If you’re embarking on a short trip through the Balkans, you might not have enough time to explore Bosnia thoroughly. And while we wholeheartedly recommend travellers see more of a country than just one city, undertaking a Split to Mostar day trip gives you an opportunity to get a small taste of Bosnia & Herzegovina if you’re spending the majority of your time exploring Croatia and driving down the Dalmatian Coast.
Mostar is a relatively small city meaning that travellers can see most of the highlights within one day. However, if time allows, spending one or two nights in Mostar will allow you to get a deeper understanding of the complicated history of the city as well as see some more of the nearby attractions.
So if you’re considering taking a day trip to Mostar from Split, here’s everything you need to know about how to get there and what to see to make the most of your short time in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
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How to Get from Split to Mostar
There are three main transport options for getting from Split to Mostar on a day trip. These are bus, driving or an organised tour. There are currently no trains operating from Split to Mostar.
If your goal is to reduce your Balkans travel cost as much as possible then it is theoretically possible to take a bus from Split to Mostar.
However, you need to be prepared to spend the majority of your day on the bus as border crossings can take time and it makes it more or less impossible to visit any attractions outside of Mostar.
In the best-case scenario, the bus will take 4 hours one way, though our journey ended up being closer to 5 hours as we got delayed at the border.
If you want to take the bus to get from Split to Mostar then I suggest spending a night or two in Mostar rather than doing a day trip. If you’re insistent on only visiting Mostar for a day then I suggest taking one of the two options listed below instead.
The best way to do a Split to Mostar day trip independently is by renting a car and driving. This will allow you to enjoy some of the stops on the route, get across the border quicker and have the flexibility to go and leave when you want.
We suggest using Rentalcars.Com to find deals on car hire in Split or Croatia in general. They aggregate results across major car hire brands.
Make sure to pay close attention to your policy when booking to ensure that the company allows you to take the car across borders. You’ll also need a green card when crossing into Bosnia to prove that you have the appropriate insurance coverage — the car rental company should provide this for you.
By Day Tour
If you prefer not to drive, then taking a Split to Mostar day tour with a guide is a great option. This allows you to leave Split early in the morning without worrying about driving and make maximum use of your time in Mostar.
This guided tour or this guided tour is a great choice as it gives you some free time to explore Mostar independently, as well as a guided tour of the town and stops in Počitelj & Kravice National Park.
If you want to combine your Mostar day trip with a stop in the Christian pilgrimage site of Medjugorje, then this day tour or this day tour follows a similar itinerary to the above tour but gives visitors the option to visit Medjugorje instead of Kravice National Park.
There is also this guided tour available which dedicates more time in Medjugorje rather than visiting Počitelj & Kravice National Park. It is also possible to go on a private tour that picks you up in Split and drops you off in Dubrovnik.
If you’re planning to go on a guided tour from Split to Mostar, keep in mind that a lot of tours don’t run in the winter months.
Mostar Day Trip Itinerary
If you’re planning to do your Mostar day trip from Split independently, then this suggested itinerary should help you make the most of your time exploring Mostar.
After leaving Split early in the morning and crossing the border from Croatia to Bosnia & Herzegovina, it’s worth stopping in the town of Počitelj.
Built in the 14th century, the walled town combines medieval and Ottoman influences and has historically been an important strategic site. It’s also currently on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage status.
It’s worth making a quick stop here on the way to Mostar to walk around the town and see the unique architecture here. Take the time to climb up the steep stairs to the fortress to enjoy great views of the Neretva River and the surrounding area.
Enjoy a Bosnian Coffee
You might be tired after an early morning start from Split so after driving from Počitelj to Mostar, make your first stop in town be for a traditional Bosnian coffee.
While you can get a Bosnian coffee from a lot of places in Mostar, I suggest heading to Cafe de Alma which is located near the Hamman Museum and not far from the Stari Most.
The cafe here roasts and grinds its own beans and the owner will take the time to sit with you and explain exactly how to drink a Bosnian coffee and what makes it unique from other similar varieties of coffee. There is an extreme passion for coffee here, so if you only have time for one Bosnian coffee during your visit to Mostar, make sure that it’s here!
Explore the Old Town
Mostar’s Old Town is fairly compact so a day will give you enough time to enjoy the highlights of the city.
Your first stop should undoubtedly be the Stari Most – Mostar’s iconic bridge. While it was completely destroyed during the Balkans wars in the 90s, it has since been rebuilt in its original form.
