Podgorica Travel Guide
Most visitors to Montenegro head to either Kotor or Budva. Podgorica may not be a historic city or a beach hot spot, but it is close to hidden gems.
From the biggest lake in the Balkans to a deserted ruined city, spend a few days in Podgorica. You’ll get odd looks from fellow travellers, but it will be their loss.
Come check out our Podgorica travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Podgorica, Montenegro.
During your stay in the Podgorica area, be sure to take a day trip out to Lake Skadar. This natural gem is the largest lake in the Balkans. An underground karst system continually replenishes the lake, which is shaped like a dolphin.
Two-thirds of the lake lies in Montenegro, with most of its shore protected by a national park. It also contains several islands – on Beska, you’ll find a pair of churches and a former fortress/prison. Birders also love this place, as approximately 270 species of bird either live here or visit during migrations.
Be sure to go on a boat trip. It will no doubt be among the highlights of your time in Podgorica. On average, journeys take roughly two hours and contain loads of informative commentary.
Back in town, make certain to pay a visit to Dajbabe Monastery. A lone monk founded it in the late 19th century, and initially, he lived in an adjacent cave. However, as the popularity of this religious site increased, church authorities built the structure that exists today.
The walls of the cave portion of the monastery contain an abundance of Christian-themed paintings. The monk who originally lived there worked on all of them up until he died in 1941. A quiet spot that doesn’t get many tourist visits, it’s a great place to reflect on your life/faith.
Are you still in the mood to check out religious sights of interest? If so, head to the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. Unlike most churches of note in the Balkans, this cathedral opened recently, as construction on it finished in 2013.
However, don’t dismiss it based on its young age – its exterior and interior form are worth seeing. After checking out its cupolas, head indoors to scope out murals, frescoes, and a finely carved altar.
Some say it lacks the impact that other ancient sites have. However, this also means that the Duklja Ruins offer a crowd-free experience. Situated only three kilometres north of Podgorica, you may only have flocks of sheep to keep you company.
The foundations here date to the 1st century AD when the Docleatae settled here. At its peak, it’s estimated that almost 40,000 souls lived here. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, an earthquake and barbarian invasions led to this city’s downfall.
Today, walls, foundations, broken pillars, and reliefs are all that remains here. There’s no admission fee, but it’s recommended you hire a guide to make the most of your time here.
After spending time at Lake Skadar, make time to check out the Moraca River as well. This beloved waterway flows down from the Rzaca Mountains for about 100 kilometres before ending up at Lake Skadar.
On its way, it carved a deep canyon that will impress those who enjoy spending time in the mountains. If you can’t get away from Podgorica, this river also flows through the city centre. Locals love walking its banks, as its clear waters stand apart from murkier rivers elsewhere in Europe.
Montenegro may not be well-known for wine internationally, but trust us – locals love the stuff. During your time in Podgorica, pay a visit to the Plantaze Vineyard. For only 12 EUR, you can get a tour of one of this country’s most beloved wineries.
From the vineyards outside to its impressive wine cave, this facility will impress you. At the end of the tour, you’ll get a chance to do a tasting. In addition to sampling its vintages, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample local cheese and olive oil. If you’re a gourmand, do not miss this attraction.
Before taking a taxi/shuttle back into Podgorica, check out Waterfall Niagara. Located a short distance from the Plantaze Vineyard, you won’t mistake this feature for its more famous cousin. However, it is nonetheless an impressive sight.
The water flows over a flat upper shelf, creating a startlingly uniform curtain of water. For the best experience possible, stop at the coffee shop located adjacent to the falls. Note, however, that the water flow slows significantly in summer, which can lead to the waterfall stopping completely.
Before moving on to the Montenegrin coast, take a second to check out the Vladimir Vysotsky Monument. Locals dedicated this memorial to Vladimir Vysotsky, a musician well-loved by Montenegrins. This Russian was a master guitar player and songwriter – a fact communicated by a statue bearing his likeness.
We hope you enjoyed our Podgorica travel guide. Let us know if you have anything else you think we could add to make it better.