What to do in Sarajevo: The abandoned Sarajevo bobsled track

What to do in Sarajevo: The abandoned Sarajevo bobsled track

Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the heart of Europe’s Balkan region, has a chequered history and a wealth of highlights to discover. But one of the most unusual places to see in Sarajevo is hidden high up in the mountains behind the city. Left over from the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, the Sarajevo bobsleigh run has turned, over time, into an eerie reminder of the days before the Balkan war and the city’s 3-year siege, when these mountains hid snipers picking off the citizens in the city far below. Now graffitied and swallowed up by the surrounding forest, why not take a trip to discover the abandoned Sarajevo bobsled track for yourself?

If you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia

Located in a bowl surrounded by mountains, Bosnia’s capital has nature right on its doorstep. In the heart of a Yugoslavia just beginning to open up after the death of Marshall Tito in the early 1980s, it was an unusual but welcome choice to host an Olympic Games most memorable for ice dancing and Britain’s Torvill and Dean’s classic Bolero. A cable car carried athletes and spectators alike from the heart of the city to the top of the mountain; but when war broke out less than 10 years later, the cable car fell into disrepair and the old bobsled site became difficult to reach without taking a car up the winding hillside roads.

If you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia

As of 2018, however, the cable car has reopened and the city’s easy access to the mountains is back with a vengeance. The cable car station is just a few minutes’ walk from the Old Town, close to the historic Sarajevsko brewery to the south of the River Miljacka. Riding the cable car is not cheap; at 20KM (€10) for foreigners for a return ticket, it is closer to western European prices than those of Bosnia, but the trip is well worth it. Safe, shiny modern cars make the journey to the top of the mountain in 7 minutes, during which time the panoramic windows give an outstanding view over the city. Each small car seats 6 passengers comfortably; no risk of being squashed in the centre without a view. As of 2018 the cable car is not busy, and visiting on a September afternoon I had the carriage to myself.

If you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia

The top of the mountain offers two magnificent viewpoints over the city, and access to a network of walking and cycling tracks. For those looking for fresh air away from the city, there are plenty of places to roam, but for the visitor the main draw has to be the bobsled track.

If you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia

Following the tarmac road downhill from the viewpoint closest to the cable car station (the start of the path can be hard to spot; aim to head down to a point immediately below the viewpoint and you will find it), a five minute walk downhill will bring you to the bobsled track on your left-hand side. It is totally abandoned, surrounded by forest on all sides, and visitors are free to climb and roam to their heart’s content. The concrete track is heavily (but tastefully) graffitied, which somehow adds to its charm. Varying in width down to about 50cm at its narrowest, the track can be walked easily and safely along its full length. Not especially steep, it is however worth remembering that whoever walks down must walk back up again – so don’t be tempted to go further down the hillside than your fitness allows! Bear in mind also that there are no refreshments available at the cable car station at the top of the mountain; when I was there, locals were selling bottled drinks by the roadside, but out of season make sure you have water with you.

If you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia

Sarajevo’s cable car costs 20KM return (15KM one way) for foreigners, 6KM return for Bosnian citizens. Children under 7 and pets travel free; bicycles cost an additional 4KM.

There is no charge to access the bobsled track.



Want to add the abandoned bobsled track to your list of things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia? Pin this post for later!

If you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo BosniaIf you are looking for quirky things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia, check out the Sarajevo bobsled track on this great half-day trip! | Visit Sarajevo Bosnia | Sarajevo bobsleigh run | Sarajevo bobsled track | Things to see in Sarajevo | Places to see in Sarajevo | Destination Sarajevo | Things to do Sarajevo | Sarajevo things to do | Sarajevo cable car | Things to do in Sarajevo Bosnia

Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!

Top things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Top things to do in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The Balkan country of Bosnia and Herzegovina attracted the world’s attention in the mid 1990s for all the wrong reasons. At the breakup of socialist Yugoslavia, ethnic tensions broke out between Serbians and the Bosnians of this small nation, leading to years of what would have been civil war if the countries has still been united. Untold damage was caused, but no city in Bosnia suffered more than Sarajevo.

