View of Budva Old Town Montenegro

16 Best Things to Do in Budva, Montenegro

Budva is the main beach destination of Montenegro, and definitely worth putting on your Montenegro itinerary. Sitting on the Adriatic Sea, just a 30-minute drive from Tivat Airport and Kotor, Budva has a small-town feel but with the energy of a busy Balkan resort. There are lots of things to do in Budva; wander the streets of the Old Town, relax on the nearby beaches, or party the night away at one of Europe’s biggest nightclubs – the choice is yours.

I first visited Budva back in 2015 and have visited several times since. Montenegro is one of my favorite countries in all of Europe and I think it’s definitely worth a visit. With crystal clear waters, quaint medieval villages and beaches backed by majestic mountains, this tiny country has some truly captivating scenery that will leave you speechless.

If you’re planning a trip to Montenegro you may find yourself wondering whether to stay in Kotor or Budva. While Kotor is a very popular bucket-list destination, it lacks good beaches, and there’s not as much going on in the evenings. Luckily Budva is less than an hour away, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You could spend a couple of nights in each place, or base yourself in Budva and plan day trips to Kotor, Perast and other parts of Montenegro.

Things to do in Budva Montenegro

Budva is a place you should not miss, and a paradise for beach lovers. So if you’re a sun worshipper like me, make sure it’s on your itinerary. Let’s take a look at the best things to do in Budva, Montenegro.

Planning a Trip to Budva?

📍Take a look at these top tours and attractions:

>> Durmitor, Tara & Ostrog Monastery Day Trip
>> Tara River Whitewater Rafting
>> Full-Day Tour to Lovcen National Park

🛏️ Check out these top-rated hotels in Budva:

>> Hotel Budva
>> Dukley Hotel & Resort
>> Iberostar Slavija

Best Things to Do in Budva

Wander the Old Town

Narrow street of Budva Old Town with the citadel in the distance

Budva Old Town (Altstadt) is over 2,500 years old, so it definitely deserves its title! The town is incredibly pretty, with a labyrinth of narrow streets and squares. 

With numerous restaurants, bars, cafes and boutiques, The Old Town is a great place to visit for dinner or to do some souvenir shopping. 

See Budva’s Famous Ballerina Statue

Ballerina Statue Budva, Montenegro

The Budva Ballerina Statue, also known as “Gymnast from Budva” is a bronze sculpture of a girl frozen mid-dance, created by Belgrade sculptor Gradimir Aleksić. She stands on a rock guarding Mongren Beach, with the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea in the background. The statue has become a symbol of Budva and makes for some beautiful photos. 

Apparently the sculpture was inspired by a local legend about a girl who was engaged to a sailor. He sailed away to make money for the two of them to live together but he never came back. She spent years waiting for him, watching the sea every morning in hope that he would return. Sadly one day he was found dead on the rock where the sculpture now stands. 

Explore the Citadel Fortress

Citadela entrance in Budva, Montenegro

At the highest point of the Old Town you’ll find Budva’s Citadela Fortress, which was built to protect Budva from attacks. Construction of the Citadel started in the beginning of the 9th century but the buildings that you see today are mainly from the 15th century.

The Citadela was used as an army barracks during World War 2 and today it is home to the town museum as well as a restaurant and a library. 

View from Budva Citadel Montenegro

The restaurant has chairs and tables overlooking the water – it’s a super romantic spot so try to snag a reservation, or show up and hope you get lucky. In the summer months the Citadel also hosts the Grad Teater, which is an arts festival with theatrical performances and concerts.

Hit the Beach

Beach Greco crowded with tourists in Budva, Montenegro

Budva’s shoreline is known as The Budva Riviera and it reminds me a little bit of The French Riviera. The main beaches in and around Budva are Old Town Beach, Beach Greco, Slovenska Plaza and Mogren Beach. Beach Greco and Slovenska Plaza have the longest stretches of sand and get very crowded during the summertime.

To get to Mogren you take a walkway that snakes around the cliff – it’s usually a little less crowded and is backed by rugged cliffs. This was my personal favorite but it’s quite narrow so it can run out of space.

Mogren Beach Montenegro

If you head east along the coast towards Sveti Stefan you’ll discover Becici Beach, Kamenovo Beach and Przno Beach. If you have a week in Budva then you can easily go beach hopping and try a different beach each day.

Take a Boat to Hawaii

Sveti Nikola known as Hawaii, Budva

This was my favorite thing to do in Budva! There are boats that will take you out to Sveti Nikola, which is also known as “Hawaii” because of the tropical turquoise blue color of the ocean surrounding it. The island looks like something out of a James Bond movie, with tall, sheer cliffs that tower over the beaches.

