Tourists have a common misconception that Podgorica, the Capital of Montenegro, has few attractions and a less developed tourism sector than the coastal areas. This is partially true; however, once you arrive, you’ll experience the wonderful ambience created by the integration of tragically ancient history and cutting-edge design.
Consider yourself persuaded by a stroll around the charming downtown streets of Podgorica, Montenegro, that it has more to offer than just a sizable shopping centre.
Capital of Montenegro
The capital of Montenegro is Podgorica. The nation’s centre for culture, commerce, and education is named for the hill that overlooks the city of Gorica. Despite not being a must-visit place, Podgorica has wonderful things to offer that will surprise & please you.
You probably won’t find one of the most beautiful cities in the world when you google Podgorica. However, one must have sympathy for Podgorica. The majority of visitors come to Montenegro to see the lofty mountain peaks in the north and the balmy Adriatic Sea in the south.
Podgorica: A General Guide
The major urban area and commercial hub of Montenegro is the city of Podgorica. Although Podgorica also has a significant number of architectural landmarks, Cetina is acknowledged as the historical & cultural capital. Podgorica is given the title of capital under the country’s constitution.
Podgorica, the state’s capital, is located on the Zeta Plain in the state’s centre. Skadar Lake is in the area. The Moraca and Ribnita rivers, which run through the city, encircle it. Ponds make the city’s capital surprisingly beautiful.
On a plateau lies the settlement. Goritsa Hill is the city’s highest point and has a lovely outlook. A little under 200 000 people, or 30% of the country’s population, dwell in the city of Podgorica, according to the most recent census. 10% of the country’s total land area lies in Podgorica.
The town is situated in a region with a level terrain, a good, mild temperature, and rich soil. The Adriatic Sea is easily reached.
Airport in Podgorica
The airport, which has international status but is also situated south of the capital, is known as “The Heart of Montenegro.” The Montenegrin airlines’ central hub is located here. In some instances, the airport is also known because of its proximity to the city of Golubovichi. The airport won the top prize for “The best airport with up to 1 million passengers” in 2007.
The airport currently allows charter flights in addition to scheduled flights. Because the structures are made of glass and aluminium, they appear to be light and airy and are furnished with the newest technology inside. Near the airport, there are cosy lodging options for travellers of all financial levels.
You can go to the airport using your own vehicle by taking the E 80 & E 65 motorways. These are the primary thoroughfares that link practically all of the cities along Montenegro’s Adriatic coast.
You can take a bus on your own to travel to Podgorica. An ordinary flight takes off from the terminal every 20 minutes from the airport. 2.5 euros is the cost. With a taxi, you may comfortably get into the city; the cost will be around 15 euros.
Top Attractions in the Capital of Montenegro
1. Visit Stone Bridge and Skyline
The Roman-era bridge near the mouth of Ribnica in Moraca is the oldest stone bridge in Podgorica. According to the information at hand, this bridge might be one of the final traces of the area’s former Grimm city.
Older Podgoricans refer to this bridge as a bridge on Sastavci since Sastavci used to be the name of the region surrounding the mouth of Ribnica in Moraca. It has one arch and is several metres high.
It has long been a popular spot for couples to meet throughout the summer, and when it’s hot out, people congregate there to unwind in a nice setting by the river. The bridge allegedly was constructed of river stones.
2. Scenery in Podgorica
Put on a pair of relaxed, athletic sneakers and take a stroll through the city to experience its great vibe since it is best to get to know the Montenegrin city of Podgorica by simply strolling leisurely, taking in the perfume of the streets, caressing the walls of houses, and taking in the gorgeous surroundings.
3. The St. George’s Church
The sights of Podgorica, Montenegro, thus start at the city’s highest point, the Goritsa hill. The St. George’s Church is located here. The structure is nineteenth-century in age. The church’s grounds are filled with an incredible amount of energy, its walls are painted with historic murals, and an old cemetery surrounds it.
4. Discover Hill Gorica
Gorica Hill is a highly well-liked park close to Podgorica’s city centre and a true haven of recreation. The Mediterranean Garden, a Fighter Memorial, and groomed Hiking, Biking, & Running Trails are other attractions in Gorica. The Millennium Bridge’s outlines, as well as the right bank of River Moraca, are visible from the summit. It is particularly alluring to tourists during the summer when residents of the capital city seek out shade and fresh air. The most well-liked recreation and picnic area in Podgorica are Gorica Hill.
Gorica has mostly been used during the past ten years as a location to practise several sports-recreational & professional disciplines. As pine trees generate phytocidal compounds to clear the air, going to Gorica’s pine in the forest can be quite therapeutic.
