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Mostar Travel Guide: A Journey Through History, Flavor, and the Heart of Herzegovina



Mostar Travel Guide
Mostar's iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge)

History


Mostar, sitting quaintly by the Neretva River, has a storied history that traces its origins back to the Ottomans. The city's most iconic feature, the Stari Most (Old Bridge), is a testament to its Ottoman past and a symbol of unity after being rebuilt post the Homeland War of the 1990s. Mostar is a melting pot of cultures, with both Muslim and Catholic Christian influences evident in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions.


Transportation


Mostar is well-connected by bus to major cities in the region, including Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, and Split. There’s also a picturesque train route from Sarajevo. Within the city, most attractions are walkable, but taxis are widely available and affordable for longer distances.


Safety


Mostar is generally safe for tourists. However, as with any tourist destination, it's wise to take standard precautions, especially after dark. Beware of undetonated landmines in rural areas outside the city; stick to marked paths and guided tours.


Neighborhood Guide

  • Old Town: This is the heart of Mostar, home to the Old Bridge and many historic buildings.

  • West Mostar: Predominantly Croat, this area offers modern shops, cafes, and accommodations.


Mostar Travel Guide

Must-see places

  • Stari Most (Old Bridge): Mostar's iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) stands as a testament to Ottoman grandeur, gracefully arching over the turquoise waters of the Neretva River. Reconstructed after the war, this UNESCO World Heritage site remains a symbol of resilience and unity for the city's inhabitants.

  • Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque: Offers panoramic views from its minaret.

  • Bisčević House: A preserved Ottoman house offering insights into historic living conditions.


Food


Mostar is a delightful place for culinary adventurers. The influence of both Eastern and Western cuisines, due to its historical and geographical position, has given Mostar a rich food culture.

  • Ćevapi: These are small, grilled minced meat fingers made of a mix of beef and lamb. Served with somun (a type of pita bread), onions, and red pepper-based condiment; it's a staple dish of the region. Check out our recipe!

  • Pita: This flaky pastry is filled with various ingredients. Whether you choose cheese, pumpkin, potatoes, or apples, it's a versatile dish eaten both as a main or dessert.

  • Tufahija: A dessert lover’s delight, Tufahija are poached apples filled with sugar and walnuts. It’s a traditional Bosnian treat soaked in sugary syrup.

  • Sogan-dolma: These are peppers or onions stuffed with minced meat and rice, simmered in a tomato-based sauce.

  • Grilled fish: Given its location by the Neretva River, fresh fish is often on the menu in Mostar. Trout is especially popular and is typically grilled and served with a side of blitva (chard) and potatoes.

  • Begova Čorba: A rich chicken soup with okra and lemon, it's flavored with lemon and spices, offering a tangy taste.

  • Rakija: While not a food, this fruit brandy, especially the plum or grape variety, is a must-try local spirit. It’s often served as a digestive after meals.

  • Local Wines: Herzegovina region, where Mostar is located, has been producing wine for centuries. The indigenous Žilavka (white) and Blatina (red) varieties are particularly recommended. Enjoy them at a local konoba (tavern) with a platter of pršut (dry-cured ham) and cheese.

Food in Mostar is not just about taste, but the experience. Restaurants and cafes often have beautiful settings, whether it's by the river, in a restored Ottoman house, or in a courtyard filled with greenery. Dining here is both a cultural and gastronomical journey.


Nearby Attractions:

  • Blagaj: A small village with a historic Sufi monastery.

  • Počitelj: A stunning Ottoman-era fortress town.

  • Kravice Waterfalls: A breathtaking natural site perfect for a refreshing swim.


Language


Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are widely spoken. However, in tourist areas, many locals speak English, and you'll find menus and signs in English as well.


Tipping customs


Tipping is appreciated but not mandatory. For good service, a tip of around 10% is standard in restaurants.


Currency


The official currency is the Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark (BAM). ATMs are widely available.


Is the water safe to drink?


Tap water in Mostar is generally safe to drink. However, if in doubt, bottled water is widely available.


Number of days needed to explore the city


1-2 days should suffice to cover the main attractions, but longer if you'd like to soak in the atmosphere.


Average cost of a hotel room


You can find budget accommodations for as low as $20 a night, while mid-range hotels range from $40-70. Luxury accommodations can go above $100.


Average cost of a beer


A local beer (0.5-liter draught) would typically cost around $1.50 to $2.50.


Mostar is a testament to the resilience of humankind, standing proud with its mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. It's a destination not to be missed on any Balkan journey.


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