General Information about Sarajevo

Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With its population half a million, it is the biggest city in the country. It is possible to see traces of the many different cultures in the long and rich history of the city. Having this in mind, Sarajevo and its inhabitants are proud themselves of the traditional religious diversity, having adherents of Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism coexisting there for centuries.

The area of Sarajevo has been continuously settled since the Neolithic age. The most famous example of a Neolithic settlement in the Sarajevo area is that of the Butmir culture, from which unique ceramics and pottery designs were found.

The next prominent inhabitants of Sarajevo were the Illyrians who considered most of the West Balkans as their homeland in 9 A.D. Illyrians were defeated by the Romans who occupied the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Settlers who followed after Romans were Slavs in the 7th century.

Sarajevo is located within the historical region of Bosnia and almost in the center of the triangular-shaped territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is in the southeast of Europe. City extends along the Sarajevo valley in the middle of Dinaric Alps and consists of four municipalities: Centar (Center), Novi Grad (New Town), Novo Sarajevo (New Sarajevo) and Stari Grad (Old Town). Neighboring municipalities of Sarajevo are Ilidza and Vogošča. It was established in the Miljacka valley which is surrounded by "Ozren Planina" (1452 m) mountain in the North, "Romanija Planina" (1649 m) and Jahorina (1913 m) mountains in the south.

The modern city of Sarajevo arose in the 15th century, after it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The first Ottoman governor of Bosnia Province, Isa-Beg Ishaković, transformed the settlement into a city by building a number of key objects, including a mosque, a closed marketplace, a public bath, a han(inn), and of course the governor's castle ("Saraj") which gave the city its present name. Rapidly developing Sarajevo was the most important Ottoman city in the Balkans after Istanbul itself.

But that changed in 1699 when Prince Eugene of Savoy led a raid on Sarajevo, setting the city on fire. In just one day, nearly the whole city was destroyed. The city was later rebuilt, but never fully recovered from the destruction. In 1878, the Austria-Hungarian Empire conquered Bosnia and Herzegovina and annexed it completely in 1908. Sarajevo was industrialized by Austria-Hungary, who used the city as a testing area for new inventions, such as tramways, before installing them in Vienna.

During the 20th century, Sarajevo has attracted international attention several times: In 1914, it was the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia that sparked World War I, while seventy years later it became the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics. Sarajevo also underwent the longest siege in post WWII military history during the 1992-1995 aggression by the Serbian forces.

 Today the city is completely recovered and represents a major center of culture and economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

<<< Click here to see "Sarajevo city navigator" >>>

Places of interest


Bascarsija, also known as the Old Market, is not only one of the most important meeting and shopping centers in Sarajevo but also in all Balkans during the history. Famous Ottoman bazaar which was located in the center of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was founded in the 16th century. It is still in use today and in the heart of Sarajevo. Bascarsija, surrounded by the Ottoman Mosques, has a Han (inn), a madrassa and many hospices which were built by Gazi Husrev-Beg. Known as the Turkish region, Bascarsija has a very nice Sebil which has become the symbol of the Sarajevo. Also it consists of many buildings that are the property of the Gazi Hüsrev Bey Foundation.

Alley in Ilidza and Vrelo Bosna (Spring of River Bosnia)

Spring of River Bosnia (Vrelo Bosna) and its park which is close to our university campus can be reached by alley adorned with plane and chestnut trees in length of 3.5 kilometers. Alley consists of 726 trees of maple-leaved plane-trees, planted in 2 rows in 1892, and dozens of wild chestnut trees planted in 1888. The lakes in the park and the spring of River Bosnia at the end of the alley are worth to visit. The height of spring of River Bosnia is 492 meters above the sea level from the foothills of the Igman Mountain. The facilities of the city water supply have been built next to the spring of River Bosnia because of the high quality of the water.

