Can someone provide a comparison between Kotor and Mostar? Is it safe for a woman to travel there and overnight alone? Thanks!
Mostar didn't feel unsafe to me at all. I traveled there with a friend but I wouldn't worry about going alone (I travel solo a lot). I'd highly recommend this place to stay: "Muslibegovic House" (http://www.booking.com/Share-quADka). The two places don't feel at all alike in terms of landscape (Kotor is a bay/ fjord while Mostar is a beautiful town set on a river with an old Ottoman bridge). You'll see mosques in Mostar unlike in Montenegro, so it will feel different altogether. Bosnia is a confluence of religions (sadly very fragmented but still a great mix, especially in cities like Sarajevo) while Montenegro is largely Christian.
Check out Google images of each and you'll get the gist.
I spent a night in each of them, as a man. I felt very safe in both of them.
Montenegrins are mostly eastern orthodox Christian and so is Kotor, I believe. Mostar is primarily a mix of Croat (Catholic) and Bosniak (Muslim), who fought brutally for control of the town during the Bosnian War 20+ years ago, and you can still see evidence of the war (I was last there in 2009). Mostar has a very different character from the Dalmatian Coastal towns in Croatia, whereas Kotor is not too dissimilar: like Dubrovnik, an old walled city near the sea (if on a bay). Mostar has prominent mosques because of the large Muslim population, and you'll hear the call to prayer during the day, so in that respect it feels really different from Kotor and those other coastal towns that aren't so obviously mixed.
One of the highlights of visiting Kotor is the breathtaking scenery along the Bay of Kotor. Any visit to Kotor would probably include a spectacularly beautiful drive along the way (unless you get to Kotor from an inland road). A drive to Mostar from, say, Dubrovnik is pretty along the coast until you turn inland, then it's pretty ordinary.
Kotor is in Montenegro. No mosques in Kotor, but plenty a bit further south in Montenegro. Usually when i see this question someone is trying to choose between two day trips out of Dubrovnik. IF that is the case, then i would choose Mostar. Kotor is nice, but it's of the same character as Dubrovnik, but not as interesting. On the other hand if you are more interested in an over night or two night trip and you are hiring a car or a driver or a guide, then the drive to Kotor and the stops along the way are pretty beautiful. Feeling more adventurous, then keep going past Kotor to Budva. I really enjoyed Budva and the entire coast of Montenegro all the way to Albania.
As for safety, personal feelings can have validity, but his may help too: https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=21381
Montenegro is about 75% Orthodox Christian and 20% Muslim. The Muslim population is largely along the coast in the south. Towns like Ulcinj are predominately Muslim.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is about 50% Muslim and 30% Orthodox Christian. The Christians are predominately in the north and along the border with Serbia and Montenegro.
I agree with all the previous posters: both strike me as safe and friendly places to visit alone as a man or woman. If I had to pick one, I would pick Mostar. As James said, Kotor isn't that different in character from Dubrovnik. What is special about Kotor is the setting on the bay. There is some spectacular scenery along the way there and back to Dubrovnik. But I found Mostar to be a more fascinating city to visit.
Thanks all. Very helpful info and enticing....though I must admit those government links have caused me some pause....as they include "high risk" and "human trafficking warnings".
I've been to most parts of Montenegro. One of my favorite places. The general public seems relaxed. I was comfortable, but for me personal feelings of safety don't mean much ...
I wouldn't hesitate to return and I wouldn't worry about my wife alone fishing in the mountains .... and haven't actually. Stunning country along the coast and in the mountains; and nice people. Not a tourist trap at all. Time to see it before the world finds out.
Sally, I'm not an authority on this, but I know many now adult women whose parents wouldn't let them go to Italy for art history school in the '70's or '80's! Human Trafficking is a danger associated with poverty and emigration. It is not about the abduction of pretty Americans off the street.
I am also disturbed by the inadvertent and unintentional suggestion here that additional tourist danger might be associated with regional religious majority status. I believe that is not the case. The war is over,mif not the prejudices. (Have been to both Kotor and Mostar.)
Great. Thanks for the affirmation and perspective. I've traveled extensively abroad and always felt safer abroad than in some US cities. Lots of lodging in Mostar mentioned security cameras, etc, so, in addition to the official reports, it aroused my curiosity. So thanks again. I'll move forward in confidence to experience these beautiful parts of our world.
I took all the discussion of religion as a search for an opportunity to experience diversity. I think everyone should do that as it breaks down stereotypes and it also serves to understand history better. Why travel if not for this? This is a rich, facinating region with all the variety and, yes, tensions you would expect. I would want to do a bit more research before entering Srpska or the Brčko District, but that would be the extent of my concern; and that's probably unwarranted.
Mostar! I am a single woman who just (June 15) just returned from a 15-day solo trip Croatia/Bosnia/Slovenia. I took a "day tour" to Mostar out of Dubrovnik (with Select Dubrovnik), and arranged to stay in Mostar for two nights and not return with the group to Dubrovnik. I LOVED Mostar. It is an absolutely beautiful small city, very friendly people, great (cheap!) food. I stayed those two nights at Pansion Villa Cardak, which is very clean; incredible memory-foam mattress; large room with sofa, lots of light, and perfectly centrally located. Suzanna was such a warm, gracious host who couldn't do enough for me. Villa Cardak is much closer to the center of town than some other places already mentioned. (I believe it's also recommended in RS's Croatia book, in the chapter about Mostar.) I loved eating (three times) at Behar 2, which is on the side street that cuts away from the main walking street toward the Crooked Bridge and steps away from Villa Cardak. The tables over the water/waterfalls were cool, lush, and the food delicious. Leaving Mostar for Sarajevo I arranged a day trip with Ermin Elezovic (mentioned in that same RS book) who took me in the morning to Blagaj (Sufi house), village of Potiteli (sp), and lunch out in the countryside at a local spot along a river, for fresh trout and fresh polenta before dropping me at my hotel in Sarajevo. It was a fabulous day; Ermin is kind, intelligent, witty, a great driver with a comfy car, and I learned so much from him about Bosnia - cultures, foods, history, more. And by the way, I also loved Sarajevo and felt very safe there, too. Stayed at Old Town Hotel, well located, great staff, clean, business-type. I'll post a trip report soon. But, FYI, I felt much safer in both of these cities than I do in most US cities (including my own). Never hassled at all... less hassle than in Paris, Rome, etc! And there are plenty of other tourists from around the world in both cities.
Excellent. Thank you. It is full steam ahead with Bosnia plan!
Outstanding post!!!! Makes me want to go too.
Sally, if you are still reading this thread: I just posted my trip report for Croatia/Bosnia/Slovenia (solo trip in June 2018) on the Trip Reports thread, in case you are interested in reading more about Mostar. It's rather lengthy, in several postings. Scroll down to Mostar. And have a great trip!