Mostar is one of the fascinating cities that I have ever visited in Europe. The Old historic bridge over the Neretva river is one of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s most recognizable symbols. The old town has been a UNESCO world heritage since 2005.Mostar is one of the fascinating cities that I have ever visited in Europe. The Old historic bridge over the Neretva river is one of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s most recognizable symbols. The old town has been a UNESCO world heritage since 2005.

The Croatian City of Dubrovnik Spit, and Koto, Montenegro, are excellent road trip destinations from the Bosnian Capital, Sarajevo. In my opinion, the day trip is good but if time permits you should plan at least two days to explore the beautiful city of Mostar. I was driving from Sarajevo to Mostar, and the road trip was absolutely stunning. It is about 126 km Southwest of Sarajevo, about 2.5 hours of driving if you don’t make any sightseeing stops. For me, it took almost 7 hours as I stopped at all possible attractions on the way, including a few well-known restaurants, to try out their traditional Bosnian food.

Mostar is magnificent and picturesque, so don’t forget your camera. The best time for a great shot should be in the early morning or late evening, so plan accordingly.

Mostar, bosnia
The iconic Old Bridge of Mostar

Best Time to Visit Mostar 

Bosnia and Herzegovina got a relatively dry climate with hot summers and cold winters. Spring is typically the best time to visit as the temperature is pleasant between May – June. During this period, it’s warm but not overly humid, and nights are more relaxed. Mostar is in the lower valley of the Neretva river, where the climate is almost Mediterranean. It gets hotter between July and September, and winter is relatively milder.

Things To Do In Mostar

I arrived at my hotel Bristol in Mostar, parked my car in their designated parking lot a little away from the hotel, and Checked into my room. The afternoon was getting late, but I had time to freshen up a bit before going for a walkabout. A local friend of mine came to meet me in the lobby area, where I planned to stroll through Mostar for the first time.

With our time remaining in the late afternoon and into the evening, our first stop was at a traditionally popular and one of the most famous pie restaurants called Buregdzinica Musala for a welcome drink. I learned from my friend that it’s Bosnian tradition to get to know each other over coffee. And Coffee is merely an excuse to strengthen these relationships.
I was full from my heavy traditional Bosnian lunch en route to Mostar from Sarajevo at Restoran Orahovica and Restoran Kovacevic in Donja Jablanica. However, I still could not turn down the offer.

First Stop At Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque

What I like most about this mosque is its location, just a few yards from the beautiful Neretva river and from its vantage point in the backyard, from where you could enjoy a beautiful picture-friendly view of the old bridge. This 17th. Century mosque is visible from the Stari Most (old bridge), the most photographed icon of Mostar. 

The tall minaret can be seen from a far distance and provides a visual indication of the location of this mosque; just falling it will direct you there. The fountain (sadirvan) in the yard in front of the mosque was built to provide water for drinking or religious services, a common Ottoman standard. If you are interested, there are a couple of souvenir stores inside the complex opposite the mosque.

ottoman era mosque
The sadirvan (fountain) in front of the mosque.

Our Next Stop At Karagöz Bey Mosque 

This renowned mosque is close to the old town of Mostar and is known to be the oldest of its time. The simple traditional Ottoman-style mosque has a giant dome, and its iconic tall minaret, which is the highest in the region, can be seen from most parts of Mostar. Visitors are welcome to climb the minarets from where they can enjoy the 360 panoramic views of Mostar. 

Old Town, The Bazaar, and Cobblestone Streets Of Mostar 

The čaršija (the market) in Mostar is located on both sides of the Neretva River near the Stari Most (old bridge). Walking around the market, we found many stores and restaurants on both sides of those narrow cobblestone streets with stalls selling rugs, painted plates, scarves, traditional pottery, copper items, and souvenirs. 

The market gets busy with locals and tourists during the late morning, especially when the busload of day trippers pour in from Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, Split, or Montenegro, and gives visitors a good glance at the traditional Bosnian way of life.

Even if you don’t buy anything, just walking on the narrow stone-covered street of the old town gives you a feel of an ancient or Turkish bazaar influenced by the Ottomans. 

