Mostar, Bosnia

Mostar is the largest region in Bosnia-Hercegovina with a charming old town combined with stunning natural beauty. When you visit Mostar you can see the divisions where East blends with West. You’ll find mosques and churches as well as oriental design mixed with western influence. 

Why Mostar Needs to be on Your Bucket List

While a visit to Mostar was depressing not that long ago after the Balkan war in the 90’s between the Bosnians and the Croats, the city is getting more uplifting all the time. Mostarians are committed to rebuilding at a fast pace and are working hard to help Mostar reclaim its title as one of the premier destinations in the former Yugoslavia.

In my opinion, there’s no better time than now to visit Mostar. Here are my best tips you need to know to fully experience the historic, scenic, culinary, and nature in and around the town of Mostar. 

Mostar truly a sight to behold and if it’s not already on your bucket list after you read this-it will be!

What to Know Before Visiting Mostar 

  • Mostar lies at the crossroads of two ethnicities and religions – the Muslim Bosnia and the Catholic Herzegovina.
  • Mostar is a very safe city to visit. Crime is at a low level, and the people are very welcoming.
  • The best time to visit is between April- October. I went toward the end of April before the busy summer travel months. The weather in April/May and September/October is warm and comfortable with a small amount of rainfall. 
  • All you need is around 24-48 hours to explore the Old Town and squeeze in a couple of day trips to nearby sites. 
  • Leave your flip-flops and heels at home. The cobblestone streets throughout the Old Town are very slippery!  
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina use the Convertible Mark for their currency. However, we didn’t have any trouble using Euros at any restaurants, or shops. We actually found the exchange rate was better when we used Euros.

How to Get to Mostar?

  • The easiest way to get to Mostar is by renting a car from Sarajevo or Dubrovnik. Crossing the border into Bosnia by car can take five minutes to an hour or longer, depending on traffic and the time of year you’re visiting. We crossed the border in April in under 10 minutes. 
  • If you do decide to rent a car, be sure to tell your car rental company you plan on crossing the border into Bosnia. Your car rental company needs to ensure that you have a cross-border insurance card (called a green card). This is important to show to the agents at the border that your car has the minimum level of insurance required.
  • Both Dubrovnik and Sarajevo have daily buses departing between the cities as well as organized tours.

Where to Stay in Mostar?

For a truly memorable experience in Mostar stay at the Muslibegović House.  We loved every minute of our stay at the  Muslibegović House on Osmana Džikića which is actually a national monument. This former Ottoman mansion is just steps away from the Old Town and has the most charming rooms with large four-poster beds. 

Muslibegovic House
Muslibegovic House Hotel

The entire staff at the Musilbegovic House couldn’t have been more hospitable. We were greeted with a welcome drink that we enjoyed in their beautiful courtyard when we arrived. We had a delicious complimentary breakfast every morning. As guests of the Muslibegović House, you are also invited to go on a tour of the house and learn about the residential architecture in the country’s Ottoman period.

What to Do in Mostar

Walk Across the Stari Most

The jewel of Mostar is the Stari Most. The Stari Most, known in English as the Old Bridge, is in the very heart of the Old Town. It was an engineering masterpiece and stood for 400 years until it was destroyed during the Civil War in 1993. 

In November of 1993, the bridge was directly targeted during a Croatian artillery attack until it collapsed. After the war, the Stari Most was one of the first projects that was undertaken to rebuild. To preserve its legacy, the same 16th-century building technique was used and stone was brought in from the original quarry to restore it to its former glory. The bridge reopened in 2004, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stari Most

Stari Most

The Stari Most is famous for bridge divers who plunge off the ledge for tips during April-October. It’s actually possible for tourists to join the divers, but you need to complete a training with the Bridge Diver’s Club first. On our walking tour we learned that bridge diving is commonly a summer job for young Mostarians (mostly male).

Popover Photo Tip: The best views of the bridge are down below by the water. You’ll find less crowds early in the morning.

Explore the War Photo Exhibit

War Photo Exhibit

Visit the powerful exhibit by New Zealand photojournalist Wade Goddard and see the war captured through photos. You’ll find the War Photo Exhibit above the Bridge Diver’s Club area that’s located in the western tower that overlooks the Stari Most. The entrance fee is €4.

Climb to the Top of the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque

View of the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque
View of the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque

This stunning mosque will give you a 360º view of Mostar you can’t miss. Like Stari Most, this mosque was almost completed destroyed during the war, but has since been restored.

There is a entrance fee of less than $3 USD to climb the 88 stairs up the minaret.Visitors are not required to wear head coverings or remove shoes. The courtyard outside the mosque is a lovely place to relax.

