17 Best Things to do in Montenegro
Although it’s one of the smallest countries in Southeast Europe, Montenegro is a diverse nation full of natural wonder. From the sun-soaked beaches and lakes to the jagged mountains and canyons, the landscape is nothing short of breathtaking.
Over the last few decades, Montenegro has emerged as one of the most popular destinations in the Balkans. Besides the picturesque surroundings, the country is also teeming with charming medieval towns and swanky port-side cities that are guaranteed to enchant all types of travelers. Whether you’re trekking through the national parks or exploring the old walled cities along the coast, there is no shortage of great things to do in Montenegro.
17. Porto Montenegro
If you want to indulge in a bit of luxury during your trip, then head to the beautiful Porto Montenegro. Situated by the Bay of Kotor, this resort-town is filled with high-end shops, gourmet restaurants, and of course, extravagant mega-yachts. In fact, many people consider Porto Montenegro to be a mini-Monaco!
But even if you aren’t part of the rich or affluent, there are still plenty of things to see and do during your visit. Spend the afternoon strolling along the boardwalk or listening to live music at one of the seafront restaurants or bars.
16. Becici Beach
As one of the crown jewels of Montenegro, Becici Beach is a relaxing slice of paradise next to the towns of Budva and Zavala. With the lush mountains as your background, you could easily spend the entire day lounging in the sun and admiring the picture-perfect view.
Swim in the refreshing waters or spend a few hours jet-skiing and parasailing. There are also plenty of sunbeds and parasols if you would rather work on your tan. And if you need something to eat, you’ll find tons of cafes, restaurants, and bars lining the beach.
15. Biogradska Gora National Park
The untouched landscape of Biogradska Gora National Park is a must-see attraction during your trip to Montenegro. The park is one of the three last remaining virgin rainforests in all of Europe and is home to an abundance of plants, trees, and animals.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Biogradska Gora National Park. You can trek up the Bjelasica mountain, rent a boat on Lake Biograd, or take a jeep safari through the 500-year-old forests. No matter what you do, you’ll be amazed by the sheer beauty of the landscape in Biogradska Gora National Park.
14. Stari Bar
Step back in time by visiting the ruins of Stari Bar. Located in the southeast of Montenegro, Stari Bar has seen its fair share of desolation over the last few centuries. It’s been occupied by the Venetians, the Serbians, and even the Hungarians.
Although there is still a small population that lives in the old city, most of Stari Bar lies in rubble. It’s worth spending a few hours exploring the stone fortress of this once-abandoned mountainous village.
13. Castle Of San Giovanni
The sweeping views from the top of the Castle of San Giovanni are some of the most picturesque in all of Montenegro. Dating back to the 6th century, this fortress was built by the Roman Emperor Justinian the Great as a way to protect the city from potential threats. Since then, it’s remained a popular tourist destination for travelers visiting the town of Kotor.
It’s a steep ascent up hundreds of steps to the top of the castle, which is perched on top of a 900-foot mountain. But from the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Lovccen mountains and neighboring Kotor Bay.
12. Herceg Novi
Considered one of the earliest settlements along the Adriatic, Herceg Novi has been influenced by a variety of countries and cultures. After being occupied by the Roman Empire, it was taken over by the Serbians, Bosnians, Turks, Venetians, and even the French. It’s now a premier holiday destination for visitors and locals alike.
If you’re interested in outdoor activities, you’ll have no problem finding something that sparks your interest in Herceg Novi. Kayak along the Herceg Novi marina, trek up the Savina Monastery or explore the beaches on the Luštica Peninsula.
11. Crno Lake
The majestic Crno Lake is considered the gem of Montenegro by many visitors. Known in English as Black Lake, Crno Lake is nestled at the foot of Mount Durmitor near the town of Žabljak. It’s the largest glacier lake in the Durmitor area and is teeming with activities throughout the year.
You can take a leisurely walk along the two-mile path that encircles the lake. During the summer, Crno Lake is also a popular place for swimming and picnic-goers; however, you’ll be able to marvel at the stunning landscape no matter what month you choose to visit.
10. Lake Skadar
As the largest lake in the Balkans, Lake Skadar sprawls across both the Montenegrin and Albanian borders. This long, snake-shaped lake flows through lush valleys, steep mountains, and even around floating islands.
It’s also one of the country’s biggest nesting grounds for birds. There are over 280 different species that call Lake Skadar home, including the Dalmatian pelican, the glossy ibis, and the great crested grebe. The best time for bird watching is from late spring to autumn; however, you’ll still be able to enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities at any time of the year.
