Budva is the most famous city of Montenegro. It is located on the Adriatic coast between high mountains and old pine trees. Budva is roughly 5 hours from the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica by bus. There are many direct flights from most of the European cities. It has its own airport and during summer, frequent flights ease the trouble of visiting the city.
I took a bus from Tirana, Albania and after a comfortable journey, we reached Budva. The bus did not even pass by the capital, commuters were dropped in the petrol station near Podgorica. Budva has beautiful scenery that made long bus travels pleasant. The tunnels built under the black mountain shortens the travel duration.
I stayed in a hostel during my visit. The hostel was located on the top of a hill viewing the Budva bay. The hostel was clean and its view was amazing, however, climbing up and down the hill was killing me. Alternatively, taxis are available which cost around 4 euros one way (not financially viable).
Budva (old town) is one of the oldest settlements of the Adriatic coast with a known history of 2500 years. It was established by ancient Greeks 2500 years ago and then conquered by the Roman Empire, transferred to Byzantine after the collapse of the Romans in 15th century. It was claimed by the Venetians and they ruled it for almost 400 years. The Venetian effects are visible around the old city. The city walls and citadel were built by the Venetians.
It was known that The Old Town (Stari Grad) used to be an island with time, the town expanded. Presently within the city walls, the Old Town has two churches, one Cathedral and a Citadel (town castle). It’s narrow alleys populated by small shops, boutiques, restaurants and souvenir shops along with the houses of the locals.
Budva (especially the Old Town) is more expensive than the other Balkan Cities. Montenegro uses the Euro as their currency, so prices are comparatively high, but not as expensive as other western European cities. (can be upsetting if you cannot control and plan your budget) Food, drink and accommodation are more expensive inside the city walls so best to stay outside the old town. It is also advisable to discover the town on foot.
A cup of cappuccino is around 2-3 euros and chicken doner kebab is around 4 euros per pita. There are fast food alternatives along the coastal boulevard (Clovenske).
If you want to chill after walking around town, there are two public beaches where you can relax and swim. Go to the beach on the right hand side of the city wall, it’s beautiful.
The sea water is clear and clean with pleasant temperature. During summer, the sun is scorching hot, you can bring beach umbrellas or swim during cooler time of the day.
Those who want to swim at a less crowded beach, shuttle boats to Sveti Nikola Island are available for 4 euros.
Budva’s other landmark is the Sveti Stefan Island, which is around 6 km. east of the old town and can be reached by minibuses leaving from Jadranski Put. However, I need to warn you about the situation in the Island. This small island is a private property rented by an international super lux hotel chain, thus visiting the island is not possible without a valid reservation. Room rates start from a rocketing 1000 Euro per night. If you want to visit the islet, take the minibus as instructed above.
The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge which is guarded by two buffed security guards so don’t try to force your way in the property.
Between Budva and Stefan Islands, there are other beaches occupied by various hotels. Maestral Resort and Casino is one of these high-end hotel beaches. Once again, all beaches are open for public use and entrance is always free. If you don’t want to use sunbeds, umbrellas are available on these beaches so you can lay your towels freely.
Where to walk: Old Town streets
Where to eat: Clovenske Boulevard
Where to stay: Hostel in Old Town (Hill top hostel for best view)
Where to swim: Beaches outside the city walls
What to do: Excursion to Kotor Bay (20 euros per person – Summer 16)