A Rundown of the Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar
Planning a day out from Dubrovnik? The Bosnian city of Mostar is one of the best places to visit near Dubrovnik. Discover all the day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar and plan the perfect day out.
It might be difficult to even try to lure you away from the stunning, oceanside city of Dubrovnik Croatia. For those of you with a little more time on your hands or when the summer crowds have gotten a little much, you might be looking to get away, at least for a day.
Luckily, there are so many day trip options from Dubrovnik, whether you’re looking for another Croatian city, an idyllic Dalmatian island, or even something completely different; Bosnia.
Bosnia isn’t a country many think to visit in an itinerary all on its own. The country is still recovering from the devastating Yugoslavian war, yet there still are some beautiful spots, historic sights, and a fusion of cultures like nowhere else in Europe. In fact, a quick visit to Bosnia will have you wondering if you’ve actually left Europe.
The beautiful town of Mostar is one of the best places to start. Small and manageable yet packed with things to do and see yet close to Croatia and both Dubrovnik and Split. That means that visiting Mostar from Dubrovnik is one of the best day trip options in the area.
I personally think it’s a must and allocating a full day to see Mostar from Dubrovnik promises to be a true highlight. In this post, I’ll outline all the best day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar whether that’s via organized tour or just going yourself. You’ll be able to choose the way that speaks to you most and agrees with your travel style and schedule. Let’s dive in!
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ESSENTIAL READING: 30+ Wonderful Things To Do in Mostar
How to Get from Dubrovnik to Mostar
There are a few ways to go about day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Which one you choose will probably depend on your style of travel, how much independence and autonomy you prefer, and how much planning you want to do. The main ways of visiting Mostar from Dubrovnik are:
- by renting a car and driving yourself (this gives you the most independence over your itinerary)
- public transportation, so by bus
- by one way private transfer- perfect for those whose next destination is Mostar and Bosnia
- on an organized group or private tour from Dubrovnik.
By Car – The Best Way to Get from Dubrovnik to Mostar
Personally, I think the best option to get to Mostar from Dubrovnik on a day trip is by renting a car and driving yourself. This option might not be the cheapest, but it is still affordable though, and it does give you the most flexibility and autonomy over your route and day.
You’ll be able to decide at which time you leave, how long you stay in Mostar, and where you stop on the way. It’s one of the most popular day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar.
Getting to Mostar from Dubrovnik by rental car is easy. The journey takes 2 hrs 30 minutes (without the border crossing) to cover the 136 km direct to Mostar. It might help to pick up your rental car the night before to get the most out of your day.
To rent a car, I found that AutoEurope and Discover Cars had the best car rental rates for the Balkans. In the end, we used Discover Cars. Check rates with AutoEurope here. Check rates with Discover Cars here.
I’d highly recommend stopping in a few places on the way or way back, to break up the trip and see some more of South Bosnia’s highlights.
You can stop at the lovely Kravice Waterfalls, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Počitelj, and the small village of Blagaj, just outside Mostar. Make sure to read my ‘perfect day trip itinerary’ section below for more on these stops.
Essentials to Know When Driving To Mostar from Dubrovnik
↠ You should tell your rental company that you are planning to go to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most car rental companies allow border crossings for an extra, small fee. In return, they’ll give you all the car documentation you need to be able to cross the border. Without it, the border guards might not let you cross.
↠ Bring your passport! As Bosnia and Herzegovina is not in the EU, there is a traditional border crossing here and you’ll need your passport to get across.
↠ On Google Maps you’ll see two roads and essentially two border crossings that go to Bosnia from Dubrovnik. You’ll need to cross at Metkovic, so the border furthest north. The other is for local passport holders only and not for tourists.
↠ LEAVE EARLY. I cannot stress this enough, especially in summer. The border crossing can be very slow especially in the high summer season so if you’re just spending a day in Bosnia you’ll want to spend as little time at the border as possible. It’s not uncommon to spend 5+ hours crossing the border in August so make sure to leave very early. Also avoid crossing on Friday evenings, weekends, and local holidays.
Dubrovnik to Mostar By Public Transportation
There are buses that link Dubrovnik and other Croatian cities with Mostar.
Getting a bus from Dubrovnik to Mostar is a cheap and easy way to get between the two destinations. When taking the bus you’ll need to be flexible with your itinerary and a day trip to Mostar isn’t always possible due to bus timetables.
Buses aren’t always that reliable and schedules differ each day. It’s best to check Bookaway here, one of the easiest ways to book local travel online.
When taking the bus opt for a seat on the left side of the best views of the Adriatic Sea and Dalmatian Coast.
