It is no surprise that Mostar Old Town is the most frequented place to visit in Bosnia & Herzegovina, as it is one of the most charming and beautiful cities. There are a number of things to do in Mostar such as spending time sipping Bosnian coffee and viewing the famous Mostar Bridge.
Most people only come to visit for a day, but I’ve put together a 2 day Mostar itinerary including a few nearby sights that are a must to see!
Bosnia & Herzegovina may be a small country, but it is a traveler’s delight as it has a gorgeous, lush countryside, warm locals, and fantastic cuisine. You will see trees and rivers of emerald-green that look as if they have been photoshopped.
A Brief History Of Mostar
Sadly, Mostar didn’t always have the tranquil feeling it does now. In the early 1990s, Bosnia & Herzegovina was hit hard during the Bosnian War (1992 – 1995).
During that time, both Sarajevo and Mostar were bombed and severely damaged with Sarajevo getting the most of it.
Prior to the war, Bosnia & Herzegovina was part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia but became independent in 1992.
Locals in Mostar have since come together and rebuilt what was destroyed. This country has seen its share of struggles since then but shouldn’t be overlooked because of its unstable past.
It is a European gem that you should add to your list of places to see when traveling in the Balkans!
A Few Things To Know
Bosnia & Herzegovina is currently not part of the European Union yet, so make sure you have your passport if driving in from another country like Croatia or Kotor, Montenegro.
Even though they are not part of the European Union, they generally accept the Euro currency everywhere. You can also use the official currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is the Konvertibilna marka (BAM) or the Croatian Kuna.
If you have an extra day and want to visit Sarajevo, then this full-day tour to Sarajevo will be a great experience. You will learn about Sarajevo’s history, the destruction from the war, see stunning architecture, and see the site of the 1984 Olympics.
Mostar is a very laid-back town where you can slow down and take your time wandering without having to feel rushed. Without question, it will capture your heart and here are the top reasons Mostar is worth visiting!
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What To Do In Mostar Day 1
1. Enjoy A Bosnian Coffee
There is no better way to start the day than with a cup of coffee. And since you are in Bosnia, you have to try a traditional Bosnian Coffee (somewhat similar to Turkish Coffee).
If you haven’t tried either, just know that it is going to be very strong!
The process of making it is what sets Bosnian coffee apart from its Turkish cousin. Bosnians consider having a coffee as an excuse to have a conversation.
They believe that “the world stops when coffee is poured” and in a way that is so true!
There is definitely a technique to pouring a Bosnian coffee and I must admit I struggled with it a little at first. Begin by placing the chewy, sugary like candy into the cup. I actually liked nibbling on these tasty treats.
Next, pour the coffee over the top of the sugar cube and slowly keep pouring being careful not to toss in the coffee grounds. It reminded me of a very strong espresso. I am so glad I tried it and shared in that experience!
Tip: Two great places to try traditional Bosnian Coffee and close to Stari Most (Old Bridge) are Stari Grad Cafe and Cafe De Alma. Stari Grad is great if you want to sit back and watch people coming and going off the bridge.
2. Admire Stari Most (Old Bridge)
The number one spot in the entire city to visit is the Mostar Old Bridge in my opinion. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason, as it is a landmark to appreciate and preserve with its challenging past.
Originally built in the 16th century, Stari Most connects the two parts of the city over the Neretva River in what I like to think of as a romantic and fairy-tale-like way. It is architecturally one of the most beautiful arched bridges and what has put Mostar on the map for tourism.
Although the bridge you see today is not the original Old Bridge. It is an exact replica rebuilt in 2004 after it was destroyed by a bomb in the Bosnian War in 1993.
The Old Bridge was attacked as a way to hurt the town’s movement to and from each side of the river. Both locals and people from different regions came together to repair the destruction Mostar suffered and build the bridge again.
The craftsmanship that went into rebuilding the bridge is phenomenal. Stari Most has always been seen as a symbol of beauty and strength but even more so now.
It demonstrates the resiliency of the Bosnian people when faced with such devastation.
And even though it is not the original “Old Bridge”, it truly does look just like it. To really appreciate Stari Most at all angles, walk along both sides and even go below on the Neretva River’s edge to get a different vantage point.
Tip: Make sure that you don’t wear flip flops or any shoes that don’t have a good grip. And if you do, walk carefully over the bridge as the stones can get slippery even when it doesn’t rain. Take advantage of walking on the raised stones!
