With three days to spend in Sarajevo, you can delve into history, sample local cuisine, and take a day trip. Along the way, you’ll have time to soak up the city’s unique east-meets-west culture, whether you’re sipping Turkish coffee in the Old Town or tasting locally distilled rakija. Here’s how to plan your time.
Day 1: Sarajevo History and Culture
Many of Sarajevo’s key sites are packed into the Old Town—also called Baščaršija—where you can find churches, mosques, and the city’s old synagogue. Spend your first day exploring the narrow streets of this bazaar turned neighborhood on your own or with a guide. In between the landmarks, there’s great souvenir shopping, local restaurants, and cafés serving demitasses of Turkish-style coffee. Get to know Sarajevo’s distinctive cuisine, which blends influences from the east and west, on gourmet tours that focus on everything from Sarajevo-style barbecue to rakija fruit brandy, or opt for a hands-on cooking class.
Day 2: Make It to Mostar
Spend your second day exploring one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most charming towns, Mostar, whose Old Bridge is irresistible to photographers. There’s plenty to see along the road from Sarajevo, as well. Some tours offer stops in historic Konjic, the Ottoman village of Počitelj, and the riverside community of Blagaj. Once you’re in Mostar, be sure to explore the Old City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While much of Mostar was destroyed during the war in the 1990s, the town has been extensively rebuilt, complete with architectural influences that reflect the area’s diverse cultural history.
Day 3: Sarajevo Under Siege
You might see craters and bullet holes as you’re exploring Sarajevo, and there are plenty of stories behind the scars. Siege- and war-themed tours of Sarajevo will give you some historic background as you visit local landmarks. Among the most interesting war sites is the Sarajevo War Tunnel—sometimes called the Tunnel of Hope—which was used by the Bosnian army to smuggle supplies into the city during the siege. A number of excellent museums also cover the war. The War Childhood Museum looks at growing up during the conflict, while the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide is a memorial to some of the country’s most tragic events. Lined with black-and-white photographs of faces, Galerija 11/07/95 focuses on the horrors of Srebrenica, complete with personal stories from survivors.