One of a few divided cities in a World, Mostar still tells a story of the two nations, two religions and one bridge the symbolizes their unity. Its turbulent history is still present in the people’s lives and their hearts. Visiting Mostar isn’t just about the great sights and the food, it’s also about eye-opening and humbling experience witnessing the lives of locals, the division and the unity. One day in Mostar, despite being short, is going to leave you with the strong impressions, full stomach and a bag full of authentic souvenirs.
What’s the best time to visit Mostar?
It would be either spring or autumn. The city in the winter can seem a bit grey and empty which is fine if you want to skip all the crowd. Summer, on the other hand can be insanely hot, with the temperatures hitting close to 40C.
What’s good to know about Mostar?
Officially city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar lies at the crossroad of two entities and religions – Muslim Bosnia and Catholics Herzegovina. Cause of that, the city itself represents the clash of the Western and Eastern Worlds. Today, the religious tension is still evident, especially in over-sized religious buildings and symbols. The Ottoman influence can be seen in the World Heritage-listed Old Town where the 16th century Old Bridge spans the clear waters of Neretva river.
One Day in Mostar Itinerary
Top things to do in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Mostar.
Start your day with a turkish coffee
The Ottoman influence can be seen everywhere – from religion to architecture, clothing to food. The same thing with the coffee. The turkish coffee, although spread all over the Balkan countries is most popular in Bosnia. Start your day in one of the many coffee shops in Ottoman style around the Old Town.
Stroll around the Old City
After you drank your morning coffee, it’s time for some Old Town exploration. Walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the old Ottoman architecture together with an Austro-Hungarian neoclassical houses. The charming streets are lined with the Turkish cafes, restaurants and bazaar street shops which altogether make a vibrant oriental atmosphere.
Pass over the Old bridge
Pass over the Old Bridge, the most famous sight and the symbol of Mostar. Today the bridge is a reconstruction of the 16th-century Ottoman-style bridge which was destroyed during the Yugoslav war. It represents both the reminiscent of the Ottoman reign and the strength and suffering of the Balkan people. This UNESCO World Heritage structure is one of Europe’s finest examples of Islamic architecture.
Learn a little bit about the city’s turbulent past
Check out the War Photo Exhibition right next to the Old Bridge to get to know more about the civil war in 90’s. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about the turbulent history of Mostar and the way it shaped the lives of its inhabitants.
Shop at the Carsija market
The Čaršija market, the synonym of the Turkish bazaar is the best place to shop for some oriental souvenirs. Most of the products are either jewelry, pottery, metal-ware or the textiles. Choose between the handmade jewelry, scarf pashminas, traditional Bosnian rugs, metal džezvas (coffee pot) or decorated terracotta plates. They are all very authentic and original.
Visit the Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and its minaret
After you pass the bridge you’re gonna find yourself in the Bosnian (Muslim) part of the city. With many mosques and religious buildings, one really stands out – Mehmed-Pasha Mosque. Even being the modest version of the Ottoman mosque architecture, its interior with the colorful rugs and frescoes is still very beautiful. Don’t forget to climb the top of minaret for the stunning 360° panoramic view.
Eat some Turkish delights at the Koski Basta Cafe
Whether you want to drink another shot of a greatest Turkish coffee, or enjoy a cup of tea Koski Basta Cafe is the perfect place to relax a bit and enjoy the beautiful views of the Old City and the Neretva river. With the bright cushions and the authentic Turkish feel, it’s also a great place to try some of the Turkish sweets such as Baklava cake.
Have some čevapi for lunch
Either you want to sit on one of the many terraces overlooking the Neretva river, or you want to find some local place bit further from the tourist crowd – don’t miss to try Bosnian Čevapčići (minced meat dish) while in Mostar. Order a portion of kajmak, the most delicious cream cheese. It’s the perfect match.
Visit the Biscevic house
The best way to get a glimpse of what the traditional house in Mostar looked like is to visit the Biscevic house. The house was built in 1635 and it’s a great example of residential architecture from the Ottoman period with the nice courtyard in the front. The house is decorated with the furniture and households from the Ottoman period. You can see the traditional rugs, tables, beds and even a clothing that you can try on. There is a Muslibegović house very close to it, another nice example of the Ottoman style, so maybe you want to check out that one too.
Check out the other side of Mostar
The evidence of the civil war in the 90’s is still evident. Many crumbling buildings in the very city center on the other side of the river Neretva still have the bullet marks all over the facade. One of them is Sniper Tower that was used as a sniper base. Today, this abandoned building is a visually impactful experience, decorated with the graffiti street art inside and out.
Where to stay in Mostar?
Hotel Kapetanovina is a perfect choice for those who want modern, stylish yet super comfortable stay. The location is superb, next to the Neretva river, very close to Carsija and only a few minutes walking to the Old Bridge. It features stylish rooms, some of them with the spectacular views of the Old Town and the Old bridge.
Hotel Hana is another perfectly located hotel placed in a beautiful, newly renovated historical building. If features rooms with modern designs, but also those in a decadent, historical style. The Old Bridge is only a few minutes walking from the hotel.
Hotel Mepas is centrally located, luxury hotel, with a magnificent panorama view of Mostar. The hotel represents an ideal blend of modern architecture and timeless elegance. A rich variety of carefully chosen amenities will appeal to the business and the leisure traveler as well. An exclusive wellness center with indoor swimming pools, 3 kinds of saunas, a massage room, a fitness room, a congress center, a la carte restaurant and spacious rooms and suites is what makes this hotel one of the best in Mostar.
Extra tips for visiting Mostar
– Leave your flip flops and high heels at home. The cobblestone streets of the Old City are slippery and the Bridge itself is pretty steep and smooth to walk even if wearing sneakers.
– Be careful if you’re into swimming in the Neretva waters. The water can be very chilly and the current is extremely strong.
– If you’re planning to visit the Mosque and religion sites you’re gonna have to bring some long sleeve modest clothes to enter in. Sometimes the women are not required to wear scarves when entering, but in any case, it’s always good to have one.
– Make your trip to Mostar even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Mostar or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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