Planning a Montenegro Itinerary: Best Places to Visit in Montenegro

 

Montenegro is a little country that packs a lot of punch. It’s slowly growing in popularity and becoming the new hot destination as its bigger neighbour Croatia becomes overcrowded and expensive. But for now, Montenegro retains its charm and offers visitors a huge variety of attractions to pack into their Montenegro itinerary.

 Explore the amazing nature in Montenegro. You have to put some of the great hikes in the Durmitor National Park into your Montenegro itinerary! 

Explore the amazing nature in Montenegro. You have to put some of the great hikes in the Durmitor National Park into your Montenegro itinerary! 

From hiking in the mountains to swimming through crystal clear waters and wandering ancient towns, there are so many beautiful places to visit in Montenegro and it is all so close together you can easily explore a few different areas within a week.

Here is an overview of the best places to visit in Montenegro so that you can use your time effectively and plan the ultimate Montenegro itinerary that includes all the amazing things this tiny country has to offer.

 

Basic Info for Montenegro

Population: 620,00

Currency: Euro

Visa: European, Australian, NZ, USA, Canada and many other nationalities can enter Montenegro visa-free for 90 days

Capital City: Podgorica

Language: Montenegrin (similar to Serbo-Croatian). English is widely spoken in tourist areas. 

 

Transport in Montenegro

Having your own vehicle is the best way to travel Montenegro. It gives you the freedom to travel at times that suit you and allows you to see a lot of things in a short time. The roads are mostly good although other drivers can be the main hazard, I would recommend avoiding driving at night.

Read: A Complete Guide to Driving in the Balkans

 One of the great valleys near the Durmitor National Park. Definitely a must-see place during your trip to Montenegro. 

One of the great valleys near the Durmitor National Park. Definitely a must-see place during your trip to Montenegro. 

Buses are the easiest way to get around if you don’t have your own transport. Especially during the summer months, buses run frequently between most desirable destinations and are clean and comfortable. You can find timetables online but it might be safer to book tickets a day in advance from the bus station to be sure of timings.

Hitchhiking would be possible through most of Montenegro and locals are very friendly. There are also plenty of road tripping Europeans over the summer months. Short distances make it easy to reach your next destination with minimal rides.

How long to spend in Montenegro

Montenegro is small. If you have your own transport, one week is sufficient to see a variety of parts of the country. If you're using public transport you might fit a little less in but the bus services will take you between the a few main points. If you only have one week I would recommend stopping at a few towns along the coast before staying in Kotor then heading north to the Durmitor National Park. 

If you have a bit longer then two weeks in Montenegro is a perfect amount of time to see coast, mountains and towns, do some activities and not rush between places. 

Read: Planning a Balkan Road Trip

 

Best places to visit in Montenegro – The North

Zabljak and the Black Lake

Recommended time: 2-3 days

 Montenegro's amazing nature is one of the main attractions in this amazing country and should definitely be in your Montenegro itinerary! 

Montenegro's amazing nature is one of the main attractions in this amazing country and should definitely be in your Montenegro itinerary! 

The jewel of northern Montenegro is the Durmitor National Park. A stunning area with opportunities for all kinds of adventure activities, hiking and camping. A good base is Zabljak,  the main town within the park. From there you can walk to the beautiful Black Lake and further on to the smaller Snake Lake. Keen hikers can head up Bobotov Kuk or check out a number of other day hikes in the area. This is also a popular base for whitewater rafting down the spectacular Tara canyon.

Check out accommodation options in Zubljak here.

 

Nevidio

Recommended time: 1 day

 Canyoning in the Nevidio canyon. One of the best places to visit in Montenegro. 

Canyoning in the Nevidio canyon. One of the best places to visit in Montenegro. 

Located on the outskirts of Durmitor National Park this area has some adorable hut accommodation known as Etno Selo and is the starting point for a canyoning trip down Nevidio Canyon.  A full day tour costs around 100 EUR per person including lunch. There is also a lake which you can swim in and some trails for walking. If you’re travelling by van the end of this road is a picturesque camping spot with no one else in sight.

Check out the cute little huts at Ethno Village Nevidio

 

Best Places to Visit in Montenegro – The Centre

 

Niksic

Recommended time: 1 day

Niksic is a small city right in the middle of Montenegro. It is well located for a stop on your way from the coast to the mountains. The town centre is pedestrianised and the streets are lined with lots of cute cafes and restaurants. Niksic is nice to wander for a day but you don’t really need any longer. It’s also possible to factor it in as a lunch break when passing through as the country is so small it can be crossed in a day’s driving.

 

Podgorica

Recommended time: 1-2 days

 Montenegro's capital Podgorica. Places to visit in Montenegro. 

Montenegro's capital Podgorica. Places to visit in Montenegro. 

Montenegro’s capital has been called uninspiring and ugly so we skipped it. Although for many people this will the start or end point of your Montenegro trip. There are a few things to do in Podgorica so maybe factor in a day or two to explore but if it means cutting your time short in other parts of the country I wouldn’t prioritse it.

