26 best things to do in Montenegro
Stunning highlands, pretty blonde bays, and UNESCO-listed walled cities surround the Adriatic Sea. Montenegro is a small country with a lot of natural and man-made wonders.
Its reputation as a fascinating place to travel is fast gaining a reputation once overlooked in favor of more well-known Mediterranean countries. The reason is obvious.
There are deep canyons, gushing rivers, glacial lakes, and primeval forests nestled in the mountainous hinterland, which offers adventure activities. From Perast, with its beautiful “palazzos”, in the UNESCO-protected Bay of Kotor to Tivat, a swanky marina for superyachts, the serpentine coast abounds in glistening ports.
Increased cruise ship traffic, more flights, a popular land border with Croatia, and whispers of the honeypot are attracting an influx of tourists. With a growing list of luxury hotels, including the highly anticipated Chedi, and new high-end international restaurants, including Nobu, the city is buzzing
An Adriatic must-see destination, Montenegro is emerging, and we are showing you amazing places and the best things to do in Montenegro.
Table of contents
Here are the 26 best things to do in Montenegro
Kotor's Old Town offers spectacular views.
The Old Town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum. There are crumbling churches, Venetian-style architecture, and palazzos of wealthy seamen in the rabbit warren Old Town.
The Maritime Museum of Montenegro in Kotor, one of the most comprehensive museums on the Adriatic coast, illustrates the region's proud seafaring history. Ancient relics bring to life the beauty of Kotor, which is inhabited by locals and where visitors can still enjoy its offerings.
Taking a steady ascent of 1,200 meters up the 14th-century town walls rewards visitors with a fjord-like view of Boka Bay, which extends deep into the Bay of Kotor.
A trip to the coast wouldn't be complete without sampling the traditional cuisine of Boka Bay. Seating the waterfront restaurants, eating seafood, traditional sweets and monkfish dishes washed down with Vranac Montenegro wine.
Budva is a stunning coastal town in Montenegro.
The most-visited destination in Montenegro offers beaches, glitz, and history in equal measure. There is pulsating nightlife and shiny superyachts on the Budva Riviera. During the day, the beaches are glamorous.
“Stari Grad”, a waterfront stone old town where marble streets and Venetian walls jut into crystalline waters, is home to ancient history. It is impossible not to be enchanted by the views from the “Citadela”, whether by day or at night.
A stroll through Budva Museum, the town walls, churches, and the Museum of Modern Art gives one a sense of place.
If you are in shape, you should visit Krapina, a hidden nature oasis that is unknown to even many locals. Pojata makes an excellent lunch stop.
3. Herceg Novi
Herceg Novi is a magnificent coastal town with a rich history and interesting architecture. Montenegro's crowning glory, the Bay of Kotor, is guarded by this fortified city. Cafes, restaurants, and bars bring new life to Stari Grad's enchanting churches and ancient fortresses.
At the pebble bay, swimmers will delight in the pristine waters. The 300-meter Zanjic beach is surrounded by olive groves, while Uvala Veslo is for adventurers looking for cliff jumps and strong currents.
In Rose village hamlet, at the tip of the peninsula, there are a handful of authentic summer al fresco dining options with spectacular views.
4. Lake Skadar
You know it's going to be impressive when a lake is shaped like a dolphin.
Skadar Lake, a Montenegrin highlight and the largest freshwater lake in the Balkans, is less-known and lies on the border of Montenegro and Albania. With rolling green Karst mountains, floral fields, and lily-covered lakeshores, Montenegro's former summer residence is a wildlife wilderness and birder's paradise.
Between one and six hours are required for boat tours through the wetlands, taking in island monasteries, traditional fishing villages, fortresses, ancient monuments, and hidden beaches. A total of 260 species of birds, 50 species of fish, and three types of snakes live within the park.
Discover the battleground that was Skadar Lake during the 13th-century Turkish invasion by visiting the lakeside villages. With mosques and bilingual residents, several villages have a strong Albanian influence.Learn more
about National parks in Montenegro.
5. Tara Canyon
White-water rafting on the river is a must for thrill-seekers visiting Montenegro, and one of the top things to do in Montenegro.
