A complete list of things to do in Mostar whether you are just coming on a day trip or staying in Mostar for a few days.
I love Mostar! I stayed there for almost two weeks and it’s one of my favourite cities in the Balkans. I could actually move there, easily.
Yet many tourists and travellers visit just for a day.
I get it. When it comes to popular Mostar attractions there is really just the famous Mostar Bridge and the bazaar. But…
Mostar is a very pleasant town to hang around for a bit and if you decide to do so, you will be surprised to hear that there are many great things to do in Mostar as well as some awesome day trips.
But don’t worry!
If you’re just coming to Mostar for a few hours I’ll list a few important things to see and do in Mostar you could enjoy during a day trip.
So whether you are staying in Mostar for a couple of hours or a week, I got you covered!
Table of Contents
Why is Mostar worth visiting for more than a day
I was on the bus from Trebinje to Mostar, returning just 5 days after I had left.
I didn’t think I’d be back so soon.
As the bus pulled into town already wrapped in the glow of the setting sun I suddenly felt at ease. There is something about this city, the vibe, the energy, the beauty and the peace resembling the feeling of arriving home.
The emergency forced me to book a flight home from Dubrovnik, so I had to return and spend the night in Mostar.
Regardless of the unexpected circumstances, I was happy to be back in Mostar.
A week before, I had spent 10 days in Mostar. People thought I was crazy, but hear me out.
Mostar is a town of over a hundred thousand inhabitants, most of whom live outside of the old town walls. Outside of the city walls, you’ll find bars, cafés and restaurants that are much more affordable, great walks and shopping streets and an infinitive array of nearby towns and natural wonders to visit.
When I checked into my first accommodation, the nice girl who runs the hostel said: ‘Don’t worry about the front door, it’s always open, we all look out for each other here’.
Yes, there are still places like this in the world. In my second accommodation, the front gate was always open too. She didn’t make it up🙂
The thing is: If you just walk through the old bazaar on a busy afternoon, and leave Mostar straight after, you will not feel it.
You’ll hear the prices of the souvenirs they’re trying to sell you, you’ll feel the elbow of a fellow traveller who’s also trying to take a sunset photo on the bridge, and you will scramble along the cobbled streets with other travellers who also arrived just for a couple of hours.
But if you stay a little longer, you will start feeling the heart of the town.
You will discover the cutest wine shop right on the bridge, and because you are not in a hurry, you will order a glass of wine, sit on a step and watch the sunset together with a stranger that you just met.
You will hear the call to prayer more than once and realise that it sounds differently at every corner of the city.
Since you do not have to catch the return bus on the same day, you’ll have plenty of time to find your favourite spot for the evening, at the local cafe serving delicious red wine for 1.5€ and turning on the cold mist on a hot evening.
If you stay a little longer you will have plenty of time to take awesome day trips from Mostar to local natural wonders and take a bus with locals.
So stay a little longer …
But whether you stay 2 hours or 2 weeks, I have a list of perfect things to do in Mostar for you. So here it goes!
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What is Mostar Famous for?
Mostar is most famous for its iconic Stari Most (Mostar Old Bridge) as well as its stunning Old Town and Bazaar located by the Neretva River.
Mostar Bridge is one of the most visited and photographed landmarks not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but the whole of the Balkans.
Mostar is also considered to be a centre of the lush and rich Herzegovina region, abundant in stunning landscapes, delicious food and a rich multicultural history, with influences from both Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian periods.
Unfortunately, Mostar is also known for being one of the most destroyed cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War (1992-1995) and the intentional destruction of the Mostar Bridge (Stari Most) is widely considered a war crime.
The Bosnian War had a profound and devastating impact on Mostar. The city, known for its multicultural and multi-ethnic character, became a focal point of the conflict. Mostar witnessed intense fighting, ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of its cultural heritage.
Is Mostar Worth Visiting?
