One of the beauties of Sarajevo is that it is small, making it easy to orientate yourself and start feeling at home as soon as you arrive. We make a few suggestions below about things to see and do in and around town, but you’ll quickly realise how much of the pleasure in a visit to Sarajevo is gained by simply wandering around and having a look at the wealth of interesting sights that lie around you.
Walk down the boulevard called Vilsonovo Setaliste under the lime trees and watch the river Miljacka at dusk. Entrancing. The best way to get there is to take a taxi to the Vrbanja Bridge, and walk along the north side of the river all the way to Grbavica.
There has been much reconstruction and repairing done in recent years and the physical scars of the war are becoming less and less visible. But the emotional ones remain for many: go to any of the three huge cemeteries in Ciglane and notice how many of the graves are dated between 1992-1995. Sit and enjoy the peace and quiet and reflect on how good ones’ lot in life actually is. The best way to get there is to walk from Marshal Tito away from the Eternal Flame in the city centre, follow the tram-lines, and turn right up Alipašina after about a kilometre. The cemeteries will be laid out on your right after a ten-minute walk.
Take a taxi or tram out to Ilidža and walk down the avenue under the plane trees that leads to the hot springs. Take care not to get run over by the horses and carriages clopping along, filled with sightseers enjoying the ride. Once you get back to the riverside, have coffee on the terrace at Café Prestige.
If you’re feeling slightly more energetic, stroll along the Miljacka to Kozja Ćuprija (Goat Bridge), an Ottoman-era structure where trading caravans once crossed and local pilgrims set off for Mecca. The bridge itself is an impressive structure and the more romantically-minded visitor will get a kick out of imagining the people, pack animals and products that have traversed it over the centuries. The easy flat walk along the river makes for a pleasant morning or afternoon excursion and, if you need to revive yourself for the wander back to town, you can get a coffee or cool drink at the nearby café. Just follow the riverside path, keeping the water to your right on your way out to the bridge, and you can’t go wrong.
Hire a car or take a taxi and drive up to Mount Bjelašnica outside Sarajevo. The route takes you up Mount Igman where war-time mines still lurk in the forests at the side of the road. At Bjelašnica have lunch at the Srebrna Lisica restaurant - the name means ‘Silver Fox’ – and watch the fantastic mountain scenery and the ski slopes where some of the 1984 Olympic events were held.
No weekend in Sarajevo or visit to Bosnia would be complete without taking a 45-minute drive to the beautiful mountain forests and countryside of Romanija, which lies outside the town of Sokolac north-east of Sarajevo. Don't forget to visit Sokolac itself: a visit to Café Victoria is a must. A hidden treat.