Sarajevo International Airport serves Sarajevo, the capital city of Balkan nation Bosnia and Herzegovina in southeastern Europe. The airport’s long history – dating back to the 1960s – closely reflects the country’s development through political instability, war, strife and eventual peace through the ages. First established in 1969, Sarajevo-Ilidža (as it was then naed) began as a modest civil airport after 3 years of construction. Subsequently, the airport underwent its first major renovations before the Winter Olympic Games of 1984 (that Sarajevo hosted) in time to receive the boom in air traffic during that period.
Unfortunately, the Bosnian War of 1992-1995 put a halt on further development - the airport was seized by military forces and ceased all civilian air operations. Airport facilities and equipment also suffered heavy damage during this period of military control. But the city was quick to bounce back after the war, re-opening Sarajevo Airport for civil air traffic in 1996 and returning it to its former glory with extensive reconstruction works. Today, Sarajevo Airport receives more than 600,000 passengers annually, and is the proud recipient of numerous aviation awards like the Best European Airport Award (for passengers of up to 1 million) by the Airports Council International and the International Transport Award by the Trade Leader’s Club in 2005.
Sarajevo International is located less than 15 kilometres from the city of Sarajevo, so getting to and from the airport isn’t too difficult. The easiest way to get to your destination in the city upon alighting at Sarajevo International is to simply grab a cab from outside the airport – the ride is only about 20 minutes (depending on traffic conditions) and should not cost much more than 20€.
Do insist that the taxi meter be switched on before beginning the journey to avoid being overcharged on your fare.
What to see and do
Sarajevo is an amazing city famed for its cultural and religious diversity (here you can find Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Jews and more coexisting peacefully), as well as an incredibly resilient populace who withstood siege and harsh natural conditions for years.
Get a taste of the city’s history and diversity at its beautifully preserved Old Town, Stari Grad, once the economic centre of Sarajevo. Constructed in the 15th century (and subsequently restored after it was damaged in the Bosnian War) Stari Grad represents a fusion of East and West as the eastern sector of the old city was Ottoman-influenced, whilst the western sector was more influenced by the Austria-Hungarians. An area just oozing old-world charm, Stari Grad’s historic market place Baščaršija will win your heart with its ancient architecture, cobbled streets, open-air bazaars and quaint little cafes and shops.
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