How Safe Is Sarajevo for Travel?

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Safety Index:
48

Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a city located in a valley, belonging to one extent to Bosnia and Herzegovina and another extent to Republika Srpska.

Sarajevo is one of the most historically interesting cities in Europe since it’s a site of great historical turbulence – more than once.

It has been severely damaged during the Yugoslav wars 1992-1995, but – by now, at least physically, it has mostly recovered.

Still, it’s also a place of hope where many cultures meet, live and tolerate each other.

The city is also known as a place of traditional religious diversity, with Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Judaism coexisting there for centuries.

Warnings & Dangers in Sarajevo

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Sarajevo is generally a safe city. Its people are very kind and happy to help, and tourists especially shouldn't encounter any bigger problems in this country. Though crime is on the rise in this capital, it's still not a reason to worry, as it's mostly between organized crime gangs and doesn't concern tourists.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Transportation in Sarajevo is overall safe. Just be on the lookout for pickpockets on public transportation, and double-check if the taximeter is on when you enter a taxi.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpocketing and bag snatching are the most common form of street crime in Sarajevo, so if you do encounter any problems it will probably be pickpocketing that mostly happens in public transportation. Be extremely careful when entering any bus in this country's capital, since its pickpockets are very skillful.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

In the past couple of years, the only natural disaster that severely affected Sarajevo was flooding of large proportions, with even fatal results. The flooding in 2014 shifted some land mines and also some notices about unsafe areas.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

Mugging exists in this city but is rare. There have been reports of kidnapping either as a consequence of someone failing to pay a debt, or kidnapping by rival criminal organizations since this sort of organized street crime is usually the most common of crime. Tourists are not under any sort of threat.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Terrorist attacks are more likely to happen in most popular European capitals such as Paris, London, etc., than in Sarajevo, even more so because it's mostly inhabited by people of the Muslim religion.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Any newcomer is in danger of scams when visiting a new city, and the same applies to Sarajevo. The most common scams are people ripping you off in bars or clubs, or by the street vendors, as well as drink spiking in strip clubs.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Sarajevo is very safe for women travelers. Attacks rarely happen, if ever, but still, be on the lookout at all times, especially at night, or in deserted areas, empty, poorly lit streets, etc.

So... How Safe Is Sarajevo Really?

Just like in the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the biggest danger in this city is the fact that there are still many minefields and much-unexploded mines, bombs and explosive remnants left since the Yugoslav wars in the Sarajevo area, and its surrounding suburbs.

Never go into damaged buildings – and you’ll see them a lot in Sarajevo – and always stick to paved surfaces: by all means, also stay away from the grassy hills that surround the city.

Bear in mind that the areas that are not cleared are marked by yellow tape or signs.

As in most other cities, you should be aware of pickpockets who usually operate on public vehicles and in the old city.

Sarajevo is notorious for having petty street crime, unlike other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

And while the city isn’t particularly dangerous for tourists when it comes to violent street crime, you should be careful when you cross the street since Bosnian drivers speed and don’t pay any mind to pedestrians.

Unfortunately, if you’re the driver – the same thing goes for pedestrians – there’s a general lack of respect towards traffic as a whole since every so often pedestrians too cross the street in the wrong place and don’t pay attention at all.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Visa is not required for any stays in Sarajevo that is shorter than 90 days. Be sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned date of return to the country you're visiting. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit your local Bosnian embassy which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality.
  • Currency - Bosnian Convertible Marka is the currency in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. To avoid street money changers and exchange your money at official exchange offices and you'll find the best rate in the National Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can also withdraw BCM at a local ATM.
  • Weather - Sarajevo, like the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is surrounded by mountains so it is known to have somewhat warm winters (reaching up to 25℃) and cold winters (reaching to around -5℃). Still, the Bosnian climate is considered to be mild.
  • Airports - Sarajevo International Airport, also referred to as Butmir Airport, is the main international airport in Sarajevo, and in the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located around 6.1 km southwest of the Sarajevo railway station.
  • Travel Insurance - As in any country and city, travelers going to Sarajevo are highly advised to get travel insurance that covers not only medical issues but also theft and loss of personal items.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Sarajevo Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -2° C
Feb 2° C
Mar 6° C
Apr 10° C
May 14° C
Jun 17° C
Jul 19° C
Aug 19° C
Sep 16° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 4° C
Dec 0° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
26111520232625231783
Low
°C
-5-3048111212950-3
High
°F
364352596873797773634637
Low
°F
232732394652545448413227

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