10 seriously awesome things to do in Montenegro

things to do in Montenegro

Looking for amazing things to do in Montenegro?

Montenegro is a small country in the Balkans with a population of just 628,066 people. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty. Think medieval cities, UNESCO protected parks, winding bays and lush scenery. 

Montenegro is one of the youngest countries in the world and tourism hasn’t entirely made its way there. So, if you ask me, now is the best time to visit Montenegro.

Here are 10 beautiful and totally awesome things to do in Montenegro!

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10 best things to do in Montenegro

These are the best places to visit in Montenegro in no particular order. If you’re looking for info on best time to visit Montenegro, other Montenegro activities and more tips, read my comprehensive Montenegro travel guide.

Looking for things to do in Montenegro? It's a small country, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty. Montenegro is one of the youngest countries in the world and tourism hasn’t entirely made its way there, so now is the best time to visit. Here are 10 fun and adventurous things to do in Montenegro.
Looking for things to do in Montenegro? It's a small country, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty. Montenegro is one of the youngest countries in the world and tourism hasn’t entirely made its way there, so now is the best time to visit. Here are 10 fun and adventurous things to do in Montenegro.

How to get around

While you can take busses in Montenegro, it’s not the best way of exploring the country. Most of the sites are nature and not located near bus stops. So, the two best ways of exploring Montenegro is by car or on a tour.

By car

With your own rental car, you have the freedom to decide when, where and what. Roads are generally good and you’ll drive through lots of tunnels and mountain areas. Drivers in Montenegro tend to be aggressive, so drive carefully.

Day tours

On this day tour of North Montenegro, you’ll visit Perast, Slano Lake, Tara Bridge, Black Lake and Ostrog Monastery. It’s a fantastic tour where you’ll see the most amazing landscape.

If you go with this tour also, you’ll get to see everything on this Montenegro itinerary. I highly recommend both tours.

Best things to do in Montenegro

1. Kotor Old Town & Bay of Kotor

UNESCO World Heritage Site

I recently spent a week in Montenegro, based in the historical town of Kotor.

Kotor is the most charming place I visited. It’s a medieval town with an old UNESCO protected Old Town surrounded by fortresses and a wall. As opposed to the neighbouring city Budva, it’s historical, more intact and way less crowded by tourists. 

If you’re in the area, make sure to visit Perast, which is easily reached by local bus or taxi. Also visit the Blue Cave, which is a grotto with neon blue water! Check availability here.

Kotor, Montenegro
Kotor Bay, Montenegro

2. Budva Riviera

Ideal for swimming and partying

Only 30 minutes from Kotor, you’ll find Budva; the center of Montenegrin tourism. The city of Budva is 2,500 years old and known for its medieval walls, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife.

Budva has beaches, new fancy hotels and clubs, but to me it seemed touristy. I personally liked Kotor much better.

Budva, Montenegro

3. Lovcen National Park

Entrance fee = 3 euro

Lovcen is beautiful. One of the main reasons to visit Lovcen National Park is to see the mausoleum of Petar II Petrović Njegoš (1813-1851). He was the Prince-Bishop of Montenegro and a beloved political and cultural leader.

He was buried on a mountain top in Lovcen and his mausoleum is reached by a hike up 400 steep steps.

Although the mausoleum might mostly be a Montenegrin pilgrimage destination, the view is definitely worth the journey up the zigzagging mountain.

This tour with Viator includes a visit to Lovcen, Cetinje, Lake Skadar and Sveti Stefan. It’s a full day tour packed with beautiful landscape where you’ll experience the best Montenegro has to offer.


4. Ostrog monastery

Free entrance, but it is required to cover your shoulders, arms and knees. Women must cover their heads with scarfs.

Ostrog; a Serbian Orthodox monastery, should definitely be on your list of things to do in Montenegro. Not only is it unique because it’s carved almost in its entirety in a vertically positioned mountain cliff, but it’s also the most important Orthodox site in the country.

Ostrog monastery was built in the 1600s and is incredibly impressive. I loved the serenity and relaxing monk-tunes in the background.

Join this day trip in North Montenegro where you’ll visit Ostrog and many other highlights.

Ostrog monastery, Montenegro
Ostrog monastery, Montenegro-3

5. Morača Monastery

Peaceful place and very quiet

Another beautiful monastery is Morača Monastery. If you’re coming from Kotor, it’s on the way to Durmitor National Park and well worth a visit.

The monastery still has a few monks on site and is one of the better known medieval monuments of Montenegro. The main church is painted and a monk will interpret the paintings for you in the tourist-allowed areas.

Entry guidelines are not as strict as Ostrog monastery’s, but you should still be respectful and cover your shoulders.

