Only have one day in Mostar? Follow my curated Mostar itinerary to see the best of the city in 24 hours.
Mostar is the fifth-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the most popular destinations in the country, if not the entire Balkans region. Most people know Mostar because of Stari most, the UNESCO-Listed Old Bridge that gives the city its name.
Stari most is an icon of BiH and a powerful symbol of peace and resilience. Seeing it up close in person is difficult to describe – it’s an emotional, heart-wrenching, full-body experience. Beyond the bridge, Mostar is a sparkling city with a beautiful river, an old bazaar, Ottoman houses, countless viewpoints, mosques, and restaurants that serve truly amazing local cuisine.
While many people only have time to visit Mostar on a day trip from Sarajevo or from Dubrovnik/Split in Croatia, it’s well worth spending a full day and night at least. I guarantee you that Mostar will turn on the charm and invite you to stay longer than planned – I ended up spending a whole week in Mostar during my travels through Bosnia, I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye.
My one day itinerary brings together all the best things to do in Mostar to help you make the most of a short visit. I’ve also included travel tips, restaurant recommendations, transport info, and day trip suggestions.
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Mostar quick links
Buy your Mostar bus tickets: From Sarajevo (2.5 hrs; 13 USD), Dubrovnik (4 hrs; 15 USD) or Split (4.5 hrs; 18 USD) → Browse routes & pre-purchase tickets online through Bookaway.
Hiring a car in Mostar: Use Discover Cars to find a rental. Prices start from 22 Euros/day with pickup in downtown Mostar.
Mostar day trip from Sarajevo: Full-day tour with stops in Konjic, Pocitelj and Blagaj and a full afternoon in Mostar. → Book it on Get Your Guide.
Mostar day trip from Dubrovnik: Full-day tour with stops in Pocitelj, Medjugorje and Mostar. → Book it on Get Your Guide.
Is one day in Mostar enough?
Honestly, Mostar deserves more than a day – but if it’s all the time you have, it’s better than nothing. It’s not that there are a particularly huge number of attractions in Mostar. I say that because it’s a relaxing, very beautiful city that captures your imagination and draws you in. It’s easy to get swept up in the history and nostalgia of the Old Bridge and the romance of the Bridge Jumpers.
There is a lot to see and do around Mostar, including the Dervish House at Blagaj, the Ottoman town of Pocitelj and Kravice Waterfall (I’ll share more recommendations later). It makes sense to use Mostar as a base for exploring southern Herzegovina region.
I had the luxury of time and spent a full week in Mostar. I was there during shoulder season in the first week of April, so I didn’t experience the full-on summer crowds. (Actually, spring is a wonderful time to visit Mostar.) If it had been more crowded, I might have been inclined to cut my visit short. But then again if the weather had been warmer, I might have done more outdoor day trips.
Where to stay in Mostar
Taso’s House: This popular hostel has two dormitories plus a private room, all with mountain views. Breakfast is included, and host Taso offers a great program of day tours for those looking to explore the area with new friends. → Check prices & availability on Booking.com.
Hotel Kapetanovina: The star of this comfortable mid-range hotel is the rooftop terrace that looks down over the Old Bazaar and Stari most. Rooms are nicely furnished and a buffet breakfast is available. → Check prices & availability on Booking.com.
Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Ćuprija: Set in a historic UNESCO-Listed stone building just footsteps from the Old Bridge, this boutique hotel has bright rooms, outdoor spaces with bridge views, and a wonderful onsite restaurant. → Check prices & availability on Booking.com.
Apartment Light De Luxe: This modern self-contained apartment has a full kitchen and sleeps up to five adults. It’s located in the heart of the UNESCO area, with bridge views from the windows and balcony. → Check prices & availability on Booking.com.
Perfect Mostar 1 day itinerary
With 1 day in Mostar you can see the city highlights, view Stari most from multiple perspectives, and fit in a few terrific meals. Here is my suggested itinerary, starting and ending with the Old Bridge.
Start your one day in Mostar at the Old Bridge (Stari most)
Stari most is the star of Mostar, the city’s namesake, and its most prominent landmark. As soon as you set foot in Mostar you’ll feel an invisible force pulling you towards the stone arch.
Designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Hayruddin and commissioned by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Stari most was built in 1566 to replace a wooden bridge that spanned the same section of the Neretva river. Stretching out for 29 metres and soaring 21 metres above the summer water level, it was an incredible feat of engineering at the time it was built.
When violence enveloped Mostar during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, not even Stari most was spared: On November 9th, 1993 the bridge was hit by an onslaught of shells and folded into the river. In 2004, it was reconstructed using original stones salvaged from the riverbed below.
The name Mostar comes from the bridge keepers (mostari) who guarded the walkway in medieval times from twin stone towers at either end. Today, the bridge has different stewards: the Mostar Diving Club, who wow crowds by jumping off the bridge’s highest point.
The daredevils only the plunge when conditions are just right – we were lucky enough to see one jumper early in the afternoon. You know a jump is about to happen when then men sporting swimmers (or clad in wetsuits in the cooler months) start collecting money from the crowds. Once they have enough KMs, they take the leap. Run down to the beach for the best views.
Stop for a Bosnian coffee inside the Old Bazaar
Mostar Old Bazaar or Bazar Kujundžiluk is a much smaller version of Sarajevo’s Old Bazaar but with similar wooden shops and cobbled streets. It stretches out from either end of the Old Bridge, with most shops on the eastern side of the river.
Early mornings in the Old Bazaar are very pleasant indeed. You can walk the rows and watch the stallholders setting up for the day without having to jostle with crowds. Most shops sell cheap souvenirs such as bronze trays, coffee sets and magnets.
This is a great place to grab a morning cuppa. In Bosnia, coffee is so much more than just a beverage – it’s part of the social fabric and a precious element of the country’s culinary heritage. It has Ottoman roots, but Bosnian coffee is prepared and drunk in a way that’s different from Turkish coffee.
Black coffee is served in a džezva, a special metal pot with a long handle, which is placed on an etched bronze tray along with a ceramic cup called a fildžan, sugar cubes, and a small glass of room-temperature water. First, you should pour the coffee into the cup then take a sugar cube and dip it into the coffee so that it softens along the edge. Nibble the sugar or rub it on your tongue, then take a sip of coffee. The sugar offsets the bitterness and mellows the flavour. This process is repeated for every sip, with a gulp of plain water in between to cleanse the palate.
Cafe de Alma on the western side of the river is one of few cafes in Mostar that roasts its own beans. They serve coffee the traditional way and will run you through the ritual if it’s your first time.
Head up to the Koskin Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque & Tepa Market
Located on the river’s edge adjacent to the Old Bazaar, the Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque is one of six remaining mosques in Mostar. Before the war, there were 13, but the majority were lost along with one of the city’s Orthodox churches.
The mosque dates back to 1617 and is very beautiful inside, with colourful wall paintings, Islamic calligraphy along the dome, and lavish carpets on the floor of the main prayer hall (including one carpet gifted to the congregation by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1910). Visitors are welcome to visit the mosque outside of prayer times. Photography is permitted.
As lovely as the prayer hall is, that’s not the main reason to visit Koski Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque. The highlight is climbing the minaret for a sweeping view of the city, including a picture-perfect vignette of the nearby Old Bridge and the rooftops of Bazar Kujundžiluk.
This is the only time in my life I’ve climbed a mosque minaret. The staircase is tight and steep, but it’s worth every cautious step for the views from the top.
When you descend the staircase, linger in the mosque’s yard for a while. You can find more outstanding views of the Old Bridge from the back of the garden. Most tourists seem to miss this spot but it’s one of my favourites. A small cafe operates here too.
While you’re in the area, visit the nearby Tepa Market, a covered bazaar that’s been buzzing since Ottoman times. In late summer and autumn you’ll find figs, pomegranates and local honey for sale.
The entrance to the mosque is a bit tricky to spot: duck through the archway amidst the row of shops. Entrance to the mosque and minaret costs 12 KM. Head coverings are available for women to take at the door, but it’s recommended to bring your own scarf. Remember to take off your shoes before going inside.
