Without a doubt, Montenegro is a hidden gem of Europe that is gaining more and more popularity these days. But what makes it so special? Is it worth visiting? What are some of the best things to do in Montenegro?
Imagine a country smaller than Wales that offers a 100 km long coastline with crystal blue waters, impressive mountains next to the deep canyons, elegant yet historical architecture, delicious cuisine cheered with unique black wine, and history that takes you back to the early Middle Ages. All wrapped up with Medditerean climate. Yes, that is Montenegro.
Montenegro was one of those destinations that I wanted to visit for ages and I was lucky enough to stay here for one month and get to know it inside out. And now I will share the best of Montenegro with you!
In this article, I want to take you all around Montenegro. Starting with peaks in the North and ending with deep coast in the South. Including everything that’s in the middle and top it with honey on the top. We will cover the best things to do in Montenegro and everything you need to know before visiting this beautiful country.
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But before we dive in…
Best food tours in Montenegro:
- ⛰️ Experience the beauty of Montenegro’s natural landscape with ease on this full-day group tour
- 🤿 Discover two of Montenegro’s most impressive natural wonders on this Blue Cave Kayak & Snorkel Adventure from Kotor
- 🍲 This private walking tour puts the spotlight on the city’s cuisine with a walk around the UNESCO-listed Kotor old town
- 🛶 Go on an adrenaline-filled adventure on this group rafting trip on the Tara River with a skipper
- 🏞️ The places you will visit on this tour will show you the importance of Montenegro’s medieval history, its tradition, culture and gastronomy, beautiful viewpoints, old towns and museums
How many days you should stay in Montenegro?
If you are still planning your trip to Montenegro, you might be wondering how many days you should stay in Montenegro? That depends! Some people arrive on a cruise and spend one afternoon in the Bay of Kotor and some stay for one month and still crave more. Yes, I’m with the second option.
But let’s say that you want to cover most of the things from this article. I would say that you need something between 7-10 days. You will have to stay active and move around quite a lot during this time. If you prefer slow travel, please consider a 2-week itinerary for Montenegro.
As I mentioned before, I stayed for one month, but some days had to stay in and work. I also planned many things around the weather, so we would use only sunny days to explore Montenegro. Certain road trips had a very packed itinerary, but in general, I prefer slow travel.
Where to stay in Montenegro?
We already clarified that Montenegro is small, but we still need to find a place to stay. Unlike other countries, Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, is not a good idea. Podgorica has the biggest airport in Montenegro, but it’s not a good location to base yourself during your trip. So where to stay in Montenegro?
If you are looking for a single place to stay and don’t like to change hotels every second day, I highly suggest considering Budva. Budva has a lot of accommodations and a strategic position. If you are looking for something more intimate, Kotor is the best option and that’s where I was based for the entire month. If you are looking for affordable accommodations, you can check Dobrota, Perast, and Herceg Novi.
How to move around Montenegro?
I have to say that public transport is not great in Montenegro. Information online is almost non-existent, so you will have to ask a tourism point about timetables and possible destinations. You can move between main attractions, but you can forget about hidden gems in Montenegro.
The best way to move around Montenegro is to rent a car. Car rental in Montenegro is affordable and easy. You will find a lot of offices that offer car rental in most cities and towns. If you prefer to plan it and book it online, click here.
I have to warn you that there are a lot of insane drivers in Montenegro. And a lot of police cars hunting for speeding. So highly suggest respecting the speed limit at all times.
Other important things and interesting facts about Montenegro
First, I want to warn you about the weather in Montenegro. Yes, it has a Medditerean climate, however, it rains a lot. Especially in summer. If you check online, most of the guides will advise you to visit between June and August while some locals will have to disagree. They claim that September is the best month with beautiful weather and almost no rain.
Let’s talk about currency. Montenegro is not part of the European Union, yet they use euros. But don’t get tricked. If your bank account is in euros, you will still get charged an international transaction fee. On top of that, a lot of places don’t accept cards, so bring some extra cash.
