Cetinje is the historic capital of Montenegro. The city is of enormous historical and spiritual value to Montenegro. During the siege of the Ottoman empire, Montenegro itself had, at numerous times, been reduced to just Cetinje and its surroundings.
Cetinje is a town of 19,000 located in the small valley under the Lovćen mountain. It was founded in the 15th century by Ivan Crnojevic. His son founded the first printing house in the South Slavs - about the time the Columbus discovered America! Due to the strategic nature of Montenegro, it being an independent state on the border of the Ottoman Empire, all of the major European powers had an embassy in Cetinje. For this reason the town has a continental style old town located a thousand miles away from any of the continental cities that the architecture is representative of. It is very much the spiritual heart of Montenegro.
Get in edit
By plane edit
Tivat Airport is at the same distance, approximately an hour's ride from Cetinje. During the summer season, there are about ten flights a day to mostly European cities.
By bus edit
Maybe the best way to get to Cetinje. It is less than hour drive from both Podgorica and Budva. Buses to domestic destinations are very frequent despite the fact that the bus station does not have a ticket counter (you can always buy your ticket on the bus though!).
By car edit
All roads in Montenegro are two-laned only, and mostly curvy mountainous roads, so speeds over 70 km/h (43 mph) are rarely legal, and rarely safe.
The road from Kotor to Cetinje is a curvy, mountainous road, and mist or ice are not uncommon. The road from Budva to Cetinje is in relatively good condition with 3 lanes in some parts. The road from Podgorica to Cetinje is in fairly good condition.
Get around edit
Cetinje, especially the historical center of the city, is small enough, and everything is within walking distance.
- Cetinje Monastery. 8AM-7PM. The most famous Orthodox monastery in Montenegro. Re-built in 1785. Features several relics including the remains of Saint Peter of Cetinje, the right hand of John the baptist, the remains of Peter II Petrovic, and the crown of Steven Uros IV Dusan, medieval emperor of Serbia. Free.
- Vlaška Church. Built in 1450. fence made out of barrels of captured enemy rifles. Free.
- Ethnographic Museum, King Nicholas' Square. 9AM-3PM. Clothing from Montenegro €2.
- State Museum (King Nicholas' Square). 9AM-3PM. Former residence of Nikola Petrovic I, king of Montenegro. Looted during World War II. €5.
- Biljarda Hall (Opposite the National Museum). 1832 residence of Peter II Petrovic. Now a museum dedicated to him. €3.
- National Museum of Montenegro, Novice Cerovica. 9AM-5PM. History section and art section. €10.
- Grave of Vladika Danilo (Vladika Danilo). If you are willing to take the 10-minute walk up the hill on the path that starts on the left of the Cetinje Monastery, you will not be sorry because you will be rewarded with beautiful views of Cetinje from above
There is a cumulative €20 ticket that allows you to visit all the museums in Cetinje plus the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic-Njegos in Lovcen National Park.
Visiting Cetinje is really about understanding Montenegro and its history.
- Acrobranche (tree climbing) attraction park (At the mountain road towards the Lovćen Mausoleum).
If you are looking for a genuine Montenegrin souvenir - Cetinje is the town! Other than that, Cetinje is not really a shopping resort, leave that for coastal towns or Podgorica.
Cetinje is the right town to try out traditional Montenegrin cuisine. Despite the name of the country, make sure you try the excellent Adriatic fish and seafood.
- Vinoteka (Njegoseva 103, Cetinje).
Excellent fish and seafood
- Konak (just a few minutes drive down the road towards Budva).
As in the rest of former Yugoslavia, you can try njeguški pršut (smoked ham) and njeguški cheese. The main courses are boiled lamb, lamb cooked in milk, cicvara in fresh milk cream (buttered corn porridge), boiled potato with cheese and fresh cream (kajmak).
Montenegrin quality wine is a must-try. The best known Montenegrin wines are the premium "Vranac", "Pro Corde", "Krstač", "Cabernet", "Chardonnay" and the famous home made Crmničko red wine.
Grape brandy (rakija) "Montenegrin loza", "Prvijenac", "Kruna" or home made grape brandy (lozova rakija, lozovaca) is also great.
- KOLE, NEAR PRESIDENT PALACE.
You cannot find private rooms in Cetinje as easily as in other, more touristic, Montenegrin towns. There are two places that offer rooms for rent next to the bus station (you need to go left from the bus station and then take the first right). Once you get there you will need to call the owners the phone, because they're usually not there. The rooms are really nice and cost €12-15 per person.
Go next edit
- Lovćen National Park
- Njeguši, picturesque old Montenegrin village, and the Njegoš's birthplace.
- Rijeka Crnojevića, small village on the river of the same name. Great place for a one-day trip, as they have a few excellent restaurants.