Located in Southeastern Europe is the beautiful country of Montenegro. Although it’s more popular neighbor, Croatia, maybe more frequented, it is a stunning place not to be missed if you’re traveling to the Balkans. I had the pleasure of traveling to Montenegro this summer. I started my adventure in Kotor and toured the northern side of Montenegro. Here are the top 10 things to do in Montenegro.
1. Old Town Kotor
The medieval old town of Kotor is nothing less than enchanting. With views of the bay and the mountains surrounding it’s hard not to fall in love. The town is full of restaurants, bars, churches and more. For more things to do in Kotor, check out #2-4 and #5 which is a short distance from Old Town Kotor.
2. Climb St. John’s Fortress
Hiking St. John’s Fortress isn’t a walk in the park but it isn’t Everest either. While the climb may look long it’s only about a 25-45 minute walk up to the very top, depending on your physical fitness of course. Don’t forget to take water, on a hot day at least a liter is needed. St. John’s Fortress entrance fee is €3 and you’ll pay that at either one of the two entrances. The views are spectacular so take your time and enjoy the city sights.
3. Spend the Day at the Beach
Kotor is surrounded by water so why not hit the beach? And if you’re not staying in Kotor consider any of the other beaches in Montenegro including the resort village of Sveti Stefan or the beaches in the Budva Rivera. In the summer months, the buses are packed with tons beach-goers.
4. Montenegro Boat Tour
And while you’re at the beach why not go out on the water? There are tons of boat excursions in Kotor that include transportation to Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks (read more below). And if you’re heading to one of the other popular beaches in Montenegro consider one of their boat tours as well.
5. Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks
Perast is a small town at the Bay of Kotor and located right next to Our Lady of the Rocks which is a church on a man-made island. Legend has it that years ago local seamen found a rock with a painting of Madonna and Child and laid a rock down after ever successful voyage. It eventually became an island and a church was built on it.
6. Tara River Bride Ziplining
Tara Bridge is located 172 meters above the Tara River. If you’re an adrenaline junkie you can take the long zip-line across for about €20 or enjoy the view from one the cafes. Another thing to do is to go rafting in the river!
7. Durmitor National Park
In the northern part of Montenegro lies the town of Žabljak which also is where Durmitor National Park is located. The park is made of mountains, lakes and hiking trails and in the winter is a ski resort. Black Lake is stunning and if you’re visiting during the summer it’s worth it to take a dip.
8. Drink Homemade Liqueurs and Wine
You’ll see vendors on the pathway inside Durmitor National Park and at various vending booths while visiting different towns in Montenegro. The liqueurs and wine are flavored and usually made from local fruits or honey.
9. Ostrog Monastery
Ostrog is a Serbian Orthodox monastery situated in the cliffs overlooking the Zeta Valley. It was founded by Saint Basil who’s body lies there and is said to have healing powers. Many people from varying faiths make a pilgrimage here hoping to be healed of their conditions. The monastery has survived wars and even an attempted grenade attack that hit the wall of the church but miraculously didn’t explode. You can see that same grenade when you visit!
10. Enjoy the Sunset!
Enjoy the sunset from wherever you may be in Montenegro because it’s a beautiful country and the views are insane. This is the sunset from Ostrog Monastery.
Wondering how to go about getting to Montenegro? Continue reading to find out how to get to Montenegro by plane, train or bus.
Getting to Montenegro by Air…
You can fly into Podgorica (TGD) Airport which is less than two hours away from Kotor and is the capital city of Montenegro. It’s the largest airport in Montenegro and one of two international airports. The other one being Tivat Airport (TIV) which is located only 10 minutes away from Kotor.
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Getting to Montenegro by Train…
If you’re coming from Serbia you can take the scenic 14-hour Belgrade to Bar train ride. If you want to stop in Podgorica, you would take the second to the last stop. And if you want to get to Kotor, get off at Podgorica and walk just outside the train station to the bus station and take a two-hour bus ride from Podgorica to Kotor for about 6€.
Getting to Montenegro by Bus…
From Dubrovnik, Croatia, it’s just a 2.5-hour bus ride. Other Eastern European cities such as Tirana, Albania and Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, are less than a five-hour bus ride away. I use GetByBus to check the bus schedules and purchase tickets. Pay attention to see if your ticket needs to be printed or if a mobile pass is available.
During my trip, I stayed in Kotor and took a day tour that took me to the Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks viewpoint, Tara Bridge, Durmitor National Park, and Ostrog Monastery. If you’re looking to do the same I went with 360 Monte tour company.
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Enjoy your trip to Montenegro! And if you’re looking for more inspiration check out my Montenegro Pin Board below.