Are you planning a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina and wondering what to see and do in Mostar? Look no further! Mostar is a charming city located in the heart of the country, famous for its picturesque Old Town and the iconic Stari Most bridge. In this guide, we’ll provide you with travel tips for Mostar, including the best places to visit, where to stay and eat, and free tours available.
Day 1: Exploring the Old Town and the Stari Most
On your first day in Mostar, take a stroll through the Old Town and marvel at the Ottoman-era architecture, cobblestone streets, and historic buildings. The Old Town is a pedestrian-only zone, so take your time and wander through the narrow alleys, admiring the shops selling traditional crafts, souvenirs, and local delicacies.
One of the most famous landmarks in Mostar is the Stari Most bridge, which dates back to the 16th century. The bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War but was reconstructed in 2004 using original materials and techniques. It’s an iconic symbol of Mostar and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can cross the bridge, take a dip in the river below or watch the brave locals jump from the bridge.
Other highlights of the Old Town include the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, the Karadoz-Bey Mosque, and the Old Bridge Museum. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try traditional Bosnian food like cevapi, burek, and baklava at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Day 2: Day trips from Mostar
On your second day in Mostar, consider taking a day trip to nearby attractions. There are several interesting destinations within a short drive from Mostar.
Blagaj is a small village located about 12 kilometers south of Mostar, famous for its stunning natural beauty and historic sites. The highlight of Blagaj is the Tekija, a 16th-century Dervish monastery located at the base of a cliff overlooking the Buna River. The turquoise waters of the Buna River make this a popular spot for swimming and kayaking.
Another great option is to visit the medieval town of Pocitelj, which is located about 30 kilometers southeast of Mostar. The town is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Neretva River and features well-preserved Ottoman-era architecture, including a fortified tower and mosque.
Day 3: Admiring Mostar’s Natural Beauty
On your third day in Mostar, take some time to explore the surrounding natural beauty. Mostar is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains, making it a great destination for hiking, biking, and outdoor activities.
One of the best places to enjoy the nature around Mostar is the Vrelo Bune Spring, located about 12 kilometers south of Mostar. The spring is the source of the Buna River and features crystal clear water and lush greenery. Take a boat ride along the river or enjoy a picnic by the water.
If you’re up for a challenge, consider hiking to the top of the Hum Mountain, which offers panoramic views of Mostar and the surrounding countryside. The hike takes about 2-3 hours and is considered moderate to difficult, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.
Where to Sleep in Mostar
Mostar offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are some of our top picks:
- Hotel Mepas – This modern hotel is located in the heart of Mostar and offers comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, and stunning views of the city. Prices start at around 100 euros per night.
- Hostel Majdas – This popular hostel is located in the Old Town and offers affordable dorms and private rooms. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the area, and there’s a cozy garden where you can relax. Prices start at around 10 euros per night.
- Villa Anri – This charming guesthouse is located in a quiet residential area about 10 minutes’ walk from the Old Town. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, and there’s a lovely garden where you can enjoy breakfast. Prices start at around 60 euros per night.
Where to Eat in Mostar
Bosnian cuisine is hearty and delicious, and Mostar has plenty of options to satisfy your appetite. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in the city:
- Tima-Irma – This cozy restaurant in the Old Town serves traditional Bosnian dishes with a modern twist. Try the lamb chops or the grilled trout, and don’t forget to order some rakija (a strong local brandy) to wash it down.
- Šadrvan – This restaurant is located in a historic building near the Stari Most and serves classic Bosnian dishes like cevapi, pita, and goulash. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.
- Restoran Hadžibajrić – This family-run restaurant is located in a quiet street near the Old Town and serves traditional Bosnian dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try the stuffed peppers or the slow-cooked lamb, and save room for the homemade baklava.
Free Tours in Mostar
One of the best ways to explore Mostar is by taking a free walking tour. These tours are led by knowledgeable locals who can provide insight into the city’s history, culture, and hidden gems. Here are some options:
- Free Walking Tour Mostar – This tour covers the Old Town and the Stari Most and lasts about two hours. The guides are friendly and informative, and they don’t pressure you to tip at the end.
- Mostar Free Walking Tour – This tour covers the Old Town, the Stari Most, and some of the lesser-known parts of Mostar. The guides are passionate about their city and happy to answer any questions you may have.
- Balkan Tales – This tour company offers a variety of free and paid tours in Mostar and other cities in the Balkans. Their Mostar walking tour is highly recommended and covers both the historic and contemporary aspects of the city.
Travel Tips in Mostar
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to Mostar:
- Bring comfortable shoes – Mostar’s Old Town is full of narrow, uneven streets and steep hills, so make sure you wear shoes that are comfortable for walking.
- Respect local customs – Mostar is a predominantly Muslim city, so be respectful of local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques.
- Take a dip in the river – Mostar’s crystal-clear river is a popular spot for swimming, especially in the summer months. Be careful if you decide to jump from the Stari Most bridge, as the water can be shallow in some areas.
- Try local specialties – Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich culinary tradition, so be sure to try some of the local specialties while you’re in Mostar. Don’t miss out on cevapi, burek, and baklava.
- Be aware of the history – Mostar has a complex and often painful history, especially related to the Bosnian War. Be respectful when discussing these topics and avoid bringing up sensitive issues with locals.
Visit the official tourism website of the city of Mostar for more information on things to see and do in the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Mostar safe?
A: Mostar is generally a safe city for tourists, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions like keeping your valuables secure and staying aware of your surroundings.
Q: What’s the best time to visit Mostar?
A: The best time to visit Mostar is from April to October, when the weather is warm and sunny. Keep in mind that the summer months can be crowded with tourists.
Q: Do I need a visa to visit Mostar?
A: Most visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. Check with your local embassy or consulate for more information.
Q: What currency is used in Mostar?
A: The currency used in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark (BAM). Euros are also widely accepted in tourist areas.
Mostar is a fascinating and beautiful city with a rich history and culture. Whether you’re interested in exploring the Old Town, hiking in the surrounding mountains, or trying traditional Bosnian food, there’s something for everyone in Mostar. We hope this guide has provided you with helpful tips for your trip to Mostar, and that you enjoy your stay in this magical city.