capital city of Montenegro

Podgorica (Montenegrin: Подгорица) is the capital of Montenegro. While not a typical European eye candy, the city is definitely worth visiting, owing to its interesting mix of old and new, its café culture and nightlife, and its laid back Mediterranean atmosphere.

Understand edit

 
Podgorica panorama

Besides being the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica is also the country's largest city, having a population of some 186,000 people (2011). The city is in central Montenegro, in the scarce Montenegrin lowlands between the Dinaric Alps and Lake Scutari.

Podgorica
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The Podgorica area has been continuously inhabited since the Illyrian and Roman eras, with settlement on the site of today's Podgorica being firmly established during Ottoman Empire rule. Podgorica was reincorporated in Montenegro in 1878, when the city started to take a more European shape. Nazi and Allied bombings during World War II destroyed much of the historical Ottoman and Montenegro-era Podgorica architecture, and the city was reborn as the capital of Montenegro in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The city was then rebuilt and expanded in a manner typical of Eastern bloc countries, so it is mostly a modern planned city, and by no means a principal sightseeing destination.

Montenegro's coastal cities (Bar, Budva and Tivat) and its mountain resorts are within one hour's drive from the city and Tivat one hour and 45 minutes, so it is an excellent starting point for day trips to anywhere in Montenegro.

Get in edit

 
The city center of Podgorica
 
Morača River, near the road from Podgorica to Serbia

By plane edit

  • 1 Podgorica Airport (TGD IATA) (12 km (7.5 mi) south). Podgorica Airport airlines include Air Serbia, Austrian Airlines, Ryanair, LOT Polish Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and WizzAir. It is a hub for Montenegro's national airline carrier, Air Montenegro.    

Getting there and away:

  • By bus – Supposedly there is a minibus, which usually waits in front of the terminal.
  • By taxi – Taxis can be found in abundance in front of the terminal but cost a hefty flat rate of €12–15 to the city centre, which the drivers often interpret as "per person". As with all taxis in Montenegro, you should haggle out a price in advance. From the city centre (Republic Place) to the airport, a metered taxi costs €5–6.
Since there is no bus service from Podgorica airport to the coast, as soon as you exit the terminal, you will be surrounded by guys asking if you want a taxi. At this point, they are competing to see how much they can squeeze you for. Montenegro is most definitely not a cheap country, but still, keep your wits about you. Hotels in Kotor will offer airport transfer for €70-80—probably half is more realistic. So, don't listen to guys quoting €120 or more for the drive to the coast. If you say "forget that", and take a taxi to the centre, they may try to bargain when you are in the car—at least here it is one-to-one.
  • By train – There are no buses or means of public transportation. The only other alternative is to turn left as you leave the terminal, trod alongside the dusty road for about 1 km until you get to a bridge, to the left of which is the totally dilapidated Aerodrom train station. Trains run roughly every hour in each direction (Bar = ca. 1 hour, Podgorica = 8 minutes). If you just hop on for Podgorica, the conductor usually won't bother you, but even if he asks you for a ticket, you can buy the ticket from him for €1.20. Train schedule can be found here.

A taxi from Tivat Airport, a coastal city, takes 1 hr 45 min to Podgorica, and has a fixed price of €30 as of June 2018.

By train edit

  • 2 Train station (železnička stanica) (near the city center). Trains from coastal city Bar costs €2.40 and arrive from there at 10:22, 14:35, 15:12, 18:06 and the last one reaches Podgorica at 21:38.    

One day train ("Tara") and one night train ("Lovcen") take nine hours from Belgrade via Rakovica (for Belgrade suburban lines), Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje, and continue from Podgorica to Bar; they're chronically an hour late. The day train is still cancelled (by 2022). In Belgrade for some years these trains departed from Topcider, the dreary motorail terminal in the southern burbs, but they now run from Centar station.

By bus edit

  • 3 Bus station (Glavne autobuska stanica), Trg Golootočkih žrtava (Next to the railway station. City centre is 10 minutes walk from there. If you have any luggage, it's recommended that you either take a minibus (combi) or some of the taxis usually waiting at the station entrance.), +382 20 620430. Cashdesk 05:00-24:00. Serves number of domestic destinations, as well as those in neighbouring countries. Station tax €1–2 per person (e.g. for online tickets).  

