Mostar is one of the most fascinating cities in the Balkans, and it’s one of my favorite destinations in the region.
What’s so interesting about Mostar? Well, it’s literally where East meets West, and you can find mosques, churches as well as oriental mixed with western. It is very beautiful and even though tourism has kept increasing, there is still the same charm of the city.
Of course, Mostar is also famous because of its horrific past during the Balkan wars, and it’s an important site to visit in order to never forget what happened. Still today, you can see demolished houses and facades with bullet holes while walking around.
However, while the history of Mostar is gruesome, visitors today can admire how the locals have rebuilt the city and made it full of life once again.
Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar
Since 2005 the old bridge, also known as Stari Most as well as the old city of Mostar have been inscribed as a World Heritage by UNESCO.
This is the most visited part of the city and something that shouldn’t be missed. It tends to get crowded during summertime, so if possible, I recommend that you come here earlier in the morning before the tour buses arrive.
It is also beautiful to watch the sunset from a small concrete plateau next to the river.
The Old Bridge was originally built during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. It was destroyed in the Balkan war but was later reconstructed in the same appearance as the original 16th-century bridge.
The bridge is a great example of the architecture of that time, and it goes over the Neretva River, and connect the old town of Mostar, which is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Things to do in Mostar
If you want to learn more about what happened during the war, I recommend that you visit the War Photo Exhibition that displays real photos from before and during the war.
It is located in the tower before you cross the Stari Most (the old bridge). From the tower, you also get a great view of the city and the river.
- Walk the old bridge
- Visit the War Photo Exhibition
- Watch the local bridge divers
- Go shopping in the old bazaar
- Visit the public Turkish bath
- Drink coffee and tea (Bosnian style)
Tourist attractions in Mostar
Besides the old bridge, there are two architectural buildings that you shouldn’t miss seeing. The first being the Muslibegovic House, which is a classic example of Ottoman architecture, and the second being the beautiful Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque.
- The Old Bridge (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Muslibegović House (Ottoman architecture)
- Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque
- The Don’t forget stones
- Kriva Cuprija (the crooked bridge)
- The Sniper Tower
- Neretva Hotel
- Abandoned Airport hangar
- The Bruce Lee Statue
More information about Mostar
Mostar is one of the most beautiful cities in the Balkans, and you can see architecture from various eras, such as the Ottoman period, and the Austro-Hungarian period. Visitors will notice how the influences from East and West mix and align here in Mostar.
It is also an important city in Bosnia and Herzegovina since it is home to some of the largest companies as well as having a significant industry, primarily Aluminium and other metals. It is the largest financial center in the country along with Sarajevo and Banja Luka.
Tourism has also increased in recent years and helps to boost the economy.
- Total population: ~ 115 000 people
- Total Area: 1,175 km2 (454 sq mi)
- Country: Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Canton: Herzegovina-Neretva
- Founded: 1452
Is it safe to visit Mostar?
Yes, Mostar is safe. Crime is at a low level, and the war is over since long. Petty crimes like pickpocketing exist of course, just like anywhere else where tourism is prevalent, but the risk is low, and it is unlikely that you will encounter any crime at all.
History from the war
Siege of Mostar
The siege of Mostar took place during the Bosnian war in 1992, and then again 1993 and 1994. More than 90.000 residents fled the city as a result of the first siege and leaving behind numerous buildings and bridges that were damaged or destroyed.
In 1993, the Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks started to fight each other, which culminated in the Croat-Bosniak War, which lasted between June 1993 and April 1994. Many civilians died and more damage was being done to buildings. It was also during this war that the historic Stari Most was blown up and destroyed.
How to get to Mostar
Mostar is well-connected by land and there are daily buses from Croatia and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is also an international airport which has recently started to welcome arrivals.
Currently, there are a direct flight available from Stuttgart and Düsseldorf in Germany as well as Zagreb in Croatia.
Many international tourists travel by bus from Croatia to Mostar, on a day trip or a few overnight stays.
Bus from Dubrovnik to Mostar
There are daily buses departing from Dubrovnik as well as bus tours. You can book the tour here
From Sarajevo to Mostar
The journey from Sarajevo is about 2 hr and 30 minutes and there are daily buses going between the cities.
If you arrive at Tuzla Airport and want to travel to Mostar, it takes about 4 hours by car. There is no direct bus available from Tuzla airport.
Day trips from Mostar
All of these places are easily reachable by rental car or guided tours.
- Kravice Waterfalls
- Radimlja Necropolis
- Blagaj Monastery
- National Restaurant Cevabdzinica Tima – Irma
- Food House
- Grill Centar
- Restoran Hindin Han
Recommended hotels in Mostar
Have you also visited Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina or is it on your bucket list? Feel free to leave a comment below!