9. Njegoš Mausoleum
Perched atop the Lovcen mountain is the Njegoš Mausoleum. It houses the remains of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, who was the prince bishop of Montenegro and also a widely regarded poet and philosopher.
Although the walk up the 461 steps can be tiring, the view from the second-highest peak in Montenegro is worth the effort. Take a peek inside his giant granite tomb, or admire the sweeping panoramic views of the countryside.
8. Ostrog Monastery
The Ostrog Monastery is possibly one of the most unique places to visit in Montenegro. This Serbian Orthodox church was built almost vertically against the side of a giant rock. Not only is it a working church and monastery, but it’s also one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in the entire country.
The monastery consists of an upper and lower area. If you do choose to make your way to Ostrog Monastery, it’s tradition to walk to the upper monastery barefoot and donate clothes, blankets, or soap before entering the church.
7. Sveti Stefan
You’ve probably seen photos of Sveti Stefan plastered all over your Instagram feed. This charming islet is actually a five-star resort, situated in the middle of the Adriatic coast several miles south of Budva. Even if you don’t have the cash to splurge on one of their 50 rooms or cottages, you can still marvel at Sveti Stefan from the main highway. You can also join a tour or rent a private boat to see the islet up close and personal.
The bright orange rooves of the resort surrounded by the shimmering blue waters are arguably some of the most iconic symbols of Montenegro. You’ll want to soak in the picturesque views for as long as possible.
Despite its small size, Perast continues to amazed visitors with its spectacular monuments and buildings. Although there is only one main road and 300 residents, Perast has 16 churches and 17 grand palazzi.
As you walk along the water, don’t miss a visit to St. Nicholas’ Church, which is surrounded by lush palm trees and historic iron busts. If you’re eager to get out on the water, you can also take boat trips to the neighboring islands of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks.
Although it’s no longer considered the capital of Montenegro, Cetinje is still bursting with life and culture. Wherever you go, you’ll find a mix of urban architecture juxtaposed against the city’s rich 500-year heritage. It also happens to be the official residence of the President of Montenegro.
History buffs should stop by the Vlaska Church, which is known for its fence made out of captured enemy rifles from the mid-1400s. If you’re more into outdoor activities, you can head to the Lipa Cae – one of the biggest underground caves in the country. Don’t forget to check out one of Cetinje’s famous cultural institutions, like the Central National Library, the National Museum of Montenegro, or the Zetski Dom Montenegrin Royal National Theater.
4. Bay of Kotor
No trip to Montenegro would be complete without a visit to the Bay of Kotor. Dotted with majestic medieval towns and bright blue waters, it’s one of the most scenic locations in Montenegro. Some popular stops along the bay include Risan, Kotor, Perast, and Herceg Novi. Within these charming cities, you’ll find fantastic eateries, century-old churches, and best of all, unparalleled views from every angle.
If you want to cram the most into your visit to the Bay of Kotor, then spend the day driving around the 17-mile long shoreline. Besides visiting the towns, you’ll also get to see the Dinaric Alps, the Lovcen mountains, and the Bay of Tivat. With the windows rolled down and the wind blowing through your hair, you’ll get an authentic taste of Montenegrin life.
3. Tara River Canyon
As one of the largest canyons in Europe, Tara River Canyon should not be missed during your trip to Montenegro. It’s part of Dumitor National Park, one of the main spots in the country for outdoor adventure. You could easily spend your entire visit exploring the canyon, which is comprised of lush valleys, flowing rivers, and dozens of underground caves.
Adventure seekers shouldn’t miss a white-water rafting trip through the canyon. Not only will it be exciting to cruise down the river at top speed, but you’ll also have stunning views of the steep canyon walls.
2. Stari Grad in Budva
Located on a peninsula in the heart of Budva, Stari Grad is an old walled city filled with winding alleys, outdoor cafes and restaurants, and boutique shops. Dating back over 2,500 years, it’s also one oldest preserved villages in the country.
For a bird’s eye view of the area, take a stroll along the city walls. As you walk along the edge, you’ll have spectacular views of the mountains and sea.
1. Kotor Old City
Thanks to its medieval architecture and picturesque squares and alleys, the Old City of Kotor is one of the most popular places to visit in Montenegro. Many of the buildings are from the Venetian empire, which reigned over Montenegro for almost 400 years.
Don’t miss a visit to the Cathedral of Sveti Tirpun, Church of Sveti Luka, and the Church of Sveta Marija, all of which were built in the 12th century. You can also stop by the Trg od oruzja, the biggest square in Kotor and the main gathering spot in the town. Grab a cup of coffee or simply while away the afternoon watching the locals.