At night the bazaar atmosphere gets colorful and lively with lots of eye-catching goods at reasonable prices. Having dinner in one of the old town restaurants overlooking the old bridge could be a once-in-a-lifetime event for you.

Karagöz Bey Mosque in Mostar
Mostar, Bosnia
Mostar, BosniaMostar, Bosnia

Walk Over the Iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) of Mostar

Stari Most is an old bridge in the Bosnian language located in the old town of Mostar; the Ottoman Empire built it in the 16th. Century. Today it is a symbol of unity for the ethnically divided city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After wandering the old town streets for a while and looking around, and taking pictures in the old market, it was time for us to cross the iconic bridge over the Neretva River. This was considered a significant technological advance during the Ottoman Era. I liked this area so much I came back to cross the bridge again and again during my two days Mostar visit. For photographers, it should be the perfect place for a postcard-like shot. As a historic landmark, this is the most photographic icon of Mostar.

Mostar old town
Beautiful narrow cobblestone streets in Mostar old town

Jumping from the bridge is a tradition in Mostar; the water is chilly most of the time, and the drop is about 68 – 78 feet (20-24 meters) depending on the water level; doing this, some have lost their lives, and many others got injured. Standing on the edge of the bridge, looking a the river 68+ feet down below, made me scared, thought it dangerous to do so, but some local drivers usually do a jump for the tourists regularly (not free, of course).

Old Bridge attracts tourists worldwide, mainly when the bridge plays host to many spectacles each year. For example, on the last weekend of July every year, an annual diving competition is held when participating divers from many countries take part in plunging 68 feet from the bridge. There is even an official yearly competition as part of Red Bull’s cliff diving competition.

Mostar old bridge
After dark – Shot from Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque vintage point

Visit Kriva Cuprija (or Crooked Bridge)

There is a smaller and less touristic version of the Stari Most called Kriva Cuprija (or ‘Crooked Bridge’). It is located over the Radobolija River, where it meets the Neretva river, pretty close to Old Bridge (Stari Most)—initially built in 1558, a few years before the famous Old Bridge was constructed. The bridge has typical Islamic architecture of the 16th century and is definitely worth a visit.

Mosque from Ottoman era
A view of Neretva River and the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque from the Old Bridge

Day Trip to Blagaj Monastery

Blagaj village is a short drive from Mostar, about 3 km southeast of Mostar airport. The village is located at the spring of the Buda river and is a historical Tekija or Monastery, which Dervish monks founded in the 16th. Century. Today, the Monastery houses a restaurant with a lookout for the water; the place is very quiet and peaceful. The Monastery is also open to visitors for a small entrance fee, but since it is still a functioning religious building, appropriate clothing is required.

Blagaj Monastery, mostar
Blagaj Monastery and the spring of the Buda river

Where to stay in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hotel Bristol, Mostar

I loved the location of this hotel, just next to the Neretva River overlooking the Old Town of Mostar. It is only a few minutes distance from the iconic Old Bridge. My room had an open balcony with a beautiful view day and night. The hotel staff was helpful, and the rooms were spacious and clean—great food choices for breakfast. The outdoor restaurant by the river was excellent. I used their complimentary parking facility, which was 2 minutes of walking distance away from the hotel. A supermarket, restaurants, and bars are within 650 feet from Bristol. I would definitely recommend this hotel if you are staying overnight in Mostar.

Hotel Mostar, Mostar

Hotel Mostar was renovated in 2015 and is right at the center of Mostar, close to the Spanish Square and 0.8 miles from the famous Old Bridge. A buffet breakfast is available each morning, served in the tiled eating area. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant and a cafe bar, and a patisserie with a terrace. In addition, guests can use the hotel fitness center free of charge. Hotel Mostar is just 15 minutes walk from the area’s main rail and bus station. Free private parking and a secured garage are available on-site free of charge.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina? Any cool tips to share?

I loved being in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Maya

    I shared this blog to a TB member asking for things to/see. Btw, I like the layout of this blog– something different than the others.

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