Sarajevo is a deeply interesting city for those looking for historical attractions! As the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was once the starting point of the First World War and a major occupied city during the Yugoslav conflicts. In modern times it is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, just like any other European capital.
As it is spread along a valley, finding the best place to stay in Sarajevo can be tricky. It is still a relatively under-visited destination, so there is not a lot of information online about which neighborhoods are best.
That’s why we created this guide! We’ve figured out the seven best areas of Sarajevo to stay in, and what they are best for.
So let’s just get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Sarajevo
- Gorica – Best neighborhood in Sarajevo for your first time
- Marijin Dvor – Where to stay in Sarajevo close to everything
- Bascarsija – Where to stay in Sarajevo for nightlife
- Konjic – Best neighborhood in Sarajevo for families
- Ciglane – Where to stay in Sarajevo on a budget
- Bistrik – Best neighborhood in Sarajevo for couples
- Hrasno – Best neighborhood in Sarajevo for local life
Where to Stay in Sarajevo
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Sarajevo.
Best Hostel in Sarajevo
Not for the faint-hearted, this hostel is perfect for those interested in learning about the Bosnian War. Designed to be a live action time capsule of what it was like to live in the city during the war, this hostel is more of an experience than an accommodation choice. For a unique perspective on Sarajevo, this is the ultimate choice!
Best Budget Hotel in Sarajevo
Located right between Bascarsija, Gorica and Marijin Dvor, this hotel is perfect for getting around all of the major attractions in Sarajevo! Despite being the budget choice, rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences and air conditioning. The free private parking facilities are great for those with cars.
Best Splurge Hotel in Sarajevo
As the highest rated five-star hotel in the city, Swissotel Sarajevo had to take our top spot for splurge accommodation! It has excellent facilities – including a cafe, restaurant, spa facilities and indoor swimming pool. The large buffet breakfast is well rated by previous guests, and free WiFi is available.
Sarajevo 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Sarajevo. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Sarajevo for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Gorica – Bemitour, based in Gorica, offer great tours across the city and wider Bosnia and Herzegovina
- BEST place to visit in Gorica – head up to the 35th floor of the Avaz Tower where you can enjoy great views across the city and a cheap menu
Just north of the city centre, Gorica is a somewhat up and coming neighborhood as far as tourism is concerned! For first time visitors, Gorica offers easy access to all the main sights in the city, whilst still remaining a peaceful area for you to relax and unwind when you need a break from exploring.
Gorica also has some great attractions in its own right – including the Avaz Tower! This is the largest building the Balkans, and despite being a popular tourist attraction is nevertheless well priced. The sheer size of the building makes it a great spot for orienting yourself around the city.
- For great nightlife, head to The Brew Pub where you can mingle with locals and tourists alike whilst enjoying excellent craft beer
- Karting Centar Sarajevo is a popular recreational facility in the city where you can whizz around a racetrack in motorised go-karts
- Enjoy some of the finest Bosnian pastries in the city at Maison Coco – they are also excellently priced
- Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Fojnica is an important religious landmark in Sarajevo with excellent historic exhibits
- To sample the local cuisine, head to Rive Gauche – entirely locally owned, this is where you will get an authentic atmosphere and warm welcome
Best Hostel Gorica
Ferijalac is one of the most popular hostels in the city and it is easy to see why! They have a very welcoming atmosphere and a creative vibe that attracts backpackers from across the globe. They also offer free city tours, and cheap excursions to the mountains and surrounding towns.
Best Budget Hotel in Gorica
Located on the boundary between Gorica and Bascarsija, Hotel Cosmopolit is the perfect hotel for first-time visitors that want easy access to all of the city’s main attractions! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and come with unlimited WiFi access. There is also free parking on-site – perfect if you are hiring a car.
Best Splurge Hotel in Gorica
This bright hotel is one of the most popular in the city – especially with those looking to splurge on excellent facilities! It comes with a fitness centre, spa, casino, massage facilities and, of course, a high-quality restaurant. A complimentary buffet breakfast is provided every morning, and free private parking is available.
(Where to stay in Sarajevo close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Marijin Dvor – shop until you drop at the Alta Shopping Centre – one of the largest in the city
- BEST place to visit in Marijin Dvor – discover the turbulent history of the region at the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Whilst packed with history, Marijin Dvor nowadays contains plenty of skyscrapers and modern architecture – making it the central business district in the city! The main railway station is just north of Marijin Dvor, keeping you well connected to other areas of the country. It is also right next to both Gorica and Bascarsija.
