Mostar is a charming small city in Bosnia and Herzegovina famous for its Old Bridge (Stari Most) that gave the name of the city. “Most” means bridge in many Slavic languages and this is where the name Mostar comes from.
Today, Mostar is the second most visited city in the country and a top Instagram city-break! It is also the perfect two-hour stop on one’s way to the capital Sarajevo.
What brought us to Mostar
We had to visit Mostar on our way to Sarajevo because we didn’t know when or if we are going to take this road again. Traveling from Sibenik, Croatia to Sofia, Bulgaria on a regular basis, we always try to find a new and fun road to explore. Passing through Sarajevo was a first for us since the road is known as a slow and difficult one. And yes, it was a very slow and kind of difficult one : )
Luckily, the weather was perfect despite the dramatic forecasts we listened to the previous days. We spent about two hours on a very sunny Mostar at the end of September 2019.
Parking in Mostar
If you are coming with a car, you’ll immediately stumble upon men inviting you to their daily parking lots that cost between EUR 8 and 10 per day. This is a price too high for the local standards but if you are standing a whole day, it is probably best to leave your vehicle at one of those.
Most visitors come for a couple of hours. If that’s your case, try to park your car at the hourly zone that charges just EUR 0.5 per hour.
His majesty – Stari Most/Old bridge
The Old Bridge was commissioned by Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557 and was designed by Mimar Hayruddin. Mostar fell victim to the Croat-Bosniak War when the famous bridge got destroyed in 1993 but got reconstructed to its previous glory for us to enjoy.
The bridge in Mostar is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic locations on the Balkans! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a popular jumping site with long-lasting traditions. Many enthusiasts come here to experience diving into the Neretva River from the legendary bridge.
In addition, Stari Most hosts different jumping competitions and championships.
What will surprise you is that it is quite high above the water. It stands at 24 meters above the water!
Luckily, you don’t have to attend a competition to witness someone jumping off! Local men jump off Stari Most every day! Young men in swimsuits walk along the bridge collecting money from tourists to jump. We saw a couple of them wandering around and walking on the walls of the bridge.
How to take pics of the bridge
Standing at the bridge you’ll be able to take beautiful pictures of the surroundings. Also, you’ll be able to spot where to go and to take some cool pictures of the bridge. Mostar is a small place, so it is easy to reach all of these spots. Right next to the bridge there are stairs taking you to the river. This is where the coolest pics are taken from, so don’t miss that spot! I just love all my shots there!
Exploring the old town around the bridge, you can try any of the restaurants and bars with a view. They all looked very promising for taking pics of the bridge. Going up the old town, you’ll reach the spot on the pic below.
Mostar City center and the old market
The city center of Mostar is all around the bridge and is easy to see on foot. Soon after you cross the bridge, you’ll find yourself in the old market. Most stores sell souvenirs, paintings, and coffee-related products and sets. These are in old school charming pavilions and kiosks, also very inviting and photogenic.
The best way to enjoy the city is to sit at a café or restaurant and watch the crowds and the rhythm of the place. I got surprised by the number of visitors on a Thursday in late September because I didn’t expect the city to be so full of people.
What else to see in Mostar
We just stayed for a couple of hours to see the old town, but there are a couple of old Ottoman museums and mosques that seem to be worth visiting. Still, the place we didn’t have time to stop by, but would really want to visit, is the Blagaj Monastery near Mostar. The pictures of this 16th century dervish monastery are just stunning, so do tell me about your experience if you already visited!
Mostar with children
Most children will probably enjoy taking a walk in Mostar, having some ice-cream and crossing the bridge. Teenagers will appreciate the jumping history and the photo opportunities for sure.
The most important thing I must warn you about Mostar is coming here with a baby and a stroller. The old town is stone-paved and difficult to explore with a stroller. The bridge must be the most difficult to cross with a stroller because it was constructed with stone stairs that will stop you every step of the way. Luckily, Anna was almost two when we came, and we didn’t use a stroller.
How about you? Have you been to Mostar yet?
Did you stay for a couple of hours or longer?