One of the smallest European capitals, Podgorica is super easy to explore even on a one day visit. It’s maybe not as popular as the beautiful Montenegrin coast, but this charming city has everything that makes Balkan so special and authentic. You’ll easily fall in love with its vibrant cafe culture, delicious food and outstanding nature surrounding the city.
What’s the best time to visit Podgorica?
Although the winters are not that harsh, it’s still preferable to visit during the warmer months because of the outdoor festivities, nice cafe terraces and lush nature. If you could choose the most ideal time of the year, it would be May or September.
A few facts about Podgorica
The Montenegrin capital and the largest city in the country was founded in Roman times, and since then it has had its name changed five times. Its territory was occupied numerous times, from the Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarians and Serbs. During World War II, it was bombed 72 times and completely destroyed. It took time for the city to fully recover, but today it’s safe to say it is a very important regional center. In between socialist blocks, you’ll easily find some great galleries, beautiful parks and outstanding bars and restaurants.
One Day in Podgorica Itinerary
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Podgorica.
Have your morning coffee at cafe bar Soba
Cafe bar Soba, whose name translated means Room, is a great place to have some nice espresso coffee right in the morning. Located on the Bokeška street, it’s where many other nice bars and restaurants are located, so it’s a great area to have some breakfast, as well.
Enjoy the city’s lush parks
Podgorica boasts lush nature and beautiful parks, so it would be a real miss not to spend some time exploring them. Stroll the Karađorđev park and continue your walk through King’s park all the way to King Nikola monument. Find the steps that lead to the Ribnica river and finally reach the Old Bridge.
Explore the Old Bridge area
Due to the fact that the city was destroyed multiple times, there are not many monuments left here. One of the few historical attractions in the city is the Old Bridge, built during Roman times and reconstructed during the period of Ottoman rule. It spans the river Ribnica, just before its confluence with the river Morača. Although the area is outstanding and the atmosphere kind of romantic, it seems to be a bit neglected and filled with rubbish. Hopefully, they’ll take care of it very soon.
Have a drink on a terrace overlooking the river
One of the most beautiful terraces to enjoy the view of the beautiful river Morača from is the one belonging to Hotel Podgorica. The hotel itself is one of the nicest examples of Montenegrin modern architecture, fully embedded into the landscape with its walls made of river pebbles. If you’re traveling during summer, it’s a great place to relax and refresh yourself a bit thanks to the river breeze.
Visit the Millennium Bridge
A few minutes’ walk from the Old Bridge, there is the modern cable-stayed Millennium Bridge that spans across the Morača River. The bridge itself is very impressive for both its aesthetics and construction.
The footbridge next to it is a great place to chill and enjoy the view of the river and the mountains in the background.
Pay a visit to the Orthodox cathedral
Only a short walk westwards from the Millennium bridge stands the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, an orthodox church and one of the symbols of Podgorica. The church was built in the period from 1993 to 2014 by combining different architectural styles – Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine with a dash of modern. Don’t hesitate to visit the interior, adorned with golden iconographic murals and mosaic floors.
Taste delicious seafood at the Ahh Riba restaurant
Podgorica does have many great restaurants, but Ahh Riba is something you shouldn’t miss if you’re into seafood. From grilled fish, delicious cooked mussels, all the way to some of the greatest flavours of fish carpaccios and tartares – you’re going to love this place. Plus, the food looks as amazing as it tastes.
Stroll the city centre and visit the main square
Since the city centre is very compact and can be easily explored on foot, it’s recommended to spend an afternoon exploring the city streets and visiting the main square Trg Nezavisnosti. There are many nice shops around the area for those who are into shopping. The square is a nice place to people watch and it’s surely a great place to meet some locals.
Spend an evening at Njegoševa street
Njegoševa street is where all the best bars are located. Most of the bars get super full on weekends, with DJs playing music and people dancing. For some bars, it’s necessary to have a table reserved in advance, but in case you missed doing it, you can always choose bars Gemiš or Berlin.
Night out at District Club
Situated very close to the city center, District Club offers a great clubbing experience for almost every taste. From Soul, Disco, Funk and Hip Hop to a more rough and mind challenging side of House and Techno. One thing’s for sure – you’ll have plenty of fun!
Calimero night treat
If the night out leaves you hungry – head up to the Calimero food bar in Njegoševa street. It’s the place where all the locals finish their night out by having some of the delicious street food meals. It’s recommended to try Punjena vješalica – meat stuffed with cheese, rolled into a bacon and served as a sandwich.
Where to stay in Podgorica?
Beogradska 10, 81000 Podgorica
Hotel Ziya is a five star boutique hotel in a quiet area, only a short walk from the city center. The rooms are elegantly furnished and feel very stylish and luxurious. The hotel features great leisure facilities including an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a spa zone.
Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora
Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog 2 , 81000 Podgorica
Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora is a five star hotel, right in the heart of the city, close to the river and all the main sites. The main street is right around the corner. The rooms are spacious and very well equipped, but they still feel very cozy. It features a lot of facilities, including a spa venue, fitness center, swimming pool and hot tub.
Njegoševa 17, 81000 Podgorica
Hotel Hemera is another perfectly located, luxury hotel, in the very city center of Podgorica. Its unique and stunning appearance is a combination of modern designs, traditional decor and antique art. The hotel features a wide range of health & wellness facilities and a great on-site restaurant.
Nikole Đurkovića 3, 81000 Podgorica
Hostel Q Podgorica is a newly furnished hostel, decorated with handmade furniture in industrial-rustic style. It’s a perfect choice for those who want budget accommodation and/or want to meet other travelers and feel like home. It features beautiful, lush garden – a perfect place to have a drink or a barbecue.
DAY TRIPS FROM PODGORICA
Although small, Montenegro has a lot to offer. And the best part is – it’s all very close! No matter if you want to enjoy nature, see beautiful little towns or simply head to the coast of the Adriatic Sea, everything can be easily arranged.
Skadar Lake is the largest lake in South Europe and separates Montenegro and Albania. This is also a national park with an incredible amount of birds and other wildlife. Hop on a boat cruise and enjoy untouched nature, and then visit some of the local villages for some first-class food.
Hidden in the Gulf of Kotor, this beautiful little town is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Kotor has been around since Roman times, and this whole region was declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Stroll through the incredible old town, check out huge city walls and visit the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon.
When it comes to destinations for your day trip from Podgorica, Budva is always a part of the conversation. This lively little city also has an incredible old town to explore, since it is indeed one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic. However, over the last few years, it has become even more famous for its excellent nightlife, and beautiful beaches of the Budva Riviera attract people from all over the world.
Ostrog Monastery is among the most visited attractions in Montenegro. When you see it, you’ll immediately realize why. This orthodox place of worship was built in 17th century, and it is actually built into a rock, which makes its appearance incredibly impressive. The monastery is divided into two parts – lower and upper – both of which can be visited, but the upper part is especially impressive because of the incredible view it provides.
Extra tips for visiting Podgorica
– Euro is the currency used here although the country is not in the EU, so you don’t have to exchange anything if you’re coming from the eurozone.
– Podgorica is pretty cheap compared to most of the European capitals. You can get a coffee for 1 Euro and a full meal in a restaurant for 7 Euros.
Pin for later!
If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Podgorica Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.
Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).