20+ Things to Do in Podgorica, Montenegro + Travel Guide

Top Things to Do in Podgorica Montenegro

Welcome to Podgorica!

Tucked away in Montenegro’s hinterland, the country’s capital city, is an unexplored and often overlooked hidden gem.

After all, there are a surprising number of things to do in Podgorica, for Montenegro’s largest city (in a country of only 600,000 people it doesn’t take much!) is brimming with historic sights, breathtaking landscapes and fantastic day trip opportunities.

Whether you’re planning a leisurely weekend getaway, or looking for the perfect base to venture through Montenegro’s famed national parks, monasteries and to the stunning Adriatic coast, Podgorica has got you covered.

When you visit, you’ll learn more about the city’s journey from its days as Titograd in former Yugoslavia, to its present day glory under the hill – yes, that’s what Podgorica translates to!

The city’s streets are as clean as they are green, inviting you to discover a place that almost a third of Montenegrins call home.

So, if you’re wondering what’s on the agenda in this quiet, unassuming city, and why you should visit, here’s my rundown of the top 20 things to do in Podgorica, plus travel guide to the Montenegrin capital…

Montenegro, Podgorica, Me with Schnapps




Is Podgorica Worth Visiting?

Montenegro, Podgorica, Colourful Street

Podgorica is an often overlooked, inexpensive gem in the Balkans, where the sheer variety of experiences on offer makes it a must-visit destination on your Montenegro itinerary.

Situated inland, this vibrant city is an excellent base for access the surrounding mountains of the north, the lake districts to the south and the Adriatic coast to the west.

Here are my top reasons to add Podgorica to your bucket list:

  • An Affordable Destination: If you’re a savvy traveller looking for a destination that won’t break the bank, Podgorica is your spot! This city offers an incredibly affordable experience without skimping on quality, from comfortable accommodation to exceptional dining, that doesn’t leave you out of pocket. And yes, the coffee shops and independent eateries here will spoil you with delish local cuisine at prices you can’t argue with too!
  • Vineyards and Wine Tasting: Wine lovers, rejoice! Podgorica is located near to some of Montenegro’s best vineyards – just a short journey from the city centre. Here you can enjoy wine-tasting sessions, learn about local winemaking and enjoy discovering the history of viticulture in Montenegro, which dates back to the Ottoman Empire.
  • A Breath of Fresh Air: Podgorica is a fantastic escape from other more crowded tourist cities in the Balkans such as Dubrovnik or Mostar. The city is clean, with 5 rivers running through it and plenty of green spaces. With a small population and few tourists, it’s also incredibly relaxed.
  • Delicious Local Bites: Podgorica’s local food scene will also wow you. Whether you’d prefer to find the best burek in the local markets, or try Mediterranean delights amidst a fantastic restaurant experience, there’s something for everyone here. Don’t miss out on the local favourite – a leisurely lunch break at a traditional Montenegrin restaurant which begins with fruit schnapps and ends with a strong coffee!


How Best to Get to Podgorica?

Montenegro, Podgorica, Wizz Air Flight

Getting to Podgorica is now easier than ever.

If you’re travelling from the UK, Wizz Air run regular flights from Gatwick Airport.

In my opinion, it’s well worth upgrading to Priority Pass with Wizz Air, which gets you:

  • Priority Check-In: Skip the queues and drop your luggage straight off with a dedicated desk for priority customers.
  • Priority Boarding: Get on the plane first, stow your luggage and relax before everyone else boards.
  • Priority Seats: Sit at the front of the plane. This also means you can get off first and get through passport control before the crowds.
  • Priority Baggage: Your baggage will come out first!

Priority Pass with Wizz Air is essentially first class for budget airlines, and it saved me a lot of time on an early morning flight to Podgorica.

Check out this video I made about my experience…


@bigworldsmallpockets Is Wizz Air Priority worth paying extra for? Here’s the verdict… @wizzair | #gifted #wizzair#wizz#montenegro#travelmontenegro#iamwizztraveller#travel #londongatwick#londonairport#gatwickairport#gatwick#wizzpriority #podgorica#budgetairline#budgettravel#budgettraveltips ♬ original sound – Big World Small Pockets


Podgorica Airport is located 11km south of the city centre.

You can reach the city centre via taxi (10-15€) or car rental.

Sadly, there are no public transport links aside from a train station just over 1km from the terminal building.


Best Things to do in Podgorica

Montenegro, Podgorica, Museum & Gallery

You’ll be surprised by how many things there are to do in Podgorica and that the city isn’t more famous.

