During our recent road trip through the Balkans, one place we really wanted to visit was Mostar. We had seen photos of its iconic bridge scattered across our social feeds and it was time we finally saw it for ourselves!
We hit the road, and drove from Kotor in Montenegro, along the tiny, winding roads of Bosnia & Herzegovina until we arrived at this quaint, historic town.
We only had one full day to see as much of Mostar as we possibly could … and we were up for the challenge! Here is everything we got up to during our short stay in this beautiful town.
SUBSCRIBE TO FLYING THE NEST ON YOUTUBE
Things To Do
One of the countries most famous sites is the Stari Most (or Old Bridge). The bridge was built back in the 16th century by the Ottomans. It crosses over the turquoise Neretva river, and is situated in the heart of Mostar’s historic Old Town. Unfortunately, during the civil war the bridge was destroyed but has since been rebuilt. In 2005 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting thousands of tourists (just like us) to Mostar each year.
Something that makes Stari Most even more unique is the bridge diving. This involves trained professionals diving from the very top of the Stari Most to entertain the crowds below. This is something you can not miss!
The distance between the top of the bridge to the river below is 20m, which means not just anyone can take the plunge. There is even an official annual competition held here as part of Red Bull’s cliff diving competition.
Just a short drive out of Mostar is the small village of Blagaj. We drove out here during sunset to visit the famous monastery, founded by Dervish monks in the 16th century. What makes this monastery so special is that it is built at the foot of a cliff face, looking over a beautiful pool of water.
Here you can find restaurants along the water overlooking this picturesque site. Also, if you walk to the other side of the water, during the summer you can take a little pull-boat inside the cave next to the monastery for a unique view.
Located in the heart of Mostar’s Old Town is its market, or as the locals say čaršija. The market is located on either side of the river, right near Stari Most. The market has an eastern feel to it, thanks to the Ottoman influences, with stalls selling rugs, copper items, beautifully painted plates and plenty of souvenirs.
Something we loved about these markets is that they are full of not only tourists, but also locals coming to shop here as well.
If you are looking for something to do outside of Old Town to get away from the crowds, we recommend driving south to see some amazing waterfalls. Kravice Falls is still not so known, and in the summertime the waters aren’t so full which means you can swim right underneath the falls.
If you are wanting to see the falls at full force, we recommend going during the spring when there is the most water.
Where To Stay
During our time in Mostar we stayed at the most beautiful Airbnb with our family, and it was super affordable. It was a 2 bedroom apartment, equipped with a kitchen, lounge area and balcony! We had a grocery store across the street and the apartment was located right next to Old Town, so each morning we could walk right into the historical part of town.
If you are looking for a ridiculously cheap place to stay, these apartments are fantastic. With its own garden, free wifi and only 2km from the Old Bridge – its a pretty good find! All units have a private bathroom, air conditioning, a TV and a fridge.
Situated only 200m from the Old Bridge, Hotel Kapetanovina offers rooms, suites and studios all with air conditioning, flat-screen TV and free wifi. Many rooms have views over the Old Town & Old Bridge.
Located inside a heritage-listed limestone house, this hotel is situated only steps aways from the Old Bridge in Mostar. It offers rooms with balconies, a restaurant serving delicious traditional dishes and a summer terrace overlooking the Radobolja.
Where To Eat
Cafe de Alma
If you are looking for an authentic, Bosnian coffee than you need to come to this cafe! The fresh coffee is prepared from ground beans and served in a traditional pot along with a side of turkish delight. The staff are super friendly, and share with you how the coffee is made and the traditional way to prepare and drink it.
Rade Bitange, Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Located along the river, with views of the surrounding hillside, Hindin Han is the spot to go if you are looking to try some typical Bosnian dishes. The restaurant is built in a refurbished historical home with a stunning wooden balcony decorated with green plants. They serve a lot of meat platters, plenty of veggie options, and a couple of authentic seafood dishes.
Jusovina, Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Set in a beautiful old stone building that used to be a leather factory, Babilon serves classic Bosnian cuisine, including stuffed vine leaves and various grilled meats. We recommend to come and eat here at night, the outdoor tables overlook the lit-up Stari Most and it is absolutely breathtaking.
tabhana bb, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Food House Restaurant
If you are looking for a place that serves really tasty vegetarian and vegan food (along with plenty of options for meat eaters), Food House is the place for you. They serve a mix of Bosnian, Italian and Mediterranean foods, featuring Bosnian home-style dishes, pastas, risotto, fish, gluten free meals and deserts – and it is all pretty cheap!
Rade Bitange 12, Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
TIPS FOR DRIVING IN THE BALKANS
Driving in the Balkans is certainly … an experience. We absolutely loved our road trip and think that driving is the best way to explore the Balkans, but there are just a few things you need to know before you go.
The Green Card Insurance:When you hire your car (we hired it out of Croatia) you will also need to pay for a Green Card. This cost us around €25, and we had to show this to leave and enter any countries we visited in the Balkans.
Driving here is not for the faint-hearted: The roads are extremely tight, you will be driving along the edge of cliffs, potholes seem to appear out of nowhere and we saw numerous car accidents throughout our journey. Thankfully we got through it without even a scratch, but we thought we may warn you that it is a beautiful drive, but not the easiest of road trips.
READ MORE: TOP THINGS TO SEE & DO IN KOTOR, MONTENEGRO