3. Watch People Dive Off Mostar Old Bridge
Depending on the time of year you are visiting, you might get to see professional divers jumping off the Stari Most bridge. The diving takes place during the summer months, and I have heard it is very impressive to see.
The divers will wait to collect money and once they have enough to their satisfaction, get ready to be blown away by their talent!
I visited in May and there was no diving to see at that time as Mostar was getting more than unusual amounts of rain.
Oh, and I hope it goes without saying, DO NOT try diving off the bridge yourself! Leave it to the professionals…
4. The “Don’t Forget” Stone
As you walk through the arch towards Old Bridge, turn around before you walk onto the bridge. You will see the “Don’t Forget” Stone that is sitting on the ground of the archway.
This small stone is a reminder of the Bosnian War and the horrible devastation that Bosnians endured during the 1990s.
Although the Mostar you see today is so tranquil and peaceful, it wasn’t always so. The stone is to remind people visiting that the war was not that long ago in history.
When you see the “Don’t Forget” Stone, make sure to pay your respects and take a moment to realize the loss this city experienced. As you glance around the city reflect on how much strength Mostar has and how far it has come.
Note: There is another “Don’t Forget” Stone on the opposite side of the river at the end of the cobblestone market street.
5. Shop Old Town’s Čaršija (Old Bazaar)
Čaršija means “Old Bazaar” and is the market area across the bridge along the cobblestone streets running parallel to the Neretva River.
Nestled in the heart of Mostar’s Old Town the bazaar has numerous vendors that are selling rugs, copper items, painted plates, and handicrafts.
As you are walking through, you can definitely feel the Ottoman influence throughout.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that none of the merchants were pushy but rather pleasant and helpful. That is a rarity that I have experienced in other countries.
If you happen to get up early, you might get the chance to wander the cobblestone streets all to yourself! It is also a vibrant area that is great for taking photos.
6. Museum of the Old Bridge
I highly recommend visiting the Museum of the Old Bridge (Stari Most). It is located right off of Stari Most before you walk along the cobblestone street of vendors. Built in 2006, the museum serves to provide the history of the Old Bridge.
It goes in-depth on info about the Old Bridge (original Old Bridge) and the rebuilding of the Old Bridge (new Old Bridge) post the destruction of the war. It makes more sense when you are there!
There are photographs, videos, and artifacts with great detail on how both locals and people from all over came together to fix the bridge. Everyone involved showed their passion to make Mostar great once again.
It is humbling and heartbreaking to see what Bosnians had to experience but I think it is important as visitors to try to understand this period in history.
There are three sections that your admission will get you into. The first part is in the Tara Tower that climbs 5 floors.
On the top floor, peek out and get a bird’s eye view of the Stari Most and Old Town. Then walk over to the ruins underneath the base of the bridge followed by the third section of photographs and videos.
7. Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque
This beautiful mosque can be seen from all around Mostar, especially its tower. If you are standing on Stari Most, you can see the mosque’s tower at the end of Old Town and is a perfect photo backdrop.
Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque was built in the early 1600s by the Ottomans and is a lovely mosque to visit. It also saw a lot of damage during the Bosnian War and was rebuilt like Stari Most. Inside the mosque there is bright-colored stained glass and carpets throughout.
There is a fee to go in for 8 Euros which includes walking up to the top of the minaret. The tower is very narrow and steep, so it is difficult to climb when there are a lot of people. I lucked out and was the only person there.
If you are claustrophobic or scared of heights due note that it might be a little unnerving, but I promise it is worth it.
The winding staircase up the minaret is in total about 88 steps and will get your heart rate up for sure. Once you reach the top, be ready to be wowed with a 360-degree view of Mostar.
This happens to be the best view of the Stari Most (Old Bridge) as you get more of an aerial view of it.
For this reason alone, it is a must see in Bosnia! Do be careful as the balcony is tiny (like really tiny).
Tips: Although I wasn’t asked to cover up, do dress respectfully, and make sure your shoulders are covered as with any other church you may visit. To avoid the crowds, try to go early or later in the day to make going up the tower easier.
8. Have A Traditional Bosnian Dinner
At this point, you are likely hungry and ready to try some excellent Bosnian dishes! Some of my favorite places to eat are Sadrvan Restaurant, Tima-Irma, and Hindin Han. I would recommend eating at one for dinner and trying another one for lunch or dinner on Day 2.
