Kate in Montenegro

An Australian Living & Exploring in the Balkans

Things to Do Around Podgorica

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen tourists warned away from visiting Podgorica.

It’s so boring, there’s nothing to see, just skip it entirely, people say. (There’s even a blog post that calls it the ugliest and most boring capital in Europe…!)

I think that’s rather unfair, as there are some lovely spots to see within five minutes to half an hour’s drive from the capital.

The Roman Ruins at Duklja

The Roman ruins just outside Podgorica

Five minutes driving (or a pleasant 20 minute walk) outside the city are the ruins of the Roman city of Doclea (Duklja in the local language). It’s in a beautiful spot where two rivers meet, and where you’ll also often see the local sheep and goats cropping the grass nearby. There’s no entrance fee and you can wander around the site as you please.

This is one of my favourite local spots, so I’ve written a full article on the Roman ruins here.

Niagara Falls (The Podgorica Version)

Niagara just outside Podgorica

Niagara is a quirky restaurant on a man-made but still beautiful waterfall on the Cijevna river canyon, just ten minutes outside the city. The restaurant is famous for its tres-leches cake, made in the Albanian style, and has quirky decor including an indoor waterfall, pet rabbits and wood fires in the winter.

The river outside falls onto the rocky part of the riverbed and is really quite beautiful. It’s largest and most impressive after heavy rain but it’s pleasant here even in summer.

Žabljak Crnojevića

Zabljak Crnojevica, not far from Podgorica

Take the road from Podgorica towards Virpazar and the seaside. In a long stretch of empty road past the airport, you’ll find a small yellow sign on the right pointing to Ponari and a narrow one lane bridge over the Morača river. After the village of Ponari, turn left and follow the road to the end and you will find a small restaurant on the water, and a small village on a hill.

At the top of the hill is an old fortress dating back to the 10th century with absolutely stunning views over the fields, hills and water around Lake Skadar.

It’s short and graded trail up the fort. To find the trail, walk along the river for about 50m until you see what looks like a steep driveway going up to the left. Follow it up and this small road will take you to the local church and then you can continue up to reach the fortress.

The fortress is being partially restored but it still mostly ruins that you can explore as you like, and enjoy the fabulous views in every direction!


Medun's old town near Podgorica

Twenty minutes east of the city, on the road to the Korita ring and Grlo Sokolovo, are the ruins of the old town and fortress of Medun. The original town dates back to 4th century BC and was built by Illyrians and has an amazing view over the existing village and down the valley back towards Podgorica.

The road to Medun climbs up out of Podgorica, and also has some great views back over the city.


Vizpazar, near Podgorica

Half an hour from Podgorica is the small lake village of Virpazar. It has some quaint restaurants (famous especially for lake fish like trout and carp), and is the base for boat tours around the bigger part of Skadar Lake.

Walk up the hill to fort Besac, which has been rather beautifully reconstructed into a restaurant and cafe complex with views over Lake Skadar. It’s free to enter and wander around or you can have a drink overlooking the view.

Rijeka Ćrnojevica

Rijeka Crnojevica, base for boat trips of Lake Skadar

This little village is thirty minutes from Podgorica in the direction of Cetinje. It’s on a river that flows into Lake Skadar, and is famous for being the holiday spot for the Montenegrin royal family a hundred years ago, and for its lovely bridge.

It has some cute restaurants with terraces overlooking the water which are really peaceful in the spring and autumn. It gets busy in the summer as it is a base for boat tours of the inner part of lake Skadar and a common stop for coach tours.

The most famous view in Montenegro, Pavlova Strana

If you’re coming from the Podgorica direction, you’ll also come across one of the most famous views of Montenegro – the lookout at Pavlova Strana. There was only a viewpoint with an abandoned hotel above it here for many years, but it’s been rejuvenated and there’s now a restaurant and terrace where you can sit and enjoy the view.

Enjoy! Let me know your favourite spots and things to do around Podgorica.

Further Reading

Things To Do In Podgorica

What To Know Before Coming to Podgorica

  1. Peter

    Hello Kate,

    This is a very informative place! I am planning to go there in May.

    Do you have a section about the best places where locals like to eat traditional food around Podgorica and in general in Montenegro, including your favourite places?

    Is it a good idea to rent a moutainbike to move around Podgorica? Do you have a recommendation for a place to rent it?

    By the way, can I contact you by email?

  2. Kate

    Hi Peter, I’ve written another blog post on what to do in Podgorica with some of my favourite restaurants. I don’t think we have any bike rental places in Podgorica, unfortunately, as it is a great way to get around town!

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