Sarajevo is an up and coming capital of a fledgling nation. At the same time it is a place with a long standing identity and a reputation for being traversed, eclectic and dynamic for the adventuring traveler. It beckons to those who would go beyond the ho-hum European nations always on the regular travel itineraries. It is a city to truly explore and discover right in the midst of modern happenings.
This monumental Latin Bridge is the site of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination which launched the first steps of World War I. Today it is a well maintained structure which spans the central river that flows through Sarajevo. It is well marked with memorial plaques and it is easy to find just off the central part of the old town.
This mosque has a long history and it is the first to be built after the conquest of the Ottomans in this land. It is described as one of the most beautiful mosques in all of the Balkans and it is a large facility and has a single subdome as part of its signature architecture. It has decorative walls, spacious and ornate courtyards and overall has a very pleasant and inviting atmosphere. It is a pleasure to explore and a joy to behold.
One of Sarajevo’s most memorable buildings looks like part cathedral, part parliament and part museum. It sits along the banks of the Miljacka River and it is hard to miss. This is in fact the art academy and it looks like these other buildings because it was in fact a church once upon a time. It was resurrected from disrepair by a group of visionary artists who have reestablished it as something majestic.
Kiosk/ Barscarsija square
An iconic fixture in Barscarsija square, the kiosk is an historic monument that makes for a wonderful monument to photograph and in the evenings it is well lit. The square is at the crossroads of the old quarter and it is also known as pidgeon square thanks to the massive number of city birds that fill it as traffic. As in many places with Ottoman influence, this was the central marketplace and thus the hub of social, political and economic activity in this city for centuries. Today one can find some of the best shops and restaurants in the stalls that radiate out from this spot.
Sarajevo has many parks and verdant landscapes all over town, but by far the most sport worthy and beautiful is Betanija. It is a popular place for pet owners, sports enthusiasts and those looking to stroll or lounge in the beautiful nature that forms the backdrop of this treasured city.
This may be one of the world’s most famed hotels as it occupied a strategic position during the siege of Sarajevo, the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. The Holiday Inn in its iconic yellow fascade and seemingly unfinished look stands today much as it did when the cameras and journalists were holed up in it for the major segments of the siege. Today the hotel is a landmark and a nice property that occupies a central part of the city’s social life.
The number of small restaurants, cafes, bars and discos in Sarajevo is impressive. It seems like every little corner has a hangout and a spot where plenty of friends, both young and old get together to socialize. Café’s are wildly popular as well as places serving local specialties of grilled meats and the thick Balkan pizza’s are quite famous too. Having tried many spots it is safe to say that there is good competition and quality among many of the options available.
Sarajevo has even in the midst of greater conflicts surrounding it, always been revered as a place of religious tolerance and cooperation. The Catholic Cathedral sits on the same block as the major Jewish, Orthodox and Islamic cultural and worship centers. The Church is a beautiful classical structure which complements the great artistry and splendor of the city’s other worship sites.