Besides being the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica is also the country's largest city, having a population of some 150,000 people. The city is situated in central Montenegro, in the scarce Montenegrin lowlands between the Dinaric Alps and Lake Scutari.
The Podgorica area has been continuously inhabited since the Illyrian and Roman eras, with settlement on the site of today's Podgorica being firmly established during Ottoman Empire rule. Podgorica was reincorporated in Montenegro in 1878, when the city started to take a more European shape. Nazi and Allied bombings during World War II destroyed much of the historical Ottoman and Montenegro-era Podgorica architecture, and the city was reborn as the capital of Montenegro in Socialist Yugoslavia (SFRY). The city was then rebuilt and expanded in a manner typical of Eastern bloc countries, so it is mostly a modern planned city, and by no means a principal sightseeing destination.
While not a typical European eye candy, the is city definitely worth visiting, owing to its interesting mix of old and new, its café culture and nightlife, and its laid back Mediterranean atmosphere. Both Montenegrin coastal cities and its mountain resorts are within one hour's drive from the city, so it is an excellent starting point for day trips to anywhere in Montenegro.
- Podgorica Airport (LYPG/TDG) (10 km (7 miles) south. - There is the Aerodrom train stop ~800m - Combi buses operate to and from the city center, but may not be available at all times. Thus, probably the best bet is to take a taxi to the city, as taxis are to be found in abundance in front of the terminal. Taxi rides cost a flat rate €15 as per December 2009, but this should be confirmed with the taxi driver in advance or there's an Information desk in the airport who can tell you the current rate.). It is a base for Montenegro Airlines, Montenegrin national carrier, which flies to major European destinations. For booking and flight schedule check the carrier website. For other airlines serving the airport. Many city companies provide reliable and cheap taxis from Podgorica Airport.
- Train station (železnička stanica) (near the city center). There is regular passenger train service from Subotica through Novi Sad and Belgrade. Train tickets are cheap, but quality of service is lower comparing European standards. There are overnight trains with sleeping cars for around €25. Trains can be late but are a usual mean of transportation.
- Bus station (Glavne autobuska stanica), Trg Golootočkih žrtava (next to railway station. City center is 10 minutes walk from there, but if you have any luggage - it's recommended that you either take a minibus(combi) or some of the taxis usually waiting at the station entrance.), ☎ +382 20 620430. Cashdesk 05:00-24:00. serves number of domestic destinations, as well as those in neighbouring countries.
Due to its location in central Montenegro, Podgorica is the hub of all main roads in the country. Road from the northern Montenegro and Serbia requires additional caution during the winter.
- Walk - Podgorica is a medium-sized city of about 140,000 people. If your accommodation is near the city center, or the "Preko Morače" district - all points of interest could be visited on foot.
- Public transport - Public transportation consists of buses, that are not very frequent, and maps of the lines could be hard to locate. Ticket price is between €0.80 per single ride, and can be purchased on board, usually directly from the driver.
- Taxi - Probably the best option to move around Podgorica are cheap and reliable taxi service. There are over 20 taxicab companies, that usually operate new air-conditioned European sedans. Taxi stands are virtually everywhere in the city, but they could also be reached by calling the dispatcher. - The fare is cca. €0.40 per kilometre, and usually no start fare is charged. Considering the size of Podgorica - no drive within the city should cost more than €3 or €4. - Taxi numbers: 19700 ALO Taxi, 19702 Royal Taxi, 19703 Boom Taxi, 19704 PG Taxi, 19705 Pink Taxi, 19706 DeLuxe Taxi, 19709 Orange Taxi, 19711 City Taxi, 19712 Exclusive Taxi, 19714 Red Line Taxi, 19723 Peugeot Taxi, 19800 Bel Taxi, 19708 Elite Taxi
- Old Turkish town ("Stara Varoš" or "old town"). with its mosques and old clock tower. A typical old Turkish "kasaba"(town), with narrow and curvy streets.
- Skaline (the stairs). on the outfall of the Ribnica river to Morača, with its old Turkish bridge over the Ribnica, and the ruins of old Nemanja's town.
- Monument to King Nikola (Spomenik Kralju Nikoli), Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (in the park across the street from the Montenegro's parliament).
- Hercegovačka pedestrian street, Hercegovačka street (in the city centre.).
- Trg Republike, Slobode (next to Hercegovačka street). the central square of the city, a lot of life at the end of the day, when people finish to work. Lot of cheap restaurants and friendly people, a pleasant place to spend the first part of the evening.
- St. George's church (Ц. св. Джордже), 19. Decembar. built in 10th century, on the slopes of the Gorica hill (hill after which the city was named.). - 17th century frescoes.
