Mostar is a city in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, unique because it coexists two cultures, European and Asian, and two religions – Muslim and Christianity.
The name of the settlement was given by the bridge, which was built by the Ottomans in the mid-16th century and was called the Old Bridge. The main attraction of the city was destroyed in the 90s of the twentieth century during the Bosnian War. But already in the 2000s, the bridge over the Neretva, which connected the two parts of the city, was rebuilt, becoming a symbol of the return to peaceful life.
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Mostar is located in the picturesque valley of the Neretva River. The climate is temperate continental, due to the influence of the mountains. Even in winter the temperature in the city does not fall below +2 º C. The coldest month is January, the hottest is August. The temperature rarely rises above 35 ºC. Autumn and early winter are considered the rainy season. You should not plan a trip for this period.
Sights of Mostar
Tourists who come to Mostar, it is possible to visit two cultures at once – you just need to cross the Old Bridge over the Neretva. On the east side of the river stretches Muslim part of town with stunning mosques, and on the west side – Christian with beautiful churches.
Old Bridge. View from above
The Old Bridge is the main symbol of Mostar. When the structure was destroyed, the townspeople decided to lift the wreckage from the bottom of the river. Today, there is nothing to remind that the bridge was damaged. At the landmark there is a museum, where you can learn the history of construction and reconstruction of the bridge.
Of interest is the Turkish house of Kaitaza. Despite the fact that the house was built in the fifteenth century, it has managed to survive in almost pristine condition. The building appeared during the Turkish occupation, so it was built in compliance with all traditions of oriental architecture. The house is still inhabited today. For several centuries it had been owned by members of the same family. The interior has not changed. Even the clothes of the owners are reminiscent of the era in which the building appeared. Visitors to the Kaitaz house are offered a drink made from the juice of rose petals.
Kaitaz Turkish House
The Crooked Bridge on the Radobolya River is similar in design to a smaller copy of the Old Bridge. In fact, it appeared much earlier than the main city landmark. There are several legends about the construction of the Crooked Bridge. According to one of them, the architect created a smaller copy of the symbol of Mostar in order to practice before a more grandiose construction.
Tito’s Palace belonged to the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. During the war the building was almost completely destroyed. The palace has not yet been restored.
The Muslibegovic House was built during the Turkish occupation. The four-story house is divided into two halves – male and female. Thanks to the interior reconstructed in great detail, guests of Mostar can get an idea of how the well-to-do Turks lived.
The Central City Park Zrinjevac is a favorite vacation spot of Mostar citizens, and was renovated and restored in 2007.
Karadjozbegova Jamija is the name of the oldest mosque in Herzegovina, located in Mostar.
Mostar Orthodox Cathedral is considered to be the most beautiful Orthodox Church on the Balkan Peninsula. After the war, the cathedral has not yet been reconstructed.
The Church of St. Peter and Paul was built by the Franciscan Order. The church became a landmark because of its bell tower, the tallest in the country. The building was badly damaged during the war, but was rebuilt.
Visiting museums is one of the best ways to spend your free time in Mostar. Get in touch with the cultural life of the city at the Hrvatski Dom theater. The building with Roman columns hosts exhibitions and other events in Mostar. Visitors to the city are usually impressed by the monument in front of the theater building – a black cube with a cross cut through the middle.
Jumping off the old bridge
Excursion to Kravice waterfall allows you to get acquainted with the surroundings of the city. Tourists are allowed to stand under the fast stream. Travelers going to Mostar are warned against a very dangerous entertainment common among locals – jumping from the Old Bridge. It is believed that a boy should be considered a real man only when he jumps into Neretva from the city’s main landmark. Local residents for a small fee help tourists arrange a jump from a height of 20 m. Despite the fact that only one fatality has been recorded, you should still not take the risk. The depth of the Neretva under the bridge does not exceed 5 meters.
Population of Mostar
Mostar has a permanent population of just over 100 thousand people. The population of the small town is not homogeneous. Here peacefully coexist representatives of different cultural and religious communities.
Most of the residents of Mostar are Croats (over 50%). Many Bosnians are also in the city – 45%. Serbs are relatively rare here. Tourists are welcomed by three different cultures, each of which has its own characteristics. Historically, the population of Mostar has not been divided along ethnic lines, but along religious ones. One part of the inhabitants practiced Islam, while another part practiced Christianity. Muslims were more common among the Bosnians. Croats and Serbs were traditionally Christians. The conventional boundary between the two religious communities lay along the Neretva river, which divides the town.
