Connect with Like-Minded Expatriates

Our team of experts is ready to help you find a home abroad, move your household goods, and settle into your new country.

Join Now

Moving to Sarajevo

What to know if you're moving to Sarajevo

Expats moving to Sarajevo can look forward to living in a fascinating city and meeting people from different religions, cultures, and walks of life. This guide briefs you on the most important aspects of move to Sarajevo, such as local demographics, visa requirements, climate and more.

Relocating to Sarajevo

About the City

With a population of around 320,000 in 2014, Sarajevo is not only the capital, but also the largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A diverse, historical city, it has often been dubbed the Jerusalem of Europe or the Jerusalem of the Balkans due to its diverse religious and ethnic makeup, with Islam, Judaism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy having coexisted peacefully in the city for centuries.

The city covers 141.5 square kilometers of area that was traditionally known solely as Bosnia before gaining independence from Yugoslavia and unifying with Herzegovina in 1992. 

The demographics of Sarajevo are somewhat uncertain, as there has been no official census carried out since 1991. However, estimates made in 2011 suggest that most of its population identify as Bosniaks, with Serbs as the second largest community.

The remainder is made up mainly of Roma, Croats, and Sephardi Jews, and there is also a small but growing expatriate community that is developing as more people move to Sarajevo for work. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s constitution does not specify any official language, but many inhabitants speak Bosnian, Croat, Serbian, or English.

The Climate in Sarajevo

Sarajevo has a moderate climate with four distinct seasons and precipitation spread evenly throughout the year. Although it does show some signs of oceanic influences, the proximity of Sarajevo to the Adriatic Sea and the Dinaric Alps to the southwest keep the climate moderate and balanced throughout the year.

On average, expatriates living in Sarajevo can expect June to be the hottest month of the year, with an average temperature of 19.7°C, and January the coldest at around −0.5°C. The average yearly temperature is around 10°C. Snow is to be expected in the winter, particularly in the mountainous regions south of the city.

Visas for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Expatriates looking to obtain a visa so that they can move to Sarajevo should be prepared for a long process. There are currently three types of visa you can apply for; a transit visa, a short term visa (90 days), and a long term visa (180 days).

You must apply for your visa 30 days in advance of arrival, except for long term visas, which should be applied for three months prior to arrival. You will be required to attend an interview at the relevant embassy for your country and provide documentation. More information can be obtained from your embassy.

As Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an EU member, citizens moving to Sarajevo from an EU nation will also need to apply for visa before arriving. Visa-free entry may be granted to a number of states for stays of less than 90 days.

Updated on: September 09, 2021

Living in Sarajevo

“Sarajevo mon amour”, these are typical first words said after a stay in Sarajevo. The city today is a melting pot of...

Read Guide Arrow

Working in Sarajevo

What is the current economic situation in Sarajevo? What do I need to know about work permits? What is the taxation s...

Read Guide Arrow

Join Our Exciting Events in Sarajevo

Once we've helped you move to Sarajevo, we can make you feel at home by introducing you to other expats who have already settled and are part of our Sarajevo Community. Attend our monthly events and activities in Sarajevo and get to know like-minded expats in real life.

InterNations Sarajevo November Event

Start date Nov 26, 2019, 8:00 PM

Attendees 32

InterNations Sarajevo Xmas Event

Start date Dec 19, 2019, 8:00 PM

Attendees 38

InterNations Sarajevo January Event @ Jazzbina

Start date Jan 30, 2020, 8:00 PM

Attendees 40

InterNations Sarajevo February Event @ MASH

Start date Feb 20, 2020, 8:00 PM

Attendees 41

Connect with Fellow Expats