Elma Hašimbegović

The blend of civilizations makes Sarajevo special!

Elma Hašimbegović, director of the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, shared her thoughts on Sarajevo with us.


Elma says that what makes Sarajevo special and interesting is the blend of civilizations and architectural styles that is concentrated in such a small area and nestled among the beautiful hills. She also adds that Sarajevo is a city that knows how to entice and charm those who visit.

Wilson’s Promenade is the part of town that has played a special role in her life. Not only is it the lungs and green aorta of the city itself, it’s also been her lifeline, as she has spent a good part of her life taking the route that stretches from Third Gymnasium, past the Philosophy Faculty and over to the Historical Museum of BiH.

For Elma, another very special place under the Sarajevo sun is Čengić Villa, the neighborhood where she grew up and where she now lives. Although it is not an example of great architectural beauty, she emphasizes that it has given rise to a specific “haustor culture” (at the entry to buildings) which fosters community spirit and social sensitivity.

Her favorite walk around the city leads through the narrow streets of Baščaršija, where time after time she discovers some unusual details. For outings she chooses Skakavac, Trebević, Čavljak or Eco Futura on Hreša.

She usually drinks her daily coffee in the garden at Tito Café, which is surrounded by greenery and situated among rare items from the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina and which, she says, exudes a youthfulness, freshness and serenity. In the evenings she goes to Boris Smoje Gallery because of its pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

As for cultural activities, what she enjoys most is Sarajevo Film Festival and the films that it brings every year. The Festival period is a real little holiday for her.

When it comes to restaurants, Elma recommends the aščinica, Pod Lipom, where she enjoys klepe and Bey’s soup. For her, the best lasagnas are served at Barhana; the restaurant, Luka, has the best fish soup and other seafood, and Vapiano has the best pizza and pasta. She usually eats her ćevapi at Ćevabdžinica Zmaj.

As one would expect, Elma’s favorite building in Sarajevo is the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because even 50 years since it was first built it hasn’t lost its attractiveness and modernity.

Elma thinks that the best view of Sarajevo is the one from the garden at the restaurant, Biban, especially at sunset, when one can hear the calls to prayer from surrounding mosques.

In closing, we asked Elma to describe Sarajevo in one sentence:

- This is a city where you can travel through five centuries of history in less than half an hour.