To shop in Mostar, as in other cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you can use the euro. The national currency of the state is a convertible mark (VAM). It is better to exchange it in banks or hotels, not on the street.
There are a huge number of souvenir shops open in the city. Especially a lot of them near the sights. The most popular among tourists enjoy stores near the house Muslibegovitsy, near the Old Bridge and on the boulevard of the Revolution.
For local color one should go to the central city market, located along the river. It is called Kuyundzluk. Travelers eagerly buy dishes, carpets, oriental sweets and hookahs made locally. The cheapest souvenir is a magnet. Clothing in Mostar is not cheap, but is of high quality.
Not far from the Old Bridge is a grocery market, where they sell fruits and vegetables, grown in the vicinity of the city. The cost of food at the market is much higher than in the store. Local herbal liqueurs are especially in demand among travelers.
Cafes and restaurants in Mostar
Most cafes and restaurants are located in the western part of the city. If a tourist is in Mostar for the first time, the hotel staff is always happy to advise a suitable institution of catering.
You can have an inexpensive lunch at the snack bar. Visitors will be offered pastries or European cuisine, such as pizza. Diner usually do not have tables. You will have to dine standing up. The food in such places is not of high quality. You can enjoy traditional Balkan cuisine in the Rota Grill. The cost of dinner for one person does not exceed 10 €.
The best restaurant in the city is called Sardavan. You can find it in the Christian part of Mostar on the riverbank. The interior of the institution is made in oriental style. Customers are served by waiters in national costumes. Visitors are offered dishes of local and European cuisine. Sardavan is famous for its high quality service and offered dishes. This is one of the most expensive catering establishments in Mostar.
Megi restaurant, specializing in Italian cuisine, became a favorite place for many citizens. It is recommended to visit Hindin Han. You can have lunch there on the terrace, which offers a beautiful view of the city and Neretva.
If it is a popular lunch spot among locals and tourists, reservations are recommended.
Buses are the main form of public transport in Mostar. Most local routes cover not only the city, but also the suburbs. Buses are painted in yellow, so they can be easily distinguished from long-distance transport.
You should check the fare with the driver. The price depends on the length of the trip. Mostar and its surrounding suburbs are divided into 3 zones. Journey to the farthest of them will cost 3 BAM (1.5 €). You can buy a ticket at a special kiosk or from the driver.
Mostar is quite safe during daytime hours. Nevertheless, you should not visit deserted areas. Christians and Muslims try to maintain peaceful relations, but clashes on religious grounds occasionally occur. It is not advisable for visitors to show overt sympathy for members of a particular religious community.
When photographing places of interest, make sure that no local resident is in the frame, especially if it is a Muslim woman. If a conflict arises, do not try to resolve it yourself. It is much easier to call the police by dialing 122. Call 124 for medical assistance. To contact the fire brigade, dial 123.
Telecommunications in Mostar
There are few phone booths in the small town. In order to use them, you need to buy a special card. To reach a caller in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you have to dial 0-city code-phone number. To call another country, dial 00-country-city-code-phone number. You can also buy a local SIM card in Mostar.
In Mostar, preference should be given to small hotels and guest houses. Due to the small number of guests each guest can count on a sufficient amount of attention from the owners or staff. Tourists who have visited the city recommend:
. It is located in the heart of Mostar, so you can easily get from the hotel to any city landmark or restaurant. It is advisable to choose a room on one of the upper floors. The windows of the upper rooms offer a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The average cost of accommodation is 70 € per night. The three-story motel building is located in the historic part of Mostar. The rooms are modestly furnished. Tourists love Motel Emen for the orchard owned by the motel owners. The average cost of accommodation is usually not more than 60 € per night. Travelers are attracted by the cozy, homely furnished rooms, each equipped with cable TV, air conditioning and free wired Internet. The average cost per person per night is 50 Euros. The hotel combines the functions of a guesthouse and a museum, which makes it unique and the most unusual hotel in the city. Bosnian National Monument Muslibegovic House is located in the historic part of Mostar. The suites are furnished with antiques. Regular rooms are decorated in Bosnian style. Rates range from 60 € to 90 €.
How to get to Mostar
Travelers wishing to visit Mostar usually first fly to Sarajevo from their home country. Then you can buy an excursion or reach the city on your own by car, bus or rail. The way from the capital to Mostar by bus takes up to 2.5 hours. The fare will cost at least 20 BAM.
