Discovering Budva | A 2-day Itinerary to Montenegro's Coastal Jewel

Budva is a small mediaeval town located on the Adriatic coastline of Montenegro, that is famous for its cobbled Old Town, abundance of beautiful beaches, and diverse landscape.

Harbour in Budva

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The Town dates back to the 5th century BC, making it a contender for the oldest settlement along the Adriatic coast. Budva has overcome adversity over the years, facing invasion and earthquakes, however, it has recovered to now offer modern day visitors a beautiful secluded break on the Adriatic.

Today, Budva is growing in popularity and it is one of the most popular cities in Montenegro, and is also attracting increasing numbers of European tourists. In true Balkans style, Budva has a totally unique vibe, which is the result of Russian and Mediterranean influence in recent times.

Budva is most famous for its riveting nightlife, which spans the full length of the riviera, and offers a variety of different ambiences, across its nightclubs, beach bars, and traditional restaurants. Additionally, the city attracts a large number of visitors due to cheap prices, as it is yet to catch up to its neighbouring cities in Croatia on tourism costs.

Similar to Kotor and Tivat, the town of Budva is paradise for nature lovers, and a travel itinerary can easily be filled with nature based activities, which are made extra special by the beautiful Balkan sunshine in summer months.

Due to its small size, Budva should be enjoyed alongside Kotor, so two days is recommended for each destination on a longer Montenegro trip. This is enough time to get a feel of the place, and explore the main tourist spots.

This 2-day Budva itinerary, by Tom from Tom Henty’s Travel, includes Budva’s most iconic spots, quirky Old Town, and several of the beaches along its vast Riviera. It is ideal for both first time visitors, and returning visitors, who want to experience some of the Balkans’ best weather and unique culture. Check it out.

How to get to Budva?

Montenegro is a very small country which borders five countries. There is an expansive bus network throughout the region, making Budva accessible to many International tourists.

Budva can be reached from the most popular cities in Montenegro within an hour by car, or slightly longer by bus. Public transportation is very reasonably priced in the Balkan region, and you can book most of the popular routes online, or at the bus stations upon arrival.

International journeys do include border crossings, so planning in advance is recommended, however, most crossing points are efficient and a fast process for tourists.

Things to do in Budva on Day 1

Explore the Stari Grad

The Stari Grad (Old Town) is one of the main highlights of Budva, and is pedestrianised, so can be explored safely by foot. The narrow cobbled streets reveal quirky spots around every corner, such as traditional pubs, offbeat coffee shops, and mediaeval churches.

To avoid the midday heat in the walled Old Town in summer months, an early morning visit is recommended. 

Exploring the Stari Grad in Budva

One of the most visited landmarks in the Old Town area is the Citadel, which dates back to the 15th century and it sits at the edge of the Old Town facing the Adriatic Sea. You can pay a small fee to enter inside and browse the Library and Museum, as well as enjoy awesome views of the Walled Old Town and Adriatic.

Walls tour

The picturesque walls which surround the Old Town are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also served as a protective defence for the city for centuries in mediaeval times. Visitors can enter on top of the walls and circulate some of the Old Town, which makes for a great way to enjoy a glimpse back into ancient times to learn how the locals' daily lives were protected. The costing is only €3 per person, so a great addition to any itinerary.

Art galleries & museums

Another way tourists can experience the local charm of Budva is through visiting the local art galleries and museums.

Penso is a beautiful art shop which houses local artists’ work and quirky souvenirs, and is aesthetically pleasing for international visitors wanting to enjoy a feel of the local energy.

Another arty vibe can be found in the Stari Grad at Magic Yard Gallery, which displays locally made crafts and work from Montenegrin and Serbian artists. Visitors are guaranteed to find a wholesome souvenir to remember the beauty of Budva.

As for museums, the best site to visit to learn the history of Budva is the City Museum of Budva.

Spread over four floors, this nimble museum presents artefacts and exhibitions from the different era’s of the town’s rich history. The ancient relics range from clothing worn by bygone inhabitants, jewellery, and some original mosaics.

Being located within the fortified Stari Grad gives visitors that Medieval vibe which the town is famous for. This is cheap activity to squeeze into a day exploring the Old Town area.

Traditional pubs

Themed pubs are a common sight in Budva, in the Old Town and alongside the harbour.

