Podgorica – in the heart of Montenegro17.08.2016
You may well be wondering where on earth Podgorica is. Probably the least-known Balkan metropolis, it is the capital of Montenegro, the second-youngest state in Europe. Podgorica has a population of just 190,000. The whole country is home to no more than 700,000 people. Podgorica is in the heart of Montenegro, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the land of the “Black Mountain”. Montenegro has plenty to offer with its fantastic Adriatic coast, historic towns and secluded mountainous regions:
Podgorica – capital and cultural heart
Montenegro’s capital is a university city and the political, cultural and business heart of the country. It is more of a stepping stone than a city worth spending a lot of time in. You can see the municipal government building, the parliament and the national theatre along with the statues of Saint Peter and the Russian writer Pushkin in a single day. Most of the interesting places in Montenegro are just an hour’s drive from the capital.
Cetinje – the old capital with an Orthodox monastery
Approximately 60 kilometres west of Podgorica is Cetinje, the old royal capital of Montenegro. There are more historic buildings to see here than in Podgorica. The small town has several museums, palaces and monasteries. Built in 1484 and once the seat of Montenegrin rulers, the famous Orthodox monastery of Cetinje is particularly worth a visit.
Unadulterated nature: Lovcen National Park
Lovcen National Park is one of the highlights of Montenegro and can be reached directly from Cetinje. The massif rises up between the Bay of Kotor and Lake Skadar. Walkers will find untouched nature here along with peace and quiet. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Italian Adriatic coast from the summit of Jezerski Vrh. There is also a lovely view of the Bay of Kotor and the rugged rock faces of the mountains.
Unique mountains: northern Montenegro
Anyone interested in Montenegro’s mountains should head to the north of the country and explore the peaks between the towns of Žabljak and Nikšić. Hillwalkers and climbers will be in their element: there are more than twenty 2,000-metre peaks here, with glacial lakes, springs and rivers between them. Durmitor National Park boasts countless hiking routes and the best ski slopes in the Balkans. Visitors should be sure to take in the Black Lake near Žabljak and the ice cave Ledena pećina.
Fantastic Adriatic coast: the Bay of Kotor
Anyone who visits the country should allow several days to see the Bay of Kotor, which is considered one of the most stunning in the whole of the Mediterranean. Steep rock faces meet the fantastic Adriatic coast here. The ancient Mediterranean trading town and port of Kotor is located on the south-east tip of the bay. It gains its charm from wide cobbled streets, old residences, palaces and churches. The architectural grandeur and the wealth of former times can be felt to this day and some buildings have been reconstructed following an earthquake. The bay and the town of the same name are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further south on the Adriatic Sea are the coastal towns of Budva and Sveti Stefan. Both have beaches for bathing and lovely surrounding countryside with woods and olive groves which are perfect for walking.
Ryanair will start operating a new twice-weekly service from Schönefeld to Podgorica on 4 September 2016. The airport is 14 kilometres south of the city centre. There is no bus or train between the airport and Podgorica. The only way to get to the centre is by taxi. There are also several car hire companies at the airport.