Amazing Things to Do in Mostar (in 1 or 2 Days)

How to spend one day in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the best things to do and see

WHAT TO DO IN MOSTAR – 1 OR 2-DAY ITINERARY

Planning your Mostar trip and wondering about the best things to do in Mostar in one day? This post is for you – because you will find out about what to do in Mostar in 1 or 2 days plus many important travel tips.

Mostar is beautiful! It really is a beautiful old town. While you could see the attractions of Mostar in a few hours, I recommend staying a full day (or even overnight) in Mostar so that you can experience Mostar in the evening. But it is definitely a great day trip from Dubrovnik, or even Split, in Croatia, and one day in Mostar is better than no visit at all.

Like many places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar suffered a lot during the war in the 1990s. Luckily, this is the past, and I am sure the town (and country) will have a bright future ahead, with its friendly and welcoming locals and the beautiful attractions it holds.

So, while the war and its scars are visible, the focus is now on the gorgeous and cute places in Mostar!Old town in Mostar, Bosnia While it is officially a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar lies in the Catholic Herzegovina, in the southern part of the country.  The city is divided by the gorgeous Neretva River. On the western side of the river, you mostly have the Catholic Croats, and on the eastern side, you have the Muslim Bosniaks.

As a visitor, you will not notice the tensions. Your day will be filled with friendly locals and plenty of beautiful places in Mostar. 

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS – THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

MOSTAR History at a Glance

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for more than 400 years. So, it is the food with a Turkish influence and the religion (Islam) and the architecture that will remind you of Turkey.
  • The beautiful mosques and other buildings make it a pretty, kind of exotic place. After the Ottomans, the Austrian-Hungary Empire ruled the country (which ended with WWI). However, in Mostar itself, you do not see that much Austrian influence (unlike Sarajevo).
  • After that, Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of Yugoslavia. 
  • When Bosnia strove for independence, there was a terrible war, and this country suffered the most. You will see its scars even these days – I highly recommend learning about the war in Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular. It is heart-breaking but helpful for understanding the political situation in the country (which is probably one of the most complicated systems in the world).

And while it is not yet on the radar of many Western visitors (though this has changed in recent years), you will find many Turkish tourists. So it is surely not a hidden gem.

PIN ME FOR LATER – PLACES TO VISIT IN MOSTAR

Pin me for later – so you remember the best things to do in Mostar.Things to do in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Arzo Travels

THINGS TO DO IN MOSTAR IN 1 DAY

Now, let’s talk about the best things to do in Mostar. At the end of the post, you will find many tips (like how to get around, where to stay, and more).

Admire Stari Most

The Ottomans also built the first bridge in Mostar that straddled the Neretva River Mostar, linking the old town’s two parts together.Stari Most in Mostar is one of the main attractions in Bosnia Herzegovina

View from old bridge, one of the most Instagrammable places in MostarVisiting the bridge is probably one of the very best things to do in Mostar – even if you have less than one day in Mostar, this is THE must-see sight.

I did a tour, and according to my tour guide, Mostar means “Bridge Keepers,” as the Stari Most was the only bridge people could cross, and keepers stood at the end of each side, collecting money from people crossing it. 

For about 400 years, it was the only bridge that linked the two parts of the town – so, even back then, it was a gold mine. I am pretty certain that it is now as well since it is the main reason for many to visit, and thus, again an important source of income.

However, the bridge was destroyed during the war in 1993. With donations from foreign countries (and their own financial investment), the bridge was rebuilt and opened in 2004. It is a replica – stone for stone – and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The bridge is beautiful, no matter which direction you look at it. But the bridge itself is also quite slippery (anti-slip shoes would be great here). There are stoppers every few inches – which help you not fall over – though they make it almost impossible to bring kids in strollers. Stari Most in Mostar is the best place to visitThere are a few nice spots where you can take pictures from the “beach,” the mosque, the Lucki Start Bridge, and all the restaurants that offer great views. But one of my favorite spots was actually from the bridge itself.

  • Be warned: It gets hectic. I visited at the end of April, and it was packed already. If you don’t want to rub shoulders with everyone else, come here early in the morning (and of course, it is lovely in the evening, too).

Watch People Diving

Do you like watching people jump from bridges? Well, here you can. (Mostly) locals jump from Stari Most. They collect money, and once they have collected a certain minimum, they jump.Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar While it is a spectacle (best seen from the beach), it scares me. I was lucky to see one jump, but I think that’s enough.  However, while jumping from Stari Most has always been big, it has become even bigger as there is a “cliff diving” event that takes place annually.

  • There have been deaths reported. Mostly when people are drunk and jump from the bridge at night. However, I personally would not recommend anyone jumping.

Stroll the Old Town

Mostar has probably one of the cutest old towns in the Balkans. The streets are narrow, cobblestoned, and full of souvenir shops and restaurants. While it sounds like any other old town in Europe, the Turkish influence makes it special. Mostar shop selling souvenirs in the old town

Old town with colorful houses in Mostar is one of the best things to do and visit

Mostar shop

Street with shops in MostarBesides all the shops and restaurants, you also have some pretty, colorful buildings (which stood out against the stone buildings that dominate the scenery). If you want to buy rugs, souvenirs, and other things, you will probably find them here.

Also, in the Old Town, you will find traditional Ottoman Houses – some of them are open to visitors.

So are Biscevic House, Kajtaz House, and Muslibegovic House. Muslibegovic House, built in the 17th century, is now a hotel and a museum. 

Walk Kriva Cyprija Bridge

Mostar’s Crooked Bridge, Kriva Cyprija, is a miniature Stari Most. It is set in the Old Town’s lovely surroundings, in front of a waterfall, and was built a few years before Stari Most.The crooked bridge is one of the best things to do in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

View from the Crooked Bridge in Mostar is one of the most beautiful placesThe bridge survived the war but was destroyed in a flood in 2001. However, it was rebuilt, and this smaller version of Stari Most is less busy (and the point from which you can reach the beach).

Visit Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and its Minaret

As mentioned, I visited with my little dog. Even though he was in a bag, we were not allowed to enter the mosque or the mosque grounds (though there were discussions amongst the people working there, in the end, we ended up not going).

Mostar, Stari Most
@Pixabay

However, this is probably one of the best places to visit in Mostar. The pictures taken of Mostar from here look beautiful, and so does the mosque itself.

The 17th-century Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque is the second biggest mosque in town and is located on the center’s east side. You cannot miss it when you are in the old town as the minaret is quite dominant. 

  • You can enjoy the views from the mosque grounds (the entrance is around 3€). 
  • You can also climb the 88 steps of the minaret for panoramic views of Mostar for an entrance fee of about 6€, and if you have one day in Mostar you will have enough time to visit it.

Stroll the Neterva River

Wondering what I have a thing with rivers – yes, it may sound weird, but I love a nice river. And for the longest time, my favorite river was the Aare River in Switzerland – but the Neterva River is among my top 5 of the most beautiful rivers. It runs through Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The current is fast, the watercolor is beautiful… and you can stroll along it.

Unfortunately, you cannot always walk right next to the river, but take your time and head out to the less crowded places to walk alongside it. If you stay a few hours in the town, you will probably not have enough time to do so, but with one day in Mostar, that should be on your itinerary.

Swim in the Neterva River

Are you a good swimmer? I am not, but in the summer months, it can get boiling in Mostar. Taking a dip in the cold water of the Neterva River is probably one of the best things to do.

However, if you go to the beach area near the bridge, it looks a bit calmer, but the current is very fast. Do not underestimate its strength and stay away from swimming in the river if you are not a good swimmer.

But you surely can dip your feet into the water, which is still refreshing.

See the “Don´t Forget“ Stone

In Sarajevo, you have the “Roses of Sarajevo” as a reminder of the war. In Mostar, you will find a stone that will remind you of the terrible war that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina more than 20 years ago.Dont forget stones in Mostar

The rebuilt Mostar Bridge is just one of the reminders, but the stone will also act as a commemoration (it is just next to the bridge, so keep an eye out as it can be overlooked quickly).

Drink a Bosnian Coffee

I was afraid that Bosnian Coffee would knock me out. But it did not, and I recommend that you give it a try. Since I could not eat much of the local food (not very vegetarian/vegan-friendly cuisine), I decided to have something local. So, having a Bosnian Coffee it was. It is not the same as Turkish coffee, even if it looks like it is. Bosnian coffee is made in a copper pot called a dzezva (which you can also buy in many souvenir shops for when you get back home), followed by a specific ritual. I cannot even describe the ritual (I had some help from the waiter), but they are normally helpful in showing you how to prepare the coffee. 

