One of the few divided cities in the world, Mostar still tells a story of two nations, two religions and one bridge that symbolizes their unity. Its turbulent history is still present in the lives and hearts of the people who live there. Visiting Mostar isn’t just about the great sights and the food, it’s also about the eye-opening and humbling experience of witnessing the lives of the locals, both in their division and in their unity. One day in Mostar, while short, is going to leave you with strong impressions, a full stomach and a bag full of authentic souvenirs.
What’s the best time to visit Mostar?
The best time to visit Mostar would be either spring or autumn. In the winter, the town can seem a bit grey and empty, but on the plus side there are no crowds. Summer, on the other hand, can be insanely hot, with temperatures hitting close to 40°C (104°F).
What’s good to know about Mostar?
While it is officially a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar lies at the crossroads of two ethnicities and religions – the Muslim Bosnia and the Catholic Herzegovina. Because of that, the city itself represents the clash between the East and the West. Today, religious tensions are 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 the Neretva river.
One Day in Mostar Itinerary
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.
Grab a Turkish Coffee to Wake You Up!
The influence of the Ottoman Empire is clearly visible all over the city. It has had an impact on religion and architecture, on the clothes people wear and food. The same goes for the coffee. The Turkish coffee is present in all Balkan countries, but in Bosnia it is a true delicacy and a perfect start to your day here. Find a coffee shop and enjoy.
Go for a Stroll Around the Old Town
After your morning coffee, it’s time for some Old Town exploration. Walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the old Ottoman architecture side-by-side with Austro-Hungarian neoclassical houses. The charming streets are lined with Turkish cafés, restaurants and bazaar street shops which altogether make for a vibrant oriental atmosphere.
Cross the Old bridge
Cross the Old Bridge, the most famous sight and the symbol of Mostar. The bridge you can see today is a reconstructed version of the 16th-century Ottoman-style bridge which was destroyed during the Yugoslav war. It represents both the remnants 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 the 90s. 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 Čaršija Market
The Čaršija market, an excellent example of a Turkish bazaar, is where you want to buy some oriental souvenirs. Metalware, textile, jewelry or pottery it’s all there. Authentic džezvas (coffee pots), terracotta plates, handmade jewelry, scarf pashminas, traditional Bosnian rugs… Plenty of items to choose from!
Visit the Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and Its Minaret
After you pass the bridge, you will yourself in the Bosnian (Muslim) part of the city. With many mosques and religious buildings, one really stands out – the Mehmed-Pasha Mosque. Even being a modest version of the Ottoman mosque architecture, its interior with the colorful rugs and frescoes is still very beautiful. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the minaret for the stunning 360° panoramic view.
Eat Some Turkish Delights at the Koski Basta Café
Whether you want to drink another shot of the greatest Turkish coffee or enjoy a cup of tea, Koski Basta Café is the perfect place to relax a bit and enjoy the beautiful views of the Old Town and the Neretva river. With bright cushions and an authentic Turkish feel, it’s also a great place to try some of the Turkish sweets such as Baklava cake.
Have Some Ćevapi for Lunch
Whether you want to sit on one of the many terraces overlooking the Neretva river, or you want to find some local place a bit further from the tourist crowd – don’t forget to try Bosnian Ćevapčići (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 household items from the Ottoman period. You can see the traditional rugs, tables, beds and even items of clothing that you can try on. The Muslibegović house is very close to it, as another nice example of the Ottoman style, so maybe you want to check out that one too.
Check out the Other Side of Mostar
Evidence of the civil war in the 90s is still present everywhere in Mostar. Many crumbling buildings in the very city center on the other side of the river Neretva still have bullet marks covering their exteriors. One of them is the Sniper Tower that was used as a sniper base. Today, this abandoned building is a visually impactful landmark, decorated with graffiti inside and out.
Where to stay in Mostar?
Gojka Vukovića bb, 88000 Mostar
Hotel Kapetanovina is a perfect choice for those looking for a modern and stylish, but extremely 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 spectacular views of the Old Town and the Old Bridge.
Gojka Vukovića 42, 88000 Mostar
Hotel Hana is another perfectly located hotel placed in a beautiful, newly renovated historical building. It features rooms with modern designs, but also several decorated in a decadent, historical style. The Old Bridge is only a few minutes walking from the hotel.
Kardinala Stepinca bb, 88000 Mostar
Hotel Mepas is a 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.
Day trips from/to Mostar
Go North and Visit Sarajevo on a Day Trip from Mostar
While in Mostar, you don’t want to miss the chance to visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located only two hours north of Mostar. After a scenic drive including a brief stop in Konjic, you will get a chance to visit all of Sarajevo’s main attractions, including the charming Baščaršija district and the captivating Latinska Ćuprija, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was famously assassinated in 1914. A relaxed stroll down the delightful Ferhadija promenade will conclude this day trip to a city that resembles a living, breathing page torn from the world’s own history book.
Discover Herzegovina on a Day Trip from Mostar
To discover more of Herzegovina, you will need to leave Mostar and set out for Blagaj, Počitelj, and Kravice Waterfalls, three of the region’s must-see attractions. On a day trip from Mostar, you will be able to visit all of these places in one day. All you need to do is relax and enjoy the ride as your professional, knowledgeable guide offers valuable insights and first-hand experiences that tell the story of Herzegovina’s history and culture. On your way to Blagaj and its 17th century Dervish house carved from living rock, you will get a chance to admire the crystal-clear blue waters of Buna Spring and Počitelj, a charming medieval village with a vibrant artist colony.
Day Trip from Dubrovnik to Bosnia and Herzegovina with Medjugorje and 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 on, even when wearing sneakers.
– Be careful if you’re interested in swimming in the Neretva waters. The water can be very chilly and the current is extremely strong.
– If visiting the Mosque and other religious sites is on your itinerary, you’re going to have to bring some long-sleeved modest clothing in order to go inside. Occasionally, women don’t have to wear scarves when entering, but keep one close by just in case.
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Logistical Tips and Tricks
Organize your trip in five easy steps!
BOOK A FLIGHT!
Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!
BOOK A ROOM!
To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.
GET A CAR!
If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.
INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!
Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.
FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!
Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.