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Common Area | Courtesy of Hostel Balkan Han
Common Area | Courtesy of Hostel Balkan Han

The Best Backpacker Hostels in Sarajevo, Bosnia

Picture of Sam Bedford
Updated: 18 December 2017

Sarajevo mixes the historical with the modern in an affordable and beautiful city. Mountains surround it; minarets rise in all directions; church bells chime. There are lots of things for backpackers to do in Sarajevo to appreciate the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian influences, soak up the culture and enjoy some of the Balkans’ finest traditions. If you’re planning to visit for a few days, check out the following hostels in Sarajevo to meet like-minded backpackers and to make your money last longer.

Hostel Gonzo

European backpackers tend to stay at Hostel Gonzo when they visit Sarajevo. The hostel can house more than 100 guests in a range of rooms from private singles, doubles and triples to dormitory rooms. You can even rent an apartment if you’re travelling as a group. Some have a balcony and sitting areas for the guest’s comfort. The hostel gets busy during the winter with skiers and has facilities for storing and renting equipment. Hostel Gonzo may be quite far from central Sarajevo and the Bascarsija Old Bazaar, but it makes up for the location with quality. A free pickup service is available from both the train and bus station and guests have access to Wi-Fi, board games and a ping pong table. Welcoming and knowledgeable staff can give you suggestions on the best things to do in Sarajevo and the cheapest places to eat. Expect to pay about $20 per night.

Hostel Gonzo © Hostel Gonzo /

Hostel Gonzo © Hostel Gonzo /

Hostel Like

If you want a cheap bed in a friendly environment, check out Hostel Like. Located approximately one kilometre to the east of Bascarsija, it takes less than 10 minutes on foot to reach the Old Bazaar. Room choices vary from privates in either a single, double, triple or quadruple or an inexpensive bed in a six-bed dormitory. The hostel provides a buffet-style continental breakfast and decent Wi-Fi. You can use the self-catering facilities including a garden barbeque. A dorm bed costs less than $15.

Hostel Like © Hostel Like /

Hostel Like © Hostel Like /

Haris Youth Hostel

Haris Youth Hostel claims to be the oldest hostel in Sarajevo opening in July 2003. The cosy accommodation welcomes backpackers with open arms making guests feel like they’re part of one big family. You have the choice between staying the five-bed dormitory, twin rooms or apartments. A maximum of 20 guests can stay at Haris Youth Hostel making it easier to make friends and talk to the friendly staff. The hostel has an onsite café and outdoor terrace with good city views. A bed costs as little as $10 per night.

Haris Youth Hostel Dorm | Courtesy of Haris Youth Hostel

Haris Youth Hostel Dorm | Courtesy of Haris Youth Hostel

Hostel Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Hungary, in Sarajevo triggered World War One. It seems fitting then that backpackers can stay at a hostel in Sarajevo with the same name. But the name isn’t the only thing attracting travellers. Hostel Franz Ferdinand has one of the best ratings in Sarajevo. The location is a few minutes on foot from restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and is a five-minute walk to Bascarsija. Guests can choose between a private room and a dorm bed, with the latter costing less than $15. Each room has thematic decorations and pod-like beds for the guest’s comfort and privacy. You have self-catering facilities and a communal lounge as well as free lockers, a continental breakfast and the opportunity to rent a bicycle.

Hostel Pigeon Square

Backpackers won’t find a more centrally located hostel in Sarajevo than Pigeon Square, in the middle of Bascarsija near the famous Sebilj Fountain. Guests are within a few minutes of all the main attractions, bars, restaurants, Hookah bars and bakeries selling Bosnian bureks. The hostel itself has a variety of air-conditioned double, twin and family rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens. If you want to cover as much of Sarajevo as possible, consider booking a night at Hostel Pigeon Square. Rooms are slightly more expensive, at around $20 per night.

Hostel Balkan Han

Before we describe this hostel in Sarajevo, let me explain the origin of the name: Balkan Han. During the Ottoman times (15th to 19th-century), traders passed through with their caravans. A Han was the place where travellers stayed for the night. And Hostel Balkan Han is a fitting place for modern-day globetrotters too. A total of five colourful dorms and one private room along with two self-catering kitchens, multiple toilets and bathrooms and a modern communal area are inside one of Sarajevo’s best hostels. It’s easy to meet others while enjoying the shady garden filled with benches and hammocks. The atmosphere encourages friendly and social interactions with the staff and other visitors. Backpackers on a shoestring can get a comfortable bed for less than $15 in this centrally located hostel in Sarajevo.

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Hostel Dorm | Courtesy of Hostel Balkan Han