WHAT TO DO IN BUDVA – TOP ACTIVITIES
Are you planning your Budva trip and wondering about the best things to do in Budva in one day (or two)? Then this post is perfect for you.
If you visit Montenegro, then Budva makes a nice stop – whether you visit for one day or two, this town has its share of things to offer.
BUDVA TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR ITINERARY
Budva was one of the towns in the Balkans that surprised me. I liked it much better than I had expected. I knew Kotor is a beautiful town and had it on my itinerary, but Budva was not on that list initially. For some reason, I still went. And I enjoyed it!
Budva is a small but busy town on the Adriatic Coast, and its history dates back about three thousand years. It is located between the towns of Kotor and Bar on a small peninsula.
It is well known as a party and beach destination – I did not party and did not spend much time on the beach – but Budva has much more to offer.
The town has a beautiful old town, mentioned in the historical records as the “Town of Illyria” more than two-and-a-half thousand years ago, with historic buildings, city walls, and more. The area is probably the busiest place.
- Make sure you wear comfy shoes – this Budva itinerary includes some walking on cobbled-stoned streets.
- If you want to spend time at the beach, bring your swimming clothes with you.
- I was unlucky and had two rainy days (out of the three days I stayed there) – but normally, May or June is great for visiting as is September.
- However, if you want to spend most of your time at the beach, then the summer months are probably the best time to visit. It gets busy during the summer months with tons of visitors (especially but not exclusively from Russia).
- If you arrive by car, I suggest booking your accommodation just outside the old town. Free parking is available about 1 km outside of the town center and walking to the old town.
- By car, it is also very easy to get to Sveti Stefan. You can also get to Sveti Stefan by bus – it is quite easy and affordable.
If you want to spend time at the beach, you can stay here for days and days.
However, if you do not visit Budva for a beach vacation, I suggest planning one day for the old town of Budva and Sveti Stefan.
THINGS TO DO IN BUDVA IN A DAY OR TWO
So, let´s get started with the best places to visit and the top things to see in Budva.
Stroll Stari Grad – Old Town
The Old Town of Budva is surrounded by medieval walls, with a fortress, towers, and gates. Over the centuries, it has been damaged a couple of times. The most severe damage happened in an earthquake in 1667, but another bad one in 1979 destroyed parts of the old town.
The old town is a lovely representation of an old, European town – cute and charming. However, it surely is not as impressive as Dubrovnik.
There are narrow cobblestone streets, lovely houses, and many shops, restaurants, and piazzas that also house many landmarks of Budva, including the Church of Santa Maria in Punta and the Catholic Cathedral Sveti Ivan.
You can visit the churches and then take a break afterward in the open-air theater located in between them. If you are lucky, you might have musicians playing nice music while you enjoy great views of the Adriatic Sea and parts of the old town.
Visit Citadela Budva
I love great views, what about you? If you are also a fan of nice scenery (especially if you do not have to hike/climb many stairs), visiting the Citadela in Budva is one of the top things to do.
The fortress, which was used for centuries as a defense stronghold of Budva, is located in the southern part of the old town. It was mentioned for the first time in written documents in 1425, and here is where the town walls start and end.
It is believed to be where the Acropolis was located during ancient times.
- The entry fee is just a few euros. For this, you can also visit the library which is there (though there’s nothing spectacular there at first glance).
Walk Along the Old Town Walls
The city walls encompass the entire old town. In the northwest is the main tower (Gradenigo Tower), and then there is the tower known as Repeno in the northeast.
It is one of the best-preserved city walls in Montenegro – you can walk around the city walls. However, it is not like a circle, and you need to turn around at some points, which takes about 15-30 minutes. You have lovely views of the old town and also of the Adriatic Coast.
- I am not sure whether I liked the views from the town walls or the Citadel more. I suggest visiting both as it is just a 2-3€ entrance fee for each. But if you only want to visit one, I recommend the Citadel. Or maybe the town walls? Oh my, I really do not know…
Chill at the Promenade
I might not enjoy drunk party people, but I do enjoy coffee with a nice view. If you want to have a drink/lunch/dinner, then the promenade outside the old town is the place to go in Budva.
The bustling promenade is lined with restaurants and cafes that come with views of the Adriatic Sea and the city walls. Plus, you might see the super fancy and expensive yachts that are in the little harbor in front of the old town walls.
Spend Time at the Beach
If you want to do a beach vacation, then Budva is a great place to visit. Even if you do not plan to spend a week at the beach, you can still chill and rest for a day or so at one of the numerous beaches you will find here.
- One popular sandy beach is Mogren Beach, known as one of the best beaches in the Southern Adriatic.
Visit St. Nikolas Island
If you want to explore a few places near Budva, head to Ostrvo Sveti Nikola ili Skolj/St. Nicholas Island, a.k.a. Skolj, which you can find opposite the old town of Budva.
The island is about 2km long, and not inhabited. It is a small, green island totally overgrown with typical Mediterranean vegetation and a perfect place to escape the crowds in Budva.
Enjoy the view of Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan is one of the most famous places in the country and a popular place to visit near Budva.Sveti Stefan was an island but is now connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. It is known as one of the most luxurious resorts in the Balkans these days, and you will find the Villa Milcer there, which has 50 rooms, cottages, and suites on the island, and 8 grand suites.
However, to be really honest, I do not get the fascination.
To visit Sveti Stefan, you have to be an overnight guest or have a reservation for the restaurant on Sveti Stefan. However, you can enjoy the views from above or walk down and spend time at the beach in front of Sveti Stefan, even if you are not a guest.
CONCLUSION: BEST THINGS TO DO IN BUDVA, MONTENEGRO
As you can see, Budva has more to offer than beaches and wild party life. If you are a party person or enjoy more time at the beach, you can definitely stay longer than one day in Budva without getting bored. Since my party days are over and I am not so much of a beach fan, 1 full day in Budva was surely enough for me.
It is a lovely city, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did, and this quick guide has helped you plan your Budva trip!