Bay of Kotor

Top 10 Places to visit in Montenegro

The best way to describe Montenegro: the pearl of the Adriatic! The country has a stunning coastline, beautiful National Parks, a lot of (really steep) mountains and old towns. The best combination of nature, culture and relaxing time you find in Montenegro!

1. Bay of Kotor

One of the most beautiful places in Montenegro is the Bay of Kotor. It has the same name as the old town of Kotor. The best way to explore the Bay of Kotor is by bus: take a bus to Herceg Novi. It takes about an hour to go around the Bay. Other towns worth visiting are Tivat (there’s an airport here), Risan and Perast.

2. Kotor

Called Small-Dubrovnik, Kotor is a beautiful old town on the Bay of Kotor. In my opinion Kotor is even more worth visiting than Dubrovnik. It is a little bit smaller, less touristy (and so less crowded in the summer), has amazing surroundings and has the best view from the top of the hill behind the old town. There is a trail from the old town up to an old fortress. There is (usually) someone standing at the beginning: entrance is €2. The trail is steep and hard to climb. It will take about an half hour/hour depending on your speed. There is another way of getting to fortress: left of the old town there is a path up to an old wall with an opening in the middle which is just big enough to climb through (if you don’t wish to pay €2 this is the best option). If you’re finally at the top you’ll get a really good view of the Bay of Kotor.

3. Budva

The most visited town by tourists in Montenegro, it is very popular place in the summer and gets flooded with Russian people. The old town is not that big, so you only need one day. There are a few beaches just outside the old town. One beach is located opposite of the entrance of the town. It is a little bit hidden, when there’s high tide it is hard to get there but when you do get there you actually have a (sort of) sandy beach (a luxury because most beaches in Montenegro are pebble beaches)

4. Ulcinj

Located in the south of Montenegro, Ulcinj is a small town which is fully packed in the summertime by Albanians from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. Ulcinj has a small beach in the town but just outside the town there is one long stretch of sandy beach that runs all the way to the Albanian border. At the end you find a beach called Ada Bojana: this is one of the nicest beaches in Montenegro!

5. Skadar Lake

This lake is the biggest National Park of the country. Half the lake is located in Montenegro and the other half is part of Albania. For entrance to the National Park and a boattour you pay about €20 (or more depending on the people who offer the boattours). If you don’t want to pay that much money you can always go hiking in the mountains near the Lake. The best way to reach the National Park is taking a train or bus to the town of Virpazar (this is the gateway to Skadar Lake).

6. Durmitor National Park

This is the second biggest National Park in Montenegro and has the highest located town of the Balkans: Zabljak (1400M). From Zabljak it’s only a 30 minute walk to the entrance of the park. You can also rent a bike but it’s not possible to bike around in the National Park. There are different hiking trails for everyone (easy, moderate and strenuous trails). The easiest trail is the one around the Black Lake: follow the path from the entrance of the park and you’ll reach the lake within 15 minutes. It takes about 1-1,5 hours to hike around the lake. Another place to visit is Hotel Durmitor . It is closed now but if you like abandoned buildings this is one you should visit. You can sneak in from the back through a window in the basement. The hotel is located on a hill right next to the road that runs to the entrance of the National Park.

7. Ostrog Monastery

The most famous monastery of Montenegro, Ostrog Manastir is located in the middle of the country between the two biggest cities, Podgorica and Niksic. It can be hard to reach Ostrog Manastir by yourself, you can either book a tour, rent a car or take a taxi.

8. Herceg Novi

An old town near the border with Croatia. It is located on the road from Kotor to Dubrovnik. It is about 2 hours from Kotor to Herceg Novi and to Dubrovnik you need another 2 hours. There are many buses running between Kotor/Budva and Herceg Novi and several between Podgorica/Bar and Herceg Novi. The town has an old centre and is not too big. You’ll only need half a day to walk around the town!

9. Cetinje

The old capitol city of Montenegro, Cetinje is not a big city but worth visiting. It has more character than Podgorica. It used to be the city where the royal Montenegrin family lived. The drive to Cetinje from Kotor is one of the most beautiful scenery rides in Montenegro. There are other ways of getting to Cetinje but if you take this route you get a fantastic view on the Bay of Kotor (there are a few places where you can stop to take pictures) and takes you right through Lovcen National Park.

10. Lovcen National Park

In this National Park you find the mountain that gave Montenegro it’s name, it’s called the Black Mountain in English but in Montenegrin it’s Crna Gora. The highest town is called Njegusi, a small town where you find local souvenirs. There is a road through the park (and Njegusi) that runs from just outside Kotor to Cetinje (the old capitol city).

Fly to Montenegro (Podgorica) from London Stansted, Stockholm Skavsta or Berlin Schonefeld with Ryanair: from $15 one way!
Or fly with Wizzair from Milano Malpensa, Munich West or Budapest: from $15 one way!