Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its largest urban, cultural, and economic and transportation center, the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the center of the Sarajevo Canton. The river Miljacka flows through the city. There is the spring of the river Bosnia near the city with a popular picnic resort called the Vrelo Bosna. There are the Olympic mountains Jahorina, Bjelašnica , Igman , Treskavica and Trebević around the city , which are popular destinations for people of Sarajevo and tourists from around the world particularly during the winter months. Sarajevo is a relatively small city compared to large world capitals, but its name is better known than the names of some of the world's major cities. Austro-Hungarian king Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were killed in Sarajevo in 1914, which led to the First World War. Seventy years later, in 1984, the city hosted the 14th Winter Olympics.

During the early 1990s, the name of the city was often on the front pages of newspapers around the world, because Sarajevo was a victim of one of the bloodiest wars in recent European history. The city was under constant siege by Serbian forces for 1425 days. During the aggression 11,541 people of all nationalities lost their lives, among them 1,601 children, and nearly 50,000 people were injured. Nowadays, in times of post war development, Sarajevo is the fastest growing city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Travel guide Lonely Planet has ranked Sarajevo on 43rd place of most beautiful cities in the world in 2006. And in 2009, Sarajevo is one of the ten cities that are worth visiting.