Living on the Edge
Ever since the Roman Empire split in two 1600 years ago, Montenegro has sat on the borderline between east and west. The richness of its cultural history can be seen in the mosaic floors of Roman villas, flamboyantly painted Orthodox monasteries, ornate Catholic churches, elegant minarets of mosques, and the sturdy fortresses built by the numerous powers that have fought over these lands. Then there's the legacy of 50 years as a non-aligned communist state, independent of both the Eastern Bloc and the West. For those with even a passing interest in European history, it's a fascinating place.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MONTENEGRO
The optimal time to visit Montenegro falls roughly between April and September. The country lies in southern Europe with a coast on the Balkans, so Montenegro weather is frequently warm and sunny. Montenegro's climate follows two distinct patterns: the coastal region has typically Mediterranean weather, with hot summers and mild winters. The Interior of the country, however, has a sub-alpine climate, typified by warm summers and freezing winters. During the winter, temperatures can drop to as low as -15 °C or -20 °C degrees, with heavy rainfall that often manifests as snow.
The Montenegrin coast is a pleasant place to be at any time of the year, but it can get uncomfortably crowded in July and August. During this time, temperatures and tourists reach their peak. Accommodation is also at its most expensive during this period, with rates almost doubling in some places. June and September are widely regarded as the optimum months for a visit when the sunshine is virtually guaranteed, and there's far less pressure on facilities. Some hotels close between late October and early April, but you may well be able to take advantage of excellent rates from those that remain open.
GETTING TO MONTENEGRO
Flights to Montenegro are in pretty short supply, but Montenegro Airlines (www.montenegroairlines.com) flies to Podgorica and Tivat (near Kotor) from several European destinations. The state is also easily reached overland from any of its neighbouring countries. From Croatia, there are buses along the coast from Dubrovnik – also home to the closest budget flights – and there are a couple of services from Split too; some of these will require a bus change after a short walk across the border. From Serbia, there are several daily buses between Belgrade and the Montenegrin coast, via Podgorica; daily trains – including a night service – also run from Belgrade to Bar along the same route. From Bosnia-Hercegovina there are direct buses to Podgorica from Trebinje and Sarajevo.
Perhaps the most romantic way to arrive in Montenegro is by ferry from Italy. Between April to September, Montenegro Lines (www.montenegroairlines.net) runs between two and six weekly services to Bar from Bari (from €50).
GETTING AROUND MONTENEGRO
For a country with such a small population, the frequency of intercity buses is quite remarkable. In addition, Montenegro has poured substantial funds into the upgrading of its main travel arteries, and travel times are accordingly short. Hiring a car and driving yourself can save you money on tours. Driving yourself to the Tara Canyon for a rafting trip will save around 30 euros per person compared to booking a tour with transport, and it will allow you to stop at some of the sights along the way. A train line heads to Bar from the Serbian border – a beautiful journey. While services are infrequent, prices are dirt-cheap and almost every inch of track affords breathtaking views, especially the run into Podgorica from the Serbian border – be sure to sit on the western side of the train.
WHERE TO STAY IN MONTENEGRO
Set on the waterfront and boasting a private beach area and an outdoor pool, The Chedi Luštica Bay Hotel is located in Trašte Bay, 14 km from Tivat centre. Modernly styled rooms and suites offer mountain or sea views. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. The luxury hotel features rooms with air conditioning, a satellite flat-screen TV, a kettle and a desk. Suites include a seating area and a kitchenette with Illy® espresso machine. Private bathrooms come with a bath or a shower. For your comfort, a bathrobe, slippers and free toiletries are provided. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast while vegan and gluten-free options can also be provided. Featuring 2 restaurants and a bar, you will find a selection of Mediterranean dishes and fine local wines. The nature-inspired spa and wellness centre, including sauna, steam room and indoor pool as well as fitness centre, is at guests' disposal. The Chedi Hotel also has a conference and business centre on site.
