Are you looking for the best places to visit in Montenegro? Look no further! Montenegro is one of the most underrated countries in the world. It does not experience nearly as much tourism as its coastal neighbor Croatia. In my opinion, this is a good thing as it preserves the authenticity of the country. Montenegro is also a lot less expensive than Croatia, which is important if you are traveling on a budget.
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We spent two full weeks in Montenegro in June 2022. This is a perfect amount of time to see most of the country, especially if you rent a car. You can also plan a few day trips to nearby countries such as Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania. Here are the 5 most breathtaking places to visit in Montenegro this summer.
If you don’t already have your trip booked, I’m sure I’m convincing you to visit. Check out these resources and tools to help book and plan your trip!
- Booking.com – offers accommodation and unique places
- Vrbo – world’s leading marketplace for vacation rentals
- Hostelworld – global hostel-focused online booking platform
- Wayaway – flight aggregator to find the best rates on airline tickets
- Rentalcars.com – the world’s largest car rental service
- Trainline – Europe’s leading train and bus app
- GetYourGuide – find top-rated tours and activities in your destination
#1: Old Town Kotor
Old Town Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the town of Kotor. In my opinion, it’s at the very top of the list for places to visit in Montenegro. It’s thought to be the best preserved medieval old town in the entire mediterranean. When you enter the walls of the old town, you literally feel transported back in time. Within the old town there are winding streets full of restaurants, boutiques, souvenir shops, and museums. Of course there’s also plenty of preserved churches and cathedrals. I definitely recommend taking a walking tour with a local guide to better understand the history of the old town. Here’s the exact one I did.
#2: Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan is a small islet town southeast of Budva. The islet is connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land, and was once used as a fortified safe haven against Turkish invaders. Basically, the entire town is covered by a 5-star resort called Aman Sveti Stefan. Aman Sveti Stefan has been closed since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing security concerns. Sveti Stefan was apparently Marilyn Monroe’s favorite place to vacation. Now you can only walk up to the front gates of the islet resort, but you should definitely visit to take photos and admire the terracotta buildings. There is a public beach right across from the islet that offers a fantastic view. We were there when it was closed, so it looked a little eerie and abandoned, but it was still really cool!
Ulcinj is an ancient seaport on Montenegro’s southernmost tip. It’s about an hour and 40 minute drive from Kotor. The town has 25 different beaches. The main one is Velika Plaza (“long beach”). Ulcinj is very close to Albania, so the majority of residents are Albanian. It’s a pretty small town, but has both an old town and downtown-like area along the seafront. The downtown area was quite busy and seemed to have a lot of popping bars and restaurants. We opted for a more romantic vibe and had dinner in the old town overlooking the Adriatic Sea. I had the best fish of my entire life here at a family-owned restaurant called Dulcinea! I would recommend spending a few days here as there’s a lot to explore and so many beaches to relax on!
#4: Our Lady of the Rocks
Our Lady of the Rocks is a small man-made island off the coast of Perast, an old town in the Bay of Kotor. As the story goes, on July 22nd, 1452, two fishermen discovered an image of Virgin Mary at this spot and began piling rocks upon which they built a small church. In the 1600s the island was further expanded by sinking old ships with rocks. Every year on July 22nd, residents of Perast boat out at sunset and throw rocks into the bay around the island. This custom is known as fašinada!
Since Our Lady of the Rocks is an island, you need to get there by boat. We went as part of a few hour long boat excursion. You should reserve about 30-45 minutes on the island, especially if you want to visit the church. Two things you should know: there is a bit of a dress code so don’t wear just a bathing suit and bring cash if you want to go inside the church.
#5: Lovćen National Park
Lovćen National Park is home to Mount Lovćen. Mount Lovćen is the inspiration behind the name of Montenegro (Crna Gora), meaning black mountain. If you’re staying in Kotor, Lovćen National Park is only a 40-minute drive away so it’s good for a half-day trip. Be aware that the drive is literally snaking around the side of a mountain… but the views are amazing!
On top of the mountain, sits the highest mausoleum in the world (1,657m), Mausoleum of Njegoš. The mausoleum is dedicated to Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, a former Prince-Bishop of Montenegro. The walk from the parking lot to the top of the mountain is 10 minutes up a set of stairs. The main other thing to do at Lovćen National Park is hike, but I think it’s worth it to go just for the scenic drive and to see the views from the top of Mount Lovćen.
These are my top 5 favorite places to visit in Montenegro. But honestly, everywhere in the country is so beautiful… you really can’t go wrong!