The most famous neighbourhood is Bascarsija, Sarajevo’s old town. During the Ottoman era (15th-late 19th century), Bascarsija was Sarajevo’s centre of trade and commerce. Each of the branching cobblestoned streets had their own crafts.
In 1462, Isa-Beg Isakovic commissioned the Old Bazaar on the River Miljacka’s northern side. From this point, Bascarsija boomed. Gazi Husrev-beg built his mosque in 1530, as well as Hans and caravanserais for roaming traders.
The Golden Age came in the 17th-century, as the neighbourhood covered more than double its current size. Over 1000 shops with 80 different crafts filled the streets, until a fire destroyed most in the 19th century when Bosnia was part of Austria-Hungary. It wasn’t rebuilt.
Today, Bascarsija has souvenir shops, bars and restaurants filled with locals and tourists, instead of the artisans and traders of the past. You’ll find lots of hotels and hostels within easy walk of each other in the heart of Sarajevo.