Bosnia

Trip Summary:

Dates:    June 23rd – 24th

Year: 2014

Main Language of Country:   Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian

Capital City of Country: Sarajevo

Transportation Used:   Bus

Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark (BAM)

Accommodation: Hostel

Number of Photos Taken: 133

Average Cost of a Night per Person: $10 Euro

Tap Water Drinkable: Yes


Introduction:

My time in Bosnia was very brief, but even the small amount of time that I spent in the country made me want to return to explore it further.

I was travelling through Croatia when I decided to make a quick side trip into Bosnia. I was in the city of Dubrovnik and my next stop was the city of Split. Rather than taking a direct bus route, I decided to take a bus from Dubrovnik to the city of Mostar in Bosnia. I only stayed in Mostar one night, and the next day I took a bus back into Croatia to the city of Split.


TIP: There are several busses per day that run between Dubrovnik and Mostar, and then Mostar and Split. A ticket between Dubrovnik and Mostar costs about 115 HRK (or 15.50 Euro) and the route takes about 3 or 4 hours. A ticket between Mostar and Split costs about 60 – 120 HRK (or 8 – 16 Euro) and takes about 4 or 5 hours.


 


Mostar: (June 23 – 24)

River Neretva and Mosque from Stari Most bridge in Mostar


The town of Mostar isn’t far inside the border of Bosnia, but when you arrive it feels like a world away from the beaches and polished streets of Croatia. There is a raw feel to Bosnia that makes it completely different from anywhere in Croatia and gives you a totally different experience.

The town itself is full of history from the war in the 90’s and when you leave the old town (which was mostly rebuilt after the war, including the bridge in the middle of the old town which collapsed during the shellings and bombings) you can see a lot of damaged buildings. The buildings are either totally collapsed or show heavy damage from bullets and shells.

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TIP: I stayed at Hostel Majdas in Mostar and it cost roughly 10 Euro per night. The location is great and it’s only a short walk into the old town from the hostel. My stay was fairly brief so I didn’t have much time to hang around the hostel but it had everything that you needed and was quite comfortable. It would definitely be my recommendation if you’re planning on staying in Mostar.


 

The most distinctive feature of Mostar is definitely the bridge in the centre of the old town, called Stari Most. The bridge is really stunning and it’s likely that you’ve seen pictures of it before as it’s very unique and recognizable. It arches in a thin curve above the green waters of the River Neretva which cuts the city in half.

Stari Most bridge Mostar from below.


In fact, the idea that the river splits the town of Mostar in half is more than just in regard to it’s layout and geography. It is also said that the bridge splits the city into two separate groups of people, being the Bosniaks, and the Croats. I can’t say if it’s completely true that each population of people is isolated only to one side of the river or the other, but regardless, the town is definitely made up of a divided population.

 

Walking along the Stari Most bridge in Mostar Bosnia.


Regarding things to do and see in Mostar, I can’t speak much about that as my time in the area was fairly limited. I mostly just walked around the streets and explored the areas in and around the old town. One of my favorite places, however, was a mosque to the north of the Stari Most bridge which apparently had the name of Koski Mehmed-Pašina Džamija. You can enter the mosque and climb to the top of the minaret for a really great view of the river and the Stari Most bridge.

 

Koski Mehmed-Pašina Džamija minaret mosque Mostar


There are also great restaurants (I ate at one called Hindin Han) around the old town, and if you’re coming from Croatia, you’ll find that the food is significantly cheaper which is a great surprise.

Otherwise, there is a lot to see just wandering the streets and alleys of the town. Make sure that once you’ve looked around the old town, you venture away from everything that has been rebuilt so that you get a view of the damaged buildings in the areas that still reflect the aftermath of the war.

 

Conclusion:

I know that with my limited time in Mostar, and Bosnia as a whole, I missed out on so much. I can say, however, that the small amount of time that I spent in Mostar was a great and rich experience that was completely different than nearby Croatia.

The raw and slightly more untouched feeling that Bosnia has is very refreshing and gives you a totally different perspective and experience while travelling through the country.

Because I had such a limited time in Mostar, it’s definitely a place that I would like to return to as I know that there is a lot more to experience and see within the country.

After my brief visit in Mostar, I headed back into Croatia to the city of Split to continue my Croatian adventure.


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