The UNESCO-protected Old Town of Kotor is 13 km away, while Budva is 26 km away. Tivat Airport is 11 km from the property. Airport shuttles are available upon request and at a surcharge. Onsite parking is also provided.
Situated in Budva, 600 m from Slovenska Beach, Villa DiEden features a garden and terrace The property offers a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi is available. All units in the guest house are fitted with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. The rooms are equipped with a kettle and a private bathroom with free toiletries, while some rooms have a kitchen equipped with a stovetop. The rooms will provide guests with a fridge. Mogren Beach is 2.3 km away. Aqua Park Budva is 3.3 km from the accommodation. The nearest airport is Tivat Airport, 20 km from the property.
- Blue Kotor Bay Premium Spa Resort
Blue Kotor Bay Premium Resort is an adults-only hotel and consists of rooms and suites equipped with modern amenities and elegantly decorated in bright tones. It features a spa and wellness centre, coffee and lounge bar and a private beach area. Stylish rooms and suite come with a balcony and panoramic view on Kotor Bay. Some of the modern amenities include a kettle and a flat-screen TV. En-suite bathrooms come with a walk-in shower and luxury toiletries. Guests can enjoy at the private beach with sunbeds and sun umbrellas, as well as use a beach concierge service upon previous request. At guests disposal is an in-house restaurant Blue, beach restaurant Lighthouse and Piano lounge & coffee bar with a selection of finest dishes and refreshing drinks. There is also a private marina with three private docks. The nearest airport is Tivat Airport, 15 km away and the hotel offers airport shuttle service.
- Splendid Conference & Spa Resort
The luxurious 5-star hotel Splendid Conference & Spa Resort is set directly on a long sandy beach in the heart of Bečići, just 2 km from Budva’s Old Town. Supreme spa area with heated indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam baths with Swarovski crystals is at guests' disposal. The elegantly decorated rooms and suites are fitted with air conditioning, an LCD satellite TV and a private balcony overlooking the Adriatic Sea and Bečići Bay. The comfortable bathroom offers a bathrobe, toiletries and hairdryer. The on-site à la carte restaurant serves supreme Montenegrin and international cuisine with freshly prepared ingredients. Wide selection of local and world famous wines is available. The private sandy beach with parasols and loungers is at guests' disposal. Guests can relax by the pool where drinks and snacks are served throughout the day. Spacious and modern Casino Royale is available on site. Tivat Airport is 20 km from Splendid Conference & Spa Resort, while Podgorica Airport can be reached within 60 km. Dubrovnik Airport is 68 km away and a pick-up service can be organised upon request and against a surcharge.
- Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora
Newly renovated and upgraded in 2016, Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora is a quick walk to government offices, embassies, the city centre and its parks. Set in the heart of Podgorica, it features a rooftop bar while guests can enjoy a meal in one of the 4 on-site restaurants. The well-equipped business centre offers free WiFi internet access. Stylish and sunlit rooms offer a quiet relaxation space after a busy day. Terrace Fontana offers coffee and homemade pastries that you can enjoy. This fully renovated hotel also features a spa centre. Podgorica is a vibrant city with diverse cafés, jazz clubs, discothèques and taverns.
Located just 200 m from the centre of Budva, Marinero Apartments feature a lush garden surrounded by palm trees, lemon trees and kiwi and orange trees. Free Wi-Fi and free parking are provided. All units are air-conditioned and uniquely decorated. The colourfully furnished apartments feature a seating area, cable TV and a fully equipped kitchenette. Private bathroom provides a shower, while the terrace provides a seating area. A sandy beach is just 200 m from the property, while Budva Old Town can be reached in a 10-minute walk. A restaurant and a grocery shop can be found 100 m away. The popular Mogren Beach is 500 m from Apartments Marinero. Local buses stop just 500 m away, while Tivat Airport can be reached in 35 km. The town of Kotor is 20 km away.
