If you’re visiting Dubrovnik and have some extra time to spare, why not take an exciting adventure into Bosnia and Herzegovina? Taking a day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik will be filled with spectacular scenery, fascinating history, delicious local cuisine and iconic monuments.
Mostar is a charming little town nestled in a scenic valley along the Neretva River surrounded by mountains. The town dates back to the 15th century and retains many of its Ottoman-era features, most notably the Stari Most Bridge.
Seeing all of the highlights of Mostar is possible to do in a day trip however there are plenty of activities and beautiful sites to keep you busy for longer. The town offers many great restaurants, cafes and sites surrounding it that you could easily spend a few days there.
We recently included Mostar as a stop on our Balkans road trip itinerary and really enjoyed having the extra time to see the town before and after the rush of the day trippers. Having visited Mostar a few years ago on a day trip from Dubrovnik, we knew that we would have to return one day and spend longer to truly experience the magic of this town.
After several visits to Mostar over the years, I’ve put together this detailed guide to help you plan the ideal day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik. Whether you wish to venture into Bosnia yourself or book an organised day trip, continue reading to find some useful tips and info to help you make the most of your day.
Table of Contents
Day Trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik – The Perfect Day Trip to Mostar Itinerary
How to Travel to Mostar from Dubrovnik
Rental Car – The best option for doing a Dubrovnik to Mostar day trip on your own is to rent a car and drive there yourself. This makes it much easier to travel at your own pace and make any desired stops along the way. Having a rental car also makes it possible to spend a night in Mostar if your schedule allows for it.
If you’re wondering what stops to make and how to plan the perfect day trip, skip ahead to the section on “Things to see on a day trip to Mostar”. For those who prefer to simplify things and book an organised tour, read on to find the best tours to Mostar from Dubrovnik.
On our most recent trip to Mostar, we spent a few nights there as a stop on our road trip through the Balkans. We found it really convenient to have a car as it meant we could take our time and see some additional attractions surrounding the town.
It’s always best to reserve your rental car before you go to avoid disappointment. See the link below to browse and book your car online.
Bus – If you’d prefer to travel by public bus, you can catch the Flixbus which runs daily from Dubrovnik to Mostar. The travel time for the bus is advertised at 3 hours however you should prepare for it to take much longer. Travelling across the border from Croatia to Bosnia adds quite a bit of time to the journey which brings it closer to 5 hours rather than 3.
Considering the length of time spent on the bus, I would highly recommend staying in Mostar for at least one night to make the journey worthwhile. If your itinerary is flexible, you certainly won’t regret spending more time in this lovely town.
Once the day trippers leave in the afternoon, the town becomes a much more quiet and enjoyable place to explore. Watching the sunset over the Old Bridge is a magical sight you shouldn’t miss.
The tickets for the bus to Mostar cost around €22 per person with an extra luggage fee of €1 per bag. Once you arrive in Mostar, the bus will drop you off near the Old Town. It shouldn’t take you longer than 15 minutes to walk there or take a short taxi if you have heavy luggage.
Private Transfer – Skip the hassle of taking the public bus and book yourself a private transfer with hotel pick up. This option is ideal for families or those seeking a more direct route from Dubrovnik to Mostar.
The Best Dubrovnik to Mostar Tours
If you’re pressed for time and still want to see as much as possible in a single day, taking a guided tour is definitely the best way to go. There are several tours to choose from offering slightly different itineraries. See below for the highest rated day trip options from Dubrovnik to Mostar.
Mostar and Kravice Falls Small Group Tour
Starting off with the most popular full day tour to Mostar from Dubrovnik, this small group tour will give you a great intro to some of Bosnia’s most iconic landmarks. The day begins with an early morning pick up from your Dubrovnik hotel followed by a scenic drive along the Adriatic Coast passing by sweeping ocean views and cute seaside villages.
Stop for a coffee to break up the drive before crossing the Bosnian border and arriving at the amazing Kravice Falls. Enjoy some spare time to admire the falls, take some photos and hop in for a swim before continuing the day trip toward Mostar.
Once you arrive in Mostar, gain some insight into the town’s history with a guided walking tour. After that, you will have some free time to explore the town at your own pace and enjoy a traditional local meal before beginning the journey back to Dubrovnik in the afternoon.
This tour lasts for 11 hours and includes hotel pick up/drop off, transportation by minivan, knowledgeable tour guide/driver. Entrance to the waterfall is not included, be sure to bring €10 in cash to pay for your ticket.