Bosnian food is a mixture of Balkan, Yugoslav, and Middle Eastern cuisines and is so delicious! Although you can find vegetarian dishes, meat does seem to be the centerpiece of many meals.
The main meats are lamb, beef, and chicken cooked (usually grilled) with the tastiest spices and sauces.
A few traditional Bosnian dishes to try are Maklube (meat, rice and fried vegetables in a pot) and Cevapi (grilled minced meat with pita bread and raw onion on the side). Or try Burek which is a meat-filled pastry that is cut into sections like a pizza.
Another favorite that I found mouth-watering is Klepe that is similar to a ravioli pasta filled with minced meat and a creamy garlic sauce. Oh, and for dessert Baklava really hits the spot…
Mostar Tour Options
Things To Do In Mostar Day 2
9. Spot Kriva Cuprija
Kriva Cuprija also known as the “Crooked Bridge” is a smaller version of Stari Most that doesn’t get nearly as much attention.
It is older than Stari Most and said to have been built to test the construction of the future Stari Most. You will find it to be much quieter than the crowds surrounding its famous sister.
There is even a restaurant and hotel named after this bridge, the Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Cuprija that can be seen from the quaint bridge.
Another restaurant that is close and I mentioned earlier is Hindin Han that has great food.
10. Visit The Monastery In Blagaj
After seeing all the top things to do in Mostar, now it’s time to visit the best villages nearby! Make your way to Blagaj which is about 20 to 25 minutes southeast from Mostar.
If you plug Blagaj Tekke into your GPS, you will have no issues getting there. Situated on the Buna River, Blagaj is one of those places where your jaw will drop at its spectacular beauty.
The star attraction in Blagaj is Blagaj Tekija, a 600-year-old monastery. It was built by Dervish monks at the base of where the steep cliff meets the Buna River. It makes for a dramatic and gorgeous landscape.
Ready for lunch by now? Just walk across the bridge and take your pick of restaurants opposite from Blagaj Tekija.
I chose to eat at the restaurant that I thought had the best view. At the time I visited, Bosnia was getting an incredible amount of rain which was unusual for May. As you can see in the photos, the river swelled up and over onto the patio terraces of the restaurants.
Watching the Buna River flowing out from the cave at the base of the cliff, it is easy to become mesmerized by the sound of the gushing water.
After breaking the trance you are in, head back over the bridge and pay a visit to the Blagaj Tekija monastery.
You can go inside and see the different prayer rooms but do note that you need to remove your shoes. Females need to be covered up but luckily, they provide long wrap-around skirts and large scarves for you to use to cover your head and shoulders.
Tip: Depending on the season, you can even take a boat ride for a small fee into the cave.
11. Wander The Village Of Pocitelj
After visiting Blagaj, head to the very charming village of Pocitelj about 35 minutes away. If you originally drove from Croatia, Pocitelj will be on your way to Mostar (about 30 minutes from Mostar) off of the E73/M-17 road.
Enter in the Adem’in Yeri Café which will take you to the right spot in Pocitelj. If you blink too fast, then it is quite easy to pass Pocitelj as it is a small village!
It might be tiny, but don’t overlook this gem of a walled medieval village along the Neretva River. It is located up on a hill nestled among the green foliage.
Once you park, there are a few places to eat or get a “Bosnian style” coffee. Don’t forget to bring cash with you as there are several locals who are selling fresh fruit, preserves, and nuts.
I highly recommend buying some as they are so sweet and delicious on top of being a great road trip snack!
I saw it as a way to also give back to the local community as they are hard-working people that could really benefit from your purchases.
As you climb up the steps to the various levels, you might even see a local working in their garden where all the yummy fruit comes from.
Pocitelj is a historic urban spot that still has locals living there although many were displaced after the war in the 1990s. As you explore the village, it will feel as if you have stepped back into time to a simpler and quieter era.
It is currently on the tentative list to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site and very deservingly so. It is a very peaceful historic town with welcoming locals to greet you.
As you make your way up the cobblestone steps to the top of the village, you will be met with gorgeous views of the town and the Neretva River below. A few notable sites to see while in Pocitelj is the Gavrakapetan Tower of the Old Fortress.
You can’t miss it as it is at the top and a perfect place to take in the views from. Another pretty sight to see is the Mosque of Sisman Ibrahim-Pasa that sits snugly among the greenery.