I always use Bookaway to plan local bus travel and transfers. Click here to search all the transportation options between Dubrovnik and Mostar.
By Private Transfer
If you’re heading to Mostar to continue a trip around the Balkans and you don’t plan on returning to Dubrovnik, a private transfer is another good way to get there.
There are many private, luxury transfers available that include pick up and drop off at your desired location in Dubrovnik and Mostar. Click here for a great private transfer option from Dubrovnik to Mostar.
Dubrovnik to Mostar Day Trip By Tour
The most popular option for a day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar is by guided tour. Opting for a tour means that all you have to do is pay and show up, everything is planned and organized for you which can be very refreshing from time to time. You’ll also have a knowledgeable tour guide with you that’ll explain the historical and cultural significance of each place.
Most tours from Dubrovnik to Mostar will also include another stop on the way such as Kravice Waterfalls, Blagaj or Pocitlej, or even all of them. More stops outside Mostar will mean less time in Mostar itself, but with so much choice available you can choose the right tour for you.
The Best Dubrovnik to Mostar Tours
If you’re set on visiting the historic town of Mostar from Dubrovnik on a tour here are some of the best tours I’d suggest looking into for that perfect day in Mostar.
I personally prefer small group and private tours so I’ll stick with those in my recommendations here. In general the smaller the tour group the more flexibility you’ll have over how long you spend in each place, what time you leave, how much free time you get etc.
The Overall Best Tour to Mostar from Dubrovnik: This Mostar and Kravice Waterfalls Tour from Dubrovnik is a small group tour that also stops at the glorious Kravica Falls. It also gives you plenty of time to explore Mostar for the rest of the day. One of the best day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar that’s bookable online.
The Most Budget-Friendly Tour: Mostar and Kravice Waterfalls Tour is the most budget-friendly tour. Saying that however, they are all very competitively priced so it’s worth having a look at all the tours even if you have a low budget.
The tour with all the stops: This Kavice Waterfalls, Pocitelj, and Mostar Tour stops at all the major sights on the road to Mostar. It’s ideal for those who are happy with just a couple of hours in Mostar but also want to see Kravice and UNESCO Heritage Site Pocitelj. Find more information here.
The best private day tour to Mostar: This Mostar Day Trip from Dubrovnik is perfect for couples or groups of 3 and also stops at Pocitelj and Kravice. Its route along the Croatian Coast also means you’ll have stunning views of the Elafite Islands as you travel. The private tour means that they’ll be no issue to stop for photos along the way too. Book it here.
The Perfect Day Trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar Itinerary
Whether you’ve decided to rent a car and organize your trip yourself or are planning to arrange a tour, here’s what the perfect day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik would look like.
The best time of year to do this trip would be May-October when you can enjoy much longer days that will allow you to visit all these spots and more on the itinerary. I would try not to do this trip in July or August just to avoid the summer crowds.
I highly encourage you to start your trip early, not just to cross the border quickly but also so that you’ll have more time in the day to explore.
This day trip itinerary is quite full on so feel free to pick and choose the sights you want to visit for a much slower pace.
You can also change the order in which you visit each place. I’ve ordered everything in this way is it’s the most time-saving way of visiting all the spots and it also takes into account visiting hours etc.
Dubrovnik to Mostar
Pick up your rental car the night before so you can start early, I mean, sunrise early. Follow Route 8, out of Dubrovnik, and drive along the Adriatic Coast towards Slano and then up towards Bosnia. This route takes in the stunning Elaphite Islands to which you’ll have the most stunning views.
Cross the Croatian border at Metkovic and continue along the M6, north all the way to your first stop, Mostar. I suggest starting in Mostar as this is the main destination after all. Mostar also can get crowded in the summer so the sooner you get here the better. Here are some of the best things to do in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Check out Stari Most
The Stari Most (Old Bridge) is the symbol of Mostar and it’s the main attraction. It is one of the most beautiful bridges in Europe.
The Stari Most bridge was originally built in the 16th century as a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture, and it was destroyed during the Bosnian War in the 1990s. However, it was rebuilt and reopened in 2004 mimicking the original bridge architecture as much as possible.
Walking across the bridge is a must-do activity in Mostar.
Explore the Historic Old Town
Mostar’s Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways that date back to the Ottoman era. The streets are lined with traditional houses and souvenir shops, handicrafts, and local delicacies. The Old Town is also home to several historic mosques, including the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque and the Karadozbeg Mosque.
Explore the Neretva River
The River Neretva is one of the most beautiful rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it flows through Mostar. You can take a boat ride on the river or go kayaking or rafting. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even go canyoning and explore the river canyon.
