Famous for the beautiful historic Ottoman-style bridge that underwent destruction during the war around 11 years ago, Mostar remains one of the most popular attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is small and can be explored on foot within a few hours, including the main attractions around the old town. Here are some of the must-do activities I highly recommend:
Stroll across the Old Bridge - Stari Most
There are plenty of good spots for photographs around the Old Bridge, but you may want to get further away from it as it gets extremely crowded during most of the daytime. Keep in mind that the short path across the bridge can be very steep and slippery, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. You may see some locals preparing to jump down for a dive, but they are possibly just attempting to ask for money from tourists before doing so .
Shopping for souvenirs at the Old Town
Around Mostar’s Old Town there are many souvenir and antique shops. I found the prices here slightly cheaper than in Sarajevo, so it’s a good spot to buy souvenirs if you are into sending friends some postcards or small gifts. Their traditional metal antiques are quite stunning but fairly expensive compared to the price level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I recommend buying only a pair of metal earings or a wooden flute, for example.
Visit a mosque
If you are into learning more about the history and different religions of the country, check out an Ottoman mosque, such as Koskimehmed Pasina Dzamija, and houses including Muslibegovica House and Biscevica House. Next to the Bey Mosque, there’s also a cemetery worth checking out.
Enjoy local foods
On one side of the path leading to the Old Bridge, there are plenty of excellent local restaurants offering traditional food at decent prices. One of my favourites was Irma Tima. Some of the must-try local foods are cevapi and burek . Keep in mind that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cuisine has a lot of meat dishes, so it may be challenging to find vegetarian or vegan restaurants.
Picnic at a park or river bank
Located a bit outside of the touristy Old Town area, Zrinjevac Park is a good place for families to relax. There’s a playground for kids. You will find a statue of Bruce Lee, a Hong Kong / American martial artist as well. Also on one side of the Old Bridge down at the riverbank, there are plenty of young locals chilling for a picnic with friends.
Around this area, there are also several buildings with hidden street-art to discover. Many international and local artists come here to express their creativity with the various kinds of art that you can find in public places nowadays, making art more affordable and visible in the city.
Make a short trip to Blagaj
A must-see attraction not very far away from Mostar (about 20 minutes’ drive) is Blagaj. Taking an organized tour by private car, with hostels such as Mirror Hostel, can save you time and effort with finding good public transportation connections or hitchhiking. The round-trip including a guided tour around the place only takes 1 - 2 hours, and it costs 14 BAM (8 USD).
Must-knows while traveling in Mostar
The city is well-surrounded with hostels and villas with decent prices - around less than 20 BAM (11.29 USD) for a dorm bed during low season. There are good bus connections between Mostar and surrounding big cities. Make sure to know the bus schedules one day before your departure date by asking at the the bus station information desk, or have your hostel receptionist call to the station.
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