Aside from its convenient location, Marijin Dvor is the perfect place to discover modern life in Sarajevo! With plenty of great restaurants, attractions and facilities, you will find everything you need in Marijin Dvor. This makes it a great choice for those who are only visiting the city for a short time.
- Sarajevo City Centre is the main shopping district in the city, hosting a variety of national and international brands and boutiques
- Most of the country’s government buildings are based here – whilst closed off to the public, their facades are perfect examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture
- Wander down the infamous Sniper Alley – this is where Serbian forces manned multiple sniper stations, making it a key hotspot during the Bosnian War
- Food Market is a great spot for a bite to eat, with a wide range of international cuisines as well as typical Bosnian treats
- For families, Aquarius is another great restaurant that has a varied menu and hosts a variety of child-friendly events
Best Hostel Marijin Dvor
As the name suggests, this hostel is located right next to the Museum, giving you a prime location right in the centre of Sarajevo! Though they only have private rooms, it maintains a hostel atmosphere with friendly staff and great communal facilities. Free high-speed WiFi is available throughout.
Best Budget Hotel in Marijin Dvor
This homely hotel has an Italian theme, adding a touch of class and elegance to your budget-friendly stay! The on-site restaurant offers both Italian and Bosnian cuisine, as well as a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. Private parking is available in a large garage within the hotel.
Best Splurge Hotel in Marijin Dvor
This five-star hotel is the epitome of elegance in Sarajevo! Rooms are beautifully designed with large windows overlooking the city, as well as modern technology enhancing your comfort and convenience. There is a Swiss Café on-site offering a complimentary breakfast buffet, as well as a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant.
(Where to stay in Sarajevo for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bascarsija – walk around the Bazaar area of Bascarsija for great bars, restaurants and shops
- BEST place to visit in Bascarsija – Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque is the religious centre of the city and an interesting attraction to check out
Bascarsija is the Old Centre of Sarajevo, where you will find a lot of the city’s historical attractions as well as the main nightlife areas. This is by far the most touristy area of the city – but not without good reason! Simply walking through the streets will transport you back to the Ottoman era of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In terms of nightlife, all of the best bars and clubs are located within the heart of Bascarsija! The bazaar area is vibrant day and night, and you will find plenty of well-priced nightlife venues. Bascarsija is also well located for getting around the city.
- Ferhadija Pedestrian Street is the main hub of the area, lined with retail, dining and nightlife venues
- Galerija 11/07/95 is a sobering experience where you can look at photographs of the people killed during the Bosnian War
- Klopa is a bright and modern restaurant that transforms into a laid back craft beer bar during the evenings
- Nanina Kuhinja is one of the most authentic dining experiences you can get in the city – be prepared to share a table with complete strangers in this communal eatery
- Grab some fresh produce and mingle with the locals at the vibrant Pijaca Markale – a farmers market in the centre of the Bazaar
Best Hostel Bascarsija
With both privates and dorms available, Residence Rooms is the perfect hostel for budget backpackers regardless of what kind of room they are looking for! It doesn’t have a curfew, allowing you to fully experience the vibrant Sarajevo nightlife. There are also great social spaces on-site where you can meet other travellers.
Best Budget Hotel in Bascarsija
Located just north of the Bazaar area, Halvat Guesthouse has a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can truly enjoy Bosnian hospitality! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and have high-speed WiFi access. A complimentary continental breakfast is served every morning, with Italian and Bosnian options available.
Best Splurge Hotel in Bascarsija
Another great five-star hotel, Hotel Europe is the ultimate luxury option if you want to be based in the heart of the city’s historic district! There is an indoor swimming pool on-site, as well as a large fitness centre. The spa facilities also offer Turkish baths, saunas and massage rooms.
(Best neighbourhood in Sarajevo for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Konjic – go white water rafting down the Neretva River – perfect for adventurers and families alike
- BEST place to visit in Konjic – discover the history of the town, as well as work by local creatives, at the Konjic Museum and Art Gallery
Though a separate town, Konjic is a great option for families visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina that want to be based away from the hustle and bustle of Sarajevo! Located only an hour away from the capital, it is also close to Kotor in Montenegro, giving you easy access to two of the most popular cities in the region.
