The capital of Bosnia survived a 1400-day siege during the war which might explain the city’s seize the day mentality. Whether slurping thick coffee in the Turkish Quarter or downing Sarajevsko pivo in the City Pub locals don’t do things by halves. Take some time out to remember the past at the Tunnel Museum – the lifeblood of the besieged Sarajevo.
When Stari Most, the city’s iconic bridge, was rebuilt after the war it wasn’t long before the annual high-diving competition was reinstated. When international divers aren’t plummeting 21m into the Neretva, enjoy the swirling river from one of the restaurants lining the western bank. The Ottoman quarter spans the river, lining the streets with cobbles, coffee houses and craft shops.
Once dubbed the European Istanbul, these days Travnik is a small town with one main street but it’s worth a visit for the grand medieval castle draped over its hillside. Combine your trip with a stop in Jajce, home to another ancient fortress as well as medival catacombs and the thundering waterfalls of the Pilva river.
In winter, combine a city break in Sarajevo with skiing and snowboarding in the mountains that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. Jahorina and Bjelasnica are the main resorts. For summer sports head to the Bihac for some white-water rafting or kayaking on the turquoise Una River.
Be a pilgrim
In 1981 six teenagers claimed they’d seen an aparition of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. More amazing than that, everyone believed them and now Catholics pour in from all corners of the globe. Whether you’re there on a religious pilgrimage or for the same reason you might visit Loch Ness, it makes for an interesting stop.