The city, currently know as Podgorica, has a history which dates back to the Stone Age, and has been known under various different names. The current name refers to the hill which overlooks the city, the relief being one of the main reasons for such early inhabitation. The city is located perfectly for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits, with the Durmitor and Bjelasica mountains to the north popular for skiing, and the Skadar lake and Mediterranean sea to the south. Montenegro enjoys a mild winters and hot summers making the area even more pleasant to explore.

Traditionally a cross-road for various routes through the region, Podgorica has been subjected to a significant number of different cultural influences, providing an interesting historical and cultural heritage. This can be seen across the many performances and events that take place throughout the year, Podgorica being the national cultural centre for all things Montenegrin. Relentless bomb strikes during the Second World War and the subsequent building of vast grey housing blocks did no favours for the already mixed aesthetic of the city. Recent development has given the city a more modern edge with the glass high rises and projects such as the impressive Millennium Bridge.


Skadar Lake – Just a few hours drive from Podgorica, the lake and the surrounding hills and lake islands provide some of the most breathtaking views in Eastern Europe. The waters, loaded with organic matter from the cold productive rivers, have very low visibility which makes for fantastic reflections of the steep islands which protrude from their surface. The islands are host to monasteries, the remnants of fortifications used in battles between the Turks and Montenegrins and even a prison. The wildlife is incredibly rich, the water lilies and forests supporting a diverse bird population which includes the last remaining population of Pelicans in Europe.

Natural History Museum of Montenegro – Those without the patience to sit in hiding to observe the wildlife in its natural setting at Skadar can always come here instead. The museum has suffered earthquakes and management problems, but the collection is still extensive and a useful introduction to the region’s creatures. The City Museum covers the anthropological history with displays, accounts of the history of the region and archaeological artefacts.

Old Town – The intertwining streets contrast starkly with the orderly European sector, and are far more interesting. The streets see a great deal of activity and the mosques and clock tower are excellent example of Turkish architecture. The theatres such as Crnogorsko Narodno, Gradsko and Dodest host the most famous Montenegrin thespian productions by the CNP. In addition to the wealth of art to be seen, events from live music to river diving competitions take place throughout the year.


The post communist desire for top labels such as Gucci and Versace still takes precedent over the small tourist market which is developing. The main streets therefore constitute a mix of necessary home ware items and luxury clothing and baggage. Shopping centres such as Passage continue in the same vein, with the less grand Trzni centre supplying more functional and reasonably priced goods.

Nightlife and Eating Out

The Montengrin menu is not famed for its sophistication, but there is no faulting the quality and freshness of ingredients which are used here. Traditional dishes such as lamb and maize porridge are served in traditional settings, often with somewhat bizarre colour schemes where you may be lucky enough to spot a Eurovision star! Low end cafes go for cheap and cheerful dishes which range from traditional to attempts at burgers. The local wine is one of Montenegro’s best exports, mainly reds with plenty of flavour from the tea-coloured soil.

The move to Montenegrin independence on the 3rd June 2006 makes Podgorico a very young capital. This event is seen as the dissolution of the final remnants of former Yugoslavia, and as a result the inhabitants seem to feel they have something to prove. English is spoken widely and the atmosphere positive. There are a few clubs which would probably be more accurately described as “discos” by modern standards. There are a few decent bars to choose from but the highlight is the Montanaro Jazz club which sees all the best artists on the European jazz circuit.

Tourist Information

  • Podgorica Tourist Organization
  • Address: Slobode 47,81000 Podgorica
  • Telephone: +381 81 667 536
  • Fax: +381 81 667 535
  • Website: www.visit-montenegro.cg.yu


Podgorica Airport is located 12 kilometres south of the city and flights depart to Belgrade, Vienna, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Budapest, Rome, Zurich and Paris. The journey from the city centre takes about twenty minutes by taxi which is the simplest way to get there.

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