Published: October 28th 2012October 22nd 2012
The appropriately named Pigeon Square to be specific.
What I've always referred to as Bosnia is technically called Bosna i Hercegovina although I never did figure out just where exactly Hercegovina is located. To make matters more confusing there are portions of BiH that consider themselves a separate territory called the Serb Republic making it easy to understand the derivation of the term "balkanized."
$US ≈ 1.5 Bosnian convertible marks (KM) although I'm not entirely sure if they can be converted into any other currency outside of Bosnia which is why I burned my last stash on petrol before crossing back into Croatia.
Very pleasant, easily managed city clearly still recovering from the war as evidenced by numerous restoration projects and buildings in major need of restoration. Still enjoyable. Accommodation and food
I was very fortunate to reserve 2 nights at Hotel Telal which was only a couple of minutes stroll from Baščaršija, a word derived from Turkish meaning principal bazaar, i.e., shopping mall (seriously, those were the guide's words). I had my own room with bathroom, filling breakfast with turbo charged Turkish coffee, WiFi, and free parking which is difficult to find except at schwankier hotels. The room was 30KM booked on
Town Hall, Sarajevo
Bombed during the war and still being restored.
hostebookers. There are dozens of kebap stands, ćevabdžinica
(serving the national dish ćevapi
), and Italian restaurants around Baščaršija. There is a very authentic burek
restaurant on Marshall Tito near the Raiffeisen Bank which will be mobbed around lunch time. Transport
I arrived by car and nearly all of Sarajevo is walkable. There is a complicated public transport route to the Tunnel Musuem or €15 tours are available. Tunnel and Sarajevo History Museums
I drove out to the the Tunnel Museum on my way to Croatia and sort of felt like I was scammed by the 10KM entry fee plus 2KM to park. The History Museum was far more interesting, cost only 4KM to enter, is close enough to the center to walk, and is open daily from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The adjacent National Museum is currrently closed. Free Walking Tour
Departs everyday at 4:30 pm from Insider Tours office and lasts ~1½ hours. Like all free walking tours in Europe, the guides are working solely for tips, 5KM or so. Good introduction to Sarajevo's sights and history focusing on religious tolerance. Sarajevo is the only city in the world where 4 religions' houses of worship
1984 Olympic Musuem, Sarajevo
Also bombed during the war but not yet restored.
are within 100 meters of each other. These are a mosque, synagogue, Catholic church, and Orthodox church.
Nice town but not as much to see as Sarajevo proper. The surrounding area has many sights accessible by tour from Hostel Miran. Like Sarajevo, there is still much war damage. Accommodation and food
I rolled into Mostar 4 hours after picking up the car from Split. A little difficult to navigate becasue of the one way and pedestrian streets. I eventually found Hostel Miran in the center. Miran is very helpful if a bit condescending since no foreigner apparently knows anything about traveling in Bosnia. I was supposed to share a room with another traveler who never showed so I had my own room with a share bathroom for €10 (can frequently pay for accommodation in euros at the rate of €1 = 2KM). There is WiFi, tea and Turkish coffee, and ample parking day or night in the street. Transport
A car or a tour is the only practical way to see the sights outside of Mostar. Miran's is a few minutes' walk from the bus terminal and he can reserve tickets cheaper than can be
Old Islamic Cemetery
Near the remaining fragment of Sarajevo's original castle.
purchased in person.
Sutjeska National Park
Somewhat inaccessible park without your own transport. Can get to the village of Tjentište by bus as it is on the main Foča-Trebinje road. Mt. Maglič, Bosnia's highest peak, is located in the park. Also home to Spomenik - the impressive monument dedicated to the partisans fighting in Yugoslavia during World War II. Accommodation and food
Not much choice in the park. Hotel Mladost was asking €30 for a room with breakfast which I thought was way too much given the fact that I was probably the only tourist for miles. I ended up taking an unheated room for €10 at Restorant Makadam. This was not the only establishment in the region that would not turn on the heat since I was the only guest... but it was certainly the coldest. The lack of heat was compensated with free Turkish coffee. Seemed fair and I had my 15°F sleeping bag anyway. Foča has one hotel for €20/night with breakfast but it was still undergoing renovations. There is also a Konzum supermarket in Foča or Durmitor National Park (if coming from Montenegro) to stock up for Sutjeska as there's extremely
limited to no selection in Tjentište. Transport
Not much to my knowledge, just the buses between Foča and Trebinje. Mt. Maglič
Bosnia's highest peak is at 2,386 meters or, 7,828 feet, and is located on the border with Montenegro. There are two routes from Tjentište: one via Trnovačko Lake which is actually located in Montenegro and the direct ascent from Prijevor. I attempted the direct route but soon lost the trail so ended up going the long way via the lake. I didn't mind the detour as the lake is beautiful but the longer route starts with an immediate 300 meter descent which was a bummer. I left the Prijevor parking area just before 10:00 am, arrived at Trnovačko Lake ~11:15, reached the summit at 13:57, left the summit at 14:33, returned to the lake ~16:30 which was very key as there are a few springs to top off with drinking water, and finally made it back to the car at 18:05. Long day.
There are more photos below