Magical Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Of all the places in the Balkans, Mostar has the most magic- that feeling of contentment and wonder while traveling. Mostar is a few hours drive from Dubrovnik. After splitting off with my group in Dubrovnik, I opted to move on to Bosnia-Herzegovina and while many flew home or continued up the coast of Croatia. I think I made the best choice!
Mostar is famous for the Old Bridge, also known as Stari Most. Connecting two sides of Mostar over the Neretva River, the bridge was first constructed in 1500s and stood for 427 years. In 1993 Stari Most was destroyed in the region’s war but was rebuilt and reopened in 2004.
Accommodation in Mostar is inexpensive but isn’t going to be fancy. Like most places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the war impacted the tourism and infrastructure in the country greatly. I found a friendly, mini-hotel called Pansion Nur near the bridge and booked it last minute. I would 100% stay here again- it was inexpensive, close to everything, and super clean. And those views!
While most people do Mostar as a daytrip from Dubrovnik or Sarajevo, it is ideal to spend at one night here. You could spend more time if you wish to explore the countryside near Mostar but it is not a must-do. One night was perfect for me before moving onto Sarajevo.
Everyone in Mostar (and really Bosnia in general) is so friendly. I met quite a few locals while eating lunch. We chatted for a while, me asking questions about Bosnia and them asking questions about the United States.
There is not a lot of table space during the day especially when the day-trippers from Dubrovnik come into town. I ordered the meat plate for one. I had enough food to share with everyone! The restaurant Cevabdzinica Tima Irma, was recommended by Google and Rick Steves. There was so much food I ended up eating the leftovers on my balcony for dinner as well. It was so delicious!
Dinner views from my hotel room balcony:
It rained most of the time I was in Mostar unfortunately. Not that I was there a very long time but it was important to savor the few sunny hours there were.
The streets are lined with little shops and I purchased some gorgeous handcrafted earrings and a hand-painted refrigerator magnet per usual. Bosnia is very inexpensive so souvenir shopping did not break the bank.
Mostar is not huge and the touristy Old Town area is quite small, which is good because it is a total pedestrian area for the most part there are no cars or buses allowed. Two thumbs up!
For happy hour (finding shelter during the rain storm) I had a beer overlooking the Neretva River and Stari Most. I met some other travelers and had a nice chat about what to do in Sarajevo when I arrived there the next day.
The views are incredible along the river, although I hear the food is less amazing when there are views. I didn’t test that theory as my meaty lunch was still keeping me full. This Bosnian beer was much better than the first.
Mostar was probably my favorite stop on my Balkans trip that encompassed Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania. I give a 10/10 to Mostar. If you ever make it to this region, it is a 3 hour trip from Dubrovnik and well worth spending one night.
Reader Question: Have you heard of Mostar? Would you be able to eat the meat plate for one all by yourself?