You should be proud that you’ve made it to one of Europe’s most underrated cities: Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina! There are tons of things to do in Mostar when you aren’t simply walking the streets and ogling over all the amazing Turkish-influenced markets.
This Mostar travel guide will take you through all the historic, adventurous, scenic, culinary, and full-of-nature things to do in and around the town of Mostar. Trust me, you’ll be totally impressed with this place and the surrounding countryside – it’s a sight to behold. I went to Mostar as part of my Balkans Road trip one summer, and will never get enough.
But first, let’s get a few important pieces of info out of the way:
When’s the Best Time to go To Mostar?
It’s important to note that Mostar weather is HOT during the summer. No, like REALLY hot. Uncomfortably hot. The kind of hot that will make you not want (or be able) to leave the house. For maximum adventure and to be able to accomplish all these awesome things to do in Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll want to visit when it’s a bit more of a manageable temperature.
This means that July and August are basically off-limits. I would personally recommend May or late September/early October, if that makes sense with your travel dates. This way, the temperature will be nice, warm, and manageable. Do June or early September if you must; or even more off-season months to beat the crowds.
What is the Currency in Mostar?
The currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the ‘Konvertible Mark,’ or as you will see on any street signs, the ‘KM.’ As of the late 2018, the KM was worth almost exactly twice as much as a Euro, and all businesses converted it this way. Many businesses will take Euros for exactly half the amount you would owe in the local currency.
How do You Get to Mostar?
Some of the best ways to get to Mostar from are from Dubrovnik, Croatia and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s jut over two hours away from both Dubrovnik and Sarajevo. So, it’s quite easy to fly into either of those bigger cities and get a bus, private transfer, or rent a car to drive to Mostar.
- Check for all bus routes on Get By Bus
- On a Balkans Road Trip – check out the ultimate itinerary (that I did myself) here
- Private Transfers – Dubrovnik to Mostar
- Many car rental companies allow international use in Balkan countries. I used Sixt to do my Balkans road trip this year.
- You can fly directly to Mostar international airport from Zagreb, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Many other airports will have indirect routes through these airports.
Going to Mostar Bosnia & Herzegovina? Pin this Mostar travel guide to Pinterest!
And now, here are all the awesome things you can do once you get to Mostar!
Things to do in Mostar Town
Here are all the things to do in Mostar that are walkable from anywhere in the city. There are tons of activities to do, and the main area of town is actually quite small! There are things to do on each side of the Stari Most (which directly translates to ‘Old Bridge’), which is basically the center of the main part of town itself.
Explore Old Town
One of the best and most obvious things to do in Mostar is to get totally lost in the cobblestone medieval streets of the old town! The old town extends on either side of the Stari Most (Old Bridge) and it’s covered floor to ceiling with market stalls with the most unique, colorful, and cultural souvenirs.
Wandering the streets of Mostar is the easiest way to understand how heavily the Turkish/Ottoman Empire influenced the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s like another world if you have just come from Croatia or Slovenia, because the souvenir shops are totally different. In Mostar/Bosnia as a whole, the markets are full of Aladdin-type gold and silver lamps, cutlery sets, coffee sets, jugs, and plate sets, tons of turkish rugs and scarves, Amazing Turkish patterns on pouches and bags, skirts, hats and tops laden with old coins that clang when you walk, the type of stained glass lamps you’s expect to see in Morocco, and even war souvenirs such as little tanks and pens made from bullets.
Go ahead, get lost! But make sure you leave time for all the other awesome things to do in Mostar. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Stari Most / Old Bridge
Well, this should be the most obvious place to visit in Mostar! The Stari Most is quite possibly one of the most famous landmarks in all of the Balkans, and rightfully so – it’s downright incredible!
The Stari Most is perhaps the most well-known for incredibly brave people jumping off of it. People do it almost every day! But, it’s not for the faint of heart – it’s 24m (79ft) tall!! Wow!
There are some locals who do it daily for money, and who also take tourists under their wing each day and teach them the correct jumping form off a nearby platform for a small fee. If you want to jump it, I would 10000% recommend not doing it on your own! 24m is NOT for the faint of heart, and these guys give you a full tutorial, help you jump, yell at you while you’re in the air at the exact point you should pencil your body, and even have guys in boats there waiting if you mess up. It’s a good deal.
