the company 'sarajevo taxi' is the only company whose cars can wait for fares at the airport - they are gangsters and will invariably overcharge (my favorite is when one tried to charge me €30. i thought the meter looked funny . . . turns out, he'd covered the meter an was pointing to the radio!).
from the airport to downtown it costs less than KM15 (€7.50); another great thing about sarajevo - in what other capital can you get a taxi from the airport to downtown for less than €10?
you must INSIST they use the meter - and then pay that amount. a few KM tip will be much appreciated, especially if they help with bags or are particularly nice.
Unique Suggestions: you do NOT need to negotiate - but you must INSIST they turn on the meter.
alternatively - call 'cerveni taxi' 061 760 600 or žuti taxi 033 663 555 - they are waiting outside the airport and will be there by the time you get to the curb. they will never try to rip you off.
fare to or from airport from down town (old town) is KM15 or about €7/$10
some cars are filthy and often the back seat windows don't work - feel free to skip that cab and take the next . . .
Fun Alternatives: there is no public transport, and it would take too long anyway . . . taxis are very inexpensive in sarajevo. as long as you know to insist they run the meter - and avoid 'sarajevo taxi' if you can . . .
call 'cerveni taxi' 061 760 600 or žuti taxi 033 663 555 - they are waiting outside the airport and will be there by the time you get to the curb. they will never try to rip you off.
The taxi drivers try to charge you more than they should by using any means. They are like a monopoly there. They charged extra fee for our luggages. If we would not accept this condition, we did not know how to reach the city center. The taxi driver knew a lot about Istanbul, he was friendly on the road to the hotel. But this extra charging issue is not nice.
Unique Suggestions: If you are obliged to use these taxis, at least bargain for the price.
Fun Alternatives: Ask your hotel alternative solutions.
Everywhere around Sarajevo, especially across the hilly neighborhoods, you can see numerous ottoman gravestones that are hundreds of years old. It gives a special value to the particular beauty of my hometown.
I booked one single room in Sartour Hostel online. They said me they pick up me in airport and when I arrived Sarajevo airport I found me alone and without hotel. The picture they show online is not true: It is the office in Bascarcija but the rooms are outside there and without good transport.
If you are travelling with your LP Guide book you may opt for a certain hostel before you arrive. We arrived at around 9.30pm and had already decided on Hostel Konak. As we got off the train a lady said "hostel konak?". After some strange walking routes, a taxi ride, and the meeting of two other suspicious looking men we were taken into an area nearby Hostel Konak (I was looking at the map). Basically they're trying to get you to stay in rooms that they own in houses, and claim that these rooms are in fact part of Hostel Konak. Overally quite innocent but they are very pushy and will talk continuously so as to not give you the chance to really question what's going on. I later heard the area we were taken to was rather unsafe at night. They are taking advantage of the fact that Hostel Konak is indeed closed for renovation.
Unique Suggestions: I demanded to be taken to the reception of Hostel Konak (they were carrying business cards they'd obviously acquired from the real hostel). Being led to another similar house with a number of bedrooms without any form of reception I refused to believe them and said I was going to find the exact address. They followed. I found the place where Hostel Konak should've been. It was closed for renovation. Our 'freinds' relented and said it was closed, but that their rooms were the new official place to stay. At this stage we'd had enough and totally ignored them and walked to a 'HOTEL' sign (with them yelling at us from behind).
Fun Alternatives: Basically don't go along with it from the start. If you do end up going along make sure you don't get angry (one of the guys we had always walked about 5m behind us and he looked pretty unsavoury). Smile and say that you want to look around yourself, etc and just start walking away, ignore their calls or new suggestions. Get to a busier area of town, as the places they take you a rather badly lit and deserted.
Well, it is somewhat of a tourist trap to think that other BiH towns are like Sarajevo in terms of ATMs - which they are not. I've had the fun of almost being stuck in Goražde in the evening with 5 KM being all I had.
Unique Suggestions: If you are going to a smaller town, withdraw enough KM to cover your bus fare there and back and if you're staying in a hotel, for that too, and take some extra money - or take some Euros or dollars with you in case you're in need of a somewhat illegal and emergency currency exchange with the locals.
The Tunnel Museum near Butmir Airport. It is not really a bad place, and family keeping it up does a GREAT job. They do deserve support, I think. The problem with this place is that it is so depressing. You will feel a similar mood, but maybe not as strong at this museum, if you go visit Dachau or Jasenovac. There are things to show you only way in and out of Sarajevo during siege, and is informative. I have never heard of a Western person coming to Sarajevo and not wanting to visit this museum. This is why it is a tourist trap, and I fear they think this is one of the most important things to see in BiH. It is not.
Unique Suggestions: Pay respects to the hundreds of thousands of people in Bosnia who lost their lives. It is a horrible tragedy and I hope from this all Bosnians, if they are Muslim, Catholic, or Pravoslava can move on and live together again.
Fun Alternatives: See the other museums in Sarajevo. Yes, it is important to NEVER FORGET the aggression on BiH but most people come to equate this with Bosnia and that is not the case. Bosnia has very rich history and culture, so see some of that too, do not just focus on aggression and war. If we keep doing this, "old wounds will never heal." This was one of the problems in the first place, I think.
The taxis at the airport tend to overcharge. English speaking taxi drivers will almost
always overcharge, both here and in the rest of Bosnia-H.. Write down the figure of the
taxi fare, show it to the driver, and have him agree to it, before getting into the cab. If
the driver runs the meter anyway, point to the meter, and firmly say 'No!' If he ignores
you, demand to get off. You can always flag down another taxi. Usually, however, the
drivers are alright, and are just trying to make an honest living under very bad economic
circumstances. If the driver is friendly and honest, a tip, no matter how small, will
always be appreciated.
During the golden times, times of old Yugoslavia (fell appart in 1991) Sarajevians had a reputation of people with healthiest sense of humour among all other former Yugoslavian cities.
Also the best jokes come from this city. Three Bosnians (Suljo, Mujo and wife Fata) were always main characters, and likewise I have to tell one joke here. It might not be funny when translated in english though. Most of them use exstensive swearing that it couldn't be displayed here. You might notice that these guys are not very smart either...
Mujo was suffering from diarrhoea and went to see a doctor. Doctor examines him but gives him a wrong medicine (Apaurin for calming down). After two days Suljo meets him and asks him :
- 'So how are you doing now?'
- 'Much better! I am still shi.ting but now I don't care anymore!'
The catholic cathedral is located in the center of the city, and dominates one of the central city squares. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in this part of town.
This is like a park in Sarajevo called Vrelo Bosna. It's really very beautiful. No matter what time of the year it is :)
Here I decided to add a few postcards I bought as well. It'll just give you an idea what it's like there.
This pic here is the library.
This is pretty cool, when you don't have anything else to do- go play some chess!
Fun Alternatives: If there are too many people around there is also another one near Skenderije.
Countdown to War
Assassination at Sarajevo of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife the Duchess of Hohenberg.