Travel guide 1: Bosnia and Hercegovina
This summer vacation started with a travel to my home country Bosnia. We spent most of the time in Sarajevo and the amazing mountains surrounding the city. Here comes a summary of our days in the homelands including a useful personal travel guide when visiting Bosnia.
Exploring the city's culture and history:
- Take a walk through Bascarsija which is the old town in Sarajevo. It is beautiful especially at night.
- Visit Svrzina kuca, a 100 years old museum portraying a typical traditional Bosnian home back in the days.
- Visit Vijecnica, once a city library, Vijecnica has been severely damaged during the war but is now newly renovated.
- Take a walk along the river Miljacka and explore the bridges. The Latin bridge (even called Gavrilo Princip Bridge) is particularly famous. Next to it is a museum of World War I and the murder of Franz Ferdinand which started the outbreak of the WWI.
Unfortunately I didn't take photographs while walking in the city. I only took a photo of these colorful patterns out in Bascarsija.
Exploring Bosnian cuisine:
Here comes the yummy part. Some of the best and most famous Bosnian dishes are perhaps pita and cevapi. It might seem a little difficult for a vegetarian, almost impossible for a vegan (but don't give up) to avoid all the meaty dishes in Bosnia. Many Bosnians don't really believe in a dish to be a proper dish if it doesn't include meat. Cevapi, burek and lamb slowly grilled whole on a stick are very common and popular. However, you can indulge yourself in plenty of vegetable based pitas and salads. Here is a list of my favorite places to eat in Bosnia:
- Absolute nr 1 (this is a MUST in Sarajevo) is restaurant Kibe. What you get: great food, museum experience, fantastic view and on top of that low price. It is a brand new restaurant on a hill among old Bosnian houses. From the outside it looks almost like the houses surrounding it. But once you get in you will see why I recommend it as nr. 1. Make sure you visit all the floors. My advice is to book a table in advance and ask them to get a table on the last floor near the windows.
- For another stunning view restaurant I recommend Park Princeva.You can go there even during daytime and have some lunch or simply enjoy a cup of coffee or vine in their garden.
- For tasting pita go to a small restaurant called Sač located in Bascarsija.
- Before becoming vegetarian I did eat cevapi from time to time and in Sarajevo the best ones are to be found at Željo.
- For coffee/tea break make sure you visit Kuca Sevdaha, also located in Bascarsija. Its traditional interior and menu will leave you with positive experience.
- Another restaurant which I really liked is called Slatko i Slano. If you want to leave the tourist crowded old town but enjoy a proper meal (dinner or lunch) make sure you go here. They offer a very versatile menu and have super tasty deserts and pancakes.
Here are some photos from our visit to Slatko i Slano:
Living in southern Sweden for the last 12 years, where everything is flat I really get to miss hills and mountatins that I grew up with.
Bosnia is very mountainous. Only Sarajevo is surrounded by several beautiful, Olympic mountains. Now I will give you a short guide on what to do and where to go on Bjelasnica.
Bjelasnica is one of several popular ski-resort where Winter Olympics in 1984 were held. I, however, have only been there in the summer and autumn when the nature is alive and I intend to continue doing so.
There are several etno villages up on Bjelasnica among which Umoljani and Lukomir are a must see. The best way to go to Bjelasnica is by car and if you don't have one; rental is a good option (for a reasonable price).
Make sure you start early in the morning. Drive towards Bjelasnica and follow the signs towards Umoljani. Once in Umoljani leave the car near the first restaurant there and start walking up the only road there is.
You will reach the village when you see the old stone houses.
Once in Umoljani you will find route marks. We walked towards Studeni potok. From Studeni potok you can follow the hiking route marks towards Lukomir. This will take you 3 hours (see the photo attached).
On this route you will hike along Rakovica canyon (see the mark bellow). Be very careful since it is very steep. In Lukomir, you can enjoy both the beauty of the nature and look around in this remote, old village. The locals may try and sell you some of their local products, textiles or even invite you into their home for coffee.
If you don't want to walk that long, you can simply stay in Umoljani and enjoy panoramic walks or have a picnic.
Good to know when in Sarajevo:
You can bargain when buying souvenirs and handmade products in Bascarsija. Some shops will try to offer you higher price as soon as they notice you are a foreigner.
Taking taxi in Bosnia is cheap, but be careful and make sure the taximeter is on.
Tram is also a simple way of getting around in Sarajevo. You can buy tickets in small kiosk shops.
For shopping there are three big shopping centers in the city center: BBI, SCC and Alta.