Before I start, I just want to say this
Only those who have never survived a war, can support one.
I and my family have survived 4 years of war in Sarajevo in the 90’s, which we never asked for and never wanted. We lost people we love in it, we are scarred by it. I absolutely hate war and divisions. With my work I want to raise awareness that a war can happen anywhere, to anyone, like it did to me. I support myself and my family with my work and my message is that we are all people, regardless of everything. This project, the War Hostel is here to help you understand what we went through, that is if you wish to know our survival story and are open minded enough to not judge the book by its cover.
Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.
Hello, welcome and thank you for taking some time to have a look at my project.
This is NOT a regular hostel, it’s far from it.
Please, if you are interested to stay here, read the description below.
The description is very important.
If you don’t read the description and come here then don’t like it, that’s your own fault.
Nobody forces you to come here.
You can hear 24/7 original gunfire and bomb sounds from the war in Sarajevo. There’s no electricity here, for your phones and laptops, forget about it. Just a couple car batteries for the makeshift lights. No running water, you’ll have to collect it using canisters, if you plan to drink water, use the bathroom or wash your clothes, by hand. You’ll have to collect firewood as well, if you plan on staying warm or cooking. There is no breakfast of any kind, we will just show you how to make some war food which we ate during the war. No comfort, you will sleep on the floor on a bomb shelter bed, made out of humanitarian blankets used in the war. And obviously there’s no internet, there was none in the war and yet we survived 4 years, can you survive 2 nights without it?
I warned you.
My name is Zero One or if you prefer 01. This is my father’s war code name which is now my name. I have survived the war in Sarajevo together with my family and now as a tribute to what we have survived, I have created the War hostel in Sarajevo so that we can support ourselves and to share the story, with those willing to listen. Underneath I will explain everything about my hostel you should know before booking here.
The War Hostel is a unique historically accurate simulation of war torn Sarajevo, full with authentic items from the war which serve as decorations and run by a small family which survived the war in Sarajevo and is willing to share their war experience and personal stories with you.
We are a strictly educational place, we have nothing to do with politics or ideology.
Here you can learn as much as you want to learn, you are your only limit to how much you want to know.
If you are not interested to learn anything here or talk to us, please do not come here.
I will be now as honest as I can possibly be.
This place is not for the faint of heart, there is no bullshit here and no sugar coating. We are real war survivors who have been through hell and back and my name is not part of some stupid act, so please have some respect for the story we share.
The War Hostel is a very real, authentic, extremely alternative, unique, genuine place and everything we do has the same character.
If my honesty and this description is too much for you and the place sounds too intense for you, well just don’t come here, there’s like, hundreds of other places to stay.
Very important, I can’t stress this below enough.
If you plan to come here and do some free walking tour and visit some war museums, spend more time in the city then the War Hostel, just don’t come here. What’s the point then? People who come here come for the unique experience which only we offer in the world. Literally the only place in the world which does something like this. We have had the BBC, Associated Press, The New York Times, AJ+, German RTL, ZDF, ARD, Dutch 3 Op Reis and countless more media come and record what we do, they came for a reason here. If you want to make the most out of this place, how can that be possible if you plan to spend more time outside of the hostel then exploring what we offer? Just makes 0 sense. We have so much free stuff to offer and if you do just the free stuff, it’s too much honestly. We have 3 “tours”. One tour costs 20 Euros per person, we have the frontline and the city war scars which only we do in the world. We have a special interactive, for the lack of a better word, let’s say museum which shows how people survived 1 day in the war. It’s free of charge. That is what is paid here besides the accommodation. Some things in life cost money and that’s why people save up money and go travel to experience things, you don’t have to spend anything here besides the accommodation, but if you wish to make the most of it, then you should invest in yourself and your travel. Just a word of advice, but do as you wish.