The first time we visited Mostar on a day trip from Dubrovnik, this was the exact tour we chose and can highly recommend it based on our own fantastic experience and memories made!
Pocitelj, Medjugorje, and Mostar Day Trip from Dubrovnik
Discover the sites and history of three charming Bosnian towns on this informative full day trip from Dubrovnik. After morning departure from Dubrovnik, the first stop of the day will be at the historic town of Pocitelj. Take a wander through the 15th century streets, admiring the stunning river views as you go.
The next stop of the day will be in Medjugorje, a small village known as a Catholic pilgrim destination since 1981. Stop here to see the famous religious site before carrying on to Mostar in the afternoon. Upon arrival in Mostar, take a guided walking tour of the Old Town and learn about the region’s rich history from your experienced local guide.
Marvel at the structure of the Old Bridge and enjoy some free time to explore the narrow streets, browsing the colourful shops and cafes. The tour lasts for 12 hours and includes hotel pick up/drop off transportation by bus, knowledgeable tour guide/driver, lunch is not included in the ticket price.
Mostar, Pocitelj and Kravice Falls Private Tour from Dubrovnik
Maximise your day trip to Mostar on a personalized private tour by small air-conditioned vehicle. Your guide/chauffeur will pick you up from your Dubrovnik hotel to begin the day. This tour is ideal for groups of up to 4 people making it perfect for families or small groups of friends travelling together.
The first stop of your day trip will be at the stunning Kravice Falls where you’ll have some free time to go for a swim. Next up will be a short visit to the medieval town of Pocitelj for a chance to explore the town and take in the lovely scenery.
The final stop of the day on this highly rated tour will bring you to the picturesque town of Mostar. Enjoy 3 hours there to have lunch at a local restaurant, take a walk around the town, and check out the shops. Your guide will take you through the history of Bosnia with plenty of stories and interesting facts throughout the day.
Best Time of Year for a Day Trip to Mostar
The most popular time of year to visit Mostar is during the summer months of July – August. This is when you can expect hot temperatures of 30+ degrees and large crowds of tourists.
Both times I visited Mostar were at the height of peak season in July. The temperatures were scorching hot (35+ degrees) and the crowds of people were thick.
For nice weather and minimal crowds I would advise planning your day trip to Mostar in Spring (May – June) or Autumn (September – October). Of course the chances of rain during these times is slightly higher but in general the temperatures are pleasant and the town is much quieter.
The Colourful History of Mostar
The Old Town that you see today has been shaped by centuries of war and conflict. Mostar’s history dates as far back as the 15th century when the town was under rule of the Ottoman Empire. Much of its original buildings remain from this era despite the fact that many of them had been rebuilt due to conflict in recent years.
Through the Austro-Hungarian period of the 19th and 20th centuries, the town continued to develop and expand with the addition of churches and contemporary European buildings.
During the civil war of the early 90’s, the town suffered significant damage to some of its historic features. The Stari Most Bridge was unfortunately hit hard by bombings and had to be reconstructed in 2004. Once the bridge was completed, it became recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Evidence of the Bosnian war can be seen to this day in the form of bullet holes in buildings around both the old and new cities. If you take a walking tour of Mostar, your local guide will give you more in depth stories and facts about this challenging time in Bosnian history.
Thanks to its colourful past, Mostar is now home to a number of religions (Catholic, Orthodox, Islamic and Jewish) all co-existing together in peace. As you explore the town, take note of the mosques and churches on either side of the Neretva River yet still located within close proximity of one another.
There are few places in the world where you’ll see such a diverse blend of cultures and ethnicities, making Mostar an incredibly unique and special place.
Dubrovnik to Mostar Day Trip Packing List
- Passport – This is an essential item that you can’t forget on this day trip!
- Day pack – You’ll need this to carry all your belongings for the day.
- Good walking shoes – This day trip will involve a fair amount of walking so make sure you have some comfortable shoes.
- Portable charger – It will be a long day and there will be many stunning scenes to capture so make sure your phone is fully charged.
- Reusable water bottle – Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Sunglasses – You’ll be spending a lot of the day outdoors so make sure to protect your eyes from the harsh sun.
- Sunscreen – As mentioned above, the sun is pretty unforgiving here especially if you visit during high season!
- Fast drying towel – For those who might want to take a dip at Kravice Falls or in the Neretva River in Mostar, make sure to bring a swimsuit and a quick drying towel.
