When driving through Bosnia Herzegovina, one of the best things you can do is the Mostar Bridge jump! It's only 23 metres high, think you can handle it?
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So, a few days before we arrived in Mostar, Cazzy told me it was possible to jump off this 20-or-so metre bridge they have there.
I don’t know how she expected me to react, however, if she knows me at all, then she should have predicted my immediate reaction …
That was before I'd even really thought about just how high it was or what my family might think.
Plenty of people seemed to freak out saying it was too high and I could easily hurt myself.
But my thinking was, if so many other people can do it, then why would it be so bad for me?
That's before I saw the bridge!
In person, the bridge does look incredibly high up and it is very daunting.
However, the worst thing you have to consider isn't the height, but more importantly, the cold temperatures of the water!
Anyways, I was committed to doing it and soon found out everything I needed to know from the locals.
If you're trying to find out how to jump from the bridge in Mostar, then feel free to skip ahead to the next section where I tell you exactly how to do it.
Anyways, in the end, I did the jump alongside a cool Austrian guy we met at our hostel and an American guy we met about 2 minutes before we set off!
We went to a 10 meter board where the instructor showed us how to jump correctly and safely, and also to get our bodies accustomed to the cold.
After that, we headed back up the bridge for the real jump.
Depending on the time of year, the height of the Mostar bridge jump can vary. But in May, when we jumped, it was roughly 22-23 metres high.
That’s quite a height!
And of course, we wanted it to be recorded. So, Cazzy stood down by the waters edge filming up at me jumping off.
We did a coin flip to decide who would jump first and, luckily or not, I got to jump last.
It was great fun watching Joe (the American) and Dom (the Austrian) jump first, and there's a real buzzing atmosphere of excitement all around the bridge.
Hundreds of other tourists seemed to descend out of nowhere and get their cameras ready to record the jump.
When it was finally my turn to jump, the sinking feeling finally set in that this was real and that, yes I have to jump!
I went up onto the edge of the bride and heaved myself over the railing.
Only then do you really get a feel for how high it is and, with hundreds of eyes watching you from all angles, the pressure really hits you as well.
So, what else could I do? I did exactly what the instructors had told me to do.
I looked down and took a deep breath to steady myself …
I looked straight ahead …
I gave the instructor one final farewell fist bump …
And I jumped …
The water hits you before you have time to really think of much else.
You take a few seconds underwater to think “Shit, did I really just do this?!” and, “Have I broken anything?!”
But, as you rise back up to the surface, you're greeted with a round of applause from all the spectators and you really do feel like a bit of a hero.
Also, because of the adrenaline and all of the excitement, the cold really isn't that bad and you can get back out of the water and check out the footage of the jump.
That is, of course, as long as you jump correctly and don't hurt yourself.
So, how you can jump from the Mostar bridge as well?
Ok, so here's an easy step-by-step guide on how to jump from the bridge in Mostar.
Afterwards, I’ll answer a few of the most common questions (most of which I had myself).
1. Check it out!
Before you firmly decide on whether or not you want to jump, head to the bridge itself and take a look for yourself. You can look down off the railings from the top and get a feel for how high it is.
Be honest with yourself here in deciding whether or not you actually want to do it. It’s fine not to as its certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. There’s another bridge a few hundred metres down and you can head there and get a side-on view of the bridge if that helps.
2. Go and speak to the dive school
If you want to jump from the Stari Most bridge, then you need to do it with the dive school. This school has been on the bridge for hundreds of years and they are essentially it’s guardians.
In fact, when you head inside, you'll see images all over the walls from up to 50 years ago. Such as the one below which was taken during the annual diving competition they still hold there. This one took place in the early 1990s when the bridge wasn't even there as it had recently been destroyed in the war!
The dive school is very easy to find. Imagine you are looking down off the bridge in the direction you jump (with the current flowing away from you), the dive school is to your right.
Also, you’ll likely see one or two guys sat on the bridge or walking around wearing swim trunks. Those are the people you want.
3. Go for your practice jump
The dive cub will take you through everything you need to do for the jump. They will also give you a wetsuit to help protect against the cold. I’d say wear it as the water really is cold!
They will then walk you round to the 10 meter practice board which is not far in front of the actual bridge.
Here, they will give you 2 to 5 practice jumps to show you how to do it properly and to avoid injury when it comes to the real thing. You’ll need to do more if you struggle to get the technique right.
4. Kiss goodbye to your loved ones and get your affairs in order ...
Ok, that’s a joke! But it is now time for the actual jump! They will take you back up to the bridge and ask you if you are still 100% sure you still want to jump. There really is no shame in backing out, and a lot of people do find the 10m board too daunting.
