OMG... just what is that brown mucilage between the two urinals? ;-)
Sarajevo's Wonderland Cafes and Bars – My Top 4 Magic Hideaways
A coffee or beer in Sarajevo is a quirky blessing. Within a short walk the variety goes off the scale. And you all know how I love a novelty toilet... Don't go to Bosnia without reading about these, my top four side alley hideaway haunts.
Čajdžinica Džirlo Tea House
Deep breath. I love this cafe. Perhaps more than any other I've set foot in. Why? Plants in a pan at the entrance, then, stepping inside, perhaps the most appealing combined shades of green you could ever conceive. The people who run this place are incredibly welcoming and have their Bosnian coffee preparation ritual down to a fine art, serving it with an accompanying sweet drink called sherba and a good piece of rahat lokum. It's really the kind of cafe you could happily while away the rest of your life in, among the jars, teapots and Middle Eastern rugs. And after preparing me a mind-blowing coffee, the exceptional waistcoat-with-handkerchief owner shook my hand at such length that I wanted to move in and make my new address this steep cobbled lane in Sarajevo's Ottoman old town. Here you'll experience hospitality at its finest, delivered modestly by these magical people.
Address: Kovači 16, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Zlatna Ribica – “Goldfish”
The drinks menus are sheets concealed haphazardly within a scruffy paperback hanging from the wall by an old black telephone cord. Old maps, faded photos, and low-slung chandeliers bulge out into the atmosphere. A goldfish is presiding from the centre. And the wacky multimedia toilets bring the best fun, with a retro phone that rings when you lock yourself in among a magpie-like collection of cosmetic bottles and aesthetic detritus. Tapas nuts come served in a shell. Feels as if you're in a big kid's antiques shop, a car boot sale on the Titanic… you get the idea. It's a Viennese coffee house on acid, with a wonderland electricity bill to match.
Address: Kaptol 5, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Fancying a peek?
Keep your eyes peeled for my Sarajevo vlog - coming soon!
Monday night, twiddling your thumbs? This is the place; a Sarajevo legend. Anyone walking in the street is heading to this dive. Once a cinema, the owners reportedly disappeared during the war. Since then the days-gone-by picture house has become used as a semi-legal smoky hangout that oozes bedragglement. Bottles of beer stack up in huge fridges, and jostling up to the bar is a lively affair in the thick of the alternative crowd and clan of veteran folk musicians hammering their accordions with abandon. Toilets full of graffiti, cheap drinks, seductive low lights on the tables scattered on stage. Winner.
Address: Alipašina 19, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tucked in a narrow walkway in the old city, the Baghdad cafe looks a bit like Red Bull splashed on Corn Flakes – orange and electric pink against a more sumptuous layer of fabric, cushions, and deep wallpaper. It's an empty-nightclub-of-a-cafe by day, and a full-cafe-sized-nightclub when the sun goes down. Quite the east meets west venue for the electronic music aficionado. Arabic styling with a good cocktail menu nod to western hedonism.
Address: Bazardžani 6, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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About the Author: Martin A. Green is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and a UK employment law specialist. He is busy finalising his debut novel, spanning eight European countries, about two men's struggle to find full-force friendship in our times.