The city of Mostar is a historical and architectural pearl located in the Herzegovina region. Its charming streets and memorable attractions are along the way that leads to its famous landmark – The Old Bridge, a symbol of reconciliation and coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities. On the other hand, colourful scenery such as the historical bazaar of Kujundžiluk will leave you speechless.
Nevertheless, this magnificent city is still deeply divided between the Croatian community which lives in the western part of the Neretva river, and the (mostly Muslim) Bosnian community which lives in the eastern part. These two sides were never really on the same page, their ideologies heavily diverged during the World War Two, and later in the 90’s their differences and conflicts escalated. Throughout all those decades, this polarisation has been represented by two football clubs FK Zrinjski and FK Velež. The former was founded by Croatian youths in 1905, thus becoming the first football club in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is to this day associated to the Croatian nationalist movement – while the latter is the only club from former Yugoslavia which preserved its left wing orientation.
Velež and Zrinjski took on each other for the first time in 1922 which makes the Mostar Derby the oldest major derby game in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Over the course of many heated clashes, the animosity and tensions have been rising, which is perfectly illustrated by an event from the 90’s during the war of Yugoslavia – the historic ground of Velež called ‘Bijeli Brijeg’ found itself deep inside of the Croatian territory and the club was forced to look for a new home. Nowadays they play at ‘Rođeni’ stadium in the eastern part of Mostar. And guess who plays at ‘Bijeli Brijeg’ stadium? Zrinjski. And that is just a tiny part of this football derby and its history, heavily influenced by politics and ethnicity like no other football rivalry in the world…
Want to explore more and experience the Mostar Derby? Book your trip with Homefans now, get carried away and let our local host show you the magic of Mostar and all the bits of one of the most complex football rivalries in the world.
As soon as you arrive safely to Sarajevo international airport, airport transfer will be waiting for you to take you to Mostar. After a 2 hour drive, you will be able to check-in in an excellent 4-star hotel in the heart of Mostar where you will meet you local host, a Homefans football fanatic and an expert in local football. Feel free to refresh a little bit, and then let our local host take you to show you around. As soon as you get your first glimpses of Mostar, get ready for a pub crawl in some of the most authentic pubs in town.
Time to live experience Mostar like a local and get familiar with its authentic football culture! Our local host will make you feel like at home and help you immerse yourself in the unique vibe of this European marvel. Sneak around and experience the famous Old Bridge, hidden alleys of Kujundžiluk Bazaar, local taverns, magnificent food and people. Learn about the turbulent history of Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and former Yugoslavia through war scars, secret spots, and our local hosts nail-biting stories.
After that, get ready to be fired up by some old-school football grounds! You will visit the stadiums of both arch-rivals. First up - Rođeni stadium, the home of FK Velež. Learn about the club’s history, its ups and downs, its left wing orientation, and also about its loyal supporters - the Red Army. After that, we move on to the Zrinjski experience - learn all the bits about this club from our local storyteller and visit the controversial stadium Pod Bijelim Brijegom, which once belonged to Velež but due to war circumstances is nowadays the home of their bitter rivals.
Finally, the match day! After a high-quality warm-up during the previous days, you will by now be familiar with the foreknowledge and ‘heaviness’ of this derby, so you can enjoy its intense experience to the fullest. In the morning you’ll have some free time to do your own thing. Later, around noon, you will meet the rest of the group and you will have access to a perfect local pre-game with local fans. Rest assured you’ll feel like a real local fan, including all the authentic football rituals characteristic for the Mostar Derby. When the time comes, our local host will guide you safely to your seats as the party in the stands is already kicking off. Energy, insults, chants, flares, everything is included!
Enjoy your (for most people) once-in-a-lifetime Mostar Derby experience, a game to remember. While the quality of football itself is not quite excellent, what happens in the stands and the passion and animosity between the opposing supporter groups will blow you away!
After the game the group will decide whether to go for some night life and pubs, or back to the hotel to relax after an intense experience.
From this day on, when all your intense Mostar memories settle, you will be richer for on hell of and experience and a totally new football perspective. On your last day, make sure you say goodbye to this mythical place in style, and keep in touch with your new friends. Mostar and Homefans will be happy and excited to see you again on another football adventure!