Set only 160 m from the beach, Hotel Pine is located in the centre of Tivat. The hotel was completely renovated in 2014 and boasts stunning views of the Tivat Bay. It features free WiFi in all areas. All rooms are air-conditioned and comprise a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar and a bathroom. The hotel's wellness centre features a sauna and a fitness room. The hotel offers an on-site bar and a restaurant. Breakfast can be enjoyed either in the restaurant or on the restaurant's terrace, lined with palm trees. A range of local specialities can be ordered from the menu, including seafood and meat dishes. The locally popular hotel's patisserie offers various sweets. The Tivat Airport is only 3 km away.
Located in Podgorica, 500 m from Turkish Bathhouse, Boscovich Boutique Hotel provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a bar. The property is situated less than 1 km from Millennium Bridge, a 15-minute walk from Clock Tower in Podgorica and 2.6 km from Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi throughout the property. At the hotel, all rooms have a wardrobe. At Boscovich Boutique Hotel every room is equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near Boscovich Boutique Hotel include Natural History Museum, St. George Church and Parliament of Montenegro. The nearest airport is Podgorica Airport, 12 km from the hotel.
Set by the sea and right on the main square in Perast, the Conte Hotel & Restaurant features elegantly decorated suites and apartments with free Wi-Fi provided in the lobby. The restaurant takes pride in its fish specialities. All accommodation units are air conditioned and have satellite TV. The reception desk can arrange laundry service and has a tour desk where you can get various tourist information. The hotel is situated in the former Home of Culture and is a protected heritage building. The church of Saint Nicholas is just a few steps away. The local bus station is next to the property, while the supermarket is only 50 m from the Conte Hotel. You can reach a sandy and stone-paved beach with a bar and sports facilities in a 4-minute walk. Perast Town Museum is just 100 m away. Several restaurants and bars are easily accessible in the town's historic core.
- Fontana Seafront Residences
Situated in Budva, 800 m from Mogren Beach, Fontana Seafront Residences provides accommodation with a restaurant. Featuring a bar, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The property features a 24-hour front desk. The rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a bath or shower, a hairdryer and a desk. The rooms have a private bathroom with free toiletries. Guest rooms at the hotel come with a seating area. A buffet breakfast is served daily at the property. Fontana Seafront Residences offers a terrace. Aqua Park Budva is 1.7 km from the accommodation, while Sveti Stefan is 5 km from the property. Tivat Airport is 16 km away.
PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN MONTENEGRO
Montenegro’s stunning natural beauty and diverse history make it a fascinating place to explore. Jaw-dropping scenery around every corner, remnants of vanquished kingdoms and trendy underground destinations mean this tiny country packs a mighty punch for its size. Here are the the list of Turisti-Info to must-see attractions and things to do in Montenegro.
- Kotor Old Town & Bay of Kotor
Dominated by the 12-century Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Kotor's Old Town is one of the Adriatic coast's best preserved fortified medieval towns. Distinctly Venetian in its style (Venice was one of many city states and empires that ruled over this area throughout the centuries), Kotor sits at the edge of the brilliant blue Bay of Kotor surrounded by dramatic, soaring mountains. The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is known for its carved stone altar, an excellent example of the kind of stonemasonry the city was famous for during the Middle Ages. Spend some time wandering the maze of streets and alleyways throughout Kotor's Old Town, pausing for a meal at a traditional restaurant or a cold beverage at a sidewalk café in one of the piazzas. If you want more exercise, challenge yourself with a trek up to the upper town walls. From here, you'll have stunning views across the city and bay.
Stretching along the central Montenegrin coastline with Budva as its anchor city, the Budva Riveria is a hot summer beach destination for locals and tourists alike. The beaches here are a mix of sand and pebbles, backed by the clear, turquoise and aquamarine-blue hues of the Adriatic Sea on one side and dramatic mountains on the other. There are a number of top quality beaches along the Riviera, including Mogren Beach, which is the closest to Old Town Budva at just a five-minute walk along a seaside pathway from town. The beaches along the Budva Riviera are also lined with restaurants with outdoor seating. Old Town Budva has a history that dates back 2,500 years. This medieval walled city has a lively atmosphere and is filled with restaurants and shops, as well as a town museum.