Tourists who want to save on travel and at the same time enjoy the mountain scenery of Bosnia and Herzegovina are recommended to take the train. The fare will not exceed 11 BAM. The train journey also takes 2.5 hours. The disadvantage of traveling by train is that the train from Sarajevo to Mostar departs only three times a day. Buses from the capital in the same direction depart almost hourly.
Mostar is one of the most cozy and unusual European cities, which is a must-see. Most often it is undeservedly devoted only a day, but it is better to stay here a little longer to experience the atmosphere of this wonderful place. There are beautiful mosques, colorful markets and historic estates side by side with abandoned buildings (the city still has not survived the Bosnian war, which happened here nearly 25 years ago) and above all the famous Old Bridge reigns.
Exchange rate for the local currency: € 1 = 1.95 Bosnian Marks (BAM)
The most convenient way to get to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is to take a bus or a car to Mostar. Here you can find detailed information on how to get from Minsk to Sarajevo.
The most comfortable way to get from Moscow to the capital of Bosnia is by plane. Prices for a one way flight start from € 100 – and that’s for 2 change and 20+ hours flight. For a more or less comfortable five-hour flight with one connection you must pay from € 170. You can also go by train first to Zagreb, and there change to Sarajevo. Travel time to Zagreb is 50 hours and costs from €250. Then there is one train a day from Zagreb to Sarajevo. The trip takes approximately 9 hours and the ticket costs from € 30.
From Kiev to Sarajevo you can also fly. The cheapest ticket costs from € 72. Again, the price is only for the 26-hour flight with one connection. For flight with less transit time you will pay from € 150. You can also take a train to Vienna, and from there by bus to Sarajevo.
Further from Sarajevo to Mostar you can get in the following ways: by train, which runs twice a day. The journey is 2 hours, the ticket price – from € 5.50. Or the easiest way is to take the bus, which runs very regularly. The fare is from € 7,50.
Hostels and other budget accommodation options are slowly starting to appear in Mostar, so don’t expect anything decent from them. In principle, they are all similar to each other, including the fact that in each of them you can find a friendly host who will tell you all about his hometown.
The cheapest accommodation option, Hostel Dada (Braće Knežića 7), is a 10-minute walk from the city center. A bunk in a shared six-bed room will cost you €6. A nice bonus: a delicious breakfast is included in the price. A hostess to help you with all the hassles and tell you about the city is priceless. If you go in winter, stock up on warm clothes, the room can be chilly.
Hostel Nina (Čelebića 18) is praised for its homely atmosphere and good hosts. The place is owned by a big family and you have time to get acquainted with each of its members. A bed and breakfast in an 8-bed room costs €7. You can also book a sightseeing tour of the city and its surroundings.
Hostel Tarik (GašeIlića 4) is located right near the Old Bridge. The terrace offers a great view of the surrounding mountains. Night in double room from € 19.
In the hostel Lovely Home (Husrefa Čisiča 11) you will be welcomed with a welcome drink and warm words. You can rent a bicycle inexpensively. A bed – from € 7,50.
Hotel Villa Park (Lacina 3) is a cozy place to stay right by the river. For double occupancy you pay from €21 a night and an extra €3 for breakfast. The hotel is situated 15 minutes from the main attractions.
Villa Anri (Braće Đukića 4) is a hotel built inside a historic building. There are stone arches, traditional carpets and furniture, and tiled floors. In general, everything is as it should be. Bonus is a great view of the surroundings from the balcony. A night here will cost you €50.
The Boutique Hotel Old Town Mostar (Rade Bitange 9a) is located in the historic center of Mostar, near the Old Bridge. This is a small hotel with 10 rooms, each of which is decorated in a very stylish way. Room rates start at € 175 and include breakfast, which can be served at the riverside if you wish.
The five star hotel Mepas (Kardinala Stepinca bb) is also worth your attention. Room rates start at €80 and include breakfast. This price includes a spa, a massage, a Finnish sauna and a gym. The rooms have a panoramic view over the whole Mostar. The hotel is located inside the shopping center, so in the evening you can go to the movies or play bowling.
Mostar is all about history, religion, and nature. Choose the direction you are most interested in – and off you go. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the center – the old town, so you can see them slowly in one or two days. If you want something more, go to the countryside, but we’ll tell you about that, too.
