Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, formerly one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, and today suffering geographical division of ethnic groups. The city was the most heavily bombed of any Bosnian city during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the break up of then-Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the war, the city lost many important buildings and structures through air strikes; later, once the formerly-aligned forces turned into enemies, a thorough destruction of this old city began, including the destruction of Mostar's architectural (as well as cultural and spiritual) heart: The Old Bridge (Stari Most). Mostar has been most famous for this beautiful historic Ottoman-style bridge, which spanned the Neretva river in what is considered the historic center of the city. Through combined efforts with the international community, The Old Bridge has been rebuilt (completed in 2004, almost 11 years after its destruction), using some of its original pieces recovered from the Neretva river. A significant portion of the city has been rebuilt, but the visitor will easily notice the many remnants of Mostar's troubled recent history.
Other than the bridge there isn't much to see and do in Mostar for the tourist, other than take photos of war damaged buildings. Staying overnight is not essential.
The Bus and Train stations are adjacent and are located close to the heart of Mostar.
There are two bus stations in Mostar, one next to the train station and another not too far away, also in the north part of the city, in a mostly destroyed building.
Frequent buses run between Mostar and Sarajevo (2 hours, hourly), Ploče, Dubrovnik (2 per day, 27-37 KM, 3-4 hours), Split, Zagreb, Podgorica, Banja Luka, and most cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Timetables are available online .
Note that the stop in Mostar for the bus from Podgorica, which continues to Banja Luka, is several kilometres from the city centre on an expressway. A taxi from there costs 10 KM. Call Mostar Taxi Adis, (+387 61 652 149), although english is not well understood.
The scenery on the train ride between Mostar and Sarajevo is stunning, passing through rugged terrain with a series of tunnels, U-turns and aqueducts. It is therfore more picturesque as well as cheaper to make this journey by train rather than by bus. However, the facilities of the train stations and the trains are rather dated, and the bus provides a more comfortable journey.
Mostar International Airport (IATA: OMO) is located in the village of Ortješ, 7.4 km south southeast of Mostar's railway station. However, there are currently no commercial flights operating to/from this airport.
- Stari Most - The Old Bridge Originally built by the Turks in 1566, it was destroyed in 1993, but rebuilt in 2004. The bridge is the highlight of Mostar and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge is 21m high and you will frequently see members of the Mostar Diving Club dive off the bridge. It is customary to give the divers a few KMs after they make the jump.
- Old Bridge Museum Next to the bridge Entry: 5 KMIncludes exhibits on the history of the bridge, a panoramic view from the top, and entrance into the excavations below, along with a video detailing the reconstruction of the bridge.
- Muslibegovica House located near the Karadoz - Bey’s Mosque http://www.muslibegovichouse.com/ Open for visitors 15 April – 15 October from 10AM-6PM Constructed 300 years ago, it is considered the most beautiful house from Ottoman period in the Balkans. The house is comprised of separate quarters for women (women’s courtyard– haremluk), and men (men’s courtyard – selamluk. Unlike earlier architectural styles, this house resembled a four-storey house built around the centre. Double-arched entrance with the central pillar reveals Mediterranean influence. The house preserved authentic monumental structure, items and documents providing an insight into the life of a wealthy bey family from the time. In addition to museum exhibition, visitors are invited to take traditional beverages or cookies, or spend a night in this authentic surrounding.
- History Museum of Herzegovina Open 8-16. Closed Mondays. KM 5 Has a small collection of photographs from various phases of Mostar history, including a small exhibit on a native son who appeared to have served as Tito's former Foreign Minister for a space. Also shows an excellent video on the recent history of the Old Bridge.
- Koski Mehmed Pasina Dzamija (Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque) Old town Entry: 3 KM, with minaret access: 5 KMSmall but simply pretty Ottoman mosque built in 1618. Climb to the minaret to see a great view over the town.
- Karadozbegova Dzamija (Karadjoz-Bey Mosque) Old town. Entry: 3 KM, with minaret access: 5 KMA modest Ottoman mosque built in 1557.
- Cemetary next to Karadjoz/Bey Mosque in the Old town A park turned into a cemetary in 1993 when the dead needed a place to be buried and other cemetaries were inacessible due to the war.