5. Hill Ljubovic
Hill Ljubovic is a beloved hill & recreational park among the residents. Locals and visitors alike enjoy taking evening strolls on the hill during the summer. It is covered in pine trees, wild grasses, and therapeutic herbs. It is a park and picnic spot in Podgorica, similar to Gorica.
6. Grlo Sokolovo Hike
The Kurcka Korita to Grlo Sokolovo hiking trek is particularly well-liked all year long. It is well-liked by teenagers and young children during the summer. There is no requirement for additional hardware. However, hiking boots are advised. It is situated in the Kucka Korita district, close to Podgorica and the Albanian border.
A breathtaking view of the mountain range and the Cijevna canyon may be found from the Falcon’s throat, also known as Grlo Sokolovo. In clear conditions, it is possible to see Prokletije Maja e Jezerces’ 2694-meter tallest peak. From the vantage point, you could see Tamara, the Albanian settlement situated along the Cijevna River.
7. Panoramic highway The Korita-area Circuit
One of Montenegro’s most well-known scenic routes is the loop around Korita. The road ascends to 1400 metres in the Kuci mountain range from Podgorica. The whole 65-kilometre route has a well-maintained road, making a day excursion by automobile or bicycle tour convenient. The website has a detailed map of the panorama route and the points of interest it passes through.
8. Clock Tower and the Old Town
The Old Town & Clock Tower are only two of the many sights and activities in Podgorica. Simply said, these historical landmarks of Podgorica cannot be missed. Stara Varos served as the centre of Podgorica during the Ottoman era (13th–19th centuries) in terms of the town’s urban and architectural forms, customs, way of life, & oriental traits.
The Clock Tower, which is located in Becirbeg Osmanagic Square, is Stara Varos’ primary emblem. Italy is where the Clock Tower watch was first created. Following the Ottoman conquest of Podgorica’s ancient square, the Turkish fortification Depedogen, also known as Ribnica, was constructed in 1474. The structure right adjacent to the clock tower was destroyed in the middle of the 20th century.
9. Kruevac Palace Complex, the Contemporary Art Museum, and the Park
The historic winter residence of King Nikola I Petrovic was transformed into a distinctive art and exhibition space during the summer, becoming one of the most popular tourist places in the area.
On a hill just on the right bank of the Moraca, the complex of Podgorica was constructed in the nineteenth century. The last Montenegrin king’s formal winter retreat was the Castle of King Nikola, which was constructed between 1891 and 1894.
The Center of Contemporary Art, an exhibit space, a botanical garden, and a concert pavilion are currently located within the Krusevac castle complex.
10. Explore art in Museums & Galleries
The Museums & Galleries of Podgorica are the results of the merger of this organisation with the Modern Gallery as well as the Risto Stijovic Gallery. The permanent exhibition includes a collection of historical, anthropological, cultural-historical, and archaeological artefacts.
The museum also looks after, protects, and preserves historical and cultural landmarks in the vicinity of the capital, Podgorica.
11. Hammam, an oriental-style Bath
The hammam was created with an oriental design during the Ottoman era. On the first floor, there were 2 individual architectural structures with various bases joined to one another. Three domes and multiple drain roofs were features that were typical of the haphazard architecture. It was transformed into Bath, a public restroom, in 1926.
The Carver Bookstore, which occasionally hosts literary events, is located at this spot today. The House of Cubranovic is arguably the oldest “surviving” historic townhouse beside the Clock Tower.
It was given legal protection as just a culturally & historically significant structure after being constructed in 1630. After Podgorica was freed from the Ottoman, it additionally functioned as the first local authority and municipal administration’s headquarters for a while. Duke Ilija Plamenac & later Duke Marko Miljanov were in charge of this.
12. In Bokeska Street Bokeska, have a Cocktail
Weekend nightlife in Podgorica is at its peak on Bokeska Street, a well-known party street. Every type of music may be heard in a pub on this street, from mellow jazz to aggressive techno & Balkan folk. The Moraca River in Podgorica is the major river in the city and contains nine bridges with unique architectural styles. A well-known landmark in the city is the Millennium Bridge.
Spend the afternoon at the beautiful beach of Galeb, where you may have a picnic and swim in the clean sea. Summertime swimming is permitted.
13. Visit the fortress of Zabljak Crnojevica
This stronghold, a historically vital cultural and commercial hub for mediaeval Montenegro and the Cernojevic dynasty, is located on the lovely Moraca River.
14. Explore the Marko Miljanov Museum and the Medun Fortress
In the fourth century B.C., the Illyrians constructed Medun as a fortification. Marko Miljanov, one of Montenegro’s greatest heroes, was also raised there. He was given a place throughout Montenegrin history because of his integrity and strong moral values.
