Thinking of visiting Bosnia but wondering is Sarajevo safe?
Welcome to Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina! A city very close to my heart as I lived here for over a year and visited it many times. Before I moved to this fascinating place, a lot of people asked me; is Sarajevo safe?
Well, Sarajevo has drawn travelers from all over the world because of its historical importance, cultural diversity, and remarkable mix of East and West. It’s a unique city in Europe if you ask me.
This review will answer the question of safety and a lot more, giving you a complete look at what you can expect when you visit this interesting city.
Let’s dive into it!
Is Sarajevo safe to visit?
Yes, you are safe in Sarajevo! Don’t let yourself be scared off by what you might read on the internet. And I’m talking from my own experience here.
But as in any big city in the world, it’s important to be careful and be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re in a large crowd or somewhere at night. But violent crime in Sarajevo towards you as a tourist is very, very rare.
The local police force is easy to spot and usually quick to act to make sure the safety of both locals and tourists. Bosnians are also known for being friendly and very helpful to tourists.
However, there are some important things to keep in mind. When you’re in Sarajevo, you should be aware of local customs, watch out for pickpocketers in crowded areas, and stay away from places that tourists don’t usually go, especially at night!
As you know, a little bit of care goes a long way towards making sure your time in this historical and culturally rich city is memorable and safe.
But I can honestly say that I personally never felt unsafe while living in this city.
Is it safe to walk around Sarajevo?
Absolutely! Walking around Sarajevo is not only safe, but I also see this as one of the best ways to take in the city’s lively atmosphere. Walking around Sarajevo is an experience in itself.
You’ll feel like walking through an open-air museum!
The architecture is a mix of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav styles, and the busy markets are a mix of sights, sounds, and lovely smells of the local food.
Even though it’s safe to walk around both during the day and at night, it’s best to stay in well-lit areas and avoid being alone in dark parts of the city.
If you’re a fan of walking, I would suggest the following walking tours that Sarajevo has to offer to get the maximum out of your stay!
- The Sarajevo Grand Walking Tour:
- Walking Tour with Sightseeings and Food Tastings:
What are the most common crimes in Bosnia?
Most crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina are nonviolent and happen just like they do in many other holiday destinations. Below are the most occuring crimes:
- Pickpocketing and petty theft happen most often in crowded places like markets, bus stops, and places where a lot of tourists go. Always keep an eye on your things, I would suggest wearing a money belt, or keeping your valuables locked up and out of sight.
- Car Break-ins and Theft: You should not leave valuables out in the open in your car, because cars that are left unsupervised can sometimes be a target for theft. It’s best to park in places that are safe whenever you can.
- Fraud and Scams: Sometimes you’ll be the target of a fraud or a scam. This can happen when taxi drivers overcharge you, fake money is given, or fake tour guides take advantage of you. Be careful, especially when dealing with money.
- Residential Burglary: Residential burglary is less common, especially in tourist places, but it does happen occasionally. This won’t really affect you as a tourist.
Again, it’s important to note that most of the trips tourists make to Bosnia go very smoothly. There isn’t a lot of serious crime, especially against you as a tourist.
Staying alert, being aware of your surroundings, and taking reasonable steps to protect yourself and your things are the keys to a safe trip.
Is Sarajevo safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, most people agree that Sarajevo is a safe place for women to travel solo. Many women have gone to visit the city alone and had a great time.
Most Bosnian men treat women with respect, and they don’t harass women very often. As with any place you visit, it’s important to use common sense, especially at night or when you’re in an area with fewer people.
Dressing modestly can also help you stay out of trouble, especially in places of prayer as religion plays an important role in Sarajevo (and in Bosnia in general).
Is Bosnia safe for American tourists?
Absolutely! From my own experience I can say that I always saw a lot of American tourists in Sarajevo while I was living there. Bosnia is actually very happy to have American tourists. There is a very big American Embassy close to the city center.
Every year, a large number of Americans enjoy their time in Bosnia without any major safety problems. The U.S. Department of State says that people visiting Bosnia should take the same measures they would take when visiting any other country.
When going out and about, it’s always a good idea to know about any travel advisories and take the right measures.
Is Sarajevo Safe: FAQs
Interested in visiting Bosnia or Sarajevo? The information below will give you more information related to the safety in the capital city!
Is Sarajevo good for tourists?
You’ll find a lot to do and see in Sarajevo. This city is a great place to visit because it has a lot of history, a unique mix of cultures, and delicious food to explore.
The city has a number of important landmarks, museums, and religious places. This you, if you like history, culture, and food, a wide range of things to do and see.
