26 Unique Things To Do in Montenegro
Montenegro is one of the smallest and newest countries in Europe. It declared its independence from Serbia in 2006 and is now one of the countries that many people want to visit. Two million people visit Montenegro every year and are always amazed at how much there is to do in the wondrously green and icy country.
You can take on the fjords of Kotor or scale the mountains of Durmitor. You can even cross the Tara Canyons at Durmitor National Park. If you are planning a vacation to the Balkans, here are twenty-six unique things to do in Montenegro.
26 Unique Things To Do in Montenegro
Climb Up The Castle of San Giovanni
The fortress of San Giovanni is a castle at the top of the old town of Kotor that is believed to have been built in the 9th century. The view from the top of the old castle is said to be among one of the best in all of Montenegro and the effort required to get that view is definitely challenging enough to make it worth it. If you choose to visit the Castle, you will need to climb up a total of one thousand, three hundred and fifty-five steps to get to the top.
Take a Morning Walk Through The Streets of Old Town
The Old Town of Kotor is really beautiful and simply walking through the town and taking in its beauty can be a fulfilling activity. However, this can be difficult in the afternoon when there are lots of people going from place to place. It gets even worse if there is a cruise ship docked in the harbour, as that means more tourists in the streets. For best results, take a walk through the Old Town between 6:00 AM and 9:30 AM.
Walk the Walls of the Old Town
Kotor’s Old Town survived long enough to be called “Old” thanks to the ten meter-thick, medieval fortification that was built around it. Designed by combining the walls with the naturally occurring borders from the town’s rocky terrain, the Walls kept the citizens of the Old Town protected from barbarians who would have destroyed them. Through the years, the Walls have taken damage due to natural causes like earthquakes. However, they have been restored and give full protection to this day.
Visit Lake Skadar
One of the best places to visit in Montenegro, Lake Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkans, set between Albania and Montenegro. Shaped in the outline of a dolphin, the lake is a wildlife haven, with lush and beautiful floral fields, endless mountains and different creatures of land, water, and air. Tourists take boats to explore the lake; visiting monasteries, fishing villages, different fortresses, and monuments, as well as some hidden beaches.
Enjoy A Few Days at Sveti Stefan
The village of Sveti Stefan was established in the 15th century and has been a favorite spot among the tourists and the elite class since the 1930s. Its beautiful beaches are full of picturesque pebbles and blue water and are almost always inviting visitors in for an afternoon swim. There are restaurants on the beach that offer meals made from freshly-caught fish and crustaceans.
Visit Kotor’s Cat Museum
It’s often said that cats adopt humans and not the other way around. Well, it would appear that the city of Kotor was adopted by cats about 2000 years ago and they have never left the city. To mark the many cats that call Kotor home, there is a cat museum that houses art dedicated to its feline population. Apparently, the proceeds the museum makes are redirected towards tending to the needs of the city’s cats.
Visit the Stone Bridge in Rijeka Crnojevica
If you are visiting Lake Skadar, then you might want to wander down to the small town of Rieka Crnoevica. Populated by less than 200 people, this town has been in existence since before the time of the Balkan Wars. It is most popular for the double-arched bridge that it holds. The bridge is super photogenic and tourists love to take pictures of it at times when the reflection of the bridge on the water is totally still and perfect.
Explore Tara Canyon
Also known as the Tara River Gorge, Tara Canyon is located in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina and is one of the deepest and largest canyons in the world. It extends for 82 kilometers and runs the Tara River. Across the canyon and the river, there is a bridge that sits 150 meters high with a view that is regarded as being one of the most beautiful in the world.
Visit Perast – The Seaside Town
Walking the streets of Kotor is great, except on the days when the streets are teeming with tourists. On those days, you can choose to take a day trip to the beautiful seaside town of Perast. You can even stay there for a few days if you like. Perast is pretty similar to Kotor in structure, but with fewer people. Even the cost of living in Perast is more affordable – an obvious benefit of the small population size.
Wander along the Bay of Kotor
Kotor is lovely to look at from an elevated perspective, such as that of the Castle of San Giovanni. However, the city is also beautiful to see from the level of the sea. The Bay of Kotor gives tourists the chance to walk around and observe the regular life of a Montenegrin citizen. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and has since been a colourful spot for locals and tourists to enjoy the beauty of the town.
Check Out the Island Churches of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor offers magnificent views of two islands that are hosts to two large churches: the Benedictine Abbey of St. George, built in the 9th century and surrounded by cypress trees, and Our Lady of The Rocks Church, built in the 15th century. Both of these island churches are exquisitely photogenic and many people like to take boats up to them just to take great pictures.
