Mostar, Bosnia is a fairy-tale destination like no other. With the shadows of the 1990s war still looming, Mostar is an unforgettable reminder of the past and yet, in the face of struggle, it still managed to capture my heart as one of the most beautiful and memorable places I have visited.
Myself and my best friend Laura made the decision to venture into Mostar during our travels through Croatia in 2015. At the time, the refugee crisis had flooded Europe so the risk crossing over the border was high. Welcomed by numerous ‘Refugee Welcome here’ signs, we felt apprehensive as to what to expect but I had not anticipated that we’d fall in love with the cobbled streets, the trinket markets or the cute riverside bars.
Mostar was quaint, culturally booming and pretty in every light, but if you still need convincing, here’s 5 reasons why you should take a trip to Mostar this summer,
Originally built between 1557 and 1566, the Old Bridge is Mostar’s baby. After being destroyed during the Bosnian War, the bridge was reconstructed to its original beauty in 2004 and is home to Mostar’s infamous bridge diving. Having witnessed this and thinking it was just a couple of topless loons messing around, it turns out, it’s actually a thing and it’s bloody insane.
Mostar was home to the best chicken kebab I’ve probably had to date. Perhaps not a delicacy but seemed to be everywhere and it was fab. A real life Bosnian delicacy is the coffee however, served in a copper pot with water and a Turkish delight, and any place where coffee is life, is a place worth visiting.
Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque
Covered in beautiful mosaics, mini doorways and stairwells leading up to the most beautiful view of the city, the mosque is a must see. Entered by a gated courtyard, the it is a simple place of worship open to tourists for a small fee.
Mostar in parts, still lies broken from the damage of the war with derelict and bullet ridden buildings never too far away but today, these are decorated with art to express creativity and provide messages on peace, the past and current oppressions. If visiting in the Spring, Mostar hosts an annual street art festival where artists from across the world gather to create and admire new murals and if you don’t leave Mostar reflecting about life, then something hasn’t transpired.
I am a sucker for a trinket, making Mostar an ideal stop for some guilty shopping. Home to hand made jewellery, Moroccan inspired purses and lighting, copper kitchen utensils and handmade clothing and pashminas, Mostar is perfect for a chilled afternoon in the sun having a browse through every stool.
Without getting the chance to fully explore the ins and outs around the city, Mostar quickly became a place I knew I’d like to visit again in all its glory. With blistering sun and amazing history, Mostar is an the ideal place for a weekend of cute coffee breaks, window shopping and discovery. It’s a completely different life and you can feel that, but I think that’s how I was able to fall so in love. Imperfections made it the perfect place for a real break and certainly made me evaluate how lucky I am to live the life I live.
A must see for someone seeking some place new and beautiful.