Konjic exhibits an interesting combination of national historic attractions and gorgeous scenery! There are plenty of excellent outdoor attractions – perfect for travellers with an adventurous spirit. It is also home to Tito’s Bunker – a significant historic site in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Visit Tito’s Bunker – this huge underground complex is where the Yugoslavian Government planned their nuclear strategy, giving insight into Cold War history
- Mulic Record Museum is an interesting attraction where you can check out wooden furniture that holds historical significance
- Visit the neighbouring Visocica Mountain Range – there are some great hiking trails, mountain biking areas and skiing tracks
- MERAK Fastfood is somewhat of a local institution – though the fare is not dissimilar to what you might find in the US, it is highly popular with residents of Konjic
- For a more typical experience, dine at Restoran Orahovica – perfect for families on a budget!
Best Hostel Konjic
Located in the heart of the Old Town of Konjic, Mini Hostel is perfect for backpackers looking for a more local experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina! They have a large common room where you can unwind with other guests, and a terrace is where you can admire the beautiful scenery of the surrounding town.
Best Budget Hotel in Konjic
Despite being a budget-friendly accommodation choice, Hotel Oaza has some great added extras to give you a touch of luxury during your stay! They offer a car rental service – perfect for taking day trips to both Sarajevo and Kotor. A complimentary continental breakfast is provided every morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Konjic
A Konjic’s premiere splurge option, Garden City Hotel is the perfect choice for families looking to splash the cash a little on a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina! There are plenty of sports facilities on-site, including a wellness centre where you can unwind after a day of activities. Free parking is also available.
(Where to stay in Sarajevo on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Ciglane – take a trip to Ciglane Market, a relatively unknown flea market with most tourists with plenty of hidden gems
- BEST place to visit in Ciglane – Sarajevo Zoo is located just north of Ciglane and has a great range of animal exhibits
Located north of Gorica, Ciglane is a little off the beaten path as far as tourism is concerned but should absolutely be included on any itinerary of the city! The Soviet-style apartment blocks give you an insight into life during the Cold War era Yugoslavia, and many of the restaurants and bars are decades old.
As it is a little less touristy, Ciglane is also a delight for any travellers sticking to a tight budget! The food and drinks are a lot cheaper here, and simply walking around Ciglane’s streets will make for a great day of exploration.
- Also located just north of Ciglane, Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track is a relic from the 1984 Winter Olympics with perfect photo opportunities
- Mezarje Stadion is another relic from the Olympics, however, it has been converted into a cemetery for those lost during the Bosnian War – a sobering experience for history fans
- Kino Bosna is a nightlife venue that seems a little run down from the outside, but adventurous travellers will enjoy the authentic experience with live music
- BistroNomie is a great restaurant for experiencing fine cuisine whilst sticking to a strict budget
- Looking for gluten-free eats? Head straight to No Gluten Factory!
Best Hostel Ciglane
The aptly named Hostel is one of the best options for backpackers looking to save money whilst visiting Sarajevo! Though all rooms are privates, it maintains a communal atmosphere with a large sitting room and a terrace. Free parking is available on-site, and each room has its own seating area and workspace.
Best Budget Hotel in Ciglane
Though this hostel has a somewhat Soviet appearance, this adds to the charm of staying in Ciglane! Rooms are very well priced, and all of them come with private bathrooms and modern technology. A large buffet breakfast is provided free of charge to all guests, and WiFi can be accessed throughout.
Best Splurge Hotel in Ciglane
There aren’t any luxury accommodations in Ciglane itself, but the Hotel Belvedere is only a few minutes walk away and still remains one of the best priced ‘splurge’ options in the city! Rooms are beautifully decorated with classic furniture, and there are large communal spaces where you can mingle with other guests.
(Best neighbourhood in Sarajevo for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bistrik – take a tour of the Sarajevo Brewery – it is historically significant to the city and still functions as a brewery to this day
- BEST place to visit in Bistrik – check out the Emperor’s Mosque, the oldest religious building in the city!
Just on the opposite side of the river from Bascarsija, Bistrik is well connected to the main attractions of the city whilst still maintaining and quiet and suburban atmosphere! This makes it a great choice for couples staying in Sarajevo for a short break. The leafy streets have a romantic atmosphere and have plenty of local boutiques and restaurants.
