A Winter Weekend in Sarajevo

Located at 500 meters above sea level, surrounded by mountains which rise to over 2,000 meters and the host of the XIV Winter Olympic Games, Sarajevo is a city that goes perfectly with winter outfits! While temperatures can fall below zero, you’re sure to find a place where you can warm up, relax and enjoy yourself during winter in Sarajevo.

We recommend that your stay in the city on the Miljacka begin in Baščaršija, with a hearty breakfast in the Hadžibajrić or ASDŽ aščinicas, where you’ll find excellent Bosnian culinary specialties.

After breakfast, it would be best to drink coffee in Ramis Sweet Shop at “Sweet Corner”, a spot in town where one can see two very important periods in Sarajevo’s development – the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian – and where you can best feel the rhythm of this special city.

If you’re not a fan of coffee or if you’d like to warm yourself up by sampling something new and sweet, we recommend that you try some original Sarajevo salep at the café-sweet shop, Rahatlook, which is just a few steps away from “Sweet Corner”.

If the first day of your Sarajevo visit happens to fall on a Friday, you’ll be able to try another traditional sweet – halva – which has been eaten on Fridays in Baščaršija for centuries.

Those who prefer tea on cold winter days should walk another few hundred meters to the famous Sarajevo tea shop, Franz & Sophie, where you can enjoy organic teas from around the world.

As for those who love winter sports or who simply enjoy going for walks in nature, the rest of the day should be spent up on some of the mountains surrounding Sarajevo.

Don’t forget to dress warmly! The shops, Rukom and BH Crafts, which are also very close to “Sweet Corner”, can help you with this detail. Here you’ll find hats, scarves, gloves and all kinds of other original hand-made fashion accessories.

If you’re eager to take in some fresh mountain air, we recommend an outing to Trebević, Sarajevo’s closest mountain. While it doesn’t have any large ski areas, the day can be spent walking around in the fresh air or enjoying yourself next to a fireplace in one of the mountain resorts.

If you decide to pass on visiting the mountains on your first day, or if you do go and return from the mountains before lunch, we recommend a meal at Inat Kuća, which is located across from one of Sarajevo’s most important symbols – Vijećnica. Besides delicious local specialties, you’ll also be able to enjoy hearing the fascinating story of this building.

At the Vijećnica Museum you can view the exhibit, “Sarajevo 1914-2014”, and then pass along the lively Bravadžiluk Street to Baščaršija Square, which is home to another recognizable symbol of Sarajevo – Sebilj.

As you walk further along Sarači, Ferhadija and Titova Streets, you can see some very interesting buildings which conceal their own intriguing stories, like Morića Han, Bey’s Mosque, Kuršumlija Medresa, Sahat Kula, the Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart….

If you’d like to experience Sarajevo from some of the surrounding vantage points, we recommend having dinner at the outstanding restaurant, Kod Kibeta. On a clear night, it offers a fascinating panoramic view of the city and its countless lights.

For an evening out, we suggest Monument Jazz Club or, if you prefer ex-yu rock music, Cinemas Club is the place to go.

If fair weather prevails, you should spend most of the next day up on Mt. Bjelašnica or Mt. Jahorina.

Bjelašnica is about 35 kilometers from the center of Sarajevo and during winter it is an ideal destination for those who love skiing, sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing….

Jahorina is 28 kilometers from the center of town and offers more than 20 kilometers of lanes for alpine skiing, plus you can enjoy sledding, snowboarding, etc.

Both mountains have many places which offer accommodation, giving you a chance to rest, warm up and refresh yourself. We recommend a visit to the attractive Benetton House on Bjelašnica and there’s the ethno-restaurant, Koliba, on Jahorina.

If you’d like to visit Sarajevo in the second half of December or in the first half of January, be sure to drop by the Sarajevo Holiday Market on your way back into town. This is a festive holiday manifestation where everyone can find something to suit their tastes.

Also during winter, you shouldn’t miss a chance to visit Sarajevo’s shopping centers, the largest of which, Sarajevo City Center and BBI Center, offer tons of possibilities.

On day two of your visit we recommend having dinner at Konyali, if you love Turkish food; Mala Kuhinja, if you prefer Asian specialties or at Bon Apetit, where you can enjoy some Italian food.

As for an evening out, there’s Aquarius Vils, where a great atmosphere prevails and you can have fun until early morning.

During your stay in Sarajevo you really must try the famous Sarajevo ćevapčići, a true delight for meat lovers, and we recommend any of the following ćevabdžinicas in Baščaršija: Mrkva, PeticaKurto or Hodžić.

You should also visit the Tunnel of Hope, a memorial complex which is one of Sarajevo’s most visited tourist attractions; the Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918, where you can discover everything about the Sarajevo Assassination and the Olympic Museum, where you can become familiar with some interesting facts about how the XIV Winter Olympic Games were organized.

In closing, we definitely recommend that you drink some water from the fountain at Bey’s Mosque, so that you’ll be sure to come back to Sarajevo for another visit!