Visit one of Mosar’s museums
There are several noteworthy museums in Mostar that are worth the ticket price. With one day in Mostar, you will be limited to visiting just one or two. I recommend the Old Bridge Museum, which focuses exclusively on the history of Stari most, and the War Photo Exhibition inside Tara Tower, which displays moving images from the Balkan Wars by Kiwi photojournalist Wade Goddard.
If you have more time (or perhaps the weather isn’t great so you’re looking for things to do in Mostar in the rain), other indoor attractions include the Biscevic and Muslibegovic museums, two gorgeous Ottoman-era houses styled as ethnographic museums.
Lunch at National Restaurant Tima-Irma
After a big morning of sightseeing, it’s time to refuel. Calorie-rich, tasty Bosnian food promises to satiate any appetite. It’s definitely one of my favourite cuisines in the region.
There are dozens and dozens of restaurants up and down both sides of the river in Mostar. I had a particularly memorable meal at National Restaurant Tima-Irma, a budget-friendly aščinica near the Old Bridge. They do a mean rostilj mixed grill platter with veggies, feta and local sudzuk beef sausages. For something lighter, sogan dolma, onions stuffed with spiced meat and rice, is a Mostar specialty.
For something more up-market, we also ate a wonderful meal next door at Restaurant Šadrvan. The outdoor terrace with its big, shady trees is a particularly nice place to pause in the middle of the day. This is where I ate klepe for the first time and developed my Bosnian dumpling addiction!
Another option is Hindin Han, set inside a historic building near a tributary of the river.
Walk by the oldest stone bridge in Mostar, Kriva cuprija
Tucked behind Tima-Irma and Restaurant Sadrvan on the meandering Radobolja creek, Kriva cuprija is very easy to miss. A much smaller version of Stari most, this bridge predates the Old Bridge, having been built as a ‘dry run’ in 1558 by Ottoman architect Cejvan Kethoda to test out the engineering.
Its name means ‘Sloping Bridge’ or ‘Crooked Bridge’, so maybe it wasn’t all that successful – but all these years later, it’s still standing proud.
Cross Lučki most for the best Old Bridge views
I know what you’re thinking: another bridge! But Lucki most isn’t one to miss. Built in 1913, it’s a reminder of a very different period of Mostar’s history, when the city was under Austro-Hungarian control.
Lucki most is the first bridge south of Stari most – a part of the city we’ve not yet ventured to yet. While the views of the Old Bridge from the mosque minaret and the Old Bazaar were beautiful, my favourite outlook is actually from this direction, peering square-on at the bridge from the middle of Lucki most.
From the south, you get a great look at diving platform, the beach, the stone towers, and the mosque’s minaret rising up behind the bridge like a whisper of white smoke from a fire. On a clear day you can see all the way out to the Blidinje mountains beyond.
Wander through ‘New Mostar’
After crossing Lucki most, walk up along the western bank of the river through the new part of Mostar. This area is very different to the Old Bazaar and has a couple of noteworthy landmarks, including the gorgeous canary yellow Mostar Gymnasium (Gimnazija Mostar), designed by architect František Blažek, and the adjacent Plaza de España.
Just across the road, there is an abandoned building that was used as a sniper tower during the Bosnian War. Formerly the Ljubljanska Bank, it served as a station post for snipers who preyed on people trying to cross the boulevard.
The building is abandoned with street art murals inside and panoramic views from the top. It’s often closed off for safety reasons, however, so don’t be disappointed if you can’t get in.
Climb the Peace Bell Tower
Also on the western side of Mostar, the Franciscan Church of St. Peter and Paul was similarly rebuilt in the post-war years following its complete destruction in 1992. If you look closely, you can see bullet pockmarks on the walls of the nearby buildings. Next to the church, the Peace Bell Tower takes the accolade of tallest bell tower in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the tallest in Southeast Europe. It’s a bit ostentatious and out of place, but it’s very much worth visiting for the views from the top.
The 107-metre tower has a viewing platform roughly two-thirds of the way up. An elevator is on hand to whisk you up – but you do have to climb around 150 stairs at the end. There are photo exhibits along the way to keep you entertained. Just pray you don’t find yourself near the top of the stairs when the bells toll – the sound is deafening! They ring every 15 minutes.