5. The jump!
When we jumped, there were 3 of us. The dive instructor will stand over in the middle of the bridge and help you to step over the railing one person at a time.
By this point, there will be lots of tourists around with cameras preparing to record you. the instructor will tell you to remain calm. Do what he says, take your time and ignore everyone else.
Then, you simply look ahead, take a few breaths and go for it. I Think it’s important to note that, yes you should go only when you're ready, but try not to stand there staring for too long. This causes people to freeze and actually makes things far harder.
6. Enjoy your hero's welcome
As you rise from the water, everyone around should hopefully be clapping and you just swim to the shore and go meet your friends once again. Afterwards, you head back up to the clubhouse to get dressed.
7. Receive your certificate
You will then need to pay for the jump. €10 for the practice jump and €20 for the real Mostar bridge jump. They will then give you a certificate which shows you did the jump.
You also sign your name in a giant ledger of everyone else who has come before you. You will receive a unique code. If you ever go back to the Stari most bridge and wish to jump, then you can do so for free!
That’s because you are now an official member of the Mostar Diving Club!
Interested in a tour to Mostar? I recommend ...
Common questions about the Stari Most jump
Is it safe?
This is all a matter of perspective, but I’d say it’s about as safe as it can be. What does this mean?
Well, they take the time to show you the right jumping technique and, as long as you listen and do exactly this, then you’ll be fine.
Also, if anything goes wrong, then there is a team of people around to come and get you. Multiple dive club members stand on the bridge and down by the water.
If something happens and they need to come in and get you, then they will.
How high is the jump?
It all depends on what season you go in. In winter time (I think) the water flows at its highest so, naturally, the distance from the bridge to the water’s surface decreases.
In Summer, the water is at its lowest and so the distance is highest. When we jumped in Spring time, it was around 23 meters. But it can reach mid to high 20s in Summer.
How much does it cost?
It costs €10 for the practice jump and €20 for the actual jump. That €20 will also make you a member of the dive club, allowing you to jump in the future again whenever you want.
What’s good is that, if you do the 10 meter jump and then don't want to do the big jump, is you only then pay the €10 and that's it.
This might sound like a lot just for a jump. However, it really is a cool experience and your money is directly going towards preserving the jobs of the dive team.
Also, Mostar really is a poor town and everything else is incredibly cheap!
Is it worth it?
In my opinion, hell yeah! There’s an incredible amount of excitement both in the build up to the jump and the aftermath.
Everyone around you gets involved in the fun, and there’s a great atmosphere. Also, it’s a great talking point for everyone back home! Be sure to record your jump and share it on Facebook!
What times can you do it?
This might vary depending on the time of year. We were the first ones that day, and I believe it opened at around 9am. It probably shuts around 5ish or 6ish.
What are some other things to do in Mostar
Mostar really is a wonderful place to visit, however, it is quite a poor city. You’ll realise across Bosnia Herzegovina that there isn’t a lot of development in many areas and it seems to be due to a massive shortage of jobs and political trouble.
As such, the area around the Mostar bridge is very lovely and affluent, but outside of that, there seems to be little much else going on.
That being said, here are a few other things to do in Mostar while you are there:
1. Indulge in a fancy meal. Because it’s so cheap there, you can enjoy a very high quality meal in a wonderful restaurant with spectacular views of the bridge at about a third of the price anywhere else in Europe.
2. Pick up some souvenirs. There are market stools for a few hundred metres either side of the bridge. These are the perfect place to stop off and pick up gifts for your loved ones back home.
3. Go kayaking. We didn’t do this unfortunately, but apparently you can kayak down the river. You just need to head a little way out of town, but not very far.
How do you get to Mostar
There are a number of ways to get to Mostar, and it is a very popular tourist city. As such, if you’re coming from a different part of Bosnia, or even a different country, then you can get buses there.
We saw signs advertising buses from Munich for about €14 I believe, so it’s really not that expensive.
Another option is to fly there. The nearby airport is called Mostar International Airport and it’s only a 10-15 minute drive outside the heart of the city.
Finally, and the option we had, was to drive there. You can cross into Bosnia Herzegovina by all surrounding countries at a variety of borders. Just make sure that you take out Green Card insurance before you drive.
They require proof of this at the border to let you in. Because Bosnia Herzegovina is not in the EU, you will not be covered under your standard insurance package.
Tours to Mostar
If you're not fussed on seeing much else in Bosnia Herzegovina, then you could always get a day tour to Mostar. These leave from many of the major cities in Croatia. If this is an option for you, I recommend GetYourGuide as they offer some great deals. Such as:
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