The next stops of my Montenegro Exploring Adventures takes us to Cetinje and Budva. From museums to beaches, old towns and markets – these towns seriously have something for everyone. So, come along and see what we discovered!
We stopped in Cetinje for only half a day or so, on our way from Kotor to Budva, via the Njegos Mausoleum. Cetinje was the historical capital of Montenegro and is now home to a host of excellent museums, cute streets and not much in the way of crowds.
We bought a museum pass that gave us access to five museums in town. An adult pass was €10, although the lovely lady decided my sister and I had to be students, so we got the €5 pass instead! We didn’t visit all the museums, instead deciding to take our time to wander through the two that came most highly recommended to us.
We started at the Njegos Museum, which is also known as the Biljarda Hall (Billiards Hall). It was the residence of Peter II Petrovic in the 1830s and is now a museum dedicated to him. We were provided with an English booklet that described the key items in each room, which really helped to bring to life the history and significance of what we were viewing. We saw everything from his early writings, to original clothing and furniture, weapons and even the currency that he created. It also includes the aforementioned billiard table, which he had brought up from the coast and was carried on foot over the mountains to be placed in his residence. I can’t imagine that would be have been much fun!
We learned so much about both Njegos and the history of Montenegro at this museum, and I’m so glad we visited it.
King Nikola’s Museum
The other museum we visited was King Nikola’s museum, which is located inside the old palace building. It was set up to show how the King and his family lived in the building back in the 1860s with incredibly elaborate and beautiful bedrooms, sitting rooms and reception rooms full of authentic artefacts. On display are also a huge array of weapons, art, books and costumes. I particularly loved all the different styles of furniture in each of the sitting rooms, as well as the incredibly detailed architecture throughout the building. Well worth a visit.
After visiting the two museums we wandered around the streets, up past the Monastery before stopping for a late lunch at one of the cafes out on the street. We spent an excellent few hours in Cetinje and I’m so glad we got to visit there.
From Cetinje we headed to Budva where we based ourselves for the next few days. Budva was an interesting town, a mix of beautiful beaches, an historic walled old town and lots and lots of new development. It was a busy spot, but it was still possible to find spots of calm amongst it all, and the stunning views were certainly worth it!
Old Town (Stari Grad)
Much like Kotor, Budva is home to a historic old town which is made up of gorgeous little streets, incredible buildings, churches and lots of plazas full of cafes and bars. We spent lots of time wandering through the streets, staying out of the sun and exploring the history of this town.
You could also climb the Citadela walk up on part of the city wall which unsurprisingly resulted in some pretty amazing views across the rooftops and the beaches.
Thankfully getting up there didn’t involve anywhere near as many steps as some of our previous adventures, which we were all pretty grateful for! You can’t walk round very far on the wall, but it’s still definitely worth doing!
One of the key attractions of Budva are all the beaches, with the coastline stretching for kilometre after kilometre of beaches. Two of the most beautiful, and therefore popular, spots are known as Mogren I and II and are located in adjacent coves near the Old Town. They are seriously pretty spots, each with their own little cafe and bar and are well worth a visit. We went down for a swim and found that while the beaches themselves were often packed, the water was generally pretty quiet which worked out perfectly for us!
Heading in the other direction from the Old Town are almost endless stretches of beaches, surrounded by markets, bars, restaurants and cafes. All of them had spots that you could hire lounges, umbrellas and even get massages!
We decided to hire lounges one day at Ricardova Glava – a small stretch of beach directly next to the walls of the Old Town, before you head to Mogren I and II. Some of the lounges were associated with a hotel, but they were all available to hire for the day, so we perched ourselves directly at the water line. We spent a very relaxing day swimming and reading, and we could even pop in to the Old Town to get something to eat which was great. We may have ordered some beers to our lounges as well, because well, why not!
Because it was almost entirely made up of lounges it was a bit of a quieter spot to swim, so it was worth the slightly higher hire price. Plus, swimming with the walls of the fortress as the backdrop was pretty magical!
There are no shortages of places to eat and drink in Budva, with everything from small, quiet restaurants to pumping bars. When you head down towards the beach from the main road you’ll find yourself at Slovenska Obala, a beachside pedestrian street. It includes a market selling cheap eats and all kinds of souvenirs, hats, and the like which then opens out onto the street lined with places to eat in both directions. As we had two vegetarians in our group many of the waterside restaurants were no good for us, but we found plenty of places that were! The atmosphere at night was electric, in many ways it reminded me of markets and restaurants in places like China. It was super busy but we always felt really safe, with families out and about at all times of the evening!
For something a little quieter, especially in the evenings, I recommend heading in to the Old Town to one of the many restaurants littered around the squares.
One of our favourite places to eat was actually a little Juice Bar inside the Old Town. Not only were the juices delicious, but we had some excellent lunches there as well. They had a huge selection of sandwiches, salads, burgers and Mexican dishes and many of them were vegetarian friendly as well. Definitely somewhere to try out if you find yourself in Budva!