Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Much of the city has been rebuilt and visitors might be surprised to see that this formerly war-torn city is a lively and beautiful destination once again, particularly the area within and around the old town. However, many visible signs of Mostar's troubled history in the 1990s remain.
It used to be one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, and today it suffers geographical division of ethnic groups. The city was the most heavily bombed of any Bosnian city during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the breakup of Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the war, air strikes destroyed many important buildings and structures, including the cultural and spiritual icon: the Old Bridge (Stari Most), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mostar has been most famous for this beautiful historic Ottoman-style bridge, which spanned the Neretva river in what is considered the historic centre of the city. Through combined efforts with the international community, rebuilding of the Old Bridge was completed in 2004, almost 11 years after its destruction, using some of its original stones recovered from the Neretva river.
- 1 Mostar Main (east) bus station (Autobuska stanica Mostar), Maršala Tita. 07:00-20:00. The main transit terminal for buses and trains, located on eastern part of Mostar, close to Carinski bridge and University of Dzemal BIjedic.
- 2 Mostar (west) bus station (Mostar - zapad), Vukovarska. 07:00-21:00. Bus station in northwestern part of Mostar
There are many buses (first at 06:00, last at 19:55 - approx. 1 per hour) from Sarajevo to Mostar. There are also many buses from Mostar to Sarajevo (first at 06:00, last at 18:15 - approx. 1 per hour). Journey takes 2½ hours and costs 17-20 KM (depends on bus company). Timetable is available here, but not all buses are listed.
Bus timetables are online, but not all connections are listed. Frequent buses run between Mostar and Ploče, Dubrovnik (2 per day, 3-4 hours, 30 KM), Split (4 hours, 125 Croatian kuna), Zagreb, Podgorica, Jajce (3½-4 hours, 19 KM), Banja Luka, Belgrade (2 per day) and most cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- 3 Mostar train station (Željeznička stanica Mostar), Maršala Tita. Platforms are opened 30 minutes before train departure.
There are two trains daily from Sarajevo to Čapljina via Mostar, leaving Sarajevo in the morning and in the afternoon. In the other direction, there's an early morning train from Čapljina around 06:00 and around 16:00. Schedules can be found the website of ZFBH. The scenery on the train between Sarajevo and Mostar is stunning, passing through rugged terrain with a series of tunnels, U-turns and viaducts. It is much more picturesque, as well as cheaper, to travel between these cities by train rather than by bus.
One way ticket costs 11 KM (October 2017) and has to be purchased at least 5 minutes before the scheduled departures.
There is a regular bus connection from Dubrovnik for 126 kunas (October 2017).
Mostar is easily reachable from Western Europe via Croatia. From, Zagreb take the A1 (green signs for Karlovac, Split and Dubrovnik). There is a border crossing Nova Sela - Bijača, and the motorway continues in Herzegovina until the end at Međugorje. Then just follow the signs to Mostar on the remaining 30 or so kilometres of two-lane road. There are plans build a motorway all the way to Mostar, but this might take several more years.
From Sarajevo it's a two-hour scenic drive through the Neretva river valley. This route is also planned to be upgraded to a motorway.
- 4 Mostar International Airport (Međunarodna zračna luka - Aerodrom Mostar), Ortiješ bb, PP 04. (OMO IATA) is in the village of Ortiješ, 7.5 km south southeast of Mostar's railway station. There are seasonal flights to destinations in Italy including Rome, Naples, Bari and Bologna, as well as Dublin and Katowice from summer 2022.
- 1 The Old Bridge (Stari Most). 24/7. The original bridge built by the Turks in 1566 was destroyed in 1993, but rebuilt in 2004. The bridge is the highlight of Mostar and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main site in Mostar, if not Bosnia. The bridge is 21 m high and you will frequently see members of the Mostar Diving Club dive off the bridge. It is customary to give the divers a few marks after they make the jump. Free.
- 2 Old Bridge Museum (next to the Old Bridge). Includes exhibits on the history of the bridge, a panoramic view from the top, and entrance into the excavations below, along with a video detailing the reconstruction of the bridge. It opened in 2006, commemorating the second anniversary of the bridge's reconstruction. 5 KM.
- 3 Muslibegovića House (Muslibegovića kuća) (located near the Karađoz Bey’s Mosque). Open for visitors 15 April – 15 October from 10:00-18:00. Constructed 300 years ago, it is considered the most beautiful Ottoman period house in the Balkans. The house comprises separate quarters for women (women’s courtyard – haremluk) and men (men’s courtyard – selamluk). Unlike earlier architectural styles, this is a four-storey house built around the centre. Double-arched entrance with the central pillar reveals Mediterranean influence. The house is a preserved authentic monumental structure along with items and documents providing an insight into the life of a wealthy bey family from the time. In addition to museum exhibition, visitors are invited to take traditional beverages and biscuits, or spend a night. 4 KM.
