Montenegro is one Europe’s hidden gem destinations. Quieter and untouched than its neighbouring Croatia and Greece. Montenegro offers jaw dropping scenery around every corner, remnants of vanquished kingdom, idyllic coastal towns, swanky marinas lined with super yachts, sunshine and plenty of adventure.
Here are top 13 places to visit in Montenegro that will convince you to visit this stunning Balkan country.
Budva is a beautiful town located on the coast of Montenegro with the backdrop of high mountains. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Montenegro because it leads a double life – one in the old part of the town and other in the new. There is something for everyone.
Famous for its old town which is surrounded by a 15th century wall, this charming old town has narrow winding streets which are lined with restaurants, boutique shops, churches and the citadel. Marina Budva (known as Dukley Marina) is set against the ramparts of the historic Old Town, it is home to luxurious yachts, speed boats and don’t be surprised if you spot a submarine or two. The idyllic Mogren Beach is also just a 5 minutes walk from the town.
Budva is also known as the party capital of Montenegro. As the sun sets, the city comes to life. Budva is the place if you are looking to party until the early hours in Montenegro. Bars, clubs, amusements parks, luxury hotels, there is something for everyone.
If all that wasn’t enough, Budva has also has its own little island, known locally as ‘Hawaii’ or Sveti Nikola Island. Popular destinations especially around the summer months when boat taxis operate regularly between the island and Budva town. Sveti Nikola Island is a perfect option to escape the bustle of Budva town. It offers beautiful beaches, seafood restaurants, wildlife and more.
Kotor is one of the most popular destinations in Montenegro and it is easy to see why. Offering a more slower pace than Budva, Kotor lies on the shore of the Bay of Kotor and is backed by dramatic mountains.
The town is rather small but so well preserved and charming that it has earned a spot on the UNESCO’s World Natural and Historical Heritage Site list. It is full of narrow streets, hidden corners with venetian palaces, cafes, churches and museums. Kotor is probably the dream destinations for any cat lovers, the furry felines be found at every cobbled street corner there is even a museum dedicated to cats.
Given the location of Kotor it offers jaw dropping views over the bay, Mount Vrmac and the old town. For the best viewpoint in Kotor head to San Giovanni Fortress. It may be 1,350 steps to the top but the views are simply unbeatable.
Located just 12km away from Kotor still on the Bay of Kotor is Persat. One of the most picturesque towns in Montenegro which is worth a visit. Persat is known for 2 nearby islets. Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George (Sveti Đorđe). St. George was formed naturally but Our Lady of the Rocks is bigger of the 2 and is a man made island. It was built in the 15th century by scuttling ships and throwing rocks.
Boat rides are available from both Kotor and Perast to this idyllic island. Offering beautiful views over Perast, there is a small museum and Church on the Our Lady of the Rock which can be immediately recognised by its blue coloured dome. St. George (Sveti Đorđe) is home to a 12th century monastery.
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Tivat is often compared to Monaco thanks to the well known Porto Montenegro which is lined with super yachts, glamorous apartments, fine dining restaurants and luxury shops. Take a stroll down the waterfront promenade or grab a drink while looking over the crystal clear Adriatic Sea with magnificent mountains in the background.
The marina comes to life especially in the night. Although most of Tivat is glamorous you will also find traces of history dotted around the town.
5Zabljak in the Middle of Durmitor Mountain Range & National Park
Located at an altitude of 1456 meter, Zabljak is a little city surrounded by plethora of lakes and mountains. Nestled in the centre of dramatic Durmitor mountain range and Durmitor National Park, Zabljak is a must visit in Montenegro especially for nature lover.
Durmitor National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during the winter months, is a major ski resort and in the summer months it is a great destination in Montenegro for hiking and rafting. Durmitor National Park is one of must visit places to visit in Montenegro.
Located in Durmitor National Park is Tara Canyon – which is the deepest canyon in the whole of Europe and 2nd deepest in the world. Cutting through the mountains towards the northern edge, Tara River forms the deepest canyon in Europe at 1300 meters.
Eye-catchingly blue Tara River, which looks even more striking thanks to the dense forests that surrounds it. One of the best ways to explore this natural beauty is by rafting along the river or head to Đurđevića Tara Bridge to view this majestic canyon. There are also spots along the river for swimming and cliff jumping. If you are feeling more adventurous there is even a zip line that runs across the canyon.
7Black Lake (Crno Jezero)
Black Lake also located in the Durmitor National Park is a one of the 18 glacial lakes. It is one of the most popular parts of the National park, primarily due to its easy accessibility. Don’t let the easy accessibility fool you, the views are simply spectacular. The lake is surrounded by pine forest, and dramatic mountain peaks that reflect on the crystal clear lake. There is also a 3.5km trail that runs around the lake. Black Lake is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro especially for nature lover.
Sveti Stefan is a 15th century village, which is connected to the mainland by a iconic causeway. This beautiful island was nationalised in 1950’s and now is part of the luxurious Aman Hotel. Open only to paying guests this collection of charming stone villa overlooks the clear azure waters and unique pink pebbled beaches.
In the 1960’s Sveti Stefan was a playground for celebrities, unsurprisingly, Sveti Stefan is Montenegro’s most photographed site and one of the most luxurious places to stay in Montenegro.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Aman Hotel Sveti Stefan. Click here to read more.
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Located on the south coast of Montenegro is Ulcinj. Home to the longest beach at the Adriatic sea, namely, Velika Plaza. Along with being the longest beach it is also known for its unique soft flour like sand. It is a trendy hot spot during the summer months, with music festivals, beach parties and kite surfing on offer.
It is not only the beach that Ulcinj has to offer, the reconstructed old city of Ulcinj also gives a glimpse into the old Ottoman culture in Montenegro. Today the old town is lined with restaurants and cafes.
Skadar Lake is known for its horseshoe bend, it is also the largest lake in the Balkans. It is also home to a remarkable diversity of wildlife. Skadar Lake is the perfect destination in Montenegro to escape the city. Surround yourself with mountains, island monasteries, clear water and floating water lillies. There are many ways to explore Skadar Lake, take a slow boat ride and soak in the nature, jump in a kayak or hike. Head to a local winery or try some traditional local cuisine.
Pavlova Strana is the most popular viewpoint of Lake Skadar National Park and also one of the most unique places to visit in Montenegro. It is from here that you can truly appreciate the horseshoe bend shape of the lake with a panoramic view. The blue skies, rugged nature and winding river are well worth a visit in Montenegro.
Ostrog Monastery is something of an architectural marvel, built almost entirely into a vertical rock face, it appears out of nowhere in the cliff. Even if you are not particularly religious the architecture, its unique location and the views of beautiful sprawling countryside from the Monastery along with it being a popular pilgrimage site in the country make it well worth a visit in Montenegro.