It recently occurred to me that I haven’t written a post about my time in Mostar in August. I shared with you how much I fell in love with Sarajevo but Mostar was pretty awesome too (although for me, Sarajevo has the edge). Anyhow, I thought better late than never to share some snapshots from Mostar and the surrounding area of Herzegovina.
I have been to Mostar once before, on a daytrip when I was on holiday in Dubrovnik back in 2014 and thought it was beautiful. So when I booked my holiday to Bosnia and Herzegovina I decided to divide my time equally between Sarajevo and Mostar. The city of Mostar is famous for the Stari Most bridge which was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian war. An exact replica has now been rebuilt and the bridge is once again attracting tourists in their droves. The bridge is also world famous for it’s divers, you can pay the local divers to jump off the bridge which is always fun to watch. You can even pay the divers to teach you how to jump off it but this only for very brave (or stupid) people. I was happy enough to just watch the divers from the river. While I was there temperatures reached 42 degrees so the river was actually the main place I stayed thoughout the day just to stay cool, plus there were some cute stray dogs there too and we all know how I love to make friends with the local animals!
Outside of the old town, there is still a lot of evidence of the war in the form of shrapnal and bullets holes in the buildngs. One example of this Sniper Tower which is a derlict building which was a former bank that became occupied by Serb and Croat forces during the war. It’s a grim place which is full of artwork which despite being colourful, all have deep messages. It’s definitely a stark contrast to the touristy bridge area and really brings home just how awful things were there. Despite the building being in disrepair you can actually climb over the fence and go up the tower, I got myself into a bit of a situation here (a story for another day) so I would advise not venturing there by yourself but it is definitely worth checking out.
Mostar is still a city divided by tension and the Neretva river splits the east side which is Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) from the western side that is home to the Croats. The western side is much more modern and has largely been rebuilt since the war but it is a different story to the east of the city where there is considerably more evidence of a war. This has much to do with the fact that the population of Croats far outweighs that of the Bosniaks but obviously the problems are far more complex than that.
Despite these issues, Mostar is still worth a visit, I would say it doesn’t require the same amount of time as Sarajevo as there is less to see but you can on a tour to see some more of the surrounding area such as Blogaj, Pocitelj, and the gorgeous waterfalls of Kravice.
For a friendly and cheap hostel I would recommend Hostel Nina, it serves a free breakfast and runs a tour of the local area.
For the best Bosnian coffee go to Cafe De Alma.