You can trek to the fortress’s summit for a spectacular view, and then you can explore the Marko Miljanov Museum.
15. Visit Plantaze, Europe’s biggest Vineyard
Did you know that the largest vineyard in the world is located in Podgorica? It would be a shame to travel to Podgorica and not stop by and see the biggest vineyard in Europe. Drive your own vehicle to the vineyard from Podgorica.
The Plantaze vineyard is the biggest in Europe, with a total area of 2300 hectares. But the area surrounding Podgorica is a wine lover’s dream.
Visitors can view the entire vineyard, despite how big it is and how far apart the plots are. With a glass of sparkling wine and a brief trip on the tourist train, you may visit this vast vineyard empire that cultivates 29 different grape kinds.
After visiting the vineyards, stop by the Sipcanik cellar to experience the extraordinary ambience of Europe’s largest wine cellar. The Skadar Lake region, home to Montenegro’s largest national park and the largest lake in the Balkans, produces some of the country’s finest wines.
There are numerous well-known wineries near Skadar Lake where you may purchase wine and sample it with the owners & wine specialists.
16. Visit Virpazar and Besac Fortress
On the route from Podgorica to the seaside, the small fishing village of Virpazar may be found. It is situated where the Crmnica and Orahovstica rivers meet and pour into Skadar Lake. Three historic stone bridges connect Virpazar to the mainland during the spring when the high water levels turn it into an island.
In Crmnica, a fertile location, there are many different types of fruit and vegetable, including grapes, olives, & olive oil. In addition to boat trips on Skadar Lake, Virpazar serves as a lot of people’s starting point. Both the restaurant and the magnificent citadel Besac are close by.
17. Niagara Falls is close to Podgorica
It takes around 10 minutes to drive from Podgorica to Niagara Falls on the Cijevna River; there are no public transit options available. Follow the directions to Rakica Kuce signage as you near the restaurant until you reach the parking slot.
The falls are most impressive during the spring thaw, although in the early summer, lots of people can be seen swimming in their much-diminished depths; by August, they are frequently totally dried up. By the falls is a good traditional eatery with the same name.
18. Explore the historic Roman settlement of Doclea
The most significant ancient settlement in Montenegro is Doclea. It is 4 kilometres up the Moraca River from Podgorica. Between the streams, Zeta, Moraca, & Siralija Creek existed a sizable flat plateau.
Doclea was established at the start of the first century. The settlement, which was most likely created after the ninth year, became a municipium under the Flavi Dynasty, under Vespasian, when municipals were established in large numbers in the area.
With more than 40,000 residents, Doclea was among the most important cities in what is now Montenegro during the Roman era. The ancient town was close to a number of major roads, one of which stretched from Narona to Scodra via Montenegro and was a crucial Roman thoroughfare.
Doclea has a limited historical record, yet it was significant throughout this time period and only came up in the historical sources somewhat recently. Its name was taken from the Docleati, an Illyrian tribe on whose land it was situated.
19. Enjoy a pleasant morning in City Parks
Due to its extensive green area, Podgorica is one of Europe’s greenest cities. The city has many well-maintained natural landscape elements which are perfect for walking, yoga or running. Njegosev & Karadjordjev Parks are among the oldest, and King’s Park in the heart of the city is the newest.
1. Park Njegosev
Njegosev park is one of Podgorica’s older urban parks. It was given the name Petar II Petrovic Njegos in honour of the most well-known Montenegrin poet & Prince-Bishop (Vladika) of Montenegro.
This park, which is situated on the side of the river Moraca, is a haven for inhabitants and visitors to enjoy Podgorica’s numerous sunny days. The region continues to be relatively private and tranquil despite the large number of people travelling through it via the well-known Gazela bridge. The benches and thick flora make it a sanctuary in the sweltering heat.
You can also unwind on the stony banks of the river Moraca since it flows directly through the park. Or perhaps swim if you’re courageous enough. Even on the hottest summer days, the water temperature in the River Moraca does not get above 18 degrees Celsius.
Along with the numerous banks, there is a renowned basketball court in the park where the most well-known Montenegrin basketball team, Buducnost, practises and competes during the summer. After the completion of Njegosev park, a new promenade was constructed on the Moraca riverbank in 2022.
2. Forest Park in Gorica
The most favoured park and recreation area in Podgorica is Gorica Forest Park and Gorica Hill. Gorica is a woodland park where people have long gone to walk and relax in the great outdoors. In recent years, Gorica has been used by athletes from a variety of sports, leisure activities, and professional fields to improve their physical fitness.
