Anne Vibeke Lilloe

Sarajevo is a beautiful and exotic city!

Anne Vibeke Lilloe is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, and she has been living in Sarajevo for more than two years now.


She shared some of her impressions and revealed what strikes her most about Sarajevo.

She first heard of Sarajevo while she was still at school and remembers our city from when the XIV Winter Olympic Games were held here in 1984.

She made her first visit to Sarajevo about 30 years ago. She was living and working in Budapest at the time and she stopped off in Sarajevo on her way to Albania. Even then she found our city beautiful and exotic and Sebilj made an especially strong impression on her.

Charm of old town 

When she took up her post in Sarajevo two and a half years ago, she was delighted that it was still summer at that time. On her very first day, she put on her walking shoes and headed out to see the city. She soon managed to find many things that she liked, such as one wonderful carpet shop in Baščaršija, which she still loves to visit. She finds the entire old town charming; she can enjoy a stroll, drink some coffee or go shopping in some of the small shops.

Sarajevo’s size also appeals to her because it isn’t too largeand you can go wherever you want on foot. It’s big enough that you have all that you need, but not too big that it becomes unbearable when getting around. Before residing in Sarajevo she had lived in Rio de Janeiro, which is enormous, so she feels that Sarajevo’s size is its greatest advantage.

Anne Vibeke Lilloe feels that Sarajevo is ideally situated right in the middle of wonderful nature. The fact that she is able to spend her free time amidst such lovely natural surroundings is fantastic.

“That there are ideal conditions for skiing only a half hour from town really says it all,” Anne remarks, adding that, besides the nature and mountains, she also loves the ambience of Baščaršija.

She finds Sarajevans incredibly hospitable and admires the fact that they are willing to share whatever they have with others. They are proud and have a wonderful sense of humor and she is especially impressed by how they help one another during hard times.

It has been hardest for her to get used to the fact that so many Sarajevans smoke. She stresses that it is harmful to one’s health, it pollutes the air for those who are nearby and she believes that smoking should be banned in public places.

Little Sarajevo ritual

Anne has her own little Sarajevo ritual: when the weather is nice on Saturdays, she likes to walk from Bistrik, through Baščaršija and along Ferhadija to the Djece Sarajeva (Children of Sarajevo) Monument. This stroll fills her batteries and marks the start of a pleasant weekend.

She is most bothered by the polluted air during winter and she is saddened to see that the National Museum is closed.

If she were to choose a symbol of Sarajevo it would be Vijećnica, which now shines in all its glory.

She recommends that those who come to Sarajevo for the first time should read some books on the rich and complex history of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to better understand the current situation.

One should also bring along some comfortable walking shoes for going around and exploring the city and adds that one should look up while walking so as to enjoy the beautiful architecture which is hiding behind the facades that have yet to be renovated.