One of the largest caves in Montenegro, Lipa Cave, just a few kilometers from the village of Cetinje, is in the mountains north and just east of Budva. The cave was first discovered accidentally by a dog who fell through a hole into it, but managed to escape safely through another opening. Today, the karst cavern is also one of Montenegro's most popular tourist attractions for adventurous kids and adults alike. A visit begins with a ride on a miniature train through the wild countryside, full of pomegranate and wild fig trees, to the cave's entrance. From here, you'll join a guided tour through some of the 3.5 kilometers of passages and great halls carved by thousands of years of dripping water and its underground river.
Montenegro's still relatively undiscovered Lustica Peninsula is home to charming villages, beautiful beaches, and the Blue Grotto. The grotto is named for its florescent blue water, which gets its dramatic hues from the light reflecting off the sandy bottom in the round-shaped cave with a vaulted ceiling. You can only access the Blue Grotto by boat. Tours depart regularly from the Herceg Novia marina between April and October and either go only to the Blue Grotto or combine nearby attractions. The cave is also a great spot for snorkeling or diving.
Lake Scadar, on the border with Albania, is the largest natural lake in Southern Europe. It is a great back-to-nature destination that hosts multiple species of migratory birds and other wildlife. The Montenegrin side of the lake has been designated as a national park. Explore the lake on a boat excursion and also spend some time checking out the villages dotting it. Many date back to the 13th century and have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. On the lake's southwestern shore, you'll find Murici Beach, which is a pristine and quiet stretch of shoreline backed by the beautiful Rumija Mountain Range. The beach can be accessed via a steep road to a small village at the edge of the lake. This is a great spot to just escape and breathe in the fresh air and countryside ambience.
Right by the Albanian boarder at Montenegro's southern tip, Ulcinj is an ancient seaport that was once infamous as the Adriatic Sea's pirate capital. Today, Ulcinj is a unique Montenegrin town with a largely Muslim population and some beautiful mosques and excellent Middle Eastern restaurants and coffeeshops along its peaceful seaside promenade. The area is also known for its beaches, including Velika Plaza (which translates to "Big Beach") and at 12 kilometers is Montenegro's longest beach. The water here is very shallow and great for families with small children. It is also a top spot for kite-surfers, who take advantage of the glassy smooth and shallow water and prevailing winds to catch a ride. If you'd like learn more about the sport, there are a number of kite surfing schools at the southern end of Velika Plaza.
The 15th-century town of Cetinje once served as Montenegro's capital during the late 19th and 20th centuries (prior to WWI when it was still an independent country). At the time, the inland valley locale at the edge of what was then the Ottoman Empire made it a coveted spot to conduct diplomacy. Today, the embassies have been turned into museums, government buildings, and educational academies, and the town is a pleasure to wander aimlessly about for an afternoon. The Cetinje Monastery here has a collection of Early-Christian-era relics you can see for a donation, and the Vlah Church dating back to the 15th-century is another notable sight.
Montenegro's name was inspired by the towering granite peaks of Mount Lovcen, and the mountain is a source of national pride. Protected as a part of Mount Lovcen National Park, the views from the circular platform at the top are truly stunning and have you looking down upon the Bay of Kotor and the medieval city of Kotor on its shores. Also nearby is Njegos Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to the author of Montenegro's national epic poem, "The Mountain Wreath." Its poet Petar II Petrovic-Njegos is buried here. The village of Cetijne is the main base for this park and where you'll find a number of hotel and restaurant options.
On the same beautiful bay as Kotor but located just to the northwest, Perast is a picturesque small town notable for its multiple churches and stone-crafted villas. In town, the Church of St. Nikola has great views of the town and Bay of Kotor from its belfry tower. Two of Perast's most charming churches, Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George, however, are on tiny islets in the bay. The town does not have a beach, but the stone jetties along its bayfront are popular summer spots for sunbathers.
