Sarajevo Introduction Walking Tour, Sarajevo

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: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: DanaU
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Sarajevo City Hall
  • Baščaršija (Old Bazaar) and Sebilj Fountain
  • Sarači Street
  • Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque
  • Ferhadija Street
  • Gallery 11/07/95
  • Cathedral of Jesus' Heart
  • Eternal Flame
  • Central Post Office
  • Sarajevo National Theatre
  • Latin Bridge
  • Sarajevska Pivara (Sarajevo Brewery)
Sarajevo City Hall

1) Sarajevo City Hall (must see)

Sarajevo City Hall, known as Vijećnica, is located in the city of Sarajevo. It was designed in 1891 by the Czech architect Karel Pařík, but criticisms by the minister, Baron Béni Kállay, caused him to stop working on the project. It was initially the largest and most representative building of the Austro-Hungarian period in Sarajevo and served as the city hall.

The building was reopened on 9 May 2014. It is the current seat and headquarters of the Mayor of Sarajevo, as well as the Sarajevo City Council.

Alexander Wittek, who worked on the project in 1892 and 1893, fell ill and died in 1894 in Graz, and the work was completed by Ćiril Iveković. The edifice was built in a stylistic blend of historical eclecticism, predominantly in the pseudo-Moorish expression, for which the stylistic sources were found in the Islamic art of Spain and North Africa.

Building works began in 1892 and were completed in 1894, at a cost of 984,000 crowns, with 32,000 crowns provided for fixtures and fittings. It was formally opened 20 April 1896, and handed over to the City Authority, which occupied the property until 1949, when it was handed over to the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 25 August 1992, Serbian shelling during the Siege of Sarajevo caused the complete destruction of the library; among the losses were about 700 manuscripts and incunabula and a unique collection of Bosnian serial publications, some from the middle of the 19th century Bosnian cultural revival. Before the attack, the library held 1.5 million volumes and over 155,000 rare books and manuscripts. Some citizens and librarians tried to save some books while they were under sniper fire, at least one person died.

The majority of the books could not be saved from the flames.

After it was repaired, the building, now a national monument, has been used for variety of events. Its space has been be used for various protocol events for all levels of government, concerts and exhibitions.

After years of restoration, the building was reopened on 9 May 2014, with the performance of the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra and Vedran Smailović, as well as a 3D projection video mapping by Knap Studio Sarajevo. In 2022 it was the subject of a stop-motion animated film directed by artist Nicholas F. Callaway, through the research project Imaneo, with funding from Creative Europe.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Baščaršija (Old Bazaar) and Sebilj Fountain

2) Baščaršija (Old Bazaar) and Sebilj Fountain (must see)

Located at the heart of the city, this bazaar is one of Sarajevo’s oldest areas as well as a well-preserved example of oriental architecture in the Balkans.

Situated along the northern bank of the Miljacka River, Baščaršija is an oriental bazaar, a maze of narrow streets with small shops where craftsmen make and sell their products. At one time, each street was dedicated to a different type of craft: metalwork, jewellery, pottery and so on. Nowadays, many of the old artisan shops have been converted to souvenir shops and cafes. ***PH***

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.

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.
Sarači Street

3) Sarači Street

Sarači street is one of main pedestrian streets in Sarajevo, located in Baščaršija. Sarači street is named after Saraç, a Turkish word for craftsmen who are making saddles.

Sarači street is connecting Ferhadija street on west and main square on Baščaršija on east, and entire street is pedestrian zone. Numerous shops with traditional handicraft products are located in this street. It can be noticed that the passage from Sarači street into Ferhadija street is a line that separating or connecting the characteristics of the eastern and western culture inherited during the rich history, as well as the entire City of Sarajevo.

Sarači street is located within "Historical City Area - Sarajevo Čaršija", which is declared in 2014 as National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with Bazardžani street and Kazazi street, Sarači street is one of the first streets that were named in Sarajevo.

Several significant buildings and institutions are located in this street and some of them are: Morića Han, Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and
Gazi Husrev-beg's Museum (including Kuršumli mederesa).
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque

4) 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.
Ferhadija Street

5) Ferhadija Street

Ferhadija street is one of main pedestrian streets in Sarajevo, located in the municipalities of Centar and Stari Grad. The street is named after Ferhad-bey Vuković-Desisalić, a Bosnian sanjak-bey who lived in the 16th century.

Ferhadija street connects to Sarači street on its east side and Marshal Tito street on its west side, and the entire street is a pedestrian zone.

Until 1928, the street was named Ferhadija, after Ferhad-bey Vuković-Desisalić, who in 1561/62 built a mosque in that street. From 1928 to 1941, when it was connected with Sarači, it was named after Prince and later King Peter II Karadjordjevic. From 1941 to 1945, street returned the old name Ferhadija, and from 1945 to 1993, her name was named after Vaso Miskin Crni, national hero of Yugoslavia. Since 1993, old name has been restored.

Several significant buildings and institutions are located in this street and some of them are: Eternal flame (Sarajevo), Sarajevo Markethall, School of Economics and Business Sarajevo, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Ferhadija Mosque, Norwegian Embassy, Swedish Embassy.

At the street eastern end the entrance to Gazi Husrev-beg's Bezistan historic covered market is located.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Gallery 11/07/95

6) Gallery 11/07/95 (must see)

The Gallery 11/07/95 is a memorial art gallery and a public institution dedicated to preserving the memory of the Srebrenica genocide. It was established on 12 July 2012 by a team headed by Bosnian photographer Tarik Samarah in cooperation with the governments of the Sarajevo Canton and the Republic of Turkey. The gallery is housed in an Austro-Hungarian building overlooking the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The gallery's showpiece is a permanent exhibition that provides documentary and archive material from the town of Srebrenica before, during and after the genocide. Through a wide range of multimedia content that includes photographic images, maps, audio and video material, the gallery offers documentary and artistic interpretations of the events that took place in the town during the month of July 1995. It was a finalist for the European Museum of the Year Award in both 2016 and 2017.

As stated by the gallery's management, its aim is "to be a strong and decisive voice against all forms of violence in the world. Srebrenica is a symbol – not only of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also of the suffering of innocent people and the indifference of others." The concept of the project is "a museum-gallery hybrid", that blends artistic and documentary forms by using various audio-visual mediums.

Apart from its permanent exhibition, the gallery also organizes numerous short-term exhibitions and has hosted works by various international artists, photographers and photojournalists such as Narciso Contreras, Ron Haviv, Luc Delahaye, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, Michelangelo Pistoletto and others.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Cathedral of Jesus' Heart

7) Cathedral of Jesus' Heart

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.
Eternal Flame

8) 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

9) Central Post Office

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.
Sarajevo National Theatre

10) 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.
Latin Bridge

11) 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)

12) 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.
Bosnian War and Siege of Sarajevo History Walk

Bosnian War and Siege of Sarajevo History Walk

Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina, is mainly known for three things, two of them dark. The one non-dark thing is the 1984 Winter Olympics – still celebrated as one of the happiest chapters of the city's modern history. The dark chapters are related to a very different type of competition: war.

The outbreak of World War One was sparked off here, when the heir to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
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