Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Lauren Kmec

Located in the Miljacka River valley and surrounded by the Dinaric Alps, Sarajevo is the capital of and largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The area where Sarajevo sits today has been populated since prehistoric times, but the modern city of was founded as a stronghold of the Ottoman Empire, beginning in the mid-15th century C.E. Tragically, much of the city was badly damaged during both World Wars and again during the Bosnian War, but the resilient people of Sarajevo have doggedly picked up the pieces and worked tirelessly to rebuild their once-great metropolis. Today, Sarajevo is still in the midst of post-war reconstruction, but it is once again shaping up to become a major economic and cultural center in Bosnia, as well as a splendid tourist destination.

WhatsCheaper.com invites you to step off the beaten path and visit Sarajevo on your next European vacation. Flights will arrive at Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ), located just a few kilometers southwest of the city. Take advantage of WhatsCheaper.com’s excellent rates and book your flight with us today; simply follow this link (https://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). WhatsCheaper.com also features a variety of accommodations to choose from; click here (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to peruse our lodging options.

WhatsCheaper.com recommends kicking off your visit to Sarajevo in the Bascarsija District, the city’s Turkish quarter and a hotbed of important Bosnian landmarks. Bascarsija was originally built as a marketplace and trading post, but it quickly blossomed into the cultural center of the city. Here you will find Gazi Husrev-Bey’s Mosque, a shining example of 16th-century Islamic architecture. With its multi-domed construction and 47-meter-high minaret, this mosque is the most famous Islamic structure in Bosnia. Other notable sites in this area include the Gazi Husrev-Bey Library, which holds some 90,000 texts, and the Sarajevo Clock Tower, the world’s only public clock that tells time by the lunar calendar.

Sarajevo has long been known for the religious diversity of its residents; for this reason, it is often dubbed the “Jerusalem of Europe.” In addition to the mosque mentioned above, some other important religious landmarks include the Cathedral of Jesus Sacred Heart, Saint Josip’s Church, the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God, and the New Jewish Temple.

A number of bridges dot the landscape over the Miljacka River, and WhatsCheaper.com encourages tourists to visit a few of the most significant bridge sites. Far and away, Sarajevo’s most famous bridge is the Latin Bridge, one of the oldest preserved bridges in the city, possibly dating back to the early 13th century. The northern end of this bridge is the site where Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in 1914, marking the start of World War I. Other notable bridges include the Goats Bridge and the Šeher-Cehaja Bridge.

Though some of its buildings are still in various states of disrepair, Sarajevo is bursting with interesting monuments and landmarks. WhatsCheaper.com recommends the Eternal Fire Monument, dedicated to the soldiers who freed the city during World War II; the beautiful Sebilj Fountain in Bascarsija Square; and City Hall, the former city headquarters that has been converted into the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Additionally, WhatsCheaper.com recommends the Sarajevo War Tunnel (aka the Tunnel of Hope) as a definite must-see attraction. This tunnel was built in 1993 by brave volunteers as a channel for food, arms, and medical supplies during the horrific 1000-day Siege of Sarajevo. Upon completion, the L-shaped tunnel spanned more than 900 meters and reached from the interior of the city to the neutral territory near the Sarajevo Airport. Today, a 20-meter stretch of the tunnel is still intact and can be seen upon visiting the Tunnel Museum, located in the house that once concealed the tunnel’s southern terminus.

Finally, WhatsCheaper.com suggests a visit to Bijela Tabija (the White Bastion), a reconstructed medieval fortress that overlooks the Sarajevo valley from its perch on Mount Trebevic. The fortress is thought to have been built around 1550, though historians have differing opinions as to its origins. Strong Gothic-Hungarian influences can be seen in the design of this rectangular stone fort. Along with most other structures in Sarajevo, the White Bastion was severely damaged during the Bosnian War, but plans for its rejuvenation are currently underway.

Sarajevo is well on its way to regaining prominence as a major international destination. So get ahead of the curve and let WhatsCheaper.com help you plan a visit to Sarajevo today!

MUST SEE IN Sarajevo LIST:

  • 1. Site of Archduke Ferdinand Assassination
  • 2. Sarajevska Pivara
  • 3. Stari Grad
  • 4. Sebilj Brunnen
  • 5. Sarajevo History Museum
  • 6. Brusa Bezistan Museum
  • 7. National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 8. Avaz Twist Tower
  • 9. Vrelo Bosna
  • 10. Eco Futura

Sarajevo EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. International Festival of Folk Dances - July
  • 2. Nights of Bascarsija - July
  • 3. Sarajevo Film Festival - August
  • 4. International Theatre Festival - October
  • 5. Jazz Fest Sarajevo - November
  • 6. Annual Holiday Spirit Bazaar - December

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