Check out accommodation options in Podgorica

 

Ostrog Monastery

Recommended time: day trip

 Ostrog Monastery is one of the most impressive monasteries in Montenegro. If you are interested in monasteries you should put this one on your Montenegro itinerary. 

Ostrog Monastery is one of the most impressive monasteries in Montenegro. If you are interested in monasteries you should put this one on your Montenegro itinerary. 

This is a very impressive monastery that can be reached with your own vehicle or as a day trip from Podgorica. The monastery dates back to the 17th century and is built into a cliff face. There are not a lot of accommodation options nearby so it is best to visit during the day and stay in Podgorica or continue your journey north or south for the night. 

 

Lake Skadar

Recommended time: 1-2 days

 Lake Skadar is a beautiful Lake at the border to Albania. You shouldn't miss this place in your two-week itinerary in Montenegro. 

Lake Skadar is a beautiful Lake at the border to Albania. You shouldn't miss this place in your two-week itinerary in Montenegro. 

Lake Skadar straddles the border between Montenegro and Albania and is accessible from both sides although the larger part lies in Monetengro. This vast lake area is a paradise for bird watchers and a boat trip through the wetlands of the lake provides lots of opportunities to spot all kinds of wildlife including water snakes! There are some small villages with accommodation around the lakeside as well as areas for camping. We hired kayaks to visit a small island with a monastery and watch a gorgeous sunset over the lake.

 

Best Places to Visit in Montenegro – The Coast

 

Kotor

Recommended time: 3 days (in the bay area)

 One of the must see places in Montenegro. Maybe the biggest tourist atraction in Montenegro, Kotor appeares on ervery  itinerary for Montenegro. 

One of the must see places in Montenegro. Maybe the biggest tourist atraction in Montenegro, Kotor appeares on ervery  itinerary for Montenegro. 

The jewel of the Montenegrin coastline, this has become the new hotspot of the Adriatic with cruise ships stopping in daily throughout the summer and hundreds of tourists arriving by buses and cars. But the old town retains its charm and is a beautiful place to wander, especially in the early morning before the tour groups arrive. St John Fortress above the town is a must-visit for some of the best views of the Bay of Kotor. Read our article to find out how to go there for free – Bay of Kotor on a Budget.

Check out accommodation options in Kotor here

 

Perast

 Perast is a must see place in Montenegro if you are travelling around the Bay of Kotor. 

Perast is a must see place in Montenegro if you are travelling around the Bay of Kotor. 

A little further around the Bay of Kotor is the small village of Perast. Perast is much smaller than Kotor and as a result much quieter. The town is right on the water and there are lots of nice cafes looking out over the water. In the town are a couple of churches to visit or you walk through the winding streets and find beautiful abandoned buildings and some incredible views. There are also boat tours to the little island of Sveti Dorde.

 

Budva

Recommended time: 1 day

 Budva is a lovely coastal town. Great place to visit in Montengro for some beach time. 

Budva is a lovely coastal town. Great place to visit in Montengro for some beach time. 

Budva has become hugely popular over the last few years and although it has an old town the new town area is filled with throngs of bikini clad tourists, bars and traffic. We quickly turned around after entering the town and would recommend several other area on the coast over Budva but if you’re passing through you could check out the old town.

 

Sveti Stefan

Recommended time: day trip

 Put a stay at Sveti Stefan on your Montenegro itinerary, if you can afford it! 

Put a stay at Sveti Stefan on your Montenegro itinerary, if you can afford it! 

Unless you’re a millionaire you probably won’t be stopping here for the night. But it’s popular as a day trip or to stop off at on your way along the coast. This small island is connected the mainland by a thin walkway which only the elite can walk down. On the island is an exclusive hotel which will set you back anywhere from 5000 per night. On the shore the left hand side of the walkway is a public beach where people can enjoy the clear waters in close proximity to the luxury of the private beach on the other side of the walkway. Chairs and umbrellas on this beach cost € 25 per day.

 

Ulcinj

Recommended time: 1 day

 Ulcinj could be an alternative to Budva in your Montenegro itinerary. 

Ulcinj could be an alternative to Budva in your Montenegro itinerary. 

If you’re heading into Albania (which you should) then Ulcinj will be on your way. In the summer months, as with all of the Montenegrin coast, the town becomes very busy and spending time on the main beach won’t be very fun. But the old town is lovely and if you walk along the coastline in either direction there are lots of smaller bays for swimming and relaxing including a women only beach. It’s popular to take boat rides along this stretch of coast and there are even some secret beaches to be discovered which are only accessible by boat.

Read: Albania Travel Itinerary

Montenegro is becoming more and more popular each year and it definitely lives up to its newfound reputation. Just a stone's throw from Western Europe this Balkan gem is worth every minute. So get packing!

If you're traveling further in the Balkans make sure you check out all our Balkans info and guides here. 

 

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 Your ultimate guide to planning the perfect itinerary in Montenegro. All the best places to visit in Montenegro with recommended time and accommodation options so you can build your own Montenegro itinerary. #montenegro #balkan #thebalkans #itinerary #travelitinerary #montenegroitinerary #bestplacesmontenegro