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“Try Čevapi meal!”
Review of Bascarsija

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Sarajevo's Story and Traditional Food Walking Tour
Ranked #5 of 128 things to do in Sarajevo
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Bascarsija is Sarajevo's old bazaar and the historical and cultural center of the city. Bascarsija was built in the 15th century when Isa-Beg Isakovic founded the town. The word Bascarsija derives from the Turkish language. The word "bas" which is "bas" in Turkish literally means "head", in some contexts however also "primary", "main", "capital" and "carsija" which is "carsi" in Turkish means "bazaar" or "market". Due to the large fire in the 19th century, today Bascarsija is half the size that it once was. Bascarsija is located on the north bank of the river Miljacka, in the municipality of Stari Grad. On Bascarsija there are several important historic buildings, such as the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and sahat-kula. Today Bascarsija is the major tourist attraction of Sarajevo.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The best ones are in the place called Zeljo, and also try them with some kind of white thing begins with K.... Also request onion it will make your day :D

Thank Mark D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"old town"
in 287 reviews
"buy souvenirs"
in 18 reviews
in 62 reviews
"narrow streets"
in 32 reviews
"bosnian coffee"
in 71 reviews
"cafes and restaurants"
in 19 reviews
in 18 reviews
"cultural center"
in 14 reviews
in 27 reviews
"ottoman empire"
in 31 reviews
"traditional food"
in 16 reviews
"walk around"
in 15 reviews
"east meets west"
in 22 reviews
"orthodox church"
in 21 reviews
"gazi husrev beg"
in 15 reviews
"visit sarajevo"
in 25 reviews
"walking tour"
in 16 reviews

1,166 - 1,170 of 2,429 reviews

Reviewed March 7, 2013

Wandering around the old town gives you the chance to get a feel for this atmospheric city as well as to grab a few bargains. They sellers do not hassle you in the least, prices are very low and there's no hard sell. Do not miss this part of town.

1  Thank bsfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

I cannot imagine a trip to Sarajevo without a visit to Bascarsija. It is the old part of the city where you can see a mix of three religions - mosque, chatolic and orthodox church. You can also have a nice walk and enjoy the atmosphere and great food. There are many small shops offering tasteful sweets and various hand made items.

1  Thank Gilbertt G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Lovely little craft type shops, good for browsing and a bite to eat along the way. Great to sit and have a coffee (Bosnian style) and of course to buy a coffee set to be able to relive once you have to return home. The mosque at the centre is lovely and worth a visit whatever your faith (observe dress code and behave appropriately)

1  Thank LondonBeamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 24, 2013

We really enjoyed the old town, visiting the Catholic cathedral, the Jewish Museum, the Gavrila Princip museum. Best is to go to the Latin Bridge and across the street rom the Princip museum is a little tour agency that offered a free walking tour at 4:30 (tip to the guide expected).

The walking tour lasted an hour and a half - by a charming young Muslim girl (Nirmina) who took us inside a mosque and inside the Catholic cathedral, outside the big orthodox church and Jewish museum, through the streets explaining the free caravan lodging center created under the Ottoman Empire, the architect who designed the city hall (national library) and hanged himself in the building when it was criticized, and many other interesting facts. She was passionate about her city proud of the religious diversity and tolerance and insisted that violent people such as the 9/11 terrorists were going against Islamic principles. Probably a fair tip would be 5 to 10 marks (1 mark = 68 cents) - we gave a generous 20 for two people out of the nine or so on the tour.

Aside from that walking around, going to the little cafes and restaurants to get the excellent local sausages or meat pies, or for some excellent Italian food, we found it very pleasant and interesting. We had one very mediocre meal late at night in an empty restaurant - but generaly the food was excellent - local specialities (sausages, meat pies and Italain food)..

We were surprised that Sarajevo was completely rebuilt by USAID and other foreign donors. The Bosnians were very friendly. You may have to watch out for a few gypsies - women and children, they can try to be persistent - but not a big deal and they will go after the many others thronging the streets if you ignore them.

We bought some locally made scarfs and wanted some Christian Icons - not available in the market but we found some for sale in the old Orthodox Church museum (not the big one - both are in or next to old town).

A lot of young people went to the bars at night for music though we didn't do this. All over town we heard background music remakes of famous American pop songs generally done to a different beat. Apparently a merchant sold this to the restaurants as a new thing about a month earlier.

The market had metal manufactured artifacts, some things from Asia, some made locally. They had as a sort of joke, made ballpoint pens out of old bullet casings from the 1992--95 siege. We weren't young enough to find that joke funny,

All in all there is a mix of the Muslim Ottoman Empire period prior to 1878 with much of the Muslim population remaining and the Austrian Hungarian Period after 1878 in architecture. The place has many religions in close proximity - Catholic Croatians, Orthodox Christian Serbs (still over 1/4 of the total population of Bosnia), and Muslims, as well as a few Jews - some of whom were protected and hidden by the Muslims when the Croatians and Nazis invaded in WWII and killed most of the Jews. Prior to 1992 40 percent of marriages were inter-faith. Generally people wear European style dress, though a some of the Muslim girls wear head scarfs.

Religion was somewhat suppressed under the communist rule of Tito so apparently these days it is more of a cultural identification than a strict religious issue. Many Serb residents stayed to defend Sarajevo when other Serbs were attacking 1992 - 95, but there does seem to be some residual Serb/Bosniak animosity and several of the friendly Bosinians we met lamented their inefficient government - rotating among three Presidents and with too many government officials and not enough money to keep the national museum open (which is now closed for lack of funding). Generally they expressed pride in their diversity and interfaith tolerance.

We found Sarajevo one of the most pleasant places we have visited. Takng the inexpensive walking tour and the tour to the tunnel museum (30 marks/person all including transport and museum fee - 25 for students - from the tour company near the Latin Bridge) gave us good perspective and permitted us to see most of what we wanted to see in our two day visit. We would have found it interesting to stay a bit longer.

If you find mosques and Muslims offensive you might not like it but otherwise it is an interesting, pretty, pleasant and diverse place. Bosnians are very open and friendly - somewhat more so than some others in the region and English is spoken pretty widely. They love Americans.

9  Thank Virginatraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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