Mostar – Things to do in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar is the second city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was ravaged by war and is still divided into Croat and Bosniak sides. Things to see in Mostar include;
- Stari Most Bridge (UNESCO site)
- Cobbled Streets (UNESCO site)
- Sniper Tower
- Destroyed Buildings with Bullet Holes
- Neretva Hotel
- Hammam Museum
- Karadjoz Bey Mosque
- HSK Zrinjski Stadium Tour
- Day Trips from Mostar
I stayed in the Hotel Kapetanovina which has 24 hour balcony views over the Stari Most Bridge in addition to the UNESCO area of Mostar.
Stari Most Bridge (UNESCO Site)
Stari Most means Old Bridge in English. The original Ottoman old bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian war. Afterwards, in 2004, UNESCO restored the bridge and designated the surrounding area a UNESCO world heritage site. As a result, the cities tourism industry is growing around this famous bridge. In Tara Tower is the museum of the old bridge. The museum explains the history of the bridge, specifically you can learn about the bombing and reconstruction of it. Furthermore there is information about some archaeological remains discovered underneath the tower.
Cobbled Streets (UNESCO site)
The Old Bridge area is a UNESCO world heritage site. This area has been completely restored since the Bosnian war. Anywhere surrounding the bridge which has cobbled streets is part of the UNESCO heritage site. On these cobbled streets are restaurants, bars, cafes as well as lots of souvenir shops. The old bridge and surrounding cobbled streets are an Instagram worthy location in Mostar. In addition, this part of Mostar has a Crooked bridge (Kriva Cuprja). This crooked bridge is the smaller and more peaceful equivalent of the Stari Most. The crooked bridge crosses the Radobolja which flows into the Neretva river.
Sniper Tower was the headquarters of a prosperous Yugoslav bank. Unfortunately during the Siege of Mostar the bank was destroyed and the building became a Sniper Tower. Today it’s possible to enter and ascend the tower for a panoramic view over the city. Learn how to enter the Mostar Sniper Tower and see Mostar from a snipers point of view. Additionally, surrounding the Sniper Tower are several war torn buildings.
Destroyed Buildings with Bullet Holes
As you walk around Mostar you’ll see hundreds of bullet hole ridden buildings. There is still a huge cultural divide in Mostar. Consequently, one half is Bosniak and the other half is Croat. For this reason, a lot of the destroyed buildings are on the borderline between these 2 cultures. Additionally, the Bosniak side has several destroyed buildings, especially outside the UNESCO zone.
The Neretva Hotel is located on the banks of the Neretva River. It was built during Austro Hungarian times and was the iconic hotel of Mostar throughout the Yugoslav period. However, it was severely damaged during the Siege of Mostar and today remains a ruin. Its fate was the same as the Stari Most, lets hope UNESCO come along and save this iconic landmark too!
The Hamam museum is a restored Turkish bath from the 16th century. The museum explains the hammam culture but unfortunately you cannot take a Turkish Bath. As a result, I only recommend a visit to photograph a historic Turkish Bath.
Karadjoz Bey Mosque
The Karadjoz Bey Mosque is a 16th century Ottoman mosque. It was almost completely destroyed during the Bosnian war but has since been rebuilt. Today, it’s regarded as the most beautiful mosque in the region as well as the largest. Additionally, it’s worth visiting the stunning interior but preferably not during prayer times! Surrounding the mosque is a pedestrian walkway as well as the main shopping district of the Bosniak side.
HSK Zrinjski Stadium Tour
HSK Zrinjski is a Croatian football club which was banned during Yugoslav times. In fact their stadium was built for a Bosniak team called FK Velez. As a result of the Croat Bosniak fighting and the fact the stadium is in the Croatian side of Mostar, the stadium was taken by HSK Zrinjski after the war. Read about the HSK Zrinjski stadium tour experience and club history. Consequently, FK Velez had to relocate on the Bosniak side!
Day Trips from Mostar
There are several picture perfect locations in western Bosnia and Herzegovina. I visited several in a very good value private taxi organised through Hotel Kapetanovina. Picturesque locations you can visit on a day trip from Mostar include, Kravice Falls, Blagaj, Pocitelj, Stecci Tombstones (UNESCO site) as well as Stolac. Additionally you could visit Sarajevo on a day trip but I recommend more time in the Bosnian capital.
How to get from Mostar to Sarajevo
There are regular buses from Mostar to Sarajevo. As a result you can turn up at the bus station anytime and it’s unlikely you have a long wait. Bus tickets are very cheap and the journey to the capital city takes less than 3 hours.
Sarajevo to Banja Luka