10 things to do in and around Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Very slowly, Bosnia and Herzegovina is getting more discovered by tourists. It’s a beautiful country with spectacular nature and historical cities, which makes it absolutely worth a visit!
One of those historical cities is Mostar: small streets, atmospheric restaurants, the famous Stari Most bridge, but also beautiful street art. You can find it all in Mostar! I really loved the city, but also in the surroundings (+/- 1-2 hours by car) you can find some magnificent places. If you have more than just one day in Mostar, there is plenty to visit as a day trip. In this article I’ll tell you all about the must do’s and visits when travelling to Mostar.
The Stari Most actually is the face of Mostar: it’s the bridge which crosses the Neretva River. Mostar received its name thanks to the bridge keepers which were called Mostari. Unfortunately, the Stari Most, part of the UNESCO Word Heritage list, was completely destroyed in 1993, during the Bosnian War. During the reconstruction, most of the original stones were removed from the river and used again. In 2004, the reopening was happening.
It’s nice to see that the tradition can continue: the cliff diving. One day a year, young men will dive of the fortified bridge into the Neretva river. Luckily, we were in Mostar during the day this happened. Very crowded, but also an amazing atmosphere. I liked it! Most of the time, this event happens around August.
All around Stari Most, you can find the old town of Mostar. It’s a beautiful and atmospheric area of Mostar, featuring small streets with coarse boulders, traditional Ottoman houses, cute shops and nice restaurants where you can have some delicious local food. Restaurant Sadrvan, located near Stari Most, definitely is a recommendation! However, it can be very busy here, so keep in mind that you probably need to make a reservation beforehand.
On the other side of Stari Most, you can find the old bazaar (Kujundziluk). Here as well you can find beautiful and traditional Ottoman houses, but also local craft stores and small restaurants. For buying a souvenir you’re at that right place in this area.
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
The Islam is one of the most common religions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It probably wouldn’t surprise you if I say there are many beautiful mosques in this country. If you would like to visit a mosque, you should definitely visit the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque in Mostar.
Although it’s a beautiful building to begin with, the mosque is a reconstruction as the original was damaged during the Bosnian war. However, it’s worth to pay a visit to the inside as it’s very fascinating too. You can also go into the tower (against a small fee), which gives a spectacular view on Mostar and Stari Most.
Outside of Old Town, you can find the suburbs, where you can still find some remnants of the Bosnian war (old, abandoned buildings full of bullet holes). However, local artists saw the chance to make something beautiful out of these war remnants and created lots of street art. The street art scene has become so big, that artists from all over the world come to Mostar. In May, there’s even a Street Art Festival organised each year.
The Kravice Waterfalls is one of the highlights to visit around Mostar. They’re very easy to reach by rental car in, around, one hour. If you don’t have a rental car, you can also book a tour which starts in Mostar. It depends on what time you visit the Kravice Waterfalls, what you should pay as an entrance fee. The entrance fee is around € 5,- per person.
The waterfalls are absolutely stunning! I just couldn’t stop making pictures during my visit. Despite the fact that it was August and quite warm, it wasn’t crowded at all! Some people swam in the lake in front of the waterfalls. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my bathing suit, otherwise I would have loved to swim for a bit as well! Besides the waterfalls and the lake, you can walk around the area and stop at one of the (very basic) eateries. If you’d like to make a boat trip: this is also possible! You can even go kayaking around the lake. It’s not that big, but it can definitely be fun.
Blagaj Dervish House
In only a 30-minute drive from Mostar, you can find the Blagaj Dervish House. Another must-visit during your time in and around Mostar! This Dervish monastery is around 600 years old and has an unique location. It’s situated at the base of a cliff, next to the source of the river Buna. This makes, next to the beautiful architecture of course, the building very photogenic.
If you’d like to go into the Dervish monastery, you need to pay a small entrance fee. All around the building, you can find several restaurants and stalls where locals are selling souvenirs and more. Keep in mind that you also need to pay a small fee for a parking place. You can also make a small boat trip into the cave, near the Tekke.
This small village can be reached in a 40-minute drive from Mostar. It’s a charming village with stone houses and surrounded by stone walls. Above Počitelj, you can find the medieval stone castle. An important regional castle for the Ottomans. Počitelj also has some nice places where from you can make some magnificent photographs of the village.
You can easily combine the Kravice Waterfalls with Počitelj and the Dervish House in Blagaj as a day trip. If you start at the Kravice Waterfalls and drive further to Blagaj, you’ll come across Počitelj too.
Neum is the only seaside town of Bosnia and Herzegovina and can be reached from Mostar in almost two hours. Although the Bosnian coastline is small (around six kilometres) and Neum isn’t the most beautiful seaside town, it’s definitely worth as visit if you would like to enjoy the Adriatic Sea. Neum isn’t quite popular yet, so the advantage of this town is the peaceful atmosphere.
Blidinje Nature Park
If you’re a nature lover, than Blidinje Nature Park (with the Blidinje Lake) is worth a visit! You can drive to the Blidinje Nature Park in approximately two hours from Mostar, so keep in mind that you have to drive away early if you want to take the most out of your time in the park. It’s especially the perfect place to go hiking or mountain biking.
You can reach Konjic in 75 minutes driving from Mostar, but you’ll also come across Konjic if you’re driving from Mostar to Sarajevo (or the other way around). The Neretva River flows also through Konjic (same as through Mostar), what makes the town very atmospheric. It’s a nice town centre with some good walking possibilities, numerous cafes and a market along the river where locals sell their stuff. Konjic also consists out of beautiful nature in the direct environment.