12. Admire Kravice Falls
If you have time and are heading back in the direction of Croatia, you must stop to see Kravice Falls on the way.
From Mostar, the Kravice Falls is about a 40-minute drive or 30-minutes from Pocitelj. Kravice may not be as famous as Croatia’s Krka or Plitvice, but they are a spectacular wonder to see!
You can easily spend a few hours or up to a day depending on your schedule. Make sure to bring your swimsuits and towels to take a dip into the refreshing water. The waterfalls are an impressive 28 meters high (or ~ 92 feet).
After swimming in the lake and falls, enjoy a beer as you bask in the sun. There are places to get snacks and drinks in case you don’t bring any.
Tip: If you love chasing waterfalls then make sure you visit Plitvice Lakes in Croatia where you can see over 90 waterfalls!
What To Do In Mostar Bonus Attractions (if time allows)
13. View The Sniper Tower
Visiting the Sniper Tower is an eerie and sad reminder of the devastation that Mostar experienced during the Bosnian War in the 1990s.
Prior to the war, it was a bank and the tallest building in Mostar. Today, it is a skeleton of what it once was covered in holes left by thousands of bullets.
It became a significant building in the war as its height was the perfect vantage point for snipers attempting to protect the Croatian side of Mostar from the Yugoslavian army.
You will find graffiti art both on the outside and inside of the building, but I do not recommend going inside. For obvious reasons, it is not safe to enter as steps, floors, or walls could collapse at any time.
14. Spot The Bruce Lee Monument
One of the most unique things to do in Mostar is finding the life-sized Bruce Lee statue in bronze. The statue can be found near the Sniper Tower in Park Zrinjevac.
So, why in the world is there a statue of the famous karate superstar? I’m not really sure as there doesn’t seem to be much information on why other than his statue symbolizes solidarity and a reminder that good can win.
In 2005 at the time his statue was erected, it was much needed in the community when there was much ethnic division between Mostar’s Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian residents.
But regardless, it is a cool attraction in Mostar to come across!
15. Visit Muslibegovic House & Biscevic House
If you have already visited the Museum of the Old Bridge and you enjoy history, check out Muslibegovic House & Biscevic House.
The Muslibegovic House is known as the Bosnian National Monument, a small museum inside a well-preserved Turkish home that also happens to be a hotel.
It is a great way to learn more about the Turkish influence in Mostar and see artifacts and exhibits from the 18th century.
The Biscevic House nearby and along the Neretva River is also a historic Turkish home dating back to the early 17th century. You have the chance to see how people lived during the Ottoman era.
Best Hotels In Mostar, Bosnia
Wondering where to stay in Mostar? I recommend staying as close to Mostar Old Town as possible. That way you can just step outside and be close to all the top Mostar attractions.
Due note that there is a large percentage of Bosnian Muslims so you will hear the call to prayer on loud speakers 5x per day starting at 5:00 am and ending at 10:00 pm.
Tip: An easy way to remember is to look for places in walking distance to Stari Most (Old Bridge). A few places that are great choices to stay at are:
Where Is Mostar?
Mostar is located along the Neretva River in the southwest region of Bosnia & Herzegovina fairly close to the Croatian border. It is an easy drive from either Dubrovnik (2.5 hours) or Split (2 hours) in Croatia.
And Mostar is a little over two hours from Sarajevo which is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
How To Get To Mostar, Bosnia
If you flew into Bosnia, you will likely arrive at the Sarajevo International Airport (SJJ) which is a little over 2-hours northeast from Mostar.
When booking a flight, check flying into Split or Dubrovnik as there might be more options to find the best deal.
In my opinion, the best way to enjoy Mostar and nearby attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina is by car. The only other option you have is to take a bus with limited times or go on a tour.
Driving in Bosnia is very easy, safe, and peaceful throughout the countryside.
Driving distance from the following cities are:
Sarajevo, Bosnia: 77 miles (124 km)
Dubrovnik, Croatia: 93 miles (150 km)
Split, Croatia: 100 miles (161 km)
Kotor, Montenegro: 116 miles (187 km)
If you are coming from Dubrovnik, Split, or Sarajevo, and would like to visit Mostar via a tour, explore the best tour options below. Of all the cities, coming from Sarajevo or Dubrovnik to Mostar day trip would be the quickest to and from.