A 150 meter-high bridge on the Tara River is widely known as one of the most beautiful in the world. Clad in dense pine forests and clear lakes, the 82-kilometer canyon is one of the world's deepest and largest, splicing the mountains of Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Celebrated whitewater rafting, jeep safaris, canyoning, and zip-lining satisfy the adrenaline junkies, but for those wanting a bird's eye view, head up Mount Ćurevac.
Rafting the Tara Canyon is a famed activity. Various levels and durations make it open to most. Rafting Montenegro offers a huge variety of tours at various adventure and price levels. Choose a reputed operator for safety.
6. Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park -- formed by glaciers -- is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and perfect for mountain biking.
Created by glaciers and crisscrossed by underground streams and rivers, the Durmitor National Park limestone massif spans 39,000 acres across north-western Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Switchbacks and hairpin bends make an exhilarating drive, past glacial lakes and rocky outcrops, including the tallest peak in Montenegro, Bobotov Kuk at 2,523 meters. This segment of the Dinaric Alps is embodied by captivating peaks, protected forests sheltering bears, and glacial lakes embedded in the Tara River Basin Biosphere Reserve.
Eighteen glacial lakes are known as "mountain eyes" bejewel the land, of which Black Lake is the largest. National park Durmitor also houses 12 to 16th-century Stecci; elaborately decorated carved tombstones and blocks.
Take passports along, as drivers can cross borders. Trekking, mountaineering, affordable Alpine and Nordic skiing, fishing, and camping are great ways to experience Durmitor.
7. Njegos Mausoleum
Climb the 461 stairs to the top of the Mausoleum and admire the sweeping views of Montenegro.
Extreme altitudes and two distinct climatic zones, Mediterranean and Continental, make Lovcen National Park a rugged and craggy landscape.
Located in the rocky Dinara Alps, on the second-highest peak 1,675 meters above sea level, national park Lovcen is home to the mausoleum of former Montenegrin ruler Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. Housed in a marble chapel, up 461 steps, is a winged granite eagle bearing his remains.
Local cheeses and smoked hams made the local way are available in nearby Njegusi village, the birthplace of the Petrovic dynasty.
8. Ostrog Monastery
Ostrog Monastery, carved into a sheer vertical cliff, is a sacred pilgrimage spot for Orthodox Christians and people of all faiths. The rolling Zeta valley surrounds incredible architecture in its most stunning form.
With walls covered with antique painted frescoes, the monastery was founded in the 1600s by the Bishop of Herzegovina Vasilije, whose remains are enshrined in the upper cave church. Two magnificent churches are housed in the ancient upper monastery, which is widely considered a miracle.
For summer visitors who wish to stay overnight, the lower monastery has bunks, mats, and blankets.
Behind the monastery is a natural spring that provides refreshing water. To enter the shrine, modest clothing is required.
Day trips from the most popular spots in Montenegro are available here for around €30 per person.
9. Sveti Stefan
Global magazine covers feature Sveti Stefan island. There is a tangle of red-roofed whitewashed stone villas suspended above turquoise water, linked by a jetty to a pink-sand beach.
Celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren often visited the island in the 1960s and 1980s.
Originally a fishing village, the walled island served as a haven for families in the 1400s fleeing invasions by Turks and pirates. Numerous ancient inscriptions and churches dot the island.
Currently owned by the exclusive Aman resorts, the island is only accessible to paying guests, but a reservation at the on-site Nobu restaurant is a good way to explore it. There are seven beaches of coarse flame sand near Crvena Glavica, where clothing is not required.
Perast is a beautiful town, among the most popular things to see in Montenegro. It boasts a photogenic wonderland of palazzos that is exquisite from every angle.
Its highlights float offshore, where two picturesque island churches take center stage. There are regular boat trips from Perast.
Hotel Conte offers luxurious accommodations on the Bay of Kotor and authentic waterfront property. Fresh seafood from the Adriatic is served on the terrace.
11. Island Churches near Perast
A panoramic view of the Bay of Kotor shows two dazzling islands just off the coast of Perast. Off the coast of Perast are these picturesque churches. Photogenic views include the 9th-century Benedictine abbey of Sveti Djordje or St. George, clad in cypress trees, and the 15th-century Our Lady of the Rocks church.