It’s very simple, you want mainstream, go to some other place and explore the city as much as you want. You got mainstream tourism there, one main road, to the left and right souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, prices higher and so on and so forth. You want something extraordinary, extremely alternative, different, epic, connected to the last war? Then come here. I am just trying to be as clear as possible so that you know what to expect here and how you should spend your time here, just so that there’s no confusion and no waste of time.
Here you will have a real glimpse of what it was like for people to live under siege in Sarajevo, under real war conditions, experiencing this, you will have the chance gain a unique perspective on life, that is if you come with an open mind.
Now, if you are thinking that we might be a themed tourist trap, we are absolutely the opposite of that. The truth is, we are just one small family which barely survived the war and now we want to share our knowledge, perspective and experience with you. This is how we support ourselves and we think that our work is important and that the only way to prevent a war and hatred is through education. We share important messages about humanity and life and we think that the best way to learn about anything is to experience it yourself, this is the core idea behind our hostel. Since nobody should ever experience a war and risk loosing everything just to understand a few things about life, this is as close as you can get without putting yourself in danger, of course the War Hostel is not literally WAR, but there are many aspects of how we used to live during the war.
The most important thing about the War Hostel is not the place and the look of the place, but me and my family, our message and our story. You have the opportunity to meet us, talk to us and ask us questions, the opportunity to learn from us and that is quiet something in my opinion.
Here you will sleep on a bomb shelter bed, on the floor, covering yourself with a real military blanket used in the war. The blankets are your sheet, pillow and cover.
You’ll have to collect water and firewood.
Everything is lit up with makeshift war time light bulbs run by a car battery.
If you expect luxury and comfort, please do not come here.
Everything around you, in the room you book carries a story from the war.
Love reading? Our hostel is literally like a book, the walls are packed with real war
newspapers which contain true survival stories from war torn Sarajevo, which you
can only read here.
We don’t really like big loud groups, we are designed for solo travelers, couples and small groups, because we organize many activities on a daily basis where you can easily meet other people, socialize and educate yourself. We like to remain small and make our experiences, up close and personal and we do not believe that this is possible with big groups.
We are really close to all main attractions and you can always have a walk through Sarajevo, it’s not a problem, but honestly, you can’t find anywhere in the World the experience we provide here. People come from all over the World just to see the War Hostel, meet us and hear our story.
We organize an insightful talk inside a bunker which we built, where Zero One talks about his life, the war, the post war, his perspective and the impact the war had on his life and his family. But besides this you can always talk to us, we encourage you to talk to us and ask us questions.
We organize many other specialized war related “tours” which we’ll explain to you in detail once you arrive here. Honestly, all of our “tours” are more like war experiences which will stay with you for a long time.
We are always ready to help you with any questions you have and share our war stories and experience with you. We are sincere and we put a lot of effort into this project, we are not one of those places which just give you a key and some basic information and then leave you on your own, no, we really want to make your stay and experience here special. We mean this.
If you want something different, if you really want to learn something from war survivors, if you love history, education, deep talks, unique experiences, stories and the chance to gain a different perspective on life, do not look any further, this is really the right place for you.
However, if you want to stay in the comfort zone and are looking for a regular hostel experience, party hostel experience and are going to ask us immediately where the next bar is or if we do a pub crawl, free walking tour, museums or whatever…look, please, just…skip this place. Do not get us wrong, we enjoy a drink with our guests after sharing our stories and experience, but if the main point is just to get drunk and have a shallow, general overview of the city, then you should look to stay somewhere else. You will save your time and money and both us and you will be happy.
We show the reality here, real everyday life in the war and now, and the reality is not all rainbows and unicorns, it’s grim and dark and that is the reputation of Sarajevo and Bosnia in the World, unfortunately. I am sorry to burst the bubble here, which the mainstream touristy places offer of how everything is pretty and great in Sarajevo.
If you are full of opinions and not willing to listen, don’t come here ok?
I welcome you to meet us and discover Sarajevo from a very different, unique perspective and stay at the World’s first and only War Hostel.
Thank you for reading my description.