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Sarajevo or split?

Hi All,
My friend and I are planning 10 days in southern Croatia and Montenegro. We will be spending time in Dubrovnik, with side trips to a few islands and Mostar, and doing the Bay of Kotor.
However, we can fly into either Split or Sarajevo, and are having trouble choosing which. If we fly into Sarajevo, it doesn't make sense to go to Split, and vice versa.
With roughly 1.5 days, 2 nights to allot to EITHER Split OR Sarajevo, what do you all recommend? What are the merits of each city?
I should add that we will be in Split during the "Days of Diocletian Festival," yet we have not been able to find much information about the festival, so are not sure if it a) is worth a trip, b) costs money.
Thanks!

Posted by
6872 posts

I've been to both but would pick Sarajevo because it feels very different from Croatia and due to its historical significance and many interesting sites (the bridge where Gavrilo Princip struck the Archduke which led to WWI, the siege of Sarajevo during the Balkan Wars, the lovely Turkish quarter called Bascarsja). Sarajevo really feels like a crossroads of East and West, with different people coexisting and practicing different religions (you'll see a variety of cathedrals, mosques, Jewish temples, etc). Some of the buildings have a distinct Austro-Hungarian feel like the National Library. Sarajevo was just much more emotionally impactful for me of the two, although they are both interesting in very different ways. I loved seeing Bosnia and I'm really glad I did prior to venturing to Croatia.

Posted by
971 posts

It's a hard choice, since the two cities are very very different.
Split is a lovely and more classic tourist destination on the coast, with a harbour promenade, seafood restarants etc. The old town, centeret around Diocletians Palace is a historical marvel and truly unique. You won't find that kind of lived in roman ruins anywhere else in the world.

Sarajevo on the other hand is quite different. It lacks the mediteranean charm of Split and is not as pretty at first sight. However the distinct Ottoman and Austro Hungarian influence feels like a world away from Croatia and as said the old turkish oldtown is very charming. As Agnes said it also has a very emotional impact on you, the terrible history from the 90's is very near and poignant. I can higly recommend going on one of the siege tours, the guides are people who lived trough the siege themselves, so history is very near!

My vote also goes to Sarajevo. Split is wonderfull, but also looks like a lot of the places you will see on the Dalmatian coast and troughout the Mediterranean. Sarajevo feels much more 'Balkans' and eastern, it's different from what most tourist see and it's also very emotional.