Mostar is one of the most beautiful cities in Bosnia, if not all of Europe. Pretty much everyone has seen at least one photo of Stari Most, the (new) Old Bridge that joins the two sides of Mostar over the Neretva River. While Mostar has a tragic history, there’s no denying it’s beautiful and full of wonderful photography spots where you can get beautiful snapshots of Mostar.
But we also beseech you to learn the history of this complicated and beautiful town, so that you can travel there respectfully. That means no smiling selfies on the sniper tower, please (yes, I actually have to say this, because I saw it firsthand).
One of the most popular spots to get a photo of Stari Most is the west bank of the bridge, the same side as the Old Town. This is where you get the classic photo that pretty much everyone else has.
I personally snagged this photo of Mostar on some rocks on the east side, opposite the Old Town. I loved getting a more unique angle than the classic left bank shot and that I was able to get more of the mosque in the background, almost as if it was framed by the bridge. Plus, there was no one else on my little rock perch – try saying that for the other side!
Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque
Who needs a drone when one of the best aerial views you can get of the Stari Most is by ascending the minaret at Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque. At only 12 convertible marks (about 6 euros), this view is a good deal cheaper than splashing out on the latest DJI drone, and a lot less nerve-wracking. However, because you’re in the mosque, you obviously can’t get the classic shot of Stari Most and the mosque in the background, which is one of my favorite views of Mostar.
While the views of Stari Most are the main draw, the interior of the mosque is quite beautiful as well, and well-worth capturing some photos of.
The Old Town
While a lot of the photos you’ll take of Mostar will be of the Old Bridge, there are also fantastic views of the city on the Old Bridge as well. I especially love this one, where the stones of the Old Town houses in the background echo the stones of the bridge in the foreground.
However, this bridge is almost always crowded – especially in the middle of the day, when the Dubrovnik day-trippers descend on the city in droves – so I recommend going early in the morning if you want peaceful, serene shots like this one.
Café De Alma
This coffee shop specializing in Bosnian coffee is tucked away in a tiny corner of the Old Town, and it’s one of my favorite hidden gems in Mostar. If you love photographing beautiful detail shots, such as the beautiful brass coffee sets and the candy-colored Turkish delight, you’ll love this cute café. The tables and the outdoor garden are also quite beautiful and great for photography.
If you want a beautiful backdrop for a food photo or the quintessential “cheers” shot, head to Restoran Lagero for a beautiful view of Stari Most and the turquoise-green Neretva River in the backdrop. It’s quite popular in peak season so aim for an early lunch to secure the best table.
Cats of the Old Town
Not necessarily a place, but damn, do the cats of the Old Town have such distinct, friendly personalities! Be sure to stop for a head scratch and a photo session if you have the chance.
It’s not common that Balkan food actually looks good – but not so at Restaurant Tima-Irma, which seems to be one of the only restaurants in the Balkans that has gotten the memo that you eat with your eyes first. Located on a busy stretch of the main street through the Old Town, you’d be forgiven for passing this restaurant by and assuming it’s a tourist trap.
However, having traveled extensively through the Balkans, I can definitely rate this as some of the best Balkan food I’ve ever eaten, in addition to being beautifully presented!
Former Ljubjanska Bank Building (Sniper Tower)
While I am including this spot on the Mostar Instagram guide, it’s with an enormous caveat. I am against using sights like this, that grapple with a dark history, as a backdrop for selfies. While I think it’s perfectly acceptable to photograph these sites, please treat them respectfully and present them with thoughtful historical context when you post them.
Please, honor the memories of those who lost their lives in this city by posting photos responsibly.
Also, be aware that entering the Mostar Sniper Tower is technically trespassing. While it is common to do, and many guided tours do, you do so at your own peril, and entering and exiting is very sketchy and involves some questionable jumping. There is broken glass and other items that can injure you virtually everywhere. I hope that in the future, Mostar does something to make visiting this site safer, to preserve the site for historical purposes and make it accessible in a legal way. However, as you can imagine, Bosnia is still working out how to balance healing from its wartime scars and properly memorializing its tragic history.
Not technically in Mostar, Blagaj Monastery is a popular day trip as it is only 12 kilometers away. Blagaj is a beautiful Dervish monastery dating back to the 1500s, nestled under a cliff right on the edge of an impossibly blue pool of water. With this setting, you can understand why it’s a necessary side trip for any serious Instagrammer in Mostar. Entry costs 4 marks, about 2 euros.
By taxi, it takes just 15 minutes to get here, and should cost less than $10 USD each way. You can also take the public bus number 11, which takes about 30 minutes to reach Blagaj and leaves from Španski Trg (Spanish Square).
While in the Blagaj area, you can also make the hike up to Stjepan Grad, the beautiful fortress that overlooks Blagaj, the Neretva River, and Mostar in the distance. The hike is quite steep with loose rock, so wear proper, not-Instagrammy shoes if you want to visit the Blagaj Fort.
Where to Stay in Mostar
Budget: If you want a gorgeous place to take your Instagram coffee photos while on a super-budget, you can’t do much better than the lovely riverside table on some of the balconies at Villa Park. Check availability and rates here.
Mid-range: If you want to be in the heart of the Old Town with gorgeous views of the bridge never far from your camera’s reach (especially great if you want to roll out of bed for some sunrise Instagrams!), don’t miss staying in the beautiful Kriva Cuprija. Check availability and rates here.
Luxury: For style seekers, City Hotel is the place to go if you want modern, sleek décor not far from the center of Mostar. It’s a bit outside the city center, about 1 kilometer, so keep that in mind when booking. Check availability and rates here.
Headed to Bosnia? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
If you’re planning a trip to Bosnia, make sure to travel with a valid travel insurance policy. If you’ll be spending time in the city or doing any outdoor activities like hiking or swimming, you need to be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident.
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.