Jetsetting

Unforgettable Sarajevo | Discovering Bosnia and Herzegovina

I have been asked before if I ever lost or misplaced my passport, and my response has always been “Yes, in Sarajevo!” I remember thinking to myself at that time, besides a wave of panic, “I now live here. I live in Sarajevo now”. I was also grateful that my taxi driver pointed out the US Embassy, and it was walking distance from my hotel. Fortunately I did not lose my passport, but just misplaced it at the hotel’s front desk, so I do not live in Sarajevo now!

Cheers from Sarajevo!

The memories of visiting Sarajevo were a mixed bag of learning, exciting, and ‘Wow, that just happened’. I recall talking to a young American from Texas who was on the bus with me, and when we were exchanging currency at the bus station, he explicitly told me not to go hiking because there were still landmines. Uh, noted- thank you? That was just the beginning of a whirlwind of an unforgettable few days in Bosnia -Herzegovina.

I found the people of Sarajevo either very straight faced or very friendly, which is common in this part of the world. I remember my taxi driver who drove me from the bus station, that was filled with homeless refugees, very quiet until I started talking. I had made a joke saying that his fast driving was similar to how I drove in the United States. How we often joked saying that other drivers were #1, while giving them the middle finger. I think that surprised him, and he could not stop laughing. He said he was going to use that finger gesture while saying your #1 from now on, and showed me how good he was at saying it. I suppose that I just wanted to break the uncomfortable silence in the taxi, and it worked out quite well!

Stari Grad

There was so much to explore in Sarajevo, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I had explored the city on a free walking tour, as well as much of it on my own. I bought a copper trinket and a painting from artists in the historic bazaar and old town. I ate popular street foods that were delicious, burek and cevapi. I took a gondola up to the abandoned 1984 Olympic bobsled track, and so much more. The city of Sarajevo was quite unforgettable.

Gondolas to the Bobsleigh Tracks

In hindsight, I think that I was impressed with the city because of where it is now as compared to the news stories that filled the air back in the 1990s. In 1992 to 1996, there was hefty conflict in the region. The Siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. About 14,000 people were killed including thousands of civilians.

Sarajevo architecture

During the walking tour, our guide who was just a child during the war, spoke about living in the basement and going out briefly for air and to play. He also pointed out locations where snipers hid and civilians were regularly shot. It was an uneasy feeling to see the area that had flooded our television screens three decades prior. It brought those nightmare stories to life.

Shopping in Sarajevo

Today, Sarajevo is a remarkable city to visit and has come a long way from its communist past, declaring it’s independence from former Yugoslavia, and the Siege of Sarajevo. There are still many buildings in the city and the country that bare the scars of war, with bullet holes riddled in the walls. It was an eye opener for those, including myself, who never had to live through such atrocities.

Art Nouveau Buildings

Touring the city is easy and the best way is with a guide. I am not a fan of large bus tour groups, but if you are there are several out there. I saw many big organized tour groups in Bosnia, so if that is your jam then God speed. I preferred doing the free walking tour with a local guide, who was from the city and had personal recommendations. The free walking tour I used was, Nemo & Friends Free Sarajevo Walking Tours, and yes, Nemo was our guide.

My Copper Purchase

Learning about a city should be a balanced combination of history, landmarks, and personal stories. I left Sarajevo with more understanding of the region, and at the same time visited many interesting sites. If you are interested in Sarajevo sites, the special things I saw and did, as well as what I ate in the country – then scroll on, my friends.

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Stari Grad (Old Town)

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Multicultural Man Building the World

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A Giant Game of Chess

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Eternal Flame

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 Miljacka River – Sarajevo River

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Sarajevo Synagogue

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Pijaca Markale

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Papagajka (Parrot) Building

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Location of the Assassination of Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand (Pink Building)

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Bullet Holes and Damage from the Siege of Sarajevo

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Old Mosque

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Sarajevska Pivara Brewery

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National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Copper Shopping

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Old Bazaar

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Historic Ottoman Era Rooming House

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Street Food – Cevapi and Burek

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Inat Kuca – The Spite House

Lunch at Inat Kuca | Sarajevo’s Legendary Spite House

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1884 Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track

The Abandoned 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh & Luge Track | Bosnia and Herzegovina

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My Food Journal of Bosnia

What I ate in THE BALKANS – Part 1 – A Food Journal

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Travel is recess and we need it…

– Rick Steeves
Yours Truly in Sarajevo

🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!

📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre

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