Podgorica is different to all other capital cities that we have seen so far. We still think it is worth going there. In this blog-post we will tell you why. So what to expect from a city, when you have no expectations? 9 Reasons to go to Podgorica anyway!
When you google Podgorica, you get interesting results. ‘Most boring city of Europe’, ‘no attractions at all’, ‘don’t expect anything nice there’ and so on. We were curious after reading all the comments and decided to travel there ourselves. We came by bus from Sarajevo and it was a really nice ride through a beautiful mountain scenery. A trip into mountains itself is already worth it but his time we had no time for that. Below you will find nine insights about Podgorica.
#1 - Everybody is relaxed
Our first impression of Podgorica was, that everything works at an unhurried pace. All the people, the traffic and even the taxi drivers were quite relaxed. People are not in a hurry in Podgorica, which is quite nice and definitely not a normal thing for a capital. You can cross streets without problems, there is also no real rush hour in the streets.
#2 - The old city
We think, that Podgorica is the only capital where the old town has no shops, cafes and restaurants at all. Let us rephrase that: You cannot even find something to eat there. We were really astonished by that. In the old town in Podgorica people live in small houses. That’s all. What a new experience. It is quite nice to walk through the small streets though. Just have in mind to bring your own water and snacks.
#3 - Two Hills
Podgorica has two hills from where you have a nice view on the city. This is a good way to get a better overview. In our case, we were quite relaxed ourselves, it was too warm to go up there. But even from below you got the impression that it can be quite nice to go up there!
#4 - SIGHTSEEING
Of course you can see many interesting things and sometimes even something old. The city was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War. Someone had the pragmatic idea to just build ugly huge buildings, so that the people could live inside again. This made sense, but it is not really pretty. The probably most interesting old architecture you can find is at the beginning of the Old Town, the old clock-tower that was build centuries ago. It is now restaurated again and quite nice. And of course the Millennium Bridge (crossing the Moraca river), which we did not find that spectacular on google, so we didn’t go there.
#4 - The mountains around Podgorica
The panorama is one of the most beautiful ones that a capital can have. Hugh mountains with so many layers can be seen from everywhere. While we were there, we saw beautiful sunsets, clouds playing with the peaks and so many different colors in the mountains. This was amazing and we were just sitting in a rooftop bar for hours to watch this incredible scenery.
#5 - The food
In Podgorica you can find some traditional restaurants. The food was really good and they serve you huge portions. So we had more than enough for two meals and got some doggy bags for the next day. For the evening we can recommend the restaurant Pod Volat. It has good traditional food. For a snack in between we really liked the Crepery Crepico with some interesting and delicious variations of honest and funky crepes.
#7 - Rooftop-bar
There are a few in Podgorica, but the best one, even if it is a bit snobbish, is the Hilton Hotel rooftop bar. The bar is amazing and the view superb. Nothing can beat that in this city. The prices are higher of course, but ok and below European standards. The bar opens at 4pm, so if you want to take pictures without many people we recommend to go there early. Staff is quite friendly and we can recommend the espresso and white wine.
#8 - The people
We have had only good experiences with very friendly people. We got presents, many smiles and interested looks. You see almost no tourists in the city, which makes it quite nice to walk around. Our impression was, that locals don’t find their own city very pretty or interesting, but love it anyway in Podgorica and stay of the relaxed atmosphere and simplicity.
#9 - Culture
Actually Podgorica has many theaters and some museums. We didn’t know that before and if we would stayed longer there, that might be a interesting thing to do in Podgorica as well. The park and garden in the center of the city with the ruins is quite interesting, too. You can just walk in and stay for a while. You will see locals with their kids, friends and families having a nice time there as well.
Podgorica is definitely not a ‘wow’ city. It is a city, where you come without expectations, have a nice but excitedly time and leave happily anyways. Because you can relax here, you can just walk around without being in a hurry. And of course the mountain panorama, which is breathtaking, is worth it. It is not a city where we would stay for many days, but for a quick stopover it is worth going there! Make sure to find a nice accommodation for your stay so that you have a cozy place to read, write and work a little bit - of course without any stress or hurry - like everything in Podgorica!