One of the most iconic sites here is to see the local divers ply their craft and jump into the Neretva river. The local divers will spend a lot of the day pretending as if they’re about to jump to collect some money to support their diving club.
However, if you’re lucky, some dives occur a few times per day – we saw one at noon but aren’t sure if the timings are consistent.
If you’re interested in taking the approximately 22-metre plunge yourself, you can visit the diving club located on the bridge and they will put you through your paces to see whether it is safe for you to do so.
Aside from the Stari Most, it’s worth taking the time to explore other areas of the Old Town such as the Crooked Bridge which is a small version of the Old Bridge and used as practice for diving from the Stari Most. There are also some bazaars in the Old Town on both sides of the bridge where you can pick up souvenirs.
If you want to enjoy great views of the city, there are a few different options including climbing the minaret of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, visiting the Stari Most Museum, walking over to the Lucki Most which is the next bridge over from Stari Most or enjoying a drink at Caffe Terasa.
Finally, it’s worth taking the time to learn more about the tragic history of Mostar and Bosnia in general during the 90s, particularly if you’re not planning on visiting Sarajevo. Some options include visiting the War Photo Museum or the Museum Of War And Genocide Victims.
If you want to take the time to learn more about Mostar’s history with a knowledgeable guide, then I highly recommend travellers go on a walking tour with Sheva.
Sheva does an incredible job of showing visitors around Mostar, taking time to explore the Old Town as well as break down the complicated history of the Balkans war and the impact it still has on residents living in Mostar today.
Sheva runs free walking tours a couple of times per day during peak season though the timing of the tours might not be convenient if visiting for a day. You can, however, contact him to organise a private tour that will likely be more suitable if you’re only visiting Mostar for a day.
Taste traditional Bosnian food
All that exploring will undoubtedly leave you hungry, so make sure you leave time to enjoy some traditional Bosnian cuisine while on your Mostar day trip from Split.
One good option for lunch is a restaurant called Food House which is located a short walk from the Stari Most.
They serve both traditional Bosnian food as well as international food with vegetarian and vegan options available. They have a Sultan’s Feast menu option which can be ordered for one or several people and allows you to sample several traditional Bosnian dishes.
Another good restaurant option for traditional Bosnian food is Hindin Han which has a lovely terrace to enjoy your meal and serves authentic Bosnian dishes.
Swim in Kravice Waterfall
After departing Mostar but before crossing the border back into Croatia, it’s worth taking the time to stop at Kravice Waterfall and enjoy a swim in the waterfalls if the weather allows it!
Kravice Waterfall is a smaller version of the waterfalls you’ll find in Krka National Park in Croatia (which is another great day trip from Split!) and is a refreshing way to end your day in Mostar particularly in the summer months when temperatures are higher.
The waterfall is open until 10 pm in the summer months with entrance costing 20KM (approximately €10).
Have more time?
If you’re not rushed for time, then I definitely recommend spending at least one or two nights in Mostar to be able to enjoy the town fully and spread your tourist dollars more. Also, crowds thin out in the evening as day-trippers leave and it’s a lot more pleasant to walk around in the evening and enjoy Mostar’s atmosphere.
This will also allow you to take one of Sheva’s free walking tours (though make sure to tip at the end!) rather than organising a private tour as well as giving you more time to visit museums that you don’t get a chance to see on a day trip.
There are also some great places to visit in the evening in Mostar such as the Craft Beer Garden imaimože which has an excellent range of craft beers from their own brewery in Mostar as well as other breweries in Bosnia.
You also have the option of visiting Blagaj which is a small village near Mostar famous for its 600-year-old monastery.
Where to Stay in Mostar
Hostel Majdas – This is a great hostel to stay in Mostar for backpackers looking to meet other travellers and enjoy some great Bosnian hospitality. The daily breakfast is one of the best you’ll ever have in a hostel and Majda’s brother, Bata, runs a fantastic day tour to Mostar’s nearby attractions as well as explaining the complicated history of the city.
Hotel Eden – If you prefer to stay in a hotel, this place is a great option located in the centre of the city. They offer a range of clean modern private rooms with breakfast included daily as well as access to a pool, sauna and fitness centre.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Mostar!
Visiting Mostar as a day trip from Split is a great option if you’re short on time and want to get an introduction to Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Are you planning a trip from Split to Mostar? Have you been recently? Let us know in the comments below!