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4 Days in Montenegro: Perfect 4 Day Montenegro Itinerary

Find out how to spend 4 days in Montenegro with this guide to hidden gems and top sights. It’s the perfect customizable itinerary for a short stay.

With this 4 day Montenegro travel itinerary, you'll see Montenegro’s top sights, discover authentic experiences, and enjoy Montenegro’s gorgeous beaches all in just a few days. 

This flexible itinerary includes:

  • The Bay of Kotor
  • Lovćen National Park
  • Durmitor National Park
  • The Budva Riviera 

You’ll find a mix of beautiful sights, historic destinations, authentic cultural experiences, relaxation, and fun. It has everything you need for an unforgettable visit to Montenegro without feeling rushed. 

You can do this itinerary as a Montenegro road trip. Driving in Montenegro is very easy and having a car will help you get the most out of your time here. 

I’ll also give you tour options for each day in case you prefer not to hire a car.

This itinerary includes a list of the best things to do in each destination so you can choose your activities. You’ll also find recommendations for eating and sleeping.

Contents

Day 1: Kotor

Day 2: Lovćen National Park and Budva Riviera

Day 3: Durmitor National Park

Day 4: Kotor Bay

Day 5: Departure

Day 1: Kotor

Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed coastal town in Montenegro known for its stunning natural setting and rich history.

I recommend basing yourself around Kotor because of its central location, easy accessibility, and many things to do.

You can easily get here by bus or rental car from Tivat Airport (8 km), Podgorica Airport (88 km), or Dubrovnik Airport (70 km).

Localrent is my preferred car rental company in Montenegro and Croatia. They have the biggest selection of rental cars and they work with local agencies so you get prices 5-25% below what the big brands can offer. They also have amazing service. 

If you’re planning to hire a car for your stay you can search their fleet below.

Best Things to Do in Kotor

Kotor Old Town

St Luke's Square in Kotor Old TownSt Luke's Square in Kotor Old Town

Kotor Old Town is a must-see in Montenegro, with a history that stretches back over 2,000 years. 

This walled town is stunningly beautiful. It's a compact area, designed for walking, where you'll navigate through narrow streets. As you explore, you'll come across Baroque palaces, ancient churches, and charming squares buzzing with cafes and restaurants.

In Kotor Old Town, St. Tryphon's Cathedral and St. Nicholas Church are both known for their historical importance. 

Other top sights include Kotor Maritime Museum and the famous Kotor city walls, which have protected the town for centuries. 

Kotor is also known for its cats, particularly around Wood Square. Head over there with 2 plastic bottles and you can get a portion of cat food in exchange for recycling the bottles.

To learn more about our efforts to help these cats with Kotor Kitties click here.

Cat in Kotor Old TownCat in Kotor Old Town

Leave around 2-3 hours to explore Kotor Old Town.

Best Ways to Explore Kotor Old Town:

Local’s Tip

Pick up a map from the information kiosk in front of the Sea Gate. It's a handy tool to help you navigate the Old Town.

San Giovanni Fortress

San Giovanni Fortress, KotorView from San Giovanni Fortress, Kotor

If you like a challenge, I recommend the hike up to San Giovanni Fortress. This fortress gives you amazing views of Kotor and the bay. Begin your hike near the River Gate.

The path is clearly marked and takes you up 1,355 steps. It's challenging, but the views at the top are a rewarding payoff. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry water with you!

Stop at the Church of Our Lady of Remedy: This is a perfect place for a break and to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

At the top, you'll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views and the chance to explore fascinating ruins.

Local’s Tip

You’ll get fantastic photos of the fortress at sunset when the setting sun shines on it. However, you’ll get the best photos of the Bay of Kotor during the morning or daytime.

Kotor Beaches

Bay of Kotor beachBay of Kotor beach

You'll find some fantastic beaches in and around Kotor to enjoy. During summer, the water in the bay is around 26° C (79° F) and it’s perfect beach weather. 

There are wild beaches where you can spread out a towel and beach clubs where you can rent sun loungers and enjoy cocktails by the sea.

> Read more things to do in Kotor.

Where to Stay in Kotor

Kotor has a range of accommodation choices both inside the old town and outside the old town.

Inside the old town, you’ll find options for every traveler and budget. You’ll find beautiful accommodation in former palaces like Historic Boutique Hotel Cattaro and Hotel Astoria.

You’ll also find excellent self-catering accommodation in apartments like Kotor Nest.

If you’re on a budget, Old Town Youth Hostel is one of the most lively and fun places to stay in Kotor. Guesthouse BiT has excellent, cheap accommodation that's ideal for couples and tucked away in a quiet corner of the old town.

The old town is pedestrian only, so if you’ve hired a car look for accommodation that includes parking somewhere outside the old town. Royal House apartment and Boutique Hotel Hippocampus both offer parking with your stay.

Staying outside the old town gives you the benefit of onsite parking and the option of staying seaside.

The Hyatt Regency Kotor Bay Resort offers incredible seaside accommodation just 5 km from Kotor, while The Golden Luxury Complex has entire apartments that are perfect for families.

You’ll also find excellent budget accommodation just a short walk from the old town and beach. Hostel Pupa has dormitories just 300m from the old town and Apartmani Bobo has lovely seafront studios for almost the same price.

What to Eat in Kotor

After exploring, treat yourself to dinner at a traditional Montenegrin restaurant, often called a konoba

Here are some traditional favorites to try:

  • Seafood: Calamari (fried, grilled, or stuffed), black risotto, fresh fish dishes like sea bream, and buzara (seafood stew).
  • Meat: Balkan grill dishes like ćevapi sausages, mixed grill platters, or njeguški steak (schnitzel stuffed with prosciutto and cheese from Njeguši village).
  • Desserts: Palačinke (crepes) or kotorska pašta (Kotor cream pie).
  • Drinks: Traditional red Vranac wine, Nikšičko Pivo (Montenegrin beer), or Rakija (fruit brandy).

> Read more about the best restaurants in Kotor

> Read more about the best things to eat in Montenegro

Day 2: Lovćen National Park and Budva Riviera

Today's plan takes you through the heart of Montenegro, visiting the old royal capital of Cetinje and exploring some beautiful scenic and historic sites. 

From there, you continue to the Budva Riviera, where you can enjoy some of Montenegro’s best beaches.

The entire route covers just over 100 km (62 mi). Although it’s not a great distance, I recommend starting early so that you can fit in as much as possible. Njeguši, the Petar Petrović Njegos II Mausoleum, and Sveti Stefan are the must-sees today.

The route starts with a drive from Kotor to Lovćen National Park. You'll travel along the Serpentine Road, known for its 25 sharp turns. As you ascend, the views of the Bay of Kotor get even more stunning.

Stop at Horizont Bar for a drink and enjoy the panoramic views of the bay. It's an excellent place for soaking in the scenery and taking pictures.

Horizont Bar, Lovcen National ParkHorizont Bar

Best Things to Do in Lovćen National Park

Njeguši Village

Montenegrin produce for sale in NjegušiMontenegrin produce for sale in Njeguši

Njeguši is famous for producing Montenegro's best smoked prosciutto. The unique blend of sea and mountain air, combined with a four-month smoking process, results in exceptional smoked ham.

When in Njeguši, stop by Kod Pera Na Bukoviću, Montenegro’s oldest restaurant. Here, you can purchase traditional smoked prosciutto, cheese, and fruit brandy, all locally made.

Petar Petrović Njegos II Mausoleum

Petar Petrović Njegos II MausoleumPetar Petrović Njegos II Mausoleum

The Petar Petrović Njegos II Mausoleum is a significant historical site with incredible views.

Petar Petrović Njegos II, who became ruler of Montenegro at 17 in 1830 and led until 1851, played a crucial role in uniting Montenegro's tribes and modernizing the country.

Visiting his mausoleum involves climbing 461 steps. At the top, you'll find the imposing mausoleum and a traditional, circular threshing floor offering views that can extend to Croatia, Albania, and Italy on clear days.

You can also get this very cool picture there by jumping from the wall of the threshing floor while someone crouches down to take your photo.

Petar Petrović Njegos II Mausoleum photo op

Cetinje

Cetinje, packed with history, was once the capital of Montenegro. It's home to palaces, the national museum, and former embassies.

Top sights in Cetinje include:

King Nikola's Court: This former royal residence is now a museum displaying royal artifacts and Montenegrin heritage.

National Museum: Situated in Cetinje's center, it houses significant historical and cultural exhibits, diving deep into Montenegro's past.

Bilijarda: The former home of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, named after its billiard table, offers a glimpse into 19th-century life in Montenegro.

Cetinje Monastery: A key spiritual and historical site, it provides insights into Montenegro's Orthodox Christian heritage with its relics and icons.

You can explore Cetinje on your own or take a guided walking tour.

Local’s Tip 

For lunch, try Belveder Restaurant near Cetinje for 'ispod sača', a traditional roast meat dish. It's a filling and authentic taste of Montenegro’s mountain cuisine.

Lipa Cave

Lipa Cave, MontenegroLipa Cave

Lipa Cave is one of Montenegro's largest karst caves, discovered in the 19th century with about 3.5 km explored so far.

Join a 1-hour guided tour, which includes a mini-train ride to the entrance. You cannot explore the cave by yourself.

