Podgorica – Things to do in the Montenegrin Capital
Podgorica is the capital city of Montenegro. Things to do in Podgorica include;
- Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ
- Millenium Bridge
- Ribnica Fortress
- Independence Square
- Petar I Petrovic Njegos Statue
- Podgorica City Stadium
- Day trip to Ostrog Monastery
- Day trip to Cetinje
Being the capital city and a little less touristic, hotel prices tend to be a little higher. Nevertheless, you’ll find some good value hotel deals.
Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ
By far, the most beautiful building in the Montenegrin capital is the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. For this reason, a visit here is a must. As well as viewing the exterior, you’re welcome to go inside and photograph the interior. Completed in 2013 its design was inspired by that of Kotor Cathedral. It is located in the center of the new town.
The Millenium Bridge is another landmark of the capital city which is relatively new. It crosses the Moraca river and connects old town Podgorica to the new town. In addition another landmark of the city is the smaller Ribnica river which runs into the Moraca river. The best place to photograph the Millennium Bridge is as you walk towards it from the Blazo Jovanovic bridge.
The Ribnica river runs alongside old town Podgorica and is lined with points of interest. Points of interest include the Ribnica Old Bridge (Stari Most), Ribnica Fortress, the King Nikola monument as well as King’s Park. If you make the day trip to Cetinje, you can learn about King Nikola and visit his palace.
The huge square in the center of the capital city was renamed Independence Square in 2006. This was the year Montenegro became independent. It was formerly Serbia and Montenegro, before that it was a part of Yugoslavia. Around the square there are lots of bars, restaurants, shopping malls, fast food as well as cafes. As a result, anywhere close to this square is a good place to stay in the city.
Petar I Petrovic Njegos Statue
Petar I Petrovic Njegos was an important figure in Montenegrin history. So much so that he became a saint after his death and is today referred to as St Peter of Cetinje. There is a mausoleum to Njegos in Lovren National Park, this however is the mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos (his nephew). St Peter of Cetinje is responsible for strengthening the state of Montenegro during the turn of the 19th century.
Podgorica City Stadium
The home stadium of FK Buducnost is the Podgorica City Stadium. Unfortunately they don’t do stadium tours, nor can you enter the stadium on non-match days. Therefore, the only way to enter the stadium is during a football match. In addition to being the home stadium of FK Buducnost, it’s the home stadium of the Montenegro national team. If you’re visiting Montenegro to watch a world cup qualifier, this is where the game will be played.
Day Trip to Ostrog Monastery
Ostrog Monastery is a unique monastery built into the cliffside of the Ostrog mountain. You can reach Ostrog monastery by taking a bus to Niksic from Podgorica bus station. The problem with this method is that the bus stop is an 8km from the monastery. For this reason you may consider taking an organised tour. In addition they have Ostrog Monastery tours from Budva and Kotor which often include Podgorica in the itinerary. That is to say that you could skip Podgorica and see it as part of a day trip to Ostrog Monastery.
Another monastery a little closer to the city is Dajbabe Monastery. It’s a beautiful Orthodox Serbian monastery, however a trip here is nowhere near as rewarding as to the Ostrog monastery.
Day Trip to Cetinje
A day trip to Cetinje is really easy from Podgorica. From the bus station there are regular direct buses to Cetinje which take less than an hour. The main reason to visit Cetinje would be to see the right hand of Saint John the Baptist. Furthermore, there are several palaces and museums as it’s the former capital of Montenegro. Additional day trips you could make from Podgorica are to Kotor and Budva but in reality these places warrant much more than a day trip!
How to get from Podgorica to Mostar
There are a couple of direct buses per day from Podgorica to Mostar. Buses leave from Podgorica bus station and the journey time varies from 5 to 7 hours depending on which route they take. Be sure to ask when you buy your ticket which is the most direct bus. Additionally, the bus will go through passport control when leaving Montenegro as well as entering Bosnia and Herzegovina which can also lead to delays. I also advise buying your ticket a day in advance at the bus station to guarantee your seat. Importantly, a bus ticket should cost less than €20 one way.