Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the banks of the Neretva River, and it represents the cultural centre and the largest city of Herzegovina. Mostar is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is named after the bridge keepers on the river Neretva. Neretva flows under one of the most famous bridges in Europe – The Old Bridge. The Old Bridge has been, together with Stari Grad, on the list of the protected cultural heritage of UNESCO since 2005. The population in Mostar is 113,000 inhabitants.
The establishment of the city of Mostar is related to the construction of two towers in the middle of the fifteenth century, and the city’s name appears for the first time in the Ottoman population list 1468-1469. years. At the time, Mostar was described as a small fortification with a hanging wooden bridge. The Ottomans conquered Mostar in 1468, which was then counted by only about twenty households on both sides of the Neretva. Over the next two centuries, Mostar was increasingly developing and it became the economic headquarters of Herzegovina. During this period, many monuments and buildings in Ottoman style, such as mosques, bridges, public baths and numerous residential buildings, were built. In 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which left great traces on the cultural life and development of the city. Mostar, which was until then infused with the orientalism of the Ottoman Empire, was increasingly influenced by elements of Central European architecture under the impact of the Habsburg monarchy. Between two world wars, Mostar, like the rest of the country went through a difficult period, but soon after that recovered, the population tripled, and trade and agriculture were developed and modernized.
The Old Bridge is a famous bridge on the Neretva River, located in the heart of the old town of Mostar. The Old Bridge was built in the sixteenth century under the command of Suleiman the Magnificent and represents a classic of Islamic architecture and engineering. It was destroyed by bombing during the Civil War but soon after that, it was restored. Stari Most was placed on the list of the protected cultural heritage of UNESCO in 2005, and every year attracts thousands of tourists who are often left speechless before the fairy tale scene of this cultural-historical monument that imposingly rises above the emerald Neretva.
And if you are an adventurous spirit and would like to do more than just enjoy the scenery, every year you have the opportunity to dive into the cold Neretva during the famous diving competition. Or, if you are not brave enough to take the leap yourself, you can always pay local jumpers who will be happy to do it for you.
Just a short drive south of Mostar, and you will arrive at the small village of Blagaj. Within Blagaj, there is a famous Tekija, that is, a monastery founded by Dervish nuns in the sixteenth century. Situated at the base of a cliff, at the spring of the river Buna, the monastery in Blagaj is about 600 thousand years old. Today, the monastery houses a restaurant overlooking the water and landscapes that rarely leave any guest indifferent.
Biščević house, better known as Biščević corner, is located on the eastern bank of the river Neretva in Biščević Street. This old Ottoman house, built during 1635, is still owned by the Biščević family. What makes this house stand out is the way it was built, which is different from anything seen in Mostar before. A corner of the house stands over Neretva on two very high stone pillars, which certainly makes it one of the most daring pieces of residential architecture from the Ottoman rule in Mostar. The house is abundant with authentic furniture, and the garden is an example of the Turkish style of construction. The house is open to all tourists for sightseeing.
Sports and Adventure Park Fortica is located on a hill east of Mostar at an altitude of 500m. The main attraction of this park is 570 meters long Zip Line, which gives an incredible view of Mostar. The starting point of the Zip Line is in front of the mountain hut and the lookout where the state flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located. It ends on the steep cliffs of the sports climbing centre “Stolac”, which has 13 climbing routes marked. In addition to the large ZIP LINE, there is also a children’s length of 20 meters. The Park Fortica will soon arrange a starting point for paragliding lovers and let’s not forget about the beauties of the nearby Mount Velež, abundant in forest roads ideal for mountain biking and other activities.
The mountain village Ruišta is located only 25 kilometres away from Mostar, on the slopes of Prenj Mountain. The village of Ruišta is located at a height of 1050 meters and is visited by tourists both in the winter and in the summer months. Many winter sports lovers enjoy the nature of the countryside and the ski resorts, especially the mountain climbers who want to climb Mount Prenj, whose peaks exceed 2000 meters. This mountain area is the richest in oxygen in this part of Europe, and it is home to the Heldreich’s pine, an extremely rare and endemic tree. Staying in Ruišta is especially pleasant in the summer when temperatures are even up to 11 degrees lower than in Mostar due to altitude differences.
If you want to experience an unforgettable rafting trip on the Neretva River, get ready for an adventure that begins seventy kilometres away from Mostar, in the town of Konjic. For the last ten years rafting on the Neretva has experienced a sudden expansion and several competitions were organized, but the upper stream of the Neretva is intended primarily for tourist pleasure. Spend a day full of adrenaline while enjoying the intact nature and rapids of the Neretva.
Bosnian cuisine is characterized by a combination of Eastern and Western flavours. Mostar cuisine was mostly influenced by Turkish, Greek and other Mediterranean cuisines, as well as certain European influences during the forty-year Austro-Hungarian rule. Traditional gastronomy is characterized by the use of meat such as lamb, veal, chicken, and fish, especially trout that is grown in rivers throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Just like the rest of the country, Mostar is well known for its traditional dishes like ćevapi and burek, and of course the favourite treat of many – baklava. Restaurants in Mostar serve both international and local flavors.
Nightlife in Mostar is one of the best in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is not surprising at all, given that Mostar boasts several famous clubs known throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also known as the “city of students” Mostar exudes infectious positive and youthful energy. There are so many clubs, cafes, bars, concert halls and pubs that you won’t be able to decide where you want to spend the night, but whichever is your choice, a great time is guaranteed!
Mostar offers numerous hotels, motels, apartments, hostels, and rooms for rent. Regardless of the amount of your budget, Mostar has the options to suit everyone. For those looking for a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere, private accommodation will be ideal, which is often more affordable than a hotel.