Mostar is not only worth visiting, but it is also a must-see! This beautiful, somehow romantic town located in the Herzegovina region is worth exploring for its iconic Old Bridge and Bazaar, but also for its stunning surroundings and plethora of things to do in Mostar as well as great day trips.
Mostar is my favourite town in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Things to do in Mostar in a Day
If you are only coming to Mostar for a few hours, here’s a list of must-do things in Mostar.
Wonder around the Old Town and The Bazaar
The colours! That was the first thought that came to my mind when I stepped into Mostar’s Old Bazaar. (I walked in at sunset from the side where Bijeli Bar is, and this had an added effect, try it out!!)
The sun began to set, bouncing off the colourful walls, shiny cobblestones, and intricate coffee set displayed on the edge of the bridge.
I admit, the old town of Mostar is beautiful. You kind of do not mind the crowds. And believe me, it is crowded! But still, it is extraordinary and very charming.
The views are out of this world. The old town and the Bazaar are located on both banks of the beautiful emerald-green Neretwa River, and if you stand a little higher on the bank, the view will captivate you.
It’s one of those places that, no matter how touristy it gets, will always remain beautiful.
Many travellers visit only this one place in Mostar, and you can not blame them. And although there are many other things to do in Mostar, you can not miss this one place.
Tip: If you are staying overnight, get up early the next day and walk around the old town of Mostar before it wakes up. Around sunrise. Thank me later!
Fun Fact/And a Tip: One of the most popular souvenirs you can buy in Mostar (after fridge magnets) are beautiful, intricate coffee sets, copper jars, cups and other traditional metalwork.
Metal and copper work is a characteristic art form in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a clear reminiscence of the Ottomans. Decorative plates and trays, coffee and tea sets and pots, as well as jewellery can be bought in the workshops in the streets of both Old Town Sarajevo (Bascarsija) and Mostar’s Bazaar.
If you take a walking tour of Mostar, you will most likely be taken to one of these workshops and can watch them being made. They’re easy to spot though, just follow the sound of the hammer hitting the metal. If you decide to buy one, you should do so in the actual workshop where you can see it being made. Otherwise, you might buy a cheap knock-off.
Cross The Mostar Old Bridge
Stari Most in Mostar (The Old Bridge) is the most iconic site in Mostar one of the most photographed places in the Balkans. Really!
This original bridge, built in the mid-16th century, replaced the previous wooden suspension bridge and is an outstanding example of Balkan Islamic architecture.
It was an extraordinary architectural masterpiece for its time and the widest man-made arch in the world.
On 9 November 1993, the bridge collapsed as a result of shelling by Bosnian Croat forces.
I watched a video (like this one) of its destruction during the Bosnian War. And when I stood there and saw it rebuilt and proud in all its glory, I became emotional. Like many other such symbols throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Mostar Bridge stands as a symbol of resilience. For the human will to survive and to fight for what we believe in and what is important to us. And, unfortunately, also for what human beings are capable of. Don’t forget.
Do Not Forget
A small rock, placed on the bridge, next to the divers office with pens made of bullets displayed right above it. So many tourists pass by not even noticing it. And I think we should, we ought to!
There are a few more of those stones spread around the city.
Spot the Mostar Bridge Divers
Stari Most in Mostar dominates the river from a height of 24 m (78 ft 9 in). But that does not stop the divers of Mostar!
I waited over a week to see them! But it was worth it!
You will know it’s about to happen as there will be a lot of commotion around the bridge and some of them will be collecting money for the show. It is said that they only dive when they raised enough money. This can take some time, so you have to be patient.
It was scary to watch but entertaining at the same time.
Please Note: Jumping from Mostar Bridge is extremely dangerous and many have lost their lives doing it. At least 4 deaths have been reported since 2012, including professional athletes. Please do not be one of them!
Visit the Old Bridge Museum
Located within the Tara Tower complex at the foot of the Mostar Bridge, this museum celebrates the bridge’s history through three distinct sections. The first section is the tower itself, which visitors can climb to enjoy a great view and discover archaeological artefacts found during the reconstruction of the bridge.