Best Tours In Mostar Take
Walking Tour Of Mostar – learn about the history of Mostar’s old town on this guided tour.
Wine Tasting In Mostar Experience – Sip local wines from Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Tour Of Blagaj, Pocitelj, & Kravice Falls – see all three sights on a guided day trip from Mostar!
Dubrovnik To Mostar Day Trip – includes visiting Mostar and Kravice Falls!
Mostar Day Trip From Split – includes visiting Mostar and Kravice Falls!
Day Trip From Sarajevo Tour – visit Mostar, Blagaj, Pocitelj, and Konjic.
Map of Mostar, Bosnia
Tips For Visiting Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Stay hydrated while touring the city with a filtered water bottle or a reusable water.
- Wear super comfortable walking shoes as you explore the city!
- Carry a travel umbrella or light rain jacket in case it rains.
- The sun can get hot and intense. Use reef-safe sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Use the Google Translate app when there is a language barrier!
- Always carry cash on you to pay small vendors.
- Don’t worry about your phone battery dying with this portable power bank.
- A travel adapter to charge your electronics.
- Have plenty of these handy travel wet wipes to clean your hands on the go!
- Pack ear plugs and/or a compact sound machine to mute early morning prayers on loud speakers!
- Make sure to get travel insurance in case anything goes wrong and protect your trip investment.
- Use a crossbody purse to keep your valuables and money in front of you at all times.
- Don’t lose your jacket or sweater and use this travel clip to secure it to your backpack or purse.
- Need luggage for your upcoming trip? Get lightweight luggage to travel with ease!
FAQs About Visiting Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Yes! Mostar is worth visiting as it is one of the most picturesque places in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From the famous and beautiful Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva River to its colorful buildings, winding cobblestoned streets, fabulous cuisine, rich history, and the warmest hospitality.
The best time to visit Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina is best enjoyed May through October when the weather is optimal. The mid-summer months might offer the warmest weather, but it will also be the most crowded.
To get the best weather and fewer crowds, go in the shoulder season of May, June, September, and October.
I visited in May, and it happened to be highly unusual weather with a ton of rain. It wasn’t normal for that time of year, but it was still a wonderful time.
During the months of November through April, some of the places to eat and attractions will be closed or have limited hours. During this period, you will experience the most rain and temperatures will range between 37 F and 65 F (3 C and 18 C).
Mostar is famous for its stunning arched Stari Most (Old Bridge) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cobblestoned streets, emerald-green Neretva River, Bosnian coffee, a rich history, friendly locals, and delicious Bosnian cuisine.
Although you can see all the main Mostar attractions in 1 day, I recommend staying 2 – 3 days to enjoy this charming town and see neighboring villages of Blagaj, Pocitelj, and Kravice Falls.
If you are looking for more of a quaint, fairytale- like town with beautiful scenery, walkability to main sights, places to eat, and more then Mostar is the best option. Sarajevo on the other hand is a much larger city and would require a little more time to explore compared to Mostar.
Yes, I felt completely safe walking in and around the old town center of Mostar surrounding the Old Bridge. But as with any city, don’t wander on your own at night or in neighborhoods you are not familiar with far from the historic center.
The main language spoken throughout Mostar and the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Bosnian. But in the majority of restaurants, hotels, and attractions, locals speak enough English to converse.
Have Google Translate app on your phone if you want to learn basic Bosnian phrases or communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English.
The currency used in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Konvertibilna marka (BAM). Commonly referred to as the Convertible Mark. In Mostar, they also generally accept Euros and Croatian Kuna. Most hotels and restaurants take major credit cards but do carry some cash for smaller vendors.
The food in Mostar is quite delicious! Top Bosnian dishes to eat are Cevapi (grilled minced meat), Klepe (creamy ravioli), Dolma (stuffed peppers), Ajvar (roasted peppers & eggplant on bread), kebabs, Bosnian Lonac (stew), and Baklava the number one desert in Mostar. Many are heavily centered around meat with beef and lamb most commonly served.
Before You Go…
If you want to visit another small and quaint town within 2.5 hours of Mostar, make sure to explore my post on Trogir, Croatia along the Adriatic Sea a read!
Enjoy spending 48 hours in Mostar and have a fun trip!
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Vanessa Shields is the founder of Traveling Ness helping people with trip ideas, itineraries, travel planning, and boosting confidence for female travelers to take a solo trip. She has been a travel writer and content creator since 2019.