National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina (City Hall)

Constructed in the period Austro-Hungarian Empire as a municipality building, it represents the architectural style of Bosnia and Herzegovina in that era. The building which was opened in 1896 served as municipality building until the end of the Second World War then served as the National Library. Burned and damaged building during 1992-1995 war in Bosnia has been restored nowadays

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1888 during Austria-Hungary period. Following the founding of the National museum during the last century it has been able to collect and preserve a large part of the national cultural heritage of the country. The construction of the museum began in 1909 and was completed in 1912 and mansion type museum consists of a botanical garden located in the middle of four separate buildings. Botanical garden contains many endemic plants from Bosnia and all over the world. The tomb stones exhibition was open to the public on 1 October 1913. One of the most important exhibits in the museum is the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, the traditional Jewish book by the Sephardim brought to Sarajevo by his exile from Spain. Museum suffered from serious damage in the war between the years of 1992-1995.

Roman Bridge

While Goat Bridge symbolically represented the eastern entry of Sarajevo, the Roman Bridge represents the western entry. This bridge, located on the Bosnia River, belongs to the architectural heritage of the Ottoman period. It was built between 1530 and 1550, and until today it has retained its original shape. The construction of the bridge was ornamented stones from the Roman period, that it why the bridge is better known as the "Roman Bridge".

Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque and Bezistan

The mosque was financed in 1531 by Gazi Husrev-beg, the provincial governor of Bosnia, whose tomb was located in the courtyard of the mosque. It was built by architect Sinan. Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque is located in Bascarsija, which is considered the heart of Sarajevo. Popularly known as the “Bey's mosque“, it is one of the prominent example of the Ottoman architecture. Serbian army purposely targeted all the cultural and religious monuments in Sarajevo during Bosnian war.  As the largest and best known, the Beg's mosque was an obvious target. The mosque was restored in 1996 in accordance with the Ottoman architecture. Complex of the Bey's Mosque consists of the mekteb (Muslim primary school) building, and the muvekithana building (for prayer calling).

Extending over a length of 109 meters along the streets of the same name, Gazi Husrefbegov bezistan was built according to an order by the Bosnian sandzakbeg Ghazi Khusraw Bey, from the 1542 to 1543 years. It has 52 shops arranged in two rows inside the building and a third series of shops on its outer side. It sells textiles, mainly imported goods.

Brusa (Bursa) Bezistan

With six-domed structure, Bursa bezistan is one of the most interesting architectural monuments in Bascarsija. It has rectangle-based architecture and contains entrance from four different streets. It is able to connect the streets of craft because of its occasion. It was built in 1551 by order of the Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha. The name Bezistan was derived from Bursa, where silk trade is famous.

Museum Alija Izetbegovic

Museum Alija Izetbegovic as an extension of the Museum of Sarajevo was opened four years after the death of the president, on 19 October 2007. Alija izzetbegovic and his monuments such as photos and personal belongings explaining his life and struggle were exhibited in Tower Ploca and Sirokac, known as Vratnik Gates towers which are old Ottoman fortress near to Kovaci Cemetery.

Morića Han

In the 16th century also called "golden age" of Sarajevo, there were over 50 hans (Inns). Only Gazi husrev Beg han has survived until today. It was constructed as a facility that provided shelter and hospitality merchants and travelers in the first half of the 16th century. It fulfilled all requirements for a Han in those days: large enclosed square yard, storerooms and areas for horses on the ground, on the upper floor rooms for sleeping. Han had 44 guest rooms with 300 beds. It was burned in a fire in the 1957 then renovated in 1970s.

Sebilj (Fountain)

Sebilj, which has become a symbol of the city, was built in 1891. The original Sebilj built by Kukavica Vizier Mehmed Pasha in 1754, which was located slightly below from the current location of the Sebilj was destroyed in the fire in 1852.

Svrzina House

Svrzina House is one of the most important constructions which symbolize the culture, life style and philosophy of the period before Europeanization. Mansion which is a beautiful example of Ottoman life-style has interior courtyards surrounded by high walls, haremlik (the part of a house for women), selamlik (the part of a house for men), and interior decorations. It is one of the rare structures that have managed to maintain its authenticity.


