Travel from one fairytale town to the next during a quick Dubrovnik Mostar day trip. Just a short drive away from the famous walled city, Mostar (located in Bosnia & Herzegovina) offers medieval history, scenic surroundings, and quaint cobbled alleys.
Traveling to Mostar from Dubrovnik is a pretty easy jaunt, but it will require a bit of planning and preparation. Of course, if you want to experience Mostar in-depth, you can certainly spend more than 24 hours in this city. But, its close proximity to southern Dalmatia does make for the perfect Dubrovnik day trip if you don’t have the time for an extended trip into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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The city of Mostar is in the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries. When you step inside the parameters of the old city, you’ll understand why this city is protected and preserved.
From the famous Stari Most (Mostar Bosnia Bridge) to the uniquely designed edifices of the city buildings, Mostar is one of the best examples of an Ottoman frontier city met by the influences of the Mediterranean and Western Europe.
Unfortunately, this region of the world saw serious unrest in the 1990s during the Yugoslavian wars, and much of the original standing buildings and bridges in Mostar were destroyed. They were, however, reconstructed to look identical to how they looked previously. This is partially why the city seems so well preserved and pristine – because most of the facades have been completely refurbished in recent years.
The wars that plagued this region throughout the 90s were a series of ethnic conflicts that ultimately led to the breakup of Yugoslavia and the creation of 6 individual countries. The borders of these countries were drawn mainly around ethnic and historical boundaries to create governments that were more culturally aligned and ultimately reduced the conflict. The conflicts during this time were heinous and revolved heavily around the ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian people.
Today the reconstructed Mostar Old Bridge and city symbolize the new era of peace and celebration of multicultural diversity. When you visit Mostar, you can learn a lot more about the city’s history and the war which once ravaged this picturesque city.
Plan the Perfect Dubrovnik Mostar Day Trip
How to Get to Mostar from Dubrovnik
You might be wondering: How far is Mostar from Dubrovnik?
Luckily, the historic city is only a 2.5 hour drive away from Dubrovnik, making a Mostar day trip the perfect addition to your Croatia itinerary. Depending on whether or not you choose to drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar, your travel time may vary slightly.
There are a few travel options to consider when you’re planning a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Based on your budget and the amount of time you have, you can choose to travel by organized tour, by bus, or at your own pace with a rental car. Below we’ll look into how to get to Mostar from Dubrovnik.
Mostar Tour from Dubrovnik
There are many day trips from Dubrovnik, and Mostar remains among the most popular!
If you want an efficient and thorough day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik where you won’t have to do too much pre-planning, hopping on an organized tour is the way to go. Once on board, you’ll be whisked away to the likes of Mostar, Kravice Waterfalls, and potentially a few other popular spots like Medjugorje or Kotor Bay, depending on what tour you book. Most tour companies operating Mostar day trips from Dubrovnik will pick you up from your accommodation in Dubrovnik or will have a central meeting point.
Organized day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar generally last 10-12 hours and leave bright and early in the AM. The perk to this is you will be back in Dubrovnik for dinner and can still have the whole evening back in town. Tours to Mostar might cost anywhere from 50 USD to 75 USD depending on what tour you opt for and what you would like included. Some tours will cover ticket prices of some of the sites you will visit; others may not. It’s a good idea to do thorough research on which tour you want to go on so you can plan ahead if you should pack snacks and anticipate tariffs or additional fees.
Traveling to Mostar by Bus
If you do not want to take an organized tour with a guide and a group or prefer not to rent a car, you also have the option of taking a bus from Dubrovnik to Mostar. However, you should know that taking the Dubrovnik Mostar bus is a long journey due to stops, traffic, and special border checks for busses.
The travel time indicates 3 hours, but it may be up to 6 hours depending on the time of year, the time of day, and the border conditions. So if you want to take the Dubrovnik to Mostar bus just for the day, keep in mind that about 12 hours of bus time. If you are spending at least one night in Mostar, then this option will be the most economically friendly, with one-way tickets costing around 20 USD.
Mostar is pretty small and is a heavily pedestrianized city. So if you are taking the bus, you’ll be pleased to know the bus station is just outside of Mostar Old Town. You should be able to walk to your accommodation fairly quickly from here.
If planning a trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar by bus, be sure to check the current departure dates and times. View the Mostar bus schedule here.
Driving to Mostar from Dubrovnik
The distance from Dubrovnik to Mostar is 131.5 kilometers, and if you are traveling by car, the journey should take you about 2.5 hours. Again, the Dubrovnik to Mostar drive can vary depending on your travel conditions. But ultimately, this is the quickest and most efficient way to get to Mostar.
There are three routes you can take to get to from Dubrovnik to Mostar by car, so you will have a bit of flexibility; if there is traffic on one, take the other!
Once you arrive in Mostar by car, you will have to park outside of the old town since the city is completely pedestrianized. There are plenty of parking lots just outside the city, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a space. Mostar parking lots basically surround the town, so have a quick look in advance to find the one closest to the sites you want to see (or if you are staying the night, the one closest to your accommodation, so you don’t need to haul your luggage too far!).
Things to Do in Mostar
Whether you prefer perusing the markets, learning the history of the old town, or enjoying the views from the ancient bridge, Mostar is a quaint city that is easy to explore in just one day. Below you’ll find plenty of Mostar things to do!
