After visiting Sarajevo, I was captivated by the culture, people and spirit of Bosnia + Herzegovina. Mostar was my second and last Bosnian stop and I wish I could have stayed longer. Despite the fact that this city is one of the famous tourist locations for many pilgrims coming from Medjugorje, the place is still extremely rich in history and someplace I could easily see myself revisiting in years to come.
Places to see in Mostar
Stari Most Bridge
Built in the 16th century by the Ottomans, Stari Most a.k.a Old Bridge was destroyed after 427 years in 1993. Today the current bridge is the reconstructed version but is still as picturesque as the original. In the past it was a tradition for young men to dive into the Neretva river to show their courage, but today they hold annual diving competitions in the summer. During my visit there were local men standing in tight trunks standing around, collecting money from tourists before he puts on a show and leaps into the river. If you’re daring (or rich enough), you can jump off the Stari Most bridge yourself for approx 20 Euros. But the fact that you have to pay just to jump off a bridge is ridiculous to me.
Finally, a place that is so unvisited by buses of tourists! I hope i’m not wrong when I say that most backpackers are always excited to visit the sniper building. Located on what used to be the Croat side of town, this building was used as a point for snipers during the war. Its basically an abandoned building filled with graffiti, trash, leftover ‘documents’ and apparently empty bullet shells too. Walking inside gave me the creeps… the stairway had no sides, the floor was littered with broken glass and nails, the ceiling has fallen off and the windows are missing. You could also go to the highest floor and climb up a fireman ladder to the rooftop of the building.The building is supposedly left as it was, with no security, refurbishments or entrance gates, so you can sometimes expect to see homeless/dodgy people loitering the entrance of the building. Sometimes they’ll talk to you, and that can be intimidating especially if they expect money but don’t let that stop you from going in the building! It’s completely free to explore and you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re trespassing.
This was the coolest waterfall I’ve been to. Not the tallest, not the most epic, but the most interesting. It’s about 25m high and has multiple waterfalls flowing into the Trebižat River. If you go behind one or two out of all the falls, you can climb into caves or sit behind the curtain of water rushing down in front of you. The water was freezing during my visit as summer was over, but once I arrived and saw the beauty, I told myself I HAD to go in for a dip. Cold as it may have been, I have no regrets!
The fortified medieval village of Pocitelj offers a breathtaking view and is also a scenic place to explore on it’s own. It almost feels like going back in medieval times walking around! Pocitelj is currently one of the few urban ensembles that is preserved in Bosnia + Herzegovina
In the small town called Blagaj lies a famous Dervish monastery (Blagaj Tekke) along the Buna River. It’s a UNESCO WHS and here you can also find a 200m cliff wall which emerges the source of the spring water in Buna River, which later combines to Neretva River. Recordings were made of the swirling blue-green waters emerging from the cave and in the summer you could even take a boat tour into the caves! I only wish I got to see Blagaj in the day though, according to pictures online it looks even more beautiful in the day
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TIP: Kravice Falls and Pocitelj are not easily accessible by public transport. We got to these places, including Blagaj by joining a tour with our amazing hostel. It’s a really good deal since paying for a taxi/private chartered bus would have cost SO much more. For a tour in Bosnia I wouldn’t expect to pay 25 euros but I have to admit it was money worth spending since the tour was 10 hours and a whole lot of fun. Plus, the guide was super and gave us a lot of insights to the history of the places and his own experiences too!