The traditional pubs in the Stari Grad are spread across the cobbled streets and are dotted in between coffee shops, wine bars, and souvenir shops.

Cobbled streets of Budva Stari Grad

Secret gardens

Many tourists switch between sitting in the secret gardens, and standing in the narrow alleyways enjoying the warm evening temperatures. The gardens are abundant with nature and quirky decor, offering tourists a relaxed vibe.

The bars in the Stari Grad offer a different feeling to the beach bars and clubs along Budva’s riviera, but they fill up quickly every night during the peak summer season.

If tourists want to enjoy a beach close to the Old Town, then they can head towards the fortified exit, which stands with open gates, as it leads straight onto a beach. There is a popular ice cream parlour and several places to purchase cocktails nearby.

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Things to do in Budva on Day 2

Day 1 included some exploration and relaxation, however, Day 2 is all about adventure.

Walk or Cycle the Seven Bay Trail

Palm Trees, mountain tunnels, and pristine parks await tourists who take on the challenge of the Seven Bay trail, which is a famous walking trail that runs from the Stari Grad to Sveti Stefan Island. 

The 9 km long route usually takes tourists between 3-4 hours to complete, depending on how many stops they enjoy along the various beaches and harbour restaurants.

The start of the walk is passing along a promenade which is flanked by the beautiful harbour on one side, and some local eateries on the other, and they come alive on an evening as the sun sets over the Adriatic Sea.

A unique aspect of the Budva Riviera is the mountainous terrain, which tourists walking the Seven Bay Trail have to navigate, through man-made tunnels, which are covered in Montenegrin themed graffiti art.

The geographical layout of the mountains means that many of the beaches along the coastline are coves, offering a secluded experience for tourists having a break from exercising in the baking Balkan heat.

The beaches reveal themselves one by one as a reward for overcoming challenging parts of the hike.

Some popular beaches which tourists can enjoy during the Seven Bay Trail hike are:

●    Kamenovo Beach.
●    Przno Beach.
●    Queens Beach.
●    King’s Beach.
●    Sveti Stefan Beach.

Beach in Budva Montenegro

Visit Sveti Stefan Island

The reward for completing the Seven Bay Trail is the aesthetically pleasing Sveti Stefan Island, an architectural highlight of the Budva Region.

The abundance of orange terracotta roofs blend perfectly with the clear blue Adriatic Sea, and surrounding greenery to offer a visually pleasing backdrop to visitors.

Although tourists are not allowed onto the mysterious island currently, they can use the beach opposite, free of charge.

Sveti Stefan Island  in Budva Montengro

The Hotel California should be the choice of accommodation for tourists who want to enjoy room views of the Island, along with a private beach.

It is recommended that tourists take the bus or taxi back to the Stari Grad after relaxing at the famous island for a while.

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Enjoy the best views of the Budva Riviera

A feature of Budva are the vast mountains which tower above the small coastal town. Tourists can climb high above Budva to enjoy glorious views of Budva and the surrounding nature, which combines giant rugged mountains, with lush greenery and the clear blue waters of the Adriatic.

There are pedestrian hiking routes all the way along the coastline leading up into the mountains, with many popular hiking routes signposted for visitors.

Views of Budva Stari Grad in Montengro

For the more daring visitor, then they can undertake one of the most popular activities in Budva.
Paragliding down over the Riviera from the top of one of the colossal mountains provides the perfect moment of magic as the extent of the natural beauty of Montenegro is revealed. Users will experience flying over the beautiful mountains, charming Old Town and Adriatic Sea.

Whichever activity visitors choose, there is one guarantee, some breathtaking views of the beautiful riviera of Budva.

Where to stay in Budva?

Budva is experiencing significant development for tourism, so international hotels are constantly popping up along the coastline. For a more traditional stay, Budva s home to some quirky hotels and hostels. Take your pick from the choices below.
Luxurious - California Hotel.
Mid range - Casa Mia.
Budget - Freedom Hostel.

Click here to compare and book hotels in Budva.

So, if you're planning a trip to Budva, get ready for a blend of history, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife. With its ancient Old Town and sparkling Adriatic Sea, Budva offers something for everyone. Whether you're into exploring medieval streets or soaking up the sun on sandy shores, Budva won't disappoint.

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