Morning: Head to Andrićgrad firstYou’ll get to the bridge and the life of Ivo Andrić in plenty of time, so start your day at the brainchild of Emir Kusturica that was built in homage to Višegrad’s most famous resident. Andrićgrad was built in controversial circumstances in 2014 but has developed into the heart of the modern town, which is somewhat ironic considering its status as a time machine to the various portions of the region’s past. Nip into the information centre first for the full story, before exploring the architectural history of Višegrad and the wider area.
Andrićgrad can be a little bit jarring — the vacant stare of Gavrilo Princip is difficult to shift — but there is plenty to impress here, from the city’s best coffee to most of its best restaurants, along with a library, theatre, church and more. Cover every nook and cranny before nipping into Goya for a caffeine pick-me-up, the very best type.
Afternoon: The early days of AndrićOkay, okay, we’ll get to the bridge soon enough, hold your horses. Head to Višegrad’s City Gallery first to get a feel for art in the region, with frequent exhibitions, events and the rest. The curator of the museum is quite the character, so expect to be swept off your feet and taken on a whirlwind tour of regional art in the process. The Ivo Andrić Memorial Classroom is also nearby, an absolute must for lovers of the great man’s work and a humbling reminder that from simple beginnings do great writers grow.
Feeling hungry? Okay, walk through the centre of Višegrad and stop off at Kruna, widely regarded as the town’s best example of traditional gastronomy. You’ll need a big appetite for this one so bring it, and maybe enjoy a bit of šljiva in the process. After lunch, head up to the Višegrad’s old train station but don’t go with expectations; the old railway terminal is well and truly destroyed, a stark reminder that optimism almost always turns to dust.
Evening: Bridge time, babyNow its time for the bridge, and what better way to enjoy it than with a setting sun and a few drinks? Nip into the terrace of the Hotel Višegrad and you’ll get a can’t be beaten view of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, the very crossing that inspired Andrić and his Nobel-winning ‘Bridge on the Drina’. There are quite a lot of bridges crossing the Drina, but when you mention the ‘bridge on the Drina’ everyone knows exactly what you are talking about.
We could start at it for ages, so we recommend you do the same with your evening. The Hotel does a good line in traditional food (the teleča čorba is a delight), but the hungry among you should cross the bridge and head down the road in search of Anika, a stunning spot for some more traditional local food. You can gaze lovingly at the bridge while you eat as well, so be sure to do just that.