Ljudmila Babić

Sarajevo is a city of great possibilities

Ljudmila Babić of Russia moved to Sarajevo in 2013 when she followed her husband, Sarajevan Nedim Babić, with whom she now runs two fitness centers in our city.


She met Nedim two years earlier while vacationing in Egypt, and she fell in love with Sarajevo when she first arrived. With time, she came to learn more about Islam, which gave her some answers to things she had never found before, so she accepted it as her new faith.

- Today, people are again turning toward spirituality, and this city has soul. In the former USSR religiosity was not desirable. My grandma was Orhtodox, my mother an atheist, so I visited the Orthodox churches here, which have different customs, but I didn’t feel like I belonged.

Even while doing her MA in art, she was fascinated with architecture, old fortresses and cities like Počitelj, Travnik, Jajce….

- It’s a shame that many of those locations are abandoned, because there are some really top experts who should be given a chance to present what kind of treasures we have.

Preserving traditions

Ljudmila does calligraphy and plans on having an exhibit of her works in a large and pretty space. She loves the exhibits at Vijećnica, she’s keen to visit the National Museum, and she feels it is important to preserve traditions and pass on customs, ways of dressing, traditional foods and songs to new generations, so that none of these things will be forgotten.

She’s taken with our country’s natural beauty – the mountains, forests and rivers – so she goes off for some fresh air whenever the city tires her out.

- I enjoy having tea with my family up on Čavljak, and during the winter we walk along/near the bob sled track on Trebević, then stop off at Pino Nature Hotel. I’m sorry the government doesn’t do more to protect nature, which is priceless.

She finds BiH cooking so delicious, and she recommends ćevapi at Zmaj and pita (pie) at Sadiković.

- When I go out, I choose one of the rare non-smoking places, like Mrvica, Sunnyland, Klopa, Orient Café and Malak Regency Hotel, which has organic food, aromatic Maroccan tea and a wonderful garden with a view of the river, which helps me relax the best. I’ve learned to make pita, but I don’t make it very often because my husband is an athlete and he watches what he eats.

Healthy living

After opening the Champion Gym on Mejtaš in 2014, she and her husband started a bigger fitness center, Grande Champion Gym, which offers different group training sessions, a children’s play area and a smoothie bar.

- At our gym, people don’t exercise under pressure, but with love, because we care a lot about them. Sarajevo is seeing more and more sporting events, and Sarajevans’ are becoming more conscious about healthy living, a proper diet and the importance of being physically fit.

Ljudmila says that she would love to see more places where people are playing board games.

- This is a city of great possibilities, with so many unutilized ideas in various fields, where everyone can start their own business and find their own clients or audience.