Expats in Sarajevo

Gregor Presker

Gregor Presker is Adviser on Economic Issues at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in BiH and, as he says, “a great lover of Sarajevo”.


During our conversation, he revealed to us why he loves our city.

He says that he first heard about Sarajevo when he was still a child, while listening to his grandmother’s stories. Since he was a young ski enthusiast, Sarajevo took on a special significance during the XIV Winter Olympic Games in 1984.

He made his first visit to the capital city of BiH in 2001, when he came in the service of the Slovenian Embassy. After his four-year mandate came to an end, he went back to Slovenia, only to return to Sarajevo again in 2008, and he’s been here ever since!

He stresses that when he first came he was pleasantly surprised to find that, with the many events and spontaneous socializing, Sarajevo was far more dynamic than he had expected. He’s also found it to be a place with interesting architecture, where different religions and customs come together, and a city full of nice people. He says that he had few expectations, but he’s gotten far more than he anticipated. He was especially taken with the position of the city in the narrow valley, with the Miljacka dividing it into two halves.

Presker has made many friends during his time in our city, and has also started a family. His wife is from Sarajevo and their son was born here, so these are more reasons that explain his love of Sarajevo and his connection to the city.

You know how to enjoy life

He describes Sarajevans as open, sociable and approachable people who are full of positive energy and who show a lot of hospitality. He also finds them good and cheerful people who know how to enjoy life.

The local custom that surprised him the most was the ever present coffee drinking ritual, as well as the fact that social life here totally revolves around drinking coffee. Nonetheless, he reveals with a smile that even after all of these years in our city, he still hasn’t started drinking coffee!

The hardest thing for him to get used to has been the fact that, nowadays, people very easily forgo the formalities used in conversation, which is very different from Slovenians, who use a formal way of speaking in almost every situation. In the beginning it was very unusual for him, but he later came to see that this was exactly one of the reasons why it’s so much easier to communicate in Sarajevo.

Gregor’s Sarajevo ritual consists of a walk along Ferhadija and around Baščaršija and he likes to have a drink at Opera Café or a glass of wine at Dekanter Vinoteka. He usually goes to Kibe for dinner and to Vapiano for lunch. During the winter, he spends a great deal of time skiing up on Bjelašnica and Jahorina.

Everything is close at hand 

He considers the size of Sarajevo to be its greatest advantage because the city is not too big and everything is close at hand and you only need ten minutes to get away to catch some fresh air in nature. As for our city’s primary disadvantages, he would cite the occasional traffic jams and the bad air quality during the winter.

He tells of how he loves Bosnian food and that Bosanski Lonac is his favorite specialty.

For Gregor, the symbols of Sarajevo are the Olympics, the Sarajevo Assassination, Baščaršija, Vijećnica, the Miljacka River, the people and this city’s big, open soul.

He advises first-time visitors to take a walk through Baščaršija, sit and have a coffee at some of the more popular places and do some people watching, and to head up to some of the overlooks and enjoy the lovely panoramas.

Gregor concludes our conversation by saying: - Sarajevo is sure to get under your skin