Here are my top recommendations to add to your itinerary…


#1 Visit the Podgorica Museum and Gallery

As one of the main attractions in Podgorica, the Podgorica Museum and Gallery is a must-visit.

It is located right in the city centre on the ground floor of an old mansion in Park Petrovica.

Upstairs, you can view a permanent collection of pieces; downstairs, you can see contemporary masterpieces, including notable works by the celebrated artist Peter Lubarda.

You’ll find works from local artists and permanent displays of work from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

You can reach the museum by walking over Union Bridge from Old Town.

Best of all, admission is free. You can also hire a guide for a tour.

The city’s Museum of Contemporary Art is just a short walk away along Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog.

Do visit if you’re keen to get another cultural slice of the action.


#2 Spot the Street Art

There’s lots of street art to spot as you explore Podgorica, so keep your eyes peeled for the striking graffiti and occasional murals.

Some top places to look out for graffiti are around the Karver Bookstore in Preko Morače.

For more great art in a small museum, a little out of the way, do check out the Gallery of Risto Stijovic – one of Montenegro’s most famous and progressive sculptors who studied in Paris.


#3 Visit the Karver Bookstore

This spot is an important piece of Podgorica’s history – and a great place to caffeinate too!

Originally built as a hammam during Ottoman rule, the building underwent significant transformations, including the removal of its two domes to make way for the bridge construction you now see overhead.

Today, you can browse through collections of both old and new literature in the former-hammam-now-bookstore and enjoy a wonderful coffee outside along the river.


#4 River Swimming in the Summer

Within a 10-minute walk of the city centre, swimming in the clear waters of the Morača River is definitely one of the best things to do in Podgorica in the summer.

Although the water is cold, it’s a great way to cool off after exploring (especially during the hottest days here) and the chance to see the city from a different perspective.

There are plenty of pebble areas along the river where you can enter safely.

The area by the old Ribnica Bridge is also fantastic for swimming.

If you plan on taking lots of dips, bringing some aqua shoes is a good idea, as broken glass can be found on the shoreline.


#5 The Old Doctors House – Now A Small Gallery

The Old Doctor’s House, otherwise known as Kuslevova Kuća and situated along the river, is now a lovely, small gallery well worth visiting.

It hosts a variety of local artworks and admission is free!

Remarkably, this house was one of the few structures that remained unscathed during the bombings of World War II – still to this day, no one knows why it was spared.

But spared it was, meaning it’s now one of only ten buildings left from before World War II across the whole of Podgorica.

A lovely example of early 20th-century architecture in the capital, stop by on a weekday to make sure it’s open.


#6 Visit Independence Square

In the centre of Podgorica, you’ll find Independence Square.

A popular local meeting spot with a long history, it’s now lined with palm trees and benches with a beautifully designed fountain in the centre.

The square is dominated by the statue of Podgorica’s first major.

Nearby, a statue dedicated to the fallen warriors was rebuilt in 2007.

Many events are held here seasonally, such as Christmas markets and summer concerts.

The square edges are also filled with bars and cafes – perfect for people-watching! – along with some of Podgorica’s most important buildings, including city hall, which also remained intact after WWII.


#7 Visit The Craft Beer Festival in June

Podgorica hosts one of Europe’s best craft beer festivals – ‘Craft Fest’ – each June.

The festival has food stalls, live performances and the chance to try over 50 kinds of craft beers and meet passionate brewers through interactive workshops where you can learn about the beer-making process.

This year’s festival will be held in Independence Square, on the plaza between the National Library and the Capital City Assembly, from 12pm to 12am.

Entrance is free!


#8 Gaze at the Clock Tower

The clock tower is a 16m high Ottoman-era structure that used to be a watch tower.

Again, it’s one of the few monuments in the city that survived the WWII bombings, and is one of just three clock towers left across Montenegro.

You can still find the old 19th-century mechanism here, along with the modern one that was added during the recent renovation.

The clock tower, dating back to 1667, is located at the edge of the Stara Varoš neighbourhood. On one side, it faces the old town and the other, towards the coast and port.

While there is no entrance to the inside, but the tower is beautifully lit at night and a must-visit on any trip to Podgorica.


#9 Explore Podgorica’s Nightlife

Bokeska Street is the central hub for nightlife in Podgorica, which has many bars and clubs.

Another top nightlife spot is Hercegovacka Street, which has a good bar scene to enjoy live music, craft beers and cocktails.