Visit War Photo Museum

Next to the old bridge is a small museum. The War Photo Museum exhibits photos from the time of the war in the 1990s. The entrance fee is a few €, and it should not take too long to walk through, but it is quite small.War Photo Exhibition in MostarThe pictures – all in black and white – are not easy to digest, and as interesting and important as they are, they might not be for the very sensitive visitors because it is just very sad.

  • Opening hours are normally from 9 am to 10 pm every day (please double-check as I could not find an official website).

Learn About the War at the Museum of War and Genocide

Traveling with a dog, I decided not to visit the museum – also, it is supposed to be intense, but it is probably a good way to learn more about the war as the museum explains what happened during the 1992-1995 war.

You will find out about the genocide, concentration camps, mass graves, crimes against children, and more cruelty during the war…There are personal belongings and statements of victims and more authentic items displayed.

  • The entrance fee is around 5€, and the museum is located between the old town and the modern shopping street.
  • Open every day from 9 am to 9 pm (please double-check as I could not find an official website to confirm the opening hours).

Go on a Walking Tour

I joined a free walking tour and learned more about the history of Mostar before the war in the 1990s, during the war, and also about the current situation and main Mostar attractions. While the walking tours are free, I always tip as it is the only income of the tour guide, so remember to tip if you are satisfied with the tour.Gymnasium in Mostar The walking tours in Mostar are offered once or twice a day (not in the winter months), but not every day. They are a great way to explore the city and learn more about it. If you want to take part, you will have to adjust your Mostar itinerary and see when the tour is offered.

  • The starting point is at Spanish Square, which is a 10-minute walk from the old town.
  • The tour covers many of the best things to see, but you have time afterward (the tour takes about 90 minutes or so) to visit these places on your own.

Visit Mostar Sniper Tower

Close to the Spanish Square (meeting point of the free walking tour), you will find the Sniper Tower. You will also see more signs and scars of the war in this area than in the old town.  Snipers House in Mostar

The Sniper Tower is an abandoned, bullet-riddled building and one of the tallest in the area. It was a former bank – Ljubljanska Bank – used by Croatian soldiers as a hiding place and shooting ground. The building has not been repaired or torn down, so you can see it from the outside. 

I was told not to visit as it is kind of forbidden, but it has become a popular place for street artists, and there is apparently good graffiti on all ten floors. 

MORE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR MOSTAR ITINERARY – 2 DAYS

One day in Mostar is a great idea. But I suggest making Mostar your base and stay two or three days in Mostar and visiting some surrounding areas.

Here are some of the places I had visited before I arrived in Mostar – highly recommended for your Mostar itinerary.

Head to Blagaj Monastery

This is another Instagram star and one of the most beautiful places near Mostar. The monastery sits at the base of a cliff alongside the Buna River. Blagaj is a good half a day trip from MostarWhile it is also from the Ottoman Empire’s time, the 600-year-old Blagaj Tekke monastery was built for the Dervish cults. For the monastery, you have to pay a little entrance fee. In the summer months, there is also a little boat that brings you right into the cave. 

  • It is located about 10 kilometers from Mostar.
  • I drove my car, but you can also take a bus from Spanish Square (bus lines 10 and 11) or do an organized tour.

Spend Time at Kravice Falls

Not as impressive as Plitvice Lake, my trip to Kravice Falls was still a nice little highlight and should be on your itinerary.Waterfalls in Bosnia Stretching over 100 meters, the cascading Kravice Falls are a popular place to visit. 

They are about 40 kilometers from Mostar, and you have to pay an entrance fee (prices depend on the time of your visit – in April/May it is about 4€; in summer, around 8€). You can also combine this with a trip to Blagai (especially if you drive yourself). It is the perfect place to spend some time outdoors while still being close to Mostar.

Visit Počitelj

The beautiful and ancient fortress village of Počitelj is a popular and picturesque stop – especially if you drive from Croatia to Mostar by car. Where to go near MostarYou can visit the mosque,

WHAT TO DO IN MOSTAR – 1 OR 2-DAY ITINERARY

Planning your Mostar trip and wondering about the best things to do in Mostar in one day? This post is for you – because you will find out about what to do in Mostar in 1 or 2 days plus many important travel tips.

Mostar is beautiful! It really is a beautiful old town. While you could see the attractions of Mostar in a few hours, I recommend staying a full day (or even overnight) in Mostar so that you can experience Mostar in the evening. But it is definitely a great day trip from Dubrovnik, or even Split, in Croatia, and one day in Mostar is better than no visit at all.

Like many places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar suffered a lot during the war in the 1990s. Luckily, this is the past, and I am sure the town (and country) will have a bright future ahead, with its friendly and welcoming locals and the beautiful attractions it holds.

So, while the war and its scars are visible, the focus is now on the gorgeous and cute places in Mostar!Old town in Mostar, Bosnia While it is officially a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar lies in the Catholic Herzegovina, in the southern part of the country.  The city is divided by the gorgeous Neretva River. On the western side of the river, you mostly have the Catholic Croats, and on the eastern side, you have the Muslim Bosniaks.

As a visitor, you will not notice the tensions. Your day will be filled with friendly locals and plenty of beautiful places in Mostar. 

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS – THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

MOSTAR History at a Glance

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for more than 400 years. So, it is the food with a Turkish influence and the religion (Islam) and the architecture that will remind you of Turkey.
  • The beautiful mosques and other buildings make it a pretty, kind of exotic place. After the Ottomans, the Austrian-Hungary Empire ruled the country (which ended with WWI). However, in Mostar itself, you do not see that much Austrian influence (unlike Sarajevo).
  • After that, Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of Yugoslavia. 
  • When Bosnia strove for independence, there was a terrible war, and this country suffered the most. You will see its scars even these days – I highly recommend learning about the war in Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular. It is heart-breaking but helpful for understanding the political situation in the country (which is probably one of the most complicated systems in the world).

And while it is not yet on the radar of many Western visitors (though this has changed in recent years), you will find many Turkish tourists. So it is surely not a hidden gem.

PIN ME FOR LATER – PLACES TO VISIT IN MOSTAR

Pin me for later – so you remember the best things to do in Mostar.Things to do in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Arzo Travels

THINGS TO DO IN MOSTAR IN 1 DAY

Now, let’s talk about the best things to do in Mostar. At the end of the post, you will find many tips (like how to get around, where to stay, and more).

Admire Stari Most

The Ottomans also built the first bridge in Mostar that straddled the Neretva River Mostar, linking the old town’s two parts together.Stari Most in Mostar is one of the main attractions in Bosnia Herzegovina

View from old bridge, one of the most Instagrammable places in MostarVisiting the bridge is probably one of the very best things to do in Mostar – even if you have less than one day in Mostar, this is THE must-see sight.

I did a tour, and according to my tour guide, Mostar means “Bridge Keepers,” as the Stari Most was the only bridge people could cross, and keepers stood at the end of each side, collecting money from people crossing it.

For about 400 years, it was the only bridge that linked the two parts of the town – so, even back then, it was a gold mine. I am pretty certain that it is now as well since it is the main reason for many to visit, and thus, again an important source of income.

However, the bridge was destroyed during the war in 1993. With donations from foreign countries (and their own financial investment), the bridge was rebuilt and opened in 2004. It is a replica – stone for stone – and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The bridge is beautiful, no matter which direction you look at it. But the bridge itself is also quite slippery (anti-slip shoes would be great here). There are stoppers every few inches – which help you not fall over – though they make it almost impossible to bring kids in strollers. Stari Most in Mostar is the best place to visitThere are a few nice spots where you can take pictures from the “beach,” the mosque, the Lucki Start Bridge, and all the restaurants that offer great views. But one of my favorite spots was actually from the bridge itself.

  • Be warned: It gets hectic. I visited at the end of April, and it was packed already. If you don’t want to rub shoulders with everyone else, come here early in the morning (and of course, it is lovely in the evening, too).

Watch People Diving

Do you like watching people jump from bridges? Well, here you can. (Mostly) locals jump from Stari Most. They collect money, and once they have collected a certain minimum, they jump.Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar While it is a spectacle (best seen from the beach), it scares me. I was lucky to see one jump, but I think that’s enough.  However, while jumping from Stari Most has always been big, it has become even bigger as there is a “cliff diving” event that takes place annually.

  • There have been deaths reported. Mostly when people are drunk and jump from the bridge at night. However, I personally would not recommend anyone jumping.

