Although it is not a very big city, being home to about 400,000 people, Sarajevo is a lively and vibrant destination ideal for travelers who desire a more authentic European experience. Sometimes it is easy to forget that Sarajevo is a great base from which to day trip to surrounding areas. Sarajevo is the fascinating capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the skyline is pierced by minarets and cathedral’s spires. It has always been a place where east and west converge, where you can hear the cry of the muezzin accompanied by cathedral bells, and where the central mosque, the synagogue and Christian churches lie just a few meters from one from another.
Many tourists come to Sarajevo drawn by its history, its Ottoman architecture, bazaars, picturesque cobblestone streets, and chic café culture. Driving out of the city will reveal Bosnia’s lush countryside and bring you to incredible Ottoman-era constructions, culinary delights, and unspoiled scenery.
Here are our choices for the top Sarajevo Day Trips:
Višegrad is a small town, not very spectacular if it wasn’t for its absolutely enchanting Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular attraction for tourists from all over the world. The town is situated on the banks of the Drina River whose emerald waters are crossed by this architectural masterpiece. Mimar Sinan, considered to be the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire, designed the bridge. It was built in 1577 by order of Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. The bridge features 11 stone arches and spans a length of 180 meters. The Višegrad Bridge was made famous by Yugoslavian author Ivo Andric, who wrote a novel titled The Bridge Over The Drina, a story spanning four centuries about the town of Višegrad and its turbulent history. For this and his other books, Andric received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961.
For more incredible Bosnian bridges, see our article: Four Ottoman Bridges You Must Visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Known as the most oriental city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Travnik was the capital city and military center during Ottoman control in Bosnia. During this time 77 viziers resided here, which is why the town has kept much of its Ottoman influence. For this Travnik is a great Sarajevo day trip idea. The town is located in the Lašva river valley and is the birthplace of Nobel Prize winning author, Ivo Andric. Most travelers are drawn to Travnik’s architecture. The 19th century Haji Alibery Mosque, 15th century castle in the Stari Grad, and two 18th century clock towers are just a few constructions to admire here. For an epic Ćevapčići (pronounced che-vap-chee-chee) meal, head to the Plavna Voda district under beneath the castle, where you can enjoy inexpensive local dishes and fresh trout at one of the local restaurants. We especially liked Hari Restaurant. Here you can order Ćevapčići in portions of 5, 10, 15 or 20!
Of all the Sarajevo day trips, Lukomir is definitely the most remote. This quaint village is situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters in the mountains southwest of Sarajevo. It is the perfect example of traditional Bosnian culture. Its inhabitants still live in unique stone houses with cherry-wood roof tiles. It is the highest and most isolated village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a place where tradition continues to be respected and women still wear hand-knitted costumes that have been worn by all their ancestors. Most of the locals are shepherds making a living from selling sheep products. From winter to late April you can get here only by skis or on foot. The village is a great base for hiking trips along the Rakitnica Canyon and Peruće Waterfall.
Konjic is the one of the oldest permanent settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, dating back almost 4,000 years! It is situated between Sarajevo and Mostar, on the Neretva River and is one of the best known Sarajevo day trip especially due to its abundance of natural beauty. Dominated by the silhouette of Prenj Mountain, Konjic is a picturesque town that can become a great day trip destination from Sarajevo. Its main attraction is the Kamena cuprija (Stone Bridge) built in 1682 by the Ottomans and reconstructed in 2009. Nature lovers should head to the Boracko Lake, a glacier lake, where they can swim or fish. This is also a great spot for picnics and barbecues.
What are your favorite Sarejovo day trips or destinations around Bosnia and Herzegovina? Tell us about them! Leave a comment below.