9 Best things to do in Berane, Montenegro

29 March 2023
Author - Jonathan Howe
Berane is the largest branch of the northeastern part of Montenegro, and it was formed in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Lim river flows through a small town inhabited by about twelve thousand people. Also known as Ivangrad (the name it received after the liberation from the Turks in 1912), this city is characterized by partly oriental architecture. The main trump card of the north of Montenegro is definitely nature. However, one should not miss the chance to get acquainted with the contents of the charismatic settlements at the foot of the mountains. So let's take a look at some of the best things to do in Berane.

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1. Go skiing and snowboarding

Embrace the winter of Berane. Not so far away from it, there is a magnificent spot for snow sports - Lokve, an unjustly forgotten skiing center located at the Smilevica mountain. 

2. Visit a museum 

The best way to get acquainted with the history of Polimlje (the region around Berane) is to visit the Polimski Museum. Over 9000 exhibits testify to the events in the area of Berane, Andrijevica, Plava, and Rožaje, inhabited since the Mesolithic. Tools, jewelry, ceramics, and other objects for everyday use were found at numerous and rich archeological sites in Polimlje. Perhaps the most interesting item from the medieval period is a unique armored shirt with a hood from the 14th century, which was an integral part of the military equipment of soldiers from the time of the Crusades. Objects from the rich ethnographic collection best illustrate what the inhabitants of Polimlje looked like, what they wore, and how they lived throughout history.

3. Walk to the monument on Jasikovac hill

The Freedom Monument on Jasikovac, erected in 1972, is surrounded by forty granite blocks. The history of Polimlje is written on them, with over ten thousand letters. 
The conical sculpture on Jasikovac is one of the symbols of this city, and it represents the struggle for liberation that was fought in this area during the Balkan Wars, the First and Second World Wars. The author of this monument is a famous architect, writer, and former mayor of Belgrade, Bogdan Bogdanović. His oeuvre is very appreciated in the area of the former Yugoslavia, and due to the specific style and theme he dealt with, he was called "a doomed architect."

4. Enjoy the flow of the Lim river on the best terrace in the town

Hotel Berane is located on the most beautiful part of the right bank of Lim. At night, you are lulled to sleep by the croaking of frogs and the roar of the river's rapids. It provides visitors with an a la carte menu and access to a beautiful terrace by the river. 

5. Visit the memorial house of the first Montenegrin diplomat 

Duke Gavro Vukovic was the first Montenegrin diplomat. Built-in the late 19th century, his house in the center of Berane is the only example of Art Nouveau architecture in this region. On the ground floor, there is a gallery in the first part and the other a working memorial room of Duke Gavro.

There are some authentic things from that time on display. The sword of Gavro's father, Duke Miljan Vukov, which found a place in the house.

The first floor is made as a residential space with a nice ceremonial hall, office, bathroom, and kitchen. Before his death, Duke Gavro retired in Berane, and it was in this house he wrote his famous memoirs. Today, the house is a symbol of the royal family.

As a relatively young city, Berane does not have many old buildings in its core.

6. Pay the visit to the Monastery Đurđevi stupovi (St. George's pillars) 

One of the sights of the city of Berane, and also one of the first associations to this city, is certainly the magnificent monastery of St. George's Pillars. Located on a hill above the city, this monastery dominates and, symbolically, still stands as a guard and protector of Berane. The history of Berane is inextricably linked to the monastery itself, which has performed this "guard" role for centuries. This temple was under attack by various armies and therefore bears the mark of a turbulent fate. As a center of a gathering of the people from this region, for a long time, it remained the starting point of various uprisings. Despite numerous demolitions and arsons, for eight centuries since its founding, Đurđevi Stupovi still stands in Polimlje, Berane. Both as a witness and as a symbol by which, among other things, this area is widely known.

7. Combine a Walking and Cycling tour to natural wonders

By combining hiking and cycling from Berane, it is possible to visit some of the most beautiful locations on the Bjelasica mountain. The proposed tour starts from the center of Berane and passes along the very course of the Lim River. Suggested locations are Zekova glava, Crna glava, Big and small Ursulovačko lake, Šiško lake, and so on. Those with a little less fitness can organize this tour as a full day road trip. 

8. Spend an afternoon or morning by the waterfall Skakavac

Only seven kilometers away from Berane, immediately after leaving the Tivran gorge in a northerly direction, the village Skakavac waits to be discovered. The reason why the village should be recognizable, except for the antiquities and stories, is the beautiful Skakavac waterfall, which is located above the settlement, on its eastern side. 

9. Breathe in the spirit of the town on the famous promenade

All stories about the life and history of Berane begin and end on the main street. Its name changed many times, depending on historical events and circumstances. Completely unusual for Ottoman urban planning, the main street is straight and wide and represents the center of all events. Every afternoon, it would turn into the most beautiful and largest city promenade. Older and more serious people from Berane would walk slowly in the middle, considering both the latest world events and "confidential" city stories. The younger ones went from the side. Everyone had their fortified place and wanted to “see and be seen”. Even when the main street was open to traffic, it would close in the afternoon, and the promenade would continue to live undisturbed.

Berane has many important historical sites and attracts those who love history and architecture. Do not hesitate to spend some time in this town and get to know the hidden treasures it offers. Untouched nature and numerous opportunities for an active vacation in it are something that should not be missed when visiting the north of Montenegro.
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