Mostar and Sarajevo (or just Sarajevo)

I plan to travel from Dubrovink to the Mostar/Sarajevo region, then on to Split via car.

The debate: 1 night in Mostar + 1 night in Sarajevo
or 1 night in Sarajevo with day trip to Mostar.

Is Mostar worth a night?

Is Sarajevo worth a full day/night?

Posted by Angela
Chicago/Rural WI
811 posts

Hi Michael,

In March of this year we were in Mostar and made a day trip to Sarajevo.

To answer the first part of your question (with a heavy disclaimer that this is one traveler's opinion), yes, Mostar deserves a night. While the Old Town section of the city is not very large, the cultural experience is well worth the time, especially after all the efforts you will be making to get to BiH in the first place. Much of the city still bears the scars from the war in the 1990's (shrapnel damage, holes in the streets from where grenades blew, bullet holes, etc.), and it will most likely be nothing like you've seen before. It deserves more than a quick breeze-through, and a night is well worth it.

As for Sarajevo, we just did a day trip there from Mostar (2.5 hours via bus or train, we recommend taking the bus) and I wish we had spent at least a night. Again, you'll have traveled a great distance to get there, and may as well make sure you have an opportunity to take it in for more than just a few hours. There is a lot to see, and Sarajevo is much larger than Mostar. With so much history seeping out of every corner (WWI started in Sarajevo), again, it deserves more than the quick breeze-through that we were able to give it.

Once more for the road I need to reiterate that this is just my opinion, but hope at least some of it helps!

-Angela

PS I had to help a fellow "Kent-ite," as that is the town where I grew up!

Posted by Arnold
Denver, CO, USA
1020 posts

Piggy backing on the original question - is Sarajevo worth more than a day - i.e. does it deserve 2 days?

Posted by Angela
Chicago/Rural WI
811 posts

To take a stab at your question, Arnold, I must say that is a tough one to answer. I suppose it depends entirely on the fashion in which you travel and how much seeing a modern day piece of relevant history interests you.

It certainly is worthy of more than the 7 hours we were able to give it, as we were unable to see things like the Tunnel Museum and explore the outskirts of the city (where the views are supposed to be pretty good). The city is pretty large, and it is definitely a place you could stay busy for a few days. Again, I wish we had had more time to spend there.

I know the Rick Steves' philosophy of travel is to always assume you'll go back so don't try to pack in everything at once, but honestly, how many times do you really think your travels will take you through or close to Sarajevo? Not that it doesn't deserve it, it is just a little more out of the way than, say, Rome, and not exactly an airline hub.

At the end of the day, I'd say that yes, it is worth an overnight and 2 days, but if your travel plans are flexible and you get there and want to spend more time, then do it. To us, and I mean this in a disarming, not open-mouthed kind of way, Sarajevo is a bit scruffy around the edges. It's not the kind of place you go to see a Michelangelo painting, it's the kind of place you go and can't help but reflect that just a decade ago there was massive bloodshed in the streets. And that in itself can be pretty awe-inspiring, especially after seeing how far the society has come since then.

Posted by Arnold
Denver, CO, USA
1020 posts

Angela - thanks for the reply. Good to know. I am planning on doing Split - Mostar - Sarjevo, and then onto Belgrade, Timisoara, and onwards. I enjoy Eastern Europe and am looking forward to going back next year.