As a result, I was surprised in recent years to find more and more travellers exploring this city with its chequered past and – even more surprisingly – coming away captivated. Keen to see what all the fuss was about, I made my own visit to find out more. And I’m not ashamed to say I fell in love.
Sarajevo at first sight is not pretty – the approach to the city is a mass of concrete apartment blocks, the signs of former Yugoslav austerity everywhere. But dig a little deeper and you will soon be enchanted. If you are considering a trip to the heart of the Balkans yourself, Bosnia’s capital should definitely be on you itinerary – and if you’re looking for inspiration, read on for my top things to do in Sarajevo.


All 12 of these destinations are located within walking distance of each other in the city centre.


 

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

1. Take a free walking tour

The perfect introduction to the city, the free walking tour offered by Neno & Friends is excellent, and allows you to check off many of the best things to see in Sarajevo with the added bonus of local knowledge. Setting off from the National Theatre on Susan Sontag Square every day at 10:30am in summer  (from November to March the tour runs on specific dates only; check the website), your local guide will take you on a journey along the banks of the Miljacka River as they explain the key sights of the city and the most important moments in its history.

One of the many bonuses of a local guide in a city with such a vivid recent history is that they will likely have personal experience of the 3-year siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s. My guide, a young woman in her 30s who was aged 8-11 during the siege, was happy to share her experiences and brought the reality of the war home to me in a way that no guidebook ever could.

Tours on offer include a general walking tour as well as one dedicated to the recent history of the city. Tours are free, but remember to tip as you feel appropriate. The company also offers private tours for a fixed fee.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Baščaršija square with the Sebilj, an Ottoman-style fountain

2. Wander the Old Town and admire its historic fountain

Bosnia was once part of the Ottoman empire, and this means that there is a strong Turkish influence in the city. This is reflected in the Old Town, known by the Turkish-origin name of Baščaršija, where narrow streets are home to shops crammed with goods with a distinctly Middle Eastern vibe. Visit a former caravanserai which is now home to restaurants and an art gallery, or listen to the call to prayer from the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque as you smoke a shisha pipe in a modern coffee house.

In the centre of Baščaršija square you will find the Sebilj, a wooden fountain in the Ottoman style dating from the 18th century. It is one of the most recognisable symbols of the city.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Traditional Bosnian burek. Stodgy, but delicious!

3. Try traditional Bosnian food in one of the many Old Town restaurants

If you want to try some local fare in Sarajevo city centre, look no farther than the old town, where restaurants spill out onto the streets in the summer months. Local specialities include ćevapi, spicy meat kebabs, as well as burek, a pastry stuffed with cheese, meat and other savoury fillings. This being Bosnia, prices are relatively reasonable considering the city centre location, and the food is sure to fill you up for the rest of the day’s explorations!

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

The beautiful Miljacka river

4. Stroll along the banks of the Miljacka river

If you remember the events of the 1990s, the name Miljacka will likely be familiar from news bulletins. This river, which cuts the city in two, was a dangerous place during the siege of Sarajevo, easily spotted from the surrounding mountains where snipers waited to pick off local inhabitants trying to cross the bridges from north to south.

It is something of a surprise, therefore, to discover a shallow babbling river, tumbling over a series of small weirs as it cuts through the city. The river banks are lined with parks and attractive 19th century architecture, as well as some more misguided structures from socialist times; and bridges criss-cross the water giving picture-postcard view of the mountains beyond. It’s a great place for a stroll, as you soak up the atmosphere, dodge the trams (Sarajevo was only the 2nd city in Europe to have electric trams), and enjoy the city.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

The Latin Bridge. The assassination took place on the far side, outside the pink building

5. Visit the Latin Bridge and the assassination spot of Archduke Ferdinand

The most famous of the bridges over the Miljacka, the Latin Bridge has changed it name over the years. Dating from the Ottoman Empire, the bridge was known during Yugoslav times as Princip Bridge, for a very good reason.

On 28 June 1914, a young man by the name of Gavrilo Princip achieved notoriety by effectively causing the start of the First World War. Princip was one of 6 would-be assassins in town that day to attempt to assassinate the rule of Austro-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, as he paraded through the city in an open coach on his way to a function at City Hall. The story is complicated (find out more on the free city tour!), but of the 6 only Princip landed his shot. The Archduke was killed, and the rest is history.

