As far as Adriatic seaside resorts go, you can’t get more glam than Budva. People from near and far (but especially my people from Russia and Ukraine) are attracted to it like a magnet for its simple sex appeal and the fact that you can find history, beaches, relaxation, and a killer nightlife all in a relatively small area.
There is no shortage of things to keep yourself occupied around the “Miami of Montenegro” – there are several monasteries hidden in the surrounding hills as well as picture perfect Sveti Stefan just six kilometers south – but with only 24 hours to soak it up and the mission in mind to “chill” as much as possible, here is how I ended up spending a day on my last trip to Budva, Montenegro.
Rooftop rosés (and lunch) at Tre Canne
One of the best places to make an entrance in Budva is with a trip up to Tre Canne’s rooftop restaurant for some rosé, fresh seafood, and one of the best views of the entire town. It’s literally the first tall building you encounter when turning onto the main avenue that takes you to the old town from the main highway, so you can’t miss it.
For a rooftop establishment, it’s menu is actually quite reasonably priced – or at least not much more expensive than what you will find on the ground – and from there you can check the layout of the land in 360 degrees. Highly recommended is the octopus salad appetizer AND grilled octopus entrée. You might grow a few tentacles after all that cephalopoda, but hey, when in Budva…
Get your holiday on at Slovenska Plaža
Right next door to Tre Canne is the massive Slovenska Plaža resort where you can embrace the beauty of a mindless holiday. It’s basically a city within a city with everything one might need from a vacation spot: villas, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, pharmacy, swimming pools, tennis courts wellness center, parks, and of course easy access to the largest beach in Budva with the same name.
To be honest, you could get lost in there for days and probably not even know you were in Budva until you reach the beach. And to be honest, this can actually be extremely appealing if your main motivation for the vacation is total relaxation where the most appropriate thing to do just feels like lounging by the pool with chilled glass of wine in hand. So something to consider if you’re looking for minimal hassle and maximum enjoyment.
Say you do get a little surge of ambition (which I did not this time around), right by the main pier outside of the complex you have the possibility to grab a boat for about 5 euros to go check out Hawaii and its sandy beaches for a couple of hours. Actually the island is named Sveti Nikola, but apparently it looks like Hawaii so that’s what everyone calls it…what do you think?
Ultimate seafood experience at La Bocca
Seafood is pretty much the staple of most menus in Budva, but if you’re looking for something that is more of an experience than a meal in a sexy setting, better head south from the old town along Slovenska Plaža to modern and airy La Bocca.
As it’s removed from the crowd of other restaurants at the north end of Slovenska Plaža, it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere in the evening with the sound of waves crashing and lovely panorama of the glimmering old town. You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood you order, but might I suggest the Fish Fantasy for Two? It can easily feed four but make sure you save room regardless of how much food you order for one of their legendary desserts ( like one of the best chocolate souffles you will ever have in your life).
Wander around Stari Grad
Budva’s old town, though quite striking when you first lay your eyes on it from afar, is actually pretty tiny once you get up in there for a wander in comparison to some other old towns in the region.
Perfectly compact and with fortified walls that sink straight into the sea, you can easily cruise around it in 20 minutes if you’re just having a look – or more if you decide to spend time in its museums (the City Museum of Budva or the Modern Gallery of Budva), beautiful churches (like the Church of St. John from the 7th Century and the Church of Holy Trinity), and/or take a walk around the town walls which date back to the 9th Century but were reconstructed after a massive earthquake in 1667.
Just along the north wall there is a small doorway that leads to a small pebbly beach if you feel like dipping your feet in the sea or lounging under a thatched umbrella with a cool beverage. Like most beaches in Budva, it can indeed get pretty crowded, but the unique view of Stari Grad speckled with speedos is quite a sight to see.
Bronzing on Mogren Beach
For a bit more of a proper beach experience, walk about 300 meters north from Stari Grad along the paved pedestrian pathway that hugs the coastline to Mogren Beach.
Probably the best option(s) for a beach in Budva, you have a 350 meter stretch of pebbly sand spanning Mogren I and Mogren II which are connected by a cool little rocky tunnel. Obvs the one more south gets more crowded as it’s closer to the old town, but there you can find a couple of beach cafes to wet your whistle or grab some food. Walking further north it gets more rugged and you will eventually reach Shark’s Rock Cliff where the more adventurous can partake in some cliff diving.
Any other activities in and around Budva you can suggest?