Stroll the Old Town

Mostar has probably one of the cutest old towns in the Balkans. The streets are narrow, cobblestoned, and full of souvenir shops and restaurants. While it sounds like any other old town in Europe, the Turkish influence makes it special. Mostar shop selling souvenirs in the old town

Old town with colorful houses in Mostar is one of the best things to do and visit

Mostar shop

Street with shops in MostarBesides all the shops and restaurants, you also have some pretty, colorful buildings (which stood out against the stone buildings that dominate the scenery). If you want to buy rugs, souvenirs, and other things, you will probably find them here.

Also, in the Old Town, you will find traditional Ottoman Houses – some of them are open to visitors.

So are Biscevic House, Kajtaz House, and Muslibegovic House. Muslibegovic House, built in the 17th century, is now a hotel and a museum.

Walk Kriva Cyprija Bridge

Mostar’s Crooked Bridge, Kriva Cyprija, is a miniature Stari Most. It is set in the Old Town’s lovely surroundings, in front of a waterfall, and was built a few years before Stari Most.The crooked bridge is one of the best things to do in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

View from the Crooked Bridge in Mostar is one of the most beautiful placesThe bridge survived the war but was destroyed in a flood in 2001. However, it was rebuilt, and this smaller version of Stari Most is less busy (and the point from which you can reach the beach).

Visit Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and its Minaret

As mentioned, I visited with my little dog. Even though he was in a bag, we were not allowed to enter the mosque or the mosque grounds (though there were discussions amongst the people working there, in the end, we ended up not going).

Mostar, Stari Most
@Pixabay

However, this is probably one of the best places to visit in Mostar. The pictures taken of Mostar from here look beautiful, and so does the mosque itself.

The 17th-century Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque is the second biggest mosque in town and is located on the center’s east side. You cannot miss it when you are in the old town as the minaret is quite dominant.

  • You can enjoy the views from the mosque grounds (the entrance is around 3€). 
  • You can also climb the 88 steps of the minaret for panoramic views of Mostar for an entrance fee of about 6€, and if you have one day in Mostar you will have enough time to visit it.

Stroll the Neterva River

Wondering what I have a thing with rivers – yes, it may sound weird, but I love a nice river. And for the longest time, my favorite river was the Aare River in Switzerland – but the Neterva River is among my top 5 of the most beautiful rivers. It runs through Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The current is fast, the watercolor is beautiful… and you can stroll along it.

Unfortunately, you cannot always walk right next to the river, but take your time and head out to the less crowded places to walk alongside it. If you stay a few hours in the town, you will probably not have enough time to do so, but with one day in Mostar, that should be on your itinerary.

Swim in the Neterva River

Are you a good swimmer? I am not, but in the summer months, it can get boiling in Mostar. Taking a dip in the cold water of the Neterva River is probably one of the best things to do.

However, if you go to the beach area near the bridge, it looks a bit calmer, but the current is very fast. Do not underestimate its strength and stay away from swimming in the river if you are not a good swimmer.

But you surely can dip your feet into the water, which is still refreshing.

See the “Don´t Forget“ Stone

In Sarajevo, you have the “Roses of Sarajevo” as a reminder of the war. In Mostar, you will find a stone that will remind you of the terrible war that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina more than 20 years ago.Dont forget stones in Mostar

The rebuilt Mostar Bridge is just one of the reminders, but the stone will also act as a commemoration (it is just next to the bridge, so keep an eye out as it can be overlooked quickly).

Drink a Bosnian Coffee

I was afraid that Bosnian Coffee would knock me out. But it did not, and I recommend that you give it a try. Since I could not eat much of the local food (not very vegetarian/vegan-friendly cuisine), I decided to have something local. So, having a Bosnian Coffee it was. It is not the same as Turkish coffee, even if it looks like it is. Bosnian coffee is made in a copper pot called a dzezva (which you can also buy in many souvenir shops for when you get back home), followed by a specific ritual. I cannot even describe the ritual (I had some help from the waiter), but they are normally helpful in showing you how to prepare the coffee.

Visit War Photo Museum

Next to the old bridge is a small museum. The War Photo Museum exhibits photos from the time of the war in the 1990s. The entrance fee is a few €, and it should not take too long to walk through, but it is quite small.War Photo Exhibition in MostarThe pictures – all in black and white – are not easy to digest, and as interesting and important as they are, they might not be for the very sensitive visitors because it is just very sad.

  • Opening hours are normally from 9 am to 10 pm every day (please double-check as I could not find an official website).

Learn About the War at the Museum of War and Genocide

Traveling with a dog, I decided not to visit the museum – also, it is supposed to be intense, but it is probably a good way to learn more about the war as the museum explains what happened during the 1992-1995 war.

You will find out about the genocide, concentration camps, mass graves, crimes against children, and more cruelty during the war…There are personal belongings and statements of victims and more authentic items displayed.

  • The entrance fee is around 5€, and the museum is located between the old town and the modern shopping street.
  • Open every day from 9 am to 9 pm (please double-check as I could not find an official website to confirm the opening hours).

Go on a Walking Tour

I joined a free walking tour and learned more about the history of Mostar before the war in the 1990s, during the war, and also about the current situation and main Mostar attractions. While the walking tours are free, I always tip as it is the only income of the tour guide, so remember to tip if you are satisfied with the tour.Gymnasium in Mostar The walking tours in Mostar are offered once or twice a day (not in the winter months), but not every day. They are a great way to explore the city and learn more about it. If you want to take part, you will have to adjust your Mostar itinerary and see when the tour is offered.

  • The starting point is at Spanish Square, which is a 10-minute walk from the old town.
  • The tour covers many of the best things to see, but you have time afterward (the tour takes about 90 minutes or so) to visit these places on your own.

Visit Mostar Sniper Tower

Close to the Spanish Square (meeting point of the free walking tour), you will find the Sniper Tower. You will also see more signs and scars of the war in this area than in the old town. Snipers House in Mostar

The Sniper Tower is an abandoned, bullet-riddled building and one of the tallest in the area. It was a former bank – Ljubljanska Bank – used by Croatian soldiers as a hiding place and shooting ground. The building has not been repaired or torn down, so you can see it from the outside.

I was told not to visit as it is kind of forbidden, but it has become a popular place for street artists, and there is apparently good graffiti on all ten floors. 

MORE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR MOSTAR ITINERARY – 2 DAYS

One day in Mostar is a great idea. But I suggest making Mostar your base and stay two or three days in Mostar and visiting some surrounding areas.

Here are some of the places I had visited before I arrived in Mostar – highly recommended for your Mostar itinerary.

Head to Blagaj Monastery

This is another Instagram star and one of the most beautiful places near Mostar. The monastery sits at the base of a cliff alongside the Buna River. Blagaj is a good half a day trip from MostarWhile it is also from the Ottoman Empire’s time, the 600-year-old Blagaj Tekke monastery was built for the Dervish cults. For the monastery, you have to pay a little entrance fee. In the summer months, there is also a little boat that brings you right into the cave.

  • It is located about 10 kilometers from Mostar.
  • I drove my car, but you can also take a bus from Spanish Square (bus lines 10 and 11) or do an organized tour.

Spend Time at Kravice Falls

Not as impressive as Plitvice Lake, my trip to Kravice Falls was still a nice little highlight and should be on your itinerary.Waterfalls in Bosnia Stretching over 100 meters, the cascading Kravice Falls are a popular place to visit.

They are about 40 kilometers from Mostar, and you have to pay an entrance fee (prices depend on the time of your visit – in April/May it is about 4€; in summer, around 8€). You can also combine this with a trip to Blagai (especially if you drive yourself). It is the perfect place to spend some time outdoors while still being close to Mostar.

Visit Počitelj

The beautiful and ancient fortress village of Počitelj is a popular and picturesque stop – especially if you drive from Croatia to Mostar by car. Where to go near MostarYou can visit the mosque, Šišman Ibrahim Pasha Mosque, or climb its tower. The tower offers amazing views, so even for an entrance fee, it is well worth it!

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR MOSTAR TRIP

After all the tips about the best things to do in Mostar, here are some travel tips for your first trip to Mostar.

How to Arrive in Mostar

Many people arrive from Dubrovnik (Croatia) or Sarajevo. Both cities have airports, and you can get to Mostar via bus or trains (from Sarajevo only). Apparently, the views are scenic, as well as by car.

If you drive with your own car, make sure your car is insured in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you carry your (green) insurance certification with you.

Parking in the old town will be tricky. I booked accommodation that offered parking and left my car there for the entire 24 hours (and did not need it at all). There is some parking available, but it will cost you (around 8-12€ a day).

If you get to Mostar from Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, etc., you can book your tours in advance.

