Mostar is among the most picturesque towns anywhere, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Crowded, too; the area around the Old Bridge is over-commercialized, but still offers great ambiance.
The Old Bridge ♥♥ is the principal unmissable attraction in town. Descend to the beach on the west bank of the river Neretva for the best views of it.
At intervals, individuals jump off the bridge into the river, gathering crowds even larger than usual. I have no information on whether this show is organized and how these people are paid, but everybody stops to look.
The souq on both sides of the river around the bridge is very tourist-oriented. Anyone without much exposure to real souqs in the Middle East might still find it pretty interesting.
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque ♥ is worth a visit. Tourists are allowed in – for a fee, of course – even during prayers, can keep shoes on, and are allowed to take pictures. The interior is basically a single space with beautiful decorations that are nonetheless nowhere near the frequent opulence of Christian churches. Climb up the minaret ♥♥♥ for the million-dollar views of the town. There is also a garden and a traditional washing fountain on the grounds.
Other attractions in town include mosques and nationally listed historical buildings, as well as monuments and museums related to the Balkan wars of the 1990’s, which we did not go to see on account of a very hot day.
Stolac is a sleepy backwater town about 30 minutes drive from Mostar, with an imposing castle above it. We did not go up to the castle, only stopped by the historic Inat Cuprija bridge to take a few pictures.
Our main reason for being in Stolac was a couple of nearby Stecci cemeteries that are part of a serial UNESCO World Heritage site. Radimlja ♥ is quite nice, with beautiful carvings on many stones, and could possibly appeal to people interested in history even if they are not expressly interested in the WH sites. The two young women at the reception center were clearly delighted to have visitors – we were the only people there. I got a nice short introductory lecture for no extra cost. You can order coffee, there are tables outside to sit down and enjoy.
Boljuni is much less impressive, rundown and neglected, with practically no discernible aesthetic qualities. It is also not too easy to reach, the road is pretty rustic (although there are road signs) and will only appeal to the hard-core lovers of such sights or hard-core WH chasers. There are two clusters, a couple of hundred meters from each other. There is no reception, the graveyards are free to enter, and a couple of people who live nearby are clearly amused by the sight of visitors.