Moskovska Street is also an up-and-coming nightlife destination with smaller venues.

For a good atmosphere, the area around Independence Square is usually buzzing too, especially in the summer when there are often outdoor events and live performances here. 


#10 Caffeinate On One of the Famous Coffee Streets

Nkegos Street is one of the best places to go for a coffee in Podgorica.

There are many fantastic cafes and restaurants here where you can enjoy freshly brewed drop, as well as a variety of local snacks and light meals.

This street is also very peaceful and perfect for people-watching!

Other famous coffee streets in Podgorica to visit include Slobode Street, full of cafes with outdoor seating and a more modern feel.

Make sure you also visit Marka Miljanova Street, known for its traditional Balkan strong coffee and local atmosphere.

You’ll find plenty of traditional Montenegrin coffee houses here, which serve delicious pastries.

Republic Square is also an excellent place to head for coffee. There are several boutique coffee shops and bakeries here to try.


#11 Relax in Central Park (Njegošev Park)

Central Park is a popular spot located between three river crossings in Podgrorica.

It has shaded seating and winding paths, some of which go along the river’s edge and are lined with beautiful flowers.

It’s the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring!

If you’re visiting the park, make sure you take a look at the statue of Peter II Petrović-Njegoš, a national hero who made considerable contributions to Montenegrin literature and philosophy – here’s wildly adored by everyone I spoke to in Podgorcia!

There’s a lovely place in the middle of the park where many locals can be found ordering strong coffee too incase you needed anymore!


#12 Explore the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

The Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is one of the most beautiful buildings in Podgorica.

It is a Serbian Orthodox Cathedral whose construction began in 1993 and didn’t end until 2013.

Combines traditional Orthodox elements with contemporary design, you can admire the elaborate frescoes, icons and impressive dome inside depicting Christ the Pantocrator.

The marble floors, which enhance the intricate artwork, are amazing.

Outside, the design continues to impress with more ornate details and white stone towers topped with crosses.

The cathedral is a 10-15 minute walk from Independence Square.


#13 Walk Across Millenium Bridge

Millennium Bridge is a striking white structure and probably one of the most popular images you’ve encountered when researching Podgorica.

The 173m cable-stayed bridge opened in 2005 to mark Montenegro’s national day and straddles the Morača River.

The bridge has a futuristic design with a 57m steel pylon, which supports the bridge deck with hundreds of cables, creating a very unique aesthetic.

If you walk across the nearby bridges, you’ll get a fantastic view of Millennium Bridge, with some Montenegro’s wild mountains in the background.


#14 Admire Old Ribnica River Bridge

Ribnica Bridge is an ancient bridge old stone bridge compared with the modern Millennium Bridge, and dates back to the Roman times.

It’s another of the five major bridges in the city and, unsurprisingly given the name, crosses the Ribnica River!

It is actually one of the oldest surviving structures in Podgorica.

From the old bridge, you can enjoy a picturesque view of the surrounding old town area, known as Stara Varoš.


#15 Skaline

Skaline is one of the most beautiful places in Podgoricia and an undiscovered gem once famous for its impressive fortress.

Skaline today is a popular gathering spot for locals, but equally offers tourists historical remnants from the Ottoman era.

During your visit, try to spot the small plaque that reveals an interesting piece of history.

During WWI, there was an unfinished radio station intended to connect the Bosfor with Paris, which was never completed.

Skaline has a small stone bridge built in the traditional Montenegrin style – visit during sunset for stunning views.

There are some stone steps here that wind through the oldest part of the city too.

Make sure you leave time to sit by the water’s edge to soak in the views.

You’ll find a small bar nearby where you can grab a drink, and it’s not uncommon to see plenty of swimmers enjoying the water.


Top Day Trips from Podgorica

Montenegro, Bay of Kotor, Perast

Podgorica is in a good central location for enjoying the best day trips in Montenegro

You can easily explore national parks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, vineyards and monasteries, all within 90 minutes of the city.

Here are my top recommendations…


#16 Skadar Lake National Park

If you have time, a day trip from Podgorica to Skadar Lake National Park is a must.

Skadar Lake is the largest lake in southern Europe, just 30km from Podgorica.

It has one of the last remaining freshwater marshes in the Mediterranean, providing a habitat for many bird species, including some of the last pelicans in Europe.

Unsurprisingly therefore, one of the top things to do here is bird watching!

In fact, the lake is home to over 270 species, best seen in spring and autumn.