How to Get Around Mostar

You will not need a car or public transportation while visiting Mostar in one day. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes (cobblestone streets – just saying).

If you plan to visit a few attractions near Mostar, you can use the bus or drive.

Where to Stay in Mostar

If you stay in Mostar overnight (I totally recommend it), you will have a couple of good options.

If you come by car, your options might be limited, though (especially if you visit with a dog, as I did, I had only a few options).

Best Time to Visit Mostar

Mostar is extremely popular, even though temperatures rise to 43 degrees Celsius and it gets busy – busier than normal. If you can, avoid July and August for your visit.

I reckon that May and the beginning of June are good months to visit, or late in September and October. I was lucky with the weather in April, but it rained for a few days straight after my visit.

More Things to Know Before Visiting

  • The currency is Bosnian Convertible Marks (KM), but you can mostly pay in Euros, too. However, bring enough cash because credit cards are hardly accepted.
  • Bring your refillable water bottle – there are water fountains (especially around mosques), and you can drink the water without a problem.
  • Many people speak good English (and many even speak German), so you will have no communication problems if you speak English.
  • Mostar is quite affordable. Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Europe, so Mostar is really affordable for most of us (especially if you come from Dubrovnik on a day trip).
  • Turkey heavily influences the food, but they did not bring over many of the vegetarian dishes, so it is mostly meat-heavy food (if you are vegetarian/vegan, this might be a little challenging, but it is not impossible to eat good food in Mostar, even if you don’t eat animals). There is also quite a lot of Italian food, like pasta and pizza. 
  • The city is a great place to visit – safe, fun, and interesting. As a solo female traveler (with a little dog), I felt safe at all times, day or evening, and overall, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a safe country to travel to.
  • People love smoking – cigarettes and shisha (or hookah). Yep, you cannot help getting the smoke in your face.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO SEE IN MOSTAR

While hardly known in the western world, Mostar is quite busy as tourist buses bring many travelers. Some streets and restaurants get busy within seconds.

They are mostly Turkish visitors. I have heard the voices of German and French people, too. I can see it becoming even more crowded and well-known with the increasing popularity of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a travel destination.

Hopefully, this post has helped you discover a bit more about the best things to do in Mostar in one day or 2 days. Whether you visit as a day trip from Dubrovnik, Split, or Sarajevo or if you decide to stay a bit longer to experience the beautiful places nearby – it surely is worth a visit. Whenever I think back of Mostar – and Bosnia -Herzegovina in general – I have a big smile on my face because of its beauty and its people!

Safe Travels, Arzo

 or climb the tower (which was free during my visit, but there might be a small entrance fee in the summer months. 

I am not sure about that, but I can imagine it being the case. The tower offers amazing views, so even for an entrance fee, it is well worth it!

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR MOSTAR TRIP

After all the tips about the best things to do in Mostar, here are some travel tips for your first trip to Mostar.

How to Arrive in Mostar

Many people arrive from Dubrovnik (Croatia) or Sarajevo. Both cities have airports, and you can get to Mostar via bus or trains (from Sarajevo only). Apparently, the views are scenic, as well as by car.

If you drive with your own car, make sure your car is insured in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you carry your (green) insurance certification with you.

Parking in the old town will be tricky. I booked accommodation that offered parking and left my car there for the entire 24 hours (and did not need it at all). There is some parking available, but it will cost you (around 8-12€ a day).

If you get to Mostar from Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, etc., you can book your tours in advance.

How to Get Around Mostar

 You will not need a car or public transportation while visiting Mostar in one day. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes (cobblestone streets – just saying).

If you plan to visit a few attractions near Mostar, you can use the bus or drive.

Where to Stay in Mostar

If you stay in Mostar overnight (I totally recommend it), you will have a couple of good options.

If you come by car, your options might be limited, though (especially if you visit with a dog, as I did, I had only a few options).

Best Time to Visit Mostar

Mostar is extremely popular, even though temperatures rise to 43 degrees Celsius and it gets busy – busier than normal. If you can, avoid July and August for your visit.

I reckon that May and the beginning of June are good months to visit, or late in September and October. I was lucky with the weather in April, but it rained for a few days straight after my visit.

More Things to Know Before Visiting

  • The currency is Bosnian Convertible Marks (KM), but you can mostly pay in Euros, too. However, bring enough cash because credit cards are hardly accepted.
  • Bring your refillable water bottle – there are water fountains (especially around mosques), and you can drink the water without a problem.
  • Many people speak good English (and many even speak German), so you will have no communication problems if you speak English.
  • Mostar is quite affordable. Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Europe, so Mostar is really affordable for most of us (especially if you come from Dubrovnik on a day trip).
  • Turkey heavily influences the food, but they did not bring over many of the vegetarian dishes, so it is mostly meat-heavy food (if you are vegetarian/vegan, this might be a little challenging, but it is not impossible to eat good food in Mostar, even if you don’t eat animals). There is also quite a lot of Italian food, like pasta and pizza. 
  • The city is a great place to visit – safe, fun, and interesting. As a solo female traveler (with a little dog), I felt safe at all times, day or evening, and overall, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a safe country to travel to.
  • People love smoking – cigarettes and shisha (or hookah). Yep, you cannot help getting the smoke in your face.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO SEE IN MOSTAR

While hardly known in the western world, Mostar is quite busy as tourist buses bring many travelers. Some streets and restaurants get busy within seconds.

They are mostly Turkish visitors. I have heard the voices of German and French people, too. I can see it becoming even more crowded and well-known with the increasing popularity of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a travel destination.

Hopefully, this post has helped you discover a bit more about the best things to do in Mostar in one day or 2 days. Whether you visit as a day trip from Dubrovnik, Split, or Sarajevo or if you decide to stay a bit longer to experience the beautiful places nearby – it surely is worth a visit. Whenever I think back of Mostar – and Bosnia -Herzegovina in general – I have a big smile on my face because of its beauty and its people!

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

Epic Things to do in Sarajevo (In 1 or 2 Days)

How to spend one day in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the best things to do and see - cover image

WHAT TO DO IN SARAJEVO – PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO

Are you planning your Sarajevo itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in Sarajevo in 2 days? First of all: great choice. Sarajevo is amazing and exceeded all my expectations, and I am happy to share my travel tips with you. Second, here are the answers to your question on what to do in Sarajevo.

To be honest, I never had Sarajevo on my radar. I visited, more or less, only because I was in Bosnia and visited Mostar already and thought it wouldn‘t hurt… Truth be told, it quickly became one of my favorite cities in Europe.

It is fun, friendly, and exciting, with a lot of history and a positive future. So, when you plan your Sarajevo trip, this post will help you find out about the best things to do in Sarajevo and how to plan your days.

Though this is not a typical Sarajevo itinerary, I structured the post around the best Sarajevo attractions so that you can easily plan your itinerary – whether you stay one day, two days, three days, or even longer in Sarajevo. Sarajevo mosqueSarajevo became the capital of independent Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH, for short) in 1992 and was created by the Ottomans in the 15th century. If you walk through Sarajevo, you will quickly see the Turkish influence here. And it surely had an Istanbul vibe here – though it is much, much smaller.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Okay, let´s get started about the most beautiful places to visit, Sarajevo, and the top things to do.

Sarajevo Walking Tours

One of the first things to do is joining a walking tour. Sarajevo streets in the old townWalking tours can help you understand the city, its people, history, and more in a much better way than if you learned it on your own.

You can do free walking tours in Sarajevo or do a walking tour that is not free. There are different free tours – I did two of them. 

One focuses on the recent history (including the Sarajevo siege in the ’90s and life during that time), and one is a general walking tour that covers more of the city (how it developed, the Ottoman Empire, the Austrian-Hungary Empire, and how they both shaped and influenced the country). Both are interesting, and if you are in Sarajevo for two or three days, I recommend taking both tours.

  • If you do the tours, you will see some of the main places in Sarajevo. So, I suggest doing them at the beginning of your Sarajevo trip.
  • The general Sarajevo history tours start at 10:45 am each day, from the Susan Sontag Square/National Theater.
  • The second tour of the day (recent history) starts at 3:45 pm at the same place.
  • Those tours are free, though I always recommend tipping. How much? It depends on how much you liked it (also, I base it on how many people take part – I tip more if there are only 2-3 people).
  • During these days, the times are different. So, please check this site for updated information.

