Top 13 things to do in Montenegro

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Few countries in Europe have a variety of dramatic landscapes in such close proximity as Montenegro. A Balkan country on the Adriatic coast with antique UNESCO walled cities, rushing rivers and, spectacular mountains is undoubtedly impressive. It might be a small country overshadowed by its neighbour Croatia, but this diverse nation is a full-on natural wonder. Montenegro, one of the youngest countries in the world, was once a part of Yugoslavia. Today, this tiny country with thousands of years of history and a fjord-like canyon keeps delivering surprises and shocks. Hence, plan to be pleasantly surprised when exploring things to do in Montenegro.

what to do in Montenegro

Sunset at Durmitor National Park

 

13 Best things to do in Montenegro

Here are the top must-see attractions in Montenegro you need to visit when planning your escape to this beautiful country.

 

1. Kotor

best things to do in Montenegro: Exploring Kotor is one of the best things to do in Kotor because this town is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. What's more, Kotor's Old Town is one of the best-preserved fortified medieval towns on the Adriatic coast. It is also a UNESCO heritage site and a popular day trip from Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Kotor in Montenegro is a worthy rival to Croatia’s Dubrovnik.

Nearly every visitor begins their Montenegrin adventure in romantic Kotor. Yes, that is right, Kotor is the country’s most popular destination. If you haven’t heard of Kotor before, then you might be pleasantly surprised. This medieval town, tucked into the valley between soaring mountains, is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. You are quite right to think that medieval Kotor is the jewel of Montenegro’s coastline. For those reasons, visiting Kotor is one of the best things to do in Montenegro.

Step into a fairy-tale and explore Kotor’s Old Town. One of the reasons why Kotor is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro is a fact that this gorgeous town is one of the best-preserved fortified medieval towns on the Adriatic coast. Challenge yourself and hike up to the Castle of San Giovanni at the top of Kotor’s Old Town for breathtaking views. One thousand three hundred fifty-five steps – that is all that separates you from views across the bay and the city.

Kotor’s Old Town with Venetian-inspired architecture, crumbling churches, a maze of cobbled streets and medieval squares is, without doubt, a living museum. It is no surprise that UNESCO protects Kotor’s Old Town for future generations.

 

READ MORE ABOUT KOTOR IN MONTENEGRO:

exploring Montenegro's medieval Kotor and its top attractions

 

2. Perast in Montenegro

things to do in Montenegro: Century-old churches, medieval palaces and crumbling bell towers, and also romantic seaside restaurants make Perast one of the best things to see in Montenegro. This beautiful town is also a perfect escape from busy Kotor.

Perast overlooking two islands is a perfect escape from busy Kotor. You can find it in the middle of the Bay of Kotor.

Only 20 minutes away by bus from Kotor, you will find Perast. A quaint seaside town makes an excellent trip from Kotor. Despite its small size, mostly residential Perast has a rich naval history. Peaceful Perast might have only one main road, but it is one of the most scenic locations in Montenegro.

Century-old churches, medieval palaces and crumbling bell towers, and also romantic seaside restaurants make Perast one of the best places to visit in Montenegro. Although the town doesn’t have a beach, the stone jetties are a popular spot for sunbathers in the summer.

 

 

3. Our Lady of the Rocks

A visit to Our Lady of the Rocks, with a floating church in the middle of Kotor Bay, is one of the best things to do in Montenegro. The island offers not only beautiful views of Perast but also of the second island.

Once you have explored Perast, take a short boat ride to the nearby island. Our Lady of the Rocks might be an artificial island, but it is worth a visit. In fact, it is the top attraction in Perast.

Back in the past, the fishermen created this island where a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared. Today, the highlight of the island is an idyllic 15th century Catholic Church. For a small fee, you can take a guided tour through the church and attached museum.

St George island with the Benedictine abbey of St George and cypress trees surrounding it.

A visit to Our Lady of the Rocks, with a floating church in the middle of Kotor Bay, is one of the best things to do in Montenegro. The island offers not only beautiful views of Perast but also of the second island. It is impossible to access it, but you can still admire the Benedictine abbey of St George with cypress trees surrounding it.

 

4. Sveti Stefan

things to do in Montentegro: Exploring beautiful Sveti Stefan is one of the best things to do in Montenegro because this walled island is from the 15th century. In the past Sveti Stefan was famous as the playground of celebrities. Today Sveti Stefan is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Montengero because it has beutiful beach, world-famous hotel and is very picturesque..

