Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | August, 2017
We loved Sarajevo. For me, it was one of the highlights of our month long Balkan road trip. The museums and tours we took there were powerful and full of information that helped me tie together some of the pieces of their history. We stayed for a whole week which is always nice. We had a basement Airbnb about 10 minutes from the old city center. The walk was a bit of a trek since the city is on a hill, but it was a peaceful home base for our stay there. Some of the highlights were our free walking tour, a half day war tour, the war child museum and Dveri - one of the best meals we had in Europe. A little secluded jungle in the old town with excellent salads, steak, curries. Oh, and the bread was incredible. We went twice and wished we went again. A good meal with a bottle of wine was about $40.
On the tours we walked through the city, still covered with buildings destroyed during the war, visited the tunnel museum that was built by the Bosniacs during the war to escape and bring food and supplies to the city while it was surrounded by the Bosnian Serb army for duration of the war, and drove out to the bobsled tracks from the Sarajevo Olympics. It was very strange to visit a place with such recent history of violence, all of the people our age and a little younger would have just been kids during the war, and they undoubtedly have suffered a lot of loss in their young lives. It was also surprising to learn that the unemployment rate is over 40%, and it doesn’t seem like it will change since everything we heard pointed to a complex political system looking out for itself more than it’s people.
We were both a little nervous to drive in the city, as a friend of ours had warned of the most twisted up, windy, steep streets he had ever driven on - with road signs and customs we did not understand to boot. I was meticulous in getting directions from our airbnb host as reviews had warned of getting lost, having to have locals drive their rentals out of precarious and narrow streets and the crazy steep hill the house was on.
Sarajevo is a city we hope to return to. The people were kind and welcoming, the city was clean and walkable, and the history is tangible and eye opening.