Find the “Don’t Forget” Stone

While tourism has been on the rise in Mostar, this small stone at the entrance to the Stari Most serves has a subtle reminder of the city’s challenging past. It’s important that the tragic times that the city went through should not be forgotten. 

Don't Forget Stone

Learn the History of Mostar on a Tour with a Mostarian 

Spend a morning with Sheva Walking Tours and learn firsthand from a Mostarian about Mostar’s history and culture. Sheva Walking Tours offers free tours every day that are the perfect way to give you an authentic and informative overview of Mostar. 

Our amazing guide Sevko does a great job of giving his guests a well-balanced perspective of the history of Mostar. You can see just by walking through the city that Sevko is loved by Mostarians, and he has a gift of storytelling.

Sheva Walking Tours
Sheva from Walking Tours

My biggest takeaway from our walking tour was learning how much animosity exists today in Mostar between the Bosniak and Croats. On the walking tour you’ll go by the main division in the city Boulevard Dr. Ante Starcevica with the Croats on the west side and the Bosniak side to the east. There are separate schools, churches, hospitals, and even separate post offices. 

More information about Sheva Walking Tours and when and where the tours meet can be found here.

Sip on a Bosnian Coffee

Bosnian coffee isn’t just a drink. It’s part of Bosnian culture. Stop by Cafe de Alma and learn what it takes to prepare and enjoy a cup of Bosnian coffee. Cafe de Alma was my favorite cafe in Mostar. It’s location couldn’t be better just off the Stari Most on the west bank of the Neretva River. 

Cafe de Alma Mostar, Bosnia

Yaz is the owner of Cafe de Alma, and loves to create memorable experiences of his guests. Yaz personally prepared our coffee for us and took the time to sit down and teach us the proper Bosnian way to drink your coffee. The experience was so personal and unique it made a lasting impression on me!

Buy Handmade Copper at the Čaršija

The Old Town market, or Čaršija is the heart of Mostar. The market is on both sides of the river of  the Stari Most due to the split between the Bosniaks and Croats. 

Shopping at the Čaršija

The Čaršija has a distinct middle eastern feeling with stalls selling rugs, lamps, and copper. Mostar’s speciality is handmade copper products. Walking down the streets of the Čaršija you’ll hear the clank, clank, clank of the hammers from the copper shops. 

Popover Tip: If you are interested in buying copper plates or coffee pots to avoid knock-offs only buy from stalls where you can see vendors making their products.

Stroll on the Crooked Bridge

Kriva Cuprija

It’s not for sure when or why The Kriva Cuprija (or ‘Crooked Bridge’) resembles a smaller version of the Stari Most just without the bridge diving. It’s purpose was to have been a test-run for the later construction of the Stari Most.

It’s a beautiful area to have an evening stroll surrounded by picturesque restaurants. The original bridge that was built was washed away by floods in 2000, but was rebuilt with support funds from UNESCO shortly after.

Where to Eat in Mostar 

Meat lovers rejoice! The specialty in Mostar is meat… and it’s delicious. Bosnian food has more Middle Eastern influence and incorporates many spices. Be sure to try Cevapi, oblong-shaped kebabs from lamb and beef served with Bosnian pita bread and raw onions.

Restoran Lagero
View from Restoran Lagero with a Bosnian Meat Plate and Local Beer

Tima Irma

Our first dinner in Mostar was a delicious grilled meat plate at Tima Irma. Tima Irma has been in business for more than 30 years, and is family owned with a lively atmosphere and huge portions. The food and drinks are some of the cheapest you’ll find at restaurants in the city, and the staff are all very friendly. For example, when we asked for the check, they even gave us a free beer! 


A dinner at Šadrvan is memorable for the delicious food and ambiance. You’ll sit outside under a canopy of trees and sparkling lights. The food is served on old Turkish-style dishes and the waiters wear traditional Bosnian costumes.

We ordered the meat sampler plate for two, and it came with generous selection of different dishes including cevapi, minced meat dumplings, and dolma which were all amazing. View from Restoran Lagero with a Bosnian Meat Plate and Local Beer

Restoran Lagero

Restoran Lagero is where you go for an excellent dinner, but stay even longer for the view. The service is friendly and family-run.  Ask for a table on the veranda and watch the divers dive off the Stari Most.

Best Day Trips from Mostar

Kravice Falls
Kravice Falls

Blagaj Tekke

Blagaj Tekke is where history, architecture and nature blend to create one of the most mystical sites in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Just 20 minutes south of Mostar is the beautiful tekija, or monastery, in the town of Blagaj. The monastery was founded by Dervish monks built back in the 16th century. 