On the Budva Riviera, Sveti Stefan is connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and has been inhabited since the 15th-century. Back then it was a simple fishing village. The town came to be known in the 1950s when it was turned into a luxury resort area, and guests like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren would holiday here. Following a downturn at the end of the 20th-century as the Yugoslav federation collapsed, today it is again a vacation paradise, with two beautiful pebble beaches on either side of the isthmus. Although the beaches are public, the original village is only open to visitors staying at the Aman Resort here.
Near the mountain town of abljak, Durmitor National Park is another popular natural attraction. The park sits in the Dinaric Alps and is home to some 18 glacial lakes, the Tara River, and the world's second deepest canyon (see Tara Canyon below). It is also home to thick areas of forest and wildlife, from brown bears to wild boars, and 163 different species of birds. There are opportunities to go skiing or snowboarding here in winter, and in summer, you can hike, camp, and whitewater raft among other activities.
Tara Canyon is another of Montenegro's amazing natural wonders. After the Grand Canyon, it is the world's deepest canyon, and just like the Grand Canyon, it can be experienced with an epic whitewater rafting trip. Note that the water is a bit on the chilly side, however, at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't want to get wet, you can also see the canyon from the Ðurdevica Tara Bridge. The concrete arch bridge was rebuilt after WWII, when it was blown up in an effective attempt to stop the Italian invasion. Today, the bridge is 172 meters above the canyon floor and besides taking in views from it, adrenalin junkies can ride across the canyon on a zipline.
Built during the 17th century as a refuge against Ottoman Empire invaders, Ostrog Monastery is now a major Christian pilgrimage destination. Set atop a large granite outcropping, the entire monastery was carved from a cave on a nearly vertical cliff. It is quite an impressive site, with two inner cave churches that can be visited. They are bedecked with frescos painted right onto the rock walls. The monastery also houses the remains of its founder, Sveti Vasilje, who became a saint after his death in 1671.
- Biogradska Gora National Park
Montenegro has designated quite a bit of land to national parks, including the beautiful Biogradska Gora National Park in the center of the country. Set between the Lim and Tara rivers, it is filled with fast-running streams; sparkling, clear lakes; flower-filled meadows; and one of Europe's last primeval forests, where the trees are 500 years old. The top natural attraction in this park is Lake Biograd, which is a large glacial lake in the middle of the park. The nearby town of Kolasin makes a good base with lodging and restaurants.
One thousand three hundred fifty-five steps. That’s all that separates you from the best view in Kotor. San Giovanni Fortress dates from the 9th century, and no visit to Kotor is complete without a hike to the top. The views from the top take in the Bay of Kotor, Mt Vrmac and Kotor old town. Simply breathtaking!
The peaks of Dumitor National Park make a stunning backdrop for the Black Lake. An easy 4-kilometer track around the lake meanders past historic caves and grazing cattle. There are boats for hire and it’s an idyllic spot to spread a picnic blanket and enjoy the scenery.
Ulcinj’s Velika Plaza, on the south coast of Montenegro, is a 12 kilometer stretch of sandy beach that’s popular with intrepid travellers. With kite surfing, beach parties and a music festival, this is one of the trendiest summer hot spots in Montenegro.
Bar’s old town is the perfect place to get a feel for the cultural mix in Montenegro. The colourful street and restaurants have a distinctive eastern flair, showing the Turkish influence here. The stone old town is a mix of ruins, museum and art gallery.
Our Lady of the Rocks is a 15th-century island church that’s been protecting the seafarers of the Bay of Kotor for over 500 years. A short boat ride from Perast or Kotor takes you to the island where for €1 you can take a guided tour through the church and attached museum. Not only is the island idyllic, but you’ll get beautiful views of Perast.
