Mostar is the most visited city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even the number of tourists is higher than the country’s capital Sarajevo. The town lies on the banks of the Neretva River, between the heights of Hum and Mount Velez. Mostar is the fifth-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The town was actually named after “mostari” the bridge keepers. The city’s signature place, the Old Bridge over Neretva, is called “Stari Most.”
Mostar came under Ottoman Empire rule in 1468. The city’s fortification was started in 1520 and finished 46 years later in 1566. The city’s famous bridge was built in 1566 with the orders of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. 28 meters long and the 20-meter-high bridge became the architectural wonder of its time. The bridge was so high on that day that it was likened to a rainbow between two cliffs.
Mostar was heavily damaged during the Serbian – Bosniak, and Croatian – Bosniak wars. After the Croat-Bosniak war, the city was divided into Croat majority west bank and Bosniak majority east bank, also known as the old city. After standing still for 427 years, the Old Bridge was destroyed on 9 November 1993 during the Croat-Bosniak wars.
After the war ended, UNESCO, World Monuments Fund, World Bank, Council of Europe Development Bank, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey created a committee to rebuild the bridge. The same technology, building techniques, and materials were used in the reconstruction, and the bridge was made similar to the original. The reconstruction took 3 years, from 7 June 2001 to 23 July 2004. The cost of reconstruction was 15.5 million US dollars.
The bridge is the city’s icon, but the town has a couple of more things. One-day visit will be more than for Mostar. Even though there are many things to see, the places worth seeing are close to each other. The best place to go in Mostar is limited to Old Town. Visitors generally visit Mostar while touring Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, or Split. The region enjoys a warm climate, with an average annual temperature of 15 Celcius.
Places to Visit in Mostar
The old bridge is the most popular place in the city. Still, there are other historical sites and natural wonders in Mostar.
Koshi Mehmed Pasha Mosque
There are 15 mosques in Mostar, and Koshi Mehmet Pasha Mosque is the most beautiful one by far. Mehmed Pasha Koski was Grand Master of Finance of the Ottoman army. He was ordered to build the mosque but failed to see it finished since he died in 1618. Koshi Mehmed Pasha Mosque was destroyed in 1993 during the siege and rebuilt between 1999 and 2001. The mosque is not active anymore and is closed to worship, but it is open to the public for a visit.
In the eastern part of the Mostar, there are 5 old houses open to visitors. The most popular of them is the Kajtaz House. Kajtaz House was built in the 16th century, making it one of the oldest houses in the whole country. The house is still inhabited by the Kajtaz family.
Tara Tower, Museum of the Old Bridge
The Museum of the Old Bridge is not only dedicated to the Old Bridge but also informs visitors about the history of the region. Museum’s building, Tara Tower, was built in 1087 and completely remodeled in 1676. The tower also has a magnificent view of the district. You can watch the destruction video of the bridge in 1993 and learn details of the reconstruction project.
Karadoz Bey Mosque
Karadoz Bey Mosque is one of the most monumental mosques in Herzegovina. The mosque was designed by the Grand Architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan. There is a fountain, library, and madrassa in the mosque’s courtyard. The mosque was damaged during World War II and Croat-Bosniak War in 1993. Karadoz Bey Mosque is also rebuilt after the war.
The Mostar market is located in the Muslim area of the city. The market probably contains everything. You can find fresh fruits, greens, and vegetables on one side and shoes, jewelry, spices, clothes, and oils on the other. If you want to taste the local culture and lively atmosphere. The market is amid colors, tastes, and smells. You can enjoy yourself with the community while having a launch in the local restaurants.
Mostar is full of historical places, local wonders, and significant natural areas in the city. Kravica waterfalls on of the most beautiful sites in Bosnia. It was about 30 kilometers from Mostar towards Ljubuski. If you think about where should I go in Mostar, you should definitely add waterfalls to your list. The amphitheater shape of the waterfalls is worth a short detour. Series of waterfalls cascade down a wall from several hundred meters in a very green setting. Take your swimsuit with you if you visit waterfalls in the summer season. You’ll enjoy the breezy waterfall and swim on the beaches along the river in the summer.
War Photo Exhibition
Mostar has had a lot of wars in history. If you want to know what happened in the region War Photo Exhibition is a must-see spot. The exhibition can be accessible by a ladder in the west tower of the Old Bridge. You can understand towns and populations’ conditions under war with touching shots of the New Zealand photographer Wade Goddard. There is also another symbol of the tragedy of battle near the exhibition. A rock engraved “Don’t Forget” on it is a reminder of how war can damage a city and its residents.
Where to Stay in Mostar
If you want to stay a couple days in Mostar, you can try to find where to stay in Mostar city. Since the town is the most popular touristic spot in the country, you can find different options. The old town region might seem the best area to stay in Mostar. But the region attracts too many visitors; sometimes, the region becomes crowded and noisy. If you like to sleep in silence then the best hotels Mostar is in the center of the city.
