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Walk Your Way Around Sarajevo With These Awesome Sarajevo Walking Tours
The single best way to see any destination is on foot. At least, that is what I have found. You can stop as you please, it’s easy to push a stroller with a sleepy baby inside and, there is always time for a quick coffee.
If you stick to cars, motorbikes, and trains, you’re getting around quickly, but you miss the micro details that can only be discovered by foot!
What about those small hidden gems? What about those winding, cobbled streets? On foot is the best way to truly experience a city, and it also means you get to soak up the atmosphere, the culture, hear the language, the sounds, smells, and be at one with where you are.
Sarajevo is one of those cities which you need to experience in its entirety, to really get a feel of what it is and what it means. Bosnia & Herzegovina’s capital city is a blend of old and new, with the Miljacka River idly winding its way through the center.
Look to one side, and you’ll see the imposing Dinaric Alps, look to the other side, and you’ll see hills and rolling greenery. History is at every corner, museums beg to be explored, and the culture of the place drips from every building.
Of course, walking around when you don’t really know where you’re going isn’t that fruitful, because how do you know that you’re missing the really good stuff, wandering around the ‘okay’ stuff? The answer? Take a guided walking tour with a local. I mean, who knows a city better than a local?
Luckily, in Sarajevo, there are a few walking tours you can choose from, with several companies all operating them at competitive prices. Let’s check out two of your main options, to give you an idea of what you can expect.
The Sarajevo Grand Walking Tour
With the help of a knowledgeable guide, in English, you get a three hours’ long tour around the city of Sarajevo. The tour will take you around the 15 of the most important sights, including passing by the stunning architecture that goes back to the 15th century.
You will stop off for lunch in an authentic restaurant, where you’ll get to try locally produced dairy products and meats which have been smoked in an authentic way. You’ll also get to ask your guide any questions you might have, as well as learning all about the war.
The tour starts at 2 p.m., so there is no need to get up early. On this tour, you’ll meander around the city, with the ringing of the church bells and the Muslim call to prayer. The tour will show you the melting pot of cultures and religions that really encompasses what the city is about. During the tour, you will also see local crafts, via small boutiques and stores, where you’re free to buy a few souvenirs.
Sarajevo Walking Tour, Including Museums and Cable Car Ride
The second option is a more complete package and includes entry into several museums, as well as a ride on the famous Sarajevo cable car (more on that shortly).
This particular tour is three hours long and can be done in either English or German. As with our first option, the tour will take you around the various important sights in the city, and your guide will give you valuable information on the history and importance of what you’re seeing.
This really helps to enhance your experience, rather than just wandering past it and not really knowing what it is about. A few areas of importance on your visit list include the Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque and the historic cable car. You’ll get to experience the historic Ottoman market, visit the place which caused the start of World War 1, check out the Clock Tower, and head to the Trebevic Mountain.
The tour duration doesn’t include the cable car ride, which takes around 7 minutes up, and 7 minutes back down again.
The Sarajevo Cable Car
The Sarajevo Cable Car isn’t just any old cable car which goes up to the top of a mountain, it is a sign of history, a symbol of endurance.
The original cable car, formerly called the ‘Funicular’ opened in 1959 and was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire country. The car traveled to the summit of the Trebevic Mountain, one of the iconic sights within Sarajevo. The view from the top spans the whole city, and is panoramic with a capital P!
Of course, the 1990’s war caused much devastation to the entire city, and the cable car was destroyed. After the war, the mountain area was perilous, with mines at regular intervals. The cable car wasn’t much of a priority, with restoring infrastructure and other important buildings coming first. After a time, however, the mountain area began its clear up, with mines being removed. After this time, attention turned back to the famous cable car, and restoration work began.
Finally, after 26 years of waiting, the cable car reopened at the start of 2018 and now consists of 33 gondolas, each holding up to 10 passengers, and traveling to the top of the mountain and back down again in around 7 minutes each way. Every single hour, the cable car has the capacity to transport around 1200 visitors.
The summit station, called the Vidikovac Station, is home to a relaxing cafe, with those stunning panoramic views.
Current prices of the cable car are 15KM each way per adult, with children under seven years traveling for free.
So, are you ready to explore Sarajevo on foot?