The official language is Montenegrin, but it’s very similar to Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. Also, considering big amount of Russian tourists, a lot of people in the tourism sector can communicate in Russian. Young people can speak basic English.
The best things to do in Montenegro
Now that we have covered a lot of practical information, I want to share the 20 best things to do in Montenegro and highly suggest adding at least half of these to your itinerary.
Admire Sveti Stefan from your balcony
Sveti Stefan was probably my biggest ‘wow’ moment in Montenegro. It is an island connected to the coast with a tiny stone path. The bad news is – you can’t visit Sveti Stefan. It is a luxurious Aman resort and it’s off-limits to all but paying guests (and you have to pay a lot if you want to become one).
However, from what I have seen, you get the best view from the coast. That’s why I was on a mission to find accommodation with the best view of Sveti Stefan. Apartments Sunset Beach offers truly the best view on Sveti Stefan and has direct access to the beach. On top of that, apartments are well equipped and beautifully decorated. Staying here for a couple of nights is a must. And you won’t need to pay thousands of euros for your accommodation.
Nearby, you will find Amadeus restaurant. Our host suggested this wonderful place and I can understand why. A family-run restaurant, delicious local food, a direct view of the beach, and affordable prices. Can’t recommend it enough!
Other things to see in Sveti Stefan: Praskvica Monastery, Queen’s Beach, St. Sava Church.
Experience a different kind of Montenegro from Skadar’s viewpoint
Now, let’s talk about another famous attraction of Montenegro – Skadar lake. It is the largest lake in the Balkans and it is one of the most important reserves for wetlands birds in Europe. You can meet mammals like wolves or foxes. Since 1983 it is protected by a national park and it offers steep mountains, historic villages, historic churches, and clear waters.
All this together creates a wonderful postcard-perfect view and it is called the Skadar viewpoint. The road to Skadar’s viewpoint is tiny and you have to be very careful when you meet another car on your way, but it is so worth it. If you are not an experienced driver, you can park at Pavlova Strana Viewpoint and walk up to the Skadar viewpoint.
We spent a day in the Lake Skadar National Park and I have to tell you, I had a feeling that we were visiting some epic place in Vietnam, not Montenegro.Join this tour to Skadar Lake National Park
Take a boat from Virpazar and try some bird watching at Skadar Lake National Park
Once you have seen Skadar Lake from the top, I want you to get into it and get to know it better. Virpazar is a tiny town and the main gateway to Lake Skadar National Park. This is where you can find endless boat trips that take you around the lake.
First, you get to see beautiful water paths surrounded by water lilies. You can use this time to do some bird watching. And you might even spot some animals.
We booked a boat ride with Kingfisher because they were the ones with beautiful wooden boats that add a unique vibe to the entire experience. The boat ride will cost you 10 euros and another 4 euros to enter National Park and the entire experience lasts around 2 hours. Keep in mind that it’s not a private boat tour and you have to make sure the weather is suitable for the boat ride as well.
See the old Budva and relax on the beach
Budva is one of the most popular places on the Adriatic sea. It has a stunning old town, a long beachline, and a lot of activities for tourists. It is big and well connected with the rest of Montenegro, so it makes it a great base for many travelers. If you are looking for nightlife – this is the place to be. Also, has a lot of modern buildings and great accommodations.
If you ask me, the best thing about Budva is Stari Grad which means old town in Montenegrin. Unfortunately, it was ruined after 2 earthquakes in 1979, but you won’t be able to tell once you walk the tiny marbled streets of Budva’s old town.
What are some of the best things to do in Budva? Visit The Poets Square, Citadela Fortress, Plaža Ričardova Glava, and Town Walls. Don’t miss Kafana Rivijera for lunch or dinner – it is one of the best restaurants in Budva.Join this private Budva tour
Explore the cobblestone streets of old Kotor
Kotor is a tiny town tucked between beautiful Kotor Bay and cliffs. This is where churches, shops, bars, and restaurants surprise you on every corner. And while you get lost in these charming cobblestone streets, local kitties are there to guide you on your way.
