Mostar Guides

Guide to Mostar

Mostar is a little gem of a city, located between Sarajevo and Bosnia’s borders with Croatia and Montenegro. Quaint tea rooms and quirky bazaars give Mostar a unique feel that can’t be found in any other European city. Although recent history wasn’t kind to Mostar and it was the site of heavy bombing during the Bosnian war in the 90s, the city has bounced back, and this tranquil little town makes the perfect place to stop for a night when traveling through the Balkans.

Quick trivia

Location: Bosnia & Herzegovina
Language: Bosnian
Population of city: 113,000
Nearest airport: Sarajevo International Airport (71 km away)
Main train/bus station(s): Mostar Central bus station
Best time to visit? All year round, but July and August would be best. It’s pleasantly warm in the summer and snows in the winter. It never gets too crowded with tourists
Budget level? £

Top Attractions

Stari Most

Possibly the most famous site in Mostar, this bridge linking both sides of Mostar’s old town was ranked 113th in Lonely Planet’s top 500 places to visit on earth, higher than places such as Disney Land and the Vatican City. Originally built in the 16th century, and then rebuilt following it’s bombing in the 90s, Stari Most is a stunning cobbled bridge in the heart of the old town, towering some 30 metres above the river Neretva. In the summer, locals jump from the bridge into the river below. Don’t try this yourself because it’s very dangerous and your EHIC card won’t cover it, but it definitely makes for a great spectacle!

The Old Town

The old historic centre of Mostar is a throwback to the Ottoman origins of the city. Cobbled streets lined with quaint cafes and market stalls make for a lovely place to wander and soak up the atmosphere. This is also where you’ll find Mostar’s Bazaars, lined with traditional antiques and ornaments, most of which have been hand made.

Bosnian Culture Guide

Food

Cevapi is probably the most popular Balkan dish, essentially grilled sausage-shaped meat served with onions and often a pita bread. Burek, which is a flaky pastry usually filled with meat or cheese, is another must-try in this part of the world. Bosnia does have a few of its own traditional dishes that differ from the rest of the Balkans. Mostar has its own unique dish as well, known as Sogan Dolma, which consists of onions stuffed with mincemeat or cheese, served in a stew. It’s much tastier than it sounds! Local tea and coffee are another Bosnian speciality and a must-try whilst you’re there.

History

The Ottoman influence is still obvious today in the town’s architecture, culture, and way of life. The Austro-Hungarian Empire took control of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1878, before it became part of Yugoslavia in 1918 following the First World War. After Bosnia gained independence in 1992, Mostar was one of the places worst affected by the fighting and bombing from Serbian forces, resulting in the famous Bridge being destroyed. Thankfully the old town remains fully intact. The Old Bridge was rebuilt in 2006, and the calming atmosphere of the old town today makes it hard to believe what an impact the war had on the city.

Night Life

Mostar’s quaint nature and Islamic roots mean nightlife isn’t its most famous attribute. Although there aren’t many clubs to write home about, there are several cosy little bars along the river that are perfect for a few casual drinks, with a stunning view of the river. Being a Muslim country, not everywhere will serve alcohol, so don’t be too surprised if you’re only able to get soft drinks. There are plenty of places around town that will serve alcohol though, and they’ll usually have a sign outside saying they do so. Shisha bars are more popular in his part of the world, and you’ll find plenty of these all around the old town.

Free Walking Tour

Sheva Walking Tours offer a couple of free tours each day, starting just around the corner from Old Town Bridge. You can book onto their tours here:  http://www.mostarfreewalkingtours.com/

Trips including Mostar

Group Tours including Mostar