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Sarajevo is the capital of BiH and it is its administrative, cultural and university center situated in the area of the Sarajevo Polje valley, which is surrounded by the mountains - Bjelasnica and Igman in the southwest, Trebevic in the southeast, medium mountains and inter-valley headlands in the north and northwest.
Questions answered about visiting Sarajevo
Travel Tips from people who've been to Sarajevo
Important: Beware of the thieves. I met a band who had a gig there and they got everything stolen from their track. It seems that robbery is very frequent in Sarajevo. People used to tell me that almost everywere in Bosnia. A bad reputation which actually seems to be true.
Accomodation: it's plenty of B&Bs there. Actually they are like houses with a pair of vacant rooms people tend to transform into "tourists rooms". I suggest you book there rather than a chain hotel (there's a Holiday Inn but hey... they really need us to support local economy!)
Food: quite cheap actually, You can find lovely places to dine exp. in the town center. They usually have an inner garden too. Try the coffee, which is made in quite an "oriental" style.
What to bring: bring... a bag. Place ALL of your money there and then always keep your eyes on that. Don't bring expensive goodies you can't walk with.
Extra tips: The centre is really beautiful since it has been almost completely rebuilted after war. Therefore, it's important you take some time to visit the rest of the city. You'll see houses with bullets signs on the walls and a status of ruin. But you'll figure out a bit better what the was has been to the city. A bit painful and sad but... travel is learning too. Try to find someone to chat with asking about that period and how life and city population has changed. That can be very instructive.
For the - most likely - last but one presentation in my Bosnian project. Showing new colleagues the old town - Latinska Cuprija is especially beautiful at night - I came across the city's newest curiosity, and what strange form of serendipity: just at the right time: Just where Latinska Cuprija leads towards the old town, at the corner of what is now Obala Kulina Bana and Ulica Kundzurdziluk, Gavrilo Princip, am ethnic Serb, assassinated the Austrian crown prince Franz Ferdinand, an event that led to the outbreak of World War One. He did this exactly 93 years ago, on June 28th, 1914. And just today, at this very place, I came across something that shows a ray of hope: Gavrilo Princip used to be a big hero in Yugoslavia and had streets named after him all over the place - Latinska Cuprija was called Princip Bridge until 1995 - but being a Serb nationalist he was not too popular in Bosnia after the war and there was hardly any trace left of the momentous event. The street's names have been changed and after they finished rebuilding the Gavrilo Princip bridge that was destroyed in the recent war the name was changed to Latin Bridge. A little museum at the corner, once dedicated to Princip and his fellow plotters, was closed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war: Princip had to go—Bosnian Muslims and Croats saw him as a Serbian hero. In a city full of painful history it's just one more thing one wanted to forget about. Lo and behold: Only a few days ago it finally reopened, reborn as the 1878-1918 gallery of the Sarajevo Museum, containing artefacts to do generally with Bosnia's occupation under the Austro-Hungarian empire. The museum's vicissitudes reflect the city's ambiguous and ever-changing relationship with its own past. In 1917 the Austro-Hungarians erected a giant monument at the assassination site. Nearly two years later it was ripped down by the new Yugoslav authorities—though strangely a large central medallion from the monument, bearing the image of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, survives to this day in the basement of another Sarajevo gallery. And tonight, walking by, I saw it: nicely done, with multimedia presentations and all the bells and whistles one would like to see (see vid below). A little step for tourism, a big step for Bosnia.
Dorada at Fellini's:
How to spend a thoroughly enjoyable evening in Sarajevo? That's easy: meet some good friends whom you have not seen for quite a while, join them with your nicest colleagues and go to a decent place to have dinner. To the Restoran Fellini, for example. Not only do you get the nicest selection of Italian wines outside Italy, but also the best Bosnia-Hercegovina's vineyards have to offer. And we were even more lucky: just today some fresh Dorade (sea bass) had arrived, excellent Mediterranean fish directly from the Adriatic. And how to find the place? Well, every cabdriver in Sarajevo worth his (or her) salt should know it. Don't give them the address: Branilaca Sarajevo 5. Because nobody in Sarajevo knows where to find Branilaca Sarajevo. But everybody knows where the Bosnian Cultural Center, the headquarters of the Sarajevo Film Festival is. Go there. The restaurant is just opposite, on the other side of the street. Good luck and enjoy!
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