Podgorica is the Capital city of Montenegro. Named after Gorica Hill overlooking the city, is the country’s cultural, economic, and educational hub. You will find charming things to do in Podgorica that will surprise and delight you, despite it not being a bucket list travel destination.
There’s a decent chance that when you google Podgorica, you won’t find the most amazing city in the world. Podgorica, however, must be empathized with. The tall mountain peaks in the north and the warm Adriatic Sea in the south are what most tourists seek to see when they travel to Montenegro.
As a local travel guide and travel expert, I can recommend these 29 things to do in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital.
29 Best Things to do In Podgorica
Visit Skaline and Stone Bridge
A favorite romantic spot in Podgorica, Sastavci is also known as Skaline by the younger generation.
Podgorica’s oldest stone bridge is at the mouth of the Ribnica in Moraca, which dates back to Roman times. This bridge may be one of the last remnants of the area’s former Grimm city, according to available data.
This bridge is known as a bridge on Sastavci by the older inhabitants of Podgorica, as the area around the mouth of the Ribnica in Moraca used to be called Sastavci. Several meters high, it is built of one arch.
In the summer months, it has long been a favorite place for lovers to meet, and a place where people gather to relax in a pleasant setting by the river when it is hot. The bridge is said to have been built of river stones.
Sunsets from the “Podgorica Bridge of Sighs” are amazing.
Explore Hill Gorica
Near the city center of Podgorica, Gorica Hill is a very popular park and a real paradise for recreation. There are also a number of endemic species in the Mediterranean garden, a Partisan Fighter memorial, an adventure park, and landscaped hiking, biking, and running trails in Gorica. From the hill, you can see the right bank of the River Moraca, as well as the contours of the Millennium Bridge. In the summertime, when the citizens of the Capital city seek shade and clean air, it is especially attractive to visitors.
Over the past decade, Gorica has primarily been used as a place to practice various sports-recreational and professional disciplines. A visit to Gorica’s pine trees in the forest can be very healing, as pine trees release cytocidal chemicals to purify the air.
Enjoy Hill Ljubovic
For locals, Hill Ljubovic is a favorite hill and recreational park. Summer night walks on the hill are popular with locals and tourists alike.
Ljubovic is a conical limestone hill located near the center of Podgorica, 101 m above sea level, and covered with pine trees, wild grasses, and medicinal plants. Like Gorica, it is a picnic area and forest park in Podgorica.
Hike to Grlo Sokolovo
This hiking tour from Kurcka Korita to Grlo Sokolovo is very popular all year round. During summer, it is popular with young people and kids. There is no need for additional equipment, but hiking boots are recommended.
It is located in the region of Kucka Korita, near Podgorica, but also close to the Albanian border.
The Falcon’s throat, or Grlo Sokolovo, offers a spectacular view of the Cijevna canyon and the Prokletije mountain range. The highest peak of Prokletije Maja e Jezerces 2694 meters can be seen in clear weather. You can see Tamara, an Albanian village located on the banks of the Cijevna river, from the viewpoint.
Panoramic road The circuit around Korita
The circuit around Korita is one of the most popular panoramic roads in Montenegro. The road starts in Podgorica and leads up to 1400 meters in the mountain area of Kuci. There is a well-maintained road along the entire 65-kilometer route, making it convenient for a day trip by car or biking tour. You can find a detailed plan of the panoramic route and attractions along the route at the link.
Old Town and Clock Tower
Among the many things to do and see in Podgorica is Old Town and Clock Tower. Simply, you can’t miss these monuments of old Podgorica.
During Ottoman rule (13-19 century), Stara Varos was the heart of Podgorica in terms of urban and architectural forms of the town, customs, way of life, and oriental characteristics.
The main symbol of Stara Varos is the Clock Tower, located on Becirbeg Osmanagic Square. Hafis-pasha Osmanagic built it in the 13th century. The Clock Tower watch was originally made in Italy. The Turkish fortress Depedogen (popularly known as Ribnica) was built in 1474 after the Ottomans conquered the medieval square of Podgorica. In the middle of the 20th century, the building next to the clock tower was demolished.
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Palace complex Kruševac, Contemporary Art Museum and Park
In the summer months, the former winter castle of King Nikola I Petrovic is transformed into a unique art and exhibition venue, one of the favorite destinations of the locals.
