Unique Things to Do in Montenegro

Fortifications of Kotor

With the help of these ancient walls, the city within could withstand hundreds of years of occupations, sieges, and invasions.

Visiting the oldest town in Montenegro, Kotor, is one of the unique things to do in Montenegro. It has its origins in the ancient world and is situated on the Bay of Kotor (Boka kotorska in Montenegrin), a natural fjord close to the Adriatic Sea coast. Theoretically, has between 700 and 400 BCE on top of another city, however, archaeologists remain unsure.
The ancients exploited the hills’ natural slopes and steps as protection, but it’s also the built walls that are impressive; the bulk of them are recognized as defensive Venetian in build and design.
Invaders must have found it difficult to maneuver around the walls and crags of the hills as they sought to make their way through the confusing maze of Kotor’s streets. However, they purposefully constructed the city in this manner in order to prevent the intruders from determining their exact location. It’s also simple to understand why everyone wanted a piece of it because it protruded so prominently straight up out of the fjord.

War Memorial in Ulcinj

An amazing war monument statue overlooks the beaches below, from atop a resort town that dates back to the Bronze Age.

The resort town of Ulcinj in Montenegro has beautiful architecture to match its rich history. One monument in particular uses its design to convey the era it honors.
The Ulcinj War Memorial honors Montenegro’s involvement in the war, particularly the Yugoslavian air force, and is located on the outskirts of the mountaintop town. Its distinctive design mimics the wings of a bird or even an airplane and appears to be watching over the Mala Plaza (little beach) below. During the summer, Ulcinj is a particularly popular summer vacation destination for many Europeans of Albanian, German, and Italian descent.
Adapted with permission from Exploguide.com, a website for tourists searching for off-the-beaten-path and alternative travel.

Ostrog Monastery

A curious cave church constructed into a cliff.

In the Balkans, the 1600s were a turbulent decade. The tiny Principality of Montenegro was battling the vast Ottoman Empire for its very existence. Countless Orthodox Christians fled to the highlands when they were threatened by Ottoman raids.
The Ostrog monastery was hewn out of Ostroka Greda’s sheer slope. The cave-church was built by Vasilije, the Bishop of Herzegovina (after known as St. Vasilije of Ostrog), whose remains are preserved in a reliquary inside the church’s chilly, gloomy walls.
Even today, pilgrims continue to travel to Ostrog, where they are welcomed by people of all religions. On Pentecost, there is a significant celebration. The complex of cave monasteries underwent extensive refurbishment between 1923 and 1926, a result of a fire. Despite the fire severely damaging the monastery, two of the ancient cave chapels were fortunately preserved and are still in their original state.

Grahovo Memorial Park

Nature is gradually reclaiming this tribute to local World War II troops.

Grahovo, roughly nine miles from the far more popular Bay of Kotor, was fiercely assaulted and effectively razed to the ground by Austro-German forces during the early phases of the war. On July 13, 1941, however, a group of villagers led by future national hero Savo Kovaevi successfully fought and disarmed an invading German soldier detachment.
Today, just a few inhabitants remain in town, and the memorial park is losing ground to the neighboring park’s encroaching flora. With Montenegrin authorities showing little or no interest in regenerating the neighborhood any time soon, Grahovo remains a fading symbol of resistance, waiting for its next hero.

Cats’ Museum

In the cat sanctuary known as Old Town Kotor, there is a quirky small museum devoted to the hairy feline.

If you are a cat lover, you won’t find a better place like the town of Kotor in Montenegro. The medieval town was founded by the Romans in 168 BC and is known for its high cat population. Kotor served as a trading port for many centuries, and many of the cats, left behind from the ships arriving there, started populating the small town.
In Kotor, cats are an integral part of daily life, and they even have their own museum. The Cat’s Museum is a small structure located in the center of the Old Town. In fact, there is an entire part of the museum devoted to items from cats that were around before and throughout World War One. The care taken to maintain these unusual gems is obvious. They vary from war propaganda to postcards received by troops.

Gospa Od Skrojela (Our Lady of the Rocks)

A little chapel on an artificial island in the Adriatic.

One of two little islands, known as GOSPA OD SKRPJELA (OUR LADY of the Rocks), is situated in the inner Boka Kotorska harbor, close to the Perast ancient town.
These islands’ peculiarity is that they are virtually entirely man-made.
The island was once only a mass of rocks, but according to legend, two fishermen named the Moršić brothers found a picture of the Virgin Mary there on July 22, 1452. On the location, a little Orthodox chapel was built.
There is a tiny museum in Perast’s history behind the church. The “Place of Reconciliation” is the name of the courtyard in front. Today, the little island church serves as a sort of Boka Catholics cultural hub. In particular, it has been used to resolve blood feuds amongst the catholic families of Boka, ending many vendettas. It has also been used for public meetings.

Sveti Stefan

A tiny Balkan Island has been fully encircled by this upscale resort’s 5-star labyrinth of guest rooms.

The Sveti Stefan Resort is crammed onto a little offshore piece of land that was formerly home to a tiny community. The resort has turned the collection of old buildings into luxurious housing for its visitors.
Due to its small size (just over a mile around), the island off the coast of Montenegro is in high demand. The area was first used as a coastal defense but later developed into a little community with 400 residents who erected homes on every possible square inch of the island, giving the impression that they would just slide off the edge into the Adriatic.
Currently, the resort is a stunning private island that is only accessible to guests. The Sveti Stefan remains a type of fortification despite having been transformed into a recreational area; nonetheless, it now primarily serves to defend aristocracy.

Mamula Island

This island, a former military fort and location of unspeakable tragedies during WWII, might become the Adriatic’s next luxury resort.