By car edit

Due to its location in central Montenegro, Podgorica is the hub of all main roads in the country. Road from the northern Montenegro and Serbia requires additional caution during the winter.

Get around edit

On foot edit

Podgorica is a medium-sized city. If your accommodation is near the city centre, or the "Preko Morače" district - all points of interest could be visited on foot.

By bus edit

Buses are not very frequent, and maps of the lines could be hard to locate. Ticket price is between €0.80 per single ride, and can be purchased on board, usually directly from the driver.

By taxi edit

There are over 20 taxi companies that usually operate new air-conditioned European sedans. Taxi stands are virtually everywhere in the city, but they could also be reached by calling the dispatcher.

The fare is about €0.40/km, and usually no start fare is charged. Considering the size of Podgorica, no drive within the city should cost more than €3 or €4.

Taxi numbers and companies:

  • 19700 ALO Taxi
  • 19702 Royal Taxi
  • 19703 Boom Taxi
  • 19704 PG Taxi
  • 19705 Pink Taxi
  • 19706 DeLuxe Taxi
  • 19709 Orange Taxi
  • 19711 City Taxi
  • 19712 Exclusive Taxi
  • 19714 Red Line Taxi
  • 19723 Peugeot Taxi
  • 19800 Bel Taxi
  • 19708 Elite Taxi

The TeslaGo app also offers a taxi service similar to Uber with the whole fleet composed of Teslas. The app is available in English with price estimates.

See edit

  • 1 Old Turkish town ("Stara Varoš" or "old town"). with its mosques and old clock tower. A typical old Turkish "kasaba" (town), with narrow and curvy streets.    
  • 2 Skaline (the stairs). on the outfall of the Ribnica river to Morača, with its old Turkish bridge over the Ribnica, and the ruins of old Nemanja's town.
  • 3 Monument to King Nikola (Spomenik Kralju Nikoli), Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (in the park across the street from the Montenegro's parliament).
  • 4 Hercegovačka pedestrian street, Hercegovačka street (in the city centre).
  • 5 Trg Republike, Slobode (next to Hercegovačka street). The central square of the city, a lot of life at the end of the day, when people finish to work. Lot of cheap restaurants and friendly people, a pleasant place to spend the first part of the evening.    
  • 6 St. George's church (Ц. св. Джордже), 19. Decembar. Built in 10th century, on the slopes of the Gorica hill, after which the city was named. There are some 17th-century frescoes.  
  • 7 Catholic Church, Mojkovačka, Konik district.    
  • 8 Millennium bridge. The impressive modern bridge over the Morača river.    
  • 9 Dvorac Petrovića (King Nikola's castle). Turned into a museum, also fine the surrounding park.    
  • 10 Cathedral of the Resurrection (Saborni Hram Hristovog Vaskrsenja, Serbian: Саборни Храм Христовог Васкресења Подгорица), Bulevar Džordža Vašingtona. This is an Orthodox temple completed in 2013.    
  • 11 Church of the Great Martyr Holy Dimitrije (Crkva Svetog Dimitrija), Ljubljanska (Park Petrovića).
  • 12 Rimski Trg, off Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (near the orthodox temple). The square in the new part of town. The square and the surrounding area is the home for the trendiest of Podgorica cafes and restaurants, and favourite meeting point for Podgorica citizens.

Further afield edit

  • 13 Cetinje (west 39 km 45 min by bus, about a bus per hour)). it is a great opportunity to escape from Podgorica's pollution for a couple of hours by breathing the fresh air of the Lovcen National Park in the former capital.
  • 14 Morača river canyon (north to the Podgorica). Visit the 13th century Morača monastery and enjoy scenery
  • 15 Doclea (Duklja). The ruins of the old Roman city that preceded Ribnica and Podgorica.    
  • 16 Meteon (Medun) (13 km northeast of Podgorica). Ruins of a fortress erected at 3rd century B.O.T.    
  • 17 Skadar Lake National Park (S 25 km - 20 min by car). The largest lake on the Balkans, and a national park.