The second section, housed in the basement, displays pre-existing archaeological remains beneath the tower.
Lastly, the “Labyrinth” presents a photographic gallery showcasing the bridge’s journey from its original state to the damage it endured and its subsequent phases of rebuilding, accompanied by audio-visual multimedia presentations recounting the bridge’s remarkable restoration history.
And the War Photo Exhibition
On the other side of the Stari Most, near the Divers Club, you’ll find a bookshop that lets you see photos and a seven-minute video of the destruction of the Stari Most. Inside, you’ll discover a wide selection of books, cabinets showcasing Turkish coffee sets and a collection of 50 powerful war photos taken by a young photojournalist during the conflict.
This bookshop offers a unique opportunity to explore the history of Stari Most through visuals, books and impressive war photographs.
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Search for the Crooked Bridge
Be sure to wander towards the Crooked Bridge (Kriva Cuprija). Like the Old Bridge, the Kriva Cuprija Bridge was also rebuilt in 2001 (following its destruction during the war) but was then again destroyed by flood. The Crooked Bridge spans the Radobolja River which then joins the Neretva River.
This whole section of Mostar Old Town is very picturesque and wandering around there and snapping photos was one of my favourite things to do in Mostar.
Have a Dinner by the River
This is truly one of the best things to do in Mostar.
Take a sit in one of the restaurants overlooking the river. It doesn’t even have to be the main river, there are many smaller streams within the town, just walk around and choose one!
If you are not fussed about the river views I recommend Tima Irma (delicious!) or Podrum where I had super yummy grilled trout!
Taste Bosnian Coffee and Baklava
There is no visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina without sampling Bosnian coffee.
While in Mostar you can visit the only cafe that roasts its own beans – Cafe Alma! And be sure to try some baklava too!
Climb the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
The Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque was built during the Ottoman period in the 17th century, by the renowned Ottoman architect, Adžem Esir Ali. Visiting it is one of the best things to do in Mostar and that for 2 reasons.
It has great historical relevance and is an important cultural symbol but also the visitors have the opportunity to climb the minaret and enjoy panoramic views of the city, including the Stari Most and the picturesque old town.
The mosque serves as an active place of worship so visits are allowed outside of prayer times. The entrance fee is €7.
Or the tower of Franciscan Monastery
Inevitably, Mostar Peace Bell Tower (Mostarski Zvonik Mira) will be one of the first landmarks of Mostar you will notice.
An elevator will take you more than halfway up, to 45 meters of the 75-meter-high viewing area, providing a panoramic 360-degree view. You will have to walk up the remaining 30 meters (150 of the total of 370 steps). But it’s very much worth it!
Adjacent to the tower, the ongoing construction of the Franciscan church serves as a replacement for a damaged 1866 basilica, which was damaged during the war.
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Take a photo of Mostar from Lucki Most.
If you asked what is the best spot for taking photos of the Mostar Bridge, it would be Lucki Most. It is also a much quieter area and a nice place to stop for a moment and enjoy views.
What you might not know is that you can take a very short zipline from the bridge which lands under the Stari Most.
Take a boat ride along Neretva River
As you look down from the bridge you will notice a Boat Rides Shop located on the bank of the river.
It’s not a white water rafting or the best boat ride you will ever experience, but it’s fun and offers an awesome perspective of the town!
Other Awesome things to do in Mostar (If you Stay a bit Longer)
Take a free walking tour
I always say that the best way to discover the town with a local is by taking a free walking tour.
Those tours are always run by a local guide who will share with you invaluable expertise and knowledge, recommend local places and share their local perspective.
I mostly book via GuruWalk as they only work with local experts.
Visit The Museum of War and Genocide Victims
I didn’t visit this museum because I’ve seen its counterpart in Sarajevo and this museum along the Gallery 11/07/95 is one of the most heart-wrenching museum visits I’ve ever made.
This museum delves into the profound history and unimaginable horrors of the Bosnian War, which took place from 1992 to 1995 and was a major chapter in the break-up of Yugoslavia. It was the most devastating war in Europe’s post-WW2 history.