The government of Montenegro has big plans for this unexplored island in the Adriatic Sea.
Malma’s original existence was that of an Austro-Hungarian military fort, which was built in 1853. During World War II, however, the island became most famous for the isolated concentration camp established atop the site of the former’s walls.

Fortress Gorazda

This World War I stronghold is an excellent location for viewing a Montenegrin sunset.

During World War 1, the Austrians used this Austrian-Hungarian fortress to swap artillery rounds with the Montenegrin soldiers. They originally built it between 1884 and 1886. The turret guns are long gone, but the stronghold and all its majesty remain.
During the mid-twentieth century, the stronghold was converted into a jail. It is now entirely abandoned on top of a mountain overlooking both the port of Kotor and the island of Tivat. Although it is currently covered with graffiti, it is still a fantastic area to explore. It’s also a great place to see the sunset. The views are likely to be among the nicest in the region.

Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic-Njegos

A stunning mountainside tomb dedicated to a Montenegrin icon does not seem to please everyone.

Atop high, the Mausoleum of Petar ii Petrovi-Njego, on an otherwise untouched mountain in the European republic of Montenegro, recalls one of the region’s revered presidents with a contest-designed tomb that yet did not appease many detractors.
The freshly erected mausoleum is positioned atop one of Mount Loven’s two summits and is located within Loven National Park. The impressive structure is reached via a long route that twists up the mountain, followed by a 461-step trek. Inside the mausoleum, there is a massive granite monument of Njego, his grave, and a 360-degree stone viewing circle. From the peak, one can view more than half of the little nation, from the Bay of Kotor to Lake Skadar to Podgorica. On a clear day, Albania and Croatia may be seen. Despite the criticisms, few can argue that Petar II Petrovic-Njegos’ Mausoleum is not attractive enough for a national hero.

Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

Its paintings represent Marshal Tito, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels as they burn in hell.

 universe of icons, golden backgrounds, and paintings fill the Podgorica Cathedral of the Resurrection. Among the abundant embellishments, as is customary in Orthodox churches, is a fresco that sparked debate when the church was inaugurated in 2013.
Near the vaults to the upper left of the altar, you’ll find an apocalyptic scene that, at first look, does not appear unusual. A terrifying beast swims in a scorching sea and devours humans dressed in religious garb. If you look closely, you’ll notice three individuals that many have recognized as Marshal Tito, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels burning in the same everlasting flames as Adam and Eve.

Brutalist Church of Podgorica

This nearly windowless monolith of flat concrete is the city’s lone Catholic church.

 short walk from Podgorica’s main commercial street exposes an intriguing architectural specimen, the Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus, the lone Catholic temple in this mostly Orthodox capital city.
The inside of the church is also kept basic and peaceful. Surprisingly, the bare concrete walls are not as onerous as one might expect. Despite the lack of windows, there is a brilliantly built skylight above the altar that provides a halo of sunshine to the main section of the church. Along the walls, there are also basic yet futuristic lights suggestive of a spaceship. The main attraction is an amazing backlit crucifix with an ethereal radiance.
This chapel is an interesting sight both inside and out, and not only for architecture buffs. It’s a curiously soothing and one-of-a-kind location.

Obadov Brijeg

On Obad’s Hill, a swan-like monument honors troops who fought the region from German invaders during WWII.

6th Montenegrin Strike Brigade defended the neighboring Danilovgrad Pass against a German onslaught in November 1944. The Obad’s Hill (Obadov Brijeg) monument sculpture honors the 6th Montenegrin Strike Brigade, a group of over 500 anti-fascist warriors that defended the hill.
Slobodan Vukajlovi, a Modernist architect, designed the memorial sculpture. It was finished in 1974 and dedicated on the 30th anniversary of Obad’s Hill’s defense. Its minimalism aesthetic is intriguing in various ways, including its shape and appearance, which resembles a swan-like bird.

Stara Maslina

One of the oldest olive trees in the world, maybe older than 2,000 years.

In Montenegro, next to Stari Bar, there is one of the oldest olive trees in the world. It is estimated that “Stara Maslina” is more than 2,000 years old and is a wonderfully breathtaking sight. Unfortunately, a lightning strike has entirely burned out one side of the tree.

Stay On a Winery and Enjoy the Local Wine.
Montenegro may not be the first country that comes to mind when discussing wine.

However, the lush grounds and particular microclimate make it a good location for wine production.
Their wineries are well-known for producing strong, dark red wines from Vrana grapes.
There’s a lot to choose from, including Montenegrin Vranac, Krsta, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
Montenegrin vineyards may be found all along the country’s southern coast.
The winery where we stayed was named Winery Masanovic, and it was near Skadar Lake.
They produce excellent wine and have been run by a local family for over 10 generations.

Enjoy The Local Cuisine.
It goes without saying that the greatest way to learn about a country’s culture is to sample its food.

For such a tiny nation, Montenegro’s traditional foods are remarkably diverse.
Njegusi Prosciutto, an extremely tasty thin cut of beef from Njegusi hamlet, is arguably its most famous dish.
Buzara, a seafood meal with mussels, prawns, and shrimp in a delicious sauce prepared from red or white wine and herbs, is another example.
We also recommend Ispod saca, which is Montenegro’s version of a Sunday roast. It’s a filling meal of veal or lamb with slow-roasted veggies cooked over coals.

Overall, Montenegro is a wonderful nation to visit, with many natural sights and adrenaline-pumping sports. Despite its small size, it encompasses the rich culture and customs of the Balkan area. We think we’ve covered enough Montenegrin activities, particularly in Kotor, Budva, and Podgorica. Hopefully, you now have enough information to begin organizing your vacation.
Travel safely!


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