With mountains, lakes, rivers and beautiful beaches, you cannot let the size of Montenegro fool you into thinking there is nothing to see (and be amazed by) when considering visiting the country. Montenegro has a population of just over 600 thousand people and only 13 thousand square kilometers, which is about the same size as Connecticut in the US, however, the country’s stunning natural beauty and diverse history make it a fascinating place to explore. Jaw-dropping scenery around every corner, remnants of vanquished kingdoms and trendy underground destinations mean this tiny country packs a mighty punch for its size. Here is a list of must-see attractions in Montenegro.
1- Sveti Stefan village
This 15th-century village with pebble beaches and crystal blue waters have been a favorite destination for tourists since the 1930s. It’s the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon swim followed by a dinner of fresh seafood while watching the sunset over the Adriatic Sea at Restaurant Adrovic Sveti Stefan.
The Venetian old town of Kotor lies on the shore of the Kotor Bay and is backed by sheer mountains. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Kotor is a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast and it is an incredible travel destination, especially for its magnificent scenery. Many of the cities, towns, and villages surrounding the bay are medieval and perfectly preserved. To top it all off, the Mediterranean climate of the city means that hiking, boating, and other outdoor activities are possible throughout the year. Macs Adventure offers great hiking tours for Kotor and other cities in Montenegro.
3- Lake Skadar
A hidden gem of Montenegro, Lake Skadar is a natural wonder crossing the National Park mountains. It is one of the largest lakes in Europe and is a sanctuary for wildlife. If you are into outdoor activities you can also hike, cycle or even swim. And if you want to replenish your energy, you can always try the locally-produced goat cheese while admiring this awesome viewpoint of the horseshoe bend of Lake Skadar. Montenegro Pulse can be a great option if you are considering a gastronomy tour!
Looking like a chunk of Venice that has floated down the Adriatic and anchored itself onto the Bay of Kotor, Perast hums with melancholy memories of the days when it was rich and powerful. Despite having only one main street, this tiny town boasts 16 churches and 17 formerly grand palazzi Its two nearby islets deserve mention in this list too, St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks are one of the most idyllic spots in the country. One nice way to visit the region is on a boat tour, going from Kotor to Perast.
Once a small and quiet coastal town, today, Budva is a metropolis of Montenegrin tourism and one of the loudest and most packed towns at the Montenegrin coast during the summer. The town museum and citadel show-off Budva’s ancient artifacts, while a five-minute walk along a seaside path leads to idyllic Mogren Beach. When the sun goes down, Budva’s bars are the place to party until the early hours. If you are more into a cafe, the Grape Cafe is highly appreciated by travelers.
6- Black Lake
The most popular part of the almost unbelievable Durmitor National Park, the Black Lake is one of 18 glacial bodies of water found within the park. It is easily accessible, although visitors can be forgiven for feeling like they should have conquered something to arrive there. The view of the mountains rising in the distance is particularly stunning. The company 360 Monte offers great day tours, including one which you can visit on the same day the Black Lake and the Ostrog Monastery (which is also on our list – keep reading!)!
7- Djurdjevica Tara Bridge
Built between 1937 and 1940, Djurdjevica Tara Bridge (or simple: Tara Bridge), represents one of the most visited attractions in Montenegro. Hundreds of buses with thousands of tourists every year come to visit this marvelous combination of nature and construction. Once the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe, it was blown up in 1942, effectively stopping the Italian advance. The rebuilt bridge towers 172 meters above the riverbed below, while the zip line across the canyon is the preferred choice for thrill-seekers. The company Tara Sports offers this option in case you are into some adventure!
Situated in the fields of Cetinje, at the base of the Lovcen mountain, Cetinje is a treasure of Montenegrin cultural and historical heritage, as it was once Montenegro’s old royal capital. The Blue Palace, Cetinje Monastery and the national museum showcase Montenegrin history and culture, while King Nikola’s Court offers a fascinating look into Montenegro’s royal past. In case you want to experience the local life, the bar Gradska Kafana is a favorite among the locals.
9- Ostrog Monastery
Set into a sheer cliff, Ostrog Monastery is one of the most important religious sites in the Balkans. Over 100,000 visitors of all faiths visit the 17th-century monastery each year, and it’s not unusual to see pilgrims making the climb to the upper monastery in bare feet or on their knees.
Looking for beaches, rocky, sandy or nude? Well, you’re in luck, because Ulcinj has them all, so if you’re there during summer, there aren’t many better options than taking a dip in the Adriatic Sea. The region is also the place to go if you’re looking for a little bit of Ottoman culture in Montenegro. The old town also offers something different to the rest of the state, showcasing the varied beauty of this remarkable country. If you’re looking for something more energetic, you must try kite-surfing through the waves on Velika Plaza. Enthusiasts come from all over the world to kite-surf by day and party by night! The town even has a Kite Surf club!
For more information, you can always check the Montenegro Tourism Association, for tips and doubts about traveling to the country.