Old Town / Sarajevo Baščaršija

One of the main places to visit in Sarajevo is the old town. You will feel like you are in Istanbul or a Turkish city rather than in Eastern Europe. Baščaršija is the old part of Sarajevo, dating back to the Middle AgesSarajevo shopping store in the old townDrinking coffee and sitting with friends is deeply rooted in the culture here, and the locals spend a lot of time in the old town. According to my guide, this is also why prices here are fair (same prices for locals as for visitors). There are no tourist traps, and the food is good.

But you´ll also find many shops selling art crafts, souvenirs, jewelry, but also western brand products. 

If you buy souvenirs, you might have to haggle a bit. I mean, this is also in their culture. But as for food and drinks, you don’t have to worry about being ripped off.

Apart from getting lost in the streets of the old town (for me, it meant literally getting lost since it is a small area but feels like a labyrinth, and even after five days, I did not really get the hang of it), there is not much more to do here.

Special places to visit in the old town are Baščaršija Square and Sebilj Fountain.

Sebilj Fountain is a wooden fountain located in the marketplace of Old Town’s bazaar at Baščaršija Square. It was built in the 18th century and still provides fresh drinking water today. Sarajevo Baščaršija Square and Sebilj Fountain are the main attractionsHowever, even if you come here early in the morning, you will always have to share the place with the local pigeons (you can even buy food and feed the pigeons, though this is probably not a good idea). Tip: When school ends, all kids come to this place- making it even busier. If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, come before lunchtime.

  • But there is also the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque that is the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina and an important center for the country’s Islamic community.
  • There is the Baščaršija Mosque, too, which was built in the 15th century. You can visit the mosque, and while you do not have to wear a scarf, you should take care to cover your shoulders and legs.
  • Then there is the Morića Han, an inn that you can visit, with a history that stretches back to the 16th century.

Roses of Sarajevo

One of the things you will see in Sarajevo, even if you are not looking for them, are the Roses of SarajevoSarajevo RosesIt is a memorial to remember the people who died in mortal shell explosions during the war, from 1992 to 1995, carried out by the Army of Republics Srpska.

Those roses are exactly where the people died, and the concrete scar was filled in with red resin. There are about 200 roses throughout the city, and the attack with the highest number of casualties happened at Markale Market.

East and West Meeting Spot

When you leave the old town and head to the modern shopping street, you will find the “Where East and West Meet“ spot. If there are not any other people standing around, you might miss it!

It is the place where East and West collide and connect.

As you stand on this spot and turn to face west, your photographs’ background will show “Eastern” or Ottoman Sarajevo. 

And if you turn 180° to face east, you’ll have the main walking area in the center of town, Ferhadija, behind you, which is home to some Austrian-Hungarian architecture.

Eternal Flame

From there, you just need to keep walking for another few minutes to reach the Eternal Flame. Sarajevo Eternal FlameThe Eternal Flame memorial is dedicated to those who died during WWII – when the country was invaded and occupied by the Nazis and the fascist independent state of Croatia for four years.

Miljacka River

From the Eternal Flame, you can head to the Miljacka River. The river flows through Sarajevo, dividing the city into southern and northern sides.

However, as much as I like Sarajevo, I named it the world´s ugliest river. Though this might be an exaggeration, and it just takes time to get used to its dark brown color. You will see more of the lake in the picture below- keep an eye for the paragraph about the Yellow Fort.

Latin Bridge

The Latin Bridge is conveniently located near the old town, and it just takes a few minutes to get there and should not be missing on any Sarajevo itinerary. Sarajevo Latin Bridge is one of the best things to seeHere is where WWI started – more or less.  

The Bosnian Gavrilo Princip killed the Archduke of Austria-Este: Franz Ferdinand and his wife (at that time, Sarajevo was ruled by Austria-Hungary) were driving down the street when they were assassinated at this bridge.

This assassination became the trigger point for World War I.

It definitely is one of the main Sarajevo attractions, even though the museum itself is said to have only information.

Vijećnica  / City Hall

From the bridge, it is just another few minute’s walk to reach the City Hall. Sarajevo City Hall near the old townThis building (which is a perfect example of Austrian-Hungarian architecture) was bombed in 1992. It was, and is, the National and University Library of BiH. 

Most of the books were destroyed by the bombing of the Bosnian Serbs, but the building was completely rebuilt, and you can now visit it.

House of Spite – Inat Kuca

This house symbolizes the stubbornness of Bosnians today. Opposite City Hall, you will find a house that is now a restaurant. Sarajevo House of Spite is one of the best places to eatIt used to be in a spot where the City Hall is now. The Austrian-Hungarian monarchy wanted to build the town hall at that location, but the house owner wasn’t willing to sell/leave his house.

Eventually, the Austrian-Hungarians and this man agreed: 

His house was moved, brick by brick, over the Miljacka River. It directly faces the new City Hall, and the House of Spite (Inat Kuća) is now a restaurant.

If you have not done any walking tours but followed this itinerary (and had lunch in between), then it might be time to plan the rest of your first day. You are near the old town now and can either have an early dinner or eat after the following two activities.

Kovači Martyr’s Cemetery

Just behind the old town (also in other parts of the city) are a few cemeteries. Not all cemeteries are for victims of the war, but when you head to the Yellow Fortress (more on that in a bit), you will find the Kovači Cemetery. Sarajevo Kovači Martyr’s CemeteryThis cemetery, with its sea of white pillar-shaped headstones, really stands out. Even if you do not want to visit (which is totally understandable), you might wonder what it is because you will see them from different perspectives throughout your visit.

Yellow Fort

For great views, I have several suggestions. If you visit the above-mentioned cemetery, it takes another 3 minutes of uphill walking (so maybe a ten-minute, steep, uphill walk in total) to arrive at the walls of Yellow Fortress (Žuta Tabija).Sarajevo view from Yellow Fort is one of the best places to visit

The fortress itself is not that stunning, but you have great views.

  • You do not need to pay to enter the fortress and can enjoy the views from 8 am until midnight.

You can have a drink at a cafe – watching the sunset from there is pretty great and a fun (almost) free thing to do.

More religious places for the first day: If you would like to visit more religious sites, you will be pleased to find that Sarajevo is home to mosques, churches (Catholic and Orthodox), and synagogues that you can visit, and which are all in and close to the old town. You are within minutes of all kinds of religious places.

Here are some more places you can add to your itinerary:

Ashkenazi Synagogue

Cathedral of Jesus Sacred Heart 

Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the TheotokosSarajevo church Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos

Day 2 – If you use this post as an itinerary, this is the second day in Sarajevo.

Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope

If you have 2 days in Sarajevo and want to learn more about the war’s history, then visit the Tunnel of Hope.

When Sarajevo was besieged during the war, this was the only access Sarajevo had to the rest of the world.

The 800-meter-long tunnel was used to deliver medicine, food, and artillery, which helped the locals survive and the army fight during the siege.

  • It is located just outside of the city center, and you will need to get there via car, an organized tour, taxi, or public transportation.
  • The entrance is about 5€ (without a tour), and you can walk the 800 meters of the tunnel and visit the museum. But if you are not familiar with the history, it might be easier for you to join a guided tour. 

Sniper´s Alley

People in Sarajevo (mainly Muslims and Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, and other minorities) lived in the city while under the Bosnian Serbs’ fire – who sat in the hills surrounding Sarajevo. Sarejevo houses near Sniper´s Alley with bullet holesIn the old town and the city center of Sarajevo, you will see many signs of the war, such as houses that are still not fully restored and seem to be pocked by bullet holes. However, many of these holes are not actually from bullets but rather from mortar fragments.

The houses with bullet holes are outside the old town, closer to the hills that were easy to reach via guns.

At Sniper´s Alley, you can see sniper‘s houses in the hills and houses scarred by bullet holes.

Locals named it Suicide Alley, as snipers would shoot almost immediately when someone walked along the streets – even at kids and women.

If you do the walking tour, you will receive explanations here. Visiting the alley was extremely touching to me. However, with less than two days in Sarajevo – or if you want to focus on the positive side of Sarajevo – it is not a place that must be on your Sarajevo itinerary.

Srebrenica Gallery

After your time in the Tunnel of Hope, you have several more options for spending the day.

This next activity is not only for rainy days – you can visit the Srebrenica Gallery at any time of the year or in any weather.

An army of Bosnian Serbs killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys over the course of three days in the United Nations’ “safe area“ – Srebrenica, which lies in the east of Bosnia.

More than 100,000 people died during the (nearly) four years of the Bosnian War. Srebrenica became one of the most prominent places of the war.

This genocide is the worst in Europe since World War II. Gallery 11/07/05 plays educational films on a loop about Srebrenica and the Sarajevo siege.

