Skip links

This is the Mostar city guide – Cities and Memory guest write Rafael Diogo explored this old city in Bosnia and Herzegovina to tell us about the soundscapes that define it.  This is part of our ongoing series of city sound guides, highlighting the sounds that characterise some of the most beautiful cities on Earth.

Mostar city guide

Mostar is a city located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, situated on the banks of the Neretva River. The city is known for its historic Old Town and the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) that spans the river. Mostar is also home to a variety of bird species, including ravens.

It’s a city with a rich history and culture, and so it can be a little noisy during the day, particularly in areas with high tourist traffic, and during the high season, the city may be more crowded. The Mostar city guide below walks you through some of the sounds you might hear in different areas of the city:

  1. Kujundziluk bazaar

Kujundziluk is a historic bazaar located in the Old Town of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also known as the “Copper bazaar” due to the large number of copper crafts that were once sold there. The bazaar dates back to the Ottoman era and is characterized by its narrow cobblestone streets and traditional wooden buildings.

The bazaar is also known for its lively atmosphere, bustling with street performers, local musicians, and vendors offering a range of goods and services. In the Old Town, you may hear the sound of travellers and locals walking on the cobblestone streets, vendors selling souvenirs and traditional foods, the sound of the Neretva river flowing nearby, the sound of street performers playing music and singing, and the sound of the call to prayer from nearby mosques.

2. The Neretva river

The Neretva river is a river in the western Balkans, flowing through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It is the largest river in the eastern part of the Adriatic basin and one of the largest in the Balkans.

The Neretva is known for its diverse ecosystem and is home to a variety, for example in the summer the cicadas might be more active, and in the winter the sound of the river flowing and the water moving over rocks and through rapids. It’s worth noting this is louder because of the snow melting.

Here by the river, you can just walk by the margins and immerse yourself in the sound of the water flowing and splashing underneath the bridge.

3. The ravens of Mostar

Ravens are found throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and are known to be common in urban areas such as Mostar. They are known to be scavengers and opportunistic feeders, and can often be seen foraging for food in urban areas.

The ravens in Mostar can often be seen around the Old Bridge, and the sound of their calls can be heard echoing through the city’s narrow streets. They are a common sight in the city, and their presence is a reminder of the city’s connection to the natural world.

4. Stari Most bridge

The Old Bridge is one of the most visited places in Mostar, and it can be busy during the day and even more in the summer season, so the sounds that could be heard at the Old Bridge might be diverse and lively.

At the Stari Most, depending on the level of activity around the bridge one might hear a variety of sounds such as the river flowing below, the sound of people swimming and jumping from the bridge, the sound of boats and rafts moving along the river, and vendors selling refreshments and souvenirs.

5. Rainy seasons

Light rain in Mostar can provide a peaceful atmosphere for the city. The sound of raindrops hitting the pavement and the cobblestone streets, the sound of water flowing in the Neretva River, and the sound of the Old Bridge’s arches getting wet can all add to the ambience of the city.

The light rain can also provide a nice contrast to the warm summer days and cool the city down. The light rain can also bring out the scent of the vegetation and flowers, adding to the overall sensory experience of the city.

6. Rade Bitange

Rade Bitange is a street in the city of Mostar, a well-known pedestrian zone in the heart of the city, running parallel to the famous Neretva River. The street is also a hub of cultural and social activity, with street performers and musicians often entertaining passersby.

Rade Bitange is surrounded by some of Mostar’s most famous landmarks, including the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) and the medieval tower of Halebija. As a result, it is a popular destination for both locals and travellers alike, who come to enjoy its vibrant atmosphere and soak up the rich cultural heritage of this historic city.

In the city centre, you may hear the sound of cars and buses driving on the streets, people talking and laughing as they walk through the streets, music and singing from restaurants and cafes, and vendors selling goods in the markets.