Let’s cut right to the chase – Budva is Montenegro’s most visited tourist destination. If you’re going to be surrounded by tourists anywhere in the country, it’s here. There are plenty of reasons for the mass of visitors, and 24 hours in town is an opportunity to be grabbed.
Most of Montenegro’s destinations make for excellent quick getaways, and Budva is no exception. 24 hours in town might not seem like enough, but a little bit of planning and a whole heap of excitement will charm even the most hardened travelling cynic.
Explore the old town
Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the entire Adriatic Coast, so it makes sense to dive into that history straight away. Budva’s Old Town is as idyllic as old towns get, with an unbeatable seaside location. The town has seen its fair share of modern development over the last decade, but its historic centre remains a peaceful spot of truly tranquil beauty. The mix of marble streets and historic walls never fails to amaze.
Budva’s Old Town often gets referred to as a ‘mini-Dubrovnik’, but the comparison is a little unfair. The old town in the Montenegrin town is very much its own beast. It can venture a little into manufactured authenticity at times, but it’s easy to ignore. Be sure to explore the Citadel, although the views are by far the highlight.
Afternoon adventuring on Hawaii
No, not that Hawaii, but Montenegro’s own version of the isolated volcanic archipelago. Sveti Nikola is Montenegro’s largest island, and it lies a short boat ride away from Budva on the mainland. This is the best opportunity to indulge in those boating fantasies of yours, although it is a little cheaper to simply get a boat taxi out to this big rock in the Adriatic.
You can expect plenty of company on Sveti Nikola, but there are still uncultivated parts of the island that are as peaceful as it gets in the Balkans. The 16th-century church on the island seldom opens its doors, but the structure makes for a serene image on this irresistible island.
A little bit of lazing on the beach
Temperatures in Budva can get a little intense in the height of summer, so we recommend waiting out the worst of it before hitting the city’s beaches. These sandy spots are the main event as far as visitors to Budva are concerned, and the entire area is full of the things. Jaz, Ploce and Mogren are three of the finest, with the first of those among the best beaches in Europe.
What to do at the beach? If that’s a question you find yourself asking, the chances are you aren’t much of a beach dweller. This is the time to relax, pull up a good book and let the evening sun wash over you, occasionally nipping into the Adriatic for a swim before heading back to the safety of your towel for a beverage or three. There aren’t many more enjoyable experiences than a glass of Montenegrin wine (or beer, or rakija, or…) on a Balkan beach with the sun setting in front of you.
That famous Balkan nightlife
Budva might not be Belgrade, but you won’t find better beach parties in the Balkans than right here. The city is famous nationwide for its nightlife, with an impressive roster of bars and clubs that offer plenty of drinking and even more dancing. Get dressed up and head to Top Hill, Trocadero and the rest, although be ready for almost oppressive volume and some of the most beautiful people on the planet.
Not interested in the madness of a Balkan nightclub? Budva has plenty of character-filled old pubs and high-end wine bars as well, offering something for everyone. We apologise in advance about the hangover.