If you plan to shop in Sarajevo, get set for some exciting and adventurous shopping in the crowded shopping alleys. Large shopping centres do exist but you cannot escape the charm and great prices in the narrow shopping lanes.
For great bargains hit the streets, especially the ones in the old town.
Shopping in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a truly unique experience. Read on and learn about the best deals and places to shop in Bosnia-Herzegovina. If you get hungry during your shopping spree, stop for some finger food or local cuisine in one of the Bosnia-Herzegovina restaurants along the cities shopping streets.
For local shopping information in our other Bosnia-Herzegovina destinations follow the links to:
Bosnia-Herzegovina is best known for its clothes and shoes. These are relatively cheap and of great quality. The best place to shop for leather is Visoko and the central region of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina, with its fancy shopping malls is ideal for clothes, especially the typical European styled ones.
Sarajevo is not just famous for its clothes and shoes, it is also a famous market for the latest DVDs, music CDs and video games. Most of these are available in the grey market in main shopping streets. It is difficult to leave without filling your bags with your favourite CDs and DVDs.
Brass Alley, in Sarajevo's tourist district of Old Town, brims with tiny quaint shops selling brass, silver and copper goods. You will find a lot of Turkish influence in the wares made here. Turkish coffee grinders, which easily pass off as pepper mills, coffee sets and ornate platters, peep out of most stores. The colourful wooden shops dotting the pink stoned medieval alleys of Bascarsija Market in the old town is a must visit for some good bargains.
Tiny shops selling handicraft, carpets, antique and souvenirs are squeezed into the narrow streets in Old Town. You can walk past artisans, goldsmiths and cobblers bent over their work benches giving life to their creations. Exquisite pieces of handicraft, intricate jewellery and unique shoes are churned out in hours. Hand woven carpets and knitted sweaters, which are also a Turkish trademark, can be found here. ‘Stari Zanati', a type of handicraft devised by the Turks nearly 500 years ago, is still effectively pursued by the artisans of Bascarsija.
But what this war torn land does not prepare you for are the beautifully crafted items made from bullets and spent shells. The artists leave no stone unturned to remind the world of the war torn times they have gone through. Ballpoint pens made from made from two rifle rounds and flower vases designed from a 50 calibre shell grace souvenir shops. You can also get your own made to order flags, wooden and brass plaques from the craftsmen who will paint what you want on to them. So if you have soldier friends you know what to get them!
Most markets in Bosnia-Herzegovina have eateries for the tired shopper to catch a bite and relax between their shopping sprees. The restaurants in Bosnia-Herzegovina cater to different cuisines so nobody goes home tired and hungry! While your eyes are hunting for that perfect bargain, train your ears to do some selective hearing. It is a practice among sellers to shout to attract buyers to their stores. They can be extremely persuasive so it's a good idea to plan for some extra time to browse through the different stores in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The items in most stores are identical. Though the articles are not mass produced, it does take a little digging to find something unique.
Like in most tourist shopping havens, prices may be inflated for foreigners. All prices are negotiable and it is a good idea to strike a deal if you are buying multiple items. But even if you are not a good haggler, don't worry - nothing is unaffordable by western standards. You can surely take home a great Bosnia-Herzegovina souvenir to please your loved ones.
The official currency in Bosnia-Herzegovina is the Konvertibilna Marka or convertible Mark. It is a fixed rate of 1.95 against the Euro, i.e. 1 EUR to 1.95 KM. Shopkeepers are supposed to take KM, the Bosnian currency, but will often push their luck for Euros. Be sure to carry small change, or else you may just have to kiss the balance goodbye! Credit cards are not widely accepted so be sure you check out where the nearest ATMs are.