Do edit

 
Map of the region around Podgorica

While in Podgorica, one can enjoy the diversity of Montenegro's capital cafes and restaurants, check out the nightlife, or take a walk at some of the favourite picnic locations of Podgorica citizens - Mareza, Skadar Lake, or Gorica hill. While strolling through Podgorica center, you might find the shopping area interesting, as there is a good number of boutiques.

  • Swimming in the Morača river is a pleasant way to cool off in the summer months! The other option would be newly built open-air public swimming pools.
  • 1 Podgorica City Stadium (Stadion pod Goricom). Watch football here. Capacity 15,000, north side of city centre is the home ground of Montenegro's national soccer team. Also here are FK Budućnost Podgorica who play in First League, the country's top tier; they often win it and qualify for European competitions.

Buy edit

The currency in Montenegro is the euro. ATMs are widespread in the city center and the new part of town. Upscale shops and restaurants will usually accept any major credit or debit cards.

Most of the premium clothing brands have their stores in new part of the city, chiefly Vectra-Maxim neighborhoods. The prices are on par with those in the region.

Shopping malls edit

  • 1 Big Fashion. A 48,000 m² mall with over 70 stores, food court and a multiplex cinema.
  • 2 Mall of Montenegro.    
  • 3 Palada. A smaller mall.

Open markets edit

Open markets on the outskirts of the city are a place to buy very cheap clothing, often of low quality.

Eat edit

Almost all fine restaurants in Podgorica are located either in the traditional city center, the new business district around the Roman Square, or along the Sv. Petra Cetinjskog boulevard that connects the two.

There are dozens of pizzerias through city, and most of the cafes serve pizza, pancakes, etc.

Most popular fast food in Podgorica is the regional hamburger variant pleskavica. You can eat great hamburgers, as well as anything made on the barbecue (roštilj) in places all across town, but best known and most visited are "Voda u kršu", "Gurman", "Calimero", "Kruna"... There are no international fast food chains such as McDonalds, Burger King or KFC in Podgorica.

Budget edit

All these are around the Independence Square:

  • 1 Pizzeria Calabria, 57 Miljana Vukova, +382 69 183 000. Napoli-style pizzas cooked in wood fire ovens, along with little sausages and things. A place with local charm and super attentive service.
  • 2 Restoran Radovce, 18 Balšića. Great food and ambiance. The restaurant also has a large glazed terrace.
  • 3 Duhovni centar, 27 Njegoševa. Authentic food from Montenegro. Cozy, small place, awesome crafty house wine. If you like a traditional atmosphere with fitting music, this is the place for you.
  • 4 Kaktus, Njegoševa. Cute restaurant and tasty food. Nice little place on a cool street and in the shade of the trees. They have their own special dishes.
  • 5 Pizzeria Buongiorno, 43 Balšića. Pizzeria with tradition. Very tasty pizza in a small place.
  • 6 Shanghai, 13 Vučedolska, +382 69 120 120. Chinese dishes and sushi.

Mid-range edit

  • 7 Restoran Maša, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 31, +382 0 20 224 460. Renowned for its fresh seafood.
  • 8 Astoria, Bul Džordža Vašingtona 87, +382 67 120 090. A chic restaurant featuring international and European plates, a favourite among local celebrities.
  • 9 Restaurant Zheng He (Kineski Restoran Zheng He), 31 Vojvode Maša Đurovića (near Delty City shopping mall (city kvart)), +382 20 223 551, . 08:00-24:00. Chinese restaurant in Podgorica
  • 10 Alpe Bar, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 88, +382 0 20 202025. A pizzeria and a cafe, one of the city's landmarks.

Drink edit

Most loved amusement of Podgorica's residents is to sit in a cafe on a summer day and drink their espresso.

There are dozens of cafes in pedestrian Njegoševa street in city center, and many more scattered around the city center. Most of the new and trendy cafes are located around "Vectra" district in the new part of the city. Modern design and relaxed atmosphere of the cafes coupled with Podgorica's art of making espresso will make an interesting experience. Some of the well known cafes are:

  • 1 Alpe bar.
  • 2 Buddha bar.
  • 3 Carine.
  • 4 Greenwich.
  • 5 Grand cafe.
  • 6 Café, Café.

