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Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, turns into a winter wonderland in winter. With its rich history, stunning mountain location and a variety of activities, the city is a perfect destination for winter lovers and sports enthusiasts.

In this blog post we give you a comprehensive overview of everything you can do during your winter holiday in Sarajevo. As a small boutique agency, we are experts for winter holidays in Sarajevo and Bosnia and are happy to help you plan your unforgettable stay.

Sarajevo Winter: An Overview

Sarajevo is known for its diversity and cultural diversity, with Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish influences. When Hanukkah, Christmas, Orthodox Christmas and New Year are celebrated, this mix of cultures and religions is visible throughout the city. In winter, Sarajevo also becomes a magical place when snow covers the city.

You can explore Sarajevo’s rich history, architecture and culture either on your own during a snowy winter walk or on a city tour , during which you can warm up with a coffee break with a Bosnian coffee and a sweet.

Weather and temperatures in Sarajevo Winter

During the winter, temperatures in Sarajevo can vary greatly. Average temperatures range between -2°C and 5°C, but it can get colder – even -15°C is not uncommon, although temperatures this low have become less common in recent years. Rainfall is common, and snow is not uncommon, turning Sarajevo into a winter wonderland – especially in the months of January and February, but sometimes into spring.

With its romantic location surrounded by high mountains, Sarajevo sometimes has to contend with smog during inverse weather conditions in winter. However, if the air quality in the city is not so good, you can head out into the mountains and enjoy the cold, clear air there. We are also always happy to provide you with general weather information and tailored travel recommendations.

Things to do in Sarajevo in winter

Skiing and snowboarding on Jahorina & Bjelasnica

The Jahorina and Bjelasnica mountains, just a short drive from Sarajevo, are popular ski resorts. Jahorina was one of the host cities for the 1984 Winter Olympics and offers numerous slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The ski resorts are well-equipped and offer the best conditions for both beginners and advanced skiers. Bjelasnica is known for its challenging slopes and breathtaking views.

Here you can find more information about skiing holidays on Jahorina.
Skiing holidays on Bjelašnica: You can find all the information here.

Snowshoeing and winter hiking

For those who prefer to explore the winter landscape on foot, there are many opportunities for snowshoeing and winter hiking. The mountains surrounding Sarajevo offer numerous paths and trails through the snowy forests and mountains. These activities are ideal for enjoying the peace and beauty of nature. Our guided tours offer you the opportunity to discover the best routes while learning interesting information about the surrounding area. Contact us for a quote.

You don’t want to spend your winter holiday only in Sarajevo? You can find all winter sports options in Bosnia here.

City tours and museum visits

Sarajevo is a city with a rich history. Visit the City Museum, the National Museum and the various historical sites such as the famous City Bridge and the City Hall. A guided tour can help you better understand the city’s history and culture. To warm up, you can then visit one of the city’s many museums. We have listed the best museums in Sarajevo here.

The sites of the 1984 Winter Olympics

Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and many of the sports venues used at that time can still be visited today – although unfortunately they are no longer in particularly good condition or in use.

Bobsled Track on Trebević

The bobsleigh track on Trebević was built especially for the 1984 Winter Olympics and was a highlight of the games. Today the track is a popular tourist attraction and a lost place. The old bobsleigh track is covered in graffiti art and offers a fascinating contrast between past and future, nature and urban art. You can walk along the bobsleigh track from the cable car station. But be careful: in winter it can become dangerously icy!

Ski jumps on Igman

The ski jumps on Mount Igman are another relic of the 1984 Olympic Games. The complex consists of several jumps of different sizes that were used by the best ski jumpers in the world at the time. Today, the jumps are abandoned lost places, but still an interesting place if you are interested in the history of the Olympics. They are not far from Bjelašnica, which means that you can combine a visit with a snowshoe hike or a skiing holiday there.

Events and Festivals in winter in Sarajevo

Sarajevo also offers a number of events and festivals in winter. From mid-December to mid-January you will find an ice skating rink in front of Skenderija as well as small Christmas markets on Vilsonovo Šetalište or opposite the town hall. The Sarajevo Street Food Market also often offers a winter edition with mulled wine and hearty dishes.

The city is especially lively and festively decorated during the holidays. For example, you can attend the Christmas mass in the Sacred Heart Cathedral or celebrate the New Year with the city’s residents: every year there is a concert in front of the Eternal Flame – free for all visitors.

Vrelo Bosne: A winter wonderland

Vrelo Bosne, the source of the Bosna River, is a popular tourist destination near Sarajevo. In winter, this place turns into a magical snowy landscape, perfect for walks and photo sessions. The sometimes frozen waterfalls and snow-covered trees offer a breathtaking natural experience.

Culinary Higlights: Food & drinks in Sarajevo

Sarajevo is known for its diverse cuisine. Try local specialties such as cevapi, burek and the sweet Turkish delicacies. In the old town there are numerous restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy traditional Bosnian cuisine. The combination of oriental and European influences makes Bosnian cuisine unique. On a food tour you can delve even deeper into Bosnian cuisine and culinary arts.

Accommodation in Sarajevo

There are many accommodation options in Sarajevo, from luxurious hotels to cozy guesthouses. Book in advance, especially during the winter season, to secure the best deals. Around Christmas and New Year, hotel rooms and even apartments can fill up quickly.

Whether you prefer a central hotel in the old town or a quiet guesthouse in the mountains, we will find the perfect accommodation for you. Our team knows the best addresses and can give you recommendations based on your preferences and budget .

FAQs about winter holidays in Sarajevo

How to best get to Sarajevo?

Sarajevo is easy to reach by plane or car. In winter, however, flights may sometimes have to be diverted due to smog or fog, as landing is not possible – when arriving and departing, it may be a good idea to plan a buffer day until the next working day. You can easily get around the city by public transport or taxi.

For more convenient travel, we also organize transfers and private driving services – even up to the ski resorts. Please feel free to contact us .

Packing list: What to pack for Sarajevo winter?

Pack warm clothes, snow boots, or at least waterproof boots with good tread, and gloves, scarf and hat. The wind can be icy. And don’t forget your camera to capture memories of the winter activities.

The “onion look” is ideal if you are out and about in the city and often switch from indoors to outdoors. And if you are heading to the mountains, remember to bring sunscreen and sunglasses!

When is the best time to visit Sarajevo in winter?

The best time for a winter holiday in Sarajevo is from mid-December to the end of January, when the city is festively decorated and lively. Snow conditions are usually optimal from January onwards, but in recent years the season has become increasingly shorter.

Which Sarajevo ski resorts are the best?

The best ski resorts near Sarajevo are Jahorina and Bjelasnica. Both offer a variety of slopes and excellent facilities for winter sports enthusiasts. Jahorina is particularly suitable for families and beginners, while Bjelasnica offers more challenging slopes for advanced skiers.

What are the prices for accommodations and ski passes?

Prices vary depending on the season and type of accommodation. Ski passes are generally more affordable than in Western Europe, and there are often discounts for multi-day passes. Passes are most expensive during peak travel times over Christmas and New Year. We’re happy to help you find the best deals and create a budget for your holiday .

With this information, you are well-prepared for your winter holiday in Sarajevo. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, rich history and warm hospitality of this unique city. As a boutique travel agency and expert for Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are always available to help you plan and carry out your perfect winter holiday.