Sarajevo abandoned bobsled track with graffiti

All You Need to Know About Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track

There’s something fascinating about visiting abandoned houses and amusement parks. To see how nature reclaims human constructions. On your visit to Sarajevo, you can explore some abandoned sites of the 1984 Winter Olympics, most famous among them the Sarajevo abandoned bobsled track.

In my opinion, visiting the Sarajevo abandoned bobsled track is one of the best things to do in Sarajevo, especially on a nice sunny day. You can take a break from city life and enjoy a walk in the forest to discover the abandoned structure.

History of the Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track

Before getting into tips about visiting the abandoned Olympic bobsled track, let’s have a look into its history and how it came to be abandoned.

To get a quick glimpse of the former glory of the Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track I added an original video of the Olympic Games I found on YouTube.

Original footage of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo

1984 Winter Olympics

The 1984 Winter Olympics were the first Olympic winter games held in a Slavic-language-speaking country as well as the first Winter Olympic Games in a communist country (at the time Sarajevo was in the communist Yugoslavia).

The Olympic rings
Reminder of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games

The Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track was one of the sports sites built for the Olympic games in Sarajevo. Many other competitions were held in the Dinaric Alps which are less than 25 km from the city of Sarajevo. The Olympic games were considered a big success with competitors from 49 countries.

The destruction of the bobsled track

In 1991 the Yugoslav wars started and the following year the Bosnian war. During the Bosnian war, it came to the Siege of Sarajevo. Bosnia’s capital was under siege for four years, which makes it the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. At first, Sarajevo was besieged by the Yugoslav People’s Army and later by the Army of Republika Srpska.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, the bobsled track was damaged and used as an artillery position by Bosnian Serbs surrounding the city.

The bobsled track gets abandoned

outside of an abandoned bobsled track, it's all overgrown
Nature slowly takes back the bobsled track

After the end of the war in 1995 and the end of the siege of Sarajevo in 1996, the bobsled track gets abandoned. The track becomes a popular canvas for graffiti and mountain bikers. In 2014 restoration of the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track begins. I don’t know how the bobsled track looked before, but in 2023 I couldn’t see any signs of restoration. It looks very abandoned to me.

When I saw the abandoned track I thought that nobody had used it as a bobsleigh track since the 90s. Turns out I was wrong, one person did it in 2006, 20 years after the war ended. I was really surprised when I saw the video, it looks so dangerous.

Bobsleigh start 20 years after the Bosnian War

How to visit the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track

Today the abandoned Olympic bobsled track on Trebević Mountain is a popular destination for tourists. Trebevic Mountain is very popular with locals as well as tourists, although locals seem to come to Mount Trebević solely for spending some time in nature. At least I got the impression that they weren’t that interested in the Sarajevo bobsleigh track. Or maybe they already spent enough time exploring it on other occasions.

How to get to the abandoned bobsleigh track

view out a cable car to the cable car station and a city in the background
Easiest way to get to the bobsleigh and luge track

The best way to get to the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track is by cable car. The cable car station is just a short walk from Sarajevo city hall and the Trebević cable car takes you all the way to the top of Mount Trebević. From there it’s a short walk to the start of the tracks.

What cable car ticket to get

You can either get a one-way ticket for 15 KM (~€7) at the cable car station or a return ticket for 20 KM (~€10). We got a single ticket because we wanted to walk the whole track down and thought we would be close to the city of Sarajevo at the end.

inside a cable car station, you can see one cable car approaching
Inside the cable car station

Turns out it’s still a quite steep one-hour walk from the finish line of the abandoned bobsleigh track to the cable car station at the bottom. I had to check multiple times on google maps if we were still on track.

You walk through a nice forest, then past a couple of houses with a lot of bullet holes until you finally reach the city again. A one-hour walk like that sound wonderful but in the end both our legs hurt a lot from walking downhill so much.

green hills with a few houses and a cable car passing overhead
The walk down was very steep and longer than I though it would be

So, I would recommend getting a return ticket. You can explore the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track as much as you want and afterwards, you can return to the cable car and take a comfortable ride back down.

Stay on established paths

In Bosnia & Herzegovina, you should always stay on the established paths. There are still numerous unexploded mines all over the country. I was told on a walking tour I did in Sarajevo that the mines are all in fenced-off areas with warning signs that it’s a mined area. But in my opinion, better safe than sorry, I would just use established paths.

What to see at Sarajevo’s abandoned bobsled track?

You get some beautiful views of Sarajevo and the surrounding area from Mt Trebevic. There’s even a photo frame for the best picture of yourself with the city in the background.

woman standing in an empty frame, in the back you can see Sarajevo and a cable car
View of Sarajevo and the cable car

You can walk inside the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track for the entire length of 1.3 km from the starting point to the finish line. Watch out, the track can be slippery because of the pine needles in the abandoned track.

The whole Sarajevo bobsleigh track is covered in colorful graffiti. You can find some amazing art pieces by local graffiti artists.

abandoned bobsled track finish line
Finish line of the bobsled track

I was very surprised that during our visit we only saw one other person actually walking in the abandoned tracks beside us. Everyone else kept to the forest path and didn’t seem interested in the abandoned Olympic bobsled track.

What to bring for your visit

You should bring the following things on your visit to Sarajevo’s abandoned bobsled track:

  • water
  • good shoes
  • warm jacket

On top of Mount Trebević, next to the trebević cable car station there’s a restaurant and I’ve heard in summer there are some food trucks. I would still recommend bringing some water in a reusable bottle.

It’s very important to wear good shoes for your trip to the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track since it’s a forest walk and even in the bobsled and luge track it can be slippery.

The weather on Mount Trebević can be quite chilly so you should also bring some warm clothes if you’re visiting not on a very hot summer day. I visited in the spring, in the city of Sarajevo it was really warm and then I ended up freezing on Trebević mountain, even though I wore a warm coat and a hat.

Sarajevo abandoned bobsled track with graffiti
Abandoned bobsleigh track from the Winter Olympics 1984

FAQ about the Sarajevo Abandoned Bobsled Track

How long is the Sarajevo bobsled track?

The Sarajevo bobsled track is 1300 meters long and has 13 turns.

Where is the bobsleigh track?

The Sarajevo bobsleigh track is just outside the city centre on Trebević mountain.

What happened in Sarajevo in 1984?

In 1984 the Winter Olympic Games were held in Sarajevo. You can still visit some of the Olympic facilities today.

How fast does a bobsled go km?

The world record for Bobsleighs is 201 km/h, usually, they are around 150 km/h.

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