We woke up at 6:45am for JT’s 7:15am airport transfer that we pre-booked for 30KM. He had a flight to Barcelona via Istanbul at 9am for the IATA – World Passenger Symposium while I was flying to Belgrade, Serbia at 3:15pm on our original ticket.
I stayed up and worked until leaving the Orient – Express apartment at 11:50am to go mail postcards and catch the Centrotrans bus to the Sarajevo airport.
Our AirBnB host had said that the Centrotrans airport bus picked up at 12:32pm from Dom Armije. I got there at 12:15pm just in case it was early. I waited until 12:55pm, but the bus never came and no one else seemed to still be waiting for the airport bus.
I assume that I must have been at the wrong stop, but it’s also possible it just never came. In any case, Centrotrans should post a map of the route and stops along with the schedule.
Looking at Google Maps, I walked to the other side of the river and waited for a 103 bus to hopefully arrive at the Drvenija stop. Eventually, the 103 did arrive. I crowded on with a lot of other passengers, paid 1.80KM to the driver for an on-board ticket, and awkwardly stood in the crowded aisles with my packs.
The bus eventually cleared out enough to put down my larger pack. This made the ride more comfortable, and allowed me to enjoy the scenery. Google Maps had the route correct and I was able to easily figure out when to exit the 103 bus.
After exiting the bus, Google Maps walking directions showed a path where there was a fence in real life. I looked at the streets on Google Maps and planned a new, longer route that took 15-20 minutes of walking through neighborhoods.
As I was walking between the bus stop and the airport, I realized that Sarajevo is the first international airport that I’ve walked to – and perhaps one of the few where would be considered acceptable! After having done the walk once, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again – it was really straightforward.
Check-in, security, and immigration were all quick and easy. Although JT was on the same ticket as me and online check-in was unavailable, the check-in agent didn’t ask anything about him.
Sarajevo airport is very small – there are just two jetways. I went to the Business Lounge using my Priority Pass and waited for my 3:20pm flight to Belgrade on Air Serbia.
The business lounge was basic with seats, free wifi, beer, wine, cold sandwiches, a coffee machine, nuts, and chips. It provided a decent lunch though.
The flight to Belgrade began boarding 20 minutes before departure.
The plane for this flight was an A319-100 – much larger than the plane that had flown JT and I to Sarajevo eight days prior. The plane even boarded through a jetway instead of at a bus gate.
Although there were many full rows, I had a row all to myself. It seems that Air Serbia gives a row to each reservation, if space permits.
We pushed back right on time at 3:20pm.
With no other traffic in the area, we took off just seven minutes after pushback at 3:27pm
Almost immediately, we were over the cloud line so I didn’t get to enjoy the mountainous scenery I had experienced on the flight to Sarajevo.
The flight was very short – the pilot only left the seatbelt sign off for about five minutes in the middle of the flight. On landing, the pilots had to contend with some serious cross winds.
The plane landed at 3:56pm and parked at a jetway by 3:59pm.
Immigration was quick but my bag was already on the baggage belt once I cleared immigration. I visited the Aik Bank ATM since reports online noted their ATMs do not charge a fee. Then I noticed an A1 bus waiting outside of arrivals, so I paid 500 RSD and boarded the A1 bus at 4:17pm.
The bus departed just three minutes later, stopping at the departures area before heading towards Novi Belgrade, the bus station, and the train station.
Traffic was really bad, so we didn’t reach the bus station until 5:10pm and the train station two minutes later at 5:12pm.
From the train station, it was a 16 minute walk uphill to my hostel for four nights: Stella di Notte.