Besides being the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica is also the country's largest city, having a population of some 150,000 people. The city is situated in central Montenegro, in the scarce Montenegrin lowlands between Dinaric Alps and Lake Scutari.
The Podgorica area has been continuously inhabited since the Illyrian and Roman eras, with settlement on the site of today's Podgorica being firmly established during Ottoman Empire rule. Podgorica was reincorporated in Montenegro in 1878, when the city started to take a more European shape. Nazi and Allied bombings during World War II destroyed much of the historical Ottoman and Montenegro-era Podgorica architecture, and city was reborn as the capital of Montenegro in Socialist Yugoslavia (SFRY). The city was then rebuilt and expanded in a manner typical of Eastern bloc countries, so it is mostly a modern planned city, and by no means a principal sightseeing destination.
While not a typical European eye candy, the city is definitely worth visiting, owing to its interesting mix of old and new, its café culture and nightlife, and its laid back Mediterranean atmosphere. Both Montenegrin coastal cities and its mountain resorts are within one hour's drive from the city, so it is an excellent starting point for day trips to anywhere in Montenegro.
Podgorica Airport (LYPG/TGD) is situated 12 km (7.5 miles) south of Podgorica. It is a base for Montenegro Airlines, Montenegrin national carrier, which flies to major European destinations. For booking and flight schedule check the carrier website .For other airlines serving the airport, check the airport website .
Combi buses operate to and from the city center, but may not be available at all times. Thus, probably the best bet is to take a taxi to the city, as taxis are to be found in abundance in front of the terminal. Taxi rides cost a flat rate €15 as per December 2009, but this should be confirmed with the taxi driver in advance (or there's an Information desk in the airport who can tell you the current rate). As of 2012 it's still said 15€ on the banners although you can easily get a cab no more than for 8€ or even less.
There is regular passenger train service from Subotica through Novi Sad and Belgrade. Train tickets are cheap, but quality of service is lower comparing European standards. There are overnight trains with sleeping cars for around €25. Trains can be late but are a usual mean of transportation.Taxis will cost around €1,2 from train station to the center.
Bus station serves number of domestic destinations, as well as those in neighbouring countries.
The bus and railway station are located next to each other. City center is 10 minutes walk from there, but if you have any luggage - it's recommended that you either take a minibus(combi) or some of the taxis usually waiting at the station entrance.
Walk - Podgorica is a medium-sized city of about 140,000 people. If Your accomodation is near the city center, or the "Preko Morače" district - all points of intrest could be visited on foot.
Public transport - Public transportation consists of buses, that are not very frequent, and maps of the lines could be hard to locate. Ticket price is between €0.40 per single ride, and can be purchased on board, usually directly from the driver.
Taxi - Probably the best option to move around Podgorica are cheap and reliable taxi service. There are over 20 taxicab companies, that usually operate new air-conditioned european sedans. Taxi stands are virtually everywhere in the city, but they could also be reached by calling the dispatcher.
The fare is cca. 0.40€ per kilometre, and usually no start fare is charged. Considering the size of Podgorica - no drive within the city should cost more than €3 or €4.
Millennium bridge. "City Beck's" open bar in the lower right corner
Old Turkish town called "Stara Varoš" ("old town"), with its mosques and old clock tower. A typical old turkish "kasaba"(town), with narrow and curvy streets. Frankly, there are only few sights in this old town, in comparison with other cities in Montenegro.
Skaline (the stairs) on the outfall of the Ribnica river to Morača, with its old turkish bridge over the Ribnica, and the ruins of old Nemanja's town.
Monument to King Nikola in the park across the street from the Montenegro's parliament.
Hercegovačka pedestrian street in the city centre.
Trg Republike the central square of the city, next to Hercegovačka street, a lot of life at the end of the day, when people finish to work. Lot of cheap restaurants and friendly people, a pleansant place to spend the first part of the evening.
St. George's church, built in 10th century, on the slopes of the Gorica hill (hill after which the city was named.)
Millennium bridge, the impressive new bridge over the Morača river.
King Nikola's castle, turned into a museum (closed in weekends), and the surrounding park.
Newly built Hristovog vaskrsenja orthodox temple.
Rimski Trg, the square in the new part of town. Located near the orthodox temple, the square and the surrounding area is the home for the trendiest of Podgorica cafes and restaurants, and favourite meeting point for Podgorica citizens.
While in Podgorica, one can enjoy the diversity of Montenegro's capital cafes and restaurants, check out the nightlife, or take a walk at some of the favourite picnic locations of Podgorica citizens - Mareza, Skadar Lake, or Gorica hill. While strolling through Podgorica center, you might find the shopping area interesting, as there is vast number of boutiques, just beware the counterfeits!
Note that swimming in the Morača river might be a pleasant way to cool off in the summer months! The other option would be newly built open-air public swimming pools.
The currency in Montenegro is the Euro (€). ATMs are widespread in the city center and the new part of town. Upscale shops and restaurants will usually accept any major credit or debit cards.
If you are coming in from neighbouring tourist filled Croatia, the prices here will seem unbelievably low.
Streets in the center of Podgorica are filled with boutiques, yet, one should be aware counterfeited clothes of world famous brands.
Most of the premium clothing brands have their stores in new part of the city, chiefly Vectra-Maxim neighborhoods. The prices are on par with those in the region.
There are a few shopping malls in Podgorica, most notably Delta City, a 48,000 sqm mall with over 70 stores, food court and a multiplex cinema, and Mall of Montenegro. There are also smaller malls, such as Palada and Nikić Center.
Open markets on the outskirts of the city are a place to buy very cheap clothing, often of low quality.
Touristic post cards seem to be not offered by shops in this city.
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Almost all fine restaurants in Podgorica are located either in the traditional city center, the new bussines district around the Roman Square, or along the Sv. Petra Cetinjskog boulevard that connects the two.
Fellini (Caffe Restaurant), Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 153, ☎ +382 (0) 67 911 40 30, . FELLINI is a convenient place for meetings and relaxation, an ideal place for rest and time for yourself, your friends and your loved ones. Pleasant modern interior in seductive tones of Fellini’s movie magic and a restaurant where everybody will just enjoy all the culinary delights Fellini offers.edit
Buffet Pod Volat, Trg. Vojvode Becir Bega Osmanagic br.1, ☎ +382 (0) 69 666 622. Next to Saat Kula with a large garden under trees.Very quite place.Bosnian food in general.Salads and sweets as well.Priced slightly lower than center restaurants.edit
Maša restaurant, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 31, ☎ +382 (0) 20 224 460. Renowned for its fresh seafood.edit
Chinese Restaurant Zheng He, Vojvode Maša Đurovića 31 (City kvart), ☎ +382 (0) 20 223 551, . New modest chinese restauran with excellent wine list(42,4398724,19,2343358)edit
Carine Centar, Slobode 43, ☎ +382 (0) 20 402 400. The Carine Center features both the fine dining restaurant and the pizzeria. Probably the best pizza in town.edit
Carine Moskovska, Moskovska 43, ☎ +382 (0) 20 402 400. The Carine Moskovska features both the national cuisine restaurant, and the pizzeria. Probably the best pizza in town.edit
Salvador Dali, Džordža Vašingtona 87, ☎ +382 (0) 69 234 567. Newly open and chic restaurant, a favourite among local celebrities.edit
Plantaže restaurant, Mareza bb (Mareza resort, few kilometers west of Podgorica), ☎ +382 (0) 20 268 722. A great place to eat.edit
Hong Kong, Stanka Dragojevića 14, ☎ +382 (0) 20 667 300. So far the only Chinese(fake) food restaurant in Podgorica.edit
Il Giardino, Rimski Trg 28, ☎ +382 (0) 69 313 313. Renowned for the Italian cuisine.edit
Most popular fast food in Podgorica is hamburger (pleskavica)(Balkan hamburger somewhat differs from western). You can eat great hamburger, as well as anything made on the barbecue(roštilj) in places all across town, but best known and most visited are "Voda u kršu", "Gurman", "Calimero", "Kruna"...
There are no international fast food chains such as McDonalds, Burger King or KFC present in Podgorica.
Most loved amusement of Podgorica's residents is to sit in a cafe on a summer day and drink their espresso.
There are dozens of cafes in pedestrian Njegoševa street in city center, and many more scattered around the city center. Most of the new and trendy cafes are located around "Vectra" district in the new part of the city.
Modern design and relaxed atmosphere of the cafes coupled with Podgorica's art of making espresso will make an interesting experience. Some of the well known cafes are :"Alpe bar", "Buddha bar", "Carine", "Greenwich", "Grand cafe", "Café, Café", "Switch cafe", "Soul II Soul"...and many more.
