Bar: Where East Meets West

Thinking about visiting Bar but not sure what to do there? Look no further, we uncover all so you can experience the best.

Although it's got an interesting old town, Bar remains overshadowed by the Budva Riviera and Bay of Kotor on the Montenegrin coast. 

But don't dismiss it. The old town is fascinating and the east-meets-west architecture and cuisine make this a unique part of Montenegro.

There are some fantastic seaside hotels here - from the boutique to the luxurious. And thanks to it's position below the typical tourist radar, you can be assured you'll find uncrowded beaches.

And if you prefer to visit in a day trip you can combine it as part of a day tour with Ulcinj or Lake Skadar.

Bar MontenegroPin this

Bar is also the final destination for the train that connects Serbia and Montenegro - one of the top 10 train journeys in Europe!

Let's explore Bar!


A Brief History of Bar

Bar was first mentioned in the 6th century, but archaeologists have found evidence that the town was settled somewhere in the Neolithic period (10,200-2,000 BC). 

Like other towns in Montenegro, it's changed named several times going from Antipargal to Antibarium. Today's name was derived from Antivari, meaning opposite Bari (across the Adriatic in Italy), which it got under Ventian rule.

In 1571 the Ottoman Turks captured the town and ruled for the next 300 years. This has lent the town a more oriental flavour than the northern coast of Montenegro. You'll see minarets mixed with churches and the town is very multi-ethnic.

Local's Tip: Try one of the restaurants in the old town. You'll find delicious Turkish-influenced food that you won't find in the Bay of Kotor, Budva Riviera or north of Montenegro. 


Things to Do in Bar

Bar MontenegroThe street leading up to the old town is full of character

Image: Deposit photos

The old town is the must-see attraction in Bar. The ruins of the town are painstakingly being reconstructed after a devastating earthquake in 1979 and the Turkish-influenced street leading up to the town is a colourful reminder of the melding of cultures here.

But that's not all there is to see...

Bar is also home to one of the most challenging canyoning experiences in Montenegro, (perhaps) the world's oldest olive tree and it's just 30 minutes from Lake Skadar National Park. 

Read More: Top Things To Do In Bar


Accommodation in Bar

You'll find all kinds of accommodation in Bar. There are lots of 3* hotels in town centre, but I recommend choosing one of the seaside locations along the coast. 

Sutomore has a busy, beach resort vibe, while Dobra Voda and Utjeha are quite and private getaways. 

Read More: Top 10 Hotels In Bar

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Restaurants in Bar

While in Bar you must try the Turkish-influenced cuisine that you won't find anywhere else in Montenegro. Bedem and Kaldrma in the old town are the top picks here.

But you'll also find contemporary cuisine in Sutomore and a waaay off the beaten track mountainside restaurant that serves traditional Montenegrin seafood and meat dishes. 

Read More: Best Restaurants In Bar


Getting To Bar

Because Bar has Montenegro's main port, it's the best connected town in Montenegro. There are three airports you can fly into and it's also serviced by two ferries and it the only town on Montenegro's coast that's connected by rail. 

Airports

The closest airport is Podgorica International Airport in the capital city. But you can also fly into both Tivat and Dubrovnik. Here are the distances:

  • Podgorica airport: 46km / 1 hour drive
  • Tivat airport: 60km / 1 h 15 min drive
  • Dubrovnik airport: 110km / 2 h 40 min drive

Read More: Car hire in Montenegro

Read More: Airport transfers to Bar


Ferries

Bar Montenegro

There is a year-round ferry from here to Bari in Italy. The trip takes 9 hours and you can take cars on it. Tickets start from €44 for a deck ticket. You can also get private cabins for two people with bathrooms from €64.

During the summer there's a ferry connection with Ancona in Italy.

Find ferry timetables and book tickets online: Montenegrolines and Aferry

*2017 Update: These ferries have been cancelled.


Bar, Montenegro - Belgrade, Serbia Railway

Bar also connects with the north of Montenegro and Serbia via the railway. This train also stops in Virpazar, Podgorica and Kolasin.

The rail service is no frills but the scenery along the way is stunning it's one of the cheapest and most scenic ways to get to Belgrade. There are 254 tunnels and 435 bridges along the way - one of them was once the largest rail bridge in the world.

Highlights of the trip to look out for: 

  • Mala Rijeka Viaduct: Once the highest rail bridge in the world, you'll cross the gorge 200m below. 
  • Lake Skadar: You pass over Lake Skadar and have beautiful views of the lake on both sides. If you're taking the train south, it could be dark by the time you reach Lake Skadar. 

There's a border crossing on this journey and guards will come on and inspect you passport. This can take a while and can cause a delay in your arrival time at the other end.

Train Timetable

There are two trains daily in each direction: a day train and a sleeper train:

  • Tara - day train
  • Lovcen - sleeper train

The trains run 365 days per year.

From Belgrade: 

Tara

Belgrade:

Podgorica:

Bar:

9.10am

7.25pm

8.30pm

Lovcen

Belgrade:

Podgorica:

Bar:

8.10pm

6.25am

7.40am

To Belgrade:

Tara

Belgrade:

Podgorica:

Bar:

9.00am

10.00am

8.00pm

Lovcen

Belgrade:

Podgorica:

Bar:

7pm

8.05pm

6.00am

You can expect delays on this route because there is a border crossing which could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. When we took the train we arrived in Bar at 9.10pm.

Local's Tip: For the best views sit on the right side of the train heading south and on the left side heading north.

Buying Tickets

Tara:

  • First class: €31.80
  • Second class: €21

Click here for latest prices for day train.

Lovcen: 6-berth couchettes, 4-berth couchettes and 1, 2 & 3 bed sleepers with a washbasin.

  • €21 for a one-way ticket + €6 for a couchette, €15 for a bed in a 3 bed sleeper or €20 for a bed in a 2 bed sleeper.

Click here for latest prices for sleeper train and points of sale.

Southbound: You can buy tickets for the southbound route online on the Serbian Railways website. You can also buy them at Belgrade station.

Northbound: You can only buy tickets for the northbound route at Bar, Podgorica or Belgrade stations, not online. 

Rail Europe Balkan Flexipass

If you're planning to travel through the Balkans by rail, you should look at the Balkan Flexipass. The pass gives you unlimited travel through Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey.

Train Station Location

Phone: + 382 30 301 615
Address: Beograska bb, Bar.


Bus to Bar

There are regular bus services to Bar from other towns in Montenegro. The best places to find bus links and bus timetables are at:

Please keep in mind the bus timetables can be inaccurate. The absolute best way to confirm bus departures and arrivals is at the bus station. 

Bus Station Location

Phone: +382 30 346 141


More Montenegro Coastline For you to Explore...

> > Bar

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