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Sarajevo DMC

How can a people that has suffered so much produce a city of such vitality? This is a question you’ll ask yourself time and time again as you explore Sarajevo. In the 1990s this was a city and people on the edge of annihilation, but today it has become a favourite traveller destination.

Sarajevo is a living museum of history, and there certainly is a lot of it! Mosques, churches, cathedrals and fine municipal buildings built by the Ottoman Turks and Austria-Hungarians; a bridge where world history took a fateful turn; and the Tunnel Museum, the yellow Holiday Inn, and the artillery-scarred Library as reminders of recent tragedy.

Sarajevo has charm: rattly old trams circle a city centre containing the Baščaršija bazaar, an ancient trading place with artisans’ workshops, coffee drinking dens, restaurants, cosy bars and endless souvenir choices. Further west the Ottoman traces disappear and the city takes on its other guise of a proud Austro-Hungarian colonial capital.

According to an estimate of the World Tourism Organization, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world between 1995 and 2020.

The major sending countries in 2010 have been Serbia (14,7%), Croatia (13,6%), Slovenia (8,4%), Poland (7,1%), Italy (6,4%) and Turkey (5,9%). The travel guide series, Lonely Planet, has named Sarajevo as the 43rd best city in the world, and in December 2009 listed Sarajevo as one of the top ten cities to visit in 2010.

You don’t need to invest much energy in appreciating Sarajevo; it’s a city that’s easily covered on foot, and it has good public transport. Being a very open city there’s a lot to see, and sitting down at a café in Baščaršija gives you a ringside seat on a rich theatre of life.