Not a jumper? Don’t worry; most people aren’t. Let’s stick to looking at the bridge then, shall we? There are a lot of great views of the old bridge, but here are the best views of Stari Most I recommend:
- From standing on the bridge, of course! Walk across it as many times as you like, look off the edge on both sides, and imagine what it would be like to jump off of it – cringe! Make sure you don’t slip while walking on the Stari Most, though – step on top of each step or you might eat it on the slippery tiles.
- From below – if you’re standing on the bridge, you’ll see a few huge platforms below it on one side where people sit and relax. Grab a takeaway from anywhere in old town (I recommend the cevapi – they come nice and easy inside a pita here – more on food below) and find a nice place to sit below the bridge. There are plenty of shaded spots both close to and a bit farther from the bridge. Choose a place you like, take some classic pictures under the bridge, and hope that you’re lucky and get to watch some jumpers during your meal. (I got to see two! Check my IG story highlights of Bosnia to see them)
- From a restaurant for dinner on the opposite side of the bridge from the platforms. There are lots of them that have views of the bridge, and it’s absolutely lovely when it’s lit up at night.
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque (To Climb)
This is one of the most famous mosques in Mostar, and also happens to probably have the best view in Mostar. It’s definitely not for you if you’re claustrophobic, though; you actually have to climb up a stone spiral staircase all the way up a really tall temple spire/minaret. It’s not ideal, but oh, is it worth it!
Once you get to the top, you’ll see why this is one of the must-do things to do in Mostar. This view of the Stari Most might be better than the three above combined, and you can see more of the river and countryside than most places in town. The mosque is also very beautiful inside. Just make sure to cover up properly before going in (they also have scarves for you if you don’t have one)!
Cost of Entry: 6 Euro
View from the Pasha Mosque
The Kajtaz (kai-tahz) house is a fascinating old historic Turkish house that is now and UNESCO protected world heritage site. Located very close to town, the Kajtaz is actually run by a descendant of some of the original inhabitants back in the 16th century. He is extremely kind and knowledgeable about the entire history of the house and its rooms, and shows everyone around for a very small fee.
Unfortunately half of it was ruined in the Yugoslav wars, but they have done a fantastic job preserving the rest of it and setting the rooms up with traditional rugs, texts, pottery, and clothing that was worn when the home was new.
Cost of Entry: suggested donation of 2 Euro each for a tour
Nesuh-Aga Vučjaković Mosque
Not too far from the Pasha Mosque, we have the oldest mosque in Mostar. You can see just by looking at it that it’s quite ancient, and you can go inside and check it out more closely if you’re into that kind of thing.
War + Genocide Museum
This is a difficult, yet very important thing to do in Mostar. Recently opened, the Mostar Museum of War + Genocide Victims goes deep into tear-jerking detail about the war that happened in the Balkans/previous Yugoslavia a mere 26 years ago, from 1992-1995.
If you don’t know much about the Yugoslav Wars, you absolutely must visit this museum. There were terrible atrocities that occurred here during many of our lifetimes, and educating yourself about what happened is the first step to trying to empathize and understand what this country has gone through.
Cost of Entry: 10KM per person/5 Euro
Bosnian coffee from Cafe de Alma
Try a Real Bosnian Coffee… and Yes, it’s Different than Turkish Coffee (But Similar!)
Did you know that Bosnian coffee is different than Turkish coffee? They’re actually really similar, but just prepared a bit differently. Make sure you don’t say ’Turkish coffee’ to a Bosnian, because they are adamant that theirs is far superior (it’s something about the roasting process and how Bosnians don’t burn theirs as often as Turks do, due to something…. ask at the cafe! 😛 ).
The best place to try a real Bosnian Coffee is Cafe de Alma. It’s a bit hidden behind a temple, but it’s super cute and authentic. Enjoy it with a turkish delight (unclear if they would be called Bosnian delight here?!), and maybe someone can read your fortune at the bottom of the cup!
