CultureBosnia and Herzegovina
The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most interesting cities in Eastern Europe. Sarajevo is a city of diversity, where East meets West. It's a city that could be described as a religious melting pot where Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox Christians live together. Surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and Miljacka River, Sarajevo is reminiscent of Istanbul with its Turkish-style houses, mosques and bazaars. As you stroll through cobbled streets in the city center, you'll first notice the smell of the city's famous meat dish, cevapi, and the scent of fresh coffee. Soon you'll understand why the locals are famous for their hospitality, and you'll fall in love with the easy-going vibe and magical, traditional charm of Sarajevo. The city's not too big, making it an ideal location for a short break or a weekend getaway. If you have only 24 hours in Sarajevo, follow these insider tips to make to most of your time!
Wake up with a cup of Bosnian coffee
Don't expect to find takeaway coffee here. Drinking coffee, either alone or with friends, is the most important ritual of the day for every local in Sarajevo. Having a coffee is an experience, sometimes lasting for several hours, and cafés are the main centers of social life. Bosnian traditional coffee is strong and although it looks similar to Turkish coffee at first glance, it's quite different. Bosnian coffee is made by heating water in a dzezva, a unique copper pot, and it's always served on a tray with a glass of water on the side.
Stroll around Bascarsija
The main attraction in the city is Bascarsija Square, the historic center of the city dating back to 15th century. Wander down cobbled alleys bursting with charm and feel like you're in a land where time has stopped. There are a lot of restaurants and coffee houses in the area, favored by both locals and tourists. Also, the streets are lined with small wooden houses where you can buy some authentic Bosnian souvenirs like copper coffee sets, colorful lamps and artisanal jewelry.
Take a photo in front of Sebilj
The centerpiece of Bascarsija is an Ottoman-style wooden fountain, the Sebilj. It's a symbol of Sarajevo, a central spot in the city center and a popular meeting point for locals. An old legend says that anyone who drinks from any of Sarajevo's fountains is destined to return to Sarajevo. It's known as the best photo spot in town, so make sure you pose in front of it with the pigeons behind you.
See the place where World War I began
A crucial event that triggered the First World War happened more than 100 years ago in Sarajevo. At the tip of the Latin Bridge over the Miljacka River, assassin Gavrilo Princip fired two shots and murdered Franz Ferdinand and the Archduke's wife. You can visit the exact spot where Princip was standing when he fired the deadly shots, as the place is marked by carved footprints and a memorial plaque. Also, don't miss a visit to the Museum of the Assassination, located in the building overlooking the bridge.
Buy authentic souvenirs in Kazandziluk Street
A great reminder of your fabulous trip to Sarajevo is an authentic souvenir. Handmade, authentic Bosnian souvenirs can be found on Kazandziluk Street, a famous shopping street in the eastern part of Bascarsija. The street still retains its medieval look, like it has been frozen in time. Here you'll find coppersmiths producing copper crafts, mostly traditional Bosnian coffee sets. Artisans have maintained the tradition for more than 500 years using centuries-old methods.