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Sarajevo

Voted the ‘Best City to visit’ in 2012 and I agree.

Sarajevo

Voted the ‘Best City to visit’ in 2012 and I agree. Sarajevo has a lot to offer, sometimes more than other European cities. I’m going to tell you a little bit about what I love the most about this southeast European city, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. First thing that strikes a lot of people; including me is the major differences. You can have a mansion with a little one floor house next to it and a brand new Porsche parked next to an old Fiat. These are all signs of what happened 20 years ago. But for a true tourist, Sarajevo has it all. Shopping, skiing, culture, beautiful buildings and amazing restaurants. Here I’ll tell you about the places I love to visit when I’m there.

Baščaršija – Sarajevo’s old bazaar, it is the cultural and historical center of the city. A big tourist attraction and you can sense that. It’s always busy and you hear a lot of different languages being spoken while walking down the cobblestone streets. In the middle of it all is the Gazi Husrev-beg mosque, where men and women gather five times a day to pray and you can hear the call to prayer that gives you a special feeling in a European city.

Avaz Twist Tower – This building is the headquarters of the Dnevni Avaz magazine, hence the name. It’s been voted among the top 10 most beautiful buildings in the world. It stands 176 meters tall and on the 35th floor there is a café called “Caffe 35”. There is also a restaurant called Elite Club 31 and luxury apartments in the building. At 150 meters there is a viewpoint where you take the elevator to the 35th floor and then walk up a flight of stairs to the 36th floor to reach it. From there you see the neighborhood it’s located in, Marijin Dvor, as well as most of Sarajevo. This tower is best known for its twisted facade (once again, hence the name) and it looks a lot like Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden. Yes the view is spectacular, especially at night but what’s even cooler is the glass elevator where you can see everything going up and down. This isn’t for people uncomfortable with heights like me.

Park Prinčeva- Speaking of restaurants with a view, there is this one called Park Prinčeva. Located in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Sarajevo called Bistrik, this restaurant has it all. An awesome staff, great food and amazing views. It gives you a great view of Sarajevo and the national library that was built in the late 1800-hundreds and is the most representative building of the Austro-Hungarian era in the country. It was destroyed in ’92 but has since been rebuilt and its grand re-opening is set for spring 2014.

BBI Centar – If you don’t want to shop at the little stores on Baščaršija BBI Centar is the place to go. It’s five floor of shopping heaven. Here you have it all. My favorite place is on the top floor and it’s tucked all the way in the back, behind a salon, a baby boutique and an organic food store called “Torte i to…!” Why, you might ask?! Well, considering how hot Sarajevo gets this is where I go to cool down, have lemonade, check my mail and relax. Free Wi-Fi, AC and some great deserts. Well, what more can a girl ask for, right? Right?

Tavola – Sarajevo has a lot of hidden secrets and Tavola is exactly that. Unless you know of this place, you won’t find it, because it’s located in a place you wouldn’t normally go looking for a restaurant. It is situated in a little courtyard and the surroundings aren’t the most beautiful ones but you go back for the food. They have a variety of pasta dishes as well as Asian and Bosnian food. This is my little hidden secret for Italian food and a nice glass of wine.

Vrelo Bosne – So I’ve told you all about the places in the city that keep me entertained when I’m there but let me also tell you about the most peaceful and serene place you can go to in Sarajevo, or very close by! The park where the spring of the river Bosna is. It’s the most famous natural landmark in the country. To actually get to the park you first have to get to Ilidža, a municipality southwest of Sarajevo. Then you can either walk down the alley to the entrance of the closed park or take a horse-carriage ride, which I would recommend. Like I said it gets pretty warm in Sarajevo and it’s a bit of a walk. Make sure you bring a bottle of water no matter which option you choose. Inside the park you’ll find streams and waterfalls, little wooden bridges to cross the streams, an outdoor café and don’t be surprised if you see swans and ducks walking next to you. Vrelo Bosne is a great day trip to get away from the city and enjoy some fresh air and nature. You will see a lot of people with their picnic baskets, kids playing soccer and badminton, or throwing a freezbe on one of the many laws found there. I’m sure you too could find you a nice and relaxing spot to hang out for the day.

 

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