Montenegro, a hidden gem of the Balkans, is a country that has been gaining popularity in recent years as a tourist destination. With its stunning coastline, picturesque towns, and majestic mountains, it’s no wonder that more and more people are adding Montenegro to their travel bucket lists. In this blog post, I will be sharing more about my girls’ trip to Montenegro ‘s 4 cities: Kotor, Budva, Perast and Tivat.
Upon deciding on visiting Montenegro, we decided that Tivat was the more suitable town to stay as it is located at the center of all the other towns. It is relatively quiet and affordable to stay here. We stayed at a new and small apartment/hotel called Apartment Maestral booked through Booking.com. The best thing about this place is that it has a restaurant right on the premises so you can imagine how convenient that is.
Tivat is a coastal town that’s home to the luxury marina Porto Montenegro. It is a great destination for those looking for a more upscale experience, with high-end restaurants, luxury hotels and designer stores. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront, taking in the beautiful yachts that are moored in the marina, or relax on one of the town’s many beaches. As with the other cities on the list, dining in Tivat is a seafood lover’s dream, with many restaurants offering fresh catch-of-the-day options.
On day 2 of our trip we went to Kotor to do some shopping, hiking, dining and had a short beach day. The drive from Tivat to Kotor was less than 20 min as with all the other towns we visited. We started by visiting the lookout which was a rather interesting morning drive because the road up is narrow and there were trucks coming down (make sure you wake up early for this one to avoid a lot of the construction work).
Kotor’s Old Town is a labyrinth of cobbled streets, ancient churches, and picturesque squares that exude a charmingly medieval atmosphere. For the more adventurous, there’s the option to hike up to the old fortress that looms above the town. The climb can be challenging, but the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular. Instead of starting the hike inside the Old Town, I suggest the one outside where you don’t pay for. The one inside the town is just made of stairs and no one wants that.
For dining, we sat at Pescateria Dekaderon for dinner. They have the best seafood pasta in town (according to my standard). It’s worth noting that Montenegrins still smoke in restaurants, so non-smokers may want to check ahead to find smoke-free establishments. Additionally, visitors should be aware that cash is king in Montenegro, and card payments are not widely accepted. However, there are ATMs everywhere, so it’s easy to withdraw cash as needed.
Montenegro has many small towns that are worth visiting and on day 3 of our trip, we thought to check out Budva, which is another coastal town with its own Old Town that is smaller in size compared to Kotor Old Town but no less picturesque. The town’s winding alleys and stone houses are perched on a peninsula that juts out into the Adriatic, offering stunning views of the sea. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the town, stopping to admire the Venetian architecture and the beautiful beaches that line the coast.
Like Kotor, many of the restaurants specialise in seafood dishes. I would like to emphasise that Montenegro is still developing a lot of its infrastructure and as such, the standards of transportation, public laws are not up to 1st world western standards. In Budva, we found an alleyway that has one of the most instagramable place especially for couples. I unfortunately don’t even know how to explain the route to get there except that it is called something along the lines of “secret alley”. While in Budva, you can visit Restoran Vista Vidikovac for an amazing and delicious option of cuisine ranging from seafood, to pasta and red meat.
On our last day in Montenegro, we finally visited Perast for a walk in the small town. It was smaller than I thought but very beautiful and picturesque. Perast is a small town located on the Bay of Kotor, is another must-visit destination. Perast is known for its beautiful baroque architecture and its two small islands, one of which is home to the Lady of the Rocks, a church that can be reached by boat. Visitors can take a boat tour of the bay to visit the islands and take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The town itself is a quiet and peaceful retreat, perfect for those looking to escape the crowds.
Some of the activities to note include taking a boat ride to swim in the caves, or docking on one of the beaches for a nice swim. The Lady of the Rocks church can be reached from all bays of Montenegro within towns mentioned in this blog post. Montenegro is going through some infrastructural developments to prepare for its inclusion into the EU however, you can travel with your Schengen visa to this country. Some visitors combine Croatia with Montenegro as the two are very close to each other.
The trip was amazing, I hope to visit again when it is warmer to enjoy a bit of the warm weather. I’m excited that my first swim in the ocean was here. Shoutout to my travel buddy Life on the Move for holding this trip down!