This stunning city — with apparent marks of the 1990’s conflict — knew how to stand up after all the suffering endured. More than 20 years since the Bosnian War ended — but still recovering — , Mostar is a lively city that will conquer you from the first minute.
So what to do when visiting Mostar?
1- Cross the Mostar Bridge
This picturesque 16th-century Ottoman-style bridge across the Neretva River could be the best excuse for you to visit this charming city. This stone bridge — now UNESCO World Heritage Site — stood there for more than 427 years until it was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. In 2004, the new bridge proudly stood up thanks to post-war restoration.
2- Visit the Čaršija
In the heart of Mostar’ Old Town, you will find this cute and busy market also known as čaršija. You will find a market on each side of the river very close to Mostar Old Bridge. This division is due to the split between the Bosniak and Croat ethnic groups that inhabit the city — although this is not noticeable to visiting tourists. Thanks to Ottoman influences, you will feel back in time around stalls selling gorgeous tapetes — rugs — and souvenirs. If you want to take a break after a long walk, have a Turkish coffee in the market — the perfect spot is the one right next to the bridge — and enjoy the view!
3- Watch brave men jumping off the Mostar Bridge
I have to admit that I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. Brave men jumping off a 20 meters high bridge! You cannot miss this famous attraction that takes place mainly in the summer months. These heroes will be walking around the bridge collecting money for a jump! The practice of diving off the Old Bridge started back in 1664. Nowadays this is a big tradition in Mostar and there is even an official annual competition as part of Red Bull’s cliff diving competition. PS: Please do not attempt to jump yourself as is not safe and a lot of people have been injured.
4- Where to stay? Hostel Miran is the best answer
After a long day in Mostar, book a bed in this cosy and friendly hostel (I really think this one should receive a Hostelworld Award as “1st Country Winners”). Hostel Miran, located just 2 minutes walk from the bus and train station and only 5 minutes from Mostar’s famous Old Town and Bridge, offers not only an excellent location but comfortable and well-equipped rooms. Miran is the greatest host of all times! He was incredibly helpful and always available for us. Thank you so much for having us, we will be back! PS: and thank you for the ride… always better with a local! Dorm rooms from €8.50. Pere Lazetica 13, Mostar. Want to book? Go here: bit.ly/2qHOH2m
5- Visit the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque
Considered to be the most beautiful Mosque in the region of Herzegovina, this is a mandatory visit if you are in Mostar. What I liked about this Mosque — that was rebuilt 1618 — is that you can climb up to the top of the minaret and have the perfect view of the city for the perfect pic!
6- Get lost in Mostar Airport Hangar
I have to confess that this hidden place — where fighter planes were hidden away from the eyes of the Soviets — blew me away. You cannot imagine all the history that this place still holds. This formerly top-secret underground airport hangar is located among mountains near the Mostar airport. You can now walk through the uncanny area from one end to the other and have the chance to explore various rooms. It will be impossible not to leave this place with a sense of sadness but still worth a visit. Advice: Don’t go alone and bring a flashlight with you, as this place is pitch black. If you want to know the full story told by a survivor, you should get in contact with Miran (Hostel Miran) as he organises personalised day tours around Mostar and the underground airport hangar is one of the stops. Highly recommended. If you wish to book go here: bit.ly/2qHOH2m
7- Take the perfect photo in Blagag Tekke
This stunning monastery nestled at the foot of a cliff was founded by the Dervish monks in the 16th century and is considered to be one of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s most holy and ancient places. Nowadays, this lovely monastery houses a restaurant with tables looking out over the water, perfect spot for the perfect lunch setting!
8- Go for a swim at Kravice Falls
Situated only 40 km outside of Mostar, Kravice Waterfalls is the perfect place to spend a refreshing day. Still not well known to tourists, this is the perfect spot if you are looking for a peaceful break! Swim in this emerald coloured lake and even right underneath the falls. You will love it! By the way, the water is fairly cold! Attention foodies: buy food to go before going to the falls, as there is only one cafe in the area.
9- See war remains around Mostar city streets
Street arts will be found around the whole city of Mostar making you feel at times sad due to the apparent scars of the tragic war. You can explore various abandoned buildings but keep in mind that locals advise that the best time to enter is around sunset and in a quiet way.
10 -Visit medieval Počitelj
This charming fortified medieval town, only 30 km outside of Mostar, is another gem lost in this beautiful country. Resting on the left bank of the Neretva River, this stunning city remains still close to its original form. Looking for jaw-dropping views? Climb the Citadel for a truly incredible panorama of Počitelj!
11- Try local dishes
When visiting the Balkans it will be a sin not to try traditional food like Ćevapi. This local dish — which origins come from the Ottoman period — is a yummy grilled dish of minced meat, a type of skinless sausage, found in the Balkans countries. Is considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Thank you Mostar for an amazing time, you are beautiful!