Have a Meal at Hotel Conte
Hotel Conte is a gorgeous and upscale waterfront property located across the road from the Bay of Kotor. Its style is a combo of rustic and chic and it offers beautiful views of the Bay. The view is most magnificent from its seafront terrace which doubles as a restaurant. Enjoy delicious seafood dishes made with the freshest catch and age-old, mouth-watering recipes.
Explore Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park is a breathtaking natural attraction in northern Montenegro with majestic frozen lakes, jagged mountains, and lush green forestry. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, it is split by the Tara River, making it home to Tara Canyon – one of the deepest canyons in the world.
Visit Black Lake
Black Lake is also located in northern Montenegro, and is the perfect place to lay in a boat and relax as it floats on the water. Durmitor National Park is set behind the lake and makes for a jaw-dropping backdrop. A 4 km track goes around the lake, touching past gorgeous caves and peaceful animals.
Visit the City of Budva
The city of Budva is located on part of the Budva Riviera. It is known for its sun and surf lifestyle and vibrant nightlife. Visitors will find many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, as well as a lot of religious sites like the 9th-century Church of Santa Maria.
See The Dancing Girl of Budva
One of the most famous photo attractions in Budva is the statue of the “Dancer of Budva”, located just outside the Old Town of Budva. The statue is a great backdrop for taking pictures and it gets even better during the sunset when the dipping sun casts gorgeous rays on the statue and the water behind it.
Hang Out on Jaz Beach
Located just outside of Budva, Jaz Beach is one of Montenegro’s most famous beaches. It offers crisp, clean sand and clear blue waters, along with easy access to necessary amenities. It can get packed during the summer, but overall it is a peaceful beach with fun activities and great vibes.
The town of Ulcinj is located near Albania’s border, making it a common stopping point for visitors coming from the neighbouring country into Montenegro. It is a beautiful town that has an interesting collection of establishments like mosques, churches, and a nudist beach.
Go Flamingo Watching at Solana Ulcinj
Although Flamingos are not typically found in Europe, Montenegro is home to these rare birds along with 50% of all of the bird species in Europe. To see them, all you have to do is take a taxi from Ulcinj to Solana Ulcinj – the salt plains that is home to hundreds of flamingos.
Visit Lovćen National Park
When compared to Durmitor National Park, it can seem like Lovcen National Park is a small space. However, when consideration is given to historical significance, beautiful landscape, and natural attractions, Lovćen National Park is one of the best national parks in Montenegro.
Visit The Ostrog Monastery
The Ostrog Monastery is one of the most famous and most photographed churches in all of the Balkans. What is especially striking about this holy place is the fact that it was carved into a rock on the face of a cliff. There are multiple guided tours available to get to the monastery and you can also go independently by bus.
Enjoy Some Coffee at Caffeine, Podgorica
People all over the Balkans are known to enjoy a good cup of coffee, thanks to centuries of rule under the Ottomans. If you are in Podgorica, stop by Caffeine, the coffee shop/restaurant that offers all types of coffee from espresso to coffee cocktails. Their space is just the place you want to be in on a winter afternoon, sipping your mocha and listening to good vibes.
Check out Velika Plaža
Located on the southern coast of Montenegro, Velika Plaža is a sandy beach in the Ulcinj municipality that stretches for 12 km from Port Milena to Bojana River. Quite popular with adventurous travellers, Velika Plaža is full of things to do from fun beach parties to kite surfing and swimming.
Visit Biogradska Gora National Park
Biogradska Gora National Park is the smallest of Montenegro’s national parks and is home to one of the few primaeval forests Europe has left. IT is home to numerous 100-year old trees, glacial lakes, and tall mountains. Visitors to the park will have lots to do, including mountain climbing, trekking, mountain biking, and skiing.
Visit the Old Capital of Cetinje
Before Podgorica became the capital city of Montenegro, Cetinje was the Royal Capital. This old city holds some of Montenegro’s most treasured pieces of history, with ancient structures like the Cetinje Monastery, the Blue Palace and Cetinje National Museum standing as expressions of Montenegro’s rich history and culture. Visitors can also take a hike to Eagle’s Rock and look in on the Mausoleum of Prince-Bishop Danilo I.
Visit The Blue Cave
The Blue Cave is a cave that is located on the coast of Lustica Peninsula and can only be reached via boat. It is called “the blue cave” because of the shimmering blue light that is inside it. Many tourists visit the cave and take a swim in its shiny depths while some choose to wander around the caves and its tunnels.
Montenegro is a beautiful country with lots of amazing places to visit and great things to do. You can go swimming in Lake Skadar, climbing at Tara Canyon, skiing on Mount Lovćen, or partying in the capital city of Podgorica. No matter what your tastes are, there is always somewhere you can find to explore. Use the spots in this guide as a first choice as you tour the small nation of Montenegro.
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