Climb the Minaret of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
If you are not afraid of heights, you can climb the minaret of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque for a breathtaking view of Mostar. The climb is steep and narrow, but the view from the top is worth it. Make sure to also visit the mosque itself.
Try the Local Cuisine
Having lunch in Mostar is non-negotiable. Mostar is known for its delicious cuisine, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can try local dishes such as cevapi, burek, and dolma. I recommend trying the traditional Bosnian coffee, which is served in a small copper pot and is a must-try for coffee lovers.
The local restaurant Šadrvan is probably one of the best restaurants in town for local food. We loved our meal there.
I’d say the above are the absolute must-things to do in Mostar but if you have more time, the town offers plenty more for visitors. Read the full, things to do in Mostar, Bosnia here for the full list and more ideas.
Mostar to Blagaj or Pocitlej
You might not have time for both Blagaj and Pocitlej so you might need to choose which one to visit. Most day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar include one of these two stops.
Just outside Mostar, you’ll find Blagaj, a lovely, small village with lots of natural beauty and historical significance. Located at the base of a towering cliff, Blagaj is home to the mesmerizing Blagaj Tekke, a 600-year-old Dervish monastery situated by the turquoise waters of the Buna River.
Here you can discover the monastery as well as taking a walk around the lovely scenery. A visit here doesn’t have to take longer than 90 minutes.
On the other hand, you might prefer to visit Počitlej a UNESCO World Heritage site just a short drive from the city of Mostar. Strolling through the narrow streets of Počitelj feels like a journey through history, with its well-preserved stone houses, ancient mosques, and intricate architectural details.
Some of the buildings you shouldn’t miss are the stunning medieval fortress perched atop a hill and the Haji-Ali Mosque, a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture.
If I had to choose, I’d go for Pocitlej over Blagaj as there’s just more to see and the ancient village is just stunning.
Blagaj/Pocitlej to Kravice Waterfalls
From here it’s just a short drive to your last stop in Bosnia, Kravice Waterfalls. I suggest visiting Kravice Falls last, as generally, in the evening most of the crowds and tours have gone. The ticket office is also open until 10 pm in summer meaning that there is no rush for you to get here.
To end the day you can relax at the beautiful waterfall and go for a refreshing swim before having a drink at the waterfall to end your day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar.
Kravice Waterfalls to Dubrovnik
As the day draws to a close you can head back to Dubrovnik. From Kravica Waterfall it takes just over 2 hours to get back to Dubrovnik. The border is open 24 hrs a day so you don’t need to worry about getting there before a certain time.
If you don’t quite feel like heading back to Dubrovnik, you can also spend the night in Mostar and enjoy your time there a little longer.
Where to Stay in Mostar, Bosnia
For those who feel that day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar might not be quite enough time, it’s also possible to stay in Mostar for one night before heading back at a much more relaxed pace. Mostar has many great accommodation options for all budgets. Here are some of my favorite choices.
Hotel Mepas Grand Luxury – Located in the heart of Mostar, Hotel Mepas Grand Luxury offers a sophisticated and comfortable stay. With its modern design, spacious rooms, and top-notch facilities including a spa, fitness center, and rooftop pool, this five-star hotel promises a truly luxurious stay. Check rates and availability here.
Hotel Verso– probably one of the most hip hotels in Mostar, make sure not to miss the modern Hotel Verso. Rooms here are simple, modern, and sparkling clean and the local breakfast is also very good. This is where I’d stay going back. Check rates and availability here.
Kriva Ćuprija Hotel & Restaurant – One of the most charming stays in the center of Mostar old town, the location of this serene hotel can’t be beaten. Enjoy its spacious and bright rooms, good service, and outdoor dining experience. Check rates and book here.
Villa Anri– A simple guesthouse in a serene location overlooking the Neretva River. It’s a great place to slow down and enjoy Mostar. With its charming rooms and personalized service this is a great more-budget choice in Mostar. Check availability here.
What’s the Currency in Bosnia?
The currency in Bosnia is the Bosnian Mark (BAM). You can withdraw local currency as soon as you arrive in the country or at an ATM in Mostar. Many restaurants in Mostar take credit cards but definitely make sure before ordering.
Many shops, restaurants, and cafes also take Euro.
Is Bosnia Safe?
I felt safe during my entire time in Bosnia and we had absolutely no problems during our day trip from Dubrovnik to Mostar. The people were friendly and welcoming. As always, however, make sure to look out for yourself and your things, make good decisions, and go with your gut. If the situation doesn’t feel right get out of it as soon as you can.
So which day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar will you choose? Let me know your questions and comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
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Booking.com for great deals on hotels
Agoda also for great deals on hotels
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