Mostar is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Surrounded by mountains and set on the banks of the emerald green Neretva River, the natural beauty of Mostar is reason alone to visit. There’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in the scenic views of the city while sipping a delicious (and strong!) Bosnian coffee.
There is also very painful and complicated history in Mostar. With the a war and genocide both occurring in the 90’s, the city is still mending its wounds–both physically and emotionally. Evidence of the war and subsequent genocide is still visible all over the city. It might be difficult to read about, but there is much to learn from Mostar’s history.
To make the most out of your time in Mostar, here are the 13 most amazing things that we did while we visited. We hope you enjoy!
1. Walk Across Stari Most
Any images you’ve seen of Mostar have likely featured Stari Most, Mostar’s fairytale stone bridge. This beautiful bridge connects both sides Mostar across the Neretva River, a stunning green river that flows through the city.
The original Stari Most bridge was built during the Ottoman Period in the 16th century, but it was destroyed in 1993 during the Croat-Bosniak War. After reconstructing the bridge to portray its former facade, the new bridge was opened in 2004.
2. Visit the Mostar Sniper Tower
The Mostar Sniper Tower was once a bank and was seized as a sniper tower during the Bosnian War in the 1990s. Today, it is has been boarded up and is all but abandoned. However, many people still sneak in (as you can see by the stacks of rocks to give entrants a boost when hopping the wall).
Recently, the Sniper Tower has been reclaimed by local artists who have turned the place into a street art museum of sorts. Beautiful colorful graffiti murals cover almost every inch of the tower. Much of the art proclaims positive messages and images, heralding people forward into a new age and putting the war in the past–where it belongs.
3. Visit the Spanish Square and Mostar Gymnasium
The Spanish Square is one of the most beautiful parts of Mostar. Featuring a bright orange Ottoman-style building, this is yet another picture perfect part of Mostar. The building actually houses a school now, and we got to wander around early in the morning when the doors were open.
There is also a beautiful park and pedestrian walkway located behind the building, so take a stroll and enjoy once you’re finished marveling at the building.
4. Check out the Street Art
Mostar has some of the coolest street art in Eastern Europe. While the sniper tower is probably the best place to check it out, you’ll also see colorful street art located all around town. We love the way it really brightens the city up!
5. Try Bosnian Coffee
Bosnian coffee is definitely not for the faint of heart. Be warned, this is STRONG coffee! That being said, it’s a really cool part of Bosnian culture and it is definitely worth trying while you are there. Many of the local cafes surrounding Stari Most serve this coffee, so it’s not hard to find. We are told that it is very similar to Turkish coffee.
6. Go Shopping in the Old Bazaar
Yes, Mostar’s Old Bazaar can get a little crowded and touristy. It’s still well worth checking out for the people watching alone. The shops actually sell some really cool things, such as Bosnian style tableware and ceramics. Everything is very colorful and beautiful, and it’s a great way to bring home a relic from your trip. We didn’t buy anything while we were there, so we can’t advise on how the prices are.
7. Visit the Croatian Lodge
The Croatian Lodge or “Herceg Stjepan Kosaca” is a public-funded building that supports the arts. Outside, there are beautiful sculptures and fountains. Inside, you’ll see some great art hanging on the wall, as well as a full-sized theater. The theater shows local plays and shows, so be sure to inquire about show times while you are there. There is also a cute little cafe inside.
8. Learn about Bosnia’s history
It’s impossible to not notice that there was a war in Mostar not very long ago. Bullet holes mark buildings, cemeteries and monuments are dedicated to victims, and local art and signage commemorate the war all over the city. Spend some time reading about the history in Bosnia to fully understand the gravity of what happened.
9. Go inside the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
The Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Mostar. Situated on the east side of the Neretva River, this beautiful mosque is well worth a visit. To go inside and climb the minaret, it’s only 6 euros per person.
10. Have a picnic in Park Zrinjevac
We were lucky enough to stay right next to Park Zrinjevac during our time in Mostar. This beautiful green park is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon reading, or bring a picnic to eat. There is even a statue of Bruce Lee for your viewing pleasure!
11. Climb to the top of the Franciscan Monastery
Originally destroyed during the war, the new and improved Franciscan Monastery was rebuilt and opened in 2000. The complex also houses and Catholic Church and library. There is a small fee to climb to the top of the tower to take pictures. We’ve heard the views are great, but be warned that they are glass windows at the top so your pictures might have a bit of a glare.
12. Marvel at some of the old ruins throughout the city
One of the most surprising things that we witnessed in Mostar were crumbling buildings all over the place. Many of the buildings have little left other than their foundation, and weeds and plants have grown all over them. They are as beautiful as they are creepy.
Many of them should probably be quarantined and roped off, but you can actually walk right in. We wouldn’t recommend going in, but they are cool to check out from the outside.
13. Try Bosnian Food
We LOVE Bosnian Food! Not only is it great value compared to U.S. prices, but it is also incredibly delicious! Our favorite dish was cevapi, which is sausages served with pita and raw onion. Our server even gave us a little fresh cream to eat with it, which was extra delicious.
This picture was taken at Restaurant Lagero. We highly recommend it not only for the food, but also the incredible views of Stari Most.
Mostar is an incredible city to visit. In addition to being very beautiful, there is also much to learn in a city like this. We enjoyed spending our days just walking around and discovering hidden gems within Mostar. It’s a very walkable city, and prices are very reasonable.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out our video on things to do in Mostar! We provide way more detail on what you can expect for your trip.
We hope you enjoy your time in Mostar. If you have any questions about what to expect, drop us a question in the comments below!
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