The Perfect 1 to 2 Day Mostar Itinerary

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by Maggie Turansky


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Those looking to explore the Balkans or dip their toe into Bosnia & Herzegovina are likely to plan a 1 or 2 days in Mostar itinerary if they’re planning on visiting this historic place.

Because of its small size and relative proximity to neighbouring Croatia, many tourists in Mostar opt to visit the city as a day trip from Split or Dubrovnik. And while you can certainly see a good portion of this compact city in the span of a few hours, it is far more worthwhile to a couple of days exploring Mostar and its surroundings.

If you have the time to include it as a proper stop on your itinerary and are wondering what to do in Mostar, then make sure to follow this guide so you get the most out of your visit to this Bosnian city.

Is Mostar Worth Visiting?

Well, likely I wouldn’t be writing an entire article on a city that wasn’t worth it to visit, so I would have to answer that question with an emphatic “yes.”

Mostar has a ton to offer visitors and though it is small in size, you’ll find it hard to get bored if you plan on spending one or 2 days in Mostar.

The city is incredibly historic and it’s also one of the most beautiful in the region, with impressive views of the Stari Most, the cobbled old town, the deep blue-green of the Neretva River, and the dotting of minarets that pepper the skyline.

Mostar's iconic Stari Most
Mostar’s iconic Stari Most

It is one of the most interesting places to visit in the entirety of Europe and its mixture as both a historic Ottoman-era town to its more recent Austro-Hungarian influences make it unique among other cities on the continent, as well.

Mostar has a fascinating history and it is also one of the best places to visit if you want to learn more about Bosnia & Herzegovina’s heartbreaking role in the Balkan wars of the early 1990s.

Mostar was actually the second-most destroyed town in all of former Yugoslavia during the conflict in the ’90s, just after Vukovar, Croatia. You can still see many of the scars of the war in Mostar to this day and it remains one of the most ethnically divided cities in Europe.

Getting To & Around Mostar

Mostar is a popular place to visit amongst tourists and locals alike in Bosnia and Croatia, so you will be able to find numerous bus connections there from many other neighbouring cities both domestically and internationally.

For instance, there are very frequent bus connections between the capital of Sarajevo to Mostar every day and there are also a handful of trains that leave daily, as well.

From further afield, Mostar is well-connected with cities like Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia and you can also reach the city from Kotor, Montenegro.

Mostar Old Town is quieter in the evening
Mostar Old Town

Once in Mostar, all you need is your own two feet to be able to see most of the city. Mostar is quite small and compact and, besides that, the entirety of the Old Town is pedestrianised so you have to get around on foot anyway.

Also, contrary to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, Mostar is relatively flat so you’re not going to have several steep hills to contend with during your sightseeing.

It is worth noting that the cobblestones in the old town can be fairly uneven and slick, so it is worth wearing good footwear to avoid slipping or twisting any ankles. Basically, flip-flops are a bad idea.

Neretva River at dusk
Neretva River at dusk

1 to 2-Day Mostar Itinerary

If you only have 1 day in Mostar spend it exploring the main sites within the city and its old town. Your second day should be spent exploring some of the surrounding area.

Day 1 – Explore the Old Town

Bosnian Coffee

Start your morning with a caffeine boost at Cafe de Alma, located close to the Hamman Museum in the Old Town.

This is one of the only coffee shops in Mostar that roasts its own beans and its incredibly friendly, helpful and passionate owner is more than happy to teach you all about the culture of Bosnian coffee while also showing you how to properly drink it.

Bosnian coffee is very similar to traditional Turkish coffee and that is due to the Ottoman influence in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Contrary to the “grab and go” coffee culture common in North America, Bosnians cherish their coffees by sitting down in a cafe and sipping slowly and enjoying some leisurely conversation. So take some time in the morning to do as the locals do and sip a delicious Bosnian coffee!

Traditional Bosnian coffee from Cafe de Alma
Traditional Bosnian coffee from Cafe de Alma

Stari Most

After you’ve been sufficiently caffeinated, it’s time to head to one of the most famous and iconic Mostar attractions — the Stari Most, or Old Bridge. No visit to this city without walking across this historic site at least a few times and it is one of the best things to see in Mostar.

This bridge was originally constructed in the 16th century by Ottoman architect Mimar Hayruddin (who was an apprentice of famous architect Mimar Sindin — the man responsible for designing Istanbul’s famous Blue Mosque). At its highest point, the bridge stands at about 22 metres above the Neretva River, depending on how high the water is at the time of year.

Until 1993, the bridge stood in its original construction from the 16th century. It was, however, almost completely destroyed on the 9th of November 1993 by Croatian forces during the Balkan wars. It was reconstructed to look exactly as it did originally and was officially opened to the public in 2004.

