A Teen’s Top Ten Things to do in Montenegro

by Anders Bruihler / Dec 16, 2012 / 0 comments

During the three years I lived in Montenegro, I discovered great places and activities in this hidden Mediterranean country.  I’ve compiled the top ten things to do, from my teen perspective.  This list includes skiing in the mountains, climbing a castle on the coast, ascending to the top of a mountain, and zipping along a ropes course.  Most of these things I did several times, and all of them were very fun.  I hope you enjoy my top ten!

A Teen’s Top Ten Things to do in Montenegro

10. Go Bowling at the Mall of Montenegro or Watch a Movie at Delta City

In the capital city of Podgorica, there isn’t much to do, but it does boast the only two malls in all of Montenegro.  Delta City has many clothing stores, including XYZ, Accessorize, NIKE, Marks & Spencer, and several others, as well as a SuperMaxi grocery store.  There is also a small food court.  At the Cineplexx you can watch the latest 2-D and 3-D movies.  Usually international films are in English, but you should ask before buying your tickets.  Prices for movies start at €2.60.

The other mall, Mall of Montenegro, used to be an open market before they expanded it.  You can still go and buy produce from the farmers that come to sell, and you can wander through the stalls above the market and see all of the different goods.  If you want to buy anything, the prices aren’t marked, so you should bargain until you get to a reasonable price.  If you go into the new part, there are lots of little cafés and other shops.  Stop for a drink at the iPad Café, and you can use an iPad at the table for as long as you want.  If you go to the third floor, there is also a bowling alley.  You can play here for a decent price, and there are also pool tables.  Prices are €3.50/person/game for bowling and €7/hour for a pool table. 

9. Eat Fast Food at Calimero

Montenegro doesn’t have any American fast food (like McDonalds or KFC) but there are lots of little food stands where you can get a hamburger.  My family’s favorite was Calimero, a little ‘fast food’ restaurant chain where you can either sit down to eat or get take out.  There are at least two locations in Podgorica.  They have great hamburgers and chicken burgers, and it’s really reasonably priced too.  It’s not the fastest ‘fast food’; it usually takes about 10 minutes to get your food.  You can eat and watch people go by.  Don’t expect anything fancy, but the food is good. 

Here’s a picture of the Calimero we usually went to.  You can see it’s rather small.  That’s the cook and barbeque in the background.

Calimero, Montenegro

8. Ski in Kolasin   

Montenegro may not have the best skiing in the world, but if you come in the winter it is definitely worth it to go up into the mountains and ski (or snowboard).  There is a ski resort in Zabljak (not that great), but Kolasin 1450 (near the city Kolasin) is much better. There are a variety of runs on the mountains, ranging from easy runs to black diamonds.  You can go all of the way up to the summit if you want.  If you don’t know how to ski, or want more practice, there is also a ski school where you can get a trainer. 

Ski in Kolasin, Montenegro

Skiing in Kolasin is lots of fun, and it is defiantly worth it if you are a beginner skier or an expert.  Cost should be around €20 a day for a ski pass.  You can rent skis at the ski resort, or rent lower quality equipment in town for less money.  If you rent in town, be advised to check the quality of your equipment. My brother broke his leg, partly because of a poorly fitted binding.

7. Visit Ostrog Monastery

Ostrog Monastery, Montenegro

Montenegro is mostly Orthodox Christian, and there are many churches and monasteries in the country.  None of them are quite as impressive as Ostrog Monastery.  It was built in the 17th century right into the side of a cliff, and to this day they still don’t know how it was built.  It is amazing to see, and well worth the visit. You can get a taxi or bus to the town at the bottom, and there are taxis waiting to take you up to the top for a small fee.

Ostrog Monastery, Montenegro

From the monastery you have a great view of the countryside nearby.  You can easily spend an hour walking around the monastery, viewing all the paintings and rooms. In one of the dark rooms in the back against the rock cliff you can visit the remains of St. Basil of Ostrog’s body.  Both Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians (as well as Muslims) make pilgrimages to that sacred place.  Incense fills the air, choking the room with scented smoke. A painting of a saint with a glass cover is on the wall, and if you see the light at a special angle, you can see kiss marks on the glass. The remains of St. Basil are in a corner in an old box. When you leave that room, you should back out because it is impolite to show your back. 

When you are done, I suggest you walk down to the town on the path.  I’m not really a person who’s fascinated by churches and monasteries, but Ostrog was very interesting for me.

6. Kayak on the Crnojevića River

I went kayaking on the Crnojevića River three times, and every time it was amazing.  If you go to the town of Rijeka Crnojevića, you can rent kayaks.  You can kayak on the river that leads into Skadar Lake, and it is a really beautiful place.  It is very quiet and peaceful, without any rapids or current at all.  If you are a white-water kayaker, this won’t be nearly as thrilling, but if you are a beginner it is fantastic.  There is a lot of wildlife, and it is almost undisturbed by humanity. 

Kayak on the Crnojevića River

I kayaked for my first time there (with Kayak Montenegro), and had lots of fun.  They have sit-on kayaks that are really easy to use with only a little instruction.  There are also paddles and life jackets for you to use.  There are both double and single kayaks.  Costs are really reasonable, about 7€/hour for a double kayak, or 5€/hour for a single.  You can also rent them for the day or half day. 

5.  Traverse the Ropes Course in Lovcen National Park

Locven National Park, Montenegro

This was one of my favorite things to do in Montenegro, no doubt about it.  In Lovcen, a national park up in the mountains, there is a ropes course in the forest.  It is tons of fun, zipping through the trees and climbing from one platform to another.  There are zip lines, ladders, rope bridges, and many different activities on each course.  The aim is to get from the start to finish, and the whole time you are way up in the tall trees.

