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Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro.
Besides being the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica is also the country's largest city, having a population of some 200,000 people. The city is situated in central Montenegro, in the scarce Montenegrin lowlands between Dinaric Alps and Lake Scutari.
The Podgorica area has been continuously inhabited since the Illyrian and Roman eras, with settlement on the site of today's Podgorica being firmly established during Ottoman Empire rule. Podgorica was reincorporated in Montenegro in 1878, when the city started to take a more European shape. Nazi and Allied bombings during World War II destroyed much of the historical Ottoman and Montenegro-era Podgorica architecture, and city was reborn as the capital of Montenegro in Socialist Yugoslavia (SFRY). The city was then rebuilt and expanded in a manner typical of Eastern bloc countries, so it is mostly a modern planned city, and by no means a principal sightseeing destination.
While not a typical European eye candy, the city is definitely worth visiting, owing to its interesting mix of old and new, its café culture and nightlife, and its laid back Mediterranean atmosphere. Both Montenegrin coastal cities and its mountain resorts are within one hour's drive from the city, so it is an excellent starting point for day trips to anywhere in Montenegro.
Podgorica Airport is situated 12 km south of Podgorica. It is a base for Montenegro Airlines, Montenegrin national carrier, which flies to major European destinations. For booking and flight schedule check the carrier website.For other airlines serving the airport, check the airport website.
Airport and City Transfer
Podgorica Airport Transfer and Taxi Service
There is also a train stop "Aerodrom" a short walk from the airport. Much cheaper than the taxi, but its existence will be denied by staff at the airport information desk. The train only goes 4 times a day, so check the schedule online beforehand.
Train station is located near the city center.
There is regular passenger train service from Subotica through Novi Sad and Belgrade. Train tickets are cheap, but quality of service is lower comparing European standards. Trains can be late but are a usual mean of transportation.
Bus station serves number of domestic destinations, as well as those in neighbouring countries.
The bus and railway station are located next to each other. City center is 10 minutes walk from there, but if you have any luggage - it's recommended that you either take a minibus(combi) or some of the taxis usually waiting at the station entrance.
Timetables (in and out) can be found on the Podgorica Bus Terminal website: http://www.busterminal.me/
Due to its location in central Montenegro, Podgorica is the hub of all main roads in the country. Road from the northern Montenegro and Serbia requires additional caution during the winter. Street map and rental cars in Podgorica city.
Walk - Podgorica is a medium-sized city of about 140,000 people. If Your accomodation is near the city center, or the "Preko Morače" district - all points of intrest could be visited on foot.
Public transport - Public transportation consists of buses, that are not very frequent, and maps of the lines could be hard to locate. Ticket price is between €0.40 per single ride, and can be purchased on board, usually directly from the driver.
What to see
Old Turkish town with its mosques and old clock tower. A typical old turkish "kasaba"(town), with narrow and curvy streets. Frankly, there are only few sights in this old town, in comparison with other cities in Montenegro.
Skaline (the stairs) on the outfall of the Ribnica river to Morača, with its old turkish bridge over the Ribnica, and the ruins of old Nemanja's town.
Monument to King Nikola in the park across the street from the Montenegro's parliament.
Hercegovačka pedestrian street in the city centre.
Trg Republike the central square of the city, next to Hercegovačka street, a lot of life at the end of the day, when people finish to work. Lot of cheap restaurants and friendly people, a pleasant place to spend the first part of the evening.
Millennium bridge, the impressive new bridge over the Morača river.
King Nikola's castle, turned into a museum and the surrounding park.
Rimski Trg, the square in the new part of town. Located near the orthodox temple, the square and the surrounding area is the home for the trendiest of Podgorica cafes and restaurants, and favourite meeting point for Podgorica citizens.
Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus is a modern, Brutalist concrete catholic church a little way out of the centre in the Konik district near the train station. It is probably the city's most interesting building. Be sure to visit when it's open as the interior is as surprising as it's uncompromising exterior.
What to do
While in Podgorica, one can enjoy the diversity of Montenegro's capital cafes and restaurants, check out the nightlife, or take a walk at some of the favourite picnic locations of Podgorica citizens - Mareza, Skadar Lake, or Gorica hill. While strolling through Podgorica center, you might find the shopping area interesting, as there is vast number of boutiques, just beware the counterfeits!
Note that swimming in the Morača river might be a pleasant way to cool off in the summer months! The other option would be newly built open-air public swimming pools.
The currency in Montenegro is the Euro. ATMs are widespread in the city center and the new part of town. Upscale shops and restaurants will usually accept any major credit or debit cards.
If you are coming in from neighbouring tourist filled Croatia, the prices here will seem unbelievably low.