This is a kind of place that you can either love or not love at all. Nađa of course loves Sarajevo with whole her heart. For readers of our web portal, she revealed favorite places in her hometown and must-see spots to visit in the BH capital.
"I have not lived anywhere besides Sarajevo for more than one month and this made me realize how much I love my city. I love its every little stone, air, spirituality and, of course, its people. It seems to me that I like people who left their mark in this city, but are no longer with us today. So, strolling the city streets for me feels as if I'm living in the past – even much so as I am not so keen of the present. I have mixed feelings sometimes, I love the city, but feel angry as to how we treat public property – we fail to appreciate what we have."
Q: How does your typical day in Sarajevo look like? What are your favorite small rituals?
A: During summer, I go to work early by scooter and love to see a new day rising and shops opening, while greeting passersby. I bid them farewell, while enjoying that fresh smell of the morning. As I get older, I tend to be a bit on the edgy side, so all the hustle and bustle of Sarajevo streets bothers me a bit, so I move on further and get to know some new streets and shortcuts. Here and there you hear some new stories, even those you are not supposed to know, so you pretend not hearing them at all. All Sarajevans know this feeling. My small Sarajevo rituals mostly involve my children and their needs, so we visit places offering contents for children. Also, I like to stroll and relax at AtMejdan Park, my main rest point.
Q: What is your favorite part of the city, architecture and cultural heritage?
A: My only true connection is with my „mahala“, a part of city where I grew up – my Velešići, and only then follow other parts of Sarajevo where I lived for the past 10 years. Sarajevo has many things to offer to those fond of history. Coming to the Meeting of Cultures point, you can turn towards East and go to the old Ottoman bazaar. There you can enjoy the mosques, small streets and shops, hearing the sounds of coppersmiths working – a rest for the soul. Turning to the West, take a walk along the streets with lavish Austro-Hungarian buildings. Hop on the first tram and head towards Ilidža. There you will find everything you cannot find enough in the city – greenery, water and stillness.
Q: What makes Sarajevo so special? What makes it worth visiting?
A: It symbolizes history, resistance, defiance, spiritual beauty and togetherness. It has some amazing individuals, excellent locations to visit and is cheaper than other cities in the region. Walking down the cobblestone streets and going through Baščaršija, you will meet some really nice people, all of which will awaken with you that special pleasant feeling. People greet you. They often say hello without knowing you in person or knowing you only by sight. That is Sarajevo and that is what living in Sarajevo feels like. I am not sure that you can experience this anywhere else in the world, except when visiting Sarajevo, strolling its narrow streets and drinking coffee in Baščaršija. Make sure to leave an extra fildžan – an extra cup of coffee just in case someone drops in. You know, in passing, just as you did.
Q: What are the must-sees and must-dos for visitors of Sarajevo so they can gain a unique experience, but only in a two days' time? What do you recommend to be summer top spots?
A: When friends come to visit Sarajevo, we often take tours with them. We start from its historical centre – Baščaršija and its numerous attractions - from Sebilj, Vijećnica, Bey's mosque, Bezistan, clock tower, traditional small shops and then turn towards the Latin Bridge, Emperor's mosque, Hotel Europe, Cathedral and Srebrenica Gallery. The tour continues towards the National Museum and the Historical Museum, passing over the Festina Lente Bridge and by the Fine Arts Academy, after which we turn back towards the Eternal Flame memorial and arrive to the monument of the children of Sarajevo in the Great Park. We spend the second part of the day in Vratnik and Tabija, walking through its narrow streets. A day or two is reserved for the „lower" part of the city, mostly Ilidža and Tunnel of Hope, moving on to mountains Trebević, Igman, Bjelašnica and Jahorina, depending on type of visitors and contents offered there.
Q: What is the greatest impression your friends take from visiting Sarajevo?
A: It is a sense of fulfillment and joy, often inexplicable. To be honest, this is a small city with poor infrastructure, but all of this somehow falls behind in the light of our guests seeing this bland of civilizations in such a compact space. And, of course, there we have the very people of Sarajevo.
Q: What are your favorite city and nature spots? Which outdoor sports activities, events or tours around the city or rest of BH would you recommend?
A: I would recommend all the mountains surrounding Sarajevo. We are lucky since in nearly an hours' time we can get to a crowd-free places and enjoy the silence and all the contents mountains have to offer. We have a chance to relax at these spots, but tourists surely need more amenities there.
Q: What is your tourist recommendation of restaurants and local specialties?
A: I recommend traditional cuisine and restaurants. There is also Baščaršija's fast food, which is really delicious and served with a touch of light conversation. We have some fine restaurants and all of those keen of natural atmosphere should go to the “Bašča kod Ene” restaurant.
Q: What are your favorite spots for day-outs and night-outs?
A: For all my friends coming from abroad, I always recommend to get lost in the city. I mean, just to start strolling the streets and see where this leads them. They can always call us to pick them up if they end up too far from their starting point. Take a cable car to our beautiful Trebević Mountain and then go for a summer nigh-out, which is the best fun in the city, especially during the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Q: Which museums, galleries, festivals, cultural and other events do you visit and find worth seeing?
A: I already mentioned the National Museum, Historical Museum of BH and Tunnel of Hope. I would also add here the War Childhood Museum. Must-see festivals are AJB Doc, SFF, Bookstan, Baščaršija Nights, Mess Festival, plus worth checking out is the Mak Gallery, as well as many exhibits, cinemas and theatres.
Q: What would be an authentic souvenir to bring home from Sarajevo?
A: The best souvenir is the spirit of Sarajevo, a sense of being welcome and a desire to come back again. As you do so, go to Bazerdžan, Magaza, Kutcha, Bezistan or somewhere else along the way and buy the first thing that catches your eye. You will be surprised how every souvenir of Sarajevo has a story to tell.
Q: What is that BH Telecom has to offer to tourists visiting Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina?
A: Ultra tourist :-) Good internet, so they can capture and share everything on social networks. Without sounding immodest, I can say that BH Telecom has the best offer of prepaid internet tourist packages available at almost every newspaper stand.
Q: Finally, describe Sarajevo in a single sentence.
A: My Sarajevo - my story :-) Small city with world-class PR