Beside the fact that Sarajevo was the first city in Europe and the second city ( after San Francisco ) in the world to have a full-time electric tram network, it is also called the „Jerusalem of Europe“, because it is the only major European city to have a mosque, Catholic church, Orthodox church and synagogue within the same neighborhood.
Tonight, Sarajevo will become the center of the world. The 23rd edition of Sarajevo Film Festival will kick off on Friday 11 August with a number of movies, special events, numerous festival guests, and a lot of parties, music and fun in many Sarajevo restaurants and clubs.
The Festival has been attended by celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Craig, Morgan Freeman, Michael Moore, Gillian Anderson, Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro and many others.
The Sarajevo Film Festival is hosted at the National Theater in front of which the Festival Square and the red carpet are located.
If you are visiting this unique Festival, it will be a great oportunity for you to get to know Sarajevo through its multicultural architecture, delicious food, and lot of bars and coffee shops.
Here is the short list of things worth to do&visit in Sarajevo:
1. Visit Old Town Baščaršija
In the heart of Sarajevo, you will find old Bazzar built in the 15th century. It is full of narrow streets lined with shops and cafes. Don't skip Kazandžiluk Street, filled with copper goods, where you can get the best souvenir of all time – traditional Bosnian coffee set.
On of the symbols of Sarajevo is Sebilj, located at the center square of Baščaršija, known also as the pigeon square.
Traditional Bosnian coffee copper set
2. Try the local food and Bosnian coffee
The best way to experience the Bosnian food is to start with ćevapi. It is a typical Bosnian dish made out of minced meat with onions, served in pita bread.
The second best meal in Sarajevo is pita. It is a pie made out of thin layered dough with cheese, spinach, pumkin, potatoes or minced meat inside.
Bosnian coffee is really strong, and very similar to Turkish coffee. Combined with a fancy dessert such is tufahija or baklava, it can be a really nice treat.
If you have enough time, don't miss a chance to visit many small and very sweet Old Town's coffee/tea shops such as Miris dunja, Dibek and Tee House Džirlo.
3. Visit The Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque
The Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque was built in 1532 by a famous Ottoman architect Acem Esir Ali. It was the first mosque in the world to receive electricity in 1898 and is one of the most representative Ottoman buildings in Bosnia.
Gazi Husrev-begova džamija
4. Visit Vijećnica
Vijećnica was constructed in 1892-94 and was built to house the cities local officials and administrative staff. The City Hall was turned into a National library towards the end of World War 2, and remains the biggest and the most representative building from the Austro-Hungarian period in Sarajevo.
Before its destruction on the 25 August 1992 during civil war, the library held 1.5 million volumes and over 155,00 rare books and manuscripts. The majority of the books could not be saved from the flames.
Twenty years after it went down in flames, Vijećnica was re-opened to the public.
5. See the city up from the hill
Don't miss a chance to go to Yellow Fortress ( Žuta Tabija ) up on the hill above Baščaršija and Vijećnica. It offers stunning view of the city and surrounding mountains.
There is a really sweet coffee shop right next to the Fortress called Kamarija Point ofView, where you can have a hot or cold beverage and enjoy the view.
6. Visit the War Tunnel
The siege of Sarajevo lasted over three years. The city was cut off from the rest of the country, and the war tunnel was constructed as the only way to get to the other side of the airport, in that time overseen by the UN forces.
After the war ended, the tunnel was re-decorated into a museum as a great reminder of the perservance of Sarajevo people during the war.