Podgorica is the most densely populated city in Montenegro and its political, cultural and social epicenter. Even though it’s usually just a stop to some of the more famous parts of the country, Podgorica shouldn’t be neglected.
Besides extraordinary coffee culture you’ll simply love, you’ll find many nature and culture corners in the city worth visiting, and if you decide to explore around, you’ll find some unusual sights that will satisfy your curiosity.
The sights of Podgorica old town are not many, due to the more than 50 bombings this area has gone through during World War II. Houses, fortresses and town walls built under Roman and Turkish rule are torn to the ground with little of them standing today. One of the few that survived is Ribnica bridge. This is where the first settlements appeared, and later expanded to what is known today as Podgorica. You can take a walk over the bridge and around remains of the fortifications of the area and head over for a coffee in the nearby Karver, a bookstore/cafe/gallery which used to be a Turkish bath.
Coffee culture is important in Montenegro and drinking coffee is jokingly said to be the favorite hobby of citizens of Podgorica. If you ask the locals for the best coffee spot, they will point you to the whole street – Bokeška.
Bokeška street is a phenomenon of its own kind. Its 30 meters of length are the most popular place in Podgorica because of its many coffee shops and bars. At almost any time of day, it’s crowded with people enjoying the drinks and the company of their friends, especially when the weather is nice.
So, if you really want to experience Podgorica lifestyle, and if you have time, go to Bokeska, have a coffee, stay there whole day and go straight into the partying mode at the same place.
Podgorica has a presentable collection of historical artefacts to offer to the history lovers. The rich history built under various influences has left the capital city with a decent collection of antiquities stored in the Museum and Gallery of Podgorica. You can discover the history of Podgorica from the Middle Paleolithic period to the mid 20th century through a permanent exhibition and see artefacts exhumed from ancient settlement of Doclea, mostly from Roman period.
Works of notable Montenegrin artists and significant literature figures are exposed here, giving you the opportunity to learn about art development of the country. You’ll also find symbols of rich Montenegrin national heritage and lavish folk costumes, mostly from 19th century.
Podgorica literally means “a city under Gorica”, so while you’re in the city, you might decide to see the hill that gave the name to the city. Take this excellent opportunity to rest from the crowd and enjoy the nature in the Park forest located on the hill. With its many paths for walking and running, rich vegetation and a temperature that’s usually lower than in the boiling downtown, you’ll relax easily. And if you are not in the mood to move much, you can enjoy the lovely surrounding from a café located deep in the park.
Montenegro has its own Niagara falls that you can reach in just a 10 minute drive from Podgorica!
These small, cascading waterfalls are a favorite summer getaway for many locals, offering refreshment in hot summer days. They are exceptionally beautiful in spring, when the level of river Cijevna becomes the highest.
On the brinks of the river you’ll find a small restaurant offering national food and drinks. The location and the ambience of the place are stunning and the view to the beautiful river and the wildlife is spectacular.
Montenegro doesn’t have a zoo, it has something much better – an animal sanctuary! This green oasis takes in abandoned animals of all kinds and creates a home for them. Besides that, it creates an unforgettable experience for its visitors. Bottle feed a piglet, pet a camel, try to win a race with an emu, or hang out with many other lovely animals that live here
It is located in Blizna, a village just a 20-minute drive from Podgorica. This short trip will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Morača canyon and reward you with the love of many kind creatures, once you get there.
Montenegro is well known for its quality wines, grown mostly in the central part of the country. This is where Plantaže - the largest unbroken vineyard in Europe is situated.
Plantaže vineyard has the reputation as home of the best Montenegrin wines, - growing 28 grape varieties. Its most famous wines are Vranac – occupying around 70% of the vineyard and Krstač – a very rare wine produced only in Plantaže.
You can explore this vineyard through one of the wine tasting tours taking you through the vineyards to Šipčanik - a secret underground aviation hangar turned to a wine cellar. Besides wine, the tours offer an amazing opportunity to taste delicious traditional food of Montenegro.
Doclea or Duklja was the largest settlement of an Illyrian tribe Docleatae, built in the 1st century AD, and an important part of the Adriatic Roman province of Dalmatia. Located on the confluence of the rivers Zeta and Morača and Širalija, this area was shaped by Illyrians, Romans, Goths and the Slovenes creating an extraordinary architecture monument.
Nowadays, the area where Doclea once existed turned into an archaeological site which attracts the attention of researchers since the 19th century. Besides that, in recent years, archeological site of Doclea has become an appealing tourist spot in recent years.
Podgorica maybe doesn’t have the title of the city with the best architecture, but its culture and history, as well as the amazing nature should be a strong enough reason to dedicate it some time on your road trip to Montenegro.