Here is a list of the best day trips to take from Podgorica, Montenegro. From outdoor activities to city escapes, we have it all covered.
If you happen to be staying in Podgorica, the beautiful Montenegrin capital, you already have plenty of things to see and do. But, like anywhere in the world, perhaps you want to get out and see a bit of the local area. Who could blame you? There’s a lot to see!
The good news is there are plenty of options for you to take a day trip from Podgorica after you’ve seen the sights of Podgorica. So, let’s check out a few of the best options for you to decide upon.
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1. Day Trip To Budva
The Budva Riviera is a great spot to visit, and it’s only just over an hour’s drive away from Podgorica. If you want to dip your toes into the sea and enjoy a beach day, this is the place for you, with stunning views and a scenic drive.
The Old Town is more than 2000 years old, and the whole vibe is fun and eclectic. You’ll find plenty of fantastic restaurants to try authentic cuisine and great nightlife and shopping opportunities. Be sure to check out Mogren Beach after wandering around the Old Town.
You can easily hire a car and drive to Budva in around 1 hour, 10 minutes, or take the bus. Buses leave Podgorica twice daily and go back in the opposite direction.
2. Ostrog Monastery Day Trip
Undoubtedly, Ostrog Monastery is one of the most visited spots in Montenegro, if not the Balkans as a whole. Dating back to the 17th century, this remarkably preserved monastery has some fantastic views and incredible architecture. However, it is built right into the side of a pretty sheer cliff so you will need a head for heights!
The lower monastery is the first spot after you park up, and then you wander up a beautiful path through the forest to the upper monastery section. This is where you’ll find amazing views over the landscape below and the Zeta River. You can also check out Saint Basil relics; two churches are carved into the cave.
Ostrog Monastery is around 32km from Podgorica, and you can drive in less than one hour or take an organized trip. If you prefer to travel on your own steam, you can take the train from Podgorica to Dabovici, which takes around 50 minutes, and then walk about 15 minutes to the monastery. Trains leave Podgorica five times per day.
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3. Podgorica To Lake Skadar
One of the most naturally stunning sights in the country is undoubtedly Lake Skadar, and it’s also an important bird reserve. The lake is glass-like and reflects the surrounding scenery, and you’ll find plentiful types of wildlife milling around too. You can also take a boat trip on the lake to an island that used to house a prison and Lesendro fortress ruins.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can follow a walking or biking track, and you’ll be able to breathe in some truly fresh air. This part of Montenegro is also famous for wine, so why not extend your visit to one of the local vineyards too?
It is around 27.5km from Podgorica to Lake Skadar, and you can either drive or take the bus. The journey by car will take approximately 30 minutes, although you can expect traffic during the summer months, which may slow you down slightly. Alternatively, many buses leave the center of Podgorica every day, and the journey will take around 40 minutes, depending on traffic.
4. Bar & Ulcinj From Podgorica
You will find Bar and Ulcinj along the south coast, two stunning towns brimming with culture, beauty, and holiday vibes. There is plenty of history around this southern part of the country, and you’ll also get to see remnants of Ottoman rule.
Bar is known for nature and beauty, a great holiday vibe, and fantastic nightlife. The town is also home to countless olive trees, with a 2000-year-old tree called Stara Maslina!
Head to Ulcinj, and you’ll be able to explore the Old Town, considered one of the oldest towns in the Adriatic, at around 2000 years old. There are several great beaches here, including Velika Plaza. This beach is famous for kitesurfing, so you can watch it even if you don’t want to try it yourself.
You can reach both Bar and Ulcinj quite easily from Podgorica. Bar is only 27km away, and Ulcinj is a little further, although still reachable in around 1.5 hours. Driving is the easiest way to reach both destinations, but you can also take regular buses from the center of Podgorica.
5. Podgorica Day Trip To Kotor
On the Adriatic coast, you’ll find the beautiful town of Kotor. This pretty upmarket and lively resort town is only 1.5 hours away from Podgorica. It is a fortified town with plenty of history and architecture. Check out the Old Town and its weaving streets before taking a long walk up to Giovanni Fortress for amazing views.
Kotor is pretty busy during the summer, but that shouldn’t disappoint you. There are some fantastic restaurants in the town and some great shopping opportunities. Of course, you can also spend a little time on the beach to complete your day.
Again, driving to Kotor is your most straightforward option, with a marked road that will take just over 1.5 hours, traffic depending. However, you can also choose to travel by bus too. There are regular departures from Podgorica, and the bus will take around 2 hours.
6. Biogradska Gora National Park
Why not schedule a visit to Biogradska Gora National Park for those who love natural sights? Around 2 hours away from Podgorica, this is a unique spot to check out. The best way to visit is by car, as you’ll get to check out Moraca Canyon your way, through the mountains, and down to where the rainforest begins. As one of the few rainforests left in Europe, this is a remarkable sight to see for yourself. Pack your comfortable walking boots and head off along the hiking path. You can also check out Moraca Monastery as you go and the waterfall attached to it.
If you’re traveling with kids, also check out Montenegro Animal Sanctuary along the way, which houses some animals that used to be part of traveling circuses.
You can reach the park by road in 1.5 hours or take the train. To do this, you’ll need to get the train from Podgorica to Trebaljevo, which takes around 1 hour, 40 minutes, and then take a taxi to the park, which should take no longer than 20 minutes.
7. Podgorica Day Trip To Lipa Cave
Who doesn’t love exploring a good old cave? Let’s be honest, there’s something somewhat mysterious about these naturally occurring places, and in Montenegro, you have the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful. Lipa Cave is the most extensive cave system in the country, and it’s located near Cetinje, around half an hour from Podgorica.
The surrounding area is beautiful in its own right, with walking trails and plenty to see and do, but the cave system is the main spectacle. With around 2.5km of hallways and passages to explore, it’s a huge system that deserves your time and attention.
You can reach the caves in half an hour by road or take a bus if you want to relax en route. There are two daily buses to Cetinje from Podgorica, which take around 50 minutes. From there, you take a ten-minute-long taxi ride to the cave entrance.