Wilsons Promenade and Visit Tito Café

Wilson’s Promenade – Sarajevo’s most popular walking area – is approximately two kilometers long and runs along the right bank of the Miljacka River. It is lovely to see another side of the city. You’ll notice that this place is visited mostly by locals.

Though I did not visit Tito Cafe, I enjoyed this different side of Sarajevo and got to see the golden can of beef. This is a monument that stands as an ironic thank you to the UN for the food they delivered during the war. As my guide told me, the people were incredibly thankful for the food deliveries, and it was not meant as an ungrateful gesture, but more of irony as the food was terrible. 

White Fortress

Here are more tips for great views. The White Fortress is located slightly higher than the Yellow Fortress and takes a bit more effort to reach.

It took me probably about 25-35 minutes, and though the fortress itself is closed for renovations at the moment, the views were great – especially as you get to have views to the other side, which is quieter and perfect for nature lovers.

At the fortress itself, you cannot do much. So, if you are short on time, the Yellow Fortress is probably the better choice because you can sit down and relax more.

However, from there, it is also not far to the Yellow Fortress so that you can combine them.

Mount Trebević

Apparently, from Mount Trebevic, you have great views of Sarajevo – when I visited, it was foggy and rainy, so I did not get to enjoy the views.THINGS TO DO IN Sarajevo, Bosnia, ARZO TRAVELS

  • However, you can combine it with either a hike up (should take about 60-120 minutes) or use the cable cars in Sarajevo to take you up (for around 10€, round trip).
  • You can even drive up to the very top (there are free parking spots available).

Sarajevo’s Abandoned Bobsled Track

If you are at Mount Trebevic, add the abandoned bobsled track to your list.

I would not say it is a must-see in Sarajevo if you are only in Sarajevo for one day. Still, if you are in the city for two or three days, you can definitely add it – especially because you can easily combine it with a hike/drive up to Mount Trebevic.Sarajevo Bobtrack

Sarajevo hosted the ’84 Winter Olympics, and you can visit the bobsled and luge track, which still stands (in most parts) at the top of Mount Trebević Sarajevo.

There is no entrance fee, and you can visit and walk along the luge track comfortably, which is now full of graffiti.

I was warned by locals that this side of the city (locals were not sure if it is still in Sarajevo or if it actually is in East Sarajevo, which is part of the Republic of Srpska) is not as safe as Sarajevo.

So, I got the tip to visit on a sunny day when many other people would be around, as robbery there is more common.

However, I then decided to drive up accompanied by my little dog, which proves that size doesn’t matter, and he is a great security dog on a rainy day. I am generally a careful person and would not have hiked up that rainy day knowing that solo travelers were popular victims of the thefts.

Vidikovac 

Saving the best for last: Whether you have one day or more, my tip is to visit the Vidikovac and end your day at the restaurant there. 

Sarajevo best views to watch sunset

Not for the food (which was average), but because sitting at the outdoor restaurant and overlooking Sarajevo – while the sun goes down.

The restaurant is more elaborated than the cafe at the Yellow Fortress, and it is not well-known among visitors (I got the tip from the receptionist). The restaurant is busy and popular among locals.

Food is very affordable (I paid only 3€ for a large vegetarian pizza), and you will get big portions for just a little money (service is slow, though). It is a great place to see on a sunny day.

You can either hike up (which should take about 45 minutes from the old town, though it is uphill and steep) or take a taxi. A taxi ride from the old town costs about 3.50€, and it is not only a taxi ride but also a wild roller coaster ride.

I hiked down (yes, in the dark) as I could not bother to call a taxi to pick me up again. 

You can also drive up there yourself (free parking spots available), but I am not sure the streets there are made to be driven by non-locals. It is seriously a bit crazy driving there, but if you have nerves of steel, why not?

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR SARAJEVO ITINERARY

I am sure you are well set with all the information on what to do and see in Sarajevo – now it is time for some quick travel tips.

How to Get to Sarajevo

By plane: Sarajevo has an airport that is 12 km from the city center. From there, you can use a bus (cheapest option) to get to Basarsija – the old town center. The buses run according to the flight schedules.

Taxis should be around 10€ to the city center.

By bus: There are two bus stations, and you can get to Sarajevo by bus from places like Banja Luka, Belgrade (Serbia), and many other cities in BiH.

By car: Sarajevo is located in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is linked to the transversal of the two most important main routes: the Adriatic highway and by car – via Zagreb – Belgrade.

By train: The main train station is a 10-minute walk from the center of town. From there, you can easily get to the old town via public transportation (the train ride from Mostar to Sarajevo is supposed to be very scenic, as was my car drive).

Driving into Sarajevo was quite pleasant (although I arrived during rush hour), but driving in Sarajevo itself was kind of a nightmare. The streets are extremely narrow, and parking in the old town is impossible. But once you have arrived in Sarajevo, ditch your car and get around on foot (more on that later).

How to Get Around Sarajevo

I arrived in Sarajevo by car but left it outside the city center and mostly walked. I rarely used the car (just once when I left the city and stopped at the mountain) and used a taxi only once.

  • Most of the places I mention here, and the main Sarajevo landmarks, are located in the city center, and it is easy to walk around.
  • But you can use public transportation (buses, trams, trolleybuses, and minibus lines). One ride costs a bit less than 1€, and you can buy tickets from the driver (or at a kiosk, which is also a few cents cheaper). Don´t forget to punch your ticket to avoid being fined.
  • There is also a sightseeing bus tour (hop on and hop off) that shows you around Sarajevo.
  • Taxis are quite cheap (starting fare is about 1€ and 1 kilometer is about 0.60€). I used a taxi once to get up a mountain (more on that later), and it was a taxi ride and a rollercoaster ride in one. So, walking surely is the most relaxed way of getting around.

People / Language

  • In Sarajevo, Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are spoken. I was very pleased to find that many people speak basic English – even the older ones – and many speak English very well (some also speak German). If you speak English (assuming you do since you are reading this post), you will not have any problems communicating.
  • The people in Bosnia-Herzegovina were some of the friendliest I have ever come across in my travels. And Sarajevo holds a special place in my heart – the people are kind and open.
  • While the majority are Muslim, they practice a liberal form of religion that makes it easy for all people to feel welcome and enjoy a wonderful, liberal atmosphere.
  • And though there is poverty in the country and in the city (you will see quite a few beggars, even some children), I never felt that people were trying to rip me off. They were very welcoming toward visitors and were happy to see foreigners (knowing what positive influence tourism can have on the country), but more likely because they are just nice and kind.

Where to Eat in Sarajevo

Food in Sarajevo reminds me pretty much of Turkish food – kebabs, baklava, and other Turkish-influenced dishes. Sarajevo where to have vegan food_The only aspect missing here is the vegetarian food you can find in Turkey (e.g., bulgur). So, if you love eating animals, you will love it here. But even as a vegetarian (and vegan), there are some options – mostly falafel – and there are two restaurants/cafes with good vegan food.

TIP for healthy and vegan food: Falafel House – Bravadziluk 32, Sarajevo

Where to Stay in Sarajevo

I stayed in Sarajevo for five nights – and changed my hotel once.

  • Hotel Michele: If you want something better and not in the hustle and bustle, I recommend this unique 4-star hotel located about 600 meters from the old town. The staff is amiable, and you have a place to park (which you probably won‘t have in a hotel directly in the old town). It is a bit of an uphill walk, but a great place to stay if you want to escape the craziness of the old town – find out more about Hotel Michele and check out the rates.
  • M´Ali Rooms: I spontaneously decided to stay a few days longer in Sarajevo and booked a room at M´Ali Rooms for a very good price. It is located directly in the old town, and within seconds, you are right where all the people are. It is a great place to stay (if you don’t want to stay in a hostel but want to watch your budget, this is a good choice). The owner is nice, and the rooms are pretty decent. Click here to find out more about the hotel and its rates.

Tips for Solo Female Travelers

Sarajevo is a pretty safe place to visit.

  • However, always be aware of where you go and watch your valuables carefully (especially in the old town).
  • Since I visited Sarajevo with my dog, I am unsure if I am really the right one to give this advice, but I felt safe and secure.
  • I am always a bit cautious but did not feel that I needed to be more cautious than other European cities.
  • The people are extremely friendly and open – many speak English, and it was not difficult to talk to locals.

Tips for Traveling With a Dog

In Sarajevo, Muslims are the majority. And while I am not religious, I know my folks, and let me tell you: Muslims normally don’t like dogs (and that’s a nice way of putting it). However, people in Sarajevo were crazy for Puppygak.Sarajevo with a dog

Maybe because he is small (and of course, overly cute) and you do not see that many dogs in the city center. Only about a quarter of the hotels and apartments allow dogs, and you cannot take dogs into many restaurants.

