The 10 Best Bars In Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
Sarajevo is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city, and is growing into a modern and cosmopolitan European hub. Since the civil war ended in the 1990s, Sarajevo has undergone much reconstruction and is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travellers, from backpackers on a budget to sophisticated culture seekers with a little more to spend. Here’s our guide to the best spots to grab a drink in the city.
Bar, Wine, Beer, Cocktails
Sarajevo | Ⓒ Ivana Vasilj/Flickr
Dibek is arguably the Old Town’s most popular shisha bar, usually busy throughout the day and well into the night. During the day it is a popular spot to enjoy a coffee or light lunch, and after a day’s work or evening meal the crowds come in to lounge on the low sofas and enjoy a classic eastern shisha. Much of the seating is on a pretty outdoor courtyard, and there is often live music during the evening. A great place to get a taste for Sarajevo’s Eastern influences.
An excellent spot to catch the most important sports games is Freaky’s Pub, a typical pub offering a wide selection of beers and bar snacks. The beers include both bottled and draught options, which can be enjoyed at one of the traditional high tables that are quintessential to a pub atmosphere. The pub is popular with all ages, and is located in a good position in the city centre. For a buzzing atmosphere, Freaky’s is the place to be.
One of the capital’s more sophisticated and classy places to grab a drink is Dekanter, a modern wine bar offering more than 60 different wines. The wines include both international labels as well as local ones, giving visitors the option of enjoying old favorites or trying out one of Bosnia’s lesser known varieties. At the front of the bar, the large windows can also be opened as doors that look out onto a central green square. The interior is chic and modern, with high tables and stools as well as a wall full of bottles by the bar area.
For fans of quirky decorations and antique knick-knacks, Zlatna Ribica is an excellent place to grab a drink. The menu offers wines, beers, traditional Bosnian spirits (not for the faint-hearted) and a few cocktails, which can all be enjoyed in unique surroundings. The bar is also just off one of the main tourist streets in the Old Town, which makes it central but not as pricey as the regular tourist traps. It’s a popular place with young and old alike, as either a spot for a relaxing drink after dinner or a meeting place before hitting the nearby clubs.
On the western edge of Sarajevo’s Old Town is Birtija, a quaint and cosy bar offering traditional favourites, including beers and rakija, Bosnia’s extremely strong spirit. The bar has two floors, with an old-fashioned but beautifully furnished downstairs area and a cosy upstairs room with a low ceiling and comfy seating. There are large windows at the front, which are perfect for watching the world go by, or more intimate booths further back. Tourists don’t often venture this far away from the central square of the Old Town, so Birtija is more often filled with locals, making it a great place for an authentic experience.
Pivnica Sarajevo is a restaurant and bar that is especially popular with locals for special occasions, but caters to any visitor. The main restaurant area is underground, while there are more tables on the ground level patio. On the patio there are large screens that show key sports events, and comfortable sofas with low tables are situated around the central seating area. There is a good drinks menu, which can be enjoyed while sitting on the patio of an evening, watching one of the regular music acts.
Pink Houdini is a jazz and blues bar, which is formally part of modern hostel in the centre of Sarajevo, but mainly operates independently. The interior is bright and modern, with a heated terrace area outside. It regularly hosts live music acts, with a number of regular performers and the occasional guest musician. It offers a wide range of drinks options, served by well dressed and experienced barmen and waiters. To experience Sarajevo’s growing music scene, take a trip to Pink Houdini.
One of the best places to grab a cocktail or two in Sarajevo is at Qué Pasa, a popular joint with young crowds looking for an evening of well priced drinks and music. The bar is in a convenient central location, and the barman is one of the city’s top cocktail mixologists. A good spot to rub shoulders with Sarajevo’s trendy young adults.
For a more rustic and traditional pub environment, Celtic Pub is a comfortable and cosy joint with low ceilings, wooden beams and hanging lamps. The pub is in a central location but on a side street, so it’s never too busy and has an intimate vibe. The pub also regularly screens football matches, and the decoration features a few items of Scottish football merchandise. Beer is the best drinks option, but soft drinks are also available.
For a fun evening of live music, City Pub is one of the best spots in Sarajevo. Located in the Old Town quarter, it regularly hosts live music acts as well as film screenings and art events. There is a generously sized outdoor patio area, which gets very busy around late evening, and also an indoor bar area that features some lovely rustic touches. The bar is popular with all ages, and the music also caters to various tastes, including jazz, blues, rock, and electronic. A lively spot for a night out in Sarajevo.