You knew it was coming, right? A bombardment of photos and travel talk from my recent trip to Mostar, Bosnia?
Buckle up, friends, because Mostar took me by storm. Actually, I almost went to Mostar four years ago during a trip to Croatia. But I went home with serious plans to come back in the future.
Well, the future has ARRIVED. I was just there with Theo and one of my besties, Anette, and I loved every bit of it. There’s nothing quite like Bosnia on a warm autumn day out of season. And that moment when you visit all those pretty places without the crowds. Pure magic.
Now that we’ve established that Bosnia is the best country, have you met Bosnia’s best city, Mostar? The only thing better than low-season Bosnia is low-season Bosnia with fairy tale old towns and underrated attractions. YES. I am all about that.
There are two things I’m going to do in this post: the first is share my favourite recommendations slash things to do in Mostar for anyone traveling there in the nearby future. These are the foods, sights, and experiences worth finding. The second thing I’m going to do is just blast the world with vacation pictures, some of which relate to the top list and some of which are just regular vacation pictures, because taking pictures is one of my favourite hobbies in all the land.
DAY TRIP FROM SARAJEVO TO MOSTAR WITH MEET BOSNIA
This trip was sponsored by Meet Bosnia.
I wanted to visit Mostar on a day trip from Sarajevo, but going by bus was out of the question since I had mini me along. That’s why I’m so thankful to have Samir from Meet Bosnia driving us around. We didn’t even have to do anything. I just sat there and let the scenery morph into my brain and it was an ultra happy place. With snacks.
Samir picked us up in his Audi (vroom vrooom) in the morning. And then he took us to Mostar, Blagaj, Kravice waterfalls, Konjic and Pocitelj. And he promptly became Theo’s new bestie. I seriously only have praises for Meet Bosnia – a tour company I would love to go with on my next trip to Bosnia. Because there will be a next!
Price: 65€ for a full day tour (10 hours), not including lunch and dinner. Bring water and money for entrance fees.
STARI MOST BRIDGE
Thanks to the Meet Bosnia tour, we saw 99% of the major Mostar attractions within one and a half hour, all while walking around in the perfect 26° C weather enjoying the sun and the nice Mostar breeze (related: go off-season).
Mostar has several nice sights, but the star of the show is the bridge, which it’s named after. Stari Most, which means “old bridge” is this high crooked Ottoman stone bridge that was built in the 16th century.
It’s surprisingly steep and slippery, as in you have to hold onto the railing. And don’t even think about bringing a stroller there. I had to DRAG it and Theo over the slippery uneven stone surface like a total nerd thank you very much.
But daaaaang, this is a beautiful place. Especially if you’re at the bottom of the bridge looking up.
THE BRIDGE DIVERS
To the bridge diving.
Because yes, that’s actually a thing in Mostar. You’re probably thinking the same thing as I did: why the heck would anyone jump from a 27m high bridge?!
Well, for the past 450 years, locals and tourists have jumped off the Stari Most bridge for some reason. And since 2015, one of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series takes place here.
Oh, and if you’re thinking about doing the dive then please, share your experiences with us if you survive the jump! I hate to be a wet blanket, but people have died from diving off the bridge. Or been seriously injured. Although it’s an old tradition for experienced locals, it’s just not safe.
Anette and I saw two divers jump within an hour or so. Samir had left the scene already. “Too nerve-wrecking”, he said.
On each side of the bridge, you’ll find the Carsija marked, which is loaded to the MAX with rugs, souvenirs, Turkish coffee, scarfs, jewelry, well, anything markedy really. You’ll feel back in time, almost like the Old Town in Sarajevo.
You probably won’t notice this, but the division between the Old Town is due to the split between the Bosnian and Croatian people that live in Mostar . If you begin to notice, you’ll see what resembles a religious competition in the buildings around the city centre. There are the towering minarets, the Catholic churches and the gigantic Hollywood cross on one of the hilltops.
It just goes to show that there’s more to Mostar than bridge diving and cevapi.
I’ve kind of had a fling with architecture lately. Or wait, like, over the last six years. This here, this one, that other one, and now a walk down memory lane back to the original half-timbered houses in Denmark that started my love affair? I can barely stand it.
So, in Mostar I threw myself over the Muslibegovic house, which is a super old Ottoman building. The house is from the 17th-century, and its furnished with all sorts of items from that period.
Really cool, although between you and me, I spent most of the time chasing after Speedy Gonzales, who was ALL over the place.
KOSKI MEHMED PASHA MOSQUE
When we got to the Koski Mehmed Pasha mosque, the nice entrance lady asked if any of us wanted to climb the minaret, which could perhaps be better referred to as “the super-narrow tower with near vertical, teeny-tiny stairs”.
I, predictably, accepted promptly, and it was, predictably, dizzying high.
My camera thanked me when I reached the top, though. Because – did you guys know minarets are the perfect view points? Yeah. Bosnia taught me that. They are the perfect place to get a panoramic view over the whole land.
Annnnd my signature minaret look.
KRIVA CUPRIJA (THE CROOKED BRIDGE)
On our way to lunch, we came across this cute little bridge (Mostar’s Crooked Bridge). This area looks like a little old town with its Shire-looking houses. Afterwards, I found out that it’s actually a mini version of Stari Most.
Aww. How cute.
THE DON’T FORGET STONES
On a more serious note, Mostar was at war not more than 20 years ago. Most of the historic town, including the Stari Most bridge, was destroyed. But Bosnians rebuilt it in 2004.
As I looked closer at the houses around the city centre, I started noticing the bullet holes. It’s one of the things that in my opinion make Bosnia the deepest and most impactful country in the Balkans. That, and fact that locals always ended up mentioning the war in our conversations one way or another.
There are also the “Don’t forget” stones located around town reminding its people and visitors of its sad history. Well, I won’t forget, Bosnia.
I don’t really have a whole lot to say about the river, except a) it’s really bright blue and green. And b) it runs through Mostar and divides the Old Town. Oh, and c) I think you can even do river rafting on Neretva river, but not in Mostar, though.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN MOSTAR
We ate really well.
I ordered cevapi and Anette got the steak and a salad, but the thing that really made me swoon was the french fries. Just plain salty french fries. What kind of food voodoo is this?
In general, the food was so good, and mostly not healthy, and that’s okay because vacation. Favourite places to eat in Mostar were:
- Hindi Han (which also has a great view)
- Irma Tima
Okay, so I have a few takeaways for you. First: please go on a fun trip to Bosnia. It doesn’t have to be fancy or for long. Just go there and eat french fries and cevapi away from your regular life.
Second: …May I recommend Mostar?
Third: When you go to Mostar, be prepared to be blown away by the fairy tale sights and the coronary-inducing food. But no regrets. Life is worth living.
Have a great week, guys! ♡