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Mostar to Sarajevo - Train or Bus?

In Rick Steves' Croatia & Slovenia, Rick advises against taking the train, "which tends to be cramped and slow". But the book also says that it is 2.5 hours via train, which is as fast or faster, than the bus. Also, while researching, I found several travel sites and blogs that rank it as a classic scenic train route. What gives? I always go with Rick's advise, but in this case, I'm considering the train from Mostar to Sarajevo rather than the bus.
Can anyone offer any helpful advise/information/insight?
Thank you!

Posted by
6147 posts

I went by train (Sarajevo to Mostar), only to be transferred to a bus midway due to track work on the train line. This was back in 2011. The train line was pretty, but then again, so was the bus. I would probably just take the bus if I had to do it over again. The train went into several tunnels/mountain passes during which the lights went out in the train - this was a bit creepy, but other than that it was fine.

Posted by
971 posts

Having done the train ride from Mostar to Sarajevo twice within a few years i would say the information you have is pretty acurate. It is very scenic and truly a classic train ride, but it can be very crowded. When I first did it we had spent the night in Mostar and took the morning train, which was not that crowded and we hade nice seats and could enjoy the views. The second time was on a day trip fronm Sarajevo and the train was packed with day trippers and we had to stand up most of the way. Not very pleasant in the extreme heat after a long days sight seeing.
The bus we took in the morning was also quite scenic, but lacked the charm of the train with it's switchbacks and tunnels.

Posted by
114 posts

I took a minicab from Sarajevo to Mostar and back again with Bosnian friends two years ago. The road has been repaired back to its already high standards - it was rebuilt after the war - and the journey along the Neretva was stunning. A few years before we took the train to Ploce (N. of Dubrovnik), via Mostar, from Sarajevo. It was an epic trip, but in donated carriages (ours was from Denmark) that had seen better days. It was a moody trip in grey weather. The Bosnian economy is on hold, and the train no longer runs to the coast, just to Mostar, I am told, but that may be out of date too. Things change. The road to Mostar uses the same valley as the train for most of the way, so you see the same river, just closer up. Tangerine vendors line the road in the Fall. However you go, do go to Mostar.