Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (8 nights)

As we like to do, we started our 8-night stay in Sarajevo with a Free Walking Tour.

Our free walking tour group in Sarajevo’s Old Town.

One of our first stops was a monument to multiculturalism that was erected after the Bosnian War. It’s in a park that separates two neighborhoods.

Sarajevo Monument to Multiculturalism

Unemployment is very high in Bosnia and Herzegovina – one of the highest unemployment rates in the world – so many people have free time during the days. It certainly creates a different culture.

A large chess board that is popular with the locals.

Miljacka River runs through Sarajevo. The river is surprisingly shallow, at least during our visit.

Building along Miljacka River

The walking tour guide told us a fun story about a ‘stubborn house’. Supposedly, the owner of this house negotiated for his entire house to be moved to a prime river spot when the city wanted to build something else where his house was previously located.

Sarajevo’s ‘stubborn house’

Although most of Sarajevo has been repaired and reconstructed since the Bosnian War, there are still a few bombed out buildings due to bureaucracy.

Bombed out building remaining from the Bosnian War.

The last stops on the walking tour were in the Old Town, which felt surprisingly non-touristy (especially during the week). We were really surprised by how Turkish-inspired the Old Town area felt.

Sarajevo’s Old Town

There were a variety of street vendors in the Old Town selling drinks, snacks, and more.

Street vendor selling fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice.

Once the tour was finished, the guide provided a map of suggested restaurants. From our experience, the restaurants were indeed good.

The suggestions for food provided after our walking tour.

One day, we took a day trip to Mostar, which we highly recommend.  Once back in Sarajevo, we went to Pivnica HS to try out some local beers.

Pivnica HS serves had both a bar area and a restaurant area.

We tried a malty dark beer (on the right) and a mixed beer combining the light and dark beers.  Katie preferred the dark beer and JT referred the mixed beer, so we were both happy.

Beers at Pivnica HS

We lucked into seeing live, energetic, and surprisingly good music by Nesad Selman while at Pivnica HS.

Live music at Pivnica HS

The hills around Sarajevo are beautiful – especially so during our fall visit.  The leaves were changing and we constantly found ourselves enjoying their beauty.

Sarajevo was beautiful in fall.

One night we happened to be walking about during sunset.  Even from the river, the sunset was beautiful – it must look amazing from the surrounding hills.

Sunset on the river

We had to dry clean JT’s jacket, pants, and a shirt before he went to Barcelona for a conference. We found a dry cleaner near our AirBnB and paid 20 BAM ($12) for the cleaning. The lady working the shop didn’t speak English, but she insisted on calling a friend to translate!

Dry cleaning in Sarajevo

We loved staying at our AirBnB so close to town.  We had just a short (<5 minute) walk into town and about a 10 minute walk to the Old Town.

Cathedral near our AirBnB

We enjoyed lots of delicious food while in Sarajevo.  Unlike many cities, the Old Town had plenty of good and budget-friendly restaurants. Our favorite food by far was Bosnian pita, aka burek.

Pans of Bosnian pita at Buregdzinica Bosna

One negative about restaurants in Sarajevo: most allow smoking and it can be difficult to impossible to escape.

Buregdzinica Bosna

Buregdzinica Bosna was our favorite pita restaurant in Sarajevo’s Old Town. We ate at this restaurant at least four times during our 8-night stay.

Our favorite Bosnia pita restaurant!
Our first pita meal

There were many different types of pita available, often differing from day to day.  We tried meat, spinach, cheese, and potato during our visits.

On a few trips, we ordered yogurt drinks with our meals and once we ordered three portions because we were very hungry.

Pita with yogurt drink

Our meals cost between 4.5 BAM ($2.71) and 9 BAM ($5.42).

Buregdzinica Sac

We tried Buregdzinica Sac one night. We found the pita to be more expensive than Buregdzinica Bosna – still only 8 BAM ($4.82) for two portions – without being any better. We also felt that we got cheated on the weight, so we didn’t go back.

Pita from Buregdzinica Sac

Ascinica Asdz

We tried an Ascinica Asdz one day for lunch.  Ascinicas serve traditional home-style stuffed vegetables, soups and stews. We found it confusing to order and ended up feeling that pita restaurants are a much better value. We paid 20 BAM ($12) for lunch, although we’re not sure how this number we reached and fear we may have been charged too much. Nonetheless, it was good to try the home-style stuffed vegetables.

Home-style food in Sarajevo

Cevabdzinica Specijal

We tried cevapi at Cevabdzinica Specijal for lunch one day. We found the meat to be tasty although a bit greasy.  And again, we found the value of the pita to be much better. Our meal cost 13 BAM ($7.82).

Cevapi meal

Simple Sefte

We ate at Simple Sefte our first night in Sarajevo since it was near our AirBnB and open late. We both ordered combos with wraps, fries, and a drink for 6.50 BAM ($3.90) each.

Wrap and fries at Simple Sefte

We were sure we’d eat there a second time, but we never did since we fell in love with pita and enjoyed trying other places.  One negative of Simple Sefte – that may have just been an unlucky incident on our visit – was that the shop become very smoky when a nearby table all decided to smoke.

Simple Sefte


We ate at Chipas – short for Chicken and Pasta – twice near the end of our stay when JT was sick and we wanted nearby comfort food.

First meal at Chipas

All of the dishes were chicken based and most came with either pasta or potatoes.  Based on the decorations on the walls, it seemed to be going for an ‘American chicken’ restaurant. Chipas seemed very popular with the locals.  Both times we ate at Chipas our bill was 14 BAM ($8.43).

Second meal at Chipas


We finally stopped by a great smelling dessert shop after walking by it multiple times. It took about 30 minutes to finally get our sweet roll with nutella inside (BAM 4, $2.40) – and we wouldn’t have waited if we’d know it would be that long – but the snack was really tasty.

Czech-inspired dessert

Overall Thoughts

We really enjoyed our time in Sarajevo.  We enjoyed the Turkish-influence, the kind locals, and the affordable cost of living. The valley was beautiful and the city was very walkable.

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