Espresso costs €0.50–1.50. Coke and other soft drinks and juices will cost €1–2.50.

There is a number of clubs and bars to go out to in Podgorica. In the summer, there are many open-air bars and clubs. However, by law, open air bars must turn the music off at 01:00, when the crowds move to the clubs mostly in the basements in the city centre.

Depending on your taste, it may be important to know whether a club plays worldwide popular dance hits the entire night, or the playlist include folk music from ex-Yugoslav countries, which is often the case.

Sleep edit

The price of the accommodation varies, and is from €20 for a room in a motel on the outskirts of the city, up to over €100 in the premium hotels in the city centre.

Budget edit

On the every main intercity road on the outskirts of the city there are motels that are the cheapest accommodation in the city. They are easy to spot, as each one has illuminated and clearly visible "Motel" sign. Expect prices from €20.

  • 1 Hostel Podgorica, Apartment 1, entrance III, Blok 7, Bratstva i Jedinstva, +382 69 206 909. Pretty straight forward hostel with communal kitchen, dining, and living areas. Also a balcony with a view of the city - Podgorica, ooh, enchanting.
  • 2 Hotel Crnogorska Kuća, Dalmatinska 130d (N 2.5 km). Single from €30 (Jun-Sep).
  • 3 Evropa, Orahovacka 16, (next to bus and train stations). Basic, but suitably located B&B. Single from €40, double from €50.

Mid-range edit

  • 4 Hotel Podgorica, Ulica Svetlane Kane Radević, +382 20402500, fax: +382 20402501, . Very modern hotel on the bank of Morača river, and offers a high level of luxury, at a corresponding price.
  • 5 Kerber hotel, Novaka Miloseva 6, +382 20 405 405. The Hotel Kerber has a reliable (and free) internet connection in all rooms. Also has a bar. Single €60-110, double €90-200.

Splurge edit

  • 6 Hotel Ziya, 10 Beogradska, +382 20 230 690. Indoor pool, spa, gym, restaurant, and bar are part of this classy hotel. €90.
  • 7 Hotel Ramada Podgorica, Save Kovačevića 74. Single €90-130, double €120-250.
  • 8 Hotel "Best Western", 145 Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (Vectra district). Four-star hotel.
  • 9 Hotel "Apart Premier" (Vectra district). Four-star hotel. Single from €90.
  • 10 Kosta's. Small four-star hotel popular with local celebrities and politicians visiting the city. Single from €80.
  • 11 Bojatours. Like Kosta's, equally popular.
  • 12 Hotel Ambasador Podgorica, 5 Vaka Đurovića (on the banks of Moraca River), +382 20 272 233. Check-in: 24 hr, check-out: 06:00-12:00. A 4-star property, very close to the financial and Government district. Single €66-88, double €90-252 including breakfast.
  • 13 Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora, Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog 2, +382-20-443443, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora, is a 5-star luxury hotel with 180 double-bedrooms, 20 suites, congress centre, restaurant, bar, spa centre, indoor swimming pool and underground garage. In addition to hotel capacity, were built a shopping mall and business center. Along with stylish, sunlit rooms and suites, there are 4 restaurants and lounges including a spectacular rooftop bar, plus gorgeous event space and the city’s largest spa.    

Connect edit

Podgorica has 4G mobile Internet coverage from all three providers (Telenor, T-Mobile, Mtel). 5G has not rolled out in Montenegro.

Embassies edit

Go next edit

  • Bar – The capital of Montenegro Riviera just one hour away.
  • Sveti Stefan – A private resort island in front of Budva.
  • Budva – A resort city one hour away.
  • Bay of Kotor – One of the nicest fjords in Europe. The old part and the Castle of Kotor town, which is listed with UNESCO World heritage sites, are must sees.
  • Tivat – A coastal town 1 hr 45 min away in the Bay of Kotor.


Routes through Podgorica
BudvaSkadar Lake National Park  W   E  KolašinRožaje


This city travel guide to Podgorica is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.