While everyone visits Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina for its iconic Old Bridge over turquoise Neretva river there are so many other things to do in Mostar.
Those of you who, like me, like the creative scene will find Mostar street art super interesting. After fine but not amazing Sarajevo street art scene I was surprised and overexcited when I found all the amazing murals and works around Mostar.
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Background of Mostar street art
When you think deeper about Mostar and it’s tragic history it makes sense that street art in Mostar is such a big part of the city’s scenery. In many places, street art is an important measure to reconcile, patch communities together. Even though it’s still a long way for Mostar to fully recover from its difficult past, street art plays an important role in the process, especially among younger generations.
Since 2012 Mostar has its own street art festival. It is organized by a group of local young activists and its aim is to bring new artists and art to the streets of the post-war city and to redefine its public spaces, revitalize abandoned buildings and ruins.
The festival focuses mostly on artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Balkan countries but international creators are invited too. In the 2019 edition you could meet creators from Italy, Spain, Brazil, or Germany). Today you can find around a hundred murals all over the city!
You can visit the website of the festival to learn more details about the event.
Where to find street art in Mostar
You can find most of the Mostar street art works in and around the infamous Sniper Tower. The abandoned tower, the former bank that today is among the most known ghosts of Mostar’s past, is covered with bullet holes and murals, both on the outside and inside.
Unfortunately, officially it is not possible to explore this abandoned building anymore but if you are fit enough you can jump inside over the wall in the back (I didn’t do it but a friend of mine did). From the corner of Kralja Zvonimira and Kneza Domagoja streets, you can peek inside the building and see some street art works there too but overall you can find better on the outside walls.
The Sniper Tower can be also a great place to see Mostar and surrounding from above however I’m not advising you to go inside the building, you need to make your own judgment how comfortable you feel with entering the forbidden structure.
There are also plenty of good murals near Sniper Tower. You can find them between Španjolski try and Park Zrinjevac and in the wasteland between Kneza Domagoja and Dr. Ante Starčevića streets. When you are near Park Zrinjevac be sure to wander inside the park to find the quirky Bruce Lee statue, the symbol of solidarity in the divided city.
Another important area on the Mostar street art scene is Alekse Šantića street. You can clearly see that this street used to be on the front line as many buildings are either in ruins or badly damaged, the outcome of the war in Mostar.
A few of the newer buildings are decorated with beautiful murals on the sidewalls. Don’t be afraid to go a bit inside of the neighborhood as well as some semi-abandoned buildings to find them all. Šantić street is the best metaphor of Mostar, despite the tragic past the city is looking brightly into the future.
The last hub of Mostar street art is near the university, a bit outside of the center (but still within a walking distance). If you arrive at Mostar by bus from Sarajevo look on the right side already after crossing the city’s border – you will spot a long wall covered in really pretty murals. Their number is growing with each festival and it’s definitely worth taking a detour from all the Mostar attractions to see all the works properly.
Map with Mostar murals
You can find a really fine map on the website of Street Art Festival in Mostar – click here to access it. It will show you the locations I’ve mentioned above as well as few I didn’t get to.
Fortunately, all the places are located fairly close so you can easily walk between them, in the meantime getting to know the real Mostar, beyond the touristic Old Town.
Final thoughts on Mostar street art
I didn’t expect to find such a good street art scene in Mostar and finding randomly so many murals was one of my highlights of visiting Mostar. This just proves that the city is so much more than the famous Old Bridge that the majority of visitors focus on.
Be sure to plan your trip to Mostar properly, giving yourself more than just a few hours in the city so you will have enough time to get to know the place properly and enjoy it to the fullest. You might be surprised how many wonders you might find there!
Mostar street art in pictures
Below are a few more pictures of street art in Mostar
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