Katie McCraw

Sarajevo is Europe's best-kept secret

Since 2012, Katie McCraw of Scotland has been living in BiH, where she works for Novi Most International, teaches Scottish dancing and runs an Instagram page called Doors of Sarajevo.


Having done her studies in geography in her hometown of Edinburgh, she first visited our country in 2006 to do her master's on the cultural identity of Mostar.

Years later, she couldn't stop thinking about BiH, so she returned to Mostar in 2012 to work as a journalist with Novi Most, an organization that has been offering various courses since 1994 to educate and connect youth from all over BiH. 

Work with children

- During an education project for Roma children, I realized how much I like working with youth. Meanwhile, the organization expanded its work to Sarajevo, so after three years in Mostar, I moved to a city that I have loved ever since our first encounter.

While the media was covering besieged Sarajevo during the '90s, Katie, a girl at the time, felt it wasn’t fair that there were kids in Europe who didn’t have the freedom she had.

- I’ve met some warm people here, like I’ve known them all my life. Many Sarajevans grew up with British comedies, like Monty Python’s Flying Circus and ‘Allo ‘Allo!, and we have similar dark humor.

She is doing an online master’s in photojournalism and documentary photography, as taught by award-winning photographer Paul Lowe at the London College of Communication.

- I love to photograph passersby and details, like doors on buildings, which show colorful architecture that has resulted from historical change. My work might be on display at Preporod Gallery soon.

She's fascinated by the mix of cultures and religions in Sarajevo, “Europe's best-kept secret.“

- I usually take guests to places of worship, and they find the Orthodox churches especially interesting, as there aren't any like them in Britain.

Tito's bunker

A nature lover, Katie is keen to ski on Raduša, and she says everyone should visit Sutjeska National Park, Umoljani, and the bobsled track on Trebević; and Tito's bunker in Konjic, which preserves major works of modern art, is a must-stop.

She thinks Sarajevo is great because hills and mountains can be seen from every corner.

- It's interesting how Sarajevo has been built, as though the neighborhoods are part of the mountains. We also have many mountains and bad roads in Scotland.

As for the BiH scene, she appreciates the plays at Chamber Theater, exhibits at the National Gallery, SFF, and lyrics by the rock group Letu Štuke.

She likes homemade food at hunting lodges and at mountain/rural establishments like Gradina, a restaurant above Pale.

- I love spinach pie at Bašča Kod Ene; Dolac Malta hides Velika Bašta, a restaurant that has great mučkalica; and there’s Luster Cafe, which my friend runs.

As for Sarajevo gifts, she tends to go with domestic wines, coffee from the Ministry of Ćeif, products from Bazerdžan and items from Egoist and Drvo Života Galleries.