3 Day Itinerary For Montenegro: 13 Best Places to Visit

Steve Cummings

Montenegro island on the lake

If you tell people you are off to Montenegro, they may look at you blankly, as if to say, “Where is that?” or “Why are you going there?” But that is a good thing; it's a country that isn’t on most people's radars, which means you can have more of it when you visit.

Montenegro is a fascinating country full of history, with lovely mountains, significant buildings, and beautiful beaches. It is only a small country (smaller than any US state except Rhode Island), and it only takes 4 hours to drive from top to bottom. You can fly into Montenegro or access it easily from Dubrovnik (Croatia), which means it could be easily combined into a multi-country holiday.

We will be looking at a 3-day itinerary with 13 things to do during that time. The only issue is that you might wish you had stayed for a few more days!

Day 1: Kotor

Things to do Kotor
Credit: Depositphotos

We could easily dedicate a whole article to Kotor, but we will pick out what you should do if you only have one day to spend in this lovely little city. Pack some good walking shoes, as you will likely be walking a lot during your day in Kotor. 

Many of the attractions on our list are related to history, so you won’t find any modern attractions, but that's probablywhy you're visiting Kotor!

1. Kotor Old Town

Motor Old Town
Credit: Depositphotos

As you probably know, we love an Old Town here at the Frugal Expat, and the one in Kotor will not disappoint you. Our tip is to get up early, grab a coffee, and wander about, taking it all in at your own pace. There are so many little alleyways that you could easily get lost, but getting lost is sometimes one of the best things you can do in old towns, as you might find the perfect little coffee shop that you wouldn’t come across if you followed Google Maps without just exploring.

If you are staying in the old town, it's even better, as you will get time in the morning or evening to explore without the crowds of the cruise ships.

If you are a history fan, you could book a walking tour. These last about 90 minutes, and you will learn loads about Kotor.

2. Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Kotor Cathedral)

The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is one of the best-preserved buildings in Kotor and one you have to visit. It is on the main square, with a cheap 4 euro entrance. Inside, it's worth taking the stairs to the museum, where you can see a fantastic collection of art and work by medieval goldsmiths and artists. The museum also gives you great views over the Piazza to get the perfect photo for Instagram.

3. Kotor Fortress

Kotor Fortress
Credit: Depositphotos

Kotor Fortress is one of the best things to do in Kotor. There are 1355 steps to the top, and the path follows part of the old city walls from the old town to the top. Walking up takes about 45 minutes, but it can be hot, so we recommend taking plenty of water. It's worth it.

Halfway up is the Church of Our Lady of Remedy, which makes an excellent stop to rest for a few minutes and take pictures.

This hike costs 8 euros if you do it between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. during the main tourist months of May to October, but outside of these times, you can walk up for free. In our opinion, it's worth the money!

4. Walk The Old City walls

Walls surround the entire old city, but unfortunately, due to their crumbling away, it's not possible to walk all the way around. The south side of the wall is the best area where the largest parts of the wall are intact, but watch out as there are steep drops on certain parts of it and no fences to stop you from falling.

5. Kotor Farmers Market

Farmer's market
credit: depositphotos

While this might not be as big as other European markets, it's still worth visiting. Despite the name “farmers market,” there is much more than fruit and veggies.

This could be an excellent opportunity to put together a little picnic for the day before your walk up to the fortress, as there's plenty of cheese, cured meats, olives, and a great selection of bread.

6. Kotor Bazaar

Built into the old city walls is Kotor Bazaar, which can be found near the church of Saint Nicholas. It is a bit touristy and might be worth a visit at the end of the day to grab a quick fridge magnet. However, it's more worth the visit just for its actual look and feel, as it feels like a market that would have been held in the Middle Ages.

7. Kotor Cats Museum

Kotor is famous for cats, and you will find loads of them wandering the streets after affection or food from passersby. These cats are well looked after and adored by the locals.

Because of that, there is a Cat Museum. Yes, you heard us right, and we must include it because it differs from everything else. We have never seen a cat museum anywhere else in the world.

There isn’t much inside, but you can buy some souvenirs, and the money raised goes towards caring for the cats of Kotor.

Day 2: Budva

credit: depositphotos

This great little city feels like a mini Dubrovnik, one we couldn’t miss from our itinerary. Ideally, you would want to spend two days in Kotor, but if you are on a whirlwind tour, it would be a shame not to visit Budva. It's only 30 minutes from Kotor, making its addition to your itinerary ideal.

