Mostar is a picturesque historical town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a distinctive Ottoman and post-medieval architecture. The Old Bridge of Mostar, the Neretva River flowing under the bridge with its amazing blue waters and the historic stone houses on the banks of the river are iconic. Mostar is popular destination for the ones who travel through Bosnia and Herzegovina or as a day trip from Dubrovnik, Split or Kotor. If you are visiting Mostar for short time, here is what to do in Mostar in one day.
An alternative to a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar
For the ones who are staying in Dubrovnik and planing a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar, I would like to mention our trip as an alternative. For the dilemma of choosing a day trip to Mostar or Kotor from Dubrovnik, we chose to visit them both. First, we drove to Kotor from Dubrovnik. After a pleasant day in Kotor, instead of turning all the way back to Dubrovnik in the evening time, we drove to Mostar from Kotor. Thus, by spending the night in Mostar, we could start exploring Mostar old town early in the morning. In addition, we had the whole day to visit other places outside Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina.
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Mostar Old Town, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar old town is so beautiful! Undoubtedly, The Old Bridge of Mostar (Stari Most) is the highlight of this charming city. The Old Bridge is an iconic structure in the Balkans and was a symbol of 1992-95 Bosnian War. Originally, it was a 16th century Ottoman structure, and was fully destroyed during the Bosnian War. In early 2000s, it was beautifully reconstructed and was inscribed on Unseco’s World Heritage List along with the Mostar Old Town, because of its symbolic value of reunification.
Coming from Turkish Balkan heritage myself, we had Mostar Bridge’s needlepoint embroidered picture (goblen art) hung on the wall of my childhood home. My mom had embroidered carefully all the details of The Old Bridge and streets of Mostar Old Town in that picture. That’s why, I woke up early on our day in Mostar and went to the exact point where the girl in mom’s Mostar embroidery stood and took the same picture that is hung on my parent’s walls!
Things to do in Mostar in one day
1. Walk across The Old Bridge of Mostar (Stari Most)
I have walked on many historical bridges before, but I must say The Old Bridge of Mostar is nothing like them at all. You walk through a steep incline to reach the top of the bridge. On the top, you can see that it is really a high bridge hanging over the beautiful Neretva River. Also, you would notice on the bridge, that some men are sitting at the edge of the sides of the bridge. Don’t panic, as I did, they are kind of show divers. They collect money from the tourists, trying to sum up to 50€ or so. After they have the money, they jump from the high bridge and dive into the cold waters of Neretva River.
2. Explore the cultural and architectural heritage from Ottoman times
Bosnia and Herzegovina is quite different from the other countries in the Balkans, since Bosniaks are predominantly Muslim. (Other religious groups in the country are Eastern Orthodox Serbs and Roman Catholic Croats.) You would notice the minarets of the mosques and bell towers of churches in the skyline of Mostar.
Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque, which is dating to 17th century, is a good example of Ottoman architecture in Mostar. Also, the mosque offers some striking views of the Old Bridge and the Old Town from its minaret or its garden.
Muslibegovic House and Biscevic House, that both can be visited as museums, are historical Ottoman houses showcasing some authentic objects and furniture. We went and found them on foot and admired their beautiful architecture.
The Old Bazaar stands at the side banks of the Old Bridge. There are many shops at the Old Bazaar. If you are into shopping, you would definitely find some very authentic stuff. In addition, you would definitely notice the polished round cobblestones under your feet. They look as hand polished one by one, they are so unique! Walking, shopping, spending time at the Old Bazaar would positively transfer you to medieval Ottoman times.
Certainly, try Bosnian coffee, a heritage from Ottoman times. But as a warning, don’t dare to call Bosnian coffee, Turkish coffee! They are very sensitive about that. Turkish coffee is prepared by putting cold water, coffee, sugar in a “cezve” pot and and then slowly brewing it. Whereas, Bosnian coffee is prepared by putting coffee in hot water and not adding sugar at all. Turkish coffee is served in cups, but Bosnian is served in its “dzezva” pot with a cup and sugar cubes aside. Nevertheless, pour your Bosnian coffee from the traditional copper dzezva, sip slowly its thick foam and enjoy the beautiful Mostar and the little things in life.
3. Dip your feet in cold waters of Neretva River
During crossing The Old Bridge, the view of greenish blue Neretva River under us, attracted me immediately. We found the path leading to the river and once more were awed with the view of the bridge, this time with the viewpoint under the bridge. People were jumping off the bridge, diving into the river and swimming. We weren’t as brave as them for sure, but at least dipped our feet in the crystal clean waters of Neretva. Oh my, it was freezing cold! In fact, did you know that, Neretva River is the coldest river in the world! Once more, I appreciated the bravery of all the people jumping and swimming in it!
4. Explore the sad remnants of Bosnian war
Although Mostar is a great touristic city and Bosnia and Herzegovina is a totally safe country to visit as a tourist, the sad memory of the Bosnian War in 1990’s is still very fresh in people’s minds. Besides doing touristy things in Mostar, you also can see the remnants of the war by just walking a few steps off the polished touristy sites. There were houses with multiple bullet holes just a few streets away of the old city. I noticed some city parks, turned into graveyards during the conflicts. Just a few reminders of how devastating the wars is and how precious is the peace…
5. Enjoy the delicious Bosnian food
Bosnian food is so delicious! Two dishes that you should definitely try when you are in Bosnia and Herzegovina are cevapi and burek. Cevapi are fingerlong shaped kebabs, perfectly grilled and served with pita bread, some pepper paste and cream. Definitely, we had cevapi accompanied with ice cold Bosnian beer for every meal we had in Bosnia Herzegovina!
On the other hand, burek is a kind of filo pastry or a stuffed pie, filled with minced meat or cheese, coiled into spiral shape and perfectly baked. Flaky, a bit greasy but so yummy! We went a found a pastry shop early in the morning for breakfast and enjoyed our steaming bureks right out of the oven.
Where to stay in Mostar
Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Cuprija (Booking.com score 9.4 / for more than 990 reviews) is a perfect choice for a memorable accommodation in the middle of the Old Town, just steps away from the Old Bridge. It also offers a great breakfast and quadruple rooms for the ones who travel as a family.
Hotel Almira (Booking.com score 9.1 / for more than 460 reviews) is another choice in the Old Town which is quite a budget friendly accommodation. It offers breakfast, free garage parking and has many triple and quadruple room options as well.
For more choice and prices of Mostar Hotels, please click here.
Places to visit near Mostar:
Next, we hit the road again and explored Blagaj Tekija, Pocitelj Historic Village and Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Click at my blog post below for information about those places.
Most beautiful places to visit near Mostar
Check out my posts for my whole Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina trip