High Priced Places to Stay in Mostar
Hotels are essential for relaxing, unwinding, and enhancing your experience in a city. Before starting an adventure and discovering Mostar, you want to be well-rested.
Hotel Mepas: Hotel Mepas is at the heart of the city. You can walk anywhere in the city if you stay here. Mostar is a popular location, but visitors tend to stay shorter. Nevertheless, the hotel has a cinema and entertainment center for adults and children. Or you can enjoy the hotel’s spa after an exhausting day. Hotel Mepas is one of the best places to stay in Mostar.
Hotel Mostar: Hotel Mostar is located in the city center. The hotel is almost at the heart of the city’s transportation network. It is 1.3 km from the Old Bridge; you can walk in a refreshing morning for a visit. The hotel also has a fitness center for its visitors.
HA Hotel Mostar: Ha Hotel Mostar is a little bit away from the Old Bridge region of the city. The hotel also offers romantic garden rooms for couples. You can hire a car during your visit from the hotel. HA Hotel Mostar is also a popular cycling place. You can enjoy yourself in a cycle-friendly neighborhood in Mostar. It is the best place to stay in Mostar for couples.
Budget-Friendly Hotels in Mostar
If you plan a multi-spot vacation, budget-friendly hotels are preferred places to stay in Mostar.
Boutique Hotel Old Town Mostar: In the center of the old town, Boutique Hotel Old Town Mostar offers an immersive experience. One of the most essential things is hotel is just 3 minutes walk from the beach. If you want to visit the region’s most important historical site and enjoy a beach, this is the right spot.
Hotel Eden: Hotel Eden is another hotel close to Old Bazaar and the Old Bridge. This is one of the best hotels Mostar, if you’re looking for a place to unwind. The hotel offers a spa section, swimming pool, sauna, and famous Turkish bath.
Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Cuprija: You want to rest steps away from the Old Bridge; Kriva Cuprija is the place. Its famous restaurant also offers unique local tastes. With a wide selection of local meals and deserts, you can have a different experience.
Low-Budget Hotels in Mostar
Low-budget hotels must be on the list for a place you spend the night without extra piffles.
Hotel Hercegovina: Hotel Hercegovina is one of the best places to stay in Mostar if you are looking for low-budget hotels. It is located a couple of minutes drive to the Old Bridge. The hotel also has a traditional Bosnian cuisine restaurant.
Patria B&B: The Old Bridge, St. Paul, or Peter Church is a couple of steps away from Patria B&B. It is also 8 kilometers from the Mostar Airport; Patria B&B is an excellent place to stay for your flights.
Hotel Villa Milas: Hotel Villa Milas has an excellent location. If you are looking to Mostar where to stay everywhere, this hotel is one of the limited options. You walk to a beach, to the Old Town. You can see The Franciscan Monastery from your window.
Where to Visit Close to Mostar
Mostar is a beautiful city to visit. With its rich history, the city is one of the best tourist spots in the region. But you can see many of the places in one day. Two-day vacation in Mostar might be too much. There are worth visiting a couple of cities around Mostar. If you plan a multi-day vacation, you can visit other towns close to Mostar.
Sarajevo is the capital and the largest city in the country. After Mostar, it is the most visited city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo was an Ottoman stronghold in the early 15th century. The city has a lot of historical marvels; it is considered as Jerusalem of Europe. You can find many historic mosques, churches, and synagogues in the town. Sarajevo tram is the first full-time tram network in Europe and the second in the world after San Francisco.
The other important thing about the city is this is the place where World War I sparked. In 1915, Bosnian activist Gavrilo Princip assasinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.
Dubrovnik is a little bit far away from Mostar, but if you are in the region, you should take a little ride and visit Dubrovnik. The city is one of the best places to visit in Croatia. Since you’re visiting another country, you should check your visa first. It doesn’t matter if you visit Dubrovnik in summer or winter. Because of natural wonders, lakes, beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and forts, Dubrovnik is worth visiting. The city is a bit bigger than Mostar, and there are many places to visit, so two day vacation will be enough for Dubrovnik. By the Adriatic Sea, the city is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Dalmatia.
Split is another city close to Mostar and worth visiting. Split is the second most populated city in Croatia and the most visited place in the country. Some essential monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Split. The town was founded in the 2nd century BC. Different empires and kingdoms ruled the city during this time, and this city has many historical marvels to visit. There are many things to see from late Greek to World War II; it is nearly 2000 years. Like Dubrovnik, Split is in a different country from Mostar, so if you want to visit these cities, you should check your visa. Split is a far bigger city than Mostar or Dubrovnik so you can stay in the city for 2 – 3 days to visit many places in the city. Split is also very famous nightlife. If you want to move away from history, visiting bars and clubs are waiting for you in the city.