Driving to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, Unesco, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Our day trip from Dubrovnik

During our few days in Dubrovnik, we planned to drive to Mostar for the day. Of course, you can go with a tour company, and they will take the strain, but where is the fun in that.

As Gary and I had driven from the UK, we weren’t too sure how the Bosnia & Herzegovina border authorities would be, as we headed through in our British registered car.

The total journey was 194miles/ 313km, however as you can see from the route we opted to take a different route back to see more of the B&H countryside and villages.

[custom-mapping map_id="15362" height="400"]

We were ready

However, we were equipped with our passports, vehicle registration documents, driving licenses, insurance, GB sticker & Green Card (yep, we ticked all the boxes).

A stream joins the Neretva River, with the The Stari Most  in the background, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I had read comments that the queues could be lengthy, so we arrived at the Ivanica border at around 9am, and to our surprise, there was only a handful of vehicles and a coach in front.

We didn’t realise initially that there were two border controls, so the first was easy, just a glance at the passports and we were through.

Did you know?

That the Old Bridge area of Mostar City been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005.

Sigh of relief

However, a mile further and there was a 2nd checkpoint. This is where the documents were needed, and they were thoroughly checked.

We were asked how much we paid for the Green Card by the border control, and we said that our car insurance company issued it for free. He was quite surprised at this, I had read that you could buy Green Cards at the border crossings (except Neum), so perhaps he was expecting us to be unprepared.

To Note

We didn’t need an IDP - International Driving Permit, however with some European countries this is required.

We got a stamp

This was the exciting bit; we received a stamp in our passports. Now that doesn’t happen very often anymore.
So, we are on our way and heading through the amazing countryside of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Parked up en-route, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

After only a few minutes we were greeted by cows in the middle of the road jangling their cowbells, this really was rural.

I was surprised how different the surroundings felt, considering we had not long left Croatia. The roads were very quiet, little villages deserted and empty derelict houses remain on the hillsides.

A river running through Bosnia and Herzegovina

Why not?

Start creating your own adventure and discover the delights of Croatia for yourself, Easyjet & British Airways are just a couple of options.

You may even want to combine it into a road trip like us, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

In hindsight

Mostar was undergoing quite a bit of road maintenance, so it wasn’t that easy to find parking. We opted to use a parking meter.

Hmmm next problem in the plan, we had no local BAM (Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark)
coins.

So, off I wandered to a local petrol station try my hand at switching Croatian Kuna or Euros into BAMs.

Neretva River, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

After a few shrugs and confused looks, I found a helpful guy that let me buy a bottle of Coke, with a five Euro note, and I received the change back in BAMs. We were good to go.

The differences

As Bosnia is not currently a member of the EU, it was quite noticeable, the differences between its richer neighbouring sister of Croatia.

The countryside along the way was extremely picturesque, and the traffic along this route was fairly quiet.

We arrived at Mostar around 11:30am, I’m not too sure what I was expecting; however, I didn’t realise how large Mostar City was going to be. Perhaps being named a city should have given it away, but I have visited quite a few small cities in my time.

Blends of Culture

We wandered towards the Old Town & the Bridge which was about 25 minutes from where we had parked. It was quiet initially; however, you could tell when you were getting closer as the tour parties came into view.

The view north from the Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On our approach, you gained a feel of the mix of cultures within the community. Principally around the blends of architecture. The Ottoman influence was quite evident to see, particularly with the wonderful Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque, which was built in 1617.

Learnt the hard war

Its helpful if you have some local currency

How Bazaar?

We headed through the bustling bazaars along Kujundziluk Street, towards the historical Stari Most. The bridge truly is a stunning sight; it isn’t difficult to see why the country wanted this landmark to be restored and rebuilt.

The cobbled lanes of old Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stari Most

The original bridge was built in 1566/67 and stood for 427 years, before the awful war during the early 1990’s. The original bridge was destroyed on 9th November 1993, and a cable bridge was temporarily erected.

Looking south to the Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

After the war, funding was put in place, and the reconstruction started in 2001 and was inaugurated on 23rd July 2004.

The Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Escape the crowds

Due to Mostar’s popularity, it can be extremely busy around the entrances to the bridge. And it’s a little bit difficult to appreciate the bridge fully while walking across.

The amazing Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

However, just a short stroll down the banks of the Neretva River, it is a lot quieter, and you get an incredible view of the bridge from below and the old town beyond.

The Stari Most and the Neretva River, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

If you’re brave enough, there is a diving competition held from the bridge every July.

The Crooked Bridge

Close by the Stari Most stands the Kriva Ćuprija (or the Crooked Bridge), its along the Radobolja River, near to where it joins the River Neretva.

The Crooked Bridge, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This miniature version of the Old Bridge was built in 1558, eight years prior to the famous Stari Most and is believed to have been built as a trial run to its larger sibling.

Looking down on the Crooked Bridge, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The floods of December 2000 destroyed the Crooked Bridge, and a reconstruction project initiated by UNESCO was put in place to have it rebuilt.

Traces

We headed back to the car a different way and noticed that the atrocities that happened during the war are still quite evident on some of the surrounding buildings.

The Landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The route we took back to Dubrovnik was slightly different, and we encountered some pretty bad driving. It’s not surprising how many memorials & plaques are on the roadsides.

We did get flagged down by the police. However, when they noticed the British number plate they just let us through. Perhaps we were just too much trouble.

Driving Advice

Stick to the speed limit, take your time and let other drivers pass.

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of Mostar, and a bit of the drive there and back.

Why not subscribe to our channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Inspired to visit Mostar?

Dubrovnik is a great location to to visit Mostar from. You can either self drive as we did, or take a tour from Dubrovnik

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Booking.com
Our visit to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

Have You?

Visited Mostar and its historical bridge? Did you drive yourself and dodge the cows?

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

If you enjoyed this post

Why not subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter?
Join Us
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.