Since achieving its independence in 2006, this young country has experienced immense evolution, becoming a key holiday destination in Europe as well as enjoying a fantastic architectural boom, ensuring anyone heading on Montenegro holidays will be met with immense excitement. The offerings of the country are diverse, spanning immense cultural and historical sites and the gorgeous and expansive stretches of idyllic coastline, ensuring all manner of holidaymakers are compelled by a trip to this Balkan gem.
Sat beside Croatia, its popular and well-renowned cousin, Montenegro benefits from the same beauty and coastal allure, yet with a lesser influx of holidaymakers, resulting in a more sedate and authentic experience during your holidays to Montenegro. Whether you arrive as a culture vulture in search of historical Balkan gems, or as a beach bum looking to top up your tan, you’ll leave greatly rewarded from your time in this forward-thinking paradise.
Top resorts in Montenegro
Budva from £140 pp
At a glance
- Language: Montenegrin
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 50m
When to go
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Perhaps ranking among the top things to do in Montenegro is taking a trip around the towns to absorb all of the natural and cultural beauty that is omnipresent in this wonderfully charming country along the coast. Choosing a base from which to do so is important and the UNESCO town of Kotor and the old settlement of Perast are infinitely full of character and perfect for the task in hand. Parading the numerous fortified walls, Kampana Tower and the looming castle in Kotor are great ways to start your holidays here, but with national parks and stunning mountainous terrain to juxtapose the medieval monuments you won’t be left without something to view or peruse during your stay.
Wine and Dine
When it comes to what to do in Montenegro, the plethora of activities is phenomenal, although with so much to do you’ll undoubtedly be needing to stop off in a restaurant or two to fuel your escapades during your stay. Budva is by the sea and the cuisine includes much of what you would expect, fish dishes taking precedence in Konoba Stari Grad, but with a Mediterranean elegance you will only find in the Balkan states. Elsewhere you will be able to further immerse yourself in the culture by mainly eating at restaurants where Mediterranean dishes are the norm, Perla for example is a hip lounge-type eatery where you can gorge on a variety of colourful and vibrant dishes, truly capturing the Mediterranean essence you’ll surely come to love. Cocktail bars and wineries also splash the scene with alcoholic allure – there being no better way to do it than in an open air bar while the sun sets over the horizon.
Montenegro is an excellent place for families, being small and accessible and full of activities for children. Stay in Lake Skadar so that you are in a position where you don’t need to travel to get to the action. Here you will be well placed for water activities or walks in the mountains. There are lots of easy walks into the mountains for amazing views and places to have a picnic. There are plenty of places to jump in mountain lakes or waterfalls and have a wild swim as well. If you are feeling really adventurous, take the children white water rafting on the Tara River.
Action and Adventure
A trip to Montenegro wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the national parks that decorate the country, Lovcen National Park being a particular highlight which not only bases itself around Mount Lovcen, but also hosts Njegos Mausoleum, a marble cavity built into the mountain. Searching for the top Montenegro attractions will most likely take you towards Tivat, home to a luxury yacht marina which is currently under development to provide more water-based activities; Tivat will allow you to take boat tours of the picturesque surroundings as well as giving scope for walking around Flower Island. If that’s not enough for you, you can always partake in cycling tours, kayaking and hiking – ideal ways to take in the wonderful scenery and increase the adrenaline rush.
Life's a Beach
The immense coastline stretching along the deep blue of the Adriatic Sea, this is the overriding image of Montenegro, sprawling beaches of sand backed by dramatic mountains or architecturally-striking old towns – the coast is a haven for those hunting for the best of both worlds during their time in Montenegro. Head toBar to experience some wonderful coastal indulgence while on your Montenegro holidays, enjoyed both on the sand and within the vibrant beachfront dining and drinking scene discovered in the town. 4km back from the coast is the old town of Bar, home to an immense set of landmarks and towering buildings, as well as, apparently, the world’s oldest olive tree.
Budva is another famed destination for those seeking the joys of the Adriatic, with some stunning beach resorts and coastal towns lining this coastline, including the breath-taking vistas of the island at Sveti Stefan and the coastal tourist resort of Becici, recognised for its laid-back atmosphere and 2km-long beach. Those inclined to explore culture and history during their holidays in Montenegro would do well in a visit to Kotor, boasting an incredible UNESCO old town, home to palaces, churches and ancient walls, while the capital city, Podgorica, is also known for its mesmerising old town, full of beautiful mosques and an imposing clock tower – providing some great respite from the coast, if you can draw yourself away from it for long enough.
If you’re looking to experience the vibrant nightlife Montenegro has to offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice with traditional pubs and more modern clubs. Bar is a good spot if you’re looking for something more social and laidback, Hollywood Caffe Bar being the place to go here. For something livelier, head to Kotor where you will find a wealth of clubs pumping out dance tunes and house music throughout the night, Maximus having a capacity of around 3,000, this is the ultimate party scene in Montenegro, whereas Scaramanga in Tivat has an exclusive feel which will tempt those wanting to find luxury amid the neon lights attractions in Montenegro.
The outstanding natural setting is ideal for a romantic break away with the loved one, whether you fancy sipping a cocktail on a cruise across the inimitable and beautiful Lake Skadar, trekking up the seemingly thousands of steps around the country to catch the best views of the blissful sunset or sitting down for a candle-lit meal in one of the many luxurious Mediterranean restaurants, gorging on delicacies from the finest chefs – Montenegro is for you. Among the many things to do in Montenegro, hiring a car between the two of you to explore the natural wonders which decorate the tantalising towns is a must, and with Montenegro being a cultural captivation you’ll find each town simply breathtaking.
When it comes to culture, Montenegro has it in abundance and with historical icons and artefacts as well as beautiful views; Montenegro is perfect for the backpackers among you. Beyond the Bay of Kotor and other visual attractions found in the numerous national parks, Cetinje, the country’s former capital, is an absolute goldmine of cultural appeal. Over the mountain range you will spy a quaint town where you can visit King Nikola’s Palace – now a museum this splendid show of opulence is the pride and joy of the town, while the square is full of churches and museums to saturate your findings in this hidden gem. When it comes to what to do in Montenegro, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place where you’re not engulfed by the intriguing culture.