Mostar is a city in the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was hit hard during the war in the early 90s. Today, it’s starting to grow as a travel destination and rightly so as the city is filled with a rich cultural history and stunning attractions that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world. The present is the perfect time to explore all that the country has to offer while still seeing the remnants of its war-filled past. The most popular attraction in Mostar is the Stari Most, or the Mostar Bridge, which is a stunning example of Ottoman architecture connecting two major points of the city. Other attractions also include the Dervish House, the carsija, and Kravice Falls.
© Boris Stroujko/stock.adobe.com
Popularly known as Mostar Bridge or Old Bridge, Stari Most is a 16th-century Ottoman bridge which connects two points of the city over the River Neretva. The rebuilt and renovated structure is named after bridge keepers, or mostaris, who would guard the bridge during medieval times. The original bridge, which was built in the early 1960s, stood for over 400 years before it was destroyed during the Croat-Bosniak War. The rebuilt bridge took three years to complete and was open to the public in 2004. It is an outstanding piece of Balkan Islamic architecture and should not be missed during a trip to Mostar.
Address: Stari Most, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Dervish House, or the Blagaj Tekija, is a Dervish monastery that is over 600 years old. The stunning structure can be found on the outskirts of Mostar, Bosnia at the base of a cliff with the source of the River Buna flowing beneath it. Pictures do no justice to the unique and picturesque setting of the calm location. Visitors will find themselves in awe as they stand within the monastery’s presence, especially when they realize that its history dates back to the height of the Ottoman empire. Though natural deterioration has occurred over time, you’ll be glad to know that much of the reconstruction you see today remains true to the original structure.
Address: Blagaj bb, 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-61-37-10-05
3.The ‘Don’t Forget’ Stone
You’ll find not one, but two, ‘Don’t Forget’ stones while exploring the marvelous city of Mostar. One can be found at one end of the Mostar Bridge and reads “Don’t Forget ‘93” to serve as a reminder of the city’s sad history and the civil war that ravaged it. The other stone can be seen along a cobblestone street by the bazaar, and it too serves as a reminder of the war and the impact it made on the local community. The stones are now seen not only as a reminder of Mostar’s past, but also as a symbol of strength in a country trying to rebuild itself.
In the heart of Mostar’s Old Town, you’ll find a lively and charming little market also known as a carsija. The carsija is actually separated by the Mostar Old Bridge, a division which symbolizes the separation of Bosniak and Croat ethnic groups to the locals but is not noticeable to the eyes of those who don’t know the underlying tensions of the past. You should explore the markets on both sides of the river, as you’ll fall in love with the feel of the place that transports you back in time. You’ll find local artisans and vendors selling everything from rugs and Turkish coffee to an array of fun souvenirs perfect for friends and family back home.
Bridge diving is a local artform that dates back to the mid-1660s. Though you’ll be able to see it in many places across Mostar, one of the most popular locations to view a number of acrobatic heroes jump off a bridge and dive perfectly into the River Neretva is at the Mostar Old Bridge. For a small fee, you can see these brave men jump off of the bridge which is at least 20 meters high! The practice has become so popular over the years that there’s even an official annual competition now thanks to Red Bull’s cliff diving competition. Though it’s exhilarating to watch, visitors are asked not to attempt the jump themselves as it requires a lot of practice and could be dangerous.
© Nikolai Sorokin/stock.adobe.com
Standing at 80 feet high and nearly 400 feet wide, Kravice Falls is one of the most popular natural attractions to visit when in Mostar. A part of the River Trebizat, the falls are frequently visited by locals and tourists throughout the year. In addition to taking in the stunning sight of the roaring waterfall, you can also spend hours picnicking, hiking the surroundings, and even swimming in the refreshing waters. They even have a designated picnic area, a little cafe, and a fun rope swing that is popular with visitors of all ages. If you really want to spend some time there, plan to camp at one of their beautiful sites, surrounded by nature at its finest.
Address: Studenci bb, Studenci Ljubuški 88320, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-39-83-23-40
Originally the residential complex of the Muslibegovic family, the house of the same name is now a renowned private hotel and local attraction which displays the full extent of the Ottoman architectural style of the buildings. The monument complex comprises a towering entrance gateway and surrounding walls, and within it you’ll find a residential building, two courtyards, and several movable properties which have been added over the years. You can choose to stay in one of the twelve renovated hotel rooms or just visit and explore for a few hours. One of the most valuable exhibits you’ll come across at Muslibegovic House is a manuscript of the Quran which dates back to 1855.
Address: Osmana Džikica 41, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-36-55-13-79
8.Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
© V. Korostyshevskiy/stock.adobe.com
The Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque is a small yet architecturally rich religious structure which dates back to the 17th century. It is an excellent example of Ottoman architecture in Mostar and is a monumental local attraction that encompasses much of Mostar’s local history. The mosque itself dates back to the year 1618 and was founded by Mehmed Koskija, the reporter of the great vizier Lala Mehmed Sokolovic. The colorful interior of the space as well as the towering dome is quite beautiful to take in. You’ll also be able to see several artifacts such as a carpet which was gifted by Austrian monarch, Frajo Josip.
Address: Mala Tepa 16, Mostar 80807, Bosnia & Herzegovina
9.War Photo Exhibition
© War Photo Exhibition
While visiting Stari Most, or the Old Bridge, be sure to take in the War Photo Exhibition which is housed in the western tower guarding the bridge. The collection of approximately fifty photographs were taken by New Zealand based photojournalist Wade Goddard. They are a stirring visual representation of the civil war that ravaged Bosnia and Herzegovina and are sure to invoke a number of feelings within you. You’ll be able to see a peek of what life was like for the local people during that time, while also being able to measure the damage that was done to a number of historical structures and sites.