- Biscevica House Biscevica Street 4 KMAn Ottoman house, where you only can see the few rooms in upstairs.
- Watch locals dive off the Old Bridge Members of the Mostar Diving Club will dive off the bridge into the emerald green waters. Do not attempt this yourself. The waters of river are at a constant 12C and going suddenly from 30C to 12C can cause a heart attack amongst even the fittest. The young local men diving would hose themselves down first in order to lower their body temperature before diving.
- Walk Along the Former Front-line on Bulevar Revolucije Here, in 1993 the city was divided between Croats on the West and Muslims on the Eastern side. It is a surreal and sobering experience to see the bombed out buildings which still stand in this area.
Both euros (should be at 1:2 rate with the Bosnian KM) and Croatian kuna (at a rip-off rate) are widely accepted in shops and restaurants in Mostar.
- Jami Burek M. Balorde Old town Good and cheap place to have local burek.
- Pizzeria Roma near Mercator shopping centre, not far from Zrinjski stadium Great pizza.
- Palma A. Santica Just outside the Old town, close to Neretva river A great place to have cheap and good cakes (starting 1KM), ice cream and enjoy airconditioning on a hot day
- Dado 7rg 1 Maja b.b +387 36 552 043 €9 for 3 course meal including wine Delicious traditional Bosnian fare.
- Hindin Han Jusovina bb +387 36 581 054 Highly recommended, although service is slow.
- Kulluk Kurluk 1 +387 36 551 716
- Labirint Kujundjiluk bb
- MM across from Hotel Bristol on West side KM5-20Decent rendition of a mixed grill.
- Veranda In the Biosphere Shopping Center +387 36 512 245 http://www.biosphere.ba/biosfere-stranice-veranda-en.html
Many of nice lounge bars are located in the Old Town.
- OKC Abrasevic Omladinski Kulturni Centar Abrašević Alekse Šantića 25 http://www.okcabrasevic.org/ Bar with alternative concerts and other art events, founded on the former front line of the last civil War. On the second story of the bar is a small book-exchange (or so it seems :)
- Ali Baba's CaveThis bar has drinks and hookah; the ambiance is great as the lounge was built directly in a cavern. You won't be able to miss it while walking around the bazaar in Mostar's Old Town, as there is loud music emanating from the entrance.
- Studio Lounge M. Balorde Old town A cool open-air bar on top of a high building with jazzy/world music and a great view over the town. Sometimes live bands; keep your eyes open to see posters when walking in the Old town
- GuestHouse Taso M. Tita 187 on the main street of Mostar, 250m from the old bridge and old town +387 61 523 149 email@example.com Dorm €10, private single €15, private double €25Free internet, kitchen, cable tv, city tours, tours around Mostar.
- Hostel Majda's Rooms Fra Franje Milicevica 39 25 min walk from the bus station, pass the street and walk straight on Carinski Most street over the Nereiva river, take the first steet (A. Sanijca) on left, walk for about 1km, head towards the tall Catholic church and turn right to Franjevaka street, after the church takethe first street on right and then the first street on left, walk past two little bidges and the hostel in on right on the first floor of a regular apartment building; 10 min from the Old town; head towards the tall Catholic church on the other side of Nereiva river, then see above +387 61 382940, +387 61 382941 firstname.lastname@example.org Dorm bed: €10An excellent and warm welcoming hostel. Leave your number before arriving Mostar, and they will come pick you up at the bus station for free. The owner, Majda, is very friendly and will bend over backwards to accommodate you, suggest restaurants, bars, sights, and day trips. Free internet, tv, kitchen, linen. No curfew.
- Hostel Miturno Braće Fejića 67 situated on the left bank of river Neretva, 50 meters away from the fruit market overlooking the Old Bridge; check their website for the map +387 36 552 408 http://www.hostel-miturno.ba/ €10-15Cool clean hostel in the old town of Mostar. Free wi-fi, staff speaks very good English.
- Zdrava Hrana http://www.zdrava-hrana.com near the center +387 61 628 933, +387 61 272 525 http://www.zdrava-hrana.com/ Dorm bed: €10; Single: 30 KM; Double: 50 KMApartment and hostel.
- Hostel Miran - an excellent, cheap, friendly homestay in the new town. Free internet.