Though the vast majority of the bridge has been recreated, the first eight steps on either side of the Stari Most are the original from the 16th century.

If you’re fortunate enough, you might be able to see a local diver make the 20+ metre jump from the highest point of the bridge. Divers collect money from tourists on the bridge throughout the day to raise money for the diving club, and there are usually a couple of jumps that occur each day.

It is truly something that is interesting to see, especially when you can observe the incredible technique of the divers as they plunge into the chilly waters of the Neretva.

Divers jumping from Stari Most
Divers jumping from Stari Most

Old Bridge Museum

On the east side of the Stari Most lies the Old Bridge Museum, which is located in one of the towers of the bridge. If you want to learn more about the history of this iconic landmark and also about its reconstruction and destruction, then this is the place to go.

You can also see some great views of the bridge and the Old Town from the museum, along with learning all about the history, innovative architecture (for the 1560s), and significance of Mostar’s most famous site.

You could also spend some time browsing the tourist shops in the nearby Old Bazaar.

Crooked Bridge

Mostar means “bridgekeeper” in Bosnian and, as the city is spread between two banks of the Neretva river, there are numerous bridges throughout the city. If you want to see one of the most beautiful bridges (and the only one that wasn’t destroyed during that 1990s war), then make sure to head to the crooked bridge.

The Crooked Bridge is almost an exact replica of the Stari Most on the other side of the river, however, it is significantly smaller. It was built as something of a “practice run” before construction was started on the Old Bridge.

As I previously said, it is the only bridge in Mostar that wasn’t destroyed in the war, however, it did completely collapse after due to strong winds and flooding and was reconstructed.

In fact, 80% of the Old Town was more or less destroyed in the war and was historically recreated to look exactly as it once did to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Crooked Bridge
The Crooked Bridge

War Photo Exhibition

The next stop on this Mostar itinerary is another museum — the War Photo Exhibition. Located on the west bank of the Stari Most, this small exhibition displays exactly what you think it would — photos of Mostar during the 1990s wars.

As mentioned previously, Mostar was the second-most bombed city in the Balkans during the conflict in the ’90s and this small museum gives an excellent and sobering insight into just how much devastation the city endured.

Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque

If you want to learn more about Mostar’s Islamic heritage in a beautiful setting, then you cannot go wrong heading to the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque in Mostar. This historic mosque acts as a museum where you can learn more about Islam in Mostar.

For an extra fee, you can also climb to the top of the minaret to take advantage of some of the most beautiful views of the Old Town — which is one of the best things to do in Mostar.

Courtyard of the Koskin Mehmed Pasha Mosque
Courtyard of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque

Lunch

After a morning full of sightseeing and museums, it’s time to get some sustenance with some lunch.

There are several great restaurants to choose from in Mostar, but if you want a great lunch suggestion, we recommend heading to Food House if you want to eat in a nice setting within the Old Town.

They have a range of menu items including vegetarian options and traditional Bosnian food along with some international favourites.

Museum of War and Genocide Victims

After lunch, it’s time to head to another sobering stop in Mostar, the Museum of War and Genocide Victims. This is an excellent place to visit if you want to learn more about Bosnia & Herzegovina as a whole during the war in the 1990s.

The museum concentrates on the human toll that this horrible conflict cost the people of Bosnia & Herzegovina and how it has shaped the country — both culturally and politically — today.

Bombed buildings Mostar
Effects of the war in Mostar are still seen today

Sniper Tower

Not far from the Old Town lies yet another sobering site that brings to mind the conflict and horror that the city of Mostar endured less than 25 years ago.

This abandoned building, which lies on the west side of Bulevar road — a street that acts as an unofficial dividing line between the Croat and Bosniak sides of town — was at one point a bank building that was then used as a sniper tower for Croatian forces during the 1990s war.

Today, the building is a shell of what it once was and, while officially closed to the public, it is a place of “dark tourism” that many people like to visit. It is covered in graffiti, some of which can be seen from outside of the tower.

It is worth noting that visitors aren’t allowed to enter the building, however, many people hop the fence to see more graffiti and climb to the top. If you do so, please be careful as there are no protective barricades.

Sniper Tower in Mostar
Sniper Tower

Mostar Gymnasium & Spanish Square

Not far at all from the Sniper Tower lies the Mostar Gymnasium, an Austro-Hungarian era school that is still in operation today. It is located next to the Spanish Square so named — to honour Spanish troops who perished during the Balkan wars.

What makes this school unique — aside from its distinctive Moorish-revival style architecture (reminiscent of the city hall in Sarajevo) — is that it remains the only fully integrated school in the city.