8. Altstadt (Old Town) Budva

Sveti Stefan Island, Budva, Montegro
Credit: bloodua/Depositphotos

We are back again in another old town. This one resembles a smaller (maybe more excellent) version of Kotor's old town. It's full of the typical shops, winding alleyways, churches, and other historic buildings.

We recommend visiting in the mornings to avoid the large crowds, as walking around the narrow streets is much easier. Grab a coffee and finish by the harbor with a bite to eat. If you have time, you could even take a boat trip from the harbor.

9. Budva Dancing Girl

The Budva Dancing Girl is a statue of a ballerina just outside the old town. It is a great place to take a picture. You can’t get close enough to touch it as it is behind a fence, and it can get a bit busy with people wanting to take a selfie near it. You will also see many people trying to copy the pose (which most can’t do). 

The Legend of the Dancing Girl is about a lost love between a sailor and a ballerina. The dancing girl watches out over the sea and waits for her lover to return.

10. Citadel

Located in the old town, the Citadel is worth a visit, as you will be rewarded with great views from the top. It costs 5 euros to enter, which we think is quite frugal. There is a cafe inside and a library. There isn’t much inside, but it's worth calling in if you pass by.

11. Mogren Beach

Mogren Beach
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After walking around Budva during the day, you should spend the afternoon relaxing at Mogren Beach. It has 2 sandy beaches connected by a tunnel and is easily walkable from the main old town.

Sun lounges here are not cheap, so expect to pay about 30 euros for two chairs with two umbrellas. The more frugal among you may just want to take your towel, especially if you are only here for a short time.

We also recommend you get here either early or late in the evening. Because it's a small beach, it can become very crowded, especially during the peak tourist season.

12. Visit the Aquapark

So far, in our guide, most of the attractions we have listed will appeal more to couples or people with older children. One of the best things to do in Budva if you have the kids with you is to head to the Aquapark, which is only about 10 minutes outside of town and is located on the top of a hill, giving panoramic views over the town.

There's a wide range of slides and rides to suit everyone of all ages, with some just for smaller children. The park is open from May to September and is expensive, at 29 euros for adults and 20 euros for children.

13. Go Paragliding

credit: leonidp/depositphotos

One of the best things to do in Budva is paragliding. Even though you may have been paragliding before, we think you will find it hard to have tried it somewhere as beautiful as Budva.

You start about 15 minutes outside of Budva, but someone comes to pick you up. You then paraglide along the coast, taking in the scenic views.

From there, you’ll glide above the Budva Riviera and take in the scenery with a bird’s eye view. Paragliding is by far one of the most unique experiences to try in Budva.

14. Visit Sveti Nikola

Sveti Nikola is a lovely little island that can be reached by boat from Budva. Tickets are available for about 5 EUR. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the island, but if you are feeling energetic, you can hire a kayak or a paddleboard. We recommend you take the boat.

There isn’t much on the island; most people just chill on the beach and enjoy being away from the mainland. If relaxing isn’t your thing, you could swim to Sveti Nikola cave and take some great photographs.

Day 3: Tivat

Tivat is the smallest destination on our list, and while some people visit Budva and Tivat on the same day, we wanted to break them up. Tivat may be small, but it's still incredibly popular with tourists.

15. Walk Around Porto

sunset walk
credit: depositphotos

Porto, as the name suggests, is the main port in Tivat. It is the first place many people head to as it is platinum-rated. That means it attracts some of the best superyachts you will likely see anywhere in the world, as all the rich and famous want to be seen here in their yachts.

There is also a selection of high-end shops and many restaurants, with the clubhouse being one of the most recommended.

16. Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding

credits: HayDmitriy/depositphotos

Rather than just walking around, you might want to do something a bit more adventurous. The bays at Tivat are niceand sheltered, meaning the sea here is perfectly calm to enjoy watersports. 

You could also venture further to three nearby islands, giving you somewhere to head for.

Paddleboards and kayaks can be hired locally from New Frontier Adventures, and guided tours are available.

17. Tivat Promenade

A great way to end your trip in Tivat and Montenegro is to take a leisurely walk down the marina. From here, you can walk down to Lepetane. The promenade ends in Donja Lastva, a nice little place to explore at the end. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found our 3-day itinerary helpful. Montenegro could easily be added to the end of a trip from Croatia or one of the surrounding areas as it is only a tiny country and not far from Dubrovnik airport.

If you think we have missed anything from the list, please let us know in the comments below.

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