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Summer in Sarajevo: The best tips and things to do in the Bosnian capital

Summer is a magical time in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that you shouldn’t miss – the city is alive until late at night with numerous activities and events.

As a small boutique travel agency based in Sarajevo, we know the city inside and out and want to offer you an unforgettable stay. In this article, we spill valuable tips and give you things to do so that you can enjoy your summer in Sarajevo to the fullest.

Sarajevo summer: Weather and climate

The weather at a glance

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Sarajevo also has a continental climate. Temperatures often rise above 30 degrees Celsius during the day, while the nights remain pleasantly cool – so you should always have a thin jacket with you, and perhaps an umbrella, as thunderstorms can quickly form in the mountains.

Humidity can vary, but generally it is dry and sunny. Here are some average temperatures:

  • Maximum temperature in Sarajevo in summer: 30-35 °C
  • Lowest temperature in Sarajevo in summer: 15-20 °C
  • Rainfall in Sarajevo in summer: Low, few rainy days in June and July

The best time to travel to Sarajevo?

We think summer is a great time of year to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo. The city comes alive, the street cafés are full and there are numerous open-air events and festivals. The weather is ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. If it is a bit too hot in the city during the day, Vrelo Bosne or the local mountain Trebević offer a great place to cool off. Sarajevo is also less crowded with tourists in summer than other European cities.

Things to do in summer in Sarajevo

From Ottoman rule through the Habsburg Empire to both World Wars and the Bosnian War, the city has a rich and diverse history that you can see on every corner in the city centre of Baščaršija – for example, at the site where World War I started with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. The cityscape is a fascinating mix of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and modern influences.

Sarajevo is now a vibrant and dynamic city. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are friendly and hospitable, and life here is characterized by a unique mix of tradition and modernity. And although the city is known as the host of the Winter Olympics, summer is a special time in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital.

Top things to do in Sarajevo

  • city tour of Sarajevo : The best way to explore the country’s capital is with one of our local tour guides, who can introduce you to the history, architecture and culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina – our coffee culture in particular plays a special role in each of our tours
  • Watch the sunset from the Yellow Bastion. Tourists and locals alike gather here at any time of year. Our recommendation: buy a pizza at the Mahir Bakery on the way and enjoy it on top of the fortress
  • East or West? Turn the dial at the Meeting of Cultures and decide whether your path will lead you towards the Gazi-husrev Beg Mosque or the Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • The Winter Games feel far away at 30 degrees, but the old bobsleigh track on Trebević is also a wonderful place to visit in summer – a lost place that you should not miss during your visit, whether winter or summer

Outdoor activities for Sarajevo summer

The landscapes around Sarajevo are in full bloom in summer. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails to suit every taste – from leisurely strolls to climbs to the peak. If you feel like cooling off, try kayaking or rafting.

Hiking in summer

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the Dinaric Alps: climb the local mountain Trebević or hike to the Skakavac waterfall in the nature reserve of the same name. Great views are guaranteed on both hikes!

Adrenaline and action in summer

Are you an adrenaline junkie and want more action? Rafting on the Neretva River or canyoning in the Rakitnica Canyon (the second deepest in the world!) might be just the thing for you. And if you’re travelling further afterwards, you can find these activities in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina too.

Bliss of nature outside Sarajevo

Do you have a little more time? Turn your back on Sarajevo summer for a day or two and head to Sutjeska National Park, the oldest national park in the country. It’s best to plan an overnight stay so you can really enjoy the hikes (for example, on foot across the border to Montenegro) and don’t have to get up and leave at sunrise.

Culinary highlights: The best restaurants with a view and garden

There is hardly any rainfall in the summer months, making it perfect for booking dinner in a restaurant with a terrace and enjoying the mild evening hours outside. Here are some of our recommendations where we think the price and quality are just right

The best restaurants in Sarajevo with a garden

  • Restoran 7 šuma “Minjo” : The location of this traditional restaurant in the Sredrenik district is fantastic for a great view of Sarajevo. Especially when the city lights come on in the evening
  • Inat Kuća : A historic restaurant on the banks of the Miljacka River right in the center. The beautiful terrace is a wonderful place to sit in the summer and you won’t miss anything.
  • Restoran Klopa : For anyone looking for vegetarian cuisine, this fusion restaurant is a great choice. The terrace right next to the busy square in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral is great for people watching.
  • Café Kawa : The name says it all: In Kawa you will find a relaxed atmosphere, a great terrace and excellent specialty coffee.
  • Bašča kod Ene : Part of the family garden has been converted into a garden for guests in this traditional restaurant. The excellent food makes you feel at home – everything on the menu is delicious!

Especially in the summer months, you usually won’t find a free table at short notice in these popular restaurants, so we would recommend making a reservation so that you don’t have to look for a free table in the evening when you visit. Alternatively, you can book a barbecue evening with a Bosnian family – it doesn’t get more authentic than that!

Events and festivals in Sarajevo in summer

If you are in Sarajevo in August, you are spoiled for choice: visit the Sarajevo Film Festival, enjoy Kultura na Ulice with free concerts, ballet, theatre and more, or have fun in one of the beer gardens or on the festivals. Most of these events take place annually.

The best summer events in Sarajevo

  • Sarajevo Film Festival : One of the largest and most important film festivals in Southeast Europe. All current information is available on the official website of the Sarajevo Film Festival
  • Baščaršija Nights : A cultural festival with concerts, theatre performances and traditional dances. You can find all current dates on the Bosnian Cultural Center’s Instagram page
  • Sarajevo Street Food Market : A must for street food lovers – various restaurants from Sarajevo offer street food, coffee, cocktails and more. Current dates can be found on the Sarajevo Street Food Market Instagram page
  • Garden of Dreams: The festival brings the best-known names of the electronic scene to the country. There are events all summer long, from day parties to a multi-day festival. All the information is available on the Garden of Dreams Instagram page

Travel tips for Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Arrival/Departure : Sarajevo is easily accessible by plane, car or bus.
  • Currency : The official currency is the Convertible Mark (BAM).
  • Language : Bosnian is the official language, but many people also speak English.
  • Climate table & graph with temperature data for Sarajevo
  • Packing list : Light clothing, warm jumper for the evening, sun protection and comfortable shoes.
  • Travel budget : Sarajevo is affordable compared to other European capitals. Hotels are still cheaper than in Western Europe during peak travel season.

Final thoughts about Sarajevo, Bosnia, in summer

Sarajevo in summer is an experience you shouldn’t miss – from cultural events to outdoor activities, there is something for everyone here, whether you are a solo traveler or family with kids. With our insider knowledge and recommendations, you can enjoy the city to the fullest. We look forward to helping you plan your trip to Sarajevo and giving you the best tips and recommendations.