Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, resembles a teenager in its spirit: cheerful and pleasant to hang out with, but a little confused about its identity. It has difficulties in accepting and celebrating its past.
As the city has been destroyed to the ground several times over the centuries, the historical sights of Podgorica can hardly keep pace with the sights of other Balkan capitals. However, over the past decades, Podgorica, formerly known as Titograd, has struggled to maintain its urban appearance by avoiding miscellaneous labeling.
The area of the city is the same size as Paris for example, but you will not find fashion icons, expensive galleries and great glamour in it. That is the charm of this city. With the recently established and numerous low-cost flights from Podgorica to cities across Europe, this city has finally been given the opportunity to show why its citizens love it and always come back to it.
If you come to Podgorica, one of the unavoidable places you must see is the castle of King Nikola. Surrounded by a beautiful park, this castle was once the winter residence of King Nikola, one of the most famous Montenegrin rulers. Today it is a museum of contemporary art that hosts various prestigious exhibitions. You can always walk around the museum and enjoy its magnificent surroundings.
Behind the castle, there is a beautiful staircase where the locals love to take pictures, and don’t be surprised if you find someone in a ball gown there, this is one of the favorite places for high school graduates.
What do you like best about Podgorica?
What makes Podgorica unique is that the city simply has a great soul. People are always smiling and ready to help, there are so many differences but everything fits so well. You might not expect that from a city like this but there are a lot of fashionable people, a lot of streetwear, most inspired by the 1990s. You can always meet someone you know no matter what part of the city you are in because, with about 300 thousand inhabitants in this city, it is not so difficult to get to know the community and be a part of it.
Best walk in Podgorica
Skaline is a historical place that is today one of the most popular places for socializing for locals. At the time when Montenegro was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, Skaline was known for its impressive fortress. Today, the remains of the Ottoman era can still be seen – the bridge that connects the old part of the city with the new, modern side of Podgorica. Skaline is located next to the Moraca River, one of the most famous rivers in Montenegro. If you want a break from the city crowds, somewhere where you can enjoy nature, this is a great location for you. From Skaline you can visit the city center which has many galleries, historical monuments and hiking, and biking trails.
The name Podgorica consists of the words “under” and “Gorica”, which is the name of the hill itself, so it can be said that this is a very important place to visit. Gorica is an absolute favorite among the locals – there is a Mediterranean garden at the entrance, an adventure park in the middle, and a beautiful belvedere at the top of the hill, accessible through a hiking trail. Also, at the top of the hill is a monument to partisan soldiers, built after the Second World War. Recently, an attractive cafeacute; was opened there, where you can enjoy Turkish coffee or one of the local dishes.
Best Restaurants in Podgorica
Podgorica is extremely diverse in terms of restaurants. You will have the opportunity to enjoy local specialties that were created under the influence of various cultures such as priganice, burek, Podgorica’s popek, etc. Fortunately, local food is not expensive, unless you go to a fancy restaurant, which there is no need to do in Podgorica.
My recommendation would be to visit the Bonella restaurant, where you can find a lot of healthy food on offer. If you love the world spirit, Hard Rock Caffe would be great for you. Do you love American cuisine, Good Fellas is ingenious, and there are plenty of Chinese restaurants too. If you still want to try how the people of Podgorica eat, visit the pizzeria cak. Of course, they do not sell only pizza, but various specialties, this is a place with a very long history and it is one of the favorite places to eat.
As Podgorica has recently started to develop, the municipality is trying to attract as many tourists as possible, so it is not uncommon for you to go to a free concert of one of the local or if you are lucky, international performers. Last year, Podgorica hosted the famous DJ Mahmut Orhan, it was a real madhouse.
City Groove Festival is the most famous music festival in Podgorica. Once a year brings performers of the most common techno and electronic music. Nights with beer at the stadium Mali sportovi are one of the dear attractions to anyone who visits this event.
This city is known for having a crazy and unforgettable nightlife. Bokeška Street, located in the center of the city, is also known as the street where the nightlife is liveliest during the weekend. From relaxing jazz to intense techno and Balkan folk, there is also a pub that suits everyone’s musical taste. And yes, it’s pretty cheap – you’ll get a beer for 1.60 euros. The nights are accompanied by laughter, fun, drinks, and loud singing, which is the way people here rejoice and celebrate.
Best Day Trip Out of Podgorica
One of the beautiful places near Podgorica is the canyon of the river Cijevna, nearby are the so-called Niagara Falls, where the Pipe plunges deep into the rocky, dark depths of its canyon. Here you can also take a break in the nearby restaurant Kuca Rakica, which offers many traditional dishes and drinks.
Another beautiful place, 9 kilometers away from Podgorica is Skadar Lake. Some of the best wines in Montenegro are produced in the area of Skadar Lake. This is the largest lake in the Balkans, as well as the largest national park in Montenegro. Almost every hour there is a ride from the main train station in Podgorica to get there.
Something That Not Many Travelers Would Know About Podgorica
Most people visit Podgorica in the summer because it is very warm. The temperatures are pleasant until the middle of summer. The real charm of Podgorica happens before the New Year holidays when the Podgorica Christmas Bazaar is set up on the main square.
The atmosphere is very Christmassy. You will meet a lot of people you know, you can enjoy mulled wine, popcorn, bagels, and Christmas specialties. Of course, there is also music to found at this event, so there will always be good and relaxing music on the stage set up near the National Library.