Top 5 things to do in Sarajevo this summer

There really are tons of interesting activities that can help you fill your time during a visit to Sarajevo. This is especially so during summer, when Sarajevo is overflowing with so many attractive venues and different things to do.

In our article, 20 Things to Do, you’ll find our list of recommendations for those visiting Sarajevo throughout the year, but in this text we offer the “Top 5” things you might want to do this summer.

  1. Explore Sarajevo by bike

Biking is becoming more popular so, at any given moment, you may well encounter dozens of bicyclists on the streets of Sarajevo, especially during the summer.

A good portion of town now has bike paths and the most popular destinations for bike lovers are Dariva, Wilson’s Promenade and Velika Aleja in Ilidža, where you can ride along lovely tree-lined lanes.

Sarajevo also has Nextbike, a public bike rental service that allows users to rent bikes from several locations in town and return them to the nearest Nextbike station.

Several interesting bike races take place in Sarajevo throughout the year, including the acclaimed Giro di Sarajevo, which is normally held at the beginning of September and takes participants along a 16-kilometer route.

  1. Witness the “birth” of artisan handicrafts in Baščaršija 

Ever since Sarajevo was first founded, Baščaršija, the cultural-historical center of town, has been inspiring Sarajevans and visitors with its skyline, smells and sounds.

The shops held by traditional artisans serve as a special Baščaršija attraction and they stand as a testimony to their standing the tests of time, while still managing to impress with the creativity they display.

You should be sure to visit the streets, Kazandžiluk and Gazi Husrev Bey’s (Zlatarska), where you’ll often catch some artisans at work on some of their wonderful products.

Watching one of the hand-made items being produced is something that is sure to leave quite an impression and will serve as a pleasant memory for some time to come.

Most of the shops occupied by Sarajevo’s artisans bear the Sarajevo Original Quality seal, which signifies authentic Sarajevo quality.

  1.  “Go for a hike” up in the mahalas and find your very own gastronomic heaven

Baščaršija was laid out in the valley of the Miljacka River and, while it was the main center for commerce during the Ottoman period, the residential quarters were built up on the surrounding slopes.

“Hiking” up in the mahalas of Sarajevo can be a thrilling way to discover the very essence of Sarajevo because walking up the steep and narrow streets among the houses and gardens, where for centuries the only basic human right was “a right to a view”, will also be the best way to get to know the soul of Sarajevo.

In the mahalas around town you’ll find some of Sarajevo’s best restaurants, like Kibe Mahala, Bijela Tabija, Park Prinčeva, Kod Bibana, Bašča Kod Ene…. They all offer excellent food and a fantastic view, so you will be well rewarded for all the effort you made in traversing Sarajevo’s steep and narrow streets!

  1. Find the ideal spot to enjoy the summer nights

The mahalas above Baščaršija are the best places to enjoy the sunset, with enchanting wisps of pastel colors that paint the sky over the western side of town, while a pleasant summer breeze envelops you and your ears are taken by the sound of evening ezans (calls to prayers) from Sarajevo mosques.

And as soon as night falls over Sarajevo, you can head downhill to the center of town, which is buzzing like a beehive during the summer and where you’ll encounter dozens of languages and people from all corners of the world who are enjoying warm Sarajevo summer evenings.

Take an easy stroll through Baščaršija, then along Ferhadija and Titova Streets to BBI Center or SCC, where you can do some shopping. Be sure to stop off along the way for a coffee at one of Sarajevo’s comfy cafes: Spazio, Zlatna Ribica, Promenada or Cordoba; and go for dinner at one of the city’s finer restaurants: Dveri, Vinoteka, Mala Kuhinja, Luka Sarajevo, Preporod, Bistrott Duett….

Summer is the time for festivals and many other attractive events which can run into the wee hours, so you certainly won’t be short of things that would be great to take in.

  1. Discover your ideal spot to relax

You’re on vacation, so you should try to rest in the best way possible and change your daily routine, at least a little bit.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of town and find your own green oasis, you’ll find that this is easy to do in Sarajevo because the city is surrounded by wonderful nature and there is also the shade from thick forests, where the only “disturbance” is the sound of birds and the gurgling of streams.

But you can also find the perfect peaceful corner right in the center of town in the Botanical Garden of the National Museum, which features nearly 1,700 varieties of plants and examples of Bosnian stećci (medieval tombstones).

If you’d like to spend the day at a swimming pool or one of the spa centers, we recommend a visit to Termal Rivijera in Ilidža, the Olympic Swimming pool at Otoka, Herbal Spa or Isa Bey’s Hamam.