Even though Kotor is located on the bay, it is not a good beach destination. It’s meant for those with a heart for romance, history, and old architecture. Also, the present look owes a lot to the Venetian Republic, so add a bit of elegance and attention to detail that you see nowadays in Venice.
I don’t want to bore you with an itinerary, because you don’t need one. Walking around the old town of Kotor and getting lost is the best way to see it. But make sure you see the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Church of St. Nicholas, Town Walls, and Ladder of Kotor.
If you are planning a quick stop in Kotor, I highly suggest checking the cruise schedule in advance. Once the cruise arrives, this tiny town is overcrowded and impossible to enjoy. But the best would be to spend a night or two.Book your walking tour around Kotor’s Old Town here
Smell the history in Stari Bar
While Bar is a big city on the Adriatic coast, Stari Bar is tucked away in the mountain behind the Bar. Steep cobblestone road leads you to the massive entrance of Stari Bar and opens the door to the past.
When you arrive at Stari Bar, head straight to the Fortress Old Bar. The entrance fee is 2 euros and you can enjoy a nice walk on the old walls of Stari Bar. Once you are done and pass the main entrance, you will find a charming street full of restaurants and souvenir shops on your left.
The Ottomans had quite a big influence here, so you will see multiple mosques around. Almost every restaurant here offers Turkish dishes and famous Turkish coffee. We had a quick lunch at Restaurant Kaldrma and it was wonderful. Highly recommend it.
When visiting Stari Bar, make sure you purchase some local pomegranate wine, olive oil, or honey. If you didn’t know, Stari Bar is surrounded by olive tree plantations. There is an olive tree reputed to be more than 2,000 years old.
Enjoy the sunset in Perast in one of the seafront restaurants
If you ask me, Perast is one of the most beautiful towns in Montenegro. Maybe it lacks the ‘wow’ effect when you look at the photos, but there is something magical about Perast. You can make a day trip from Kotor or add it as your next destination after visiting Kotor.
Just take a walk on the seafront of Perast, take some cute photos for memories, and maybe stop for a dinner at one of the restaurants nearby. That’s all you need to fall in love with this charming yet elegant town. Don’t miss the Church of Saint Nicholas that is located on the tiny square in the heart of Perast.
Just in front of Perast, you will find 2 tiny islands – the Catholic monastery of Saint George, and Our Lady of the Rocks. Our Lady of the Rocks is an artificial island made by locals. Every year on June 22 locals take their boats and bring rocks to the island making it bigger. Many water boats take you to the island and back for 5 euros. You can visit the museum for additional euro. However, I have another experience planned for visiting Our Lady of the Rocks, so keep on reading.
Treat yourself to Montenegrin cuisine
Loosen your belt because you are up for a treat. Yes, I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Montenegrin cuisine, so I didn’t have high hopes for local food. Boy, I was so wrong.
What makes Montenegrin cuisine so special? Well, the ingredients that are genuine and locally grown. Even in the supermarket – always go for local products. They are tasteful and very affordable compared to imported food.
You probably can imagine all the local seafood, but the meat is surprisingly good as well. And this comes from someone who rarely eats meat. Don’t miss local grilled fish, smoke-dried ham or Pršut, goat cheeses, meat stew, kačamak, buzara mussels, or simply grilled meat platter.
Also, if I have to choose the highlight of my food experience it’s certainly Meat&Wine which is 10 minutes car ride away from Kotor.
Unlock the secrets of Montenegrin wine
Same thing about Montenegrin wine. I had no idea it was so delicious and easily can compete with my favorite Italian or Georgian brands. Local wines are the cheapest option on the menu and you shouldn’t miss them.
Vranac is a very popular red wine option, while Krstač is the most popular white wine. They also produce their own chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
If you are looking for a unique wine experience and want to unlock all the secrets of their wine traditions, make sure you visit Castel Savina. Reservation is required and they have different tours available. Price varies from 35 to 45 euros per person and includes a lot of local snacks as well.
