Seeing Mostar’s Stari Most Bridge and its bullet-holed history

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
6
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
8
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
5
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
3
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
3
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
8
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
60 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 40
Time of year visited
July
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
204th/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 70% SUMMARY RATING: Worth doing

Summary

A visit to Mostar is all about the famous UNESCO World Heritage-listed Stari Most bridge.  The bridge itself looks like something straight from Naboo in Star Wars with its beautiful sweeping arch held high by the two cylinder towers and with its setting as the focal point of the town surrounded by the Herzegovina mountains.  Despite being part-destroyed by the bombing in the 1990 Civil War, they have done a superb job of repairing it and you can still get a great feeling of its history that stretches all the way back to 1474 and the first arch that was added by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557.   Sitting by the river having lunch overlooking the bridge is beautiful, and when combined with a wander through the nearby Old Town, very much justifies the 2.5 hour / 3.5hour trip from Sarajevo / Dubrovnik

highlights

#1 Sitting having lunch overlooking the beautiful Stari Most, maybe being lucky enough to see some people making the brave jump into the waters

#2 Enjoying Mostar's minaret and mountain-ringed setting

#3 Staying for the evening to be able to experience a far quieter Mostar and having the river beach, at times, largely to yourself

#4 Having a wander further through the Old Town and along the river front - looks like something from Naboo in Star Wars

#5 The rather eerie pillars showing the bullet holes from the not so distant Civil War

#6 The shell-pocketed and hollowed out buildings that show just how much in the middle of the civil war Mostar was

Travel Tips

The experience itself is relatively straightforward, but a few high level tips:

  • Bullet holes – the slightly unusual and eerie thing to check out in Mostar are the various scars from the civil war.  As you walk from Spanski Trg to the bridge along the rods that follow the east of the river, you’ll see various walls / pillars riddled with bullet holes and a variety of shell-pocketed buildings.  They’re very much worth checking out
  • The Old Town – the bridge is indeed the focal point, but the Old Town of Mostar, which wraps around and near the bridge, is also quite lovely and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage listing
  • Restaurant for views – best views of the bridge are when sitting having food with the view in the background.  Best spot is the restaurant Konoba Mlinica Neretva – food is basic, but you’re there for the view
  • Stay overnight – the Old Town really is nice, and in the evening the place quietens down as the day tripper leave
  • Part of a 2-3 week itinerary – the Western Balkans are a seriously underrated part of Europe and represent one of the best 2-3 week trips you can do, with stunning castles and old towns, and some of the best coastline in the world all compactly housed within 8 countries.  For the 2-3 week itinerary for the highlights and general tips for this part of the world, see this travel entry and where Mostar fits in –3 week trip around the Balkans States

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone