Budva is a splendid city situated in the heart of the Adriatic, which is considered one of Montenegro’s finest resorts. Naturally, many tourists are drawn to Budva primarily by its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear sea, and stunning Balkan nature.
However, in this city, there are many other interesting attractions that will help you make the most of your unforgettable experiences, diversify your journey, and discover a new side of Budva.
1. Old Town of Budva
This is perhaps the most popular location among tourists. The Old Town of Budva is a historic district located in a picturesque area, on a peninsula between two beaches. This place has a unique atmosphere: narrow streets, small squares, remarkable architecture, interesting museums, souvenir shops, cosy cafes, and ancient temples. It is no wonder that tourists visiting Budva head here first.
The area is surrounded by fortification walls, and the buildings here are not higher than two or three floors. In the same location, you will find a summer theatre and Poet’s Square, where interesting cultural events regularly take place.
The Old Town is under the auspices of UNESCO, but in reality, it is not as “old” as you might think. The reason is that this city district was partially destroyed in 1979 after a devastating earthquake, so some of the current buildings in this location are recreated replicas of Budva’s ancient structures.
2. St. Nicholas Island
Just a kilometre from the Old Town of Budva lies another breathtaking location – St. Nicholas Island. This picturesque island is visible from practically any point in Budva. It gained popularity thanks to its cosy beaches and stunning views, as on one side of the island, there is a picturesque cliff where you should definitely enjoy the view of Budva and the Adriatic Sea! The beaches are equipped with everything you need – showers, sun loungers, and toilets. Nearby, there is a small but very cosy park.
Also, on the island, you will find a highly popular restaurant called “Hawaii,” where you can savour delicious dishes of local and European cuisine. The island is a paradise for hikers – it boasts beautiful hiking trails, and you might even encounter deer on the island! Tourists are offered snorkelling activities. You can only reach this location by sea – excursion boats regularly depart from Budva.
3. Citadel Fortress
One of the main historical landmarks of Budva is the Citadel Fortress. It is located on top of a picturesque hill, and the view of the sea and the city from this point is simply breathtaking. Built in the 9th century, the fortress served as a reliable defensive structure to protect against Turkish invaders. The Citadel is an excellent example of a combination of Byzantine, Roman, and mediaeval architectural styles.
Nowadays, only two walls and a tower remain of the once magnificent ancient fortress; other structures were built by the Byzantines in the 15th century. The walls of the Citadel reach a height of ten metres.
On the territory of the fortress, you can also visit a very interesting Maritime Museum, explore the ruins of an ancient church, and visit the local library. It is best to visit this attraction at sunset – then you are sure to capture many beautiful photos.
4. Budva City Museum
This museum was opened over sixty years ago and is housed in an historic building dating back to the 18th century. The collection of the Budva City Museum is simply stunning, so you should definitely add this location to your list.
The museum’s exhibits will help you better understand the history and culture of this region of Montenegro. Some archaeological finds displayed in the museum date back to the 5th century BC!
On the ground floor, you can visit the lapidary – here, stone slabs with ancient inscriptions are collected. The other floors feature collections related to the art, culture, and daily life of the ancient peoples who once inhabited the city – Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Montenegrins.
Among the museum’s three thousand exhibits, you will find numerous archaeological artefacts, ancient maps, old books, art objects, tools, jewellery, coins, pottery, weapons, ceramics, and kitchenware. Be sure to admire the unique wine cups and amphorae that are over two thousand years old.
5. St. John Cathedral
In Budva, there are many ancient shrines, and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is one of the most significant churches in the city. It is located very close to the Old Town, so you should definitely see this cathedral with your own eyes.
The first church on this site was built in the 7th century. However, eight hundred years later, an earthquake in Budva destroyed the building. Nevertheless, the church was rebuilt, this time in the Gothic architectural style, and three hundred years later, a beautiful bell tower was erected next to the cathedral.
Today, many tourists and pilgrims visit the Cathedral of St. John to see its main relic – an icon of the Mother of God dating back to the 13th century. Despite the fact that the cathedral looks quite modest and unassuming from the outside, you should definitely go inside to experience the incredible contrast: here, you can see valuable collections of religious books, icons, and paintings that were created over five hundred years ago.
6. Budva Water Park
In Budva, you can find everything for both an engaging and educational leisure time, as well as for fun entertainment. Budva’s water park is considered the largest on the entire Montenegrin coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is located just 10 minutes’ drive from the city centre, making it very easy to reach by private transportation. Cars in Budva can be rented on the website of the local car rental service, such as https://localcarrents.com/.
This is the best location to have a great time with friends and family.
Water slides of different levels of difficulty, exciting attractions, wave pools, trampolines, water games – there are entertainments here to suit all tastes and visitors of all ages. Adrenaline enthusiasts will definitely enjoy the “Kamikaze” slide, where the descent speed can reach 80 km/h!