Espresso costs from €0.50 to 1.50. Coke and other soft drinks and juices will cost from €1.00 up to 2.50.
There is a number of clubs and bars to go out to in Podgorica. In the summer, there are many open-air bars and clubs. However, by law, open air bars must turn the music off at 01.00 AM, when the crowds move to the clubs located mostly in the basements in the city center.
It is important to determine weather a club plays worldwide popular dance hits the entire night, or does the playlist include folk music from EX-Yugoslav countries, which is often the case. The latter could be difficult for a foreigner to enjoy, so asking around before going out for the night might be a good option.
Switch cafe, Stanka Dragojevica (center). 08.00 - 02.00. A club in the city centre, just five minutes walk from the main Republic Square in Podgorica, near the Millenium bridge. It plays mostly foreign pop/electronic/rock music, and there are interesting music programs almost every night. Drink prices are not too expensive (beer: 1.10, wine: 1.50). Place with lot of fun.edit
Tantra. A club around a 15-minute walk (or short taxi ride) from the centre. It plays dance music and is generally busy throughout the week. Drink prices are not too expensive and there is a good atmosphere.edit
Clubs are most crowded from 11PM until 2AM on the Friday and Saturday nights, but some of them are full throughout the week.
Skaline (open river bar), (Old Town). Two rivers, two bridges. Pop music, drinks, coctails, icecream.edit
vesna, 4 july Street (centre), ☎ 0038269028565. checkin: 13 pm; checkout: 11am. Cozy one bedroom apartment located near the city centre, a short walk to Hotel Ramada and Mall of Montenegro, railway and bus station and it's on your way to airport. The apartment, very bright and funcional is composed of living room, bedroom, kitchen with all equipment, hall, bathroom and balcony. There is wireless internet and free parking place in the building. If you come in Podgorica for pleasure or bussiness you will choose a right place for you. You can rent it for short or long period of time.35. (1 nignt,1 year)edit
On the every main intercity road on the outskirts of the city there are motels that are the cheapest accommodation in the city. They are easy to spot, as each one has illuminated and clearly visible "Motel" sign. Expect prices from €20 - 25 and up.
Hotel "Evropa" next to the train station is a cheap choice.
Montenegro Hostel Podgorica near the train station. Clean rooms, walking distance to city centre.
Hotel City, under the Ljubović hill, offers very cozy rooms and beautiful surroundings for a reasonable price.
Hotel "Crna Gora" in the very center of the city offers nice rooms from around €50 and up.
Hotel Podgorica, Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog 1, ☎ +382-20-402-500 (email@example.com, fax: +38220402501), . Very modern hotel on the bank of Morača river, and offers a high level of luxury, at a corresponding price.(42.43912,19.25672)edit
Hotel "Best Western Premier" is a four-star hotel in the Vectra district.
Hotel "Apart Premier" is a four-star hotel in the Vectra district.
Kosta's, Bojatours and Amabasador are smaller four-star hotels that are popular with local celebrities and politicians visiting the city.
Kerber hotel. The Hotel Kerber has a reliable (and free) internet connection in all rooms.edit
Hotel Aria is a four star hotel near the airport (good sound isolation, so you won't hear the planes or train in your room). Modern designed rooms from 70 euro, that includes wifi and a great breakfast. This hotel has a good location for the night before/after your flight or when you want to explore the region by car (free private parking and no need to get in to the bussy trafic of the city center).
Hotel Ambasador Podgorica is a 4 star property Ambasador Hotel located on the banks of Moraca River, and very close to the financial and Government district. Checkin 24h Checkout: 6:00 - 12:00 Price: 45 - 75 Euro p. person inclusive Breakfast. Address: Vaka Djurovica 5.
Skadar lake, largest lake on the Balkans, and a national park - just 20 min to the south of the city.
Morača river canyon, just north to the Podgorica, and the 13th century Morača monastery.
Doclea(Duklja), ruins of the old roman city that preceded Ribnica and Podgorica.
Meteon(Medun), 13 km (8 miles) northeast of Podgorica, ruins of a fortress erected at III century B.O.T.
Cetinje, (30 minutes by car, 45mn by bus, about a bus per hour), but it is a great opportunity to escape from Podgorica's pollution for a couple of hours by breathing the fresh air of the Lovcen National Park or visit the museums in the former capital.