For the next stop on our healthy travel tour, we’re visiting the historic, blossoming capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo.
Although only two decades ago, Sarajevo was on the brink of falling apart, it has done a tremendous job of repairing itself over the last ten years. While traces of the city’s tumultuous history can still be seen throughout the area, it’s transformed into one that is vibrant, busy, and diverse in a number of different ways. As a result, there are plenty of museums and activities designed to both entertain and educate visitors.
The area is also famous known for being religiously diverse; in Sarajevo today, followers of Islam, Catholicism, and Judaism intermingle peacefully. Here’s your proof – Sarajevo was nominated for the European Capital of Culture for 2014.
Since the city is on the smaller side, it’s easy to get around on the local tram network. And if you’re not familiar with the local language, you may want to learn a few key phrases in Bosnian and bring a translation dictionary as well.
And now for our five healthy days itinerary:
- Breakfast: Kick off your trip with breakfast at Mala Kuhinja. While phyllo dough stuffed with meats or cheese are common food items for any meal of the day, try avoiding them since they’re essentially buttery carbs. Instead, go for meats, fresh fruit, or yogurt.
- Workout: Combine your workout with a little sightseeing during a power-walk around Sebilj, also known as “Pigeon Square,” due to the birds that congregate in the area. Be sure to check out the incredibly ornate fountain, Baščaršija Džamija.
- Lunch: Enjoy middle-eastern cuisine at Buregdzinica Sac.
- Mind/Body Balance: No one is quite sure exactly how old the Old Orthodox Church is; some claim it was built as early as the fifth century or as late as the 14th century. Regardless, it’s one of the oldest of its kind in the region. Be sure to stop by the museum inside, which features old tapestries and manuscripts.
- Must-See Attraction: The Tunnel Museum is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. The tunnels were originally built during the 1990s to provide the city with arms and food when Sarajevo was under siege by enemy forces.
- Dinner: Dveri is a charming restaurant that features a number of classic European dishes, including eggplant stuffed with vegetables, steak, and fish risottos.
- Breakfast: Enjoy a delicious meal and hot coffee at Buregdzinica Bosna.
- Workout: Go on a hiking trip around the beautiful city during the Bjelasnica Hiking Tour.
- Lunch: Enjoy some traditional Bosnian cuisine at the local hotspot, Avlija.
- Mind/Body Balance: Bridges in Sarajevo are kind of a big deal, especially since they’ve been around for so long. Be sure to take a stroll across the Latin Bridge.
- Must-See Attraction: The Gazi-Husrevbey Mosque is an Ottoman-era architectural masterpiece that’s open to both Muslims and non-Muslims. As one of the biggest and most stunning mosques in the region, it’s definitely worth visiting. Do note that women visiting the mosque must cover their hair and wear a long skirt or dress.
- Dinner: Karuzo is a vegetarian restaurant that features delicious dishes such as sushi, tofu risotto, and pizza. The owner prides himself on using only the healthiest and freshest ingredients.
- Breakfast: Have a cup of coffee and a small meal at Druga Kuca.
- Workout: Go for a run around Vrelo Bosne Park, which is right along the Bosna River.
- Lunch: Head over to Biban and try one of the local meat dishes or fresh trout.
- Mind/Body Balance: The Jewish Museum provides a good glimpse into the history of the Jewish people in Sarajevo. Although the city offered refuge to Sephardic Jews during the 15th-century Ottoman Empire, many were forced to flee during World War II.
- Must-See Attraction: Learn more about the troubled history of Sarajevo at the Bosnian Historical Museum.
- Dinner: Enjoy a refreshing sushi dinner at Sushi San.
- Breakfast: Start the day with a filling breakfast at Zembilj.
- Workout: Visit the Termalna Rivijera, Sarajevo’s very own indoor/outdoor waterpark.
- Lunch: Enjoy a delicious Mediterranean meal at Noovi. And since you had a physically exhausting morning, feel free to try the pizza!
- Mind/Body Balance: Visit the National Theater, which hosts ballets, operas, and philharmonic concerts. Try to attend a show at night if you can!
- Must-See Attraction: The Svrzo House is a well-preserved home of the famous Svrzo family from the Ottoman Empire. Between the architecture, interior furnishings, and more, the house provides a fantastic glimpse into how wealthy Muslims lived in the past.
- Dinner: Park Princeva is another local favorite that not only has a great view of Sarajevo, but also incredible food, such as the chicken in cherry sauce.
- Breakfast: Start the day with coffee and breakfast at Rahatlook.
- Workout: Hike on over to the Yellow Bastion, or the yellow fortress, for an incredible view of the city.
- Lunch: Travelers and locals alike rave about To Be Or Not To Be. Between the delicious food and friendly hospitality, you’re bound to agree.
- Mind/Body Balance: View around 6,000 pieces of 20th century artwork at the National Gallery, which was founded in 1946.
- Must-See Attraction: The Markale Market Place was a famous marketplace that was the target of an attack during the mid-1990s. It was this attack that moved NATO to intervene and eventually end the war.
- Dinner: Enjoy traditional Bosnian dishes, such as the grilled lamb or homemade soups, at Restaurant Kibe.