One of Montenegro’s oldest churches is located in the forest; it was built before 900 and is the oldest functional church in the nation. Because of this, the locals call it “the church with a spirit.” The Monument towards the Partisan Fighter is a large memorial complex in Gorica. The inauguration day was in 1957.
It is actually a mausoleum. It houses the bones of 2 revolutionaries and 66 major figures of the NOR (1941–45). However, the monument also acts as a testament to all the sorrow in the NOR because the interior honours all those who died in Montenegro. The monument has a monolithic, massive aspect since white stone is used throughout.
Two well-known coffee shops can be discovered at the start of the forest: Club Bocari as well as a café at the adventure park close to the Partisan Fighter Monument. Both are quite well-liked in the spring and summer. Gorica Adventure Park has been operating recently. It’s appropriate for kids as well.
3. Forest Park of Ljubovic
The second hill in the city is Ljubovic Forest Park as well as the hill. For locals, it is a stunning palace. It contains a jogging track, a picnic area, and pathways for riding and hiking. Popular hotels are located close by. The lovely park Djordje Balasevic is beside Foter Park Tolosi, where you may relax. Djordje Balasevic, a well-known Serbian singer who recently died in February 2021, inspired the park’s name. Lyrics from songs by Balasevic are placed around the entire park.
There are several benches in the park, and kids can play there too. Many students spend their afternoons in the park because it is close to the University of Montenegro.
4. Forest Park Zlatica
Outdoor enthusiasts and runners will both adore and enjoy this location. The 2.5 km wide trim track in Podgorica is situated close to a field used for indoor soccer as well as other sports in a lovely pine woodland. It is three kilometres from the residential area of Zlatica.
5. Forest Park Tolosi
Pine trees are present all around. The most well-liked track for running in the city is Forest Park Tolosi. The second section of the park will open in the summer of 2021. If you arrive on the track early in the morning, you will observe a lot of people engaging in street exercises, yoga, jogging, martial arts, etc. The local government takes good care of the park. Always welcoming to visitors and locals. A little coffee shop wherein people may refuel is located right in the middle of the park.
6. Petrovic Forest Park Krusevac
The complex castle Krusevac was once King Nikola I Petrovic’s winter residence. For city residents, nearby Forest Park Petrovic is a well-liked location for art and exhibitions. A church honouring the Holy Martyr Demetrius is also present.
The castle from the 19th century is now a distinctive Montenegro Art Collection Center. Another gallery centre, Perjanicki dom, is located in the middle of a lovely woodland park and features intriguing sculptures. The Montenegro Art Center & Perjanicki Dom are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 20 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 14 p.m.
7. Djeciji Park
Djeciji Park (Children’s Park), which is surrounded on one side by Park Petrovic and on the other by the Clinical Center of Montenegro, is a great area for kids and a special playground in Podgorica. Children play in the springtime beneath the cover of big, crowded trees.
20. Restaurants in Podgorica
When it comes to food, Podgorica seems to have a lot to offer. There is food for everyone, from expensive restaurants to affordable, quick food. Despite the fact that vegan restaurants are also available, Montenegrins typically consume meat.
You won’t be able to discover a McDonald’s in Podgorica if you search for one. Not even Burger King or KFC. In Podgorica, you won’t find the most well-known fast-food chains. I believe the simplest response to the question “why” is that Montenegrins don’t eat fast food from other countries. Pizza and pasta are the most widely consumed foreign foods.
21. Car rental in Podgorica
Making the decision to rent a car in Podgorica is simple because you can get to any town in Montenegro from the capital with ease.
The busiest airport is in Podgorica since many visitors need a car once they arrive. There are numerous national and local automobile rental companies at the airport. City Center is a well-liked rental destination. There are several popular hotels in this area. Therefore most visitors choose to pick up their rental car there.
22. Podgorica Travel Season
Maybe this can help you decide if you’re thinking about visiting Podgorica but are unsure of the best times to go and when to stay home. Due to the great spring weather and the fact that it is not the busiest travel season, April to July is the ideal time to visit Podgorica. Due to the pleasant weather, September is a great time to visit Podgorica. Summertime highs in Podgorica can exceed 45 °C. In the winter, nighttime lows around -4°C are not uncommon.
One of the greenest cities in Europe is Podgorica, which owes much of its continued greenness to its previous state. Even if it is not the most picturesque capital city in all of Europe, Podgorica is mostly covered in parks and vegetation. Podgorica is undoubtedly one of the top European Capitals on the green list, with more than 12 municipal parks. There are so many things to do in the Capital of Montenegro, like the Western Balkan peninsula, the Montenegrin Coast, and Montenegro’s mountainous regions receive in the middle ages of the Podgorica capital city.