The complex in Podgorica was built in the 19th century on a hill on the right bank of the Moraca. The Castle of King Nikola was built between 1891 and 1894 and was the official winter residence of the last Montenegrin king.
Perjancki dom and the Church of St. Dimitrije, which was also Nicholas I’s family chapel, were located next to the castle.
Krusevac’s palace complex is now the home of the Center for Contemporary Art, an exhibition space, a botanical garden, as well as a music pavilion built at the end of the nineteenth century.
Enjoy Art in Museums and galleries
In 1974, this institution merged with the Modern Gallery and the Risto Stijovic Gallery to become the Museums and Galleries of Podgorica. An archaeological, cultural-historical, ethnographic, and historical collection is part of the permanent exhibition.
Researchers, collections, preservation, maintenance, study, processing, exhibition, promotion, and publication of museum and gallery material, as well as the improvement of museum and gallery activities, are the primary activities of museums and galleries. Additionally, the Museum maintains, preserves, and protects historical and cultural monuments in the area of the Capital Podgorica.
Hammam or Bath in Oriental style
During the Ottoman period, the hammam (bathroom) was built in the Oriental style. There were two single-story architectural units of different bases attached to one another on the first floor. Typical of the disjointed architecture were three domes and dual drain roofs.
In 1926, it became a public bathroom, known as Bath.
Only one of the three domes has been preserved. At this location today, there is the Carver Bookstore, which hosts literary events from time to time.
House of Cubranovic
Near the Clock Tower is probably the oldest “surviving” old townhouse, the House of Cubranovic.
Built-in 1630, it was placed under legal protection as a culturally and historically significant building. For a period after Podgorica was liberated from the Ottomans in January 1879, it also served as the seat of the first local government and municipal administration. This was led by Duke Ilija Plamenac and later by Duke Marko Miljanov.
Enjoy Cocktail in Bokeska Street
Bokeska Street is a famous party street in Podgorica, and it’s where the nightlife is the best on the weekends. On this street, there is a pub for every style of music, from relaxing jazz to intense techno and Balkan folk.
Picnic on Beache Galeb on Moraca River
In Podgorica, the Moraca River has nine architecturally distinct bridges and is the longest river in the city. Millennium Bridge is one of the city’s landmarks.
Spend the afternoon enjoying a picnic lunch at beach Galeb with a great view and crystal clear water. Swimming is allowed during the summer.
Travel to Zabljak Crnojevica Fortress
On the picturesque Moraca river lies this fortress, a historically significant cultural and economic trade center in medieval Montenegro and dynasty of Cernojevic.
Explore Medun Fortress & Museum of Marko Miljanov
Medun was originally built by the Illyrians as a stronghold in the 4th century B.C. One of Montenegro’s greatest heroes, Marko Miljanov, was also born there. His honesty and high moral standards earned him a place in Montenegrin history.
You can hike to the top of the fortress for a great view and, afterward, you can stroll around the Museum of Marko Miljanov.
The museum contains ethnographic, historical, and literary-librarian collections, including objects depicting Marko Miljanov’s life and work, his literary work, and items characteristic of the traditional life of the Kuci clan, from which he came.
Open hours are from 8AM to 4PM, on Monday the museum is not open.
Ticket price: adults €1.00, children €0.50.
Visit Plantaze, the largest vineyard in Europe
Did you know Podgorica is home to the largest vineyard in all of Europe? Traveling to Podgorica, and not to visit and see the largest vineyard in Europe, would be a pity.
Rent a car in Podgorica, and take a personal tour of the vineyard.
Plantaze vineyard spans, 2300 hectares, making it the largest vineyard in Europe. However, the entire region around Podgorica is a wine lover’s paradise.
While the vineyard is large and the plots are far apart, visitors are able to see it all. You can visit this vineyard empire, which grows 29 different grape varieties, with a glass of sparkling wine and a light ride on a tourist train. The two most important indigenous Montenegrin varieties are Vranac and Krstac.
Visit the Sipcanik cellar after your visit to the vineyards and take in the unique atmosphere of Europe’s most impressive wine cellar.
Wine Tasting Tour in the Skadar Lake Area
The best wines in Montenegro are produced in the Skadar Lake area, which is the largest lake in the Balkans as well as the largest national park in Montenegro.
In the Skadar Lake area are many famous wineries, where you can buy and taste wine with the owners and wine experts.
