As we like to do, we started our 8-night stay in Sarajevo with a Free Walking Tour.
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.
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.
Miljacka River runs through Sarajevo. The river is surprisingly shallow, at least during our visit.
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.
Although most of Sarajevo has been repaired and reconstructed since the Bosnian War, there are still a few bombed out buildings due to bureaucracy.
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.
There were a variety of street vendors in the Old Town selling drinks, snacks, and more.
Once the tour was finished, the guide provided a map of suggested restaurants. From our experience, the restaurants were indeed good.
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.
We lucked into seeing live, energetic, and surprisingly good music by Nesad Selman while 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
One negative about restaurants in Sarajevo: most allow smoking and it can be difficult to impossible to escape.
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.
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.
Our meals cost between 4.5 BAM ($2.71) and 9 BAM ($5.42).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.