You’ve come to the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina for the history, architecture and scenery – but there’s no reason you should have to put up with sub-par digs. Here’s our selection of Sarajevo’s best budget-friendly hostels.
Bang in Sarajevo’s charismatic Old Town, this cheery little hostel has a mix of dorms and a couple of great value private rooms ideal for pals or couples. Get chatting to manager Dino at reception to snuff out the best bars and lunch spots in the area before you settle in with a beer in the brightly painted living room where a youthful crowd of guests swap tips and plan shared excursions.
There’s an air of university common room to the lobby living area at Vagabond; well-worn sofas, a lunch table, drinks fridge and a blackboard of the week’s tours and activities. Rooms are snug but feel homey with brightly printed duvets and original wood beams in some. You’re right in the city’s pedestrianised zone, around Ferhadija Street, close to the Old Town’s Turkish-influenced bazaars and picturesque mosques.
Scenes from – and passages about – Sarajevo are sweetly muralled onto walls and ceilings in Hostel Walter’s industrial-chic rooms, where wrought-iron bunk beds and plump white pillows feel a cut above the usual hostel offering. It’s less than 10 minutes’ walk from the city’s historic bazaar, the Baščaršija, but there’s a calm, home-from-home feel thanks to its bright-white decor, modern bathrooms and petite garden with a barbecue.
Slightly uphill from the Old Town but still close by, One Love has a bright, no-frills cheeriness – think poppy-print bedding and graphic murals of hands forming a heart. Everyone has the use of a homey kitchen and bathroom, while there’s a sweet balcony off the common room with lovely views over the city rooftops. Bunks have partitions that make them feel extra private, but there are top-value doubles and twins, too.
Hostel Gonzo may be quite far from central Sarajevo and the Bascarsija Old Bazaar, but it more than makes up for this with quality touches throughout. Don’t fancy bunking? Get a group together and rent a private apartment, complete with balconies and comfy lounges. Planning on staying during the ski season? You’re in luck, as the hostel has facilities for storing and renting equipment. A free pickup service is available from both the train and bus station whilst guests have access to Wi-Fi, board games and a ping pong table.
Haris Youth Hostel claims to be the oldest hostel in Sarajevo, having opened in July 2003. It might be why what makes its welcome such a warm one – making guests feel like they’re part of one big family. That said, with a total capacity of just 20 guests, it never feels overrun or too noisy. Choose between staying in the five-bed dormitory, twin rooms or apartments. There’s an onsite cafe and outdoor terrace with good city views – perfect for hanging out with friends, or making new ones!
Named after the assassinated Austro-Hungarian Archduke, rather than the Scottish band, this excellent hostel is a just few minutes on foot from Sarajevo’s restaurants, bars and nightclubs. A five-minute walk to Bascarsija, guests can pick between a private room and a dorm. Throw in the self-catering facilities, communal lounge with free lockers, a continental breakfast and the opportunity to rent a bicycle and this place looks like seriously good value.
Another hostel with a history lesson: during the Ottoman times, a Han was a place passing traders would bed down for the night and water their horses. Though Hostel Balkan Han doesn’t have horse-washing facilities these days, it remains a fitting place for modern-day globetrotters to pass the night. Put your feet up and swap travel stories in the shady garden filled with benches and hammocks, or rustle up some supper in one of the well-equipped communal kitchens.
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