If Mostar is the only city in Bosnia you visit and you only have time for one museum, this is the one to visit.
I believe that learning about the not-so-distant Bosnia War should be a part of travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country and its people are the way they are because of it.
I am not trying to be patronising or anything. But what we need to remember is that, what we learn about in that museum, is what they had to live through. I think learning about it is a way of showing respect.
Hike to the Fortica Sky Walk (or take a taxi)
Skywalk at Fortica is a new attraction in Mostar, built only in 2021.
Fortica is a sports and adventure park located on a hill of the same name in Mostar and it is very easily spotable.
It takes over 2 hours to get to the top on foot but you can, of course, opt for a taxi. At the top you will find an awesome Sky Walk offering great views of Mostar but also an exhilarating 570 meters long zip line!
There are a few other adventurous activities on offer like hiking, a rope descent of the 25 meters high cliff or touring the park in an open jeep.
Ponder over the War Destroyed Buildings
The Mostar siege occurred during the Bosnian War, initially in 1992 and then again from 1993 to 1994. Mostar was “the most heavily destroyed city in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” and suffered significant devastation. The Old Town and the iconic Old Bridge were among the prominent casualties.
Although extensive reconstruction efforts have restored much of Mostar’s former magic, remnants of the past still linger, serving as a poignant reminder of the events that unfolded merely three decades ago.
One notable symbol of the conflict is the Sniper Tower, formerly the Yugoslav Bank, which was seized by Serb and Croatian forces and utilized as a strategic firing position. Today, the tower stands as a ruin, yet it has found a new purpose as a canvas for local street artists.
However, the Sniper Tower is not the only remnant of the war’s aftermath. As you venture beyond the Old Town and explore the city, you will notice numerous other destroyed buildings. I am pretty sure that eventually, these buildings will eventually be replaced by gleaming new constructions. But maybe they shouldn’t…
They stand as tangible reminders of the past, urging us not to forget the lessons learned and the hardships endured. We would hope.
Search for Mostar Street art
Yes, in the past Mostar was known more for its historical architecture than for modern street art. But that has changed!
Now that Mostar is all about the future, the Mostar 2021 project has been launched, involving many local and international street artists to create a new image of the city.
Head to Alekse Šantića Street in search of great street art and see Mostar from a completely different perspective.
Visit Biscevic House or Muslibegovic House (or both)
One of the best things to do in Mostar is exploring fascinating old residential houses from the Ottoman era, providing insights into the lives of people during that time.
The Biscevic House (Biscevica Kuca), a 17th-century Turkish residence built into the hillside, now serves as a museum. Inside, you’ll discover Turkish rugs, clothing, and ceramics, all preserved for over 400 years. The exterior and courtyard are equally charming.
The Muslibegovic House, a Bosnian National Monument, functions as a museum and hotel. Its interior showcases a wonderful preservation of the traditional Bosnian-Ottoman style. For a unique experience, you can even stay overnight in an authentic Ottoman suite.
Take a day trip from Mostar
The most famous and convenient day trip from Mostar is the organised group tour to the Kravice waterfalls with a stop in Blagaj and Pocitelj.
But you can also visit many other places around Mostar and discover beautiful Herzegovina independently.
Although it’s impossible (I tried) to get to Kravice by public transport, you can reach both Blagaj and Pocitelj independently and mostly by bus or train.
But I encourage you to go beyond these tourist destinations, although they’re still worth a visit.
You could take a day trip to Dreznica (and even spend the night there), to Lake Jablanica, to Konjic for some water rafting action or to the necropolis of Radimlja near Stolac.
If you’re a religious person, you can also visit Medjugorie, where a group of children are said to have seen the Virgin Mary on a hill in 1981. Since then, the village has become a centre of attraction for many pilgrims from Bosnia and abroad and has expanded massively in size to accommodate the people who want to visit.