Take a walk on the promenade of Petrovac and spot the church at the edge of the cliff
Staying in Petrovac is one of the best things to do in Montenegro with family. It is a modern place on the Adriatic coast filled with exclusive villas, an endless promenade, and safe beaches. It doesn’t feel very Montenegrin, but it has a certain charm if you ask me.
Lučice beach is a great place for families with children. It is a bit further away, but this means less crowded as well.
But if you ask me, Sveta Nedjelja is the highlight of Petrovac. It stands on the edge of a small island that looks more like a cliff. Legend says that sailors survived a horrible storm on this island, so that’s why they build a church in such a unique place.
Some nice beaches to visit around Petrovac: Drobni Pijesak, Rijeka Reževići, Čanj. And Manastir Gradiste.
Explore Kotor Bay from the water on your private boat
If you ask me, this is hands down one of the best things to do in Montenegro. I kept it for my birthday celebration and that’s how special it is. There is something so awesome about Kotor Bay and all the small towns around, but you will fall in love with these Montenegrin towns all over again once you see them from the boat.
Once you walk around the Kotor, you will be approached by companies that offer boat trips. Most of these trips are with groups and are extremely expensive if you request a private trip.
That’s why I want to suggest Captain Ivan. He offers many cool boat trips, fishing experiences, and even snorkeling. We choose a private boat tour from Kotor to Our Lady of the Rocks. This way, we could see the beautiful coastline of Kotor, take a lot of stunning photos, and visit Our Lady of the Rocks. He lets you off the boat, so you can see the island and share some curiosities along the way.
The price for 2 hours was 100 euros and I think it is a very affordable option. Mostly because Ivan is there to make sure you have the best time! Book your private boat trip around Kotor Bay here.
Make a quick stop in Podgorica
You will read a lot of horrible things about Podgorica. It is called one of the ugliest capitals in the world. But Podgorica has the biggest airport in Montenegro and there are big chances that you won’t be able to avoid it. Especially if you have an early flight home.
Podgorica sits on two rivers and offers a lot of bars, restaurants, and green parks. It’s a great place for those who are on the budget. But is there something to see in Podgorica?
Well, not much, but the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro. Make sure you visit inside because that’s where it gets truly spectacular!
Looking for other fun things to do in Podgorica? Visit Old Town, Clock Tower, Nemanjin Grad, Dvorac Petrovića, Il Ravenite Lounge Bar, and Sky Bar in Hilton.
Visit the most underrated town of Kotor Bay – Herceg Novi
Since we are talking about Castel Savina, I want to introduce you to another underrated town in Montenegro. Castel Savina is located in Herceg Novi, so you can easily combine your visit with this affordable destination on the Adriatic Sea.
Stari Grad or the old town of Herceg Novi is filled with shops, restaurants, and cute old buildings. Also, it’s full of locals. Something that you can’t say about the old town of Kotor. Restaurants and accommodation in this are is probably half the price as well.
But the best part – crystal clear water and multiple beaches. Also, a lot of water activities. You can walk until Igalo which was once a health spa famed for its mineral-bearing mud.
Don’t miss Forte Mare Fortress, Belavista Square, Nikola Djurkovic Square, Savina Monastery, lunch at Risan Konoba, cakes at Gradska Kafana, and, of course, wine at Castel Savina.
Climb the peaks of Montenegro at Durmitor National Park
The northern part of Montenegro is full of mountains, but Durmitor National Park is the one that you don’t want to miss. It has 48 peaks with Bobotov Kuk on the top.
In the National park, you have endless activities – rafting, hiking, skiing, canyoning, ziplining, and let’s not forget about rock climbing. When choosing the right activity, you have to consider the weather, the amount of time that you have, and your physical abilities. However, during your trip, you can’t miss Black Lake, Tara Bridge, Tara River Canyon, and Monastery Dobrilovina.
Black Lake is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro and as you can see from this list – there are many. The hiking trail is 3 kilometers long, but it is a very easy hike (or I would say path), so it’s a great activity for families with kids. The entrance fee to National Park is 3 euros.Book your Hiking Tour to Durmitor National Park
And discover the depth of Tara Canyon
Another important attraction of Montenegro is Tara River Canyon – the deepest canyon in Europe. This is where the high peaks of Montenegro are cut in two with 1300 meters deep Tara River. Grand Canyon is only 200 meters deeper.
