Things to do in Budva, Montenegro

Things to do in Budva, Montenegro

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Looking for amazing things to do in Budva, Montenegro? This seaside town on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro is known for its beautiful beaches, historic old town, and lively nightlife. With its Mediterranean climate and stunning seaside panorama, Budva is the perfect destination for a vacation full of fun and relaxation.

In this guide, I’ll share the 19 best things to do in Budva to help you make the most of your visit. Whether you want to laze on the beach, explore ancient architecture, or party into the night, Budva has something for everyone. 

Let’s see what you can do in Budva

What to do in Budva?

Walk the Old Town

Budva’s Old Town is the crown jewel of the city. This medieval walled area dates back over 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. Meandering the cobblestone streets is one of the top things to do in Budva. With its churches, museums, shops, and restaurants, the Old Town offers endless sights to discover.

Make sure to check out the narrow alleyways, stone walls, and historic buildings like St. Ivan’s Church and the Church of Santa Maria in Punta dating from the 7th century. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours to fully take in all the Old Town’s charm. It’s like stepping back in time.

Relax on Slovenska Beach

Known for having some of Montenegro’s best beaches, Budva has no shortage of spots to soak up the sun. Slovenska Beach is considered one of the top beaches in Budva with its clear blue waters and soft sand. But this beach is often crowded during the peak summer months. 

Lined with lounge chairs and umbrellas, it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy day swimming, sunbathing, and sipping cocktails from the beach bars.

With the Old Town jutting out into the sea just next door, Slovenska Beach is conveniently located. You’ll find activities like jet skiing, paddle boarding, and volleyball to keep you entertained. 

Party in Budva’s Nightlife District

When the sun goes down, Budva transforms into one of the liveliest places on the Adriatic coast. The bars, clubs, and late-night dining spots make Budva the party capital of Montenegro. Most of the action happens in the Old Town where music and laughter fill the streets well until 1 PM.

Some of the top hot spots include Casper Bar with live DJs and an outdoor dance floor, Top Hill Club situated high above the town with panoramic views, and Perla Lounge for rubbing elbows with rich and famous cocktails. Put on your dancing shoes and join locals and tourists alike for an epic night out in Budva.

Visit old Citadela

For sweeping views over Budva, head up to the Citadela fortress located high above the town. Dating back to the 18th century when the Venetians ruled the area, the Citadel was built on top of fortifications dating back to the 5th century BC!

Climbing the steep steps up to the Citadela is worth it for the incredible vantage point looking down at Budva, the Old Town jutting out into the sea, and the mountains in the background. Within the Citadela’s walls, you can also explore archaeological remains and walk along the ramparts. It’s the perfect place for photo ops and admiring Budva from above.

Explore the Island of Sveti Nikola

One of the top day trips from Budva is visiting the small island of Sveti Nikola located just offshore. Meaning St. Nicholas, this rocky island features a church and monastery dedicated to the patron saint of sailors dating back to the 9th century. For locals this island is “Scoglio” or “Skolj”, it’s from the Italian language meaning “rock” since Budva has a strong influence from Venetian times. You can even see the archaeological remains of a Roman temple once located here.

To reach Sveti Nikola, you can hire one of the small boats from Budva’s Old Town marina for a quick 10-minute ride. It will cost you around 15 EUR with a round trip. Spend your time on the island touring the church and monastery before finding a quiet spot to swim and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. 

With the panoramic waterfront of Budva in the distance, Sveti Nikola makes for the ultimate scenic escape.

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Shop Local Market “Pijaca”

For unique mementos and handicrafts during your stay, Budva’s Pazar (local market) is the place to shop. This open-air market lies just outside the Old Town’s walls but still within walking distance. Under red awnings, you’ll find everything from fresh produce and flowers to local artisan goods and souvenirs.

Haggle for a good price on items like embroidered linens, olive oil, honey, spices, and the famous Balkan cheese. You can also pick up handmade jewelry and pottery crafted locally. Visiting the market is a fun way to mingle with locals and experience Budva’s daily life first-hand while finding the perfect gifts to bring home.

See Odl Island/Town of Sveti Stefan

The tiny island of Sveti Stefan, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, is one of the most iconic spots in Montenegro. With rust-red roofs, white-washed stone homes crammed together, and the deep blue Adriatic Sea as its backdrop, the whole island looks like one scenic village straight out of a fairy tale. 

It’s a 10-15 min drive from Budva. 

Originally a fishing village dating back to the 1400s, today Sveti Stefan operates as an ultra-luxury resort. From 2023 all tourists can enter the town. The entrance fee is 20 EUR per person

Standing above the mainland cliffs, you can take in the beauty and snap some of the most Instagram-worthy travel shots in Montenegro!

Hike to Kamenovo Beach

For a peaceful natural setting, hike from Budva 25 minutes down to Kamenovo Beach. This secluded cove lies nestled between the cliffs untainted by development. The pebble beach sits framed by clear blue waters that beg to be swum in.

The hike itself also offers gorgeous coastal scenery passing through lush greenery and olive groves along the way. Once you arrive at Kamenovo Beach, you’ll feel like you’ve uncovered a hidden gem in Budva away from all the crowds. 