Most postcards from Montenegro feature pictures of beautiful Sveti Stefan. You can find it in the middle of the Adriatic coast, several miles south of Budva. The charming island joined to the mainland by a narrow causeway is certainly picturesque. It might be famous as the playground of celebrities in the eighty years, but this unique place is from the 15th century.

places to visit in Montenegro: Sveti Stefan is one of the most popular places to visit in Montenegro. This unique 15th century wall island is now home to the luxurious hotel, but you can book a table in a restaurant to experience the island.

It is easy to see why exploring beautiful Sveti Stefan is one of the best things to do in Montenegro.

In the past, fortified Sveti Stefan protected its residents from pirates and invading Turks. Today, the walled island with white stone villas is a luxury five-star resort. If money is no object, stay at the exclusive Aman resort. Alternatively, book a table at a restaurant to experience this walled island.

Sveti Stefan Montenegro

That is right, Sveti Stefan might be off-limits for you. However, you can still spend lazy days doing nothing more than sunbathing and relaxing on a pink pebble beach overlooking the island. And if that seems too much like hard work, escape the crowds at hilltop Milocer Park and enjoy seaside views. Also, do not miss the Church St Sava and charming Praskvica Monastery.

free travel planner for your Montenegrin holiday

 

5. Piva Lake (Pivsko Jezero)

things to do in Montenegro: Exploring Piva Lake in the Piva Canyon is one of the unique things to do in Montenegro because this part of the country is famous for untouched natural beauty. Yes, that is right, Piva Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Montenegro.

The Piva River is one of the most spectacular rivers in Montenegro.

 

The Piva Canyon might not be one of the famous attractions in Montenegro, but it is certainly big on beauty. It has an abundance of mountain peaks, thick woods, valleys, and also many scenic viewpoints. Piva Canyon is located in the northwest part of the country, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Like several other areas in Montenegro, Piva Canyon is famous for its untouched natural beauty. One of the highlights is the artificial Piva Lake with deep green crystal clear waters. Even though it is man-made, Piva Lake is one of the most picturesque lakes in Montenegro. It is an excellent place for swimming, relaxing and also cruising on the lake is popular here. Therefore, Piva Lake is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro.

places to visit in Monenegro: Piva Lake in the Piva Canoyn is also one of the best places to visit in Montenegro becuase this lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Also, the are has many mountain peaks, thick woods, and many scenic viewpoints. Also, cruising on the river is a popular attraction on the Piva Lake.

Exploring Pivsko Jezero in the Piva Canyon is undoubtedly one of the unique things to do in Montenegro.

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Take a scenic road through the Piva Canyon, which runs along the Piva Lake reservoir. The narrow road clinging to the steep cliffs passes through many tunnels carved into the canyon. The road might be very curvy, but it provides stunning panoramic views of untouched nature. This road will bring you from Pluzine town to Zabljak.

 

6. Budva

things to do in Montenegro: Visiting Budva is one of the best things to do in Montenegro because this medieval city is one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic coast. What's more, Budva's Old Town is beautifuly preserved, and it is a UNESCO sight.

If partying is what you are after, then Budva is the right place for you! Budva is a holiday hotspot in the summer for locals and tourists alike – and for a good reason. Music and dance flow through the city with pulsating nightlife during the summer months. This lively town is, however, not famous only because of its vibrant nightlife.

Budva: Budva’s UNESCO listed Old Town might be smaller than Kotor, but it nicely preserved. The historic Old Town managed to keep a small town feel.

A 2,500-years old Stari Grad (Old Town) makes Budva one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic coast. A walled town filled with marbled winding alleys, outdoor restaurants and boutique shops has managed to keep a small-town feel. Budva’s UNESCO listed Old Town might be smaller than Kotor, but it is beautifully preserved.

places to visit in Montenegro: Budva is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro because this UNESCO city is one of the oldest cities in the country. Also, medieval Budva is a popular holiday hotspot in the summer and has many beautiful beaches nearby.

Budva’s charming churches, palaces and ruins give the city a medieval feel.

Strolling through medieval Budva’s Old Town is one of the best things to do in Montenegro.  A mini-Dubrovnik with Venetian walls rising from the Adriatic Sea offers spectacular views from the city walls. Therefore, do not miss the Citadel (the city fortress of Saint Mary) and the museum. You can also learn more about the rich history of the city here.

If you would like to escape the heat, there are many beautiful beaches nearby. The closest to the Old Town is idyllic Mogren Beach, where you can relax until the sunset.

 

7. Ostrog Monastery

things to do in Montenegro: It's perhaps no surprise to say that a visit to Ostrog Monastery should be on your list of things to do in Montenegro. This sacred Orthodox Christian site is today not only one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in the country, but also in the Balkans.

Ostrog Monastery, one of the biggest sanctuaries in the world

It is perhaps no surprise to say that a visit to Ostrog Monastery should be on your list of things to do in Montenegro. This sacred Orthodox Christian site is today not only one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in the country but also in the Balkans.

