinand on a ride through the alley in 1895.
Rakitnica River CanyonRakitnica River Canyon is an untouched river canyon nested between Bjelasnica and Visocica mountains. The river rises on Bjelasnica Mt (1500 meters). After a 20-km long flow, drinkable from the spring to the mouth, the river creates breathtaking rapids, cascades and small waterfalls. Some parts are easily accessed and fishable (especially for the endemic Adriatic trout/soft-mouth trout). Other parts, however, are steep gorges and require a guide and climbing shoes. This is an isolated canyon, close to ethno villages on the Bjelasnica Mt.; it preserves priceless autochthonous flora and fauna species; amazing scenery and great hiking and mountain-biking terrain.
Lukomir VillageThere is no better way to experience how the locals lived in the old times than the Lukomir Village (1496 m). This living museum which portrays day-to-day life of the Lukomir people is only 42 km from Sarajevo. Lukomir is also known for its stone shingle-roofed houses. Due to harsh weather conditions, the village is approachable only on skies or on foot between December and April.
Women still wear traditional handmade clothes that resemble the woven clothes dating back several centuries ago. Villagers make colorful gloves, socks and similar accessories in natural wool. They live by selling those, raising livestock and doing mountain agriculture.
Skakavac WaterfallSkakavac Waterfall is located 12 km north of Sarajevo, above the Nahorevo Village, It is a 98-m high waterfall, second tallest in Europe. It is a part of a Natural Park and it takes a 3-hour thrilling walk through the fir, beech, spruce, and ash tree forest. The waterfall is surrounded by endemic flora and fauna species and is great for mushroom and medicinal herbs picking. It is an oasis of peace and relaxation to all nature lovers, athletes, mountain bikers, photographers, hikers…
Bijambare CavesBijambare Speleological Area is a protected natural site located northeast of Sarajevo on Sarajevo-Tuzla Highway (approximately 40 km from Sarajevo). Bijambare Caves is a speleological complex surrounded by thick conifer forest, two brooks, small lakes, several springs and a great variety of mushrooms, medicinal herbs and some rare endemic species. The area is ideal for outdoor picnics, hunting, fishing, hiking, speleological research...
The complex is comprised of several caves but only three are open to visitors.
The most popular cave is Srednja bijambarska pecina or the Middle Bijambare Cave. There is over 400 long with a passageway which branches into four chambers ornamented with stalactites hanging from the cave roof extending into spectacular curtains and stalagmites which form the cave floor. The forth chamber is the largest and due its acoustic effects it is called the "Music Chamber”. The Central Bijambare Cave is home to bats and crickets and some other species. There are numerous findings from the Ice Age (animal skeletons) and Paleolite (cave men). A hundred meters from the Central Cave, you will come across the Lower Bijambare Cave, where the Brodic Crook sinks.