This is another old Turkish house – this one from the 17th century – right next to the War + Genocide Museum. Similar to some other historic houses to visit in Mostar, you can view old artifacts and information with a terrace over the river.
Things to do in Mostar, Surrounding Areas, and Herzegovina
Now it’s time for the second half of my Mostar travel guide, which refers to all the amazing places to visit outside of (yet close to) Mostar Town. I meant it when I said that this is one of the most scenic countries ever, so make sure to visit some nearby points of interest.
Getting to the Areas Outside of the City
A local pomegranate in front of the Blagaj spring and dervish house
Blagaj Spring + The Dervish House/Tekija
One of the most unique things to to in Mostar and even the Balkans is to visit Blagaj (pronounced blah-guy) Spring. The spring is at the base of a very tall cliff, and is actually the deepest spring in Europe. Blagaj is actually the source of the entire Buna River, producing 43,000 gallons of water PER SECOND. No joke. The water is pure and cold, and many surrounding restaurants actually use it to cool their drinks rather than using fridges!
Next to the spring you have another old Turkish house that is now a tourist/historical site. This one is quite similar to the Kajtaz but has a bit of a different history, being occupied by ‘Dervishes.’ Dervishes are known to be the ‘Islamic hippies’ if you will, and they used to live very simply and off the land in this scenic white house near the spring.
Nowadays you must cover up to go inside, as with most old houses in Bosnia. You can visit all the different rooms, learn what each one was for and how they used them, and of course take pictures in the beautiful rug-adorned rooms.
Kravice waterfalls (Krav-eet-zay) are some incredible waterfalls about an hour outside of Mostar. These waterfalls are extremely scenic; many people revel at how beautiful they are. I’ve seen a lot of waterfalls in my travels but I still love visiting Kravice Falls, especially because you can swim in the water surrounding them. I love them so much I have written a specific guide to visiting Kravice Falls, too!
They have recently put up a lane line around the falls, but I personally had no problem climbing up to get closer to the falls and explore the rock pools. Just be careful – I didn’t tell you to do it!
There are loads of restaurants surrounding Kravice Falls where you can get a bite to eat overlooking the water. There’s also a tram that takes you up and down for 2 euro, but if you take the stairs the walk is easy enough.
Pocitelj Castle/Fort (po-chee-tell-ee) is an old Ottoman walled hillside town next to a beautiful river. It’s only about 15 minutes from Kravice Falls, and you can visit them both together quite easily. Just prepare for some stairs (some bus tours use a drop-off point above, but the parking lot is below). I’d recommend walking in a big circle from one main tower to the other (you’ll find your way easily enough) and seeing the views of the town and river from both sides. One tower has been fortified by glass, but most of the rest of town is as authentic-ruins as it gets. The eastern tower is crumbling a bit, and you can climb up to the top level to look out the windows just like Rapunzel.
You can pick pomegranates off the trees as you walk around the town – hopefully you get them while they’re ripe! You can also buy pomegranate juice, rose juice, and tons of little cones of fresh fruit and nuts from the locals who likely picked them from their gardens.
The View from Pocitelj
Medugorje (med-oo-gohr-ee-yay) is a famous Christian pilgrimage site where, supposedly, the Virgin Mary appeared to some young people many years ago. Today, people from all over the world make pilgrimages to Medigorje, often for Christmas and religious holidays.
There is a MASSIVE outdoor church – the biggest I’ve ever seen – for people to attend mass. You can go into confession booths in like 20 different languages, and revel at quite a few statues of Jesus, Mary, and a few other religious figures. In the town, you’ll find gift shop after gift shop all centered around Virgin Mary. You can take your pick: life size Virgin Mary statues, Virgin Mary necklaces, magnets, cups, plates, bobbleheads, posters, keychains… literally everything. So if you’re into the Virgin Mary… this is your place, yo.
Visit a Winery
Yep, they do make wine in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are many family wineries near Mostar, many of which you can visit and have a taste for yourself. I mean, Bosnia isn’t KNOWN for its wine, but when in Rome, right?