Explore a white monastery carved entirely into a rock and perched on a 900-metre mountain cliff above the Zeta valley. There are two churches, an upper and lower one, and you can go inside to admire their unique decorations. A major draw for pilgrims is especially the Upper Monastery, dedicated to St Basil. Here, you can find his fabric-wrapped bones in the sacred shrine. Also, admire beautifully painted frescoes and open balconies in two large caves which offer breathtaking views.

places to visit in Montenegro: Ostrog Monastery houses the remains of its founder, who became a saint after his death. It's also the most important Orthodox site in the country, and, therefore, Ostrog Monastery is one of the most popular places to visit in Montenegro.

Ostrog Monastery houses the remains of its founder, who became a saint after his death.  It is also the most important Orthodox site in the country, and, therefore, Ostrog Monastery is one of the most popular places to visit in Montenegro.

GOOD TO KNOW:

To enter Ostrog Monastery, you need to cover your knees, arms and also shoulders. Also, women should cover their heads with a scarf.

TIP:

If driving to Ostrog Monastery by car, watch out for the winding roads.

 

 

8. Skadar Lake in Montenegro

things to do in Montenegro: Driving to Skadar Lake is one of the best things to do in Montenegro because this lake is one of the best places for birdwatching in Europe. Yes, that is right, Skadar Lake, which is the largest lake in the Balkans is a mecca for wildlife.

Skadar Lake, Europe’s largest bird sanctuary, is a Montenegrin highlight.

Montenegro is not just a beach and pilgrimage country – it has plenty of scenic spots to visit. And Skadar Lake is one of them. The freshwater lake located just south of the capital Podgorica is the largest lake in the Balkans. It is also one of the best places for birdwatching in Europe because this pristine lake is a mecca for wildlife. Lake Skadar is not only nesting ground for many birds, but it also has untouched nature. Therefore, a visit to Skadar Lake is one of the best things to do in Montenegro if you are a nature lover.

During the summer months, beautiful water lilies cover parts of the lake, and tiny boats float across the water. Long, snake-shaped Skadar Lake surrounded by endless karst mountains is a National park where you can enjoy some peace and quiet.

 

Skadar Lake lies on the border of Albania and Montenegro. One of the best places to view the lake is from the Pavlova Strana viewpoint, which overlooks a natural horseshoe bend of the Crnojevica River.

Another popular way to see Skadar Lake is from the water. Take a boat ride to explore Skadar Lake and check out the historic villages, fortresses and monasteries. Afterwards, visit a local winery and taste some delicious local wines.

 

9. Durmitor

places to visit in Montenegro: As you probably know, Durmitor National park is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro. It's because this UNESCO national park is a mecca for nature lovers. Also, Durmitor is famous for its many beautiful hikes and beautiful landscape.

It comes as no surprise that Durmitor is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro. A national park located in northern Montenegro is undoubtedly a place of extraordinary natural beauty. In fact, Durmitor formed by glaciers is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This park has picturesque peaks, natural lakes in a stunning setting and protected forests.

things to do in Montenegro: Hiking and camping are just some of the popular outdoor activities in the Durmintor national park. Exploring Durmitor is one of best things to do in Montenegro becuse this UNESCO park has many beautiful peaks, natural lakes and protected forests.

Trekking, camping and fishing are just some of the popular outdoor activities in the park. Hike up Bobotov Kuk, the tallest peak in the country, or take more leisurely hikes around beautiful lakes. And, if lucky, you might even spot wild cats, owls, or bears! During the winter months, Durmitor offers affordable skiing – it is the premier spot in the country.

Durmitor

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Base yourself in nearby Zabljak and explore the pristine wilderness of beautiful Durmitor National Park.

 

10. Black Lake (Crno Jezero)

places to visit in Montenegro: It's easy to see why the Black Lake is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro. The Black Lake (Crno Jezero) is the largest lake of 18 glacier lakes in the UNESCO Durimitor National Park. Also, the Black Lake is famous for hiking,mountain biking and relaxation.

The Black Lake with Meded Peak behind it

Durmitor national park, which sits in Dinaric Alps, is home to many glacial lakes. And the Crno Jezero is one of them. The Black Lake is the largest lake of eighteen glacier lakes in the Durmitor National Park. For this reason, Black Lake is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro for nature lovers.

This pristine glacial lake, surrounded by a pine forest, lies at the foot of Medved Peak near the town of Zabljak. In fact, the Black Lake consist of two lakes that are connected by a narrow channel. During the summer months, it dries and creates two separate lakes.

Crno Jezero (Black Lake) in Durmitor park

Mountain tarns dot the Durmitor National park, and Black Lake is the largest one.

