Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This article appears in Volume 31: The Freedom Issue.


Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Why now?

Mostar is a place waiting to be discovered, a snapshot of
Europe’s multicultural past. The medieval city is an assortment of
Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architecture with
mosques, churches and synagogues peacefully jostling together at
every corner. Nestled in a valley at the foot of the Velež
mountain, the old Turk-style houses are huddled against a dramatic
backdrop of sky rocketing peaks. Wandering through Mostar’s streets
you’ll be struck by ancient architectural beauty juxtaposed with
shells of buildings peppered with bullet holes – scars of the
Croat-Bosniak War of the 1990s. This war is the reason that, until
now, Mostar has pretty much stayed off the tourist route. However,
visitors are starting to return in search of a new Balkan gem; this
is the road less travelled and the drama of the region’s recent
history give Mostar some extra bite.

When to go?

Spring is the time to visit, when days are long and warm but
evenings are cool. There is also a great bustle about the city as
the locals come out from hibernation following the cold winter

Most likely to bump into…

Locals lining the streets enjoying rich Bosnian coffee and
burek, a crispy stuffed pastry.

Who to bring with you?

The mountainous backdrop, cobbled medieval streets and
picturesque bridges makes for a romantic destination, especially
after sundown when the city quietens and gently glows with
streetlights – perfect for couples wanting something a little

Don’t miss

The Stari Most or ‘Old Bridge’ is Mostar’s namesake and most
famous site. It stood for 427 years before being destroyed in 1993,
reopening in 2004 after many painstaking years of restoration –
watching the sunset over the bridge is a view not to be missed.
Climb to the minaret at the top of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque.
Looking down at Mostar below makes you feel like you’ve been
transported back to the 16th century. Venture 30KM out to the
Kravica Waterfalls where the water stretches over 100M across and
drops down 25M into a crystal-clear natural lake. Brave the ice
cold waters if you can!

An essential to bring with you

If you are tempted by the Kravica Waterfalls then swimwear is a
must. The more daring can join those who jump in from the Stari
Most, a tradition which has been going on for centuries.

How to get there

Admittedly not the easiest of journeys, fly to Sarajevo then
make the two-and-a-half-hour train journey to Mostar, on which you
can appreciate the natural splendour of Bosnia for just £4.

Discover More
Bled, Slovenia