Serene Sarajevo

Posted on January 7, 2010


Sarajevo enchanted me.The scars of the war that ended just 15 years ago are very visable. There is barely a building that doesn’t have bullet holes in it. The city is nestled in a valley of stunning mountain ranges. I want to go back and explore this region, ideally driving down from Slovenia (one of my favourite European destinations), and along the Croatian coast. All things being equal, I’ll try that this summer.

Whilst in Bosnia I wanted to eat like a local as much as possible. I love this hearty food, although I did find myself craving fruit and veg when I got back home. I tried a couple of traditional pastries (pictured right) made from flaky pastry with various fillings which include any of the following, usually served with sour cream:

  • Burek – meat
  • Zeljanica – spinch and cheese
  • Sirnica – cottage cheese
  • Krompiruša – potatoes

There is a particular restaurant in the old town which is well-known locally (pictured above) and often has queues outside. Look for the basketball on the logo.

I was lucky to be working with the Editor of the major newspaper in Bosnia who showed me around a little. We ate at three restaurants:

Avaz Twist tower which has a clear view over the city and surrounding mountains.

Brajlovic on ilidza – which is a Bosnian kebab restaurant. As you walk in there is a meat counter on the left showing the various offerings to choose from. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw the size of the kebabs coming out. I had ćevapi or ćevapčići which are grilled mean sausages served with onions and pita bread. The owner has a few restaurants of a similar type.

A more upmarket restaurant is Kod Kibeta on the side of one of the hills. We ate veal with mushrooms in a creamy sauce which was fantastic.

I also ate at Avila was incredibly cosy and had a relaxed atmosphere. It has a tree in the centre and it is a little like an indoor garden. I liked it here a lot. The food was cheap too (I spent about 5eur including wine).

One thing to note is that there don’t seem to be any street maps of Sarajevo. If you look it up on google maps, there just isn’t much there (hence the lack of links in this posting).

So, if you get a chance to go here, please do. It’s such a lovely city and although the scars of the war are all around you, it’s also seems impossible in this friendly calm place that a war could have raged here not so long ago.

Posted in: Balkans