Beaches are pebbly and the current can be strong so make sure you bring some water shoes so you don’t hurt your feet!

Walk Along the Promenade

Budva waterfront promenade and marina filled with boats

The Budva Riviera has a promenade that runs all the way from the Old Town to Sveti Stefan. A walk along the promenade will take you to Slovenska Plaža, Zavala Cape, Bečići Beach, Kamenovo Beach, Pržno and Sveti Stefan. Bring your camera and your bathing suit so you can stop for a swim along the way.

Party the Night Away at Top Hill

Claptone playing to a crowd at Top Hill nightclub, Budva
photo from

Top Hill is the most famous club in Montenegro and is known throughout Europe. Over the years the club has attracted famous DJs such as Fatboy Slim, Eric Prydz and Roger Sanchez. The club is located on Topliš hill overlooking the city of Budva, and has the capacity for around 5,000 clubgoers. It’s only open in July and August though, so if you arrive earlier in the season it will probably be closed. If you love techno music, this is definitely the place to go.

Enjoy a Romantic Dinner

Tables on the beach at Jadran restaurant in Budva, Montenegro

Budva has many restaurants where you can enjoy a romantic dinner. For a delicious seafood dinner, try one of the restaurants along the waterfront. Jadran is the most popular and well-known, serving grilled fish, seafood and meats right on the water. I’ve eaten here a couple of times and the experience has always been magical.

Hemingway Bar & Restaurant is another favorite, offering live music, cocktails and a diverse menu featuring salads, burgers, steaks, fish, pastas and risottos.

In the Old Town, visit Stari Grad, a restaurant serving traditional Montenegrin cuisine and seafood in a rustic setting.

Another great option is Restoran Rivijera, which serves octopus, grilled prawns and other seafood dishes. The restaurant has a cute courtyard with blue and white checked tablecloths.

If you’re looking for something a bit upscale, try Restaurant & Beach Bar Azzurro, which has a large terrace filled with tables overlooking the bay. 

Walk on the Walls

Walking on the Budva Walls, Montenegro

One of the best things to do in Budva is walk on the city walls. There’s an entrance near the Citadel and there’s also a second one on the other side of the Old Town. Visitors just have to pay a €2 entrance fee. Walking along the walls will allow you to see the streets of the Old Town from above, as well as views out to the Adriatic Sea. 

Visit Sveti Stefan

Sveti Stefan Montenegro

While you’re in Budva, make sure you take a taxi along the coast to Sveti Stefan, a small islet that’s home to Montenegro’s most exclusive (and famous) hotel. The journey takes around 15 minutes and is well worth it. 

Rooms at this ultra-luxury hotel start at around €700 ($780 USD) per night, so unless you’re wealthy and can afford to shell out for a room, you’ll just want to visit for the day. 

Dating back to the 15th century, the island started out as a fortified village that was built to defend against the Turks. By the 1800s it was a small fishing village of about 400 people. The population declined by the twentieth century so the Communist Yugoslav authorities removed the remaining residents and turned it into a hotel that was used by the world’s most powerful elites. 

Sveti Stefan Beach, Montenegro

In the 1970s the hotel was frequented by the likes of Princess Margaret, Sylvester Stalone and Sofia Loren, but it fell into decline by the 1990s. Eventually Sveti Stefan was renovated and restored by Aman Resorts, who returned it to its former glory. 

You can only visit the hotel unless you’re staying there or if you make a reservation at the restaurant. However you can still enjoy the views and relax on the pink sands of Sveti Stefan Beach, which is open to the public. 

Visit Dukley Beach Lounge

If you’re the type of traveler who enjoys sipping on a glass of champagne relaxing on a comfy lounge chair, then head over to Dukley Beach Lounge and Restaurant. This upscale beach club sits on a private beach and offers a fine dining experience right on the water. Here you can enjoy some good food and bask in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun while listening to relaxing tunes.

Make a splash at Aquapark Budva

Slides at Aquapark Budva in Montenegro

Opened in 2016, Aquapark Buva is Montenegro’s largest water park. What’s really cool about this water park is that it’s located on Mount Topolis, so the views are incredible. Covering an area of 41,800 m², the enormous complex features several pools and water slides, plus a multitude of kid’s attractions. In case you get hungry, there’s a restaurant and three bars on site.

