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Dubrovnik vs. Mostar: Which Would You Pick for a Two-Month Stay?


in Mostar, Bosnia by @gigigriffis5yr  | 18 comments

Hey guys!

Doing some travel planning for when my boyfriend and I have to be out of the Schengen in the spring. Iโ€™m looking at Dubrovnik and Mostar. Weโ€™ll probably get to both of them, but was wondering - for those who have been - which one would you recommend basing in longer-term?

Some context on us: we love food and the outdoors. Both of us are cyclists (and should have folding bikes with us by then) and enjoy hiking/walking. Great views are a must. And neither of us are bar or party people, so the night scene isnโ€™t a factor for us. Quiet places are great and I love small towns.

Keep in mind that this will be March/April/maybe May next year, so not high tourist season. I donโ€™t mind if things are generally bustling, but I hate super crowded touristy spots (for example: I love Rome in winter and hate it in summer).

If anyone has insight, would love to hear it!

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Hi Gigi, Iโ€™ve been to both cities and I think Dubrovnik is more live-able. I agree with your hesitation in visiting it during tourist seasonโ€ฆ we went in the winter and it was awesome to have the place to ourselves, but I think I might avoid the city center in the summer. However, Iโ€™d check out housing near Park ลกuma Velika i Mala Petka. That side of the city seems muck more low-key/local and the park itself is gorgeous.

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Thanks! This is actually an old thread, so spent last winter in both cities.

For those reading the thread in future, my take: Two months was definitely too much for me in Dubrovnik. Itโ€™s a cool place to visit for a few days, but for longer stays Iโ€™d pick Split instead. Itโ€™s got more access to more places, a younger more vibrant population, a bit of a lower cost of living, and ferries to so many great places even in winter.

Mostar was okay for a month, but itโ€™s also a place Iโ€™d be more likely to recommend short-term. A week would have been enough to see all the cool stuff, take some great bike rides along the river, and try all the Bosnian cuisine.

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Hi Gigi, I totally agree, given the choice Split is a better place to live. We stayed there for about two months and would really recommend homes in the Marjan Park area. The neighborhood is a short bike ride from downtown but is separated from much of the city by a tunnel, which definitely makes it feel like itโ€™s own neighborhood. Best of both worlds if youโ€™re visiting Split!

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Hi Gigi. If you get down this way and donโ€™t want to haul them with you, we have some great bikes, and a few new folders by Giant which you can rent on a long term basis. Best, Jeffrey

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Thanks, Jeff. Weโ€™re both buying folding bikes, so they should be easy to cart around.

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Weโ€™ll probably Airbnb it, but thanks!

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@theunisk5yr

I havenโ€™t been to Mostar, but personally I would not want to spend two months in Dubrovnik - thereโ€™s a crazy amount of tourists and due to that, itโ€™s more expensive than elsewhere in Croatia. Itโ€™s a beautiful little town, but I was glad to gtfo. ymmv

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@kdjfrei5yr

Thereโ€™s a huge price difference between Dubrovnik and Mostar, in case thatโ€™s a factor. I havenโ€™t visited Dubrovnik but I stayed in Mostar for ten days. The old town is pretty for a day visit, but thereโ€™s not much to do there. My impression is that Mostar is an average small city with a spectacular old town, whereas Sarajevo is a spectacular medium-sized city with an average old town.

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Not much to do in what sense? City things? Nightlife? Hiking? Iโ€™ve heard the hills are full of hiking trails and thereโ€™s a famous waterfall nearbyโ€ฆare you just talking about city things?

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@kdjfrei5yr

I did take a nice day trip out to Kravice Falls and to a cool Dervish monastery called Blagaj, but those are both a little ways outside of town. Kravice is about an hour outside of Mostar and 3 hours outside of Sarajevo, so you could do that same trip from Sarajevo. Plus in Sarajevo you can get a five minute taxi ride and be high up in the greenest hills. For proximity to great hiking, Iโ€™d definitely go Sarajevo, but to be fair it was too hot when I was in Mostar to try hiking the nearby hills.

In town, I wasnโ€™t blown away by the food in either city, but Sarajevo has more variety. I also felt that Sarajevo had more of a night life. If you just want to go out for a drink and hear some live music, youโ€™re going to have more options in Sarajevo.

All that said, I can easily imagine falling in love with Mostar, especially when the weather is cooler. The people are wonderful in both cities. At the hotel where I was staying, I mentioned to the guy at the desk that I couldnโ€™t rent a car in Europe because I never learned to drive stick shift and there are hardly any automatic transmissions. He said โ€œMeet me here 9am tomorrow and I will teach you in my car!โ€ Sure enough, he did!

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Yeah. Weโ€™re not into night life and cities start to all feel the same to me after awhile, so probably Sarajevo isnโ€™t a good choice for us. Iโ€™m super happy just sitting somewhere with a great view and a book, so I tend to like small places.

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if you end up needing a hotel in mostar for a couple days i have a great recommendation. :slight_smile:

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@kathrynoh5yr

When I was in Dubrovnik, I was told there is no shoulder season now because so many people decide to travel then. No idea what winter is like but I was there in high season and there were about a zillion big cruise ships in port. Itโ€™d not be an option Iโ€™d look at for longer term.

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Iโ€™ve been reading up and it sounds like the cruise ships are May - Sept/October. Iโ€™m anticipating some tourists, for sure, but it looks like it wouldnโ€™t be the crazy shoulder-to-shoulder of summerโ€ฆ? I wonder if anyone here has been there in winter and can speak to that directly? March/April is when weโ€™re looking at.

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Neither. Both are OK little towns, bit not for more than a couple days. If I had to choose one or the other, it would be Dubrovnik.

As for tourists, I was in both in April and bith were TEEMING with tourists. Even in the off season, theyโ€™re tourist traps and definitely not the place to be if you donโ€™t like tourists.

I would visit but skip living in both of those places and instead look at Sarajevo or Split.

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@wanderingdev Thanks! Are you normally a big city person or do you generally like staying in small towns, just not those two? I lived in a town of less than 2,000 for awhile in Switzerland and loved it, so Iโ€™m never sure if things that seem too small to other people will still feel good to me. Sarajevo just looks so massive and Iโ€™ve already lived in Split (and it was great, but want to try something new).

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I prefer small to mid sized cities. I donโ€™t like the huge ones. I think youโ€™re underestimating how touristy these places are. Dubrovnik would be doable as it has other stuff going on, but mostar, once the tourists are all bussed back home in the afternoon, is a ghost town. I stayed over night and it was pretty shocking. A bit like a creepy zombie movie where youโ€™re the only person still alive in the whole city. Perhaps thatโ€™s what youโ€™re after (so many people you canโ€™t walk during the day but empty at night). Another option though might be one of the winter resort areas? Theyโ€™re small towns with all the outdoor stuff going on but without the thousands of imported tourists wandering through daily.

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Thank you! Thatโ€™s helpful.

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