Walk Across Stari Most Bridge
This famous bridge is the landmark of Mostar and has been seen in photographs and videos shared around the world. The town itself gets its name from this famous bridge that crosses over the Neretva River. Stari Most has been recently reconstructed since the devastation the war brought to Mostar in the 1990s.
In July each year, there is an annual bridge jumping competition that has been occurring for over 450 years. Spectators gather on the bridge and on the river bank below to watch the daring jumpers fly from this 20 meter (66 feet) bridge. But don’t get any ideas, jumping from this bridge is only for professionals since it’s quite a far fall and the water below is a fast moving, freezing cold, river.
Good to know: The currency in Mostar is officially the Convertible Mark (KM). However, the Croatian Kuna and the Euro are widely accepted.
Wander Through The Old Bazaar Kujundziluk
Enjoy the reminiscent Ottoman ambiance of this traditional-style market, selling a variety of colorful scarves and clothing, Turkish-style rugs, copper and metal trinkets, spices, and more. Here you can also find Turkish restaurants and small cafe bars to stop for lunch or just a quick refreshment. This small center in the city held up surprisingly well during the war era and remains to be one of the oldest corners of Mostar. Browse through the endless array of goods while strolling through the meandering cobbled streets and revel in the multicultural atmosphere.
Relax Along the Neretva River Bank
If you’re in need of an afternoon break after a busy morning of traveling and exploring, take a load off down by the Neretva River bank. If you’re visiting Mostar in the summertime, it may be tempting to jump fully in the water, but be aware this is a swift moving river and its icy cold! Even in the summer months this river never fully warms up. So it’s best suited for wadding in and just going up to your knees, maybe splashing a bit of water on you to help cool down.
If you’re traveling on a budget, you can always grab some food from the market and host a nice little afternoon picnic by the waterside. There are a few areas to lay out along the rocks here just below the Stari Most bridge. If you’re traveling at the end of July and want to watch the bridge jumping competition, it’s a great idea to bring a few snacks and bottles of water and stake out a spot down here early to beat the crowds that will flock to watch the jumpers.
Visit the War Photo Exhibition
If you’re intrigued by history and are interested in learning more about the turbulent past of Mostar, pop by the Mostar War Photo Exhibition. The exhibition is actually inside of the western tower that stands over the Stari Most bridge, so it’s a great opportunity to explore the inside of the tower. The exhibition is home to 50 influential wartime photographs that will give you some insight to the war in this region.
Get Lost in the Alleys of Old Town Mostar
No trip to Mostar is complete without an aimless wander through Mostar Old Town. Mostar itself is not too big, it’s easy to see the whole old town in an afternoon. Walk around the cobbled streets and enjoy the Ottoman / Anglo architecture. Some corners of the city are filled with smells of Shisha and colored with elaborate rugs and colorful fabrics for sale, while some corners of the city are reminiscent of old English villages with stone pebble bridges and quaint cottages. Walk around the city and see for yourself the interesting multicultural contrast of the architecture.
While wandering the city streets, don’t forget to stop somewhere for a traditional Turkish coffee!
Things to Do Near Mostar
If you are driving to Mostar, you will have the perfect opportunity to explore some of the surrounding hidden gems outside of the city. If you are on an organized tour, it is likely that you may stop by one or two of these sites. However, if you do have your own car you will have the freedom to determine how long you want to spend at each place and where specifically you want to go.
This hidden oasis is not to be missed and could be considered the little sister to Plitvice in Croatia. Blue-green pools met by crystal cascading falls pouring over lush green foliage, it’s a sight to see! Bring your suit and go for a quick dip in the pools here, if you dare to submerge in the icy temperature water! It sure is fresh, even if you are traveling on a hot day so just keep that in mind before you are too shocked when you jump all the way in.
Most day tours to Mostar will make a stop here, but of course if you do want your freedom traveling here by car is the best choice.
Visit the Village of Pocitelj
This sleepy village is located just 30 minutes away from Mostar and looks like it genuinely has popped out of a child’s storybook. This stoney village was strategically important in historic war times and today is still home to an old military citadel, fortified walls, and a watch/bell tower. Of course the village itself is incredibly quaint and picturesque, you may find the sudden urge to skip down the cobbled streets with a basket of baked goods singing Disney songs.
Note, it’s a smart idea to wear flat comfortable shoes when exploring these villages. The pebbled and cobbled streets are not ideal for any kind of heel!
Just 20 minutes by car from Mostar, you’ll find the village of Blagaj, which is another quaint village, home to one of the famous monasteries in the Balkans. This 16th century monastery is built into the side of a cliff base and overlooks an aquamarine naturally occurring pool. This monastery’s unique setting and architecture is worth the quick trip in itself! This is a great place for a pit stop on your way in or on your way out from Mostar to Dubrovnik.
Why you Must Take a Mostar Day Trip from Dubrovnik
One of the many joys of Europe is the freedom to move easily across the borders and experience an entirely different country and culture in a matter of hours from wherever you are in Europe. So when it comes to Dubrovnik day trips, Bosnia & Herzegovina is so close to the Croatian border it’s the perfect opportunity to explore this incredible country.
Mostar is a true storybook town with an interesting unstable past that has truly beat the odds in the face of war. Although a large portion of the city has been rebuilt, it shows the true resilience and courage of the Bosnian people of Mostar.
Today Mostar is perfectly safe and caters to tourists visiting to help support their local economy. You can visit Mostar any time of year and there are perks to visiting in each season (high tourist season or low), but be prepared either way to fall in love with this idyllic Bosnian fairytale town.
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