Visit Podmaine Monastery

This 15th century Serbian Orthodox monastery is located on a hillside on the edge of Budva. It features two churches – the smaller one was built some time in the 15th century and the larger one was built in 1747. It’s a quiet and relaxing place, with beautiful views over the bay. Nearby there’s a lookout point which is ideal for taking pictures of Budva from up high.

Go paragliding

If you fancy doing something more adventurous, try paragliding with Budva Paragliding. The company offers tandem flights with a variety of routes over Budva, Sveti Stefan, Hawaii and Bečići. 

Church of the Holy Trinity

Church of the Holy Trinity, Budva

Built in 1804 on the ruins of an earlier church, the Church of the Holy Trinity showcases striking examples of Baroque architecture, enriched with a meticulously crafted bell tower that punctuates the Budva skyline. Inside, visitors are greeted by a collection of vibrant frescoes and an impressive iconostasis adorned with icons painted in the traditional Byzantine style.

Have a drink at Casper Bar

Located in the Old Town, Casper Bar has been running since 1991. It’s the best bar in Budva and focuses on high quality sound and drinks. There’s a courtyard with outdoor seating and the vibe is super relaxed. Best of all, the bar welcomes DJs who play chill house music.

Budva FAQ’s answered

Is Budva Worth visiting?

Yes, Budva’s definitely worth visiting. The Budva Riviera is stunning, so if you’re a beach lover you’ll really enjoy it here. In summer the town really comes alive and the atmosphere is really fun. The beaches and restaurants are filled with tourists and there’s a vibrant nightlife scene. Budva is alos known for its enormous open-air nightclub, Top Hill, which attracts DJ’s from around the world.

Which is Better, Budva or Kotor?

Budva and Kotor are quite different but both are worth visiting. Kotor’s Old Town is larger and more impressive than Budva’s, with more things to see and do.

Kotor lies on the Bay of Kotor, which is magnificent and fjord-like, but there are only some small pebbly beaches dotted around the bay. Budva lies on the Adriatic Coast, with access to numerous beaches.

If you like nightlife, then Budva is the better choice for you since it’s home to an enormous club as well as numerous beach clubs and bars. Kotor is generally much quieter at night. If you’re a history buff then you’ll probably prefer Kotor, but if you’re a beach lover then you may prefer Budva. 

Is Budva Expensive?

Budva is not necessarily cheap but it’s generally cheaper than major cities in the U.S and some other countries in Europe. 

Montenegro’s currency is the Euro. A local beer costs around €2.50 while an imported beer costs around €3.50. Typically entrees in a sit down restaurant range between €10 to €25 euros depending on what you order.

In July, expect to pay between €60 to €150 per night for a room. Luxury hotels cost anywhere between €200 to €500 per night for a room. Bear in mind, prices tend to be higher in the peak season, especially in July and August. 

What is Budva Known For?

Budva is known for its medieval Old Town and Ballerina Statue, also known as the Gymnast Statue from Budva. The Budva Riviera is dotted with beautiful beaches and is home to one of the world’s most exclusive island resorts, Sveti Stefan. 

How Many days in Budva?

If you’re a sun worshipper then you could easily spend a week in Budva just sunbathing on the beach and eating out. However, if you’re the kind of person who gets antsy at the beach, I’d suggest spending about 2-3 days max here and then exploring other places such as Kotor, Lake Skadar and Durmitor National Park.  

A Final Word…

Budva is a fantastic place to visit if you’re looking for a European summer beach break. With scenic beaches and water so clear you can see right to the bottom, it’s definitely one of the best destinations in Montenegro. This country is one of the prettiest and most scenic places in the world, so I’d recommend combining Budva with a trip to Kotor as well. 

Book Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance: Heymondo is the best travel insurance company and offers affordable policies. Safetywing is perfect for long-term travelers and digital nomads.

Book your flights: Find cheap flights using Google Flights or Skyscanner. To get travel deals sent straight to your inbox, sign up for Going or Jack’s Flight Club. Download the Hopper app for their algorithm-powered price predictions.

Booking your accommodation: I use to book all my hotels. Their Genius loyalty program allows you to earn reward credits no bookings and 10%-20% off hotel prices. You can also try Google Hotels and TripAdvisor to search prices across a variety of sites. Agoda is the best site for booking hotels in Asia.

Use your phone abroad: Purchase an Airalo eSIM so you can avoid hefty data roaming charges while traveling.

Travel on a budget: Staying in hostels is a great way to meet people and is best if you’re on a budget. You can find plenty of awesome hostels with Hostelworld.

Find Tours: For day tours and multi-day trips I always use GetYourGuide and Viator.

Rental Cars: Search the best rental car deals on or Discover Cars.

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