The Black Lake is famous for hiking, mountain biking and relaxation. Take a leisurely walk along a more than 3 km long path that circles the lake. There are also boats which you can hire.

 

11. Zabljak in Montenegro

A visit to Durmitor National Park would not be complete without a visit to Zabljak. A small mountain town in northern Montenegro is the gateway to Durmitor National Park. The highest situated Balkan town is mainly a winter resort, but it is also a perfect getaway during summer. Zabljak is an excellent destination if you are looking for a quaint mountain escape and if you want to get away from the coastal summer crowds. It is an ideal base for visiting Durmitor National Park. For those reasons, Zabljak is one of the popular places to visit in Montenegro.

Wander through peaceful Zabljak and enjoy the alpine town with wooden cottages, fresh mountain air and rural landscape. Admire flocks of sheep roaming around meadows and enjoy breathtaking views of the nearby mountains. There are numerous hiking trails nearby. The more adventurous souls can even try to climb the via Ferrata near Zabljak. Via Ferrata in Durmitor National Park is only 20 minutes drive from Zabljak. It takes you up Uvita Greda, and it offers stunning views of Montenegro.

TIP – DURMITOR RING:

An 85 km circular drive from Zabljak takes you through the heart of Durmitor National Park. The Durmitor Ring offers stunning views of mountain tops and authentic mountain villages. Therefore, the Durmitor ring scenic drive is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Montenegro.

 

12. Tara Canyon in Montenegro

things to do in Montenegro: For many people visiting Tara Canyon is of the best things to do in Montenegro. Tara Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world and the deepest canyon in Europe. It's Montenegro's natural wonder and a perfect place for adventurous souls. Therefore, Tara Canyon is one of the popular places to visit in Montenegro.

Tara Canyon in autumn.

Next, take a short ride to beautiful Tara Canyon – a gorge just outside of Zabljak. Tara Canyon is a part of Durmitor National park and Montenegro’s natural wonder. Besides, Tara River Canyon, with its emerald-green waters, is the world’s second deepest canyon (after the Grand Canyon). Yes, that is right, Tara Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe. It has lush valleys, and underground caves and is a perfect place for outdoor adventures. For those reasons, Tara Canyon is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro.

Rafting the Tara River is one of the unique things to do in Montenegro. There are plenty of tour options for a white-water rafting trip through the canyon. Tara River has some of the best water rapids in Europe, and therefore, rafting is one of the most popular tourist activities in Montenegro. Not only you get your adrenaline pumping on a rafting tour, but also you can admire steep canyon walls from the water.

 

Djurdjevica Tara Bridge

things to do in Montenegro: Visiting Djurdjevica Tara Bridge is one of the best things to do in Montenegro because this bridge passes through the deepest section of the canyon. Moreover, Tara Bridge was once the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. Today is one of the top Montenegro attractions.

However, if you do not want to get wet, you can see the canyon from the famous Tara Bridge. This bridge was once the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. Besides, the Tara bridge passes through the deepest section of the valley. And it is also one of the most beautiful spots along the gorge. Because of this, visiting Djurdjevica Tara Bridge is one of the best things to do in Montenegro.

Walk along the Tara Bridge and enjoy stunning views of one of the deepest canyons in the world. Alternatively, if you prefer a real adventure, zip-lining across the canyon or canyoning are other options.

 

13. Biogradska Gora

things to do in Montenegro: Exploring Biogradska Gora is one of the best things to do in Montenegro beacuse this national park is one of the last three large remaining virgin forests in the country. But that is not all - Biogradska Gora is also one of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It is also one of the smallest national parks in the country.

After exploring the Tara Canyon, head to Biogradska Gora, which you can find in the centre of Montenegro. Biogradska Gora might be one of the smallest national parks in the country, but it definitely deserves your attention. This national park is, in fact, one of the last three large remaining virgin forests in Europe. But that is not all, Biogradska Gora is also one of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. For those reasons, exploring Biogradska Gora is one of the best things to do in Montenegro.

The park with an untouched landscape contains a great diversity of flora and fauna. Some of the trees are more than 500 years old.

Once you arrive at the park, you will realise that the park is well set up for tourists. It has plenty of well-marked trails that take you through the forest to glacial lakes and mountains. The highlight is undoubtedly the beautiful Lake Biograd. This large glacial lake in the middle of Biogradska Gora is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro. Rent a boat or kayak on Lake Biograd and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Alternatively, other popular outdoor activities are trekking, camping, and also mountain biking.

 

Now you know what are the best places to visit in Montenegro!

 

Have you been to Montenegro? What was your favourite thing to do there? Let us know in the comments below 🙂

Places to visit in Montenegro

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