The monastery was founded in 1252

6. Skadar Lake

UNESCO World Heritage Site

This freshwater lake straddles the borders of Albania and Montenegro and is surrounded by dramatic karst mountains and rocky shores.

Skadar lake is home to a variety of wildlife with more than 260 species of birds, traditional fishing villages, monasteries and beaches.

Many Montenegrins regard this area as their country’s heart and soul.

This tour with Viator includes a visit to Lake Skadar and other beautiful places in Montenegro.

Ostrog monastery, Montenegro-10

7. Durmitor National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The main reason I wanted to visit Montenegro was to see Black Lake. The lake is in Durmitor National Park, which is home to beautiful lakes and mirrored waters, but also hosts majestic mountains and canyons.

If you’re lucky, you might see brown bears, wolves, wild cats, eagles and owls, although the former is less likely. 

Join this day trip in North Montenegro where you’ll visit Durmitor and many other highlights.

Black Lake, Durmitor National Park

8. Cetinje

Historical and cultural city. Montenegrin capital until 1946.

The former capital of Montenegro is only a short bus ride from Budva (30 minutes). It’s a quiet town, full of culture and medieval architecture.

Although it’s not reason alone to visit Montenegro, it will give you a sense of culture and history. Cetinje is a pleasure to wander aimlessly about for an hour or two. You’ll visit on a quick stop on this tour, which is perfect because you won’t need more than 1-2 hours here.

Lovcen National Park, Montenegro-3

9. Tara river canyon

The deepest canyon in Europe

If you’re wondering what to do in Montenegro to experience the highlights – this is where to go:

Tara canyon.

Tara river canyon is the deepest in Europe and it cradles the wild Tara River with its sapphire blue and emerald-green waters. It stretches for 144 kilometres and creates the perfect place for white water rafting and other outdoor adventures.

Join this day trip in North Montenegro where you’ll visit Tara River and many other highlights.


10. Durdevica Tara bridge

Great for zip lining and river rafting

Durdevica Tara bridge is inside the Durmitor National Park in the North corner of Montenegro. It’s a bit far off if you’re not combining a trip there with another site like Black Lake or Tara Canyon. This day trip in North Montenegro included Tara and many other must-visit sights in Montenegro.

Tara bridge doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes to visit, but there’s rafting and zip lining right next to. I heard the price for river rafting is $40 per person, but I didn’t try it myself so I can’t say for sure.


Best hotels in Montenegro

I recommend basing yourself in Kotor while exploring the best things to do in Montenegro. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful bay surrounded by mountains and a scenic view, it’s also easy to get from and to.

Here is a few of the best hotels in Kotor.

Muo Apartments – The view from this hotel would be reason enough to book a night here – it’s so breathtaking. The rooms here are stylish, lovely bed and there’s a pool. It’s just 100m from the beach and 1km from the city centre – perfect location.  Click here to see the latest prices.

Palazzo Radomiri – A romantic boutique hotel in an 18th-century Baroque stone building, overlooking Kotor Bay. There’s a beautiful courtyard restaurant and a stone quay for bathing, an outdoor pool and a small spa. I loved the free yoga in the morning! Click here to see the latest prices.

FAQ about things to do in Montenegro

What is Montenegro best known for?

Montenegro is best known for its stunning natural beauty, including its rugged mountains, crystal-clear lakes like Black Lake, and Kotor Bay.

Is there much to do in Montenegro?

Yes, there is plenty to do in Montenegro, including visiting historic towns and cities, exploring national parks, hiking and swimming.

Is 2 days enough for Montenegro?

While 2 days is enough time to see some of Montenegro’s highlights, such as Kotor and Budva, I recommend that you spend at least 4-5 days to fully explore the country.

Why do people go to Montenegro?

Most people go to Montenegro to experience its stunning natural beauty, rich history and culture, and outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and water sports.

What are the best outdoor activities to do in Montenegro?

Some of the best outdoor activities to do in Montenegro include hiking in Durmitor National Park, swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, kayaking on Skadar Lake, and exploring the Tara River Canyon.

What is the best time of year to visit Montenegro?

The best time of year to visit Montenegro is during the summer months of June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny and the beaches and outdoor activities are in full swing.

Is it safe to travel to Montenegro?

Yes, Montenegro is generally a safe country to travel to, with low levels of crime and a stable political situation.

However, you should always take normal safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables.

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  1. Good piece, but tricky to isolate just 10 highlights from such a beautiful little country.
    I went this time last year and personally loved #Kotor, #Perast, the ruined city of #StariBar and #SkadarLake the best. I even saw Dalmatian pelicans on the lake boat trip, which was a lifetime first! 🙂
    With more time I’d have headed further north to #Durmitor and #BiogradskaGora national parks, but only so much one can fit into a week long break.

