The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is a bustling, colorful, eastern and western city at the same time, often referred to as European Jerusalem. Its narrow streets are lined with traditional Bosnian houses with red tile roofs, minarets rise here and there, and the green slopes of the Dinaric Alps stand majestically in the background. The history of three peoples is closely intertwined in the city: Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Bosnians who profess Islam. Despite cultural and religious differences, all of them live side by side for generations, bringing their unique heritage to the face of the city.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 3.263 million (2021).
The western suburb of Novo Sarajevo is a sad reminder of the Balkan conflict, with its bullet-riddled and abandoned houses. Another 12 km to the west is the balneological resort of Ilidice. However, in winter there is something to do here: for the “skiing” they go to Belyashnitsa and Jahorina, which are only half an hour away.
How to get to Sarajevo
There are three ways to get to Sarajevo: by plane, train or bus. Butmir International Airport is located 6 km from the capital, but there is no direct connection with Russia. From Moscow you will have to fly with transfers. Pegasus Airlines has a route via Istanbul, travel time 19 hours. Air Serbia offers more comfortable conditions: the flight takes 5 hours and 20 minutes with an hour transfer in Belgrade. Aeroflot also flies through this city, the same 19 hours on the road.
Regular flights from St. Petersburg are operated by Swiss with a transfer in Zurich (5 hours), Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul, 18 hours), Es Seven and Pegasus Airlines with two transfers in Moscow and Belgrade (more than a day).
Second option: take the train in Zagreb. It is the only foreign city that has a regular train connection with Sarajevo. The road will take about 9 hours and will allow you to enjoy wonderful landscapes. Ticket price from 45 EUR. You can also get to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina by bus from neighboring Croatia via Split, Podgorica, Dubrovnik or Belgrade. The journey will last from 4 to 7 hours and will cost 26-60 EUR, depending on the city of departure.
From airport to city
You can get from the airport to Sarajevo by bus 200E, departing every hour from 5:30 to 22:30, carrier Centrotrans Eurolines (off. site in English).
The taxi rank is located right outside the terminal building. The cost of a trip to the city center is 30 BAM, there are no meters. The prices on the page are for December 2021.
Sarajevo is a small city, which is easy to see during leisurely walks along the historical streets. But you can use public transport: take a bus, trolleybus or tram.
The city transport network is extensive, flights are carried out according to the schedule, you can buy a ticket at the bus stop or from the driver.
A regular ticket is valid for an hour – with it you can transfer to another route or another mode of transport. With a rich excursion program, it is more convenient to take a daily pass, which allows you to freely move around the city for 24 hours. But the most interesting option for travelers is the double-decker Sarajevo City Bus, which will take you to key attractions in 1.5 hours.
It is better to avoid trips “hare”: controllers are a frequent phenomenon.
Taxi and bike rental
Taxi drivers work at a standard rate of 2 BAM for landing and 1.50 BAM for each kilometer traveled. You can catch a car on the street or by calling. The only negative: drivers often try to deceive passengers – they do not turn on the meter or choose a long route. Therefore, tourists should find out and write down the number of a proven driver.
Bicycle rental in Sarajevo is not developed: both locals and foreigners prefer to use public transport or taxis.
Rent a Car
Renting a car in small Sarajevo is not very relevant, but it is convenient if you plan to explore the suburbs or short trips around Bosnia and Herzegovina. Experienced tourists recommend contacting international companies: Vehicle Rent, eDreams, Discover Car Hire, as they maintain higher standards of service.
There are no problems with parking: there are many covered parking lots with reasonable prices in the city.
The traffic is not too dense, but during the rush hour of the administrative districts of the city it is better to avoid it – there is a high risk of getting into a traffic jam and spending an extra hour and a half on the trip. The police are loyal to foreigners, but in case of violation of traffic rules, the culprit will face a European-style high fine. The main danger on the roads does not come from government officials, but from local drivers prone to recklessness.
Near Sarajevo there are several major ski resorts, the most famous is located only 30 km from the city. This is the center of Jahorin with a developed infrastructure and modern routes. It was built on the slopes of Mount Ogorelitsa and in 1984 hosted the Winter Olympics. The total length of the slopes is relatively small: only 25 km, but almost all the slopes are black and red and are not suitable for beginners and amateurs. Intermediate athletes can try their hand at three blue ones. There is a good school for beginners on the territory of the resort, there are also Russian-speaking instructors. The price of a day ski pass is 70 BAM. It is more profitable to purchase a magnetic card for several days at once.
Another resort where the Winter Olympic Games were held is Belashnitsa. It is located 25 km from the capital and opens the ski season in mid-November. Natural snow lies on the slopes of the mountains for about 200 days a year, but snow cannons are installed on each track just in case. The infrastructure of the resort is fully thought out: the slopes are illuminated, there are fast and comfortable lifts. Beginners can use the services of Russian-speaking instructors and rent the missing equipment.
The slopes in Belashnitsa are more suitable for non-professionals. Red slopes gradually turn into more gentle blue ones. Their total length is 20 km.