Sarajevo is unique and special in so many ways. It’s one of those cities that changes you once you visit it, without you even realizing it. We arrived there after a 9-hour train journey from Belgrade (one would think it’s on the other side of Europe – alas, it’s only 180 miles away, but that’s Balkan railways for you). You can instantly notice the harsh landscape of the town that is surrounded by hills and noticeably cooler than rest of the region, even in August. Our hostel was on one of these steep hills, which provided us with good exercise for our legs, although one not always met with enthusiasm (especially after a couple of drinks).
Sarajevo has an incredibly rich history, noticeably reflected in every inch of the city. Those who are acquainted with Sarajevo’s more recent events will notice the scars that remain visible to this day, never once letting you forget where you are, even during summer’s everyday hubbub. Baščaršija, the heart of Sarajevo, is packed with cake shops serving delicious eastern-style desserts, luxurious jewelers and many other interesting places that sell various things. At night, this district becomes even more lively and crowded with people looking to have an exciting night out. Our bars of choice were Pussy Galore (I believe it’s since been relocated from Baščaršija), where you can find a more blasé, alternative crowd, and Zlatna Ribica, a charming café just outside the center that is creatively decorated and filled with knick-knacks. During the day, we explored the wider area, admiring the diverse architecture, sipping famous Bosnian coffee and tasting all the local delicacies. The most poignant moment of out trip was the visit to the Gallery 11/07/95, dedicated to the victims of the Srebrenica massacre. Perhaps this sort thing wouldn’t find its place on everyone’s itinerary, but it almost felt like a duty to not disregard this aspect of Sarajevo’s identity. Visiting this town was definitely a one-of-a-kind, sobering experience.
The Željo restaurant, located in the middle of Baščaršija, has the best ćevapi in town!