    1. That’s true, picking out highlights from a trip is always a challenge 🙂 I absolutely recommend visiting Durmitor if you ever find yourself back in Montenegro. The lakes and forests up there are amazing!

  2. We took a road trip through Montenegro a few years back and I absolutely loved it. I still recommend Montenegro to people over more popular destinations like Croatia because it is still so untouched. I missed the black lake that you posted, I’d love to see that if I ever make it back. Thanks for sharing, and bringing back lovely memories 🙂

    1. You’re most welcome, Katie 🙂 It’s always great to find a country with undeniable beauty that is still unexplored. I feel that way about Slovenia.

  3. Wow these pictures are amazing! Montenegro was never really too high up on my radar, but it definitely will not be missed when I plan my Balkans trip (whenever that is). Enjoy!

    1. Thanks, Jones! You’ve been to Slovenia which in my opinion is similar, but more beautiful than Montenegro. You’ve already seen the jewel of the Balkans 😉

  4. Hi Miriam,

    I’ve recently come across your blog and I must say I really like your layout and style. I’m heading to Serbia for two weeks in June and I’m hoping I’ll have time to spend a weekend in Montenegro, After reading this I think my first stop would be Kotor!

  5. We have a very short period of time to play with but I think Durmitor National Park will be a priority. Do you stay there overnight or is it a trip from a town? Many thanks for posting.

    1. Hi Gemma,
      It’s easy to visit Durmitor as a day trip from Kotor or Budva. It was one of the highlights of Montenegro for me and it’s the prettiest national park in the country! If you find a good tour company, see if they will pass Tara river and canyon on the way to Durmitor. It’s a fun place for zip lining.

  6. Great overview. Would love to visit it soon. Have been to Croatia for festival & clubbed it with visiting places.
    Montenegro really looks beautiful & looks like your blog has added charm to it.!! Thanks Miriam.

  7. Good list Miriam! These are 9 of the better known places and Moraca Monastery is a solid addition. For the best pics of the monastery, I recommend people go about 1 km north on the road. On a clear day you can take a gorgeous picture of the monastery with a waterfall gushing out below it and mountains sitting high overhead. It really is an amazing image. (Not easy to do in July & August as foliage makes it an almost impossible shot.)

    Next time you are planning to be in Montenegro, give me a shout. We are developing a sustainable venture here to help advance opportunities for villagers. Would love to introduce you to the farm stay network we are developing with the locals to create sustainable travel options with income for the locals and amazing adventure for travelers.

    1. Hi Allie,
      I haven’t visited in May, but if it’s anything like Croatia, it’s a great time to visit. It’s not super hot, but still sunny and not too crowded with tourists. I’m guessing the temperatures vary from 20-26 degrees C.

      Have a great trip!

    2. Hey Allie – May in Monte is usually great. The shoulder seasons in the country are my favorite especially in the usual tourist areas because the weather is nice (cooler) and the number of people is a lot fewer. You may have some showers, but usually lots of sun. The part of the country where you will be will also determine the weather a good bit. On the coast it should be mostly sunny but still pretty early for a swim while up in the higher mountains things are usually thawing enough to make all the roads passable. Both have their charm. 😉

  8. Hi Miriam,
    Is the easiest to rent a car to get around Montenegro? That was my plan.
    And is it feasible to just turn up in villages and find a place to stay the same day? I’ll be travelling mid June.

    1. Yes, for sure. Montenegro is not as far ahead as say Croatia and Slovenia when it comes to public transportation so renting a car would definitely be the easiest way for you to get around.

      Since you’re traveling in June, I’d probably book accommodation ahead (since it’s the high season), but you can always go with the flow if that’s more your style. I wouldn’t expect to find accommodation in smaller villages, though. Most hotels/hostels and the like are found in bigger towns like Kotor, Budva, Herceg Novi, Podgorica, etc.

  9. Wow, the Black Lake is stunning! I wish my husband and I had more time to see Montenegro. We were only able to visit there for a day, as we were on a day trip from Dubrovnik, but we had a blast climbing San Giovanni trail. It was off peak towards the end of November so there were very few people around.

  10. Hi Miriam! Which tour company did you use for your day trip?

    Thank you! We’re thinking of a trip in July or September.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      I really cannot recommend the tour operator I went with as they were unreliable. I prefer not to publicly shame them (although they kind of deserve it), but I’m happy to share their info in a private message if you want to know which one to avoid. Here’s my email: [email protected]

      September would be the best time to visit since the weather is less hot and it will be less crowded. Have a great trip!

  11. Plan in visiting July 2019, just booked flights through Dubrovnik, thanks for ideas, will post my feedback post trip

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