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Old Town of Sarajevo with Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and red tiled roofs of main bazaar, Bosnia and Herzegovina| © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock
Old Town of Sarajevo with Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and red tiled roofs of main bazaar, Bosnia and Herzegovina| © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

17 Charming Photos of Bosnia's Old Towns

Picture of Sam Bedford
Updated: 28 November 2017

Bosnia is known for its surreal Ottoman old towns with winding cobblestone alleys, as well as traditional buildings and quaint coffee shops. It also boasts of elegant Austro-Hungarian facades that juxtapose against modern city blocks and 400-year-old mosques, too. Get to know more of Bosnia through 17 of its most charming spots.

Austro-Hungarian facades

Sarajevo’s Austro-Hungarian facades alongside the Miljacka River. The colourful buildings are a few minutes on foot from the Ottoman Bascarsija.

View of the historic centre of Sarajevo - Bosnia and Herzegovina | © Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

View of the historic centre of Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina | © Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

Sacred Heart Cathedral

Sarajevo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral in the heart of Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo is the largest Catholic Cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After opening in 1889, the 43 metre (141 feet)-spire caused a stir in Sarajevo’s mostly Muslim population as it was almost as tall as the city mosque.

The sacred heart cathedral in Sarajevo | © S-F/Shutterstock

The sacred heart cathedral in Sarajevo | © S-F/Shutterstock

Latin Bridge

Latin Bridge in Sarajevo is famous for a variety of reasons. Franz Ferdinand’s assassination took place here after Gavrilo Princip fired a lucky shot as the archduke drove past. The bridge is also one of the most romantic places in the city outside of Bascarsija.

Latin Bridge on Miljacka River- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | © Dreamer Company/Shutterstock

Latin Bridge on Miljacka River- Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | © Dreamer Company/Shutterstock

Bascarsija

Sarajevo’s Bascarsija is a 15th-century Ottoman Old Bazaar that looks almost the same today as it did centuries ago. You’ll find charming alleys filled with cafés as well as restaurants selling traditional Bosnian food and souvenirs.

View at main town square and famous Bascarsija street in Sarajevo | © Dreamer4787

Bascarsija Square in Sarajevo | © Dreamer4787/Shutterstock

Kujundziluk

Mostar’s old town (Kujundziluk) has a similar origin and charm as Sarajevo’s Bascarsija. You can spend hours walking through the alleys and admiring the architecture while soaking up the ambience. Souvenir shops selling traditional crafts also line the streets.

People walks among souvenirs shops on the Old Town of Mostar | © Fotokon/Shutterstock

People walk among the souvenirs shops on the Old Town of Mostar | © Fotokon/Shutterstock

Stari Most

Mostar’s Stari Most, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 16th-century Ottoman Bridge, is Bosnia’s most famous attraction. During the day, it is crowded with tourists and after dark the bridge lights up for a magical view.

The Old Bridge, Stari Most, with emerald river Neretva | © cge2010/Shutterstock

The Old Bridge, Stari Most, over the emerald green River Neretva | © cge2010/Shutterstock

Pedestrian Street in Banja Luka

Banja Luka’s pedestrian street has colourful Austro-Hungarian facades filled with designer shops and window shoppers.

People walking at Old Town street of Banja Luka | © joyfull/Shutterstock

People walking in Banja Luka’s pedestrian street  | © joyfull/Shutterstock

Stara Cuprija Bridge

Konjic’s Stara Cuprija Bridge, built in 1683, is one of Bosnia’s seven Ottoman bridges. After suffering damage in World War II, the bridge was finally rebuilt between 2003 and 2009, making it one of the best-preserved bridges in all of the Balkans.

A Cultural Heritage In Konjic Town Of Bosnia And Herzegovina | © Velveteye/Shutterstock

A Cultural Heritage site in Konjic | © Velveteye/Shutterstock

Konjic’s old town

Konjic also has an attractive old town spanning both sides of the River Neretva and is a charming place to stroll around. Tito’s Bunker, which was recently transformed into a contemporary art museum, is nearby too.

Aerial view of Konjic town | © jordeangjelovik/Shutterstock

An aerial view of Konjic town | © jordeangjelovik/Shutterstock

Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge

Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad passes over the Drina River in Eastern Bosnia. This beautiful Ottoman bridges dates back to 1577 and stretches almost 200 metres (656 feet). It was also the setting for Ivo Andric’s The Bridge of the Drina, one of Bosnia’s most famous novels.

Old Bridge on Drina river in Visegrad | © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

The bridge over the Drina River in Visegrad | © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

Plava Voda

Travnik’s Plava Voda, or ‘Blue Water’ in English, consists of a stream lined with restaurants and bridges. You can walk along the pedestrian path for the most romantic experience in Travnik.

Fresh water flowing from one of the creek at Plava Voda | © Farris Noorzali/Shutterstock

Freshwater flowing through Plava Voda | © Farris Noorzali/Shutterstock

Stolac

One of Herzegovina’s oldest towns, Stolac, has an Ottoman centre (Carsija), a Roman castle, and craggy mountains surrounding the historical town. The Bregava River meanders through the town centre with traditional buildings on the banks.

View over the town of Stolac | © MehmetO/Shutterstock

View of Stolac from the hill | © MehmetO/Shutterstock

Bihac

Here is a colourful street in Bihac, a small town northwest Bosnia along the River Una. Bihac is an ancient town getting only a few tourists. But it has a vibrant café culture set in a serene location and is definitely worth visiting.

Street in Bihac| © Shevchenko Andrey/Shutterstock

Colourful facades in Bihac| © Shevchenko Andrey/Shutterstock

Blagaj Tekke

Dervish House or Blagaj Tekke, located in Blagaj village inside the Mostar Basin, is a 16th-century monastery on the Buna River spring.

Dervish house on Buna spring with a small waterfall and a cave | © Zlajs/Shutterstock

Dervish house on Buna spring with a small waterfall and a cave nearby | © Zlajs/Shutterstock

Jayce

Jayce is a cultural centre in Bosnia that was once the seat of the pre-Islamic (pre-Ottoman) Christian Bosnian Kingdom. You’ll find a fortress, catacombs, and Ottoman mosques in this small town near Pliva Lakes.

The old town of Jajce, a historical capital of Bosnian Kingdom | © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

The old town of Jajce, a historical capital of the pre-Ottoman Christian Bosnian Kingdom | © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Trebinje

Trebinje has an 18th-century old town along the Trebisnjica River and is Herzegovina’s southernmost city. The area gets romantic in the early evening as the city begins to light up.

Old Town in Trebinje city | © Fotokon/Shutterstock

The Old Town in Trebinje City in the early evening | © Fotokon/Shutterstock

Pocitelj

Pocitelj, some 30 kilometres from Mostar, has an attractive medieval and Ottoman centre inside this fortified village with less than 1000 residents. The old town stretches lazily along the banks of the River Neretva.

Scenic view of Pocitelj village traditional old architecture buildings and mosque |© JM Travel Photography /Shutterstock

Pocitelj village with traditional old buildings and a mosque |© JM Travel Photography /Shutterstock