Mostar is one of the most ethnically divided cities in Europe and there are separate schools (and sides of the city) for both ethnic Bosniaks and ethnic Croats. The Mostar Gymnasium, however, is the only school that integrates the two ethnic groups in the city.

The Mostar Gymnasium
The Mostar Gymnasium

Lučki Most

If you want to get some of the best views from of the Old Town and the Stari Most, you need to walk a bit further down the road from the Mostar Gymnasium and the Sniper Tower to the Lučki Most.

This bridge, which is open to both cars and pedestrians, is located just south of the Old Bridge and offers some of the most spectacular views (and photo opportunities!) of the bridge and Old Town as a whole.

You will also notice a distinct lack of tourists here, even though it is only a few hundred metres from the Old Town.

View of Mostar from Lucki Most
View of Mostar from Lucki Most

Craft Beer

After all this sightseeing and sobering war history, it’s time to unwind for the afternoon while enjoying a locally brewed craft beer.

One of the best places to enjoy a Bosnian microbrew is at the Craft Beer Garden, which is located just above the Crooked Bridge and offers quite charming views of Old Mostar.

This place serves up beers from microbreweries all over Bosnia, however, if you want a beer local to Mostar, we recommend trying one from Old Bridz Brewery.

You can get an introduction to a number of these sites on the Mostar Free Walking Tour. Run by the highly knowledgeable Sheva, he will give you an incredibly detailed look into the history and culture of Mostar and offer some insight into all of the sites and monuments mentioned here. If his schedule doesn’t suit, you can also book a private tour.

Delicious local craft beer in Mostar
Delicious local craft beer

Dinner

After working up quite the appetite during your full day of sightseeing and museum hopping, it’s time to head to dinner.

We recommend eating at Hindin Han restaurant, which is situated over the Neretva River in the Old Town. They offer a wide array of traditional Bosnian cuisine at affordable prices in a good atmosphere.

Restaurant Hindin Han is a great place to eat in Mostar
Restaurant Hindin Han

Day 2 – Explore the Surrounding Area

If you have more than one day in Mostar and are wondering what to do in Mostar for a second day, then most people choose to head out of the city centre and explore the area surrounding the city.

While the main sites of Mostar can certainly be seen in one day, allowing yourself two days to be able to see the city and the surrounding area is a fantastic idea.

Blagaj

Located fewer than 15 kilometres outside of the Mostar city centre lies the beautiful and tranquil Blagaj Tekija, which is one of the most popular day trips from Mostar.

This traditional Dervish monastery dates back to the 16th century and it is still in operation today. It is a beautiful spot to visit and is well worth it if you want to see a slice of Bosnia’s history.

Kravice Waterfall

The Kravice Waterfall is arguably the most famous day trip from Mostar. Located about 45 kilometres southwest of Mostar close to the Croatian border, this beautiful waterfall and its inviting blue waters are incredibly worth visiting in the warm summer months.

You can walk around and enjoy the beauty of falls, however, if you’re daring enough, you can also take a plunge and swim in the clear, icy waters.

Kravice Waterfall
Kravice Waterfall

Počitelj

Located a bit further east of Kravice and about 30 kilometres due south of Mostar is the historic village of Počitelj. Today, this village acts as an open-air museum and it is famous for its beautiful setting on the west bank of the Neretva and its excellently preserved Medieval-era fortress.

Medjugorje

Another of the most famous day trips from Mostar is to Medjugorje, a historic Christian pilgrimage site located about 25 kilometres southwest of Mostar, also close to the Croatian border.

It is famed for its apparent apparitions of the Virgin Mary to six local children in 1981. It has only officially been a pilgrimage site recognised by the Vatican since 2019.

If you don’t have your car, one of the best ways to see all of these sites easily is on a day tour from Mostar. If you are a backpacker, you will find that many hostels will operate a tour with a driver. However, if you aren’t staying in a hostel, you can take this full-day tour which will take you to most of these sites with a helpful guide.

The town of Počitelj
The town of Počitelj

Where to Stay in Mostar

Hotel Eden — A centrally-located hotel situated within easy walking distance of Mostar’s most famous sites, they have a range of clean and comfortable rooms available and a bar and swimming pool on site.

Hostel Majdas — If you’re a backpacker, budget or solo traveller, this small hostel is an excellent choice. Family-run by incredibly friendly owners, they have a few comfortable dorm rooms available, great common areas, they offer day tours of the area surrounding Mostar and have a great breakfast included in the rate.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Mostar!

Blagaj
Blagaj is a popular place to visit as a day trip from Mostar

Figuring out what to do in Mostar really isn’t a hard task, as there is so much to do in and around this historic city that you are sure not to be bored over the span of a short trip.

Are you planning to visit Mostar? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Mostar: What to See and Where to Go

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

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