You can also explore the lake by boat tour or kayak to get upclose views of its wildlife and the floating water lilies that famously cover it.

Some lake islands have medieval monasteries, such as the 14th-century Kom Monastery.

Other popular activities include hiking, biking, discovering the traditional fishing villages surrounding the lake and checking out the Lake Skadar National Park Visitor Center in Virpazar.

How to Get to Skadar Lake National Park from Podgorica

The best way to get to the lake is via the small town of Virpazar.

To travel by bus, you can get a bus from Podgorica’s main bus station to Virpazar.

The journey takes about 30 minutes, with buses running often during peak tourist season.

You can also travel by train on the scenic journey from Podgorica to Vipazar.

The train takes the same time as the bus, but is often a more relaxing and picturesque way to travel.


#17 Visit the Plantaze 13. July Wine Cellar

The Plantaze 13 July Wine Cellar is one of the largest wine cellars in Montenegro and the largest single vineyard in Europe, with 2310 hectares of vineyard.

Established in 1963, the company planted its first vineyards in 1977 and has grown an impressive 28 grape varieties on 95% limestone soil.

Popular grape varieties include Krstac, a grape named after the cross due to its cross-shaped bunches; Vranac, known for its heart-health benefits and aged up to 30 years; and Kratosija.

The vineyard specialises in red wines and now produces 13-15 million litres yearly.

The wine cellar was originally a secret military base used to store 27 aircraft and ammunition during the Cold War.

NATO only uncovered this secret in the 1990s, and in 1999, the site was targeted and everything was destroyed.

During your visit, you can explore the 356m long and 7m high tunnel, which has a temperature of 16-20 degrees and consistent 70-80% humidity levels – perfect for wine making!

Spot the barrels that can hold up to 100 litres of wine!

During the summer, you can book a tour on the website at 10am, 12pm, or 2pm.

Tours include a tasting session and last around one hour.

The wine cellar Sipcanik, where these tours are held, can be reached by taxi from the city centre.

The short drive costs around 15€ one way.

Bring a light jumper, as the humid environment inside here can be pretty chilly even on a warm summer day.


#18 Cetinje

Cetinje, often called the Old Royal Capital of Montenegro, is located at the foot of Mount Lovćen and is UNESCO-listed.

Once the seat of Montenegrin kings, it is now a charming museum town home to several museums, ancient churches and monasteries.

The Cetinje Monastery, for instance, houses important relics, such as John the Baptist’s hand.

Cetinje is also home to the National Museum of Montenegro, including the King Nikola Museum, History Museum and Art Museum.

Make sure you leave time to explore the historic streets.

There are plenty of fantastic cafes, many of which are decorated with pictures of Montenegro’s royal history, and classic scenes of older gentlemen playing chess, while grandchildren play football around them.

You can also visit the nearby Lipa Cave while you are here – one of Montenegro’s largest caves with some 2.5km of passages deep inside the earth.

How to Get to Cetinje

Regular bus services connect Cetinje with Podgorica and Budva.

By car, the drive takes around 40 minutes.

The journey is scenic, with breathtaking mountain views.


#19 Monastery Ostrog

Perched right on a cliff face, Ostrog Monastery is one of the most visited destinations in Montenegro.

The Serbian Orthodox monetary was founded in the 17th century by St Basil of Ostrog.

The monastery complex includes two parts: the Upper and Lower Monasteries.

The Upper Monastery houses the Church of the Presentation and St. Basil’s relics, while the Lower Monastery contains the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Near the Upper Monastery, you’ll find a holy spring believed to have healing properties.

You may even be lucky enough to catch a service during your visit.

Make sure you take in the views from the monastery of Bjelopavlići plain.

How to Get to Monastery Ostrog from Podgorica

Monastery Ostrog is located 50 km from Podgorica.

It can be reached by car, which takes about an hour and offers scenic views along winding mountain roads.

Parking is available near the Lower Monastery.

Buses run from Podgorica to Nikšić with a stop at the base of the hill leading to Monastery Ostrog.

You can hike up to the monastery and find a local taxi.

Most people visit the monastery via an organised tour from Podgorica.


#20 Kotor

Kotor is the most popular place to visit in Montenegro.

Even if you’re not planning a stay there as part of your trip, the town is a must-visit on a day trip.

Kotor is located in the Bay of Kotor and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a well-preserved old town and dramatic mountain backdrop.

There are many things to see in Kotor, including exploring the narrow cobblestone streets, lively squares and ancient churches.