Everyone begins the tour of Mostar from the Old Bridge, a peculiar symbol of the city that stretches over the Neretva River. The bridge is unique because it connects two different parts of the city, on the east side is the Muslim part with mosques, on the west side – the Christian part with churches and churches. The bridge was built in the late 16th century and was almost destroyed during the Croatian-Bosnian conflict in 1993. The bridge was restored only in 2004, for this city residents raised the remains of the old bridge from the bottom of the river. By the way, this bridge is associated with one of the oldest traditions in the city, which appeared in the XVII century. The tradition consists of jumping from the bridge into the Neretva (height of about 20-30 meters, depending on the level of the river). This is how the locals earn their living by waiting for some of the tourists to ask them to jump. Once a year there is also a competition, which brings together jumpers from different countries.
After the Old Bridge you can visit the Crooked Bridge. According to historians, this is where the architect Khayruddin trained before building his masterpiece. The bridge was destroyed after a flood in 1999, but three years later it was rebuilt with the support of UNESCO.
Next you can walk to the Turkish House of Kaitaz (Gaše Ilića bb), which was built in the fifteenth century. This building is an exhibit that will tell you about the time when Mostar was under Turkish occupation. The house for many centuries belongs to one family and today people still live there. The house is open to the public, it preserves authentic household items, traditional clothing, books in Arabic and much more.
When starting the tour of farmsteads, it is worth visiting also Biščevića House (Biščevića bb) . Today, there is also a museum in which you can see the life of wealthy citizens of Mostar in the Ottoman period. The house was built directly above the Neretva, so another plus is the beautiful views over the river. The family also continues to live in this house.
Another estate we recommend you visit, the House of Muslbegovic (Osmana Džikića 41), which is over 300 years old. This museum is inside the walls of the hotel, so if you want authenticity, you can stay right here. In the museum itself you can find household items from different eras, a huge library, and interiors typical of the Ottoman period.
Don’t forget about the mosques: one of them is definitely worth a look. The most picturesque is Koski Meshmed Pasha (Mala Tepa 16) . It is shown as a background for the Old Bridge in many pictures. You can climb up to the terrace and from there you will have a stunning view of the Old Bridge. Or you can climb to the top of the minaret for €6. If you don’t want to climb the minaret, the entrance costs 3 €.
Also if you have energy, you can visit Karadjozbeg Mosque (ul. Braće Fejića) with very cosy inner yard. And finally, look at the Hadji Kurt Mosque (ul. Rade Bitange) from the turn of XVI to XVII century. It’s made of stone, like others, but there are wooden elements, mostly tanners prayed here, that’s why it can be called a “workshop” mosque.
If you want to visit the nature, you should go to the waterfall Kravice, 40 km from Mostar. Its waters fall from a height of 25 meters directly into the canyon that surrounds the place. The area of the waterfall is a national reserve, but despite this, you can swim here in the summer.
When you will walk through Mostar, you here and there will be surrounded by abandoned buildings – this is the post-war “heritage” of the country. If you’re interested in the dark tourism and not only, then this section is for you.
The sniper tower was a bank before the Bosnian War. But during the war it was taken over by snipers to shoot people from below. It is forbidden to enter here, but you can get in. You can climb to the top of the tower and see the city from above. A bonus is a lot of different graffiti painted on the walls.
It is possible to visit the memorial partisan cemetery (Kralja Petra Kresimira), which now stands in a dilapidated state. It is dedicated to the Yugoslav partisans who died during World War II.
Not exactly in Mostar, but not far from it, in the village of Hnjnice, is an abandoned aircraft hangar. This place used to be a top secret facility full of various fighter planes. Today the hangar stands completely empty and an unnecessary reminder of a bygone era. By the way, you can get to the hangar on your own or with a tour. Such an option is offered by a local operator.
In Mostar there are quite a few snack bars and bakeries, also called “ashchinitsa”, where you can eat. Most often they serve cevapcici, pita, burek, as well as grilled fish and meat dishes.
A great place is Buregdzinica Fast Food Musala (Ose Grebe 1) . Here you can grab a bite of Bosnian pies, kebabs, and burgers, all for a small price.
Check out Urban Grill (Mala Tepa 26), which has a great view of the Old Bridge. It serves traditional Bosnian dishes as well as pasta, omelets, fish, and fried meats.
Stari Grad Cafe (Onešćukova 2) offers sandwiches, fries, sausages, and beer from the barrel. Right in front of the cafe there are coppersmiths, who make their handicrafts during the day.
You can drink inexpensive coffee at a cozy Caffe Bar La Dolce Vita (Onešćukova). Sometimes there are broadcasts of soccer matches.
You can also have a coffee at Cafe Karma (Jusovina) . As a bonus, while drinking coffee, you can catch jumpers from the Old Bridge, located behind the cafe.
