Budva, Europe, Featured, Montenegro

Photos from Budva Old Town

April 15, 2017
Budva Old Town - Courtyard

Photos from Budva Old Town

In September, I spent an extra long weekend in Montenegro, hitting up the country’s capital Podgorica, the coastal beach town of Budva, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kotor.

Recommended reading: Why You Need to Visit Podgorica When You’re in Montenegro

By far, Budva was my favourite, especially the walled Old Town or Stari Grad. 

Photos from Budva Old Town

Budva Old Town - Old Town Walls
Surrounded by mountains, Budva has a bustling seaside promenade, plenty of beaches, a historic Old Town, and a happening nightlife. Considering all of these things, it’s no wonder that Budva’s the most popular destination in all of Montenegro. With a population of 14,000, it swells to 20,000 during warmer seasons when visiting tourists come to enjoy all the town has to offer. 

After exploring the capital for 24 hours, I was more than ready for a weekend by the sea. Suntanning on a beach chair with a cocktail in hand was at the top of my mind. Even though I ended up spending hours at various beaches, it was Budva Old Town that captivated me. 

Recommended reading: For even more about Budva, check out posts by other travel bloggers, including The Blonde Gypsy who penned How to Spend a Day in Budva, Montenegro and Tuula Vintage, who showcases tons stunning of Budva photos in her Budva Travel Diary

Around 2,500 years old, Budva’s one of the oldest settlements along the Adriatic sea in Montenegro. Throughout its turbulent history, Budva was occupied by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines, was later sacked by the Saracens, and reigned over by a number of Doclean kings and other Serbian and Zetan aristocrats. Later the Venetians arrived and ruled the city for around 400 years. To fight off Ottoman conquest, they built the three meter thick limestone walls that surround the old town, including several towers, a citadel, and several fortified gates. In 1797, control of the city fell briefly to the Habsburg Monarchy, Russia, and then France before being ceded to the Austro Empire. Their rule lasted until the end of WWI when Budva became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In WWII, the town was annexed by Italy, but after being liberated by the end of the war, it was consolidated into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Montenegro finally gained independence in 2006, with Budva being the mainstay of the country’s tourism. 

Now, let’s get lost in the essence of Budva Old Town with these photos. 

The Outer Walls of Budva Old Town

You can easily enter Old Town through one of the many open gates. The main entry is the Porta di Terra Ferma, which connects to the town’s main street. There are also four more gates elsewhere along the wall. 

From the outside, not only can you glimpse the thick limestone wall, but you can also see the crumbling citadel.

Budva Old Town - Tower
There are also many places where you can stop for a meal or a cold drink under the shade of an umbrella. 

Budva Old Town - Views
Budva Old Town - Tourist Restaurant Stop

Inside the Walls of Budva Old Town

Although not large, it’s easy to get lost in the octagonal maze of pedestrian only streets, piazzas, and alleyways. I found myself wandering through the walled medieval labyrinth of narrow cobblestoned streets, peeking into residential courtyards filled with bougainvillea, stopping now and again at a bar for a cold glass of white wine, all while pondering the fact that I was sitting in a house that was once home to a merchant business hundreds of years ago. 

Pro Tip: Although Budva doesn’t attract cruiseships like the nearby town of Kotor, the city still floods with tourists come 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Wake up early like I did to avoid the crowds, soak up the ambience, and take photos that don’t capture people posing with their selfie sticks.

There’s lots of shops, art galleries, and restaurants in Budva Old Town. 

Budva Old Town - Tourists
Budva Old Town - Streets
Budva Old Town - Empty Streets
Budva Old Town - Street Lamp
Budva Old Town - Bike
Budva Old Town - Restaurant
Budva Old Town - Restaurant Terrace
Budva Old Town - Tunnel
The flower filled courtyards make you want to stop and stay for a while.
Budva Old Town - Courtyard
Budva Old Town - Residence
Budva Old Town - Postcard
Budva Old Town - Stairs
As do the piazzas. 
Budva Old Town - Store Front
Budva Old Town - Leaf Covered Wall
Why come to Budva these days? Aside from wandering through Budva Old Town feeling as if you’re on the set of Game of Thrones and thinking “This is exactly what I imagined King’s Landing to be like …” – eat at one of the many trendy restaurants, sample local white wines, laze at one of the beaches, pose with the ballerina statue (everyone does it!), and go clubbing or gambling by night. If you’re up for some culture, visit during the annual Sea Dance Festival, Carnival, and Budva Grad Teatar events. 

What do you think? Do you want to visit Budva Old Town?

Good to Know

1) Montenegro makes for a great weekend trip away from Berlin. Get there on the cheap with Ryanair and be in Podgorica in just over two hours.

2) Budva’s about an hour away the capital and can easily be reached by public transport. Buses run frequently and will cost you about €5 for a ticket. Taxis are another option and shouldn’t cost you more than €25-30 if you book through your hostel or hotel. 

3) Montenegro uses the Euro. Expect prices for everything to be substantially lower than most other European countries.

4) For even more of a lowdown on Budva, check this article from the Telegraph, Budva, Montenegro: Secret Seaside.

5) Are you heading to the Balkans soon and looking for a little travel inspiration? Read about my previous Balkan adventures here:

Where to Eat 

Budva’s proximity to the Adriatic, means that you can feast on fresh seafood each and every day. Get the lowdown on my favourite restaurants in Budva:

1) Konoba Stari Grad – Tucked away within the streets of Budva’s Old Town, come here for the timeless ambiance and the most delicious Mediterranean seafood you may ever taste. The location’s actually been a set for several movies! Listen to live music and watch sunset from their beachside terrace as you feast on local cheeses, smoked ham, and their speciality, octopus ragu that’s slowly cooked in tomato sauce for several hours. Be sure to choose a wine from their huge list, perhaps indulging in one of their many Montenegrin wines. 

2) Jadran Kod Krsta – This restaurant along Budva’s seaside promenade is constantly packed full of both locals and tourists. With many homemade Italian dishes on offer, you’ll also have your pick of fresh fish, mussels, clams, crab, and more. Expect live music, friendly wait staff, and an oddly decorated interior with old bikes and cars. 

3) Porto – Also situated on Budva’s bustling promenade is Porto. Whether you’re seated outside beside the Adriatic or within it’s airy garden like interior, their seafood game is top notch. All of it is brought in daily by local fishermen, like clam, crabs, octopus, grouper, and prawns. Highly recommended is their homemade bread baked in a wood fired oven. 

Recommended reading: this article about the 10 Best Restaurants In Montenegro.

Where to Stay

Looking for a hotel when you visit Budva? Choose from 422 properties on booking.com.

Booking.com

Location

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Budva Old Town

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2 Comments

  • Reply Ryan Biddulph May 18, 2017 at 8:19 PM

    Hi Cheryl,

    We just house sat for a couple living in Thailand who spent time in this region. Their Montenegro pics were glorious. They also stressed how the place is off the tourist beaten path – for now – which gave it charm and personality too, with characters wandering the streets, telling tales. Really fun time.

    Super shots and fab round up!

    Ryan

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 19, 2017 at 12:19 AM

      Hey Ryan –

      Montenegro is definitely glorious. Hope you get to visit soon. 🙂

      I actually found the place to be crawling with tourists. Apparently, the place is quite popular with Russians! But I guess it depends on where you’re hanging out. Podgorica was definitely not that busy with tourists but Budva and Kotor were a different matter.

      And thanks for your kind words. 🙂

      Cheryl

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