A monument at the northern end of the bridge commemorates the assassination. But Princip, who died in 1917 but was venerated as a hero in Socialist times, has today fallen back out of favour, and the memorial recognises the event rather than venerating the man who caused it.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Sarajevo’s City Hall

6. Admire the colourful City Hall

Sarajevo’s City Hall, or Vijećnica, was built during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early 1890s. Destroyed during the siege of Sarajevo 100 years later, it was restored and reopened in 2012.

Today the City Hall hosts events and exhibitions. But it is the building’s sheer size and colourful, striped stonework that makes it stand out in its riverside location.

City Hall is also notable as the place from which Archduke Ferdinand was returning when he was assassinated, just a few hundred metres away, in June 1914.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Wandering the alleys of the Old Town

7. Eat Bosnian halva

If you have travelled in the Middle East, you will familiar with halva, a sweetmeat made from nut butter (usually sesame) and sugar. With its strong Turkish influence, it is no surprise that Sarajevo is also a great place to try halva. I can recommend the small shop on Zelenih beretki, immediately north of the Latin Bridge, where the friendly owner let me sample what I was assured was “Bosnian halva”, made with chocolate and vanilla. Delicious.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

War damage is still apparent on many buildings

8. Check out the war damaged buildings

In the 25 years since the Sarajevo siege, the city has undergone significant rebuilding and restoration. But the signs of the conflict are still there to see, and there are buildings which to this day bear bullet holes and patches from shell damage.

That these signs are still visible in the city centre is deliberate. The war between Serbs and Bosnians had its roots in ethnic and religious divisions, and while Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats have always lived harmoniously in Sarajevo, nobody wants the same tensions to resurface. The damaged buildings serve as a daily reminder of what could go wrong – and mustn’t happen again.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Sarajevsko Brewery

9. Try a Sarajevsko beer and visit its historic brewery.

Every country has its beer, and Bosnia is no exception, the most recognisable being the Sarajevsko brand which is still brewed in the heart of the city. The historic original brewery still stands in all its glory to the south of the river, but there is more to this place than just beer.

Breweries are often established close to sources of fresh water, and this one was no exception. During the siege of the 1990s production never stopped; and even if the quality of the beer wasn’t great, the tradition continued. But much more important was the brewery’s role in providing fresh water for the besieged citizens who came here in their droves. The brewery is located at the very foot of the mountains surrounding the city, making it comparatively hard to spot from the sniper positions on the mountain tops; as a result, it became one of the most reliable places for Sarajevans to obtain this most vital of natural resources during the long years of struggle.

10. Visit mosques, churches and synagogues in this multi-faith city

The Bosnian war may have been at least partly about religion, but the citizens of Sarajevo have always cohabited more-or-less happily in the city. During Yugoslav times the population was split fairly equally between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, although today the Bosniak community makes up about 80% of the city.

One result of this multi-ethnicity is the range of faiths practiced in Sarajevo. Islam and Christianity are the most popular, and mosques and churches can be found in close proximity all over the city. Historically the city has also had a large Jewish population, although Sarajevo’s Jews fared no better than others in Europe during World War II and were largely eradicated; today a few synagogues still remain.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

The abandoned 1984 Winter Olympic bobsled track

11. Ride the cable car up Trebević mountain and check out the abandoned bobsled track

Built for the 1984 Winter Olympics, the much-graffitied bobsled track at the top of Trebević mountain lies derelict as the forest grows around it. It is one of Sarajevo’s quirkier attractions, and surprisingly easy to reach since the city’s cable car was reopened in 2018. A 7 minute journey gives breathtaking views across the city as you travel to the top of the mountain; from there, the bobsled track is a few minutes’ walk away. The track is free to access and can be walked along its length; just remember that you will have to walk back up again afterwards!