- 4 Museum of Herzegovina (Muzej Hercegovine). Daily 08:00-16:00. Has a small collection of photographs from various phases of Mostar history, including a small exhibit on a native son who was Prime Minister of Yugoslavia for 6 years. Also shows an excellent video on the recent history of the Old Bridge. 5 KM.
- 5 Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque (Koski Mehmed-pašina džamija), Mala Tepa 16. Small but pretty Ottoman mosque built in 1618 that was destroyed during the war but rebuilt with Turkish financial support. Climb the minaret for spectacular views over the town. Ascending the minaret is not recommended to those with claustrophobia, but the 192 step climb rewards with a superlative view of the Old Bridge. Entry: 7 KM, with minaret access: 14 KM.
- 6 Karađoz Bey Mosque (Karađoz-begova džamija) (Old town). Ottoman mosque built in 1557; central mosque of Mostar. Entry: 3 KM, with minaret access: 5 KM.
- 7 Cemetery (next to Karađoz Bey Mosque in the Old town). A park turned into a cemetery in 1993 when the dead needed a place to be buried and other cemeteries were inaccessible due to the war.
- 8 Ottoman house (Bišćevića kuća), Bišćevića Street. An Ottoman house, where you only can see the few rooms in upstairs. 4 KM.
- 1 Watch locals dive off the Old Bridge. Members of the Mostar Diving Club will dive off the bridge into the emerald green waters, but first they will try to collect some money from tourists. Do not attempt this yourself. The waters of river are at a constant 12°C, and going suddenly from 30°C to 12°C can cause a heart attack among even the fittest. The young local men diving would hose themselves down first in order to lower their body temperature before diving. The best place to watch this is below Old Bridge on shore of Neretva river.
- 2 Walk Along the Former Front-line, on Bulevar Revolucije. Here, in 1993 the city was divided between Croats on the west and Bosniaks on the eastern side. It is a surreal and sobering experience to see the bombed-out buildings which still stand in this area only 5 m from the division.
- 3 Zvonik mira (Bell Tower). Visible wide around the city. Take the elevator up the bell tower next to Sveti Petar i Pavao. 6 KM.
- Drink Bosnian coffee. Don't let anyone tell you that Bosnian coffee is the same as Turkish coffee. Instead, let the good people of Cafe de Alma (Rade Bitange not far from the bridge) educate you about this distinct way of preparing coffee. They are the only roasters in town and they are passionate about preserving this tradition. The café will serve your coffee in a traditional coffee set, plus a Turkish delight to sweeten your drink, all for €1, 2 KM or 8 Croatian kunas. Before you drink your coffee, the staff will explain to you how it is prepared and how best to enjoy it.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (KM or BAM) is pegged to the euro at a rate of €1 = 1.95583 KM. Shops and restaurants will accept euros at a 1:2 rate with the Bosnian convertible mark. Croatian kuna are also widely accepted in Mostar, with 4:1 rate to KM. Numerous banks have their affiliates and ATMs across the city. Most restaurants in the Old Town will accept cards and there is an ATM next to tourist company across Restaurant Kulluk and Europa.
From 2016, fast and free Wi-Fi provided by TGM is available in the vicinity of the Stari Most (Old Bridge).
Around the Old Bridge
- 1 National Restaurant Ćevabdžinica Tima - Irma, Onešćukova bb (Old Town), ☏ . Ćevapčići: €3.
- 2 Konoba Taurus, Onešćukova b.b..
- 3 Behar, Jusovina.
- 4 Moon Star Caffe & Pizzeria, Rade Bitange bb.
- 5 Rota, Onešćukova 7.
Around the Karađoz Bey Mosque
- 6 Aščinica "Saray", Karađozbegova 3, ☏ . A great place to have cheap and good dishes. Prices range from €2.5 to €6 for a big meal. From 1 KM.
Around the Meppas Mall
- 7 Grill Bruno, Kralja Tvrtka 7.
Around the Must Musala bridge
- Roma, Stjepana Radića 21 (near Mercator shopping centre, not far from Zrinjski stadium). Great pizza.
- Hindin Han, Jusovina bb, ☏ . Highly recommended, although service is slow.
- Kulluk, Kurluk 1, with direct view on Stari Most, ☏ . Great view overlooking the Stari Most.
- Labirint, Kujundžiluk bb. Great view overlooking the Stari Most. Part of Hotel Bristol.
- Nacionalni Restoran M&M, Mostarskog bataljona 11 (across the Hotel Bristol), ☏ . Decent mixed grill. 5-20 KM.
- Veranda (In the Biosphere Shopping Centre), ☏ .
Plenty of bars and cafés in the Old Town.
- OKC Abrašević (Omladinski kulturni centar "Abrašević"), Alekse Šantića 25. Bar with alternative concerts and other art events, founded on the former front line of the last civil war. There is a small book-exchange on the second storey.
- Ali Baba's Cave. This bar has drinks and hookah; the ambiance is great as the lounge was built directly in a cavern. You won't be able to miss it while walking around the bazaar in Mostar's Old Town, as there is loud music emanating from the entrance.
- Black Dog Pub, Jusovina 5. Daily, 16:00-midnight. Fantastic pub with a great atmosphere and lots of locals, tucked away beside the Radobolja river. Charming building with a terrace and the odd live band playing. Draught beer 3-5 KM.
- Studio Lounge, M. Balorde (Old town). An open-air bar on top of a high building with jazzy/world music and a great view over the town. Sometimes live bands; keep your eyes open for posters when walking in the Old town.
- GuestHouse Taso, M. TITA 187 (3-min walk from Old Town), ☏ . Free Wi-Fi, tours around Mostar. Free pick up service 24 hr. €11 dorm; €22 private double.
- Hostel Golden Bridge, 45 Mladena Balorde (From bus/train station intersection, turn left 300 m down Mladena). Small hostel with a family atmosphere, staffed by the outrageous Stephan, kitchen, parking, Wifi. Thoroughly recommended. Dorms €7-9.
- Hostel Majda's Rooms, Pere Lažetića 9 (5-minute walk from the bus station), ☏ , , [email protected]. This is the first hostel in Mostar. The owner, Majda, is very friendly and will bend over backwards to accommodate you, suggest restaurants, bars, sights and day trips. Free internet, TV, kitchen, linen. Homecooked breakfast and coffee for free every morning. A city tour is offered. Dorm bed: €10.
- Hostel Miturno, Braće Fejića 67 (situated on the left bank of river Neretva, 50 m away from the fruit market overlooking the Old Bridge), ☏ . Cool clean hostel in the Old town. Free Wi-Fi, staff speaks very good English. €11 dorm; €20 private.
- Zdrava Hrana (near the center), ☏ , . Apartment and hostel. Dorm bed: €10; Single: 30 KM; Double: 50 KM.
- Hostel Nina (close to the old city, 200 m away from the Old Bridge), ☏ , . Clean hostel in the Old town. Free internet, staff speak very good English. Free pick up from the bus/train station can be arranged. In their own bar on the Old bridge you can taste local drinks for local prices; first round is always on the house if you are a guest of the hostel. €10-15.
- 1 Hostel Bojo, bed & breakfast, Braće Šehovića 11 (close to the Old Town area, 500 m away, on right bank from the river in area called Donja Mahala), ☏ , [email protected]. In the pedestrian zone of Mostar centre, about 500 m from the Old Town, Hostel Bojo offers air-conditioned rooms with lockers for each bed, free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. Guests can use the shared garden's seating area with free barbecue facilities. Has a common room with cable TV, and guests are welcome to use a shared fully equipped kitchen with dining area. A shared bathroom with shower and hairdryers are available. €11.
- Hotel Bevanda (at Balinovac). Mostar's only luxurious four-star hotel. It's in a quiet area with beautiful nature and a river running under hotel, yet it's not more than 15 minutes walk from the historical centre of the city. The hotel has a capacity of 28 rooms and two luxurious apartments. All rooms have access to a mini bar, Pay TV, internet adapter and balcony. There are both rooms for smokers and non-smokers. Here you will find a big restaurant, café, and a huge terrace outside lying on the river Radobolja. Also a hotel garage as well as outside parking are available.
- Hotel Bristol (right side of the Musala bridge), ☏ . 45 rooms, a restaurant, and two conference rooms. The rooms have air-conditioning, telephone, new bathrooms and satellite TV. The restaurant has a capacity of 150 seats inside and outside. The Musala square across Neretva and Korzo Street in front of the hotel are two of the most frequented places in the city, which gives this hotel something extra.
- Biba (Mostar Old Bridge View Villas), Ismeta Pihe Krese 11, ☏ . Three furnished two bedroom apartments with terraces on Neretva River directly over looking the Mostar Old Bridge.
- Motel Deny Mostar, Kapetanovina 1 (In a centre of the Old town just 50 m from the Old bridge), ☏ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:30. 10 rooms with air-con, cable TV, bathroom with shower, balcony with a view on the Old town and Old bridge, restaurant closed type, parking and internet wireless connection which is free of charge for guests.
- Villa Demadino, Muje Bjelavca 5, ☏ . Spotlessly clean. €48.
- Motel Emen (Old Town). 6 rooms. Free internet.
- Oscar Pansion Summer Garden, Onešćukova 33 (10 m from the bridge), ☏ . Rooms are very clean, with television and air-conditioning and the price is surprisingly low.
- Pansion Anja Mostar, Gojka Vukovića 102c (2 min from bridge on major road), ☏ . Rooms are quiet and spacious, equipped with TV and balcony. Bathroom spotless, owner Marijana friendly and with good English. €15.
- Shangri-La Bed and Breakfast (near the Old Bridge). All rooms with TV, internet, air-con, bath. Parking provided.
- Villa Sann, Lacina 14 (2 minute walk from the main east Mostar bus stop.). The Old Bridge is just 10 minutes by walking. Private parking for guests at a fee.
- Villa Sara, Sasarogina br. 4 (From the station head to the bridge and turn left just before reaching it; continue for about 3 min down the street), ☏ . Nice location, decent beds. Rooms on the second floor have the quickest access to the terrace with a view of the city and the hills. Dorm bed: €10; double: €25.
- Hotel Pellegrino, Braće Fejića 1 (10 minutes walking from the Old Bridge), ☏ . More of an apartment complex than a hotel. Excellent breakfast. €68.
As of 2022, the Mostar Bridge and all with tourists tightly packed places still attract the odd pickpocketers to rip off the unsuspected old lady, but probably not anyone reading this travel guide.
Many of these areas are hard to reach with public transport; however, transfers with bigger taxi companies are cheap (somewhat controlled) and several agencies such as Herzeg Day Tours offer guided tours.
- 1 Počitelj - a well-preserved walled town (municipality of Čapljina) dating back to 1383 that is 35 km south of Mostar. It is reachable by public transport by taking yellow bus #41 towards Čapljina for around 30 minutes. Excellent view of the Neretva River. During the Middle Ages, Počitelj was the administrative centre and centre of governance of county Dubrava župa. The town has a few small restaurants, coffee shops and street vendors selling local grown fruits and souvenirs most of the year.
- 2 Blagaj - a village 12 km southeast of Mostar. It is reachable by public bus 10/11/12 in 20-25 minutes (2.1 KM, stops in Španski trg in front of the Gimnazija). The bus may leave from the road opposite the main station, not the bus station itself, but can be caught at several stops in the city. At Blagaj, a karst river flows out of a mountain. It's very beautiful, with deep blue water. A historic tekke is built into the cliff (entrance 10 KM). Women must wear headscarves to enter the tekke. Trout are farmed in the river, and several excellent restaurants serve trout with seating on the riverbank. There is an impressive ancient fort with amazing views on top of the mountain. The area around the fort is doted with countless pomegranate trees—so being there in fall, you will have a delicious time. To reach the fort, follow the road past the village's old town and then ask where the trail starts, or just follow the road (keep right) to where the road swerves left (you'll see several ancient gravestones) and you'll find the path on your right. The trail is about 2 km. You can pitch your tent in the fort or in one of the numerous campsites in Blagaj directly adjacent to the Buna river. Velagićevina (the Velagić family House) was built in 17th century and is a beautiful example of the Ottoman residential architecture, a one-storey structure with typically extended porches. In the vicinity there are also old flour mills that were powered by the strong Buna River.
- 3 Međugorje, 25 km from Mostar, is exceptionally popular among catholic pilgrims due to an alleged apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to youths in the town. Buses depart from the bus station every few hours.
- 4 Stolac - an old Ottoman town with the medieval cemetery of Radimlja (Nekropola Radimlja), the Illyrian site of Daorson and the palaeolithic cave painting at the Badanj Cave (Pećina Badanj).
- 5 Kravica Waterfall gorge, 25 km north of Mostar, is popular for outdoor sports such as biking, hiking, canyoning and climbing. The Drežanka River is a tributary of the Neretva, and the two rivers join in an artificial hydropower lake. Take a bus in the direction of Drežnica; there are buses which go to the end of the gorge, Gornja Drežnica. Or take the train in the direction of Sarajevo and get off at train stop Drežnica, approx. 30 min. There are several camp sites and basic accommodation, although you will need your own sporting equipment.
- Ploče, Croatia - is the nearest seaside town to Mostar, and is easily accessible with numerous daily buses and weekend trains in summer. Beaches are nicest for swimming north of the city, especially further on Baćina lakes and on east at delta of Neretva river.
- Čapljina - is closest town between Mostar and Metkovića first town across border to Croatia, known for old town Počitelj and Mogorjelo with Roman archeological site (villa rustica).
- Međugorje - as international pilgrimage for Roman-catholics from all over the world
- Jablanica - town between Mostar and Konjic, home to Dugopolje necropolis and bridge monument from WW2.
- Sarajevo - as main and biggest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina