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Living in Sarajevo

A comprehensive guide about living well in Sarajevo

“Sarajevo mon amour”, these are typical first words said after a stay in Sarajevo. The city today is a melting pot of cultures and religions which make it a fascinating multi-ethnic hub, a city for all to discover. Read on to learn more about living in Sarajevo.

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Life in Sarajevo

Culture and Leisure

Sarajevo is a culturally diverse city, and has been throughout its history. As a melting pot of different faiths and ethnicities, it has much to offer those interested in history, art, and film. It has many museums and galleries covering contemporary and historical art, religion and spirituality, as well as Bosnian culture.

There is also The Sarajevo Film Festival, established in 1995, which draws some of the biggest names in Hollywood and independent film to the city every year, and the famous Sarajevo Jazz and International Music Festivals, as well as the national celebrations that take place at the Sarajevo Winter Festival.

Sarajevo is further a famous sports city, having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984. Its fascination with sport continues to this day, with three football teams, a basketball team, and a handball team all based in the city. Sarajevo is a lively, friendly city with much to offer expatriates working in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Education in Sarajevo

Education in Sarajevo is taken in three stages. All children receive free, compulsory education from the age of 6–15 at a Primary School where they study a wide curriculum. Upon graduation they can then choose to enter the workforce or proceed to a Secondary School until they are 19, where they continue their education and are prepared to study at university level.

The University of Sarajevo, the oldest and most prestigious in Bosnia and Herzegovina, offers courses in a wide range of subjects across the arts and humanities, sciences and technical subjects.

Those living in Sarajevo for only a shorter time will be pleased to hear that Sarajevo has a number of international schools that offer lessons in English and would be suitable for the children of expatriates. These schools include the International School of Sarajevo, the QSI International School of Sarajevo, and the Druga Gimnazija Sarajevo.

Transportation in Sarajevo

As Sarajevo is situated in between two mountain ranges, the narrow streets and roads can make driving larger vehicles very difficult. The main roads, however, are well kept and rarely congested, and provide links to many other surrounding towns, villages, and cities.

If you wish to drive as an expatriate whilst living in Sarajevo, you will need to apply for a Bosnian driver’s license. You must also drive with low beam headlights at all times, and you will need Bosnian insurance to drive on the roads.

Sarajevo itself has a great public transport system, including an extensive tram and trolley network and numerous bus routes that reach all over Sarajevo and beyond. There is also a frequent train service that links Sarajevo to other Bosnian cities.

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Updated on: June 30, 2015
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