Address: Stari Most, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
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Kriva Cuprija, or Crooked Bridge as it translates to, is actually a miniature version of Mostar’s more famous Stari Most (Old Bridge). It was built eight years prior to the famed Old Bridge, in 1558, and is believed to have been something of a trial for the more daring construction that followed. Even Kriva Cuprija was destroyed in the early 2000s, but more so because of natural circumstances and river flooding. It was rebuilt in the years that followed, and today visitors can visitor an integral part of Mostar’s history. Stand in the middle and see the Radobolja River flow beneath it as the beauty of the city surrounds you.
© Comugnero Silvana/stock.adobe.com
Offering great food and fantastic service, Hindin Han is a restaurant popularly patronized by both locals and tourists. The food is extremely delicious, and their menu has so many choices for you to pick from. Try popular favorites like the stuffed calamari or the aromatic and juicy grilled fish. Their renowned for their barbecue as well as their array of steak seasoned and cooked to perfection - ensuring that you have a satisfying meal after a day of sightseeing in Mostar. If the weather is nice, which it usually is, be sure to opt to sit outdoors so you can take in the views as you dine.
Address: Jusovina, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-36-58-10-54
© Restoran Harmonija
Restoran Harmonija, or Harmony Restaurant as it translates to, is a lovely place for you to indulge in local and international cuisine. They have a wonderful indoor and outdoor seating placement that is both comfortable and contemporary. Their outdoor seating area is extremely popular with patrons as the views of the flowing Neretva River and the surrounding city are absolutely breathtaking. The menu is filled with original and modern options which offer the best of both international and Mediterranean cuisine. Be sure to try out their meatball pie, the beefsteak with mushrooms, and the National Platter which lets you try a little bit of all of their specialties.
Address: Rade Bitange 18, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-36-58-03-42
© Olga Iljinich/stock.adobe.com
Offering their patrons fabulous views of the Old Bridge and panoramas of the surrounding city, Babilon is one of the most picturesque restaurants in all of Mostar. Patrons have visited time and again for over 20 years and their delicious food, reasonable prices, and friendly wait staff continue to impress diners till today. Their mixed plate of traditional Bosnian foods is a crowd favorite and gives you the opportunity to try many different local culinary concoctions. No matter how particular the palate of your company is, dining at Babilon guarantees that everyone leaves with a full stomach.
Address: Tabhana bb, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-61-16-49-12
The dishes served at Sadrvan use recipes which have been passed down for generations, and even today the chef prepares them using authentic ingredients and tried-and-tested techniques. The menu is filled with local delicacies, letting you savor the flavors which Bosnia and Herzegovina are renowned for, while also offering you a selection of wines from several vineyards all across the country. House specialties include the veal cutlet, breaded brain, Parisian chicken chop, and the grilled calamari. Be sure to keep some space for desserts like their homemade baklava, pancake, the domestic cake, or the fruit salad filled with seasonal favorites.
Address: Jusovina 11, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-61-89-11-89
Konoba Goranci is a tavern restaurant that has been filling the stomachs of locals and tourists with delicious food since 1993. The interior of the tavern is filled with various antiques that have been passed down to members of the family-owned dining establishment, as well as an array of historical motifs. Their local cuisine ranges and include several top culinary specialties which the dining establishment has become renowned for. Start with some foundry cheese or an octopus salad and move on to mains like their juicy hamburger or fried frog legs seasoned with local spices. Have a pancake stuffed with your choices of nuts, jams, chocolates, and creams for the perfect end to your meal.
Address: Pod Jelom bb, Goranci 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-36-38-11-67
© Cevabdžinica Tima-Irma
A family owned and operated restaurant that has been running for over 30 years, Cevabdžinica Tima-Irma is a wonderful dining establishment that can be found in the heart of the Old Town of Mostar. Patrons are guaranteed mouthwatering cuisine that is fresh and delicious, quality service, and an ambiance that will show you the rich culture and traditions of Mostar’s past. If you’re not sure what to pick, opt for the specialty Miješano Meso which has a little bit of everything for you to feast on. For a more fun experience, dine in their outdoor patio area where you can take in the surrounding views as you eat.
Address: Onešcukova 7, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Phone: +387-66-90-50-70
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16 Best Things to Do in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Stari Most, Photo: Boris Stroujko/stock.adobe.com
- Blagaj Monastery, Photo: 9mot/stock.adobe.com
- The ‘Don’t Forget’ Stone, Photo: jkraft5/stock.adobe.com
- Carsija, Photo: erikzunec/stock.adobe.com
- Bridge Diving, Photo: CHG/stock.adobe.com
- Kravice Falls, Photo: Nikolai Sorokin/stock.adobe.com
- Muslibegovic House, Photo: iza_miszczak/stock.adobe.com
- Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Photo: V. Korostyshevskiy/stock.adobe.com
- War Photo Exhibition, Photo: War Photo Exhibition
- Kriva Cuprija, Photo: babble/stock.adobe.com
- Hindin Han, Photo: Comugnero Silvana/stock.adobe.com
- Restoran Harmonija, Photo: Restoran Harmonija
- Babilon, Photo: Olga Iljinich/stock.adobe.com
- Sadrvan, Photo: Šadrvan
- Konoba Goranci, Photo: EdNurg/stock.adobe.com
- Cevabdzinica Tima-Irma, Photo: Cevabdžinica Tima-Irma
- Cover Photo: Freesurf/stock.adobe.com