Sarajevo Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Sarajevo

Virtually nowhere else but in Sarajevo's charming old town can one come across so many cathedrals, orthodox churches, mosques and even synagogues, all of them right in the same, main area of the city. With this self-guided walk, you will visit the famous 15th-century bazaar that makes the city's #1 tourist attraction. Nearby, at the square you will find an elegant, Ottoman-style fountain called Sebilj, followed by the 16th-century Old Orthodox Church, the Gazi Huserv-beg Mosque, and another beautiful example of Ottoman, oriental architecture – the Svrzo House – which is a part of the Museum of Sarajevo. Go further south and see the 18th-century Sacred Heart Cathedral (the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina), then cross the river via the famous Latin Bridge before finishing your tour with the beautiful, originally deep-red-colored 19th-century buildings of the Sarajevo Brewery. Quite an intriguing mix, isn't it?
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Sarajevo Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Sarajevo Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Bosnia-Herzegovina » Sarajevo (See other walking tours in Sarajevo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Author: DanaU
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Baščaršija
  • Sarajevo's Sebilj
  • Brusa Bezistan - Sarajevo Museum
  • Old Orthodox Church
  • Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque
  • Svrzo House
  • Jewish Museum
  • Cathedral of Jesus' Heart
  • Sarajevo Rose
  • Eternal Flame
  • Central Post Office
  • Academy of Fine Arts
  • Sarajevo National Theatre
  • Sarajevo City Museum
  • Latin Bridge
  • Sarajevska Pivara (Sarajevo Brewery)

1) Baščaršija (must see)

Built in the 15th century, at the time when Isa-bey Ishaković founded the city of Sarajevo, Bascarsija is both an old market place as well as the historic and cultural center of the city. The word “Bascarsija” translates as the “main market place”.

Compared to past times, Bascarsija is much smaller than it used to be. It was damaged by fire and other calamities in the19th century. The communist regime wanted to raze it to the ground altogether, but luckily they changed their mind.

Today, Bascarsija is the main place of interest for tourist coming to Sarajevo, as there are several historic structures around it.
Sarajevo's Sebilj

2) Sarajevo's Sebilj (must see)

The Sebilj is a pseudo-Moorish style wooden fountain in the centre of Baščaršija square in Sarajevo built by Mehmed-pasha Kukavica in 1753. It was relocated by Czech architect Alexander Vitek in 1891. It is also frequently called “the pigeon square”. A multi-national collaborative public arts project created a life-size contemporary interpretation of the famous public fountain and landmark in Birmingham, utilising traditional Bosnian design and craft techniques and combined with modern digital technology.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Brusa Bezistan - Sarajevo Museum

3) Brusa Bezistan - Sarajevo Museum (must see)

The building of the Bursa Bezistan was erected by the Great vizier of Sulejman the Magnificent in 1551. It was originally intended as a market place for silk. Today, it holds permanent exhibitions of archeological items that are divided into three parts: prehistory, antiquity and the Middle Ages. Also, the museum displays items from the Ottoman Empire and the Austria-Hungarian empire.

Bursa Bezistan is a rectangular construction with six big and two smaller domes. The building itself is also worth admiring before you step inside.
Old Orthodox Church

4) Old Orthodox Church (must see)

Some believe that the Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo dates back to the 5th or the 6th century, while others consider it a 12th-14th century construction. Also, there are opinions that it appeared during the Ottoman Empire, in the 15th - 16th century. Thus, the exact period is still unknown.

The Old Orthodox Church was damaged several times by fires, but was restored each time. The building we see today dates back to 1730. It lacks the apse and has a nave surrounded by a colonnade. The most important thing about this church is the fabulous carved iconostasis dating back to 1674.

Today, the Old Orthodox Church is one of the oldest museums in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with stunning collections of icons and old paintings, old manuscripts, liturgical fabrics, old documents, books and much more. Here, you will find the works of Maksim Tujković, Longin and other Greek, Russian and Cretan artists.
Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque

5) Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque (must see)

The Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque is a mosque in the city of Sarajevo. It is considered the most important Islamic structure in the country and one of the world's finest examples of Ottoman architecture. It is located in the Baščaršija neighborhood in the Stari Grad municipality, and remains one of the most popular centers of worship in the city.

The Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque was built by the famous Ottoman architect Adzem Esir Ali "Alaüddin", who also built the Yavuz Selim Mosque in Istanbul for the Sultan Selim I. The mosque was financed in 1531 by Gazi Husrev-beg, the provincial governor of Bosnia and Sultan Beyazid II's grandson. Gazi Husrev-beg is widely considered Sarajevo's greatest patron, as he financed much of Sarajevo's old city at this time. Magnificent stalactite ornamentation in the angles under the dome and in the place where the imam leads the prayers, as well as other polychromatic decoration, valuable carpets and the light effects through the 51 windows produces a sense of greater space than there is in reality. At every time of prayer in this mosque, the great benefactor Gazi Husrev-beg is remembered.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, Serbian forces purposely targeted many centers of the city's culture, such as museums, libraries, and mosques, and fired on them generally. As the largest and best known, the Beg's mosque was an obvious target. Heavily damaged in the war, it was renovated in 1996 with foreign help. Haverford College Professor Michael A. Sells has accused the renovators of Wahhabism in the mosque. Prior to reconstruction, the interior was far more intricate, but today the walls are simply white, much of the detail, artistry, and color taken out. Complete restoration and re-painting of the mosque began in 2000. It has been done mainly by Hazim Numanagić, a Bosnian calligrapher.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Svrzo House

6) Svrzo House (must see)

This house was built by the renown Glođo family, an important figure in the fight for the autonomy of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Ottoman Empire, and was originally known as the Glođo house. It is a museum that displays the way of life of a Muslim family at the end of the 17th century.

Because the Glođo family didn't have any male successors, the house was acquired by the Svrzo family. Today, Svrzo House represents a typical example of a house from that time, with two parts: selamluk and haremluk (the public and the private house).

After the Siege of Sarajevo, the house was seriously damaged, but soon repaired and open to the public in 1997. Another reconstruction of the house took place in 2005, when the roof and the pavement were repaired.
Jewish Museum

7) Jewish Museum (must see)

Built in 1581, the Jewish Museum was erected as a residential facility for the poor Jewish community. The original design of the building is unknown due to several fires that devastated it. The present structure dates from 1821, has three naves, is 14 meters long and 10 meters high. Here, you will see impressive exhibits that once belonged to the Jewish community.

Today, this temple is considered to be one the most important Jewish cultural monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Cathedral of Jesus' Heart

8) Cathedral of Jesus' Heart (must see)

The Cathedral of Jesus' Heart in Sarajevo, commonly referred as the Sarajevo Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the seat of the Vrhbosanski Archbishop, currently Cardinal Vinko Puljić, and center of Catholic worship in the city. The Cathedral is located in the city's Old Town district.

The Cathedral of Jesus' Heart was built in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an important Catholicconcept. Architect Josip Vancaš modeled it after the Notre-Dame de Paris using the neo-Gothic style and elements of Romanesque architecture. Work began on August 25, 1884, and was completed in the same month in 1889. The Bishop of Dubrovnik was present for the opening. The building was damaged during the Siege of Sarajevo, but was not completely destroyed, and the damage has since been repaired. The building is often used as a symbol of the city: The design above the door to the Cathedral is part of the flag and seal of Sarajevo Cantonand the Romanesque towers are featured on the flag and coat of arms of Sarajevo.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sarajevo Rose

9) Sarajevo Rose

Sarajevo suffered thousands of explosions during the siege and to date there are a lot of traces left. A "rose" on the roads of Sarajevo represents a kind of concrete scar, a result of mortar shells. The spots were later filled with red resin as a reminder and thus look almost like roses. Sarajevo's citizens live with these scars both in their souls and on the roads, unable to forget what they've been through.
Eternal Flame

10) Eternal Flame

The Eternal flame is a memorial to the military and civilian victims of the Second World War in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The memorial was dedicated on 6 April 1946, the first anniversary of the liberation of Sarajevo from the four year long occupation by Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia. The memorial is located in the centre of Sarajevo at the corner the Marshall Tito street and the main Sarajevo pedestrian street, Ferhadija.

In the very early morning of Sunday, 2 January 2011, the Vječna vatra was suddenly, freakishly extinguished by (or self-extinguished before) a gathering of revellers, who quickly scattered. Yet, the Eternal flame was heroically reignited less than 20 seconds later by a passing tourist, who witnessed what had happened and ran up to risk life and limb in order to preserve the great Yugoslav memorial's continuity.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Central Post Office

11) Central Post Office (must see)

The building for the military post office and telegraph was designed by Josip Vancas and the works were carried out from 1907 to 1910. The post office officially opened in 1913. Its impressive design is characterized by new movements in Art Nouveau. The most distinctive feature of the Central Post Office is the glass roof designed to naturally illuminate the central space. The building was seriously damaged in 1992, but in 2001 was restored by Ferhad Mulabegovic.
Academy of Fine Arts

12) Academy of Fine Arts (must see)

The Academy of Fine Arts is housed in a restored, former Evangelical Church that is of great architectural value. If you are into fabulous architecture, this construction is definitely worth seeing.

Established in 1972, the Academy of Fine Arts was created with the participation of eminent teachers, scholars, and cultural workers, including famous historian and first dean Hope Pivac, painters Mersad Berber, Boro Aleksic, sculptor Zdenko Grgic, just to name a few.
Sarajevo National Theatre

13) Sarajevo National Theatre

The Sarajevo National Theatre was founded in November 1921. The opening ceremony was led by Branislav Nusic, then Head of the Art Department of the Ministry of Education. On November 9, 1946 Sarajevo Opera House commenced its artistic activity with the premiere of B. Smetana's “The Bartered Bride”. Sarajevo Ballet was also founded in 1946, but its first independent performance “The Harvest” by B. Papandopulo was postponed until May 25, 1950. This performance marked the beginning of its professional development within the national Theater. The building was designed by architect Karel Pařík, who designed over 160 Sarajevo buildings.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sarajevo City Museum

14) Sarajevo City Museum (must see)

The Sarajevo City Museum is housed in a building in front of which the assassination of Franz Ferdinand took place. Its permanent exhibition, called “Sarajevo 1878 – 1918”, displays items related to Austria-Hungarian period. The exhibitions at Sarajevo City Museum are divided according to themes, such as: Sarajevo resistance, the local culture, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, and some other historical events of the period.
Latin Bridge

15) Latin Bridge (must see)

Latin Bridge is a historic Ottoman bridge over the River Miljacka in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The northern end of the bridge was the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip in 1914, which became a casus belli of World War I.

Judging by its foundation, it is the oldest among the preserved bridges in the city. The census of the Sanjak of Bosnia from 1541 mentions the bridge on this spot, built by the leather-worker Hussein, son of Sirmerd. This first bridge seems to have been made of wood, because the court record from 1565 witness that the stone bridge was built here by eminent citizen of Sarajevo Ali-Ajni Beg. Someone worked out that the year when it was rebuilt can be obtained from the numerical values in the word 'Briga' it is 1213 which by Islamic calendar equals the year of the reconstruction 1798/99. The bridge has four arches and rests on three strong pillars and the embankment; it is built of stone and gypsum and the two relieving openings, 'eyes' in the mass above pillars are so characteristic that they can be seen in the seal of Sarajevo. Because of heavy traffic at the time of Austria-Hungary, the pavements on consoles were added to the bridge.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sarajevska Pivara (Sarajevo Brewery)

16) Sarajevska Pivara (Sarajevo Brewery)

The Sarajevska Pivara opened in 1864 as the first local industry and shortly became one of leading producers in Bosnia, with considerable amounts exported to Montenegro, Croatia and Albania. Just before World War I, it was producing 116,000 hectoliters per year, and in 1916 it passed the limit of 150,000 hl.

There are plenty of beers to try here, and also a number of different flavors of rakia (but be careful, because they are strong). There is an extensive local and international menu which can be restricted on busy Friday nights. In the evenings, there is often music. The major attraction of this spot, however, is the building itself – a grand room, with balconies, and a beautiful wooden bar/tavern.

[Tavern] Daily: 10am–1am
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Create Your Own Walk in Sarajevo

Create Your Own Walk in Sarajevo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sarajevo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ottoman Empire Landmarks Walk

Ottoman Empire Landmarks Walk

Sarajevo is a city founded by the Ottoman Empire upon conquering the region, 1461 is most often referred to as the founding year. Today, there are a number of landmarks built by the first Ottoman governor of Bosnia that endured over the centuries. Take this tour to see the most impressive Ottoman landmarks in the city of Sarajevo.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Sarajevo Landmarks Walk

Sarajevo Landmarks Walk

Sarajevo is one of the more historically interesting and varied cities in Europe. It is a place where the Western & Eastern Roman Empire split; where the people of the Roman Catholic west, Eastern Orthodox east and the Ottoman south met, lived and warred. It is a city full of fabulous places of interest that you should definitely visit when in Sarajevo. Take this tour to the best landmarks of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles