honest advice for visiting sarajevo
This stunning, mountain-fringed city is still relatively overlooked on the tourist trail of the Balkans. However, that's changing. Move over, Croatia.
Bosnia-Herzegovina has its own currency, marks shown as KM. It’s roughly half to the euro and the pound so food and drink are cheap to buy. If you want to buy trinkets to remember your trip, the old town has a maze of shops selling local goods.
Like Turkey, Bosnia has an excellent coffee culture. It's dark and rich, and smells divine from the open doors of the shops selling beans in the old town.
The cable car is a must-do activity. For 20KM, about €10.00, it takes you into the mountains for spectacular views and if you’re prepared, the start of deeper walking trails. It was a definite highlight of our fleeting visit. It’s also quiet; we had the whole car to ourselves.
Getting the train from Sarajevo to Mostar was fantastic; the scenery from the train window was spectacular, the trains are comfortable, modern and cheap and at the risk of sounding like a rail fanatic, the architecture was so interesting at the stations in both Sarajevo and Mostar. In Sarajevo, the train station hasn't changed since the early nineties. It’s also cheap to travel first-class on this two-hour journey, around €25.00. However, if you’re returning to Sarajevo, the daily trains are infrequent. Mostar is beautiful but it’s not a whole-day activity and the early start and late return can be tiring.
Bosnia is a country that knew war not too long ago and there are scars of conflict across the Sarajevo. Yet, the city is healing and people are working hard to ensure it’s known for more than a four-year siege. If you’re interested in learning more about the war, however, I’d recommend the Tunnel of Hope Tour. It’s hosted by locals who lived and fought during the siege. You're picked up and driven to significant points of conflict before ending at the supply tunnel dug underneath the airport by volunteers – the only way to get food, water and medicine into the city during the war. It’s incredibly moving and humbling.