Mostar is a cultural and historic city located in the southern region of Bosnia & Herzegovina, most known for its iconic stone bridge. I had the pleasure of visiting this enchanting town this summer and have a few ideas on the possibilities the town offers to visitors. One can easily spend days in this region of Bosnia & Herzegovina, soaking in the unique atmosphere.
1. Mostar old town
Mostar old town is an absolute must-visit for everyone. It is very walkable, pretty and has many important sites.
- Stari Most of Mostar: The most well-known landmark of whole Bosnia & Herzegovina, Stari Most (or Old Bridge), is situated in the old town. The beautiful bridge, also a UNESCO world heritage site, was built by the Ottomans in 16th century. It stands 24 m high above the green Neretva river. There is an annual diving event organized every July where men jump into the cold river from the bridge! This practice dates back to ages and is not for the faint-hearted! You can enjoy beautiful views of the town and the mountains surrounding it from the bridge. It’s possible to walk down the stairs (but the path is not very obvious) and reach the level of river to observe the bridge from a different perspective. When we dipped our feet in the water in the middle of August though, it was very cold!
- Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque: This is an Ottoman style mosque located on the old town of Mostar that gives you the possibility of climbing its minaret for wonderful views of Mostar. It is near the old bridge, so finding the mosque shouldn’t be a problem. There is a beautiful view of the river from the back garden terrace and there is also a shop in the courtyard that sells souvenirs. For 12 KLM, you can climb up the minaret (which I heard is not for the claustrophobic) and enjoy beautiful views of the city.
- Just walk and discover: There are many interesting sights in old town: ample Islamic architecture, old bridge museum next to the bridge where you can see the exhibits on the history of the bridge, cemetery, old market, bullet-ridden old buildings and a smaller version of Stari Most, “Kriva Cuprija” – a cute bridge. You can also eat and drink at the numerous restaurants in the area from many of which you’ll find nice views of the bridge. It is also a good area for shopping, there are many little shops selling colorful items such as souvenirs, jewelry, paintings etc.I bought two pairs of colorful metal earrings from Mostar and love them! Should have bought more as they are more expensive here in Poland.
Blagaj is a small village just 12 kms outside of Mostar. The most famous attraction in Blagaj is a monastery which is situated alongside beautiful, green Buna river. The 16th century monastery is situated next to an impressive cliff and overlooks a natural pool formed in river Buna. It is an important cultural and religious site for the Muslims and charges a small entrance fee (modest clothing required!). A boat ride that takes you under the cave or just on the river on this tranquil setting can also be enjoyed. There are also restaurants and stalls selling souvenirs in the area. Besides the monastery, camping and hiking in the village are also possible. We stopped there on the way to Kravice waterfalls and didn’t spend much time there. It was a very hot day, we were in our motorcycle gear and we had to park about 1 km from the site, so we just walked to the site, quickly looked around and returned. I would have spent at least a few hours there if I had enough time.
3. Kravice Waterfalls
40 kms outside of Mostar, Kravice waterfalls are gorgeous waterfalls set in a green, beautiful environment. This breathtaking spot is popular as a swimming and relaxing area. One thing though is that it’s not very easy to get here. We went by our motorbikes and had to ride off-road for few kilometers which was: steep, dangerous, narrow and uncomfortable. I recommend you hire a taxi that can take you there because it can be quite difficult to drive by yourself or by public transport. Although it’s not a very popular tourist attraction yet, the area was way more crowded than I had imagined, every spot was occupied and there were more than 5 restaurants in such a small area. I have heard that spring is the best time to visit the waterfalls as the surroundings are lush green and the flow of water in the falls and pool is higher. The water was very cold even in the middle of August but that didn’t seem to bother many swimmers, including me 😉 In short, very worth a visit but not easy to get to, so plan beforehand.
30 kms from Mostar, we passed this fortified town on the way to Kravice waterfalls but didn’t have the time to stop. I could just take a glimpse from the moving motorbike. Počitelj is an old historic town set on a hill that offers excellent panoramic views of the surroundings. This small town has a castle, mosques, Turkish baths, old traditional houses and is a nice place to observe both Ottoman and European architecture. It is not a well-known attraction among the tourists but that’s just one of the reasons to visit this unique and historically important fortified town.
Međugorje is an important religious site for Catholic pilgrims. It is located just 25 kms outside of Mostar and attracts millions of pilgrims every year. It can be easily reached by public transport from Mostar. Even if you are not religious, Apparition hill in Medugorje is a good (but tough!) hiking spot to enjoy the breathtaking nature of the area. Just remember to bring good shoes and a lot of strength!
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a very pretty, fortified town in Croatia that is 130 kms from Mostar. If you are in Mostar area for few days, Dubrovnik might be a good option for a day trip. It is a seaside fortified town, packed with history, cute red-roofed houses and beautiful views of the blue, sparkling Adriatic sea. The small town is also a UNESCO world heritage site and a major tourist attraction in Croatia. Day trips to and from Mostar to Dubrovnik are popular and easy to do, so make sure to visit both towns when you are in the area!
Thanks for reading! I visited Mostar as a part of a long motorcycle trip this summer, click here to read the stories about the journey.