Watching the Sunset in Mostar
It wouldn’t be an Adventure + Sunset guide without sunset spots, right?! Mostar isn’t the best place to see the sunset, but you best believe I always try the find the best sunset views no matter where I am. Here are some suggestions:
Drive Up the Hill Overlooking the City
You’ll see a big hill overlooking the city with a cross on top. You can drive up this (don’t try to hike though, I did that once – no trail along the road). This would be a great place to see the twilight over the city.
Grab yourself a table with a view for sunset – bonus if it has a view of the Old Bridge, too.
Platforms Under the Bridge
Watching the sky change with the Stari Most in the background is nothing but magic. And those platforms are a wonderful place to relax. Bring a picnic!
Shopping in Mostar
Where to Eat + Drink in Mostar
Phew, that was a lot of adventuring you had to do to complete all those cool things to do in Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina! You must be hungry. Don’t worry, I have some great places for you to try.
But first, I want to warn you that sometimes the food can get a bit… sketchy in Mostar. It’s kind of the one thing that sucks about Mostar – I got reeeeeeally sick here once, and they think it was either salmonella or a parasite. Scary, I know – it’s not common, I just want you to be cautious and not eat anything that you feel unsure of. I felt unsure about my chicken salad, but I ate it anyway (who gets sick from a chicken salad?! it was probably the eggs). Not good. I have since found some super reliable places to eat in Mostar, so go to the places I recommend and exercise a general amount of caution (eat local dishes, order reliable things) and you’ll be totally fine.
The Food House
This place is a bit more affordable and has some absolutely delicious options both of very traditional food and more western-ish things you might be more familiar with. It’s very close to the bridge and is very reliable. A great chance to try something new.
This place is right near the old bridge and perhaps has the best food in Mostar. The workers are all dressed up in traditional clothing, and provide great service as you sit among the fairy lights strung between trees. It’s super cute, really. Get a tasting platter that has a bit of everything, and get amongst the local/Turkish influenced food.
Cafe de Alma Coffee Shop
I already mentioned this, but you MUST try Bosnian coffee, and this is a good place to do it. If it’s full (which it often might be) there are a lot of other small cafes too.
Grab Food to Go and Picnic Near the Bridge
Grab some takeaway cevapi in the town – many places do this. (If you don’t know, cevapi is basically like little sausage sticks of hamburger meat. They’re a classic food for the Balkans, and in Bosnia they come with chopped onions and ajvar/red pepper sauce inside a pita. Delicious and hard to mess up.) Take the food to one of the public platforms near the old bridge and enjoy the sunset and/or old town lit up at night as you eat.
Alternatively, grab some groceries from a nearby market and make yourself a picnic fit for a king, with a view. You can’t go wrong with charcuterie platter supplies. I did this while traveling solo for my birthday one year.
There are lots of fresh and delicious bakeries, and they get cheaper and cheaper the farther you go from the main town.
Black Dog Pub
Black Dog Pub is the place to go have some drinks after dinner. It’s right along a smaller stream that empties into the Neretva, with a smaller version of the Stari Most bridge that was constructed prior to the larger version to make sure it was constructionally sound. You might meet some locals there who will take you to Mostar’s nightclub on the other side of the bridge, in a cave-like opening in the cliff.
Where to Stay in Mostar
The last part of my Mostar travel guide has come: where to stay in Mostar. There are hostels in Mostar to stay in, but honestly this place is so cheap that you might as well treat yourself to a private room for no more than 30-40 Euro, or a nice airbnb.
I was able to find a one bedroom from a travel agency for 35 /night right next to the bridge a few years back. Another time when I was with a few others, I stayed at a lovely airbnb right outside of town and not far from the Kajtaz house. There are a few boutique hotels, with even nicer ones under construction. There are plenty of options! Here are a few links:
There are plenty of highly rated hotels in the city, depending on what you’re looking for.
There are also many cheaper hostels around town as well.
Remember to pin this guide to Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Where to Travel From Mostar
The Balkans are a stunning area to travel through, and many of Bosnia’s neighbouring countries are worth visiting on a Balkans road trip.
Montenegro is an east border crossing from Bosnia. Check out all the best things to do in Montenegro in my Montenegro Road Trip Guide.
Well, that’s it for things to do in Mostar! Did you enjoy my Mostar travel guide? Is there anything I missed?! Let me know if the comments!