Let’s take a short break from Jordan and go to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the weekend!
First days of May is the time when people, in Europe at least, take a day or two off of work and travel, hike, grill or generally go outdoors. We, being unsatisfied with the same old hangout place, decided to go on a small adventure to Sarajevo for a city break with a friend of ours.
Una National Park
The adventure started in Zagreb, and we could have easily just drove to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but that’s just way too simple. A small detour was needed. We stopped in one of the most beautiful national parks in the country, Una National Park.
With not too much time on our hands due to late start that day and because having more 5 hours of driving ahead of us, we decided to see the most famous and most beautiful waterfall in Una National Park, Štrbački Buk. The water fall itself is 25 m high and from time to time the bravest kayakers use it for water rafting.
The road you have to use to get to the waterfall follows the meandering river Una, with several pullouts for picnicking, reading or doing nothing at all. The spring was in full swing, so everything looked so green and so alive, it was, and still is, had to put words to it.
Una National Park lies close to the Croatian-Bosnian border crossing, as well to the city of Bihać. River Una goes through the city, and there are restaurants and promenades near the river, where you can sit and walk, all while being intoxicated by the beauty of this entire area.
Time was not on our side this day, and we had to keep on going, if we ever wanted to get to our destination.
Sarajevo is about 5 hours of driving from the Park. Here I must say, the roads are good, well maintained all things considering in this country, but the landscape prevents you from going anywhere fast. The countryside is mountainous, with high elevation limestone mountains and few river valleys, there are only so many places a road can go through. It runs across forests and steep hills so the views are beautiful but with thousands of turns, driving can be a nightmare.
Sarajevo – what to do here?
We stayed in an apartment within walking distance of the city center, so the first day we decided to just wander around a bit. There are certainly loads of things one can see in Sarajevo, but the one that captivate us the most was Baščaršija.
It is the heart of the city where you can find lots of original souvenirs made from brass, copper, aluminum and other metals. Almost every street corner has ćevabdžinica, buregdžinica or a coffee place. The whole area gives an impression of a place from somewhere in Middle East, not a European country.
When being in Sarajevo, a must is to try sarajevski ćevapčići which are local sausages served with bread called somun, usually served with onion and kajmak (something like clotted cream). They can be found basically in every part of the city. If you are not sure which place is the best for trying them, you can do what Josip did – trust your sense of smell!
Tourist can find pens and mini military aircrafts, along with bottle openers, smoking pipes and so on made of bullet and mortar shells. It seems every souvenir has a connection with the war that happened here in the ’90s. We all found a souvenir: I added one more spoon to my collection, Josip bought himself a pin, and our friend, Jeff, bought an original engraved “bullet pen” for his friend and a fridge magnet for himself.
As you walk around the city, you can see that muslim culture is just as prominent as other religions in the country. This resulted in mosques being scattered around the city. Men can enter them for about 3-5 KM during particular hours and in an adequate clothing.
Visiting Bosnia was always somewhere in our mind but since it’s fairly close, we kept passing it over something else. It is a nice place to visit for the weekend, especially if you are interested in the history. We tried local cuisine, learned something about the history and we even had a chance to see a parade of old, fancy cars!
Follow us on Instagram for more pictures of Sarajevo, Una Nat’l Park and much more!
The apartment we stayed in was Sunrise Inn and we can wholeheartedly recommend it! It is located about 10 minutes away from the city center, and it was very comfortable and with an amazing view of the city. The owners, Lejla and Haris were patient with our arrival, were kind and welcoming the whole time, even gave us tips on how to navigate in the city.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Sarajevo, you can find it on using this link and get 10% back on your booking!
When leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina over Croatian border by car, and some guy tries to get money from you for “taking you around the traffic” – don’t go. People are trying to get you to pay for taking you 2 minutes closer to the boarder for 50 KN, which is about $9. And people who are already there will not let you go in front of them nor will they be happy.
Follow our footprints and stay tuned!