There is so much to beautiful Herzegovina and so many wonderful day trips you can take from Mostar that I have written a separate post about it. Read it here!
Cycle the Ciro Trail
This is so much fun especially if you are an avid cyclist!
The Ćiro Trail is a scenic 90-mile (150km) bicycle route tracing the path of a narrow-gauge steam locomotive railway from Dubrovnik, Croatia, to Mostar. Originally constructed in 1903 during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the railway stretched as far as Vienna. It was decommissioned in 1976, and today the trail offers a unique cycling experience.
You can cycle all the way to Croatia or just sample a digestible for your section.
Visit Blidinje Nature Park
I was gutted to learn about this incredible hiking destination only on my last day in Mostar.
Blidinje Nature Park is a stunning place to visit. It covers 358 square kilometres of the picturesque Blidinje plateau nestled near the Čvrsnica, Vran and Čabulja mountains and was declared a nature park in 1995 for its pristine nature and diverse wildlife.
Although you can definitely reach and explore it by car (at least some parts), it is said to be the most wonderful hiking destination near Mostar.
It is still very much off the beaten path and I found it challenging to find any specific information, but there are marked and recommended hiking trails. Just before leaving Mostar, I met a group of hikers that were venturing there so it’s definitely a feasible adventure!
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Shop, eat and live like a local
If you are staying in Mostar a little longer, maybe due to being a digital nomad or just feeling like it, I will give you a few local tips.
The best supermarket in Mostar I found was Mercator Hypermarket. I found that the selection in others wasn’t so good. Not too far from the market, you will find Mepas Mall just in case you need some last-minute shopping.
If you want to grab a drink with a view completely outside of the tourist centre, pop into Calamus Club.
My favourite street to wander along was Braće Fejića and the top of Adema Buća. The first one is for the shops, cafes and general local vibe and the second, for the best local finds when it comes to food and drink. You can grab a coffee or a drink at Caffe Galerija, order Cevapi at the Ćevabdžinica KORZO on the other side of the street and they will bring it to you. On a hot day, they turn on the cold mist!
I could easily stay in Mostar for another week or two. I didn’t manage to visit the nature park and I am very much gutted.
Mostar is my favourite town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although I really enjoyed all other parts of the country, Mostar has this special small-town charm for me which I always enjoy. And as soon as I found out that there is so much to do in Mostar and how beautiful the Herzegovina region is, I was gutted I didn’t plan a longer stay.
But hey, a reason to come back
See you later, Mostar!
Where to next in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
You just cannot miss Sarajevo, the true gem of the Balkans! And if you wondering where to stay, here is my full guide to all the areas and best accommodation in Sarajevo and one specifically dedicated to the best hostels!
Finally, be sure to visit one of my favourite cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – the sunny Trebinje!
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Your Balkans Cheatsheet
If you are travelling around the Balkans by bus, Flixbus covers a lot of the routes but they often cooperate with local operators. It is convenient to book on the Flixbus website if you want to pay for your journey upfront.
If you prefer to pay directly with the local operator, be prepared to pay in cash. To check the timetable BusTicket4.me is the most reliable. But I still recommend only using it for checking the times and purchasing the ticket at the bus station.
In the majority of Balkan countries, you will pay a 1€ (or equivalent in local currency) fee for luggage.
The bus is the best way to travel between Balkan countries but there are a couple of stunning train routes you cannot miss like Sarajevo to Mostar or Belgrade to Bar!
If you are considering renting a car you can browse all rental companies via Expedia!
Always, always triple-check the information you were given, especially when it comes to inter-city travel. Only because one person, in one place says there are no busses, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Triple check.
Only Slovenia and Croatia are within the Schengen Area so individual visa rules will apply. In 2024 we will also see Romania and Bulgaria joining Schengen Area.
Only Slovenia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Croatia use Euros. All other countries use their own currency. In some touristy spots, you will be able to use Euros but dont take it for granted. You will pay for a coffee pot from a souvenir stand in Mostar in Euros, but the supermarket will ask for Bosnian Marks.