Unlike much of Europe, the history of Mostar feels very raw and very recent. It has faced internal conflict like no other place I’ve ever seen; a conflict that still colours Mostar to this day. Subconscious tensions still exist between peoples unclearly categorised & by far holds the biggest bullethole:building ratio in Europe.Despite this though, like a flower pushing through broken dirt, Mostar is slowly healing, coming into its own. The bridge has been rebuilt along with the historic town centre, business is booming & its distinctive culture returning.
Mostar makes for a picturesque escape with some iconic snapshots perfect for making your friends jealous!
Here were some of our highlights:
The Bridge (Stari Most)
The bridge is the most recognisable part of Mostar & for good reason, its gorgeous & feat of early engineering. Its also a UNESCO world heritage site. It was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War (A war that sought to define Bosnia & Herzegovina’s borders in the wake of Yugoslavia’s collapse) and has since been rebuilt using the same techniques with many of the original pieces fished from the river below.
The bridge is famous for its bridge jumpers, who put on a bit of a show several times a day for a donation. Many visitors plan to make the jump itself but we were told that the number who have made the jump is still below 1000. This is partially because 1) the bridge is actually blimmin high 2) the water is actually flipping cold and 3) there is a course you must attend and fee you have to pay first. Overall its much more efficient to make the donation and enjoy the jump from the professionals instead. (I’m more of a warm water kinda guy anyway)
The opportunity to climb a Minaret (Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque – €6pp )
In Mostar we were afforded the opportunity (for a fee) to climb a minaret. This ticks two stones with one bird as not only is climbing a minaret a novelty but the view from the top provides a pretty good snapshot of the bridge. The climb is pretty long and tight & the fee isn’t cheap but I still feel like overall it was worth it.The Local Dish
Much like most of the former Yugoslavia, the most common (& affordable) dish in town is Cevapi. Its a dish of grilled mince in the form of skinless sausages. The herbed mince, accompaniments and price make it a very appealing dish. The price starts low and becomes increasingly expensive the closer to Stari Most (the old bridge) you get and plateaus at restaurants with a view of the bridge. However this is all relative; compared to most of Western Europe its still pretty cheap & worth biting the bullet for as a relaxing afternoon winning and dining with a view is quite nice.Cheap Accomodation
Now this is a bit of a trade off; we stayed in Hostel Miran in Mostar which is within easy walking distance to both the bus station and the historic centre, it also had some of the cheapest prices we’d seen – we were paying €15 for the both of us including cooked breakfast and free dinner every other day. The rooms and bathroom were perfectly acceptable but overall the hostel was a little cringe…the hosts talk a lot and are very opinionated, it felt a little uncomfortable at times…but for that price…we made it work.
Taxis are cheap and reliable
Just a final side note because it varies from place to place & can be hard to gauge but the Taxis in Mostar are super cheap and super reliable. Go nuts & taxi the night away!