For more details, check out my other post: https://readingthebooktravel.com/sarajevo-bobsled/

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

The former Holiday Inn, now the Hotel Holiday but just as yellow! Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Julian Nitzsche)

12. View (or stay in) the iconic Holiday Inn building

If you remember the Bosnian war, you will remember the building of the former Sarajevo Holiday Inn. This boxy concrete hotel was built for the 1984 Winter Olympics, but gained notoriety less than 10 years later as the home of foreign journalists during the siege, when it underwent heavy shelling. Familiar from news reports of the period, today the building is the Hotel Holiday, and is brightly painted in yellow as the city looks towards a shining future.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Sarajevo’s historic trams

Bonus: the Tunnel Museum

Compiling a list of the best places to go in Sarajevo, it’s impossible to leave out the Tunnel Museum (https://tunelspasa.ba/ – use the drop-down box at the top to switch to English). Unfortunately the museum closed early on the day I visited, but it will be top of the list if I am lucky enough to return.

The tunnel, 800 long and just 1.6m high, runs under the airport runway and was dug during the siege of Sarajevo to provide the final lifeline for the city’s population and its link to the outside world. A visit to the museum provides exhibits, a video and access to a section of the tunnel to experience it for yourself.

The Tunnel Museum is the only experience on this list not easily accessible from the city centre. It can be reached by a combination of public buses (tram 3 to Ilidža then bus 12 to Kotorac) followed by short walk; alternatively, take a taxi or group tour if you don’t have your own transport.


How to get to Sarajevo

The city has its own international airport, with flights to Germany, eastern Europe and Turkey including the major hubs of Munich and Istanbul.

Sarajevo can also be reached from neighbouring cities by bus and, in some cases, train. I travelled by car; driving time from Mostar to Sarajevo is around 2 hours, and the road travels through spectacular scenery.

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia


Map of Sarajevo

To search for the locations of the places mentioned in this post, click on the map below!


Want to keep these suggestions of things to do in Sarajevo for future reference? Pin this post for later!

Despite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosniaDespite its past troubles and concrete Socialist facade, modern Sarajevo is easy to love. Check out why with my top things to do in Sarajevo! | Discover Sarajevo | Welcome to Sarajevo | Things to do in Sarajevo | Places to go in Sarajevo | Things to see in Sarajevo | Mostar to Sarajevo | Sarajevo city centre | Map of Sarajevo | #sarajevo #bosniaandherzegovina #visitsarajevo #sarajevobosnia

Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!

4 perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia

4 perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia

Nestled in the heart of the Balkans, the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a recent history which was nothing short of tumultuous. Host to the incident which started the First World War (namely the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914), it subsequently survived decades of socialist regime before the notorious Balkan War of the early 1990s saw bombings, snipers and bloodshed.

It’s perhaps surprising, therefore, to discover that today’s Bosnia is a country of a rich medieval heritage and outstanding natural beauty. In the southwest of the country, the city of Mostar has picked itself up, built itself back up (literally and figuratively) and is now a mecca for visitors from all round the world.

But what do you do when you exhausted all the things to do in Mostar, and want to explore further afield? The great news is that there are a number of great half-day trips within easy reach of the city, which can be enjoyed individually or combined into a day or two of exploration in this southern corner of the country. Pick up a map or GPS, and prepare to create your own Bosnia and Herzegovina tour!

Discover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kravice Waterfalls

Kravice Waterfalls

At first sight, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Kravica Falls have been transported to the jungles of South America. These stunningly pretty waterfalls, located some 50km or around 50 minutes’ drive from Mostar, are accessed by descending a winding set of steps deep into the lush green valley of the Trebižat river.

Forming a sweeping curtain 25m high and composed of 20 separate torrents of water, the waterfalls are the perfect place to cool off in the summer heat; bathing in the lake at the bottom of the waterfalls is permitted, and there are many outdoor restaurants catering to visitors.

The area can become busy in the summer months, but nothing can take away from the beauty of the Kravice falls themselves. If you’re not keen to swim, boat trips are available to see the curtains of water up close.

There is plenty of free parking at the waterfalls, and a small train is available to carry those who do not wish to walk up and down the hillside, although the Falls area itself offers limited accessibility. Entrance was €5 (10KM) for adults in summer 2018; outside high seasons prices are a little lower.