Nevidio Canyon is a must-do for adrenaline junkies. Tours go through the canyon from May to October. Once you’re in the canyon, the only way out is to hike, swim, slide and jump your way to the exit. This one is not for the faint of heart!
WHERE TO EAT IN MONTENEGRO
A geographically diverse country, encompassing beautiful seaside as well as breathtaking mountain views, Montenegro also boasts a diverse cuisine. Bearing the influences of other Mediterranean traditions, Italian and Turkish, Montenegrin cooking history is also deeply rooted in its Balkan origins. Spanning fish and meat dishes, locally produced cheese, ham, beer, and wine, Turisti-Info gather the lists of the best places to experience Montenegrin cuisine.
A traditional Montenegrin konoba (tavern, or restaurant), Ćatovića Mlini, meaning the Catovic’s Mills, lies washed by the waters of a stream in the small village of Morinj. Functioning for centuries as a watermill, the place now provides a relaxing and romantic setting for one of the better-regarded restaurants in Montenegro. Located in Boka Bay, the menu at Ćatovića Mlni revolves around freshly caught local fish. Fish dishes, fish-based salads, and other seafood are the highlights of the menu, which also features homemade cheese and prosciutto, as well as house-produced wines.
- Koliba at Kolibe Bogetići
Located in the midst of the Montenegrin mountainside, the tourist complex Kolibe Bogetići is five kilometres away from the orthodox monastery of Ostrog, embedded in the rock at Ostroška Greda. Comprising a number of bungalows and a restaurant, the complex, surrounded by mountainous vegetation, enjoys a particularly evocative atmosphere. Built in a classic Montenegrin style, Koliba proudly offers typical local dishes prepared according to the traditional recipes. Accompanied by a selection of house-crafted beers and wines, cicvara (a traditional gruel), dried sheep meat, polenta, and homemade cheese are among the local dishes guests can choose.
Located in the Seljanovo area of the city of Tivat, Konoba Koliba proudly serves the typical food of ‘good old Montenegro’. Being centred on the traditional rustic cooking of the Balkan region, the restaurant’s strength lies in its meat dishes, which feature a rich range of wood-grilled cuts. Situated just five minutes away from the sea, Konoba Koliba satisfies fish lovers by serving the freshest catches of the day. It also serves vegetarian options, all prepared with seasonal ingredients, such as the summer 2014 specialty of stuffed bell peppers. Currently on offer on the constantly changing menu is the grilled turkey steak.
One of the oldest konoba in Budva, Konoba Stari Grad sits along the beach in the old town. Featuring an outside terrace covered in pebble stones, the restaurant is decorated in a refined yet unpretentious style. Its interior has a rustic tone given by the stonewalls and dark wooden ceiling. Due to its location, it is easy to imagine that Konoba Stari Grad’s focus might be on fish, and indeed it is. Inspired by Mediterranean recipes, the menu is based on fish dishes prepared with the fresh daily catch, among which the octopus ragout is a favourite. A variety of local cheese and smoked ham from the Njegushi region is also a highlight.
- Perla Pop Lounge & Restaurant
Situated in the popular destination of Budva, Perla Pop Lounge & Restaurant stands out for its unique architecture and distinctive décor. Boasting a luxurious design of indoor terraces, extravagant lighting, velvet and wide windows, Perla is bound to impress with its hip, vibrant feel. Recalling the shape of the building with its rounded design, the menu offers abundant alternatives for all taste buds. Featuring a wide range of appetizers, soups, pastas, and risottos, the choice extends to meat and fish mains that include the sea bass ‘oliva Montenegro’, with olive paté and spinach purée, and chicken breast in truffle cream served with gnocchi.
Part of Hotel Vardar, Restaurant Galion is located just across a little bay from the main site of the hotel. Offering charming views, the site provides the perfect atmosphere for this elegant eatery. Sea waves reflect the light in myriad blue tones on one side, while on the other the ancient walls of the town of Kotor offer a picturesque backdrop to the dining experience. With a focus on fish dishes, the food at Restaurant Galion is inspired by the flavours of international cuisine, infused with a hint of the local culinary identity.