The best restaurant in town is Tima-Irma (Onešćukova bb) . It is a small family restaurant, which is more than 30 years old. It serves national dishes, of which you should definitely try ćevapi and pljeskavica, as well as meat dishes and kebabs, for which this place is so famous. The portions are huge, so don’t rush to order everything at once.
Another great place is the Sardvan restaurant (Jusovina 11). Tables are placed around the fountain, in which you can also wash your face. The interior is done in Turkish style and all the waiters are dressed in national costumes. The menu includes national dishes as well as vegan and gluten-free options.
Café de Alma (Rade Bitange) is a great cafe where you can drink real Bosnian coffee. Often the owner himself comes out to the visitors and tells them all about the process of making coffee and how to drink it properly.
For breakfast, head to Café Niđe Veze (Husnije Repca 3). It is a great place for omelets, pancakes, salads, pizza and sandwiches. Plus, the place is near the river, so you can hang out here for a long time.
For European food, check out Hindin Han (Jusovina bb), located in a building that looks like an old mill. The menu includes grill, Dalmatian-style squid and fish, and Austrian-style schnitzel. Portions are large and prices are reasonable.
The Food House restaurant (Rade Bitange 12 ) is a rather traditional Bosnian-style place. That said, it serves vegetarian and vegan dishes. Try the dolma here.
Tourists and locals alike go to Babilon restaurant (Tabhana bb) for a plate of cevapi with sauce as well as Herzegovinian wine. Other dishes to try include a plate of assorted meats, locally made Bosnian cheese and soups. Service is fast and portions are large.
Black Dog Pub (Jusovina 5) is a great place to spend an evening. Almost every night a different musician performs here, for announcements go to their Facebook page. The place is popular among travelers, but still has an authentic atmosphere due to its location away from tourist trails.
We suggest Ice Bar (Vukovarska 7) . There is a large selection of alcoholic drinks and cocktails, a lot of young people and good music.
Caffe Bar Marshall (Rade Bitange is one of few bars in Mostar that are open all night long. The bar is located inside a historic building made in traditional style. The place itself is small but cozy and with pleasant atmosphere.
Ljetna Bašta Oscar (Onešćukova 33) is an excellent bar located in the garden. The place is very popular among young people, because here you can smoke hookah, in the menu there are many different flavors. The bar is great for chilling: in the garden there are giant cushions, hammocks and sofas.
In Wine&More (Vokićai Lorkovića 91), as one understands from the name, you can drink wine. There is an excellent card of dry and semi-dry wines. Bar is located in the historic city center.
Shankly’s Pub (Ante Starcevica 54) is popular for its large beer selection. It offers live music in the evenings.
The pub Beer ti&ja (Kneza Višeslava) has a huge selection of beers from local breweries. According to travelers, it has the lowest prices compared to other bars.
A new Taboo Bar & Restaurant (Vukovaska) opened relatively recently in Mostar. Here you can both have a good meal and dance.
You can watch soccer and drink beer at Spago Pub (Zalik 1) .
In the city go shopping not in shopping centers, but rather in local stores or bazaars. This is the only way to bring home something authentic and unusual.
The best place to start your shopping is the old bazaar (Kujundzije) in the city center. This beautiful old cobblestone street, which appeared in the middle of the XVI century. Here you can find everything from modern magnets to traditional craft stores. The place is rather designed for tourists, so the prices here are overpriced, but you can still find something worthwhile.
If you want to buy something traditional and high-quality, go to Art Studio Pandur (Kujundžiluk 4). You can buy handmade carpets, paintings, copperware and jewelry.
For food and local specialties go to the city market (Mala Tepa) . Here you can buy a variety of fruits and vegetables, and infusion of local herbs, for which all come here. The prices here are much higher than in the usual supermarkets or stores.
You can buy unusual jewelry and hand-made watches in Namfleg (Jusovina).
If you need to buy something practical urgently, be it shoes or clothes, go to Mepas Mall (Kardinala Stepinca) . This is the most usual modern mall. There is also a food court, where you can eat. Here are a few more shopping centers: Piramida shopping center (Dubrovačka) and Rondo (Krešimira IV) .
Almost all bridges of Mostar are covered with small pebbles – river pebbles, so it is best to wear comfortable shoes without heels.
Bring clothes that will cover your legs and shoulders. You will need this when visiting mosques, as well as Orthodox and Catholic churches.
Most of the time in Mostar you will have to pay in cash, in many places they accept euros.