Brass Alley is literally an alley in Sarajevo's tourist district known as Old Town. It's full of tiny shops brimming with brass, silver and copper goods. Every seller wants you to go into their store so plan some extra time here or do not enter. They can be persuasive!
The thing I noticed was the similarity of the shops. Practically every vendor had most or all identical items to thier neighbors. Though they are not mass-produced, it does take a little digging to find something unique.
What to buy: There is alot of Turkish influence in the crafts made here. You'll see many coffee grinders (they look like pepper mills), coffee sets and ornate platters.
Also, many products are made from bullets and spent shells from the war. You can get a ballpoint pen made from two rifle rounds or a flower vase designed from a 50 caliber shell. There are many products designed for SFOR soldiers but some might make appropriate gifts for any soldier. The craftsmen will paint any flag or flags and what information you like on wooden and brass plaques.
What to pay: All prices are negotiable but expect to pay more if you are an American. It helps if you want more than one item.
If you don't feel like haggling--nothing here is expensive by Western terms so consider any markup a tip to the craftsman.
Vendors are supposed to take KM, the Bosnian currency but will often ask for Euros. Both will work in Old Town.
Bazaar is an turkish word for the market place, and you can see them all around Bosniaand Herzegovina.
This one, on the picture, is the Baazar of Jajce, which is located in the old core of the town. The town of Jajce is situated in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 60 km's from the town of Banja Luka.
These road side stalls popped up after the war. The infrastructure of the country was destroyed and there was no organized business. Entrepreneur types started importing stuff and selling it on the sides of the road. Some of the places became like little towns as the ecomomy grew. The government is trying to shut them all down but so far with little success. I guess the government wants trackable income for tax purposes.
What to buy: We are not allowed to shop at these places but they sell just about anythiong you could need or want.
It is small shop, but full of the different crafts. Oriental pepper mils, little oriental carpets (cilimi), oriental ewers, etc. he prices are little high, but not to much. I bought wonderful pepper mil:)
There are hundreds of these little entrepreneurial kiosks in dozens of towns. They provide almost anything you want. They don't sell necessities such as food and drink but sell seasonal mechandise, CDs, crafts, etc. They will haggle and that is part of the fun.
What to buy: Puzzle rings, gold chains, woodworks, knitted sweaters.
What to pay: Very inexpensive by Western standards.
Bosnia doesn't really have a tourist infrastructure anymore....in Sarajevo you can shop for trinkets in the Turkish District, Bascarsija. Here they even accept credit cards for a nominal fee (credit cards are not widely accepted in the rest of the country)..If you need more cash, don't worry ATMs are easy to find. I was only charged a $1.50 surcharge to withdraw money...so feel free to shop away!
What to buy: In Bascarsija shop for beautiful hand made items. Each street specializes in a different craft so wander around in the picturesque village and see what appeals to you.
In the metal works street, Intricate handmade Turkish coffee grinders and Turkish coffee sets are common gifts.
Russian/Communist type trinkets, like nesting dolls, are also popular.
I purchased a beautiful pair of gold earrings in the Jewelry Section.
Even if your not looking to buy walking around this area is a must do...don't forget to stop for Turkish Coffee while your here.
See my Sarajevo page and Travelogues for more information on Bosnia and Sarajevo
What to pay: I found the prices to be quite reasonable
The best place to go souvenir shopping was Mostar. Two places have left a memorable impression here:
After you pass the colourful houses of the Oldtown (left riverbank), there is a step to the left - here you`ll find the shop of a Bosnian cooperative selling wine, liquor, honey and other regional specialties. I bought several bottles of walnut-, cherry-, pomegrenade- and honey-liqour for a small price, and it is really tasty stuff.
If you walk over the bridge and past the restaurant "Sadrvan", there is an interesting art shop on the right where the Bosnian glass artist Suvada sells beautiful glass art and jewelry.
Like most other mediterranian countries, a Bosnian souvenir is a heavy one, gives you extra few kilos to carry on your shoulder if you fancy to buy something other than post cards. There are Bosnian designed potteries among others.
Brong and brass plates and other items are common couvenirs. As in Sarajevo the main object is Gazi Hucerv Begova Mosque, in Mostar the main object or inspiration is the Mostar old bridge.
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