- Catholic Church, Mojkovačka, Konik district.
- Millennium bridge. the impressive new bridge over the Morača river.
- King Nikola's castle. turned into a museum, also fine the surrounding park.
- Cathedral of the Resurrection (Saborni Hram Hristovog Vaskrsenja, Serbian: Саборни Храм Христовог Васкресења Подгорица), Bulevar Džordža Vašingtona. This is a newly built orthodox temple
- Church of the Great Martyr Holy Dimitrije (Crkva Svetog Dimitrija), Ljubljanska (Park Petrovića).
- Rimski Trg, off Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (near the orthodox temple). the square in the new part of town.The square and the surrounding area is the home for the trendiest of Podgorica cafes and restaurants, and favourite meeting point for Podgorica citizens.
- Cetinje (West 39 km. - 45mn by bus, about a bus per hour)). it is a great opportunity to escape from Podgorica's pollution for a couple of hours by breathing the fresh air of the Lovcen National Park in the former capital.
- Morača river canyon (north to the Podgorica). Visit the 13th century Morača monastery and enjoy scenery
- Doclea (Duklja). ruins of the old roman city that preceded Ribnica and Podgorica.
- Meteon (Medun) (13 km northeast of Podgorica). ruins of a fortress erected at III century B.O.T.
- Skadar Lake National Park (S 25 km - just 20 min by car.). largest lake on the Balkans, and a national park
While in Podgorica, one can enjoy the diversity of Montenegro's capital cafes and restaurants, check out the nightlife, or take a walk at some of the favourite picnic locations of Podgorica citizens - Mareza, Skadar Lake, or Gorica hill. While strolling through Podgorica center, you might find the shopping area interesting, as there is vast number of boutiques, just beware the counterfeits!
Note that swimming in the Morača river might be a pleasant way to cool off in the summer months! The other option would be newly built open-air public swimming pools.
The currency in Montenegro is the Euro (€). ATMs are widespread in the city center and the new part of town. Upscale shops and restaurants will usually accept any major credit or debit cards.
Streets in the center of Podgorica are filled with boutiques, yet, one should be aware counterfeited clothes of world famous brands.
Most of the premium clothing brands have their stores in new part of the city, chiefly Vectra-Maxim neighborhoods. The prices are on par with those in the region.
- Delta City shopping mall. a 48,000 sqm mall with over 70 stores, food court and a multiplex cinema
- Mall of Montenegro.
- Palada. smaller mall
- Nikić Center. smaller mall
Open markets on the outskirts of the city are a place to buy very cheap clothing, often of low quality.
Almost all fine restaurants in Podgorica are located either in the traditional city center, the new business district around the Roman Square, or along the Sv. Petra Cetinjskog boulevard that connects the two.
- Maša restaurant, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 31, ☎ +382 0 20 224 460. Renowned for its fresh seafood.
- Carine Centar, Slobode 43 (Near Trg Republike), ☎ +382 0 20 402 400. The Carine Center features both the fine dining restaurant and the pizzeria. Probably the best pizza in town.
- Carine Moskovska, Moskovska 43, ☎ +382 0 20 402 400. The Carine Moskovska features both the national cuisine restaurant, and the pizzeria. Probably the best pizza in town.
- Salvador Dali, Bul Džordža Vašingtona 87, ☎ +382 0 69 234 567. Newly open and chic restaurant, a favourite among local celebrities.
- Plantaže restaurant, Mareza bb (Mareza resort, few kilometers west of Podgorica), ☎ +382 0 20 268 722. A great place to eat.
- Hong Kong, Stanka Dragojevića 14, ☎ +382 0 20 667 300. So far the only Chinese food restaurant in Podgorica.
- Il Giardino, Rimski Trg 28, ☎ +382 0 69 313 313. Renowned for the Italian cuisine.
- Restaurant Zheng He (Kineski Restoran Zheng He), Vojvode Maša Đurovića 31 (near Delty City shopping mall (city kvart)), ☎ +382 20 223 551, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 08:00-24:00. New Chinese restaurant in Podgorica
There are dozens of pizzerias through city, and most of the cafes serve pizza, pancakes, etc.
- Alpe Bar, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 88, ☎ +382 0 20 202025. A pizzeria and a cafe, one of the city's landmarks.
- Alpe Bar, Stanka Dragojevića 14, ☎ +382 (0) 20 665 771.
Most popular fast food in Podgorica is hamburger (pleskavica)(Balkan hamburger somewhat differs from western). You can eat great hamburger, as well as anything made on the barbecue(roštilj) in places all across town, but best known and most visited are "Voda u kršu", "Gurman", "Calimero", "Kruna"...