Local Transportation and Providing Transportation Card

Public Transportation Facilities

Center of the Sarajevo is surrounded by a spinal tram network which circulates counter-clockwise around the city. In the morning (depending on the days) voyages starts at 06:00 and lasts up to 24:00.

Public transport is supported by eight tram lines, five trolleybus lines and numerous bus services in the city. Tickets (tramvayska karta - tram ticket) can be purchased from kiosks near the tram stations for the one-way ticket (1.60 KM) or multiple way ticket (10 rides) (12.80 KM). When kiosks are not open, tickets can be purchased from tram driver slightly more expensive (1.80 KM) than usual. Tickets must be processed (signed) at the beginning of the journey. Buses provide access into the city as well as in the residential areas around Sarajevo.


Taxi is one of the main means of transportation in Sarajevo. When you enter a taxicab, the driver will start the taximeter and an initial charge of 2 KM will register. The taximeter will assess a fare of 1,5KM per kilometers. You can take a taxi either at a taxi stand or you can call to a taxi company to your address.

Bank Services

In Bosnia Euro/Dollar isn’t accepted as a means of currency. You can easily exchange Euro/Dollar with KM in exchange offices, banks or post offices. In Bosnia, Euro has fix currency rate (1€=1,955KM) but a small amount of fee is deducted. Please don’t forget to have your passport when you want to make any kind of transaction at bank. Money transfer, opening a bank account can be done at all bank branches. Banks are open till 18:00 in weekdays and till 12:00 at Saturdays.

Main Bosnian Expressions

























100=sto, stotina





21=dvadeset jedan



22=dvadeset dva



















Simple Sentence Patterns

Hello – Zdravo / Dobar dan.

Please. - Molim.

Thank you. - Hvala.

Yes. – Da.

No. – Ne.

Excuse me. – Izvinite.

Ok. – U redu.

Good. – Lijepo.

How are you? - Kako ste?

I’m fine, thank you. - Dobro sam, hvala.

What’s your name? - Kako se zovete?

My name is ______ . - Zovem se ______ .

What did you do tday?-šta si radio danas?

I am _____. - Ja sam ______.

Nice to meet you. - Drago mi je.

You’re welcome.- Nema na čemu.

I’m sorry - Žao mi je.

See you later. - Allahimanet / Zbogom.

Help! - Upomoć!

Be careful! - Pazite!

I don’t understand. - Ne razumijem.

Wher is WC? - Gdje je WC?

Silent! - Šuti!

Don’t Worry. – Ne brinite.

Fine. – Dobro.

Very nice. – Odlično.

Everything is OK. – Sve je u redu.

How is it going? – Kako ide posao?

Sure.- Sigurno.

Good idea. – Dobra ideja.

I hope. – Nadam se.

May be. – Možda.

Excellent. – Izvrsno.

Really? – Istina?

I don’t th’nk so. – Ne vjerujem.

Can I have a ....?. – Molim vas jedan ...?.

With pleaseure. – Sa zadovoljstvom.

It is not Possible. – Nije moguće.

We agreed. – Dogovorili smo se.

Never. – Nikada.

I accept. – To prihvaćam.

I think so. – I ja mislim tako.

Please help me. – Molim vas, pomozite mi.

Could you please help me? – Možete li mi pomoći?

It isn’t a problem for me. – Za mene nema nikakavog problema.

Could you please  speak slowly? -  Mozete li govoriti malo polako?

See you later. - Doviđenja ya da Ćao ya da Zdravo.

I cannot speak Bosnian well - Ne govorim dobro bosanski.

Can you speak English? - Da li govorite engleski?

Is there anyone here who can speak English? - Da li iko ovdje govori engleski?

Good night. - Lahku noć. Laku noć.

Thank you very much. - Hvala lijepo (veya Hvala Puno)

Good morning. - Dobro jutro, Sabah hajrola.

Good evening. - Dobra večer. Dobro veče.