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.
25 thoughts on “What to see in and around Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina”
Fantastic blog and pictures, Pooja. You are becoming quite a world traveller these days. I have competition ! What will you do this weekend, Pooja ?
Thank you for your nice words about the blog, Dai. Ha Ha you made me chuckle! I think you’re still far ahead of me 😉 I have booked flights to a few more places for the upcoming months however: Crete in Greece in October and the Philippines during winter! 😀
We have a big company party today so I guess I will spend my weekend resting at home. What about you Dai? Fridays are the best..
Hi Pooja and good morning. Philippines ? What are you trying to do to me ? I love the Philippines and I’ve done island hopping holidays on those terrifying pump boats. I will never forget sailing into Romblon Town (on Romblon Island) and having one of the best meals of my life in a hotel there. And I remember almost getting stuck on Sibuyan Island when the twice weekly boat had already departed. We were running along the beach waving and the boat came back to get us. Bantayan Island and Malapascua in northern Cebu are just incredible. Boracay too but it’s very commercialised these days. I’m so jealous, Pooja. You will have a wonderful holiday.
Wow, Dai, I am more excited about the Philippines now. We’re going to an island called Palawan and I’ve heard very good things about it too. Have you been to that island Dai? I have read that the food there is not as good as in Thailand for example, but I do hope we’ll find some good food.
Hi again, Pooja. I also want to go to Palawan. Maybe it’s the best place in the Philippines but there used to be an element of danger there in my backpacking days so that’s why I never went there. I mean the kidnappings there.
You are right about the food. The food in the Flips is nowhere near as good as in Thailand and nowhere near as cheap either. But I must say that I always loved the Chicken Adobo there. You will love the Philippines but maybe not the cities so much.
Beautiful pictures! Ahhh there are still so many stunning places in the world to see…going to add this onto my bucket list! 😛
Aren’t there indeed? And the list just keeps growing the more we travel 🙂
It is grea that they restored the bridge back in the day. I still remember when we had this bridge as a motive in an art class during my elementary school years and also about how it was destroyed during the war
Oh yes, the bridge does have a lot of history to it. Seeing the houses with bullet holes from the recent war was also a bit shocking to me.. Sounds like an interesting topic in your art class! I can’t wait to go back there, so beautiful.
lovely photos and nice info……
Hi, thank you! 🙂
You take great photos, loved them :). What a great way to experience the beautiful countries .
Thank you! I am glad that you liked them 🙂 Yes, it was amazing indeed. It brings back some fantastic travel memories.
It really is. Such a unique city.
Wow amazing post… i visited Mostar Bridge, Dubrovnic, the waterfall (last year) and Medjugorje twice ( last year & this summer too). Beautiful places ❤
Wow so you were in exactly the same places like me! 🙂 Isn’t that area so beautiful indeed. I can’t wait to revisit. Especially Montenegro and Bosnia&Herzegovina.
Yes 😀😀😀 Can u believe that? We should have met 👌👌👌
Fantastic article! I am traveling to Croatia in a couple of weeks for some winery business (I live and work in Napa Valley, California, and wine is our business). Reading your article, I’ve decided to extend my trip and visit some of the other Balkan countries. Thanks for sharing! PS – you may enjoy our wine country blog: http://www.topochinesvino.com.
Hi! Thank you. I am glad that this article could convince you to explore other Balkan countries besides Croatia! My favorites were Bosnia&Herzegovina and especially Montenegro. Fascinating area. 🙂
Heading over to your blog now!
I am planning a road trip around the Balkans, so I’m trying to absorve as much information as possible to write down my plans. Thanks a lot for showing me these pictures, easier to decide what to visit 🙂
Thanks! I think you will enjoy a road trip around Balkans. I enjoyed it very much 🙂