Montenegro is Europe’s best-kept secret. It is a country full of stunning landscapes, shimmering blue waters, historic old towns, and much more. Its beauty is incomparable, and the charm and authenticity are unlike anything else. What makes this country even more extraordinary is that it is far less touristy than most other European travel destinations. Compared to its neighbor Croatia, Montenegro welcomes far fewer tourists – however, it will not stay like this for long. Because there are so many great places to visit here, it can be hard to plan out your Montenegro itinerary.
Located in the Balkans region of Europe along the dazzling Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a prime summer holiday destination. Every year more and more people yearn to visit this magical place to discover its beauty for themselves. Spending 5 days in Montenegro is the perfect amount of time to start to discover this Adriatic gem. Luckily, Montenegro is tiny so getting from city to city takes only around 30 minutes. This makes seeing a lot very easy!
This Montenegro itinerary covers the top things to do and see within 5 days in the country. From the popular touristy places to some lesser-known sights – this itinerary has it all. Prepare for a whirlwind of an adventure in one of Europe’s most special travel destinations!
How to get to Montenegro
Most people get to Montenegro by flying into one of 3 airports: Dubrovnik Airport, Tivat Airport, or Podgorica Airport. The airport in Dubrovnik Airport often has the most flight options at the lowest prices, making it the ideal place to fly into. From here, you can hire a driver to bring you from the airport to Herceg Novi, which takes around one hour.
You can also get to Montenegro by driving yourself or taking a boat from a nearby country.
Day 1: Herceg Novi
The perfect place to start your Montenegro adventures is in the small yet stunning town of Herceg Novi. Herceg Novi is located very close to the Croatian border and is the logical first stop. Being located so close to the Croatian border makes it the perfect first stop on a Montenegro itinerary. The drive from the Dubrovnik airport to Herceg Novi is only about an hour.
Once you arrive in Herceg Novi, you will be welcomed by the rolling mountains, stunning beaches, and pastel-coloured old town. Herceg Novi is unlike most other places on this itinerary because it is not a huge tourist destination. The city has a local charm where you will find a fresh market and most tourists from the Balkans. It is the perfect place to start the itinerary to see and experience an off the beaten track place in Montenegro.
One of the highlights of Herceg Novi is the plethora of beaches. However, the beaches in this region aren’t sandy and vast but made on cement outcroppings into the water. The cement platforms are covered in sunbeds, which you can rent, and there are often beach bars that play music and serve drinks and foods. The wonderful views of this coastal town are best captured with a drone, which is one of the best gifts for travelers so they can see their travel destinations from a new perspective.
A day at the beach or walking around the old town and down the pier is the perfect adventure in Montenegro.
Day 2-3: Kotor
Kotor is by far the most popular destination in Montenegro. It has grown in popularity year after year because of its famous Kotor Fortress Hike, which brings you up the steep mountainside and shows you one of the most magical and mesmerizing views in Europe. From the top of the mountain, you are blessed with panoramic views of the lush mountains, Kotor’s old town, and the stretching blue water of the Bay of Kotor. This view truly is out of this world!
In addition to the hike, there are plenty of other amazing things to do in Kotor. One of the other most popular things to do is explore the old town. The old town in Kotor is made up of orange thatch-roofed houses, white stone walls, and tiny, secret alleys. It is the perfect place to explore the tiny streets, hidden shops, and locals’ home while feeling like you’ve transported back in time.
Since there is quite a bit to do and see in Kotor, it is best to spend 2 days here. Not only will you be exploring Kotor’s old town and the iconic hike, but you can also make a short 15-minute trip to the famous Our Lady of the Rocks and Perast. Our Lady of the Rocks is a small island located in the middle of Kotor’s Bay and is only a short boat ride away. The island is artificially made and holds one beautiful church. Many people flock to this island to explore and admire its unique beauty. In addition to visiting Our Lady of the Rocks, a visit to the small town of Perast is in order! This is a smaller and less touristy version of Kotor that can often offer a welcome escape.
It is important to note that Kotor has been increasing in popularity as the years go on. Nowadays, cruise ships come in the summer months full of people, and by 10 AM, the hike and streets of the old town are packed. To enjoy Kotor with fewer people, try to enjoy the early, early mornings and evenings after 5 PM once the cruise ships have departed.
Day 4: Lovcen National Park
Lovcen is a huge mountain and national park located very close to Kotor. It is a trendy place for tourists to visit to see and experience some of Montenegro’s spectacular beauty. One of the main things Montenegro has to offer is the plethora of huge mountains. There are rolling mountains all around that are amazing to admire. At Lovcen, you can walk to the top of the mountain and witness these rolling hills from above and marvel at it.
There is also a very famous and historic mausoleum at the highest point of Lovcen, which is home to the remains of a famous poet and philosopher: Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. However, it’s important to note that Lovcen is not a town but a national park and national monument. With this itinerary, you will leave your stuff in Kotor and spend an additional night in Kotor and make the journey to Lovcen a day trip. Nonetheless, this is a must-see and visit during this 5 day Montenegro itinerary.
Day 5: Budva
After an eventful four days during this action-packed Montenegro itinerary, the last day of your adventures will lead you to Budva! Budva is a popular coastal town located along the Adriatic Sea. It is a city full of life and excitement, making it the ideal place to end your 5 day Montenegro itinerary in style. Budva is most well-known for its sparkling beaches, beautiful old town, and amazing nightlife.
Budva’s old town is every bit as beautiful as the one in Kotor, and luckily, it can often be less busy! This means you can walk around and explore the narrow cobblestone streets at midday without worrying about being shoulder to shoulder with other tourists. Budva is the perfect place to relax and pick up some souvenirs. The old town is full of shops packed with gifts and trinkets special to the region.
What is really special about Budva is the nightlife. This city has the best and most sought after nightlife in Montenegro. In the summer months, the bars and clubs come alive with music and drinks with a good time promised. Going out for a drink in this lively atmosphere is a must. Plus, there is a club called Top Hill, which often hosts famous DJ’s and can hold upwards of 5,000 people!
Montenegro travel tips
- The currency used here is Euros
- The language spoken is Serbian/Croatian
- You can get around by driving yourself, renting a taxi, or taking public transportation:
- Driving yourself: This is the fastest way to get around Montenegro. However, the roads are quite narrow, and finding parking can sometimes be a hassle.
- Taxi: There are no Ubers or anything else in Montenegro, and the best way to get around with someone else driving is by calling a local taxi company. A trip is often very cheap.
- Public Transportation: Montenegro has a semi-reliable public transportation system you can use to get around from city to city. Doing some research and trying to find a local tourist stand is the best way to find the right bus (or water taxi) for your needs.
- Montenegrins are very friendly people and are more than willing to help you if need be
Evidently, Montenegro is a place full of adventure and excitement. This Montenegro itinerary covers all the top things to do, see, and experience with only 5 days in the country. After 5 days of exploring and admiring Montenegro, you will surely be already planning your visit back.
Meet the Guest Author: Samantha Karen
Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel bog Sam Sees World. She is a twenty-something traveler on a mission to explore the world to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to explore this wondrous world. Her objective is to learn about the world while also searching for her place in it. Check out Sam Sees World for valuable information on the best things to do, see, eat, and experience while traveling and making memories along the way.