Sarajevo is an atmospheric mix of east and west. For many, Sarajevo is the first to come to mind the famous shots and war. However, the city has changed and developed into one of the most interesting destinations in Europe.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is an exotic and hospitable capital with something to see on every corner. Narrow and maze-filled streets are filled with people, a rumble of speech and intermingling scents. In Sarajevo, cultures, citizenships and religions mix into a sweet mess where the tourist has enough to wonder.
The traces of the war meet a rich cultural life
According to DigoPaul, Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city of about 300,000 inhabitants is surrounded by mountains, the caves of which also originate on the Miljacka River, which crosses the center.
The chain of events that led to the First World War began with the shots of Sarajevo, when a young student shot Ferdinand and his wife, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, in June 1914. Today, in a quiet city, traces of war are still present, and even a tourist visiting the city cannot ignore them.
In fact, the most interesting places to visit in Sarajevo are related to military history. In the city you will find the National Museum, which tells about the country’s past and culture, as well as the Historical Museum, which introduces you to more recent history. What is most special, however, is the Tunnel Museum on the outskirts of the city, under which a tunnel dug into the ground kept the people of Sarajevo alive during the siege.
War history also runs into the streets, as long as you keep your eyes open. On the road you can see here and there red-painted pits, the so-called Sarajevo roses, which mark the places where the grenade has left its mark. The huge Muslim cemeteries surrounding the city are also reminiscent of military history.
The city is an absolute destination for those interested in recent European history. However, Sarajevo is not only Vello in war memoirs, but alongside flourishes a living cultural life.
In the city of contrasts, you can start the day by walking through the colorful Turkish quarters and continue by visiting one of the city’s art galleries. In the evening, the rest of the energy is spent either relaxing in a trendy club or relaxing in a cup crowded with alternative crowds.
The cemetery is reminiscent of the victims of the Bosnian war.
Sarajevo’s reputation as a tourist destination is growing, but locals are still excited about foreign tourists. The hospitable and friendly locals will be happy to share their experiences and the city with the tourist who has arrived in the city. Sarajevo’s prices are also friendly to the Finnish wallet.
The currency is a convertible markka, the value of which is pegged to the euro, so that two marks correspond to one euro.
The most widely spoken language in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Serbo-Croatian, which is now also referred to as Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. However, younger ones in particular also know English, so an international traveler can do without its bigger problems. Even locals who do not speak the language always try their best to help, so in the event of a problem, you should not hesitate to ask for help.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN SARAJEVO
The streets of Sarajevo are narrow and winding.
From Finland to Sarajevo
Sarajevo International Airport is less than 10 km from the city center. There are no direct flights to the airport from Finland, but Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, among others, operate to the city. By changing planes in Munich, Germany, for example, the price of a two-way flight from Helsinki to Sarajevo starts at about 300 euros.
There are also direct flights from Finland to southern Croatia, for example to Split, where there is a bus connection to Sarajevo and a beautiful route via Mostar by bus and train to Sarajevo.
There is also a direct train to Sarajevo from Zagreb, Croatia and Belgrade, Serbia.
Accommodation in Sarajevo
Sarajevo’s most famous hotel is definitely the Holiday Inn, where foreign journalists stayed during the siege of the city. The hotel continues to cater to travelers, but since then, numerous competing accommodations have also sprung up in the city.
As in European capitals in general, Sarajevo’s accommodation offer ranges from stylish and high-quality hotels to communal hostels. Hotel prices can get quite high, but hostels and private accommodation are more affordable, in addition to which they are still usually located in the center.
Sarajevo’s compact center is easiest to walk. Of the other means of transport, trams, cable cars and taxis, as well as taxis, are convenient and inexpensive. Trams running in an east-west direction take you to the railway and bus stations, among other things.
A river that crosses the city with its many bridges makes navigation easier.
SIGHTS OF SARAJEVO
During the siege of Sarajevo, foreign journalists stayed at the Holiday Inn.
Old and restored
Sarajevo doesn’t bustle with world-famous attractions, but enjoying the city’s atmosphere makes it easy to linger for more days. The best place to start exploring Sarajevo is Baščaršija, a key area in the old Turkish part of the city. In the bazaars, time is spent quickly sitting in atmospheric cafes, admiring beautiful mosques, dining in Turkish-style fast food restaurants and, above all, breathing the unhurried atmosphere of the city.
In addition to the bazaars, the city center can also accommodate more urban construction. Although many buildings were destroyed during the Bosnian war, there are also preserved and restored landmarks in the city. The most amazing of these is the Sarajevo Town Hall along the river. Near Baščaršija is also the famous Latin Bridge, where the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Crown and his wife died in the shots of Sarajevo.
Tunnel Museum – The rescue of Sarajevo
The Tunnel Museum also makes wartime concrete for the leisure traveler. The museum provides access to the “Tunnel of Hope”, which was excavated under the airport during the war in 1993. The tunnel has mostly collapsed, but tourists still get to crawl at the beginning of the narrow tunnel.
The tunnel provided food, medicine and electricity to the besieged Sarajevo. Many also managed to escape the war through the foot tunnel. In the museum, it is possible to watch a twenty-minute wordless documentary about the use of the tunnel.
You can visit the tunnel either as part of a guided tour or on your own. To see the tunnel, a tourist who favors public transport has to sit on both the tram and the bus. However, the connections are quite good and the impatient can also opt for a taxi.
Gallery 11/07/95 – a ripping photo exhibition
Gallery 11/07/95 is a stop photo exhibition of the victims of the Srbrenica massacre. More than 8,000 people were killed in July 1995 in the town of Srbrenica. Impressive photographs force the viewer to face the bloody truth about the country’s history. The exhibition is intended not only to be a reminder of the Bosnian war, but also to oppose every form of violence.
In Gallery 11/07/95, you have the opportunity to take part in a guided tour in English or to tour the exhibition at your own pace. The exhibition also includes interesting about half an hour long videos on the subject. Time will pass in the gallery, but with the children, this visit is worth skipping.
It is pointless to go and get a good look at the exhibition, but it gives a concrete reminder of what the situation in the country has been like only twenty years ago.
THE BEST OF SARAJEVO
The Old Town is the lively center of Sarajevo.
The main attractions of Sarajevo
2. Holiday Inn
3. Tunnel Museum
4. Latina Bridge
5. Gallery 11/07/95
- Climb the hill to watch the sunset
2. Enjoy a cup of Bosnian coffee at the bazaar
3. Treat yourself to a local cevap or burek
4. Take a guided city tour