If you prefer a more relaxed experience, you can relax by the pool, sipping a delicious cocktail, or visit the local spa salon. Additionally, on-site, there is a children’s cafe, a restaurant, and, of course, several lifeguard towers to ensure the safety of the visitors. Budva Water Park operates every day of the week, so you can visit almost any day and have a fantastic time!
7. Budva Beaches
Certainly, a stay in Budva cannot be considered complete without visiting its magnificent beaches, which are located both in the city itself and its surroundings. Clean sand or warm pebbles, windsurfing or snorkelling, beach parties or peaceful relaxation in picturesque coves – Budva’s beaches are so diverse that everyone can enjoy their preferred beach experience.
Some of the city’s most popular beaches include Mogren, Jaz, Becici, and Slavic. The largest among them is Jaz, located about three kilometres from the centre of Budva and stretching for about two kilometres.
Almost all the beaches have excellent infrastructure: there are places for relaxation and umbrellas, bars and snack bars, lifeguard towers, shops, attractions, and opportunities for water sports. Some beaches even host music festivals and other events, so you can not only relax wonderfully but also experience the most vivid emotions during your holiday.
8. Budva Riviera
This is an entire region that annually attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world to Budva. The Budva Riviera is a 35-kilometre-long strip that stretches along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Perhaps, it is one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro: stunning mountain landscapes, azure sea waters, beaches with clean sand, coniferous forests with centuries-old pine trees, and picturesque hiking trails that are perfect for leisurely hiking.
The Budva Riviera is a combination of the beautiful Montenegrin nature and well-developed tourist infrastructure. Here, you will find everything for every taste: top-notch hotels, cosy beaches spanning over twelve kilometres in total, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, shops, souvenir shops, and shopping centres, water entertainment, museums, galleries, and historic buildings. Therefore, if you are travelling to Budva for a beach holiday, this area will be the best choice for any tourist.
Budva is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in all of Montenegro. To ensure this, you need to visit as many of the remarkable sights of this wonderful city as possible.
How to Find the Time to Visit All the Sights of Budva
In Budva, there are many historical buildings, ancient temples, architectural monuments, interesting museums, wonderful beaches, places for relaxation, and entertainment. This means that you will have to make an effort to see all the attractions of this Montenegrin resort. Fortunately, there are several tips that will help you accomplish this even with limited time.
Plan Everything in Advance
Before heading to sunny Budva, gather as much information as possible about the attractions you can visit in the city and its surroundings. Make a list of locations that interest you the most. It will also be useful to read reviews from other travellers online.
In addition to creating a list of attractions, you need to familiarise yourself with a map of Budva to plan an optimal route and have an understanding of the exact location of each attraction.
Rent a Car
Public transportation in Budva is quite unreliable, and taxis can be very expensive during peak seasons. Therefore, the best solution is to use car rental in Budva. It is a relatively cheap, very convenient, and fast way to get around Budva, especially if you want to visit all the best beaches on the Budva Riviera.
There, you can choose a suitable model, book a car for specific dates, order a child car seat, GPS navigator, or other additional services. Moreover, you are guaranteed to receive a clean and well-maintained car that you can pick up from a convenient location upon your arrival in Budva.
Optimise Your Itinerary
Many interesting attractions in Budva are compactly located in different areas. You will save a lot of time if you choose one area and try to visit all the interesting locations there before heading to other places. For example, you can start with the Old Town of Budva: visiting the Citadel fortress, the City Museum of Budva, and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in one day is quite achievable.
We recommend allocating a whole day for the Budva Aquapark to fully enjoy the entertainment. Then, embark on a journey along the Budva Riviera, trying to visit several wonderful beaches each day.
Make Use of Your Mornings
Of course, during holidays, you often want to rest and sleep in, but this may result in losing a lot of time, missing out on attractions, and ending up at crowded locations during peak hours. Try to start your tour as early as possible, especially when it comes to museums and historical sites, as closer to lunchtime, you may encounter long queues, and some attractions may close early in the evening. Besides, the earlier you start your journey, the more beautiful and unique places you can see in one day!
Seek Local Guides
Tourism services in Budva are well developed, so you can confidently use the services of local tour companies and private guides. This option is especially suitable for those who do not want to waste their energy and time organising trips to each chosen location.
Such tours will allow you to visit many interesting places in a relatively short time. Moreover, local guides can share fascinating facts about Budva’s attractions, explain the value of exhibits in museums, recommend good restaurants, and even teach you a few common phrases in Montenegrin.
No matter what your preferences are, in Budva, you will definitely not get bored. This city with a rich history can boast not only magnificent beaches but also beautiful architecture, picturesque nature, ancient fortresses, temples, interesting museums, and other unique attractions.
If you are limited in time, a few tips will help you see all the best places in this resort city. Plan and optimise your route in advance, use car rental in Budva, and most importantly, enjoy your bright and unforgettable journey!