Locals are thought to have built the church by placing stones near a rock apparition of the Madonna and Child. The narrow 1630 church is decorated inside with paintings, silver motives, and a hair-woven image of Madonna and Child. Visitors can get up close by taking regular boat trips.
Visit the island during the annual Fasinada festival, in July, to witness hundreds of rowboats symbolically building the foundations followed by a vibrant sailing regatta.
Ulcinj, near the Albanian border, provides a unique Eastern feel due to its former Ottoman control. After the fall of the Ottoman navy, Ulcinj became a notorious pirate lair. In today's town, you'll find mosques, minarets, and a prominent nudist beach.
Former lighthouse Sailor's Mosque offers stunning views of the town.
In the Old Town, you can see Arabic inscriptions, Turkish baths, and a clock tower, all demonstrating the comingling of East and West.
Offshore lies a world of wonders. Among the ancient shipwrecks brought down during the centuries-long pirate, the boom is deep-sea fishing and diving activities.
13. Biogradska Gora National Park
Montenegro's coastline sees much of the action, but Biogradska Gora, the smallest of the National parks in Montenegro, is one of only a handful of European primal forests.
There are vast expanses of jungle, centuries-old trees, soaring glacial lakes, tall mountains, and wildlife in this inland park. A highlight of the area is Lake Biograd, shrouded in foliage and with still waters that reflect the greenery and rugged landscape.
The most popular activities include mountaineering, skiing, camping, trekking, hiking, snowshoeing, and mountain biking.
While you can drive through the national park, well-marked hiking trails begin at Biograd Lake. It is possible to camp here, and there are accommodation huts available for those who wish to stay and explore.Learn more
about the best panoramic roads in Montenegro.
The Royal Capital of Montenegro charms with its authenticity. From the coast of Budva, you can drive into the former royal capital and cradle of Montenegrin culture, built in the 15th century.
Cetinje is historical glory without the flash, oozing heritage reminiscent of its heyday. Walking tours are the best way to explore this compact center. It contains the relics of St Peter of Cetinje, a bishop credited with defending the country against its enemies.
There are many museums to see, such as the National Museum, Blue Palace, the current residence of the President, the stone Vlach church, the royal theater, and notable foreign embassies.
The Lipa Cave is located four kilometers from Cetinje and offers a wide range of activities, from a short, easy outing to an adventurous, arduous adventure.
15. Lustica Bay
There is a brand new town being built on the coast of Montenegro. Located on the Lustica peninsula in the northwestern bay of Traste, it sits on the emerald Adriatic Sea, backed by jade mountains.
Sunny skies, olive groves, crystalline waters, and forested hills give it an island feel, but it is close to three airports.
There will be over a thousand homes, villas, and townhouses, two marinas, seven hotels, a championship golf course, and a host of recreational and medical facilities in the town.
It is one of the largest five-star luxury hotels in Boka Bay and is a member of the Asia and the Far East established hotel chain, synonymous with chic, luxurious, design-led style.
Located at the entrance to Boka Bay, the One & Only Portonovi is a haven of nature and luxury with a pool that extends into the Adriatic.
Private jet airports and a marina in the area attract luxury travelers.
Montenegro's capital city, Podgorica, is home to the Millennium Bridge, an attractive landmark.
The ancient city overlooks the confluence of the rivers Morača and Ribnica. From glitzy new shopping centers to Ottoman curios, the capital city of Montenegro is a jumble of architecture and unsubtle buildings.
In Stara Varos, you will find hints of Turkey's buzzing past and the Ottoman heartland. Mosques still stand. Featuring a large dome and imposing gold crosses, the new Orthodox cathedral stands out against the skyline.
17. Niagara Falls near Podgorica
Niagara Falls (or Nijagarini vodopad) is an easy day trip from Podgorica and is just 10 minutes by car or taxi from the city. In summer, visitors swim in the natural pool of the river Cijevna.
18. Ancient town Duklja
Duklja (Doclea) is an ancient town in Podgorica that is worth a visit if you're in town.
It is located in the urbanized area of Podgorica, between the river Zeta, Moraca, and the stream Siralija, the remains of the ancient city of Duklja, the most prominent urban center in Montenegro during Roman rule. Additionally, the banks of these rivers served as natural barriers and as borders for the settlement's territorial expansion.
