One day in Mostar
Mostar was the second place I visited in Bosnia and Herzegovina the first being the capital Sarajevo and they were so different.
If you only have one day in Mostar, then this is the perfect quick guide to Mostar. I didn’t spend the night so have no information on accommodation in Mostar but there are a number of hotels if you are planning on spending the night but if you are doing it as a road trip I would suggest just stopping here for the day and moving on as you can easily see the highlights of Mostar in one day.
If you have longer in Mostar you can do a day trip to see Kravice waterfalls which look stunning and I would go back to Mostar just to see these waterfalls.
Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans which are part of Eastern Europe.
Some locals did speak and understand English 48% speak Bosnian, 37% Serbian and 14% Croatian. Mostar became part of Yugoslavia after the 2nd world war but then became independent in 1991.
A staggering 42% of the locals are unemployed and begging is a big problem. The main religions in Mostar are 40% catholic, 40% Muslim and 20% are Jewish.
Even though I felt safe walking around Mostar it was not that long ago it was affected by war and there are still signs and things to be wary of. According to Lonely Planet Eastern Europe Guide “landmines and unexploded ordnance still affect 2.4% of the area see www.bhmac.org. In affected areas stick to asphalt / concrete surfaces or well-worn paths, avoid exploring war wrecked buildings” in other words don’t go off track exploring as there could still be unexploded mines which is pretty freaky.
We walked from the main parking area and the contrast in buildings here were a little different to the old town. There are places where you can see bullets in the walls, and you will probably see several beggars EnRoute it was quite upsetting seeing young women with babies and children sitting on the pavements.
Kujundžilu street is where you need to go if you are after getting a great Instagram shot as it is supposed to be the prettiest street in Mostar.
There are a several “don’t forget stones” around Mostar old town that are reminding people to not forget the somewhat devastating history of Mostar.
Euros are accepted.
Can drink the tap water.
Getting to Mostar
Bosnia and Herzegovina is land locked so the best way to get to Mostar is by air or road. I visited Mostar as part of a road trip of the Balkans we crossed over the border in our coach and drove through the countryside to get to Mostar which was beautiful.
There are a few airport options
- Sarajevo International airport (71km)
- Dubrovnik airport (87km)
- Bol (Croatia) airport (94km)
- Tivat airport (121km)
- Split airport (128km)
You can visit Mostar as a day trip from Dubrovnik or if you want to do it indenedly there are buses where is takes just over 3 hours
Sarajevo to Mostar can be done by train or by bus for as little as 5euro.
Hire a car and do a road trip including other Balkan countries such as Croatia Montenegro and Serbia
Mostar is small and can be explored on foot which is why day trips would be a great quick way to visit Mostar. However, if you are going to stay overnight check out the best prices for hotels here
Weather in Mostar
I was surprised at the weather in Mostar, for some reason I didn’t expect it to be so hot in May which is when I visited. I have looked at the weather in June and it reach 37degrees and sunny so it best to check the weather before you go so you know what clothes to pack. I use this website for checking my destinations weather before I book and just before I visit.
It was warm (tshirt weather) when I was in Mostar, but it was wet. It rained hard for a few minutes and then stopped but it made the walkways slippery we ran into a restaurant for some food to stay dry and by the time we had finished our meal it has stopped raining.
Peak season for tourism in Mostar is during the summer months where it will be very busy and hot. The best months to visit Mostar are May, June, and September, when the weather is pleasant, but it might rain so be prepared.
Things to see in Mostar
Stari Most Bridge
Mostar is a riverside town and the most famous part must be the Stari Most bridge over the Neretva River which is a UNESCO heritage site . The old bridge in Mostar was rebuilt in 2004 after being destroyed in the war in the 1990s so it is still new, and it is famous for the crazy locals jumping off. I say they are crazy as it has been reported that people die jumping.
If you walk over the bridge you will see people in wetsuits waiting to jump. They jump into the river for money, once they have enough donations, they will jump in.
I am not sure why people pay locals to jump the 27-metre bridge I was more willing to pay one of our group to jump in.
Tourists can jump off the bridge although it needs to be organised via the dive school you can’t just go onto the bridge and jump well I guess you could as there were no railings but I am not sure you would want to as you might need some tips on how to do to safely.
If you want to jump from Stari Most Bridge read this bloggers account of when he jumped off the bridge
The best place to view people jumping from the Stari Most Bridge is down by the riverside where we waited patiently and eventually someone did jump off. There was also a small beach down there and you could paddle in the crystal clear waters to cool off.
