Is Sarajevo Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 90 / 100 based on 6 user reviews.

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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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


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.

How Does Sarajevo Compare?

CitySafety Index
Banja Luka60
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82

Useful Information



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.



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.



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.



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

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Banja Luka60

Where to Next?

6 Reviews on Sarajevo

  1. Friendly and Safe

    Possibly the most friendly city I’ve visited in Europe. Pretty good night life too with some quirky bars and good restaurants. The history of the city is pretty brutal and there to see, but nevertheless well worth a trip before the tourists return en masse in the near future. Overall a nice safe city.

  2. Article correction needed

    The article contains one major error: “ 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.” **** This implies that Republika Srpska (RS) and Bosnia and Herzegovina are two separate countries. RS is Bosnia and Herzegovina. It seems that one crucial word is missing: Federation. As in “ Sarajevo …… is a city located in a valley, belonging to one extent to FEDERATION of Bosnia and Herzegovina and another extent to Republika Srpska.” Please correct this, since the artificial administrative division of Bosnia and Herzegovina is still a very touchy subject for its citizens.


  3. My experience as a citizen of Sarajevo

    Hello my name is Ismail and i will give a detailed observation on some of the claims this website brings, as a citizen of Sarajevo some opinions are biased so take some opinions with a grain of salt.

    Minefield Situation:
    The minefield situation in Sarajevo in the past few years is coming to a close. People often make the mistake of framing minefield incidents on the city, rather than mountain ranges and trails inside the Canton of Sarajevo. To clarify, Sarajevo is a city inside Canton Sarajevo. Inside Canton Sarajevo are a dozen cities and villages, small in size. There are also many mountain ranges that are one of the key factors in minefield incidents. Through winter; tapes with the marking “PAZI MINE” (BEWARE OF MINES) sometimes get crushed by snowfall or simply fly away because of intense winds, causing some poor soul to wander in mined areas and maybe lose his life. But rest assured as a tourist visiting you are in 100% safety if you stay inside the city of Sarajevo. Another claim many tourist agencies make is amplifying the actual amount of minefields and mines in general. This is very false as most mined areas are located in very obsolete locations; a tourist would never go in. And are marked by signs imbedded in trees. And even wandering in forests and hike trails in the Canton you are still relatively safe if you stay on track and pay attention to your surroundings.

    TL;DR You should be educated and understanding of the risk of mines, but as a tourist this poses no threat, as every mine is cleared in Sarajevo. But a few places in Canton Sarajevo are still at risk. If you stay on trail and be wary of your surroundings you will be ok.

    As aforementioned crime is trivial, as a tourist your only concern should be being careful in trams and buses and going into shady places behind 9PM. The city is generally safe, many places “advertised” as dangerous are in my opinion completely fine. Grbavica and Skenderija are examples of places deemed dangerous (parts of Sarajevo) yet crime is non-existent. A lot of junkies and drug dealers that will do no harm. Of course as a tourist do not be a fool and purposefully enter dangerous areas to test the grounds, the chances of being attacked, mugged, kidnaped are low but never zero. If you are lost or coming back to your apartment/hotel late and you accidentally are risking these factors remember to stay in lit areas and or travel through the streets of central Sarajevo, Marijin Dvor for example. Killings, shootouts and kidnappings usually happen between affiliates of mafias and drug lords. Once again as someone who daily travels 70% of the city i still came to no problem with crime. Women and children are also in good hands too, same rules apply from males to females and children. Through the day you are 100% fine if you stay in populated areas, if you go to more dangerous parts of the city Alipašino Polje, Aneks, Upper Pofalići just be wary of gypsies and pick pocketers but i think that tourists generally stay away from these places as not much is there. During night same rules apply. As a child i have had two attempts of being lured into a car by shady people probably attempting to kidnap. Both times happened in populated areas but if you are traveling with a child just have situational awareness whenever wherever.

    Good day.

    1. I

      I want to visit Sarajevo, but the Australian travel advice website has described Sarajevo so horribly that if I enter that city, I will never leave it alive!
      How easy is it to use credit cards in terms of acceptance of cards and risk of fraud? I assume it’s not easy to obtain Marka outside Bosnia hence the asking.

      thanks Ismail 🙂

  4. Beauty

    You won’t find a city like this, not even Jerusalem compares when it comes to cultural beauty.

    I am from Serbia and I was a bit skeptical that somebody would bash my car when they see the plates, but I felt at home there, even more than in some Serbian cities (Belgrade for instance, a smelly metropolis which I also love).

    Imagine Vienna, Istanbul, the Adriatic coast, and Serbia in one compact package, there’s Sarajevo! If you worry about pickpockets and fraud taxi drivers, you have them on every corner throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The one thing I didn’t really like there were the beggars. One beggar per capita, it was insane how many of them were in the center, all asking the same thing. Aside from that, keep your belongings close to you, have fun, and drive safe!

  5. J
    John McCain says:

    Beautiful City

    It was beautiful journey to Sarajevo. People are so welcoming. This city is something what you to visit to feel.

Sarajevo Rated 4.5 / 5 based on 6 user reviews.

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