Also, compared to other European cities, it’s still not super packed with tourists, which makes it easier to get around.
What is considered rude in Bosnia?
Understanding the rules of behavior in Bosnia and Herzegovina is just as important as in any other place you visit. Here are some things that I noticed that people in Bosnia might find rude:
- Talking about War and Politics: The people of Bosnia have a complicated past that was shaped by a brutal war in the 1990s. Most of the time, it’s not polite to talk about war or politics, since these can be sensitive topics.
- Refusing hospitality: Bosnians are known for their kindness. If you’re asked into a Bosnian home, it’s polite to eat and drink whatever is offered. Some locals might think it’s rude to turn down such offers.
- Dressing inappropriately: Bosnia is a diverse country with many different religions and ways of life. Many places, especially places of worship, expect you to dress modestly. It might be rude to wear clothes that show too much skin.
- Not Greeting: In Bosnia, it’s polite to say dobar dan (Good day) or dobro večer (Good evening) when you walk into a store or restaurant or pass someone in the hallway. They will also really appreciate this!
As in any place, showing respect, good manners, and knowing the rules of the culture will go a long way towards making sure your experiences in Bosnia are positive.
Are taxis safe in Sarajevo?
Yes, most of the taxis in Sarajevo are safe and easy to use. They are a popular way for both people and tourists to get around, especially when public transport isn’t available.
But it’s best to take taxis that are licensed and marked with the name and phone number of the taxi business.
Even though the rates are super cheap in Sarajevo, make sure the meter is going before you start your trip so you don’t get charged too much. If you’re not sure, ask a local or someone at your hotel for a good taxi service.
But some taxi drivers can also drive pretty wild, especially after you come back from a nice evening out.
Can you drink tap water Sarajevo?
Well, local standards say that most of the tap water in Sarajevo is safe to drink. But, as with many places people visit, I would suggest sticking to bottled water if you can. At least, that’s why I mostly did during my time in Sarajevo.
When the makeup of the water changes, it can sometimes make you pretty sick.
On the other hand, if you plan to stay for a longer time, you might not have any trouble getting used to tap water.
Are people friendly in Bosnia?
Without question! To me, Bosnians are one of the nicest people that I know! And in general, they are known for how hospitable, friendly, and welcoming they are.
They are often more than happy to help you as a tourist, share their rich cultural history, and make you feel right at home.
If you act respectfully and thoughtfully, it will go a long way towards making sure your interactions with locals are nice and helpful.
Is Sarajevo worth visiting?
I think that you can already guess my answer! So, yes, you should definitely go to Sarajevo. The city has a rich tapestry of history, culture, and food that makes you remember it forever.
Believe me when I say that Sarajevo has a lot to offer, from the moving memories of the war at the Tunnel of Hope to the beautiful views from the Yellow Fortress and the delicious tastes of Bosnian coffee and baklava.
I wrote a separate post about things to do in Sarajevo. I would recommend checking it out before you plan your trip!
How safe is Bosnia for tourists?
So, is Bosnia safe to travel to? Yes, Bosnia and Herzegovina is generally very safe for you as a tourist, just like many other places in Europe. The Bosnian government has made a lot of progress in promoting tourism and making sure tourists are safe in the aftermath of the Bosnian War.
There aren’t many serious crimes that happen to you as a tourist, and most trips for visitors are completely trouble-free.
Small thefts like pickpocketing are most common, especially in busy places and on public transportation. Be on the lookout for scams that take advantage of you a tourist, like overcharging for example.
But you can greatly reduce these risks by doing things like keeping an eye on your belongings, taking taxis from reputable companies, and staying in well-traveled areas. There are a lot of police officers around, especially in tourist places. Bosnians are usually friendly and ready to help if you need it.
It’s always a good idea to follow local rules and customs if you want your trip to go smoothly and be fun. This means that you should dress modestly when you go to religious sites and be careful when talking about sensitive subjects like war and politics.
So, Bosnia is usually safe for you to visit as long as you take the right precautions. There are some small risks, but there are risks in every country. It’s perfectly fine in my opinion!
The Wrap-Up: Is Sarajevo Safe?
And it’s a wrap!
Despite its troubled past, Sarajevo has become a really safe place for tourists to visit. It’s a great place to visit because it has a fascinating mix of history, culture, and food. A very unique mix compared to other big cities in Europe.
As in any city, there are some safety concerns. However, if you use common sense and follow the rules and customs of the area, your trip will be safe and very enjoyable. That’s a promise.
So, start planning your trip, shake off the fears you might have, and get ready to dive into Sarajevo’s rich and exciting world! I can wholeheartedly recommend it!
Your restless voyager,