Karina Shedrofsky

I just can't be away from Sarajevo

American journalist Karina Shedrofsky moved to Sarajevo in January 2016 to do an internship at the OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project). She liked our city so much that, after her three-month stint, she took a job as a researcher at OCCRP, where she now heads the research team.


After her studies, this young New Yorker was set to work in Manhattan, but curiosity led her to Sarajevo.

- I didn’t know what to expect, none of my friends in the US knew where I was going. But Sarajevo delighted me, even though I came in the middle of winter, when the city was very cold and smoggy.

Since she hadn’t planned on staying in BiH, she didn’t dedicate herself to Bosnian, which she finds very difficult.

- It’s been three years, and I’m still here. I just can't be away from Sarajevo, so starting from the New Year, I’m going to begin learning a new language, especially since my partner is Bosnian.

In January, she usually spends her free time skiing in the fresh air up on Bjelašnica.

- It’s incredible that the mountains are so close to town. I don’t know whether they are more beautiful when they are snow-covered in winter, or when they are green during the summer, when I enjoy hiking.

Cozy restaurants and cafes

She says that the city is full of cozy restaurants and cafes that she enjoys.

- Having a coffee at Ministry of Ćejf and Zlatna Ribica relaxes me. If I have to work, I sit at EspressoLab, which offers the best international coffees, and it’s the only place that has filter coffee, which I got used to back in the USA.

She loves good food, which she can find at every step, so she often drops by Žara iz Duvara, Dveri and Mala Kuhinja, and she loves Cakum Pakum’s pasta.

- I know it’s cliché, but my favorite Sarajevo foods are ćevapi and burek. My favorite place is Karuzo, the vegetarian restaurant where dinner with wine and specialties like Buddha Bowl can last for hours. I eat lunch every day at Kod Dvije Domaćice.

She recommends Sushi San, Taj Mahal and Kineski Zid, but misses a wider range of Asian food, especially when she is all comfy in her apartment and wants to order out.

Tons of events


Karina says there is always something going on in Sarajevo, from the Craft Beer Festival and gigs at Bosna Cinema and Tito Cafe, to films at Meeting Point (where she enjoys drinks during Indie films).... There's also the War Childhood Museum, Gallery 11/07/95 and the Historical Museum. She thinks painted dishes from Baščaršija and items from Bazerdžan make fine souvenirs.

Karina points out that Sarajevo is a calm city compared to New York, and the tempo here suits her more.

- I meet people I know every day, and I love the feeling when people know who I am. In New York, with all of the hectic and burdened people, I think of how much happier I am in Sarajevo, where I feel at home.

She is fond of Sarajevans’ warmth and how they care about others.

- It's wonderful when an elderly lady pulls me up from a stone wall so that I won't catch cold. I look at her as my own grandmother and I feel part of a community.