Turquoise rivers, tumbling waterfalls and lush green landscapes. The beautiful lands of Bosnia and Herzegovina are one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Wandering around Mostar feels like stepping back in time. Even if you only have a few days its worth visiting Mostar’s old bridge and exploring the alleys in Sarajevo. Here is my list of 10 things to do in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
1.Stari Most – Old Bridge
Stari Most means old bridge in Bosnian and is located in the old town of Mostar. This bridge is just as beautiful in real life as it is in photos. The bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. A word of warning the bridge is very slippery so wear sensible shoes. Crowds gather here during the day to watch people dive from the bridge into the River Neretva. Tourists can pay a fee for advice and a practise jump however this is not safe and travellers have died attempting to jump into the river.
Blagaj is a small village town which is becoming a popular tourist destination. Its a lovely place to relax by the beautiful turquoise river. You can also visit the Dervish house in Blagaj (Tekija) for a small fee.This house is an important monument from the Ottoman period where religious ceremonies took place. You have to cover up before you go in and there are scarves and cover ups that will be given to you.
This is an amazing lake surrounded by large waterfalls where you can enjoy a swim but be aware the water is freezing! There is also a restaurant next to the lake so you can relax with lunch or a beer whilst you take in the wonderful scenery.
4. Ancient Pocitelj
This is a UNESCO world heritage site located to the south of Mostar. The walled town of Pocitelj was built by the Ottomans.
5. Viewpoint in Mostar
I went here on a day trip and this was our first stop with a view over Mostar our tour guide told us about the history of Mostar.
6.Feast on meat
You have to try Ćevapi it is a traditional Balkan dish. Consisting of small grilled meat sausages made of lamb and beef mix; served with onions, sour cream and Bosnian pita bread.
7.Learn about the history – Bosnia has had a turbulent past with a horrific war in the 90s, the effects of which are still massively visible especially in Mostar. You can still see bullet holes in buildings. I went on a walking tour in Mostar it was definitely the creepiest walking tour I’ve ever been on. I went with the hostel I was staying at, we walked to the sniper tower and had to climb over a huge wall to get in. It was at night so it was pretty dark. We walked around the corner and saw the graffiti as pictured below soo creepy!
We then walked up the stairs over lots of broken glass to get to the roof. Once at the top there was a great view of the city.
8. Relax with Tea or coffee and a cake – The Bosnians drink their coffee & tea Turkish style
9. Wander the old streets of Sarajevo, visit the winding alleys to discover antique shops and cute cafes. Buy some handmade copper coffee sets to enjoy Bosnian tea back home. Make sure you also check out the city hall!
10.Viewpoint in Sarajevo – As I only had 1 day in Sarajevo I didn’t have time to go during the day so went here at night and it had a great view of the city lit up. I saw the cutest proposal here. A man had bought his friends along and put some candles in a heart shape and played Bruno Mars “I think I want to marry you”he got down on one knee and proposed and she said yes! Their friends let go of red balloons and they floated off into the night sky it was so romantic. This viewpoint would be great to visit during sunset.
10. Visit the street corner that changed the world. This is where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. This incident led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia within weeks the conflict soon spread over the world causing world war one.
Boutique hostel skylounge – Mostar
- Centrally located
- Events in the evening such as walking tour then head to restaurant and bar which is a great way to meet other hostel guests
- Breakfast included
- So cheap around £7 a night
- Organised tour day trip with hostel as shown in photo below
Hostel Inn Luxury – Sarajevo
- Nice design very white and clean
- Selection of teas and coffee available for free – tea is so important for a British traveller haha
- If travelling by bus buy at the station as I couldn’t find any tickets available online
- Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (BAM) £5 = 11 BAM
- Where to go next: Explore Croatia’s wonderful coastline such as Split or Dubrovnik or head to Montenegro and another option would be to visit Belgrade in Serbia.