Locven National Park, Montenegro

It is advertised for ages 5-70, and there are indeed a huge variety of difficulties.  There are simple courses, no more than 2 meters off the ground, which even toddlers can accomplish (with a little help!).  There are courses higher up that are good for teens, and I had a lot of fun on those.  And the hardest course I barely accomplished, and my father had to give up.  That one involves a giant rope swing and a rope net.  You have to climb up the net after letting go of the swing.  If you do not make this on your first go, you have to give up and get off.  However I loved that course, and it was really challenging to me.  I felt really proud, and exhausted, after I completed it.  That course is definitely not for everyone, though.

Ropes course, Montenegro

If you are worried about the safety, it’s not that dangerous.  You are in a safety harness with two big carabineers, and on all of the courses there are places to attach them.  Because there are two ropes attaching you, you are always clipped onto at least one place at a time.  Also, everyone is provided with a helmet and gloves.  Be advised that sometimes courses are closed for repair.

4. Explore a Hidden Beach in Budva

Budva is one of the biggest, and most well-know, cities along the coast.  There are lots of things to do there, with a big one being swimming.  If you head to the very southwest of the old town, it ends near a big hill right on the edge of the sea.  There’s a hotel (they were still building it when we were there last), and a path leads right under a terrace.  If you follow that path for a few hundred meters, you’ll come to a beach. Rock cliffs loom up behind you, and there are some really cool rock formations.  If you keep walking down the beach, you’ll come to another path, but part of it has washed away.  That leads to yet another long narrow beach, and you can rent paddleboats there.  I’m not really a beach person, but this was one of my favorites. 

You’ll see this statue on the path.

hidden beach in Budva, Montenegro

And here’s a map including the beach.

3. Ascend to the Top of Lovcen

Montenegro has a lot of mountains, and in Spanish, Montenegro actually means black mountain. One of the mountains that is the easiest to get to the top of is Lovcen, in Lovcen National Park.  You can drive most of the way up, and the only part you have to walk are a few hundred steps up a pedestrian tunnel.  You emerge on the top of the mountain, and it is really amazing. There is a path along the top, and you can see all around for miles (even on a cloudy day).  The view itself is really wonderful. 

Locven, Montenegro

The mausoleum of Njegos, the most important monument in the park, is located on the top of Lovcen.  There is a big stone building with huge guarding statues, and he is buried inside.  I never actually went in it though, because you have to pay a small fee.

Mausoleum of Njegos, Montenegro

2. Go Rafting in the Tara Canyon

The Tara Canyon is the world’s second deepest canyon (after the Grand Canyon in Colorado) and it is really amazing.  It is 82 kilometers long and 1,300 meters deep.  It has not been drastically changed by humans, and is still very beautiful and undisturbed.  There is only one bridge across it, which was build in 1940 and adds more to the canyon than it takes away. 

A great way to experience the canyon is to raft down it.  When we went at the end of June, is wasn’t extreme white-water rafting.  But if you go in the early spring, the river runs much deeper and faster. If you do go, be advised that your camera may get wet.  It’s well worth going to see the gorge, and hiking one of the many trails.

Rafting in Tara Canyon, Montenegro

If you want to raft, there are many different companies.  Look online and find one that suits you. Trips range from a half-day to a three-day excursion.

1. Climb the Ruins of Kotor Castle

And for number one…(drumroll in the backround)climbing the castle trail in Kotor!  We spent our second spring break in the coastal city of Kotor, and that was my favorite activity that we did.  Kotor is a city near the inlet of Kotor Bay, and it has a commanding view of the surrounding water.  The castle is on the top of a big hill a short distance away from the sea.  You have an excellent panoramic view from the top.  Mountains rise up out of the sea, and further inland you can see numerous small towns surrounding the bay. 

climbing the castle trail in Kotor, Montenegro


When you are walking up to the castle ruins, there are lots of things that you can see along the way.  At the halfway point, there is a small chapel.  Most of the path up is an old winding trail, with rock walls that were being restored when we were there.  On the walk up you can see more and more of the old town as you ascend.  When you get to the top after an hour of walking, you have an amazing view of the town below you.  The ruin itself is mostly old rock walls, but you can easily imagine what it would have been like long ago. 

BONUS: Attend the Krap Festival

Krap festival, Montenegro

One other thing that you can do is go to the Krap FestivalKrap is Montenegrin for Carp fish, and it’s a cultural festival highlighting the places, people, and activities at Skadar Lake.  It’s held in Virpazar, a town on Skadar Lake.  There is special food, lots of fish, boat tours of Skadar Lake, lunch cruises, kayaking, a fishing competition, cross-country bike race, group hiking, and many other things to do.  It’s not that different from many of the other small festivals held in different cities, and it’s a great way to understand the Montenegrin culture.  If you visit Montenegro, you should definitely go to some sort of cultural event. 

Krap Festival, Montenegro

Krap Festival, Montenegro

The main reason this is on my list is because of its name, the ‘Krap’ festival.  That was the reason we went there.  It’s a good way to get an idea of the quiet village life in Montenegro though, and there aren’t many tourists there at all.  If you want to eat at one of the restaurants in the town, try to make a reservation before.  The festival is held every year in early September. 

Krap Festival, Montenegro


Publisher's note: read more from one of our students:

These 5 Historical Activities Are Why You Need to Visit Kotor, Montenegro



Anders Bruihler is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Anders Bruihler