Pack a picnic lunch, put on your swimsuit, and make a day out of hiking and lounging on beautiful Kamenovo Beach.

Wander Around Pizana

Just a 10-minute walk west of the Old Town lies the small beach Pizana, known for its authentic character. Here you can stroll the boardwalk along the water’s edge and take in traditional Montenegrin life at a slower pace than central Budva.

Make sure to see the colorful fishing boats bobbing in the marina and the little stone houses with red tile roofs. Stop for a classic seafood meal of fresh-caught fish or octopus salad at one of the tavernas lining the boardwalk. 

The laid-back ambiance in Pizana provides a nice break from the bustle of Budva’s main tourist areas.

Visit Petrovac, an old fishing town

The coastal village of Petrovac, located just a 25-minute drive north of Budva, boasts pretty beaches tucked into dramatic cliffs along with vibrant art galleries, shops, and eateries. Petrovac has an artsy, bohemian vibe with red-roofed stone houses and flowers overflowing from window boxes.

For the best views, walk up to the Church of Saint Elijah on the highest point above Petrovac. This is another great side trip from Budva to enjoy browsing the boutiques, hunting for souvenirs, and appreciating Petrovac’s scenery in an artsy setting.

Savor Seafood at Porto Restaurant

No trip to Budva is complete without savoring a flavorful seafood dish along the coast, and Porto Restaurant is the place to go. This acclaimed seafood restaurant is situated right on the beachfront near Mogren with prime vistas over the water. Dine al fresco on fresh catches like sea bass, octopus, or shrimp prepared in Mediterranean and local Montenegrin styles.

Beyond the ultra-fresh seafood, the elegant yet casual ambiance and sunset views of the Adriatic make an evening at Porto Restaurant a can’t miss fine dining experience. Be sure to make reservations to secure a coveted table.

Take a Boat Trip to Budva

Since Budva sits along the panoramic Adriatic Coast, getting out on the water is a must during your visit. From Budva’s Old Town marina, you can find several boat operators offering excursions that can help you explore more of the beautiful coastline. 

One popular half-day trip takes you along the coastline passing small beaches, secluded bays, and the island of St. Nicola. Keep an eye out for dolphins known to frequent these waters. 

You’ll get the chance to swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters at some of the most scenic spots, all while taking in panoramic views of the dramatic coastal mountains. 

A full-day cruise is also available which takes you as far as the Bay of Kotor or Petrovac, allowing you to discover more of Montenegro’s impressive coastline. For a more luxurious experience, consider chartering a private yacht for the afternoon. 

You can stop wherever you please, dine on board, or have a picnic lunch on a secluded beach. Regardless of which boat trip you choose, being out on the Adriatic Sea is a fun and relaxing way to soak in the natural beauty surrounding Budva.

Relax at a Beach Club

For a full-day beach escape, relax at one of Budva’s beach clubs Dukley. These upscale beachfront spots rent lounge chairs and umbrellas for the day. You can sip cocktails by the water while enjoying the sounds of summer playlists. Some even have beach volleyball courts, water sports rentals, and restaurants right on site. It’s a perfect idyllic way to spend a sunny day in Budva.

Experience Local Cuisine

Montenegrin food highlights the fresh seafood and grilled meats the region is known for. Be sure to try specialties like risotto and seafood stews. For vegetarian bites, try homemade cheese and olives. Visit a traditional konoba (tavern) in the Old Town to immerse yourself in local flavor and hospitality while enjoying authentic cuisine.

Visit Jaz Beach

Just south of Budva lies the splendid beach of Jaz. With soft golden sands and clear shallow waters, it’s a family favorite and among the most beautiful beaches in all of Montenegro. 

You’ll find beach bars, water sports, and sunbathers basking in the gorgeous scenery. Come here to relax in paradise or join watersports like kayaking.

Most preferred beach for locals – Mogren

No way you can skip the most iconic beach for locals – Mogren. It’s a favorite beach in Budva for all locals. With crystal clear water, it’s pure enjoy to swim at Mogren. 

The beach is divided by the huge rock into two parts, Mogren 1 and Mogren 2. Make sure to come early during the day, since there will not be sun after 3 PM during summer days.  

Hike fortress Mogren

Just 100 meters above the Mogren beach on the hill is a famous fortification built in 1860 by the Austro Empire. The Fortress Mogren was renovated in 2021 and open for tourists. It’s easy to hike to the fortress, you can reach it from the beach and the main road on the other side.

From the fortress, you can see a perfect panorama view of Budva Riviera.  

Attend Grad Teatar

During the months of July and August, Budva’s old town transformed into a theatre city. During the two months, you can enjoy many plays on the streets and open theatre.

Even just strolling the lively Old Town, you may happen upon live music or street entertainers.

Take a Day Trip to Kotor

Located just 40 minutes north, the walled town of Kotor tucked into Montenegro’s deepest fjord is not to be missed. 

Wander the medieval streets filled with history and churches with stunning Bay of Kotor views. Kotor is consistently ranked one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic, providing the perfect complement to your time in Budva.

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