The little-known capital of Montenegro is an interesting place to get familiar with, and it’s not short on hotels in which to base yourself. Among them are the 71-room Hotel M Nikić (Kralja Nikole), sitting in the immediate vicinity of the Old Town, and the 110-room Ramada Podgorica (Save Kovačevića 74), connected to the adjacent Mall of Montenegro and offering a spa as well as a panoramic top-floor restaurant. Also good to know about is the three-star Hotel Keto (Skopska 1) – it has only 17 rooms but it’s well priced and enjoys a reasonably central location.
The Mall of Montenegro (Bratstva i Jedinstva 85) became the largest shopping centre in the country when it opened in 2010, and today it plays home to brands such as Levi’s, Office Shoes and Intersport. The Delta City Mall (Cetinjski Put) is another super-sized option, but for visitors there’s perhaps more interest in the smaller boutiques and gift shops around the town centre. In common with much of this region, classic souvenirs tend to come in the form of traditional folk crafts and local artworks – the country’s natural scenery is often spectacular and features heavily.
Thanks largely to the country’s coastal location, Montenegrin cuisine shares a lot with that of Italy, as well as drawing other influences from Turkey, Hungary and Croatia – which collectively means there’s plenty to enjoy. In Podgorica, the Restoran Per Sempre (Vojvode Maše Đurovića) is a stylish Italian option with homemade pasta, while the similarly elegant Restoran Dali (Džordža Vašingtona 87) showcases various international dishes and a good wine list. There’s a traditional atmosphere on offer in the stone surrounds of Lanterna Podgorica (Marka Miljanova 41) – it’s a great place to try some of the breads, soups, cheeses and stews that Montenegro produces.
Podgorica Book Fair
Those in the literary world will be interested in this major annual book fair that comes to the capital city in May. As well as exhibiting old and rare books, it highlights new and upcoming works and celebrates the long heritage of printing in Montenegro.
UnderhillFest Film Festival
A week-long cinematic showcase centred on independent, full-length documentary works, the UnderhillFest Film Festival awards prizes in both the international and regional categories. ‘Regional’, in this instance, means works from Albania, Austria and Italy to Macedonia, Serbia and of course Montenegro itself.
Podgorica Cultural Summer
Running for over a decade, the Podgorica Cultural Summer comprises a varied programme of arts events over the summer months, among them jazz and rock concerts and drama performances. Artists come from across Montenegro to perform, as well as from elsewhere, and several locations around the city are used.
A celebration of the day in 1878 when Montenegro was recognised as an independent state by the Congress of Berlin, this remains an important date in the nation’s calendar. It shouldn’t be confused with Independence Day, which takes places on 21 May and commemorates the separation from Serbia in 2006.
City marathons are always an interesting way to see a place in a different light, and the annual road race around the Montenegrin capital is no exception. It’s a relatively flat course, so it attracts plenty of runners looking to improve on their personal bests. There’s also a half-marathon.
This is a Summer only destination