- Hostel Nina situated close to the old city, only 200 meters away from the old bridge +387 61 382 743 or +387 61 817 196 http://www.hostelnina.ba/index.php?do=stranice&tekstid=11&lang=en €10-15 Clean hostel in the old town of Mostar. Free internet, staff speaks very good English. Free pick up from the bus/train station can be arranged. In their own bar on the old bridge you can taste local drinks for local prices, first round is always on the house if you are a guest of the hostel. Furthermore the tours are great! Zika knows the real stories as he is a guy from the streets and can tell you everything about the city, the war en places around the city.
- Exclusive Bed and Breakfast - Mostar Fra. A Miletica 42 Across the road from the famous Franjevaèke catholic church. Behind Darios Cafè email@example.com +387 63 289 256 11am 10am €25 43.33678 17.807530Exclusive Bed and Breakfast offers a warm, homely feeling with close access to the Old Bridge, an 8 minute walk. All stays come with a rich continental breakfast in the morning. There is car parking with a secure locked gate and lock-up garage. Open fire place in the living room. Washing and drying for clothes is available upon request.
- Hotel Bevanda http://www.hotelbevanda.com/ The Bevanda hotel is located at Balinovac. It's so far, Mostar's only luxurious four star hotel. It's located in a quit area with beautiful nature and a river running under hotel it self, yet it's not more than 15 minutes walk from the historical core of the city. The hotel has a capacity of 28 rooms and two luxurious apartments. All rooms have access to a mini bar, Pay TV, Internet adapter and balcony. There are both rooms for smokers and non smokers. Here you will find a big restaurant, café, and a huge terrace outside lying on the river Radobolja. Also a hotel garage as well as outside parking is available.
- Hotel Bristol right side of the Musala bridge 45 rooms, a restaurant, and two conference rooms. The rooms are equipped with new furniture, airconditioning, telephone, new bathrooms and satellite TV. The restaurant has a capacity of 150 seats inside and outside. The Musala square across Neretva and Korzo Street in front of the hotel are two of the most frequent places in the city, which gives this hotel something extra.
- Hotel Ero side of the http://www.ero.ba/ 165 rooms and eight apartments. Rooms are equipped with telephones, internet adapters and satellite TV. The hotel also has a huge restaurant that provides both local and international food. This hotel is also ideal for conferences. The glass hall is the biggest one with up to 100 seats, thereafter there are the blue and the white halls with up to 50 seats. All rooms are equipped with projectors and video players. Outside the hotel there is a parking lot for visitors.
- Mostar Old Bridge View Villas http://www.mostar-villa.ba/ Three fully furnished two bedroom apartments with terraces on Neretva River directly over looking the Mostar Old Bridge.
- Motel Deny Mostar Kapetanovina 1 In a centre of the Old town just 50 m from the Old bridge +387 36 578 317 http://www.mdmostar.com 12:00 11:30 10 rooms with AC, cable TV, bathroom with shower, balcony with a view on the Old town and Old bridge, restaurant closed type, parking and internet wireless connection which is free of charge for guests.
- Motel Demadino Muje Bjelavca 5 +387 36 502 610 http://www.demadino.com/ €48Spotlessly clean.
- Motel Emen Old Town http://www.motel-emen.com/ 6 rooms. Free internet.
- Oscar Pansion ten meters from the bridge Rooms are very clean, with television and air-conditioning and the price is surprisingly low. The young boy and the little girl speak good English.
- Pansion Mostar 2min from bridge on major road €15 Rooms are friendly, quiet and spacious, equipped with TV and balcony. Bathroom spotless, owner Marijana friendly and with good English.
- Shangri-La Pension just near the Old Bridge http://www.shangrila.com.ba/ All rooms with TV, internet, A/C, bath. Parking provided.
- Villa Sara Sasarogina br. 4 Located within a walking distance both from the rail/bus station and the old city. From the station head to the bridge and turn left just before reaching it. Continue for about 3 mins down the street - you can't miss the sign, even at night. +387 (0) 36 55 59 40 Dorm bed: €10; Double: €25 Nice location, decent beds. Rooms on the second floor have the quickest access to the terrace and a view of the city and the hills.
