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    Aug 16, 2019

    21 Reasons Why Mostar Is The Coolest City You’ve Never Heard Of

    It's seriously underrated.

    Mostar, a small city in the south of Bosnia-Herzegovina, absolutely needs to be on everyone's bucket list.

    Milena Pigdanowicz-Fidera / Getty Images

    1. First of all, it's a beautiful place with a cobblestoned old town, a city filled with character, and so much history it'll blow your mind.

    2. The most recognizable part of Mostar is the Old Bridge, which you've surely seen photos of floating around the internet.

    Jemima Skelley

    First built in the 1500s, Mostar actually got its name from the bridge keepers who were called mostari. The bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War in 1993, but later rebuilt using the same technique and materials as the original.

    3. On sunny days you can camp out on the river banks and watch some extremely brave souls jump off the bridge into the freezing water below.

    4. The coffee is good.

    Jemima Skelley

    If you're a bit of a coffee snob, traveling around Central Europe can be tough. But Bosnian coffee is an exception. Brewed very similarly to Turkish coffee, drinking it is a whole experience. Just don't ask for it takeaway.

    5. And the fresh produce is even better.

    Milo van Kovacevic / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: mico_kovacevic

    Just like most European cities, Mostar has a number of produce stalls dotted around the city. Pick up some fresh fruit and veg, or try out the homemade syrups, liqueurs, and jams.

    6. As far as cities go, it's incredibly cheap.

    7. In fact, it's usually cheaper to eat out at a restaurant than to buy ingredients at the supermarket.

    8. Plus, Bosnian food is absolutely delicious.

    Jemima Skelley

    It's a mix of Turkish, Mediterranean, and Eastern European. There's a lot of meat and everything is packed with flavor, but it never feels too heavy. A lot of restaurants in Mostar are family-run, so it all just tastes like your grandma made it.

    9. Everywhere you look around the city you'll see reminders of the Bosnian War that took place in the mid-'90s.

    Bud Ellison / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: budellison

    Around 70% of the city was destroyed less than 30 years ago, and the city is still quite divided. It's very safe for tourists, but you can't help but notice all the after effects of the war. There's a free walking tour which gives a really great introduction to the city's history.

    10. Hollowed out buildings still stand next to modern ones that have been rebuilt. It's confronting, but also a pretty amazing thing to see.

    Floeschen / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: floeschen

    Many were abandoned by the owners after the war, who left the country and never returned. Some just don't have the cash to rebuild, but are unable to sell the ruined buildings.

    11. You can even climb up into some of the buildings to get amazing views over the city.

    Jemima Skelley

    The old sniper tower, located right on the war's front line, offers a pretty epic vantage point, and is covered floor-to-ceiling in graffiti and street art.

    12. Hikers will be in paradise, as the city is surrounded by mountains and trails that lead to centuries-old buildings.

    13. Or head out to Blagaj where there's a centuries-old fortress sitting atop a hill, just waiting to be explored.

    14. Or you could visit the nearby walled village of Počitelj.

    Jemima Skelley

    Thousands of people used to live in the houses within these walls, but now there are less than 1,000 full-time residents. You can walk through the stone streets and up onto old walls and into fortresses that give amazing views of the valley. If you don't have a car, it's just a short bus ride from Mostar to the base of the village. Look for buses to Čapljina, but ask the driver to drop you at Počitelj.

    15. There's plenty of nature nearby if you're keen for a day trip out of the city.

    Heinstirred / Getty Images

    Kravice Falls are absolutely beautiful. Located 40km south of the city, you can go there to swim in the summer, or just sit in the cafe over the water and soak it all in. Unfortunately, there are no buses running to Kravice, so you'll have to do a tour or take a taxi. To cut down on costs, you could get a bus to the nearby towns of Ljubuški or Čitluk and catch a cab from there.

    16. Don't leave without trying rakia — a homemade spirit you'll find all over Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Balkans.

    17. Speaking of local specialties, add burek to your list as well.

    18. You can marvel at the city's statue of Bruce Lee.

    19. The weather's good year-round.

    20. And there are cats everywhere.

    Jemima Skelley

    You can't walk through the old town without seeing at least a few cats. Most are pretty friendly, so you can give them a pat or a cuddle.

    21. Then, once you're ready to move on, a beautiful train journey awaits you.