Podgorica has a Mediterranean climate with four distinct seasons. Summer is June through August, autumn (with beautiful leaf colour changes) is September to November, winter is December to February, spring March to May.
Summer is hot, sunny and dry. August is the month of summer holidays and the city is a ghost town as everyone uses their holidays to go to the sea or mountains. Smaller shops might close but restaurants and cafes are still open (though pretty quiet!).
In September, locals return to work and school and weather begins to cool down. It’s one of the best months for swimming as the sea is still warm but the crowds are less and prices are cheaper. Later in autumn it can be rainy but when it isn’t, the light and weather is pleasant.
Winter is described as mild (by European standards) but can be cold (to me, anyway, as I’m from tropical climates). It snows maybe once every three to four years, most recently in early 2019. Podgorica has many clear and sunny days in winter but these are usually accompanied by an extremely strong and extremely cold wind from the north.
The wind was the biggest surprise about the weather here for me – it is strong enough to snap the tops of trees (look around the city and you’ll see a lot of flat topped pine trees) and has almost blown me into traffic while I was waiting to cross the road. Last winter there were plenty of days I’d go out for a walk with my coat open and a loose scarf in the sun and then the wind would kick in in the afternoon and I couldn’t feel my fingers by the time I got home.
Winter here also includes Christmas (December 25th) and Orthodox Christmas (January 6th and 7th). Orthodox Christmas in Podgorica includes a massive bonfire of oak branches (burning of the badnjak) and a religious service outside the Orthodox Cathedral (the Hram).
Skiiing season begins around mid-January and continues until around the end of March, sometimes later. The slopes at Kolasin are an hour away from town and ski passes are inexpensive.
The best months are shoulder months of May-June and September-October. May and June because it’s not too hot and the tourist crowds haven’t descended on coastline yet, likewise in September because people have gone back to work and school.
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