As long as the weather is good and you can sit outside, it should not be a big deal. In colder months or on rainy days, it is another story, though.

More Things to Know

  • Smoking is very common – very common.
  • Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s currency is a convertible mark (KM). 2 KM is about 1.05€ (May 2019).
  • Some bigger stores accept credit cards, but most hotels (especially the apartments), restaurants, cafes, etc., do not accept them. Cash is not only king here, but king and queen.
  • Water: You can drink tap water and will find plenty of water fountains where you can refill your water bottles (especially near the mosques).
  • Costs: Sarajevo is probably one of the cheapest capitals to visit in Europe. Food, accommodations, fuel, and activities… I can hardly think of any other capitals in Europe that offer so much for so little money. So, a vegetarian lunch including a drink is about 5€, and it’s not much more for a meat dish (of course, it depends on what exactly you order).
  • Museums cost around 2-3€, and a tram ticket is less than one euro. A scoop of ice cream is between 0.50-0.75€.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST THINGS TO DO IN SARAJEVO

Sarajevo is a beautiful and fun city – compared to other European capitals, it is quite small, but there is plenty to do and see.

Hopefully, this post has helped you find out about the best things to do in Sarajevo. It truly is different from most European cities, but so full of friendly, nice people and so much history and it surely is worth a visit.

Here is my itinerary for Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Things to do in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to Visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1-7 Days

Best things to do and see in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The best itinerary for a road trip with the best places to visit

ROAD TRIP ITINERARY FOR BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA IN 1-7 DAYS

Are you planning your Bosnia itinerary and wondering about the best places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Whether you stay for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days in Bosnia-Herzegovina – this Bosnia itinerary has got you covered.

It did not take long to fall in love with BosniaHerzegovina. Within minutes I fell in love, and I highly recommend visiting this beautiful country.

BosniaHerzegovina is such an underrated countrywithout the war in the 1990s, it would probably have been a hotspot already.

Stunning scenery, beautiful and friendly people, cute towns and cities. It surely is not the first place I would recommend to someone who enjoys an AllInclusive Package at a top resort (no judgment here). Still, for anyone willing to experience the places less traveled, BosniaHerzegovina is a great travel destination.

While I did not have many expectations and knew about the scenery, what surprised me the most (yes, I have my prejudices) was that the people here are not only friendly (expected that actually), but also kind and fair, as in I never felt that people were trying to rip me off.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA TRAVEL TIPS

Before jumping to the BosniaHerzegovina itinerary, here are a few travel tips for Bosniafind out where to go and what to see, how to get around (I did a Bosnia road trip, but there are several ways to see the country), and more tips – plus a bit of background on the country.

QUICK HISTORY

The recent history of the country, and its current political system, are quite complicated, so I tried to keep it short and simple:

There are three main ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats, and Orthodox Serbs.

Bosnia-Herzegovina became independent in March 1992. Before that, it was part of Yugoslavia’s Republic (including Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and a few more countries).

This led to a war, and Bosnian Serbs, supported by the Serbian government, fought against this independence. On the other side, you had tensions between Croats and Bosniaks that also led to war in 1993.

When Bosnia-Herzegovina became independent, the country was divided into different entities – The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska (in the north and east of the country), plus the district of Brcko.

In the Republic of Srpska, you will find mostly Bosnian Serbs; in the southern part (which is actually Herzegovina), there are mostly Catholic Croats; and in the rest of the country, there are mostly Muslim Bosniaks.

BUT, you will find different ethnicities in each part of the country. Before the war outbreak, it was quite common to have mixed marriages and the different religions living quite well together.

This changed after the war broke out in the 1990s, and nowadays, the wounds have not entirely healed, and there are still tensions (which we, as visitors, might overlook).

Since Bosnia-Herzegovina (I might shorten this sometimes and call it Bosnia, though it is not the politically correct name) was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, you will find a lot of Turkish influence in the country – also in Herzegovina.

So, while the political situation is complex, you might not realize the differences from place to place.

MONEY IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

The local currency is the Bosnian Mark/Convertible Mark (BAM/KM). Bring cash – most of the time, you cannot pay by (credit) card. 2 KM is about 1.05€ (as of May 2019).

ATMs are not available everywhere, only in the larger cities. You can find exchange offices in popular tourist places.

Costs: Bosnia-Herzegovina is probably one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe. Food, accommodations, fuel, and activities… I can hardly think of any other capitals in Europe that offer so much for so little money. So, a vegetarian lunch (in a restaurant) including a drink is about 3-7€, and it’s not much more for a meat dish (of course, it depends on what exactly you order).

WiFi: Most restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels offer free WiFi in their public spaces. 

TRAVEL TIPS FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER IN BOSNIA

As a solo female traveler, I am always aware of my surroundings. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, I traveled with my little dog, though.Kravica Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina a great place to visit However, I felt quite safe in Bosnia – I cannot recall a negative experience. Crime is comparably low -, especially against foreigners.

So, it is safe to say that Bosnia is a safe travel destination and safer than many other “popular travel destinations, ” so security is not something that should hold you back.

Just beware of pickpocketing – especially in touristy areas.

If you plan to hike in the mountains, do not leave the marked paths – some places are still not cleared of landmines.

Food in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Turkey influences food in Bosnia, but you will also find a lot of pizza and pasta dishes. It is based strongly on meat – vegetarians or vegans might struggle (I did, but in the end, I still found enough to eat and actually, unfortunately, did not even lose weight).

Water: You can drink tap water – at least, I did – but double-check with your host about the water in your area.

How to Get Around in Bosnia

Public transportation: I wish that I had used some public transportation in Bosnia – especially since the trains from Sarajevo to Mostar are supposed to offer great views. Trains and buses run from major tourist destinations/cities, and you can also book tours to get around.

BosniaHerzegovina Road Trip: I drove in Bosnia-Herzegovina with my own car (crazy, I know, and probably would not do it again).

The scenery is amazing, and I enjoyed driving in Bosnia more than driving in Italy, BUT I am not saying that it was all easy and smooth driving in this country.Road in Bosnia-Herzegovina things to know before visiting Here is what to know about driving in Bosnia:

  • Streets in Bosnia are okay – some are actually in excellent condition, while others are in bad condition. Bosnia showed me what huge potholes look (and feel) like. 
  • Drive slowly to be able to avoid the potholes. An be prepared for Bosnian drivers, who are fast and like to honk their horns (especially Sarajevo). 
  • Bosnia was the country in which I drove the least (kilometer-wise). I actually saw three bad accidents, though I probably only drove around 500 km in total (luckily, I passed them when the ambulance was there and did not see them happen).
  • There are very few toll roads, but you can skip them and not pay much for tolls.
  • Gas prices are quite low (one of the cheapest in Europe), so fill your petrol up here. Gas stations often accept credit cards but ask in advance.
  • Be prepared to drive on mountain roads. Some are small and narrow, and some are great and easy to drive. 
  • Parking in Bosnia is interesting – many people park anywhere they want. I saw people with parking tickets on their windshields, though.
  • Except for Sarajevo and Mostar (and probably Banja Luca), finding parking spots is often quite easy, and by European standards, quite cheap and often even free.
  • No, I never was pulled out by the Bosnian police, and I was not asked to pay any bribe (though I read from travel bloggers who had to pay bribes or fines).

TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (1-7 DAYS)

Okay, after all the travel tips, here are my favorite places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1 DAY IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Mostar and Blagaj – 1 Day

If you have only one day in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then you might want to visit these two places in a day.

If you are short on time, you can combine a trip to Blagaj and Mostar and visit both in one day. If you are not in a rush, I recommend staying in Mostar for the whole day.Old Bridge seen from the beach in Mostar Join a free walking tour in the morning, then explore the beautiful old town on your own and watch the people dive from Stari Most.

Stari Most? This is one of the most famous attractions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and is a must-see in the country. Though the bridge was destroyed in the war, it was rebuilt in 2004 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.Street with shops in Mostar Mostar is touristy but still gorgeous. If you can make it happen, spend the evening in the old town as well, as it is quite charming with its cute little shops (if you want to buy souvenirs, this is a good place to do it) and pretty decorations on the houses.

Blagaj is another place to visit in Bosnia, and it is easy to get to from Mostar (by bus and car, and there are also organized tours). At the spring of the river Buna, you will find the ancient Dervish Monastery, which was built into a 200-meter-high cliff. You might have seen this image on Instagram already – and it is just as charming in real life.Blagaj is a good half a day trip from Mostar In the summer months, you can also do a boat tour and visit the cave. But if you don’t fancy a visit to the monastery itself, you can enjoy the little waterfall in front of the monastery and have a lunch/drink at one of the restaurants lining the river. Here is my Mostar guide with more travel tips for you.