Things to See on a Day Trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik – The Perfect One Day Mostar Itinerary
Whether it’s on a day trip from Dubrovnik or included on your Balkans road trip, the below itinerary will guide you through the must-see highlights of a day trip to Mostar.
I would advise leaving as early in the morning as possible in order to see all the below stops and still have enough time to enjoy yourself at each one.
The first stop to make after leaving Dubrovnik will be the incredibly beautiful Kravice Falls. These falls are easily one of the most popular attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, seeing hundreds of visitors per day during high season.
There is a good reason for their popularity, these pristine cascading falls and the lush scenery that surrounds them provide the ultimate place to cool down on a hot summer’s day. Be warned though, even on the warmest of days (35+ degrees), the water here is still extremely cold.
The first time we visited Kravice Falls, Rick braved the cold water for a refreshing swim and I opted to admire them from the shore. There are a number of little restaurants and cafes nearby for those who prefer to take in the scenery without getting wet.
Keep in mind that the falls are open to the public daily between the months of May – October but are closed during the winter season. Tickets cost €10 per person and must be paid in cash. If you decide to join a tour, make sure to bring cash with you as it’s usually not included in the tour price.
Ticket Price – €10 (20 KM)
Opening Hours – 7am – 8:30pm daily (May – October)
The second stop on your day trip to Mostar will be the walled Ottoman village of Počitelj. Located in a picturesque setting along the banks of the Neretva River, this little gem of a town is home to some lovely historic buildings and stunning natural scenery.
Počitelj dates back to the 15th century and features a beautiful blend of Ottoman and medieval architecture. During the Autstro-Hungarian period in the 19th century, the town lost importance and its buildings began to fall into disrepair. During the Bosnian civil war, the town suffered even more damage. Evidence of deterioration can be seen as you make your way through the streets.
Due to its unique history and extensive damage to the ancient buildings, Počitelj was classified as one of the world’s 100 most endangered cultural heritage sites. It has even been added to the list of Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The town itself is pretty small and can be seen in around 30 minutes. Take a stroll through the steep winding streets, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of narrow alleys. Be sure to climb to the top of the citadel (fortress) for the most impressive view over the town and river below.
Private Mostar Walking Tour
Taking a walking tour of Mostar is the best way to learn the town’s history and gain appreciation for the hardships that the locals have faced in recent years. Allow a local guide to show you around the highlights of the town on this comprehensive Mostar walking tour.
Beginning at the iconic Old Bridge, your guide will take you on a walk through Mostar’s history stopping at several mosques, bridges and points of interest along the way.
This private walking tour operates at many different times throughout the day so it can easily be worked into your schedule. Book your walking tour online to secure your spot before you arrive in town.
Mostar Old Town
You can really feel the fusion of cultures and religions as you wander the maze of Mostar’s narrow streets. Colourful Turkish shops selling everything from lamps and carpets to teapots and beautiful fabrics line the cobbled streets giving the town a real exotic, middle eastern vibe.
Walking the streets of Mostar truly feels like taking a step back in time to a completely different century. The sights, the smells, and the unique culture offers the closest thing to time travel in my opinion. Mostar is one of those special places that really left a lasting impression on me and it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before I return.
The Old Town of Mostar is pretty compact and can be easily explored by foot in a short amount of time. This is the perfect place to browse the little shops and pick up a unique souvenir to take a piece of Mostar home with you. Make sure to find a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner where you can take in the views while tasting the traditional local cuisine.
My personal recommendation for the best place to eat in Mostar is Restaurant Lagero, I had several meals there and can’t recommend it enough. The staff was very friendly, the food/wine was great, everything was reasonably priced and the views were amazing. Ask to be seated on their outdoor terrace for unbeatable views of the Neretva River and Old Bridge.
Stari Most – Old Bridge
This fantastic example of Ottoman engineering makes the Stari Most (Old Bridge) one of Bosnia’s most famous landmarks. People travel from far and wide to witness the charming scene of the bridge and its two towers connecting both sides of Mostar’s Old Town.
Although the Old Bridge was originally built in the 1566, the structure that stands today has been restored to its previous state in 2004. After being destroyed in the war, the bridge and many other buildings of Mostar’s Old Town were completely reconstructed to match their original Ottoman era state.
As you walk across the Stari Most, you’ll find some of the best views in town. The scene of the colourful buildings and mosque on the banks of the emerald green Neretva River against a mountainous backdrop is certain to take your breathe away. Bear in mind that the bridge is pretty steep and slippery so it’s important to wear proper shoes!
