I teach high school history and wanted to learn more about the conflicts in the Balkans. Before I stayed here, I was skeptical about how deeply into the history the hostel would actually go. But trust me, you will learn as much as you want through access to tons of resources - artifacts, newspapers, photographs, recreated war graffiti, documentaries, and (most importantly) the lived experience of Zero One and his family, who run the hostel.
Zero One is great. He is intelligent, thoughtful, interesting, and has clearly done a ton of research about the conflict in addition to his/his family's own experiences. He's open to any questions you have (and you should DEFINITELY ask him questions, both historical and philosophical) and will take the time to help you understand Sarajevo, Bosnia, and the Balkans. His family is also really nice; I met his father briefly and his girlfriend let me borrow her hair dryer (thank you!!).
The Front Line Tour and the City Scars Tour were some of the best tours I've taken while travelling, ever. Even if you make the mistake of staying somewhere else, definitely email Zero One and take these tours anyway.
The hostel is historically interesting but also comfortable, and you have all the amenities you'd want, with the exception of lights in the bathroom and a 'normal' bed. That being said, the bathroom and bedrooms are VERY clean and VERY comfortable, the view out my window of the city was BEAUTIFUL, and the location can't be beat. Guests are a self-selecting lot (it's low-key, generally curious, intelligent people seeking to understand Bosnia), largely solo travelers, and quite small, so it was also very easy to meet people. I ended up staying an extra day.
It's also important to me when travelling to contribute to the local economy. The people who run this hostel are from Sarajevo; they're war veterans and survivors of the longest siege in modern warfare. Consider this, too.
And yeah, stay here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the war conditions of Sarajevo and meet a family which survived the war in Sarajevo! The War Hostel is a historically accurate simulation of war torn Sarajevo, full with authentic war decorations and run by a family which survived the war in Sarajevo. ... more less