Sarajevo is a magical city. Its greatness vastly exceeds its size and its population. In Sarajevo, people love good entertainment, enjoy food and beverages and we are very kind hosts. The city calendar is full of fantastic international festivals.
might have heard of Sarajevo learning about the event that initiated the First World War– the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the 1984 Winter Olympics or the siege of 1992-1995. In the years after the siege, Sarajevo is best known by the music and film festivals and pleasant ambience.
This is a city in which different worlds, traditions and cultures entwine, and it is referred to as European Jerusalem quite often. In a single street of Sarajevo, you can see Islamic, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish places of worship. Living together in harmony for hundreds of years has created a multi-religious atmosphere, quite a rare occurence in other cities of the world.
The most recognizable part of the city is Baščaršija, the city core built in the Ottoman Empire. You can find excellent national restaurants, cafes and craft stores in Sarajevo. Walking from Baščaršija towards the Cathedral, you will enter the new part of the city, the official center in which you can find restaurants, clubs, and a number of well-known brand stores. During the summer, Sarajevo becomes a city of film, a European capital full of tourists and film enthusiasts from around the world. Summer is always a good time to visit the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, you can really be missing out by not choosing to come during the beautiful autumns and springs, when Sarajevo hosts various manifestations and events; or winters, when the city, surrounded by the Olympic Mountains– beauties such as Jahorina and Bjelašnica, transforms into a charming ski center.
It would be a real shame visiting Sarajevo and not going to the Sarajevo City Museum, Svrzo’s House, Vijećnica (the City Hall), Yellow Bastion, Gazi Husrev-Bey’s Mosque, Old Orthodox Church, Old and New Jewish Temple, the Sarajevo Tunnel, History Museum or excursion sites such as Skakavac, Bijambare, Trebević and Vrelo Bosne (Springs of the river Bosnia). People here are open and humble, always willing to help. The local currency is marks (BAM), however bargaining is not typical to the people of Sarajevo. Trying ćevapi is a MUST in Sarajevo, and the offer of other foods is versatile with really accessible price. Whatever you decide to do in Sarajevo, you will always feel the heat of the city and the people who can never leave you indifferent.
Sarajevo Film Festival / August
Sarajevo Film Festival is the most famous film festival in the region. Whether in open air cinemas or in regular city cinemas and theaters, during the festival, you can watch around 1000 films. Festival gathers an audience of 100,000 locals, and visitors and journalists from around the world as well as film stars such as Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey…
MESS / end of October
International Theater Festival MESS is the best theater festival in the region having a 53 year old tradition. Every year, you can see excellent theater plays and performances from around the world.
Jazz Fest / November
International jazz festival is an independent and non-profit music festival first held in 1997. The mission of the Jazz Fest is to popularize jazz and improvisational music in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Great musicians from all around the globe perform at the festival and their performances and hangouts with the audience create an amazing atmosphere in the city.
Baščaršijske noći (The Nights of Baščaršija) / July
During the whole month of July, in the old part of the city, focusing on the neighborhood around Vijećnica (the City Hall), many cultural manifestation, plays, exhibitions and concerts are being held for FREE!
Sarajevo Sevdah Fest / June
After only three years, Sarajevo Sevdah Fest becomes a recognizable city brand. During the nights of the festival, the audience has the opportunity to enjoy performances of the most interesting musicians from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the performers having unique approaches to the traditional folk song, sevdalinka, from abroad. The objective of the organizers is to popularize and promote sevdah.