Podgorica

The journey of most tourists who arrive in Montenegro begins, as a rule, from its capital — Podgorica. But few people stay here, because basically everyone goes either to the southern part of the country to relax on the sea, or further north to go skiing or snowboarding in Montenegro.

Nevertheless, this city is worth spending at least one day — this is quite enough to get around and see all the main attractions of Podgorica.

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It should be noted right away that the architecture and beauty of Podgorica is far from European cities, so you should definitely not expect a “wow effect”. This city is unlikely to surprise you, but you will definitely remember some places, we will talk about them below.

History

The oldest cultural monuments found today in Podgorica and its environs indicate that this territory was inhabited in the Stone Age (approximately in the 5th century BC) and the first inhabitants were Illyrian tribes. Then the Romans captured this territory and founded their settlement, which bore the name of Birziminium. Then this city served as a caravan stop, and because of its favorable location, it became a crossroads of important trade routes, so its prosperity began to grow rapidly.

Around the 5th century, Slavic tribes settled in this territory, which later gave the city a new name — Rybnitsa. It most likely came from the Rybnitsa River, which still flows, cutting the city into 2 parts.


The first name of Podgorica is mentioned in 1326. In 1474, Podgorica passed to the Turks, and only after 4 centuries it was returned to Montenegro (in 1878). In 1916, this city was occupied by the Austrians, in 1941 by the Italians, and in 1943 by the Germans. Only the Turkish clock tower (late 18th century), a mosque and a few houses survived the destruction of the old city during World War II.

During the post-war communist period, the city was known as Titograd after Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. After the collapse of communism, the city revived its old name Podgorica on April 2, 1992.

You can learn more about the history of Podgorica at the local historical museum. There you will find a lot of interesting information and detailed details.

Population

Podgorica is the largest city in Montenegro. About 137 thousand inhabitants live here, which is about a quarter of the total population of the country.

The majority are, of course, Montenegrins themselves (≈ 57%), about 30% are Serbs, 12% are Albanians and Bosnians.

Language and religion

In Montenegro, due to ethnic characteristics, communication is on Serbian and Montenegrin languages, which, in turn, have both Latin and Cyrillic spellings. It may look strange, however, local residents do not have any dissonance and everyone communicates in a way that suits them.

Montenegrin is also partially similar to Croatian, Bosnian and Russian.

The locals are quite friendly, many of them know English and Russian at least at the minimum basic level, so, as a rule, there is no language barrier with foreigners.

As for religion, most of the population is Christian, but there are also Muslims, but these are mostly visiting Bosnians and Albanians.

Transport

Podgorica has a fairly good transport interchange. There is a bus station, an airport and even a railway station. You will find more information about all railway routes, as well as about bus stations and bus routes in the article in the section "Transport in Montenegro".

In addition, throughout Montenegro there are quite good roads, so you can easily cross the whole country by car in just 4 hours.

As for public transport in Podgorica itself, the choice here is small and consists of buses and taxis. Unfortunately, public transport does not go to the airport, so the only option is to take a taxi in Podgorica or walk a little to the railway station and from there get to the city. Read more about this here.

The fare in public transport is 0.7€. Bus routes that run around the city can be found at this link.

As for the taxi, there are practically no online applications for calling a car, so you will have to call the car yourself on the street. But if you like comfort and order a taxi online, we recommend you download the TeslaGo App. This is a local taxi, in the fleet of which there are exclusively Tesla cars. In addition, you can pay for the trip both in cash and by card, which is very rare in Montenegro.

Important! If it is important for you always be aware of the events of the city, to have quick access to information about transport, parking, and other things, then we recommend you pay attention to these applications, which you can download in advance to your phone.

Sightseeings of Podgorica

In recent years, Podgorica has been developing rapidly, and coming here you can feel the sharp contrast between different areas of the city. Nevertheless, there is something to see here, so you definitely should visit Podgorica.

Bridge on Rybnitsa river

Photo: podgorica.me
Photo: mapio.net

The bridge was originally built by the Romans in the 5th century and then restored during the Ottoman rule, which is why it is considered one of the oldest historical sites.

It is noteworthy that in the summer you are unlikely to see the river, as it dries up due to the high heat. But with the onset of late autumn and winter, you can fully enjoy the view of this incredibly beautiful place.

Clock tower (Sakhat Kula) and Stara Varosh district

It is a legacy of the Ottoman era in Montenegro.

This tower was built in the 17th century by Aji Pasha Osmanagich. According to some sources, the clock for the tower was specially brought from Italy.

