Earth : Europe : Balkans : Montenegro : Montenegrin South Coast : Ulcinj
Ulcinj (Cyillic: Улцињ, Albanian: Ulqin or Ulqini) is the most southern coastal town of Montenegro.
Ulcinj is the southern most major town along the Montenegrin coast before reaching the border with Albania. Well over a majority of the population of Ulcinj is ethnic Albanian. Together with the town of Tuzi it is one of the two major population centers of Albanians in Montenegro. Due to the town's nice location on the coast it is a major tourist destination of much of the Albanian population of Kosovo.
Ulcinj is a small city, you will have no problem getting around by foot, but keep in mind that some parts are very hilly. The hilly roads can become quite slippery when wet and many of the smaller streets have no sidewalks. If you're walking on such a street, keep to the dry areas and step aside when you hear an approaching vehicle to let them pass. Many people drive fast even with pedestrians on the road.
There are many stairs that lead down the hills that can be used to avoid long winding roads, but you'll have to look for the entrances, or use Google Maps Satellite imaging to guess where the stairs are; they're not marked and they often look like they lead into someone's home.
The bus station is a good 40 minute walk from the old town of Ulcinj by the coast.
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There is an old castle overlooking the sea. Stari grad (old town) is worth a visit. Much of the old town was destroyed in a large earthquake in 1979 but wealthy investors have recently been buying up the properties and restoring them. There are now only a handful of destroyed buildings remaining in old town and many nice restaurants, hotels, and even a museum fill the area.
When you get to old town, walk along the wall facing the ocean and look through all the small holes in the wall that face out to the ocean. Also, stand in the archways and look down at the ocean crashing against the rocks below.
The old town museum appears to only be open when it's busy; the sign said it's open after May 1st, but it was closed when we visited May 28th despite the sign's hours saying it should be open.
Ulcinj is a splendid central location for exploring Montenegro's South Coast region (from Bar to Skader Lake to Ada Bojana) and parts of Albania. The Ulcinj South Coast region boasts some of the most interesting adventure, historic and eco tours, and vacation beach stays in all of the Adriatic.
There are good beach spots in the area, including some rocky ones in the southern part of town. The longest sandy beach in Montenegro, Velika Plaza, is located near by. At the Southern end of this 14km-long beach there is Ada Bojana , a triangular island with very nice beaches, formed where the Bojana river meets the Adriatic Sea. The island is a favourite spot for kitesurfers and windsurfers and it has a large a nudist beach for those so inclined. There are minibuses that take you from the market on Skenderbeu Ave in Ulcinj to Velika Plaza and even to Ada Bojana (if there are at least 3 people going there).
Near the beach stalls sell kebab and hamburgers.
Note that the fish restaurants calculate the price per 1 kg of raw fish. Example: One raw fish is about 500-600 grams, but when cleaned and cooked, it's around 200 grams. You get charged for 500-600 grams.
There are lots of new restaurants in Stari grad (old town) that serve a wide range of food. Many of the restaurants have fantastic views of the ocean right from your table with very reasonable prices (5-20 Euro).
If you see "scallop" on the menu anywhere, keep in mind that it's most likely NOT not seafood but meat (veal).
Stray cats are plentiful in Ulcinj and they love to hang around tables waiting for scraps, especially at places popular with tourists. Do not feed them. Restaurant QUEEN is one of the new restaurants leading in food quality. Fish is 12 euro for 500 grams, any type of fish is fresh from the sea beaing the cleanest restaurant in ulcinj.
Accommodation are plentiful in Ulcinj, ranging from resort hotels to private accommodations. The resort hotels in Ulcinj are each in the process of renovation and reconstruction, as most have been recently privatized from former government agencies. Lodging costs range from full-service rooms at 50 EUR per person (or more) down to the many unlicensed/unregulated private accommodations costing in the range of 10-25 EUR.
There are three buses a day, at 6:00, 7:00 and 13:15 to Shkodra in Albania. The 6:00 one MAY make a stop at the border and at the furgon station of Shkodra, before making it to the city centre (in the furgon station by the Shkodra bridge and castle, furgons for Tirana and Durres will be waiting). The 7:00 and 13:15 services skip the furgon station and leave you by the football ground, where a furgon will take you to Tirana for €5.