Here is the list of wineries in the Podgorica area:
- Winery Krgovic, Rogami
- Winery Vucinic, Rogami
- Vineyards and wine cellar Rajkovic, Ubli
- Radevic Estate, Piperi
- Winery Djukic, Doljani
- Winery Mola, Rogami
Visit Virpazar and fortress Besac
Virpazar is a small fishing village on the way from Podgorica to the coast. It lies at the confluence of rivers Crmnica and Orahovstica, which flow directly into Skadar Lake.
In spring, the high water levels transform Virpazar into an island connected to the mainland by three old stone bridges. A fertile region, Crmnica is home to a wide variety of fruit and vegetable varieties, including grapes, olives, and olive oil. In addition to boat excursions on Skadar Lake, Virpazar is also the starting point for many.
The amazing fortress Besac and the restaurant are also nearby.
Visit Niagara Falls near Podgorica
Niagara Falls on the river Cijevna are about 10 minutes from Podgorica; you will need a car since there are no public transportation options. As you approach the restaurant, follow the signs to Rakica Kuce until you reach the restaurant’s parking lot.
During the spring thaw, the falls are at their dramatic best, but you’ll find lots of locals swimming in their somewhat depleted depths in the early summer; by August, they are often completely dried up. A good traditional restaurant, also called Niagara, is located beside the falls.
Visit ancient town Dolcea
Walk through the ancient Roman town of Doclea.
Doclea is the most important ancient locality in Montenegro. It is located 4 km up the river Moraca from Podgorica. There was a large flat plateau between the rivers Zeta, Moraca, and Siralija Creek.
Doclea was founded at the beginning of the 1st century. Probably founded after the 9th year, the town became a municipium during the Flavi Dynasty, during Vespasian’s reign, when municipiums were established en masse in the area of the Roman province of Dalmatia.
Doclea was one of the most influential urban centers in what we now know as Montenegro, during the Roman era, with over 40,000 inhabitants. The ancient town was located near several main roads, among which the road from Narona led to Scodra via Montenegro, and this road was one of the most important Roman routes.
There are few historical records of Doclea, but it played an important role in this period and was mentioned relatively late in the historical sources. Its name was derived from the Illyrian tribe Docleati on whose territory it was built.
Spend an enjoyable morning in City Parks
Podgorica is one of the greenest cities in Europe thanks to its large green spaces. The city features many natural landscape and maintained parks that are ideal for running, yoga, or walking. Among the oldest are Njegosev and Karadjordjev Parks, and the most recent is King’s Park in the city center.
Read ultimate guide to city parks in Podgorica
Kayak Tour on Moraca
It would be a pity not to try a kayaking tour on the Moraca River if you are an adventure enthusiast. The Moraca river offers some of the most exciting whitewater tours in Montenegro in spring and summer. It’s great for beginners, families, and anyone who wants an adventure in the Montenegrin wilderness.
Adventure Park on Gorica
There is an adventure park on hill Gorica with trails for kids and the elderly. A variety of sports activities can be performed with the maximum level of safety and insurance on artificial rock climbing platforms.
Try Biking Tour
The pedestrian/hiking paths Gorica – Malo brdo – Duklja and Zijovo, as well as the city cycling paths, were marked with standardized markings throughout their lengths.
There are a number of horse clubs in the capital. Several clubs offer horseback riding along planned hiking routes, as well as riding schools
Fishing on the River Moraca
Enjoy an epic fishing adventure on the river Moraca in Podgorica. River Moraca is one of the most popular rivers for fishing in Montenegro. It’s suitable for all types of fly-fishing and spinning techniques.
Visit Mini-Zoo in Vranici
The Pony equestrian club has a mini zoo where children, as well as adults, can enjoy nature and get close to animals. In Vranici, only 1.5 kilometers from the city center, visitors can see ornamental dwarf poultry, rabbits, peacocks, California ducks, goats, cocker spaniels, ponies, squirrels, eagles, and other animals.
The children enjoy the possibility of riding ponies, but there is also a special area with swings and seesaws.
Cheap Shopping in Delta City Mall
Podgorica is a regional shopping center with very affordable prices. Shopping weekends in Podgorica are very popular with people from Montenegro and neighboring countries. Delta City, Mall of Montenegro, and City Mall are the most popular malls in the country.
Getting to Podgorica
It is possible to reach Podgorica on multiple ways, but the two most common are from Podgorica airport (TGD) and by car from other towns.
How to get to Podgorica by plane?