Make sure you climb the fortress walls that ascend to the San Giovanni Castle for panoramic views of the bay.

Kotor also has some fantastic beaches – check out my list of the best beaches in Kotor guide for more info.

How to Get to Kotor from Podgorica

The drive from Podgorica to Kotor takes around 90 minutes, and you’ll see some fantastic sights along the way.

Regular bus services also run from Podgoricia’s main station. They drop you off right outside the Old Town.

Learn more in this full article I wrote about how to travel from Kotor to Podgorica.


Local Food to Try in Podgorica

Montenegro, Lanterna, Fish

If you’re visiting Podgorica, trying the local food is a must!

For an authentic Montenegrin dining experience, head to Lanterna at Kralja Nikole 36 in Podgorica, a charming restaurant that serves up many of these traditional dishes in a lovely setting – outside tables in courtyard are fab in the summer.

Here are my top recommendations to try…

Kačamak: This comfort food dish is a thick and creamy mix of cornmeal, potatoes and cheese (kind of like polenta but with a Montenegrin twist). It’s more popular during the colder months.

Popeci: Popeci are meat patties pan-fried to be juicy and expertly seasoned. They are often served with a side of tartar sauce.

Japraci: This traditional dish consists of grape leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice and simmered in tomato sauce. You’ll find this traditional dish in restaurants around the city.

Pršuta: Try the smoky flavours of Montenegrin pršuta, a dry-cured ham that rivals the best prosciuttos of Europe. It’s typically served thinly sliced, accompanied by olives and local cheeses.

Burek: Burek is Podgoricia’s favourite comfort food – a savoury pastry stuffed with cheese, meat or spinach.

Smoked Cheeses: Podgorica has a delicious variety of local cheeses. Make sure you try one of the smoked varieties (the most delicious of all), which has a rich texture and deep flavours and is ideally paired with a glass of local wine.


Is Podgorica Safe?

Montenegro, Podgorica, Theatre

When planning a trip, safety is often at the top of everyone’s mind, especially in lesser-known destinations and as female travellers

So, let’s talk about Podgorica – how does Montenegro’s capital fare on the safety scale?

Well I’m happy to say that Podgorica is a very safe city to visit; with a small population, crime is low and few tourists means scams are thin on the ground.

That said, like any urban area, it’s still wise to keep valuables secure, stay aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated areas late at night.

If you’re staying overnight, the city centre or Stara Varoš area, are good places to stay.

The local community is famously friendly, often happy to assist with directions or recommend must-see spots, however you should be cautious when driving in this country, because Montenegro has a higher rate of road accidents than many other European nations.


Where to Stay in Podgorica?

Montenegro, Podgorica, Ramada

There are plenty of comfortable places to stay in Podgorica.

I recommend Ramada Podgorica, which has been operating since 2012 and is located in the city centre.

The hotel has 110 beautifully designed rooms with all the amenities you need.

There’s a rooftop terrace with panoramic city views and a fitness centre, as well as a great vibey cafe on the ground floor that is incredibly popular with locals and perfect for a nightcap!


How Long to Spend in Podgorica?

Montenegro, Podgorica, Statue

I advise a stay of 1-2 days in Montenegro’s capital.

This will give you a day to explore the city and a day for 1-2 of my recommended day trips.


When to Visit Podgorica?

Montenegro, Podgorica, Bridge

I think the best time to visit Montenegro is during the months of May or September.

July and August will be fun in this country, but hot and very busy, so I recommend opting for the shoulder season months instead.


Final Words About Podgorica

As you can see, there are many things to do in Podgorica and many fantastic day trip options too.

If you’re visiting Montenegro, add this undiscovered gem of a capital to your itinerary is a no-brainer.

Read my Montenegro travel guide to further help you plan your Montenegro adventure, or check out my mini travel prep list to this country below…


Mini Travel Guide to Montenegro

Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money

The currency in Montenegro is the Euro and I advise bringing some cash with you, as well as a good card you can use to pay for things abroad.

With real exchange rates, no transaction fees and no ATM withdrawal charges, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card when travelling… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay. Grab yours here.


Best eSIM

I highly recommend Holafly, which I used throughout my time in Montenegro and had great connection in Kotor, as well as across the country.

Get 5% off with the discount code: BIGWORLDSMALLPOCKETS


Top Montenegro Tours

If you want to visit Montenegro with a group and an experienced guide, then check out these top tours.




My trip to Podgorica was sponsored by the Montenegro Tourism Board but, as always, all views are my own.

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.


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