Don’t forget – Mostar

We’ve never visited Eastern Europe before- Bosnia & Herzegovina was our first. I’ve fallen in love with it ever since- there’s something about the scenery, atmosphere, and architecture in Eastern Europe that tugs at my heart strings.

After swimming at Kravice Falls, we continued our drive to Mostar. Or Mo-crap (Мостар)- we’d giggle every time we passed by a sign. In all seriousness, the drive leading to Mostar was actually quite depressing. There was such a drastic change in scenery driving from Croatia to Bosnia & Herzegovina- you could still see the shell and bullet damage on building walls and roofs from the Bosnian War of 1992-1995.

Mostar came under siege twice in those years. Thousands of people were killed, and more lost their homes. The Old Bridge (Stari Most) connecting the two banks of Neretva River was destroyed in 1993. Today, there are stones all over the the town reminding its people and visitors of its sad history. Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

Another thing that made me very upset was the number of stray dogs in this country. On the drive to Mostar we saw an adult dog (mom?) limping in the bushes along the side of the road while two little pups followed at her heels. Leaving Mostar, we actually witnessed one getting hit by a car on the road! It was slowly making its way across the road when the car behind us hit it. I could hear its yelp from inside the car. AS said the driver pulled over but I wasn’t sure if he did or not… It was heartbreaking. We have a 4yr-old maltipoo who is pretty much our child. It’s extremely painful seeing other dogs get hurt.

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We checked in at our hotel and made our way towards the stony old town. After paying a small entrance fee for the mosque we climbed up 89 steps. The stairwell is extremely narrow and only one person can go up/down at time (or 2 really skinny, small people); not a good time if you’re claustrophobic. Once we reached the top of the minaret, we were rewarded with this gorgeous view of Stari Most sitting over Neretva River.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

If you aren’t able to make the climb, the view from the courtyard is equally beautiful. This bridge was once the widest man-arch in the world that stood for more than 400 years! The Stari Most we see today is a reconstruction.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

You can jump/dive off Stari Most into Neretva River if you’re brave enough! Red Bull hosted its Cliff Diving World series here a few weeks before our arrival.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

We grabbed dinner at a nearby restaurant and called it a night before heading back to our hotel. It was a long day- we began our drive at 5am. I’m forever grateful for AS driving us from Zadar, to Split, to Kravice Falls, and finally to Mostar, all in one day.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

Its sad history aside, Mostar is actually very romantic. We saw very few people when we were there (late August) and the town had a lovely charm to it with its cobblestone streets and walls. Because Mostar is fairly small, you only really need one day- but do stay the night. Just make sure you start your drive early the next day if you’re planning on crossing the Croatian/Bosnian border on the way to Dubrovnik. We left our hotel at around 9 or 10am, and we had to wait close to 2 hours at the border in the blistering sun! 

One last GoPro shot of Stari Most and Neretva River from on top of the minaret!

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

tips

  • stay the night; we stayed at Villa Eden for around 70€ a night. The hotel is brand spankin’ new and the breakfast is delicious with a huge variety. It even has a pool for you to cool off (much needed in the summer)
  • The entrance fee is around 8 marks (Aug 2015 price) for both the Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque and courtyard; you can also visit one of the two for half the price.
  • Be careful when you’re driving! Watch out for the strays 🙁
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good grip- the uneven stone paved pathways can be quite slippery.
  • Come in the spring or fall. The summer months can be too hot and humid. The humidity level was so high last August that it was slightly hard to breathe.

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Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

 

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33 thoughts on “Don’t forget – Mostar

  1. Oh my god your photos are amazing!
    I was in Dubrovnik last June and wanted to make a trip to Mostar, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be because I need to find your post first!
    70 euros for a night for two sounds awesome, will need to look that up!
    Thanks for the tips x

    • Thanks, Nam! We’re super picky when it comes to accommodation so we were glad to have found Vila Eden! Did you make a day trip out to Montenegro when you were in Dubrovnik? We wanted to go but ran out of time. Would love to read about your experiences if you did!

  2. I went to Dubrovnik and saw trips to Mostar, but didn’t know what it was at the time. Since then, I’ve regretted so much not going on one of those trips. Mostar looks incredible, although I think the sad reminders and dogs might have ruined the trip for me so when I do go, I will be sure to plan accordingly. Your pictures are incredible, what a beautiful place!

  3. I’ve never thought about visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina actually, but Mostar really looks like a charming place!
    I recognise it from some dramatic photography actually!
    Love your clear tips and writing, keep up the good work!

  4. WOWWWW. This place looks so breathtakingly beautiful! Hehe. I’ve never heard of this place actually, good to know more about them! Also loving the GoPro photos 😀

    • Thank you! We use the Sony NEX-5R- it’s a bit updated but it does the job because it’s so compact! Of course the beautiful nature definitely helps 😉

  5. We’d love to make it to Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Mostar would definitely be on our list of places to visit! I’m not sure if we’d jump off the old bridge, though. It does make for beautiful photos, along with your other shots, too! The shot from the top of the minaret is divine.l

  6. These are truly amazing photos! I’ve visited mosques in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. I like how the mosque you picture here overlooks the Neretva River. What sort of camera did you use to capture these beautiful photos?

  7. An old work colleague of mine was a refugee of the Bosian war and I can still recall vividly the horrific stories she told. It’s sad to see there are so many remimbers still present. I really hope that driver did stop for the dog!

  8. How amazing is this! The scenery of Bosnia is just breathtaking! A true gem in Europe. It is very sad that they endured the sieges in 1993. It seems one war is done and then another one starts. I am glad to read that peace is in process there and it was safe for you to travel and love it.

  9. Mostar photos are really stunning but I couldn’t get past the poor puppy dogs, I actually felt a knot in my tummy. So very sad. I Think it’s also so heartbreaking to see damage left over from wars, just left and think about what the survivors lives must be like trying to rebuild! The cobble stone streets and walls do sound and look very romantic from your photos!

  10. I’ve been wanting to visit both Croatia & Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it hadn’t even crossed my mind that they were so close together! The photos in this post are also quite spectacular- I kept on showing my boyfriend the entire time I read the post, being like “Can we go there?!” (Thankfully, he also wants to go visit now too!) You recommended staying there for a day, but I was wondering if there’s much more to do besides visit the mosque? Is there anywhere to learn more about the war?

    • Do it!! It’s a super easy drive from Split – Mostar – Dubrovnik. There’s a village southeast of Mostar called Blagaj that’s worth visiting if you have time 🙂

  11. Wow I had never even heard of this place! Thanks for the useful tips and great pictures, it looks like something out of a fairytale … I might have to visit there myself now.

    -@FlunkingMonkey

  12. Your photos are gorgeous! You’ve convinced me to make the trip from Split.
    Would you mind letting me know which car rental you used (most seem to not be allowed in BH) and your experience crossing the border?

    Thank you so much!

    • Thanks John!! We rented from NOVA Rent A Car and they were amazing. I made the reservation online, picked up the car at Zagreb airport, drove down Croatia through Plitvice, Zadar, Split, crossed the borders into BiH, back into Croatia to Dubrovnik, and dropped the car off at the Dubrovnik airport. They had papers for the car to cross the border in the glove compartment so we just handed the customs (I think they were officers? they were so lax and asked no questions so I’m not really sure haha) the papers along with our passports. And off we went! Painless process with no questions asked! We paid the full amount at Zagreb airport and only had to worry about filling gas before returning the car in Dubrovnik. Happy travels 🙂

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