While you sit and relax taking in the view of the Old Bridge from the riverbank or perhaps a local restaurant, you’ll likely witness the bridge jumpers. At any given time of day, local bridge jumpers will collect money from tourists standing on the bridge and make the leap into the icy cold waters below. This is a tradition that has been ongoing for hundreds of years and it’s an impressive thing to watch!
You can’t visit Mostar without finding the best photography spots in town to capture the Stari Most. My personal favourite spots were from either side of the Neretva riverbank. To get that picture perfect Instagram angle, head across the bridge until you arrive at the side of the river where you can see the old mosque.
Continue walking through the Old Town until you reach the street called Marsala Tita. Turn right immediately and then make another right to follow a narrow cobbled path all the way to the riverbank. You’ll come across a diving board and a small platform which offers the perfect angle to take a photo from. See this link for a rough estimate of how to find this prime photography location.
For those who wish to swim in the Neretva River, this is possible (many people do) but be warned that the water is very cold year round. It may look inviting after a hot and sweaty day of sightseeing but be sure to check the temperature before you decide to jump in!
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
The Koki Mehmed Pasha Mosque is yet another incredible work of Ottoman architecture dating to the early 17th century. This stunning mosque sits on the banks of the Neretva River and is one of the most iconic landmarks of Mostar. The inside of the mosque is fairly basic and small however it’s the view from the minaret that makes it worth a visit.
Don’t miss out witnessing the most breath taking panoramic view over Mostar, the Neretva River and surrounding countryside from the top of the minaret. This viewpoint can be accessed by climbing a very steep and narrow spiral staircase. Those who are claustrophobic may want to give this one a miss.
Aim to climb the minaret early in the morning to avoid the crowds in such a tight space. It costs €3 per person to enter the mosque and it’s worth mentioning that you should dress appropriately with shoulders and legs covered before entering.
Spending Longer Than One Day in Mostar?
Blagaj Tekke – The Dervish House
The Dervish House is a 16th century Turkish monastery nestled within a cliff in a scenic spot next to the Buna River. It’s only a 20 minute drive from Mostar and definitely worthy of a visit as the history and scenery here is pretty special.
It may be too much to include on a single day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik. However if you’re planning to spend a few days in the area, it makes an easy day trip from Mostar.
You can either choose to enter the Dervish House to see the rooms decorated with brightly coloured carpets or head straight for the viewing area (this is free by the way). Simply cross the bridge to the other side of the river and follow a short path to take in the stunning view of the monastery, river and cliffs.
After reading reviews of the Dervish House, we decided to skip the €5 entrance ticket and just admire it from the outside. The rooms are said to be pretty basic with nothing much to see on the inside. For those interested, you can take a short boat ride into the nearby cave for a few Bosnian Marks.
There are a number of cute restaurants surrounding the river which provide a perfect spot to have some lunch or a drink and take in your surroundings.
Museum of War and Genocide Victims
Learn about the unfortunate events that took place during the Bosnian War by reading first hand accounts of the victims who survived. It’s a small museum offering plenty of stories and information about the horrors of the early 90’s war.
This museum is a must if you have some extra time to spend in Mostar. The photos and displays are quite moving and give you an unfiltered look into this horrible time in Bosnian history.
It’s located just outside of the Old Town and can be easily reached in a 10 minute walk. Save yourself time and purchase your ticket to the Museum of War and Genocide Victims online before you go.
Where to Stay in Mostar
As I mentioned before, Mostar is such a unique place that really comes to life in the evening. There are many great restaurants offering stunning views to enjoy your dinner and a glass of wine. Not to mention, the sunset views are pretty epic there too.
If you don’t feel like rushing back to Dubrovnik in the evening, below are some highly reviewed and well located accommodation options to choose from. Make sure to book your room ahead of time during high season as the best rooms will likely be taken if left too late.
Villa Cardak – Centrally located only steps from the Old Bridge, these clean and well kept rooms offer the perfect base to explore the highlights of Mostar.
Apartments Arch – For a very reasonable price, book yourself a fully equipped apartment with a kitchen and a terrace. These apartments are conveniently located less than a 10 minute walk from the Old Bridge.
Residence Riverside – Another great option with excellent reviews located near the heart of the Old Town. With friendly hosts, a full kitchen, balcony and free parking you can’t go wrong with choosing to stay here!
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