20 Nov 2020
Written By Mia K.

14 Best things to do in Podgorica, Montenegro

Podgorica is the largest city and the capital of Montenegro.
During its complicated and stormy history, this city has regenerated like a phoenix countless times, starting its development from scratch, sometimes even under different names.

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People may warn you this is a boring place that has nothing to offer, full of concrete and shaped by a monotonous, uninteresting architecture. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so let's give a chance to this unjustly avoided town. 
Here is the list of the best things to do in Podgorica. Enjoy!

1. Spend an afternoon at the archeological site of Doclea (Duklja)

The settlement of Doclea just outside of Podgorica, which originates from the Early Christian period, was inhabited by Illyrian tribes. Some artifacts indicate the possibility that the name Doclea is associated with the Roman Emperor Diocletian (the founder of the city).

The features of the typical Roman architectural style are still visible: temples, bridges, gates, basilica, etc. The precious belongings from Necropoli of Doclea (more than 300 tombs from the 1st - 4th century) are available at the National Museum of Podgorica. 

2. Visit Museums in Podgorica

  • Museum of the natural history of Montenegro
This museum has 12 collections: algae, mosses, fungi, ferns and flowering plants, invertebrates, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and the paleozoological collection.
  • Museum and Gallery of Podgorica
The museum has a relatively rich collection of historical, archaeological, cultural, and ethnographic artifacts. Several thematic exhibitions point to the millennial historical evolution of this region. 
  • Centre of Contemporary Art at Petrovic's Palace
The main part of the Center is located in the former palace of the royal family Petrović from the 19th century. Besides the permanent exhibitions, visitors can enjoy works of art made by contemporary Montenegrin artists. 

3. Shopping in Delta City, Podgorica

Delta City, the first real shopping mall in Montenegro, includes the most diverse stores and open markets, as well as entertainment facilities such as a cinema, children's playrooms, exhibitions, book promotions, etc. 

Similar contents can be found in the following malls: City Mall, Mall of Montenegro, Bazar, and The Capital Plaza. 

4. Admire the Panoramic Views of Podgorica 

No matter if you enjoy more in spending your time outside on the top of the hill, watching the city lights in the dark, or chilling in a cozy 'Sky Bar' drinking a cocktail or some fine red wine, observing the chain of blue mountains on the edges of the city - there are plenty of choices for this in and around Podgorica. Here are some suggestions for visiting places where you can enjoy the capital of Montenegro from a bird's eye view:

  • Dajbabska Gora Tower
The viewpoint is easily accessible on foot or by car, ideal for a picnic on a sunny day. 
  • Sky Bar in downtown Hilton Hotel Podgorica
The bar is located on the eighth floor, and it is perfect for relaxation and watching the beautiful scenery around Podgorica's valley. 

5. Go Cycling! 

Did you know that Podgorica, except for a few hills, is almost completely flat? And that a group 'Critical Mass', made of a hundred enthusiasts from Podgorica, cycles every month together to promote a bike as the most sustainable means of transport? 
That's enough of a reason to explore a network of new bike paths and get to know this city in the best way. 

6. Walk on Gorica Hill

A great recreational site and a favorite place for locals to skip the noise of city life. Close to the center, it provides tree-shadows and fresh air, an adventure park, a botanic garden, running trails, and birds' singing. The town of Podgorica received its name after this hill - 'below Gorica.'
While walking, you will come across one of the symbols of the city, a Partisan Monument, which represents a significant mausoleum of 97 fighters fallen in WW2.
At the very beginning of the footpath, there is a 9 century-old Orthodox church dedicated to St. George.

7. Wine tasting at Šipčanik wine cellar

Šipčanik wine cellar, operated by Plantaže - a famous Montenegrin wine company, offers wine and food tasting in an underground Yugoslav-era aircraft tunnel, and a tour through one of the largest vineyards in Europe.

Suggested Tour: Nature, Locals and Wine Tour

8. Visit the Cijevna Canyon and the Montenegrin Niagara Falls

Only 15 km far away from Podgorica, lies the spectacular canyon of the Cijevna river, one of the favorite bathing places for Podgorica's residents during the summer. The river has a beautiful turquoise color, and it is perfectly clear and transparent.
'Niagara Falls' is at a 10-minutes drive from Podgorica and the best period to see it is in the autumn when it is in full force.

Suggested Tour:
Ostrog Monastery and Niagara Waterfall Tour

9. Indulge in Podgorica's nightlife

The Montenegrin capital is rich with numerous pubs, cafes, and clubs whose atmosphere at night leaves no one indifferent. Bokeška and Njegoševa streets in the center of the capital are the best places to have fun, discover local habits, and catch a bit of the friendly local people's language. 
During the year many festivals and parties are organized by the residents and municipality of Podgorica, so don't miss a chance to listen to live music from local and world-wide famous bands and DJs, watch films and theatre plays under the starry sky, dance, and so on. 

10. Walk through the old town of Podgorica (Stara Varoš)

The old town was built by Ottoman Turks and it represents one of the most historic parts of the city. It definitely cannot be compared with the old town of Kotor, or Budva, but there are still some remains which act as a 'time machine' such as the old Turkish houses, the clock tower (Sahat Kula), and Adži-paša's bridge next to the mouths of the rivers Ribnica and Morača. This place where one river meets the other is called 'Sastavci' in the local dialect and it witnessed an infinity of growing love stories. The bridge itself was made by Romans and rebuilt by the reformer Adži-paša Osmanagić in the 17th century. 

11. Sungazing at the terrace of Hotel Podgorica

Perfectly blended into the banks of the Morača River, this hotel offers a magnificent view of the old town and the confluence of the two rivers. This masterpiece planned by the most famous Montenegrin architect, Kana Radević, has won a prestigious architectural award and represents a valuable heritage in this field. 

12. Explore the 'Blok 5' District 

What one person finds beautiful another may not. This district is so specific that some may call it bizarre or ugly, lovely, or unique, but in any case, it is worthy of attention. Conceived as a family neighborhood, it appears as the best example of construction from the era of self-governing socialism during the '80s. Today it is the perfect polygon for street art and a safe zone for kids to play far away from dangerous roads. 

13. Attend Sports Events

The best places for sports fans to follow domestic and international games and competitions in Podgorica are 'Podgorica City Stadium', 'Sports Centre Morača' and much more small local football, basketball, and tennis playgrounds, that can be found in the urban quarters all around the town.

14. Visit the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

The construction of this monumental temple lasted for 20 years. Two 27 meters high towers and 17 bells, situated in its loft, welcome visitors of different religions. One of the largest galleries of the stone sculpture among religious structures is placed on its facade. Byzantine-style frescoes adorn the interior of the temple.
If you ever find yourself in Podgorica, whether you are just passing by or have decided to dedicate a few days to it, try to get involved in the flow of the city. Once you get to know its history and inhabitants, all prejudices will be lost and this city will settle in your heart and memories.
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