Bistrik also has some interesting historical attractions in its own right – including the Sarajevo Brewery and Emperor’s Mosque! These are a little less touristy than the bigger attractions across the river, but provide just as much insight into the city’s past.
- Head to the Latin Bridge – connecting the neighborhood with Bascarsija, it is also where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, kicking off the First World War
- Saint Anthony’s Church and Monastery is another important religious building, serving as the hub for the local Christian community
- Bosnian Experience, based in Bistrik, offer excellent tours for those looking to explore further afield in the country
- Park Princeva is a small restaurant popular with local couples thanks to its excellent views across the city and varied menu
- Spite House is another great restaurant housed within a historic building – only a stone’s throw away from the riverfront!
Best Hostel Bistrik
The War Hostel is more of an experience than an accommodation choice, and guests are required to stay for two nights. You will be shown around the hostel by a survivor of the Bosnian War. There is no internet, beds are basic and gunshot sounds ring all night!
Best Budget Hotel in Bistrik
Located within a historic building, this hotel is situated right on the riverfront, giving you easy access to both Bistrik and Bascarsija! Family owned, it has a very welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for couples on a budget. A continental breakfast is served every morning, and free parking is available.
Best Splurge Hotel in Bistrik
BA Apartments offer a wide range of holiday apartments in Bistrik, giving you extra privacy and some additional facilities! The kitchens are well equipped, making them a great choice for couples and families that want to self-cater. Free high-speed WiFi is available in every apartment, as are parking facilities.
(Best neighbourhood in Sarajevo for local life!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Hrasno – outdoorsy people will love the tours offered by Superb Adventures, including hikes in the Bosnian countryside
- BEST place to visit in Hrasno – catch a local soccer match at Stadion Grbavica
Located deep within the mountain suburbs, Hrasno offers an entirely different experience from central Sarajevo! This is where traditional Bosnia and Herzegovina life blends with urban culture to give you a more authentic feel during your trip. We suggest checking out the local bars and restaurants to learn more about modern Bosnian culture.
Despite its distance from the city centre, it is well connected to the rest of Sarajevo with public transport, allowing you to easily get around! As it is further out, it is also a great option for budget travellers that want something a bit quieter than the inner city suburbs.
- Check out Euphoria Lounge Bar – a local nightlife spot where you will discover how Bosnians really like to party
- Unwind after a long day of exploring at the Ma’ab Spa Centar in neighboring Grbavica
- Sarajevo Bosnia Tours offer bespoke tours of the city and surrounding area by taxi and minivan
- Grab a coffee and local pastry at Cafe and Patisserie Palma – the perfect spot for some people watching
- Konoba Magarac is an excellent seafood restaurant right on the riverfront with great reviews from locals and tourists alike!
Best Hotel for Backpackers Hrasno
Whilst there are no hostels in Hrasno, this modern three-star hotel is nevertheless popular with backpackers that want a little more privacy! Both breakfast and lunch are included, saving you some extra money during your stay in the area. They also have WiFi throughout the property and great communal spaces.
Best Budget Hotel in Hrasno
Located just across the river from Hrasno, Hotel Ada Otoka might appear basic from the outside but still has fantastic facilities! There is a great on-site restaurant serving Bosnian cuisine and a complimentary breakfast every morning. The hotel also has a large terrace area where you can admire views across the area.
Best Splurge Hotel in Hrasno
Located between Hrasno and Marijin Dvor, Novotel Sarajevo Bristol gives you the peace and quiet of the suburbs whilst still being within close proximity to the city centre! Rooms are fully soundproofed, giving you an extra level of calm for the perfect night’s sleep. A large buffet is provided every morning.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Sarajevo?
Sarajevo is a fantastic destination that should be included on every Balkan itinerary! With multiple historic attractions, great scenery and vibrant bars, there’s truly something for everyone in the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital.
For the best area, we have to go with Bascarsija. Yes, this is the obvious choice – but there’s a reason it is so popular with tourists. With history around every corner and a wide range of cultural delights, you simply can’t miss the city’s old Bazaar!
Nevertheless, this magnificent city has a lot to offer – and every area mentioned in this guide has its own unique aspects that make them great places to stay. We hope we have helped you to plan your itinerary for Sarajevo.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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