The viewing platform is glassed in, but that doesn’t detract from the 360-degree panorama of the city, mountains and river. Sadly you can’t quite spot Stari most, though – it’s hidden by the rooftops.
The belltower is open from 9am until 5pm and costs around 6 KM per person.
Hike up Hum Hill to the Millennium Cross
A great way to spend the afternoon in Mostar is by heading up to the Millennium Cross on Hum Hill. Just like the Millennium Cross above Skopje, this monument is both a powerful religious symbol and a popular destination for panoramic views.
You can find a taxi to take you up for around 20 KM return, or you can take the scenic route and hike. The route starts from the area behind St. Peter and Paul Church, so you can quite easily add it onto your Mostar itinerary at the end of the day – perhaps even for sunset.
The hike is around 6 kilometres in total and takes 3-3.5 hours return, plus time at the top for photos. There is a risk of landmines in this area so it’s very important you stick to the road and don’t wander off into the brush.
A good compromise is to take a taxi to the top (10 KM) and walk back down via the road. See this guide for detailed instructions.
Pivos Mostarsko & dinner on the river
Finish your day in Mostar with another hearty meal and a bottle or two of Pivo Mostarsko, the local beer. I highly recommend finding a table at one of the riverside restaurants so you can look out over the twinkling city lights.
Urban Grill is a popular budget choice for cevapi and mixed grill plates. It has a wonderful open terrace directly overlooking the river and bridge.
Finish your Mostar itinerary by Revisiting Stari most at night
Use that last ounce of energy for one final lap around the Old Bazaar and across Stari most. The bridge is even more enchanting at dusk, when flood lights illuminate the stone towers and highlight the curving stone. Watch your step, the bridge can be quite slippery!
The cobbled streets of the bazaar shimmer, and the gentle lights set the wooden tables of bronze and silver souvenirs aglow. Then, the lights come on in the old Ottoman houses along the riverside – pure magic.
As soon as you see Mostar at night, you’ll thank yourself for spending a full day in Bosnia’s loveliest city and not leaving when the day trippers make their exit.
More than 24 hours in Mostar?
While you could very easily spend another full day or more in Mostar visiting the other museums, hiking around the city or just relaxing by the river, you could also go on a day trip from Mostar.
Herzegovina region is brimming with natural and cultural attractions, many of them very easy to get to from Mostar either by using public transport or by joining a day tour.
This day tour, for example, visits the Dervish Monastery, Blagaj Tekija, Kravice Waterfalls and the old Ottoman town of Pocitelj.
The Catholic pilgrimage site of Medugorje, Bosnia’s seaside town of Neum, and even Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia can all be visited in a day from Mostar.
How to get to Mostar
Sarajevo to Mostar
There are daily trains to Mostar from Sarajevo taking around 2 hours and costing approximately 17 KM per person. Take the morning train if you can – the scenery is quite beautiful, especially if you’re sitting on the left-hand side of the carriage. Book online here, then head to the information counter at the railway station with your passport to get your tickets printed.
Alternatively, a bus from Sarajevo to Mostar takes around 2.5 hours and costs 7-25 KM per person. Check times and reserve tickets online through Bookaway.
A great way to travel to Mostar and do some sightseeing along the way is by joining a one-way day tour from Sarajevo. This is exactly what we did on our visit. This one goes to Konjic, Blagaj and Pocitelj.
Dubrovnik to Mostar
Arriva and Globtour run coaches from Dubrovnik to Mostar. The journey takes just under 4 hours, and tickets cost 25-30 KM per person. Check times and reserve tickets online through Bookaway.
If you’re looking for a day tour option, this itinerary includes Mostar plus stops in Pocitelj and Medjugorje. Book it on Get Your Guide.
Split to Mostar
Coaches from Split to Mostar are operated by Centrotrans and Globtour. The trip takes 4.5 hours, and tickets cost around 33 KM. Check times and reserve tickets online through Bookaway.
Alternatively, book a full-day tour to Mostar from Split with Kravice Waterfall included.
What are you favourite things to do in Mostar? What should I add to my itinerary for my next visit? Let me know your ideas in the comments below!