Be careful on the bridge it can be slippery a girl on my tour rolled her ankle and rebroke it but she did have an existing injury luckily; I had my walking stock which she ended up using for a couple of days.
There are hand rails to hold onto and take your time if you are a little slow on your feet. It was busy with tourists but I didn’t let the rush intimidate me as I didn’t want to slip over so I walked slowly by the edge of the bridge. It had been raining so was particular slippery so I wasn’t rushing for anyone.
It is also quite steep in the old town so not the best for people with mobility limitations but I managed it by taking my time and resting on the bridge to look at the views over the Neretva River and its very clear waters. So it might not be the most accessible destination but if you know your limits, take your time and can manage a few steps you should be OK. However if you are in a wheelchair you will have difficulty on the bridge as there are steps all along even though they are not high it is worth bearing in mind.
Apart from the bridge and walking around the old town there are a few other things that you should add to your list of things to do in Mostar.
Muslibegovic House is a hotel but is also has a museum which shows exhibitions of furniture and items from the Ottoman period
Shops in Stari Grad (Mostar Old Town)
It is mainly souvenirs shops and once you been in one, they are all selling similar items but it is still a nice old town to stroll around and collect your memories from the trip you can find many 1euro magnets.
There were also several vendors selling copper items that they have beaten and range from coffee pots to jewellery, ceramics and ladies were selling table cloths.
Fez hats were being sold and we were told if wearing the tassel on one side means you are married or on the other side means you are looking for a girl however I didn’t know which side was which so I would probably be giving the wink to the married men by mistake.
Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque
Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque is a small 17th century mosque which is supposed to have the best views of the Old Bridge in Mostar old town.
Peace bell tower
Mostar Peace Bell Tower is outside of the old town it was by the coach car park that we got dropped off at on our tour. You can climb the tower to get views over Mostar and notice the buildings by the tower as you will see how they were hit by bullets. There is a lift that goes half way to the top or you climb 370 steps.
Kriva Cuprija also known as the old crooked bridge is a smaller version of the old bridge
Food and drink in Mostar
There are loads of little cafes, coffee shops and restaurants in Mostar, you will be spoilt for choice. I was surprised at the number of ice cream vendors so grab a ice cream and go and wait for someone to jump from the old bridge.
Rakia (fermented fruit drink) is a local alcohol shot that is supposed to be like whiskey with a bit of spice. It should be sipped and not drunk as a shot. I saw old men drinking it from tall shot glasses along with a glass of water.
There are a number of Bosnian Foods to try on your trip to Mostar
Stuffed vine leaves
Veal is on a lot of menus as well as lamb
Bosanski lonac : Also known as Bosnian Pot, slow cooked meat and veg hot pot
Burek filo pastry filled with meat, sirnixa filled with cheese, krompirusa filled with potatoes, zeljanica filled with spinach : I had the one stuffed with feta cheese and it was amazing you have to try this when in Bosnia.
Cevapi : cylinder meat pellets
Klepe ravioli : traditional Bosnian dumplings
Rakija grappa or fruit brandy
Raznijici : barbequed meat skewers, also had was so tasty
Sogan dolma : slow roasted onions stuffed with mince meat
I would highly recommend this restaurant, it is currently voted on TripAdvisor as the best restaurant in Mostar and I would agree with it, although to be fair I didn’t eat anywhere else so can’t really compare.
It is a little touristy as the staff are dressed in traditional clothing but the dishes on the menu are local and to a high standard. It was very popular and was quite busy, but they still gave us friendly service.
I had a veal and paprika kebab, but it wasn’t as I normally have kebabs on a skewer it was more like a tagine served in a metal pot like a stew with mushrooms, peppers and rice. It was so delicious, and the meat melted in my mouth.
I was in a group of 8 and we were all served at the same time and quickly. All the other dishes looked tasty and we were quiet for a while whilst we ate so that was a good sign. We had lots of bread which was free with no sneaky add on to the bill.
Whilst in Mostar it is a good place to try Bosnian coffee. This is drank differently to a normal coffee that you may be used to. I believe you pour the coffee slowly over some sugar cubes careful not to let the granules fall in. It is served in silver pots which are pretty, and it did smell good, however I don’t drink coffee but the people who did enjoyed it.
Example of prices in Mostar:
Glass of wine 1.5 euro
Have you been to Mostar? What did you think do you think one day is enough or did you find lots more things to do that I need to share, please do get in contact and let me know.
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