I had a wonderful time when I went on a road trip in Montenegro. It’s quite interesting that Greece and Croatia are such popular holiday destinations for Western Europeans, while Montenegro which is right in between them is often overlooked.
From April to October the weather is really nice, although you might want to avoid July and August as it can get crowded with regional tourists and the temperatures often rise above 40° celsius.
Ryanair has cheap flights to Podgorica which is a great staring point for a road trip around lake Skadar and the coast of Montenegro.
Now the infrastructure isn’t always optimal in Montenegro. Even tje highway often only has one lane and you shouldn’t be surprised when the main road is closed for a couple of hours due to construction work.
But if you’re not in a hurry Montenegro is a beautiful country which coastline is as pretty as Croatia’s.
The capital city of Montenegro is Podgorica and it’s probably also the airpot where you’ll land. You can rent a car at one of the agencies on the airport (we went for Avis).
It’s a 15 minute drive to the city center of Podgorica.
You’ll immediatly notice that, especially for a capital city, Podgorica is quite small. In a day you’ll probably have seen everything you wanted to see. The old clock tower, the bridges, the main square… they’re all within walking distance.
We stayed at Apartment Center on the very centrally located main street called Slobode. Owner David will send you a whats app message before your stay so you can always contact him if you have any questions.
Vegetarian and vegan food can be hard to find in Montenegro but Podgorica is the exception!
For breakfast and lunch I recommend Republic of Good Food. It’s nicely decorated on the inside and they have a big outdoor terrace just off the main road. They have many vegetarian and vegan options. Vegetarian options include the Good food breakfast (scrambled eggs, vegetables and tortillas) and their Greek yogurt with forrest fruit and cereal. They also have salads and sandwiches and a whole vegan menu including vegan bruschetta, chia pudding with fruit and avocado pasta.
If you have some room left you can go for one of their desserts like a Belgian waffle with vanilla cream and chocolate.
For dinner I recommend Restobar Strudla (part of the Culture Club). They’re located in Bokeska, the nicest street to spend your evening in Podgorica with many outdoor seats and romantic small lights.
They have an extensive menu with many options for meat lovers but also a big variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
For dinner I had the vegan burger, which is (as I’ve been told) the only vegan burger in Montenegro.
Stay for a drink after dinner as it’s get nice and crowded in Strudla when the live band plays on Wednesday and the dj spins his records on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
You can also go to Coba in the same street for vegan desserts and nice cocktails in their colorfully illuminated side walk terrace. Or visit 100% vegetarian and vegan restaurant Piper’s green for healthy dishes and vegan cakes.
You can stroll around the crooked cobblestoned alleys for hours or visit the fort on the hill. You pay a small entrance fee but you’ll get rewarded with beautiful views of the red roofed old houses and the peaceful bay of Kotor.
About 30 minutes south of Kotor you’ll find Budva. The most touristic town of Montenegro especially in July and August. It has a beautiful Old Town though and I highly recommend finding a hotel in this old part of Budva.
We stayed at Aurora apartments in the old town. Just like in Kotor it’s lovely to stroll around the small streets and admire the old buildings and lovely views over the bay.
There’s a great place for breakfast and lunch in Old Town called Juice Bar. They have outdoor seating on a nice and quiet square. They have all your breakfast favorites like pancakes, omelets and yogurt with muesli and fresh fruit. For lunch they have delicious sandwiches with for example tuna or roasted vegetables. You’ll find their many vegetarian options clearly marked on the menu.
Just outside of Old Town, at the harbor on a corner you’ll find Riva. We were drawn to this restaurant because of the interior (think wood, grey and green) but they also have a nice menu with something for everyone. My boyfriend went for the salmon filet and I got a vegetarian salads with different kinds of vegetables and fruits.
Riva has some wonderful desserts like cheesecake and chocolate cake. The dessert portions are quite big so if you have luttle room left you might want to share.
Sveti Stefan, or St Stefan is a small island just south of Budva. On the island you’ll find a 5 star hotel resort connected to the main land with an entry road. It’s a nice stop on your road trip for the romantic views.
Optionally you can also stop at Bar before heading further down south, but in my opinion there wasn’t that much to do.
Ulcinj is a nicer stop if you ask me. Just like the towns I previously mentioned, Ucinj has a nice bay with a sandy beach and many bars and restaurants. I recommend you go to the west side of the beach to walk up the stairs. You can have a drink, lunch or dinner at restaurant Kalaja. The menu isn’t very original but you’ll have a great view over Ulcinj.
From here you can drive back to Podgorica, or do as we did and complete the circle around lake Skadar and go via Shkoder in Albania!
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