Discover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

St James’s Church, Medjugorje

Medjugorje

In 1981, six teenagers saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a hillside outside the small town of Medjugorje (Međugorje). Her appearances have continued ever since, and the town has since become a major centre for Catholic pilgrimage.

No matter what your religion, a visit to Medjugorje is an experience well worth the effort. Believers will find a centre dedicated to prayer and spirituality; attend mass the modern St James’s church, lay flowers at a statue of the Virgin and attend confession at one of the many confessional boxes. At the far end of town is a well-marked trail up Apparition Hill, where you can follow in the footsteps of the many pilgrims who have made the climb up to the apparition site itself.

For the less religious, Medjugorje is an appealing mix of spirituality and religious kitsch, as the dozens of souvenir shops overflow with rosaries, icons and other mementos for visiting believers. A number of restaurants make it a good lunch stop. If you are visiting as a secular spectator, do show suitable respect to the faithful; allow believers the space to pray and worship in private, and note that access to the church is limited by a dress code requiring shoulders and knees to be covered by both men and women.

Medjugorje is around 30km or a 35 minute drive from Mostar, and can easily be combined with Kravica Waterfalls which is located some 20 minutes’ drive away.

Discover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Počitelj citadel

Počitelj

My favourite of all the destinations in the Mostar region, the tiny Ottoman village of Počitelj is like stepping back into medieval times. A stone citadel dating from the 14th century perches on a hilltop overlooking an impossibly pretty settlement of stone houses, reached by winding cobbled streets which climb the hillside via a number of staircases. If this weren’t enough, the whole village overlooks the sparkling valley of the Neretva river, as it winds its way between the mountains.

Parking on the main road at the bottom of the village, take your time climbing to the castle and losing yourself in the alleyways. A number of the buildings are under special historical protection; check out the handicrafts on sale by the local residents and enjoy the views across the valley. If possible, time your visit to coincide with the call to prayer as it rings out from the village mosque (Bosnia is a predominantly Muslim country). The combination of medieval village and the call from the mosque is magical.

Počitelj is about 30km or a 35 minute drive from Mostar.

Discover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

View over the Neretva River, Počitelj

Blagaj

The final highlight of the Mostar region is a visit to the Dervish house (or Tekke) at Blagaj, a mere 15 minutes’ drive southeast of the city.

Driving up the valley towards Blagaj, it is hard to imagine the beauty to come. Heading deeper and deeper between the mountains as they climb up to left and right, your final destination is the banks of the pretty turquoise Buna river as it flows out from a large pool at the base of the mountain itself. And there, white against the cliff face, is the Dervish House.

Still used by this religious order even today, the Tekke dates from at least the 17th century and is open to visitors (entrance cost €3 or 6 KM in 2018). Check out the traditional chambers and former hammam as you discover this holy way of life, and what Dervishes really represent besides the popular image of whirling men in white robes. Traditional chants still take place 3 nights a week.

Outside the house itself are a number of restaurants strung out along the riverbanks. The location is peaceful and stunningly pretty; it is well worth stopping here for lunch or at least a strong local coffee, and taking it all in.

Discover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dervish House, Blagaj


All these destinations can be easily reached from Mostar, and combined into one or two days’ tour. If you don’t have your own transport, guided tours are available from Mostar.

Some of these locations may also be included on day trips from Dubrovnik. To visit Mostar from Dubrovnik, hire your own car or take one of the many tours available. Driving time from Mostar to Dubrovnik is around 2.5 hours.


Inspired to create your own Mostar tour? Pin this post for later!

Discover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and HerzegovinaDiscover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and HerzegovinaDiscover four perfect half day trips from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in this surprisingly beautiful and little-visited corner of Europe. | Day trips from Mostar | Mostar to Dubrovnik | Mostar tour | Dubrovnik to Mostar | What to see in Mostar | Things to do in Mostar | Visit Mostar | Visit Mostar from Dubrovnik | Sarajevo to Mostar day trip | Mostar visit | Dubrovnik day trips | Blagaj | Medjugorje | Pocitelj | Kravice waterfalls | Kravica Falls | Things to see in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!