The best view is from the water and you will need to do some serious rafting here. Otherwise, driving around Tara River offers a lot of epic views and unforgettable sceneries. Vidikovac Kanjon Tare is a place that you must visit.
Tara Bridge is another epic place in Montenegro that you don’t want to miss. You can do some epic ziplining here!
Discover Ostrog Monastery inside the cliff
Ostrog Monastery is one of the most important sites in Montenegro and it attracts up to million visitors annually. I didn’t want to be left out and trust, you don’t want either. Ostrog Monastery consists of Lower Monastery and Upper Monastery.
Lower Monastery is a beautiful and important place to visit, while Upper Monastery will leave you speechless. Wondering why? Well, it was built inside the massive cliff back in the 17th century and it’s hard to imagine how did they do that. Seems like the church grew inside the cliff. That’s the only way how I could explain it.
Entrance is for free, but they ask you to cover your knees and shoulders when visiting Monastery. Some of the women even cover their hair. We did see some people wearing shorts and they were still allowed to enter, but please be respectful and dress accordingly. Also, make sure you visit the last floor of Upper Monastery – the view is truly breathtaking.
There is no public transport and the road up to the monastery can be scary for non-experienced drivers, so you can consider a group tour that brings you here.
Drive up to the Kotor Serpentine and see Lovćen
Lovćen is the massive dark mountain behind Kotor and Kotor Serpentine is the road that brings you up to the peak. Be prepared to stop every time when you meet another car and use the car engine to the maximum, but the views that are waiting for you at the top are unforgettable.
Lovćen is not a typical tourist attraction. It’s actually loved by locals and this could be where the name Montenegro (black mountain) was born. At the foothill, you will find Cetinje – the old capital of Montenegro.
Njegos Mausoleum is at the top of Mount Lovćen and will cost you 461 steps and 3 euros. But the peak of the mountain will make it worth the effort and money.
And once you are there, you don’t want to miss the next thing on the list. Super easy to combine these two.
Taste the local gold directly from the producer at Njeguši
You might be wondering, what is the local gold in Montenegro? It’s their smoke-dried ham or pršut. You will find this ham in every restaurant and every supermarket, but I want you to discover the place where it is made – Njeguši.
Njeguši itself is a tiny stone house village 40 minutes drive away from Kotor. On the roadside, you will find multiple sellers – not only local ham, but also cheese, honey, rakija, and some more souvenirs.
You don’t want to miss dinner or lunch at Konoba Batricevic. Family running restaurant in peaceful ambient with a view over whole Njegusi Village. You can enjoy domestic smoked ham, produced by the Batricevic family, local cheese, and a traditional drink called medovina, made from honey fermentation.
Do the paragliding over the Adriatic sea
Okay, you might be skeptical about this one, but let me tell you. I’m not the most adventurous person, yet I loved paragliding over the Adriatic sea. And the views that you get to see from the top… certainly one of the best things to do in Montenegro.
There are a lot of companies that offer paragliding over the Adriatic sea or Kotor Bay. You can choose if you want to see Budva, Sveti Stefan, Petrovac or maybe all of them.
I choose to fly over Sveti Stefan because it’s one of the most beautiful places in entire Montenegro. Also, if you read carefully, you know that not everyone can visit this island, so seeing it from the top is extra special. The price is 95 euros, but they pick you up and provide GoPro so you can document this unforgettable experience.
Let me tell you that my boyfriend is scared of heights, but once he decided to do paragliding, it wasn’t scary at all. Also, there is another person that basically does all the job, so you simply need to sit comfortably and enjoy the views. Make sure you bring running shoes, sunglasses, and some warmer clothes because it gets cold up there!
So this is the end of the article and the best 20 things to do in Montenegro. I truly hope that you can experience at least half of these activities and fall in love with Montenegro the same way that I did.
I believe this detailed Montenegro travel guide will help you make the most of your time there.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.