Set in a luxurious ambience that blends elements of modern design with elegant and classic lines, Imanje Knjaz welcomes its guests in a charming and refined atmosphere. The soft light from the elaborate chandeliers illuminates the wood of the flooring and furnishings. Many picture frames encase old shots of Montenegrin landscapes and people. With a menu that draws inspiration from the journey of Prince Nikola I of Montenegro, the restaurant marries traditional local dishes with different European cuisines, mixing serdar steak and popeci Podgorica-style with pastas, meats, and fish dishes.
Located at the heart of Eco Resort Plavnica, Plavnica restaurant lies next to beautiful Skadar Lake. Not far from Podgorica, the resort complex is located on a branch of water that plunges into the lake, and is enclosed within the green landscapes of the nearby national park. Enjoying its charming location along the shore, the restaurant is an ample building decorated in a colonial style that recalls the atmosphere of elegant dining halls on old cruise ships. Be it in the wide indoor hall or outside on the fresh porches, guests will enjoy a mix of specialties from the local cooking tradition, as well as international and ethnic dishes.
- Restaurant at Hemera Hotel
Nestled in the elegant setting of the Boutique Hotel Hemera, this restaurant is infused with refined charm and style. Engraved stonewalls enclose the indoor dining hall, with embedded bookshelves and contemporary style lighting spreading diffused light on the eclectic furnishings and large carpets. A menu focused on Mediterranean dishes offers a choice of international flavours, with fish dishes and salads among the favourite mains. There is an ample selection of desserts and pastries. Also featuring a bar, guests are invited to lounge about while sipping on a glass of wine or a cocktail.
- Restaurants at Hotel Hippocampus
Settled in the cosy surroundings of the narrow alleys of Kotor old town, the medieval building housing Boutique Hotel Hippocampus maintains the fascinating atmosphere of the ancient burg. Elegantly furnished with unique pieces, and restored to maintain the original features of the building, both the hotel and its two restaurants are infused with charm. The restaurants enjoy particularly enchanting locations: on the main level the indoor hall is complemented by a courtyard, while on the top floor guests can delight in marvellous views over Kotor. The menu blends Mediterranean cuisine with international influences, and features black tagliatelle with shrimps as one of the highlights.
WHERE TO SHOP IN MONTENEGRO
Though you can't bundle them into your backpack (tempting as it may be), you can bring home the cats of Kotor in the form of beautiful, locally made handicrafts with a feline flavour. Part gallery, part boutique, this quirky shop sells everything from cat-themed jewellery and clothes to original artworks.
Browse to your heart's content at this gallery, representing many of Montenegro's leading contemporary artists.
Recently opened in the long-abandoned cloister of a Dominican monastery, this little market has stalls selling T-shirts, souvenirs and religious icons. In the back corner there's a little medieval 'museum', where for €3 you can pose with replica weapons and armour, or try your hand with a bow and arrow.
Self-caterers can stock up at this food market under the town walls. The vendors are happy to give out free samples of everything, from local pršut and cheese to olives and strawberries. On summer evenings stalls spring up selling clothes, jewellery and souvenirs.
This shopping centre, on the highway near the Stari Grad, has a big supermarket, loads of boutiques, a pharmacy, banks and a supervised kids' playground (from €3 per hour). It's a good place to buy a local SIM card.
If you feel like ditching your duds after a long, sweaty day of kicking along the cobblestones (or just love a bargain), this Old Town op-shop is overflowing with top-quality threads.
The best of a crop of Turkish shops to spring up in recent years, Efesya sells colourful glass lamps, ceramics, scarves, bags and even chess sets.
A treasure trove of socialist medals, Roman coins, antique jewellery, traditional garb and other interesting stuff to blow the budget on.
If you want to take on the locals in a tussle for the best fresh fruit and vegetables, get to this little produce market by around 8am.