Mostar was a beautiful and an unexpected surprise.
Tip: Make sure you are there by the bus stop on time or even before time because the bus gets busy sometimes and if the seats have been taken you will just have to stand or wait for another bus. Also have some change with (1-2 euros) for your luggage.
When we arrived to the Bosnian boarders, the police came in to check the passports. The policeman took my passport and a few others with him for a check outside. I felt so unsettled when the bus moved without my passport getting back to me, but it turns out the policeman gave it to the driver and took few minutes till I got it. The very heavy rain outside made the bus leak on my head so that wasn't too cool, but other than that the trip was smooth.
I think everyone should at least stay two days in Mostar. I really wanted to stay longer, but my time was limited. Here are some reasons to inspire you to visit.
Eight Reasons to Visit Mostar
Reason 1. The old Bridge
I know this is the most obvious thing, but it is seriously stunning and feels like a view from a fairytale. It was first built in the 16th in the Ottoman period. It survived the second world war, but it was destroyed in 1993. I am so proud that the city managed to rebuild its old centre and the bridge after the war.
Photo Tip for Mostar: Go up to the mosque's minaret for a beautiful bridge photo and a 360 of Mostar.
Reason 2. The stunning views
As we walked around Mostar we enjoyed the nature, architecture and the turquious river.
Reason 3. Shopping in the old town centre
This might be the most tourist thing to do in Mostar and the first thing most people do, but it gets really quiet after the day-trippers leave.
The shop keepers and the touring offices are not pushy and they let everyone wander around without pressure or any comments. They are very helpful when I asked them for directions.
Reason 4. The Islamic Heritage
The Ottoman influence is still present especially inside the mosque and it's good to see it up close. I liked the colour combinations there.
Reason 5. The Delicious Fresh FOOD!
The first thing my friend and I did when we got to Mostar was EAT! The food was delicious and halal! (double plus!) Their baby kababs aka (civapis) were so fresh and just thinking about them now makes me hungry! I liked them much better in Mostar than Sarajevo.
We had most meals at Ašćinica Saray because it was just next to the place we stayed in Pension Isa. We also had amazing Cevapis at Grill Centar. It was amazing! The flavour was spot on and the meat was cooked to perfection. It was served with onions and bread. I got salad and fries with it but the locals had yogurt. This place was truly where the locals ate and it wasn't that far from the old town. Basically the places in the old town -where there is grovel- are too pricey, but when you go the opposite directions prices drop to half.
Reason 6. Visiting the Darvish house (Blagaj)
This is less than an hour drive from Mostar. There are groups in town that would take you for a day trip to all the spots around town. We were lucky and were taken by our host. We started with the dervish house.
Dress Code Tip for Blagaj: You have to dress decent to enter. Men have to wear pants and ladies have to cover their skin and hair (basic Islamic dress code). Don't worry if you aren't wearing that already because they have scarves and long wraps.
It's the burial of two popular darvishes that impacted the society in that area and helped the spread of Islam. It was a nice house and the river was so pretty.
Reason 7. Going up the fort
This one was a bit of climb to get up there, but the views were stunning! The stairs in the fort itself are super steep and some areas were really dark (in the middle of the day). So many gorgeous photo opportunities though.
Reason 8. Taking a dip in the lake under the waterfalls
The Kravica waterfalls were the most fun of the whole trip because there were three of us and everything was funnier and sillier. The water was freezing! But once you are fully immersed in the water your body gets used to it. I only swam for half a meter & I was too scared & cold to carry on.
- There is a little changing curtain.
- Be carful of the rocks under the water.
- No halal food too eat there but there are overpriced fish options.
There are more things I haven't mentioned around Mostar. There are few museums and traditional houses to visit, but these were my favourite spots.