A scenic bus journey from Mostar to Sarajevo (+ how it compares to the train)

This post outlines everything you need to know about taking the bus from Mostar to Sarajevo as well as my personal experience and information about the alternative train route (I did both). As a solo traveller, I know it can be nice to know what to expect before travelling cross-country!

Although the train is a highly recommended form of transport between Mostar and Sarajevo, having taken both I have to admit I thought the bus journey was just as scenic with the added bonus of not having the early wakeup call – the train leaves before 7am or in the evening when it’s too dark to see the scenery, but buses leave throughout the day. I highly recommend this option if you’re travelling in Autumn/Winter – there’s no point getting up early to see the scenery if the sun hasn’t risen yet!

TAKING THE BUS FROM MOSTAR TO SARAJEVO…

MOSTAR BUS STATION

The correct bus station for travelling to Sarajevo is Mostar EAST Bus Station. (There is also a West bus station.) This is the same bus station where the Sarajevo bus arrives as well.

It’s around a fifteen-minute walk from the Old Town to the Mostar East Bust Station.

At the bus station, there is a small stand to buy snacks and drinks (served by a very friendly man too) and a fast-food cafe, which I didn’t look inside.

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The cafe and snacks stall at the bus station

BUYING YOUR TICKET

The easiest way to buy your ticket is from the station! The ticket office is easily noticable and signed in English. They have basic understanding of English and will understand you are going to Sarajevo.

The ticket from Mostar to Sarajevo costs 21BM.

They will tell you which ‘platform’ your bus goes from – mine went from platform 3, which is directly in front of the ticket office. The numbers are easy to spot and all next to the ticket office. The bus also clearly marked ‘Sarajevo’ but check with the driver as you get on if you’re paranoid about going the wrong way haha.

You don’t need to get there super early, but I was glad to arrive around 20 minutes early as it meant I could wait on the platform and get a window seat! I got on the 11am bus and there were not many spare seats.

You can also buy your tickets in advance here if you prefer: https://getbybus.com/en/bus-mostar-to-sarajevo There is no assigned seating that I could tell.

The ticket office was a stones throw from the bus which took me from Mostar to Sarajevo.

LUGGAGE

It cost an additional 1BM to stow my main bag in the hold.

I was surprised by the organisation in regards to luggage. Each piece of luggage was given a tag before being stowed, and a section was torn off and given to the individual who owned the luggage.

After climbing aboard, I realised there was also a small space to stow carry-on bags overhead inside as well.

THE BUS JOURNEY

The bus seats were modern and comfortable. The back of each seat came with a small table and a pouch to store snacks/water etc.

Try and get a window seat as this is one scenic journey! Thankfully the views switched from side to side so no matter where you’re sitting you should get some great scenery. The mountains, blue river and Autumn colours lighting up the forests made for great onboard entertainment.

Grainy photos from through the bus window. 🙂

Despite the winding mountain path, the roads are in good condition. It felt a lot safer than some of the crazy bus journeys I’ve done across Southeast Asia, for example!

These photos were taken from the lefthand window.

The journey is around 123km and takes about 2 hr 45 minutes (give or take).

Photos from inside the comfortable Mostar to Sarajevo bus

ARRIVING IN SARAJEVO

You will then arrive in Sarajevo where it is a short walk to the tram station. It took me about 20 minutes to get from Sarajevo bus station (Autobuska Stanica Sarajevo) to my accommodation in the centre via tram line 1.

TIP FOR TAKING THE TRAM IN SARAJEVO…

ALWAYS PUNCH YOUR TICKET!!

The ticket inspectors are aware not all tourists punch after buying their ticket and can fine you if you don’t. Punch your ticket in this machine pictured below directly after buying it. Thankfully I knew this in advance as it did get checked during my journey! It goes in the machine the whiteside up.

Taking the tram in Sarajevo? Buy your ticket from the driver then punch your ticket in the green machine

In Mostar, I could easily walk to my accommodation from the bus station.

BUS TIMETABLE

MOSTAR TO SARAJEVO – BUS DEPARTURE TIMES

6:00

07:00

09:00

11:00

15:00

18:15

SARAJEVO TO MOSTAR – BUS DEPARTURE TIMES

06:00

09:00

11:30

12:30

15:30

18:00

19:55

I recommend taking the bus journey in daylight to enjoy the views.

Ps. I felt safe taking the Mostar to Sarajevo bus journey as a solo female traveller. It was mostly locals onboard and a variety of people, no need to be worried, especially in daylight.

TAKING THE TRAIN FROM SARAJEVO TO MOSTAR

The other option is to take the train.

The train departs Sarajevo (to Mostar) at 07:15 or 16:49.

The train departs Mostar (to Sarajevo) at 06:39 or 17:05.

SHOULD YOU TRAVEL BETWEEN SARAJEVO AND MOSTAR BY BUS OR TRAIN?

The train journey is highly recommended by locals and is indeed very scenic – I took it in the direction of Mostar. If you are travelling in high/shoulder season, when the sun rises early enough, it will be a beautiful and scenic journey.

Admittedly… I actually enjoyed the bus journey more than I expected! The train is a little smoother, but travelling in late October the sun very bright lighting up the marks on the windows rather than the view. Other sections of the journey were misty. Honestly, it was still beautiful and that’s barely a complaint, but something to bear in mind.

Most importantly… I honestly don’t think you are missing out on any of the scenery if you take the bus! So don’t feel bad if you want to avoid the early wake-up call. If you got caught in bad traffic, that’s the only big disadvantage I can think of.

Either way, I think both the bus and train routes between Mostar and Sarajevo are comfortable and scenic.

TIPS FOR TAKING THE TRAIN BETWEEN SARAJEVO AND MOSTAR

You can buy a ticket directly at the station and it’s recommended to sit on the left-hand side if going from Sarajevo, or the right-hand side if travelling from Mostar. This way you get the best river reviews.

The train costs 11.90 BAM each way, with a 20% discount if you are getting a return ticket. There is also a 2 BAM seat reservation but it didn’t look like anyone paid attention to the specified seats, so go enjoy a window seat!

This photo is from the 2nd class carriage. The trains have been renovated in recent years making for a comfortable journey.

If you’re getting up early, you’ll be glad to hear at Sarajevo station there are already cafes open selling coffee and snacks which you can purchase before your train ride.

A photo from my Sarajevo to Mostar train journey

Again, I felt safe on my train journey travelling solo. Although I was initially apprehensive about getting the tram so early while it was dark, thankfully the tram stop was just a minute walk from my hostel and there were already people about.

I hope this guide is helpful and that you have a great trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina!

How I spent one day in Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

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