There are no international fast food chains such as McDonalds, Burger King or KFC in Podgorica.
Internet: Café www.com, Bokeška 4
SPORTS CENTER: EMINENT teniss club, Pg-Dg 6 km, tel. 067 247 394
Most loved amusement of Podgorica's residents is to sit in a cafe on a summer day and drink their espresso.
There are dozens of cafes in pedestrian Njegoševa street in city center, and many more scattered around the city center. Most of the new and trendy cafes are located around "Vectra" district in the new part of the city.
Modern design and relaxed atmosphere of the cafes coupled with Podgorica's art of making espresso will make an interesting experience. Some of the well known cafes are :"Alpe bar", "Buddha bar", "Carine", "Greenwich", "Grand cafe", "Café, Café", "Switch cafe", "Soul II Soul"...and many more.
Espresso costs from €0.50 to 1.50. Coke and other soft drinks and juices will cost from €1.00 up to 2.50.
There is a number of clubs and bars to go out to in Podgorica. In the summer, there are many open-air bars and clubs. However, by law, open air bars must turn the music off at 01.00 AM, when the crowds move to the clubs located mostly in the basements in the city center.
Depending on your taste, it may be important to know whether a club plays worldwide popular dance hits the entire night, or the playlist include folk music from ex-Yugoslav countries, which is often the case.
- Switch cafe, Stanka Dragojevica (five minutes walk from the main Republic Square, near the Millennium bridge.). 08.00-02.00. A club It plays mostly foreign pop/electronic/rock music, and there are interesting music programs almost every night. Place with lot of fun. Beer: €1.10, wine: €1.50.
- Tantra club (a 15-minute walk (or short taxi ride) from the centre). It plays dance music and is generally busy throughout the week. Drink prices are not too expensive and there is a good atmosphere.
Clubs are most crowded from 11PM until 2AM on the Friday and Saturday nights, but some of them are full throughout the week.
- Skaline (open river bar) (Old Town). Two rivers, two bridges. Pop music, drinks, coctails, icecream.
The price of the accommodation varies, and is from €20 for a room in a motel on the outskirts of the city, up to over 100 euros in the premium hotels in the city center.
- On the every main intercity road on the outskirts of the city there are motels that are the cheapest accommodation in the city. They are easy to spot, as each one has illuminated and clearly visible "Motel" sign. Expect prices from €20 - 25 and up.
- Hostel Podgorica, Gojka Radonjića 11 (200 m from Sahat kule). four bed dorm €15 p.p..
- Vila Patria, Zlatica bb (4 km NE from centre). sgl/dbl €19/38 (2014).
- Montenegro Hostel, Đečevića 25 (200 m from the Main Bus Station). The Hostel arrange various tours, rafting on River Tara and visiting the Durmitor National Park. four bed dorm €13-15 p.p. and dbl €38.
- Hotel Crnogorska Kuća, Dalmatinska 130d (N 2.5 km). sgl/dbl from €30 (jun-sep).
- Hotel Evropa, Orahovacka 16, (next to the train station). a cheap choice sgl/dbl from €40/50.
- Hotel City, under the Ljubović hill, offers very cozy rooms and beautiful surroundings for a reasonable price.
- Hotel "Crna Gora" in the very center of the city offers very nice rooms from around €100 and up.
- Hotel Podgorica, Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog 1, ☎ +382 20 402-500, fax: +38220402501, e-mail: email@example.com. Very modern hotel on the bank of Morača river, and offers a high level of luxury, at a corresponding price.
- Kerber hotel, Novaka Miloseva 6. The Hotel Kerber has a reliable (and free) internet connection in all rooms. sgl/dbl €60-110/90-200.
- Hotel Ziya.
- Hotel Ramada Podgorica, Save Kovačevića 74. sgl/dbl €90-130/120-250.
- Hotel "Best Western Premier" is a four-star hotel in the Vectra district.
- Hotel "Apart Premier" is a four-star hotel in the Vectra district. sgl from €90
- Kosta's (sgl from €80) and Bojatours are smaller four-star hotels that are popular with local celebrities and politicians visiting the city.
- Hotel Ambasador Podgorica, Vaka Djurovica 5 (on the banks of Moraca River). Check-in: 24h, check-out: 6:00-12:00. Is a 4 star property, very close to the financial and Government district. sgl/dbl €66-88/90-252. incl. Breakfast.
- Hotel Hilton Podgorica - under construction
- Bar, the capital of Montenegro Riviera just one hour away.
- Kotor Bay, one of the nicest fjords in Europe. The old part and the Castle of Kotor town, which is listed with UNESCO World heritage sites, are must sees.