- Hotel Pellegrino Faladjica 1C 10 minutes walking from the Old Bridge +387 62 969000 http://www.hotel-pellegrino.ba/eng/index.html €68More of an apartment complex than a hotel. Excellent breakfast.
- Pocitelj - an old walled Bosnian town, is on the left side of the road to Dubrovnik. You may take the yellow bus #41 towards Capljina for 45 minutes. There are a few Ottoman buildings dating from a few centuries ago. Excellent view of the Neretva. Pocitelj is city with croatian inhabitants.
- Blagaj - a village 12km southeast of Mostar. Reachable by public buses in 15 minutes. The bus may leave from the road opposite the main station, not the bus station itself. In Blagaj there are good samples of Ottoman mosques, bridges and tekija which is on the right bank of the River Buna at its source. Elagicevina (the Velagic family House). In Blagaj there is complex of the Bosnian oriental houses owned by the Velagic family, the old family from Blagaj. It was built in XVII century and is a beautiful example of the Ottoman residential architecture, a one-story structure with typically extended porches. In the vicinity there are also old flourmills that were in the old days powered by the strong River Buna.All this surrounded by large flower gardens and reflected in the calm water. Within the complex there are two guesthouses that were built to accommodate unexpected travellers offering them accommodation and food. The family now owns a hotel and a family business of honey production (see below). At Blagaj, a river flows out of a mountain. It's very beautiful, with deep blue water. A historic mosque is built into the cliff (women must wear headscarves to enter the mosque). Trout are farmed in the river, and several excellent restaurants serve trout with seating on the riverbank. Many tourists visit this site. However, almost no one hikes up to the ancient fort on top of the mountain. Follow the road the the village's "old town" and then ask where the trail starts, or just go to the end of the road. The trail is about 2 km. The fort is interesting to explore and the view is commanding.
- The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to youths in the town of Medjugorje (around 25 km from Mostar) has seen the town become a must-go destination for travelling pilgrims from around the world. Buses depart from the bus station every few hours.
- Ploče, Croatia - is the nearest seaside to Mostar, and is easily accessible with numerous buses and trains daily. Beaches are nicest for swimming north of the city.
- There is a nice option for doing outdoor sports in the Drežanka gorge, 25 km north of Mostar. The Drežanka river is a tributary of the Neretva, and the two rivers join in an artificial hydropower lake.
You can get there from Mostar either by bus in the direction of Drežnica - there are buses which go all the way to the end of the gorge, Gornja Drežnica. Or you can go with the train from Mostar in the direction of Sarajevo (train stop Drežnica, approx 30 min.)
Directly at the bridge over the Neretva at the village of "Usce" (no signs), if you follow the signs of Vrt Ciklama you will end up at a beautifully located natural climbing site. There are many routes, with different levels, but you need to bring your own material; ropes etc. The site is basically a field at the foot of the walls.
At the climbing wall is a small camping ground (5km per night). There are no showers (there is the lake...) but there is a squatting toilet and a tap. The camping ground can also be used as starting point to explore the gorge, although theres supposed to be more campsites more inside the gorge.
Besides climbing there are several nice biketrails (you need your own bike)
Hiking is also no problem. Either following the asphalt road all the way to the village Draga at the end of the gorge, or more off the beaten path on the slopes of the mountains. For example a bit beyond the village Žlib (approx 5km from the beginning of the gorge), there is a small monument for a Muslim leader, and if you there take the path branches north east away from the main road you start a beautiful hike, climbing more than 1000m, taking approx 3 hours one way. The path ends up at a source, after which you can walk over the alpine meadow to the mountain ridge. You could try to continu down, but we haven't tried it, as there was no clear path. A local said there are no landmines, but don't hesitate to have this confirmed.
Another apparently nice hike is a bit further up the road, approx 15 km more in the direction of Draga (hitchhike!), and also more known in the valley. It is to the source of another stream to the Drežanka, and the path has been "opened" with the help of an Italian NGO. According to the sign, this hike takes 1,5 hours (not sure one way or two), but the first part looked promising.
There are more outdoor sporting options in and around the gorge, some also guided. For these you can search the web with "Dreznica". Besides the campsite at the beginning of the gorge there are several options to rent rooms in the gorge, and here and there small shops open, 7 days a week.
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