Its height reaches 16 m, from where a beautiful view on the Stara Varos — the old part of the city opens, but, unfortunately, now it is impossible to climb the tower.

It was built to monitor and control the life of the city, it was also used as a minaret.

The cross was hoisted to the top in 1890 after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire.

Now this building simply informs about the time and is a cultural monument protected by the state.

Ruins of Duklja

One of the most outstanding sights of Montenegro from an archaeological point of view.

Duklya ruins
Duklja

Duklja is a former Illyrian settlement founded 2000 years ago with a necropolis containing over 300 tombs dating back to the 1st century. This settlement is located 4 km from the city center.

Independence Square (Republic)

This square is located in the center of Podgorica and is the largest square in the country. In winter, the square is very beautifully decorated, fairs and entertainment are organized. In summer you can relax here in the shade of trees and drink water (not from the fountain :).


Sastavci

This is the most popular recreation area among all residents of the city. Sastavci are located at the mouth of the Rybnitsa River, next to the aforementioned bridge.

Cathedral Church of Christ's Resurrection

Photo: sumfinity.com
Photo: lot.com

If you like to visit religious places, then we recommend that you definitely look into this temple. Its construction began in 1993 and ended towards the end of 2014, so it is fairly new. In its place, there used to be the Church of the Holy Apostles, but due to severe destruction, it was decided to build a new, more stable large church.

The Cathedral Church of Christ's Resurrection in Podgorica attracts not only with its decoration but also with a bell tower, where a huge bell weighing 11 tons is installed.

Palace complex Krusevac

This former Winter Palace of King Nikola I Petrovich-Njegosh was built in 1889. King built it specifically for his wife. Now this place is a Museum-Gallery of Art. A very beautiful and charming place that definitely needs to be included in the list of visits.

Winery Plantaze

It might come as a surprise to you that Montenegro is actually home to the largest continuous vineyard in Europe, owned by the renowned Montenegrin winery Plantaze. You can find the wines of this company everywhere: in shops, restaurants and even in the smallest cafes. Plantaze wines have repeatedly won the most prestigious awards, so if you want to try homemade Montenegrin wine, then be sure to visit the wine tasting in the Plantaze Sipcanik cellar.

Waterfall Cievna (Niagara)

podgorica niagara waterfall
podgorica niagara waterfall

Now Montenegro also has its own Niagara Falls, which they called “Niagara” even though it is located on the Cievna River, not far from Podgorica Airport. This is a great place to grab a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant with a beautiful view and delicious Montenegrin dishes. We recommend you visit the waterfall in the spring, as it can dry up in the height of summer and early autumn due to high temperatures.

These are the main attractions of Podgorica, which we advise you to visit. We also note that in the city you will find many monuments, parks, bridges — we will not focus on them in this article

Prices

There is quite not expensive in Montenegro compared to other European countries, so every tourist will be comfortable here. If we talk about travel, then public transport will cost 0.7-1.5 euros, intercity buses from 3 to 10 euros. As for food, it is easy to find an institution for any wallet size, from inexpensive fast foods to restaurants. On average, one meal will cost you 7-20 euros. Please note that portions are quite large in Montenegro, so in some cases you can even split one portion for two people.


As for housing, you can rent an apartment from 20 euros / day. The average price is 25-40 euros.

Unlike coastal cities such as Budva, prices in Podgorica do not jump during the season, but remain unchanged, so many entrepreneurs prefer to go to the capital to buy groceries in the summer.

If you are going to come to Podgorica and want to know how much money to take with you to Montenegro, then expect about 40-50 euros / day. That's enough for you here.

Weather

On the coast of Montenegro, winter is quite mild and warm (+5-+15℃), while in the north it can be -20℃ at the same time. Despite the fact that Podgorica itself is only 40 km from the Adriatic Sea, due to Mount Rumia, which separates Lake Skadar and the capital of Montenegro, heat from the coast does not reach here. Therefore, the temperature in winter can vary from +10℃ to -10℃. We strongly recommend you take with yourself a winter jacket. It is better to remove or unfasten it later than to be freeze.

As for autumn and spring, it is very comfortable and pleasant here, there are no spontaneous rains. If it starts to rain in Podgorica, they usually last for several days, and then the weather again pleases with the sun and a pleasant warm wind.

In summer it is much hotter here than on the coast, so during the daytime you are unlikely to see many people on the street. The air temperature here can reach +40℃. If you are going to go to Podgorica, then it is better to choose April-May or September-November for travel. There will be no hot summer sun and severe cold, so you can quite comfortably walk around all the sights and see interesting places nearby.

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