Beaches and Parties: Things to do in Budva Montenegro
Budva, set in the middle of the coast of the shimmering Adriatic Sea in Montenegro, it’s the center of tourism in this small Balkan country. Filled with hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs, and shops, Budva is Montenegro’s most popular destination for beach holidays.
Budva’s Geography and Climate
Located on a peninsula that juts out into the azure waters of the Adriatic, Budva with its fortified city walls and long, rich history is historically one of the most important towns on the coast of the Balkans. Besides the peninsula, the local geography also features several islands and a bay. The coast around Budva is no less than 21 kilometers (13 miles) long and has 17 beautiful beaches.
The combination of this many beaches and a downright superb climate is why this is Montenegro’s tourism epicenter. The town enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. With warm to hot summers and mild, comfortable winters, as well as no fewer than 230 days of sunshine, Budva is basically the perfect destination for a beach vacation.
History of Budva Montenegro
Budva, however, is not only about its beaches. The town’s well-filled history and, subsequently, its architecture is well-worth exploring, too.
Strong archaeological evidence(see “things to do” below) tells us that Budva is one of the oldest human settlements in the Adriatic. It’s been inhabited since as early as the 5th century BC. Greek colonization of the area started in the 4th century BC and in the 2nd century BC, the area was incorporated into the ever-expanding Roman Empire.
After the fall of the once-mighty Roman Empire, Budva was ruled by various, foreign empires, including by the Byzantines, the Serbians, the Venetians and the Habsburgs. After the collapse of Yugoslavia, Montenegro became independent in 2006. Budva quickly grew into the new country’s premier tourist destination.
Nowadays, Budva is somewhat of a cultural treasure chest. Its various cultural and political influences—from Turkish to Austrian and Venetian influences—has resulted in a town with stunning architecture and many monuments.
Because of its phenomenal beaches and magnificent harbor, Budva has been a tourist destination since the 1930s. Beach tourism in the area began with the arrival of the very first foreign tourists—affluent Czechs. The town remains a hugely popular beach destination in this part of Europe, visited by more than 650,000 tourists every year (which accounts for about 44% of all tourist visits in Montenegro, just in this small coastal town).
It’s grown into a modern, well-established town featuring beaches, cultural attractions, and fantastic nightlife. Especially it’s vibrant party scene sets it apart from other tourist hotspots in the region such as the Bay of Kotor and Dubrovnik.
Things to Do in Budva Montenegro
The absolute star attraction in Budva is Stari Grad or the Old Town in English. A miniature version of Dubrovnik, this historic town is surrounded by fortified walls and home to cobbled streets and beautiful buildings. You can walk the town walls and visited historic sites such as the Citadel and a host of striking churches.
If you want to visit a museum in Budva, the Archaeological Museum is a superb choice. Encompassing three floors, this fascinating history museum retraces the complicated history of Budva in various exhibits.
The Budva Riviera, as this region is called, is home to almost twenty beaches. It’s one of the absolute top beach destinations in the Balkans. In the peak summer months, the beaches are packed with sunbathers, the town’s harbor filled with shiny yachts. This is one of the places where Europe’s rich and famous head to and show off their wealth and success—it’s a popular destination among rich Russians and Ukrainians.
At night, after the sun has gone down, the seaside bars scrawl with young partiers, temptingly clothed women and rich men. Budva is the busiest town on the Montenegrin coast. If you’re looking for a historic town where you can hit the beach and party the night away, this is where you should go.
Like many other tourist destinations in Montenegro, including Lake Skadar, Durmitor National Park and the Bay of Kotor, Budva offers a wide range of outdoor activities. It may be first and foremost a hip and trendy beachside town, but adventure is always around the corner.
From hiking and cycling to diving, rafting and even paragliding and bungee jumping, there are many different outdoor pursuits to quench your thirst for adventure. The town is home to many tour operators and dive centers that offer excursions of all kinds. If you’re looking for an alternative to the beach, head out on the water or immerse yourself in the region’s gorgeous nature.
Five kilometers (three miles) to the south of Budva lies Sveti Stefan. This unbelievably picturesque town is set on a peninsula and features 15th-century terra cotta-roofed buildings. The whole town is now a luxury resort, but you can admire it from the mainland beach. This photogenic town is a strongly recommended day trip from Budva.
How to Get There
Budva is served by two major highways. The E80 runs along the Adriatic Sea coast and connects Budva with Kotor in the north and Ulcinj in the south. The M2.3 is an inland highway running from Budva to the capital city of Podgorica. Public transportation options from essentially all major towns in Montenegro is abundant as well. This is, after all, the nation’s biggest tourist destination.
Photo Credits: Pixabay.