Blagaj Tekke


Part of the beauty of the monastery comes from its location. The Tekke is built at the foot of a cliff next to a cave with a pool of beautiful turquoise water below. Unlike the bare walls and floors common to many refurbished historical buildings, the Tekke has beautiful carpets and pillows. It’s open to look around for a small entrance fee. 

Popover Tip: You can borrow a scarf, or sarong at the Tekke if your legs are exposed. Because it is still a functioning religious building proper clothing is required.Women will have to cover their hair. 

Kravice Falls 

Kravice Falls is a hidden gem in Bosnia. I recommend reaching the falls by renting a car, but tour companies in Mostar also offer daily tours. The drive is an hour south from Mostar, and I recommend you combine it with a visit to Blagaj Tekke

The Kravice Falls are so peaceful. You can rent a boat for €5 per person if you want to see the falls up close too. During summer it’s a popular swimming spot too!

Final Thoughts on Mostar

There’s no place like Mostar, and it will instantly captivate you. The people of Bosnia were some of the most welcoming and friendly of any county I’ve ever visited. You’ll love Mostar for the history, food, nature, but it’s the people who will keep you wanting to come back.

Pin This Guide for Later! 

Mostar, Bosnia Why It Needs to be On Your Bucket List

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  1. Wow this is like a fairytale town. That first picture is so very enchanting. I know you recommend a car, but are there trains or buses you could take to get there as well?

  2. Mostar has been on our radar for a while now. Your post just reconfirmed that we should go. How many days do you recommend staying in Mostar?

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! Two nights is perfect! In two days you can see the town and have room for some day trips!

  3. Ah how nice that you took a photo with Sevko 😀
    We had pretty similar experiences in Mostar, and I agree with you that Šadrvan is a great restaurant!
    Sounds like I have to go back to Bosnia for Blagaj Tekke, thank you for the tip 🙂

  4. Bosnia crossed my radar this past year while planning a trip for December. After reading more about it, I decided to save it for when the weather would be warmer. Your post reminded me to look into this beautiful country some more. LOVE your photos! #gltlove

  5. Hi, nice story on Mostar. Just to let you know that Mostar is not in Bosnia, but in Hercegovina (very different, especially for local people). It’s like one would say thay Madrid is Catalonia.
    Mostar is a capital of Hercegovina. So either Mostar in Hercegovina or Mostar in Bosnia and Hercegovina would be ok. But not Mostar in Bosnia.

  6. What gorgeous photos as always! I have never considered a trip to Bosnia but I have seen so many wonderful reviews about it — including yours! So, I think I might just have to go 🙂

  7. I cannot wait to visit Mostar and all of Bosnia – your pictures are beautiful and really make me want to visit! Thanks so much for the tips – saving for later 🙂

  8. Mostar looks like the cutest town and so many cool things to do in the area! Wish I made a stop here after I visited Croatia!

  9. What a beautiful place. I think I’d feel right at home in that market. I love local markets when I go traveling. A friend I have went to Bosnia and raved about it, it might have tti go further up my list

    1. Wow Mistar looks like a hidden gem ,thanks for sharing this useful Post . Hope to visit someday

  10. Wow! Mostar sounds amazing. I already have a sailing trip planned in Croatia for next summer, I’ll think I’ll add a few days in Bosnia to visit Mostar afterwards!

  11. I only visited Mostar on a day trip from Dubrovnik, but I absolutely loved it! I remember though that you didn’t have to walk far from the Old Town to find signs of a war torn city (I visited back in 2007, it may well have been restored/regenerated a lot since then). I’d love to see more of Bosnia – when we can travel again 🙂

  12. I visited Mostar in 2018 and it was a dream of mine to see the Stari Most. Your post has just made me wanna go visit again and explore more

  13. Mostar looks so beautiful, particularly those views from the mosque, wow! I can’t wait to visit there one day. I’ll be saving this guide for when I can go there.

  14. I am totally going to Mostar when I do my Balkans trip. You sold me with this guide and all of your photos are so beautiful! 🙂

  15. OMG Mostar is so beautiful! I have never been to Bosnia even though one of my best friends is from there! I would absolutely love to go!

  16. Your pictures are so beautiful and this guide is really amazing! Saving it for future reference.

  17. I was actually sick in Mostar, so I do not have great memories. But looking at your beautiful photos, I can see what an enchanting place it could be!

  18. I was just listening to a podcast about Bosnia yesterday and had no idea how beautiful it was. Your post was perfect timing for me to add a visual for a great destination.

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