Sarajevo still knows the meaning of respect!

Ljudmila Valjevac is from Russia and owns a beauty salon in Sarajevo, where she has been living from 2008.


Back when she met her future husband in Russia and decided to come live here with him, she knew nothing about Sarajevo or BiH. She knew about former Yugoslavia, but not about the new states that formed after its dissolution.

- I was happy to be moving to the capital city of a country. However, my first impression wasn’t so great. It was winter and Sarajevo looked depressing, dark, rainy, full of demolished buildings…. But I quickly got to know new friends, the culture and a different side of this city.

Beauty House by Ljudmila

Back in Russia, Ljudmila was a successful hair stylist, but not knowing the local language here made it difficult for her to do the same job, so she decided to learn other kinds of beauty treatments. All of her hard work has paid off and she has made a name for herself as a beautician, while also becoming a permanent makeup trainer, delighting her fellow Sarajevans with her professionalism, simplicity and humanity.

At her salon, Beauty House by Ljudmila, cancer patients who have had chemotherapy are treated to free permanent eyebrows.

- It’s something rather easy for us, but it means a lot for someone else, she says.

When she isn’t at work, which is her great passion, Ljudmila likes to ride bikes, play tennis with her husband or enjoy some time on Trebević or Jahorina or at Vrelo Bosne. Every day is different for her and she always finds time for friends.

She says that she is always keen to see plays at the National Theater with her friend and fellow Russian, Ekaterina Vereshchagina, who works in Sarajevo as a ballerina. She adds with a smile that she is also fond of “walking through Sarajevo shopping centers”.

- When I first came, there weren’t all of these shopping centers and now I usually visit SCC because it has the most space for shopping and going for lunch or coffee.

She’s not one to go out in the evenings and, after a whole day of communicating with people, she likes to go home, make dinner, have a glass of wine and enjoy a view of the city.

She likes traditional Bosnian cooking (the secrets of which she feels she has mastered) and, while she doesn’t find it difficult to make pita and other more difficult Bosnian dishes, she prefers to buy such items ready-made.

- I love the local cuisine, but it’s very rich and I watch what I eat; I eat salads and fresh food. I prefer to eat something that’s healthy but not so tasty, like roast lamb, which I sometimes indulge in when I have guests.

She takes guests on a tour of Baščaršija and definitely for ćevapi, and she loves the atmosphere at Pivnica HS, where they always play some nice music.

Sarajevo is my new home

She’s very happy with her life in Sarajevo, where she has managed to prove herself through her work. She believes that no one should expect their country to give them something or to sit and complain if things are bad.

- I love Sarajevo and when I go somewhere I’m happy to come back. It’s nice to see friends and family in Russia, but I feel best here in my new home.

Ljudmila has dear friends, a husband and work that she loves. She says that people here are easy-going and they know how to enjoy time together; the city isn’t expensive and everyone can afford the occasional luxury.

In closing our conversation, Ljudmila had the following to offer:

- Respect is still alive and well in Sarajevo, but it’s been lost by people elsewhere. Sarajevans are sensitive and they care about others and these are things that set the city apart from the rest of the world.