19. Porto Montenegro
The Porto Montenegro in Tivat is a glamorous port that attracts yachts from all over the world, unlike the French Riviera.
Compared with the ancient fishing villages in the Bay of Kotor, the youngest kid on the tourist scene stands out.
Tivat, located on a sunny peninsula at the foot of Mount Vrmac, was once a center of salt production in the region and a strategic naval base. With its new superyacht marina, it is experiencing a jet-set lifestyle renaissance, as it hosts an international airport.
As a result of the massive redevelopment of the old naval base and shipyard, Porto Montenegro is a burgeoning tourism hub, attracting foreign investment and the international nautical community.
There is no way to miss the regal Regent Porto Montenegro hotel, an elegant boutique hotel located at the marina's most strategic corner.
Visit the Naval Heritage Collection museum, followed by a coffee and cake break. The Regent Spa is an unadulterated retreat on the harbor, while the cuisine is of international repute.
20. Sveti Nikola
Sveti Nikola, Montenegro's largest island, is an island languishing in the sunshine of the Adriatic Sea.
Only deer live there permanently, making it a perfect getaway in the summer for locals and tourists who cross by boat from Budva.
It's called Hawaii locally and Skolj, from Italian work “scoglio”. The beaches aren't sandy. However, the waters are warm and the rocky shores are beautiful. For a 10 minute crossing, a water taxi from Budva costs about €5 return per person.
21. Blue Grotto Cave on Lustica Peninsula
Its name comes from the blue tone of light that reflects off the waters when it hits them. The blue waters are quite magical to be in. During the summer months, Blue Grotto is often on cruise ship itineraries.
The best time to visit is the off-peak time when you can grab an oar and go kayaking into the nine-meter high cave without the throngs of tourists.
22. Hike Mount Orjen
The Dinaric range of limestone straddles Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina and is the highest mountain along the Adriatic coast. It is a haven for skiers in winter and hikers in summer, with a range of trails and activities.
There are mountain huts in Herceg Novi with information on trails and accommodations. From Mount Orjen to Bar, the Coastal Mountain Traversal trail spans 180 kilometers. Lots of tour companies offer assistance with guides and routing.
A hike through the sea of stone is filled with deep caves. Certain regions require a guide to ensure safety and explore hidden parts of geology.
23. Ada Bojana
Ada is a place where visitors fall in love at first sight. Not close to the most popular cities, it is surrounded by nature and adorned with Mediterranean plants.
The island has a triangular shape, covering 5.4 km2. In the 19th century, a ship called the Merito got stranded on the island, and river sediment accumulation sculpted this little paradise.
A nudist resort with a beautiful beach and unique scenery, Ada is the jewel of Montenegro's tourism. On two sides, the river Bojana hides the resort from curious eyes, and on the third side, the river Ada surrounds the resort with the cleanest seawater you've ever seen.
24. Kitesurfing in Ulcinj
Velika Plaza (Long Beach) is the best place to kitesurf in Ulcinj and Montenengro. It is located 14 km south of the Old Town of Ulcinj. Thermal wind systems make kitesurfing ideal from May to September.
You can stand on the shore for most of it, as it is entirely sanded, with no rocks or riffs. There is also constant, onshore wind.
25. Old Town Bar
Old Bar was once much closer to the shore. Because of frequent pirate attacks, the population had to move inland, so today it is almost 5 kilometers from the coast.
You will see an old city gate from the XI century when you visit that part of the Bar. In front of the gate lies the Citadela, an exclusively defensive structure. Since part of the Old Bar was annexed in the Venetian era during the XV century, and the first half of the XVI century, numerous monuments authentically depict that period.Read an in-depth guide about Old Town Bar.
26. Drive the most scenic highway in Europe
One of the last countries in Europe to get a motorway is Montenegro.
The A1 highway is one of the most scenic and spectacular in the world. Its numerous bridges and tunnels make it an ideal location for the filming of the newest Fast and Furious movie. If you are interested in driving a rental car in Montenegro
on the motorway, we will be glad to assist you with booking.
The highest bridge is the Moracica bridge, with a height of 175 meters.
A motorway connects Podgorica with Kolasin.