2 DAYS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Pocitelj and Kravica Waterfalls – 1 Day

These two places are south of Mostar and can easily be visited in one day (if you are in a rush, you can even visit both of them and Blagaj during your one day in Bosnia). So, with two days in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you can visit these places without rushing too much.

Kravica Waterfalls

The Kravica Waterfalls are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you can combine them with a trip to Pocitelj on your way to Mostar.

They are located in the Veljaci village near Ljubuski and were created by the flow of the tufa on the Trebizat River – the waterfall is about 26-28 meters. You can rent a boat and go very close to the waterfalls.Kravica Waterfalls in Bosnia There is another smaller waterfall. The Kocusa Waterfall is only 5 meters, but the length of about 50 meters makes up for it.

It is not as big as the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and depending on if you want to go on a little hike and chill, it will probably take between 1-6 hours here.

From there, you can head to the next place. If you come from Croatia, this will probably be one of the first places that will cross your itinerary for Bosnia-Herzegovina:

Pocitelj

Pocitelj lies about 20 kilometers from Croatia and 30 kilometers from Mostar.

The village is tiny – seriously tiny – but it is still one of the best places to visit in Bosnia. While it is not overly famous among western travelers, it is quite famous with Turkish visitors, and buses bring them in large groups to Pocitelj to get busy.Pocitelj - Where to go near Mostar If you wonder why mostly Turkish visitors flock here, my explanation would be that this village is a perfect example of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Bosnia for several hundred centuries. So, the mosque and village center are typical examples of the Ottoman Empire – and it still looks untouched.

For the best views, head to the top – from the Fort of Pocitelj, you have great views over the village, the pretty Nevreta River, and its surroundings. There was no one to collect an entrance fee for the fort, but I am not sure if that is always the case. Either way, I think it would be quite cheap if there was an entrance fee.

On the way down, you can visit the mosque for a small entrance fee.

The sellers further down have some snacks, which have a beautiful presentation. You can also buy fresh fruits, fresh juices, rugs, clothes, and many different souvenirs (they use a lot of plastic, so I made sure to always have my cotton bags with me when I went shopping).Pocitelj snacks for sell, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia Down there are some restaurants (which get full once the tourist buses come) that have WiFi – and you can park your car for free.

I guess it takes between 1-4 hours to explore this little village.

3 OR 4 DAYS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

If you stay 3 or 4 days in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I suggest heading to the capital.

Sarajevo – 1 or 2 Days

Before my trip, I had no idea what to expect. I had not done any research, nor did I see images on Instagram or Pinterest. The only thing that came to my mind when I thought of Sarajevo was the war – which is such a pity.Sarajevo view from Yellow Fort is one of the best places to visit First of all, the war is long over. Second, the capital of Bosnia is a fun and thriving city that is perfect for visiting.

If you are in Bosnia for three days, I suggest visiting Sarajevo for one day. If you are in Bosnia for 5 days or longer, I recommend staying at least two days.

While it is true that the city suffered a lot from the war in the 1990s, not all of its main attractions are about the war. But you might want to visit a few places where you can learn more about the siege of Sarajevo.Sarajevo mosque In one day, you can visit the old town of the city and the mosques. There are also churches (Orthodox and Catholic) and even an active synagogue that you can visit. 

Also, head to the Latin Bridge to find out more about World War I – the trigger for the war actually happened in Sarajevo, where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was shot.

With one day in Sarajevo, you should head to one of the vantage points for some great views. Good news: reaching them is not too difficult or time-consuming, so doing it in one day is doable. Sarajevo shopping store in the old town Sarajevo is quite walkable, so it is easy getting around. Most of the sights are also close to each other (where else in the world do you have an Orthodox church, a Catholic church, a synagogue, and a mosque exist peacefully in such proximity?).

With two days in the city, make sure to visit the Tunnel of Hope and explore other places in the city for more viewpoints, such as the abandoned Bob track.

Check out my detailed Sarajevo post with all the travel information you will need for your trip.

5 DAYS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

If you road trip Bosnia-Herzegovina in 5 days, I recommend adding these places to your itinerary (which you will come across from Mostar to Sarajevo).

Neretva River, Lake Jablanica, and Konjic – 1 Day

I drove from Mostar to Sarajevo, and with all the breaks, it took me almost a full day to arrive in Sarajevo.

You could do it in a few hours, but what fun is that? Okay, the views are still great but plan in enough time for breaks.

This route is one of the most beautiful places in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The scenic views, the empty streets, the pretty Lake Jablanica– drive along the E 73, and you will be rewarded with great views.Lake Jablanica in Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the most beautiful places to visit At the end of the lake (or beginning) is the pretty little city of Konjic. While it is small and not home to many sights, it is great for a stroll and taking lots of pictures. Konjic in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a must on a Bosnia itineraryIf you do not want to rush, I suggest staying here a night before continuing your journey.

In Mostar, and also north and south of it, you will find the stunning Neretva River, with a watercolor that is just gorgeous. The streets here (especially north of Mostar) were my favorites – wide and easy to drive, with the river to your side. It is just a short drive, so that you can do the whole trip from Sarajevo to Mostar in one day. Just make sure to stop here and enjoy the beauty before continuing your trip.

From there, you are not too far away from Kravica – another great stop on your Bosnia vacation. 

6 AND 7 DAYS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

If you are lucky and can stay more than 5 days in Bosnia-Herzegovina, here are a few more places to add to your Bosnia itinerary.

Rakitnica Canyon – 1 Day

Are you up for some adventures? Bosnia is the place to go – whether you like white water rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, or hiking adventure.

When I drove from Bosnia to Montenegro – on the M 18, a beautifully scenic but also bumpy road with many potholes – I realized how big adventure is getting in Bosnia. It is not that I dislike outdoor adventures, but it is not my priority when I travel, so I did not seek out these activities.Whitewater rafting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rakitnica Canyon However, there are many spots in Bosnia that are great for outdoor and adventure lovers.

You can go on a canoeing trip through Bosnia’s longest and deepest canyon – Rakitnica Canyon.

If you plan to visit Montenegro, too, then go to the border and do some white water rafting before continuing your journey in (the more expensive) Montenegro, and enjoy some time in the Tara Canyon (which looked absolutely gorgeous), or you can do more activities.

Neum – 1 Day

Do you have more than 5 days in Bosnia? Then here are a few more tips on places to visit and things to do in Bosnia.Neum in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a good stop for a beach day Do you want to spend time at the beach? I am not a beach person, and the weather was not beach-perfect when I was there, so I stayed in Neum for two days to recharge and work a bit.

However, if you are a beach person, you could visit Neum, which borders Croatia to the east and west.

The town of Neum is the only town situated along the 20km coastline of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The city-state of Dubrovnik gave up some of the coastlines in the 17th century to the Ottoman Empire, so they would defend them and help them fight against the Venetians.

You have to cross the 20km coastline of Bosnia if you want to drive from Dubrovnik, Croatia, to other areas of Croatia in the north. 

It did not look as fancy as some parts of Croatia, but it is quieter than some other beaches on the Adriatic Sea, and it is much cheaper than a beach day in Croatia.

MORE PLACES TO SEE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA IN 10 + DAYS

Above mentioned places can be seen in about 5 days. If you have more time, then you could visit some more places in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Banja Luka 

If you head north, you will find the second-largest city in the country. It is located in the Republic of Srpska, and it is the capital. If you want to head to Serbia afterward, this is a good place to visit.

I did not visit Banja Luka, but it is supposed to be beautiful – with a lot of nature!

Srebenica

Srebrenica is another famous place in Bosnia – unfortunately, it is because of the tragic past and the genocide that happened during the war. In this small town in Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, close to the Serbian border, more than 8,000 Muslims were killed, and nowadays, you can visit the memorial and learn about the past.

CONCLUSION: 1-7 DAYS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ITINERARY

Again, this country has won me over, and I cannot wait to re-visit and see more of its beauty and meet the incredible people who have gone through so much and yet always have a smile for visitors. Apparently, I did not get to see all the beautiful places in Bosnia – or even the most interesting places – but I think if you have 5 days or even one week in Bosnia you can see quite a bit. I believe the above-mentioned are some of the best places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and hopefully, this Bosnia itinerary has been helpful. So, whenever you visit, enjoy!Safe Travels, Arzo

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