Podgorica Airport (TGD) is one of two airports in Montenegro and is located near the Capital. At this airport, Air Montenegro, Air Serbia, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Wizz Air, Ryanair, and many other companies operate. Charter flights also operate here.
The Capital of Montenegro is well-connected with major cities in Europe.
Getting to Podgorica by bus from airport
Getting the bus from Podgorica airport requires walking 2 kilometers outside the airport to the bus station. From the airport bus station, a bus will take you to the main Bus Station in Podgorica. Ticket price is 2 euros.
Getting to Podgorica by car
If you are already in Montenegro, probably the easiest way to reach the Capital is by car, driving from any city.
Distance from other cities in Montenegro:
- Podgorica – Cetinje 30 km
- Podgorica – Budva 65 km
- Podgorica – Bar 60 km (tunnel Sozina)
- Podgorica – Ulcinj 95 km
- Podgorica – Kotor 90 km
- Podgorica – Herceg Novi 125 km
Distances from neighboring countries:
- Skadar – Podgorica 60 km
- Dubrovnik – Podgorica 153 km
- Trebinje – Podgorica 118 km
Where to Stay in Podgorica
Podgorica has a wide range of accommodation options for business travelers, regular travelers, backpackers, budget travelers, or upscale travelers.
Here is the list of most popular accommodations in the Podgorica:
Hotel Hilton Podgorica, Montenegro
Hotel Hilton in Podgorica is a five-star hotel. One of the best in Montenegro.
Hotel Hilton Podgorica was newly renovated and upgraded in 2016 and is just a short walk to government offices, embassies, the center of the city, and its parks. With a rooftop bar and four restaurants, it is set in the heart of Podgorica. After a busy day, relaxing in a stylish and sunlit room is the perfect way to unwind.
Hotel Ramada Podgorica
Hotel Ramada Podgorica is one of the most popular hotels. The hotel meets all the requirements of both corporate guests and tourists. It’s located in the Mall of Montenegro, near the bus station and train station. From the hotel, it’s very easy to reach the airport, and the city center is within walking distance.
Now, I’ll present the hotel with the best view in Podgorica.
Lie on the bank of Moraca river, Podgorica Hotel was built in 1967. One of the oldest hotels is known as an architectural masterpiece of architect Svetlana Kana Radevic, for which she won a national award for architecture with a special accent on fitting into a current natural ambient. A unique feature of the hotel is the river stone carved into the exterior walls.
It is very popular in spring and summer to have dinner and parties on the hotel terrace.
Athos Square Apartments
Private accommodation is relatively cheap. However, there is not much lux private accommodation. If you are looking for amazing lux accommodation, but you are fed up with hotel rooms and want something more private – Athos Square apartments are for you.
Set within walking distance of the Clock Tower in Podgorica, the Parliament of Montenegro, and the Parliament of Montenegro, Athos Square Apartments are suitable for business and travel guests. They have free private parking, if you are with a car.
Find here a full list of hotels in Podgorica.
Where to Eat in Podgorica
Podgorica has a lot to offer when is comes to food. From luxury restaurants to cheap fast food, there is a plate for everyone. Montenegrins usually eats meat, but special vegan restaurant are available as well.
If you are searching for McDonald’s location in Podgorica, you will not find it. Not even KFC or Burger King. The most popular fast food chains are not presented in Podgorica. I think the simple answer to the question “why” is Montenegrins don’t to eat foreign fast food.
The most popular foreign foods are pasta and pizza.
Renting a car in Podgorica
Deciding to rent a car in Podgorica it’s easy, because from the Capital you can easily reach any town in Montenegro with a car in a few hours. Since renting a car in Podgorica is very popular, hare are the top rental locations according to travelers.
Airport Podgorica – the most popular location, because many travels wants car after landing in country. On the airport are many international and local car rental brands.
City Center is also a popular rental location. Most of the popular hotels are here, and travelers usually decide to pick up the car at the hotel.
When to Visit Podgorica
If you’re planning a trip to Podgorica but don’t know when to travel and when to avoid, maybe this will help you decide.
The best time to visit Podgorica is from April to July due to the excellent weather conditions in the spring, and because it’s not peak travel season, it’s less likely to be crowded and hot. September is as well nice month to travel in Podgorica, due to good weather condition.
Podgorica’s summer temperatures can reach as high as 45°C. During the winter, temperatures can drop to as low as -4°C at night.
Featured image photo credits: Igor Milic Studio