Local’s Tips

  • Wear sturdy shoes as the paths inside can be slippery.
  • Bring warm clothing since temperatures inside range from 8-12°C (46-54°F).

Best Things to Do on the Budva Riviera

Budva Beaches

Mogren Beach, Budva, MontenegroMogren Beach, Budva

The Budva Riviera has some spectacular beaches perfect for a day of relaxation. 

You'll find upscale beaches where renting a pair of sun loungers can cost over €50, offering top-quality food and cocktails. 

There are also reasonably priced and free beaches in beautiful spots like Sveti Stefan.

It's worth traveling here for a beach day!

Sveti Stefan

Sveti Stefan, MontenegroSveti Stefan Beach

Sveti Stefan, a stunning 15th-century fortified island with turquoise waters and pink pebble beaches, is a must-visit.

I recommend swimming at the beach and walking through Miločer Forest Park to the charming village of Pržno. Along the way, you'll see Villa Miločer, a former royal summer residence, and Queen’s Beach, tucked in a gorgeous, secluded cove.

This area is perfect for dinner because of the incredible sunsets. Hotel Adrović has great food at reasonable prices with stunning elevated views of the sun setting behind Sveti Stefan.

In Pržno, Blanche, set on a cliff, offers upscale dining with panoramic views of the sea.

In Budva, Dukley Seafront Restaurant also offers upmarket dining with idyllic sunset views.

Budva Old Town

Old town gate, Budva, MontenegroOld town gate, Budva

Budva Old Town, one of the Adriatic's oldest settlements, was founded around 2,500 years ago by the Illyrians. It has seen Greek, Roman, Venetian, and Slavic rulers over the millennia.

Spend an hour wandering through its narrow lanes, exploring boutiques, and checking out souvenir shops. 

Don't miss the view from the 12th-century Church of St. Sabba the Sanctified. A 1-hour walking tour will show you both well-known sights and secret spots.

You’ll also find great beaches here. Richard’s Head Beach is right beside the old town, but I recommend taking the 10-minute walk to Mogren Beach for golden sands and crystal clear waters.

Day 2 Tour Option

If you don’t have a rental car, I recommend this incredibly popular full-day tour which includes:

  • Ride up Kotor Cable Car to Njeguši
  • Njeguši prosciutto smokehouse tour, brandy tasting, optional breakfast of prosciutto and cheese
  • Petar Petrović Njegos II Mausoleum
  • Cetinje walking tour
  • Pavlova Strana viewpoint
  • Boat trip on Rijeka Crnojevića (Lake Skadar National Park)
  • Photo stop at Sveti Stefan

I loved trying this tour as you can read in my full review.

Day 3: Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park signDurmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park is your gateway to Montenegro’s stunning mountains

This park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers you breathtaking landscapes, including 48 peaks over 2,000 meters high. 

You'll find the deepest gorge in Europe, Tara River Canyon, perfect for rafting adventures. With over 18 glacial lakes, known as "mountain eyes," the beauty here is simply breathtaking. 

The drive from Kotor to Žabljak takes around 2.5 - 3 hours and there are a few places you can stop along the way:

  • Riverside: Our favorite stop for a coffee or breakfast beside the river in Nikšić.
  • Lake Slano: is a picturesque photo stop.
  • Etno Selo Nevidio: excellent Montenegrin mountain cuisine and rustic accommodation overlooking a pretty lake near Šavnik.
Etno Selo Nevidio foodLunch at Etno Selo Nevidio

Best Things to Do in Durmitor National Park

The Black Lake

Black Lake, Durmitor National ParkBlack Lake, Durmitor National Park

The Black Lake, located in Durmitor National Park, is breathtaking with emerald waters set against dense forests and Durmitor's highest peaks.

Walking around the lake, a 4km (2.4 miles) path, is the best way to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace. You can also rent boats and kayaks at the lake.

You can swim in the Black Lake, however, it never gets warmer than 18°C (64°F), even in summer.

Tara River Canyon

Djurdjevica Tara Bridge, MontenegroĐurđevića Tara Bridge

Tara Canyon is one of Montenegro's standout attractions. It's the deepest canyon in Europe at 1,300 meters and the world's second deepest after the Grand Canyon.

The Tara River, known as the 'Tear of Europe,' flows through it with its crystal-clear waters. This is a popular area for whitewater rafting in Montenegro.

For the best views, head to the Đurđevića Tara Bridge. Once the highest vehicular concrete arch bridge in the world, you can walk across it to get views of the canyon and river below.

Or you can take one of the zip lines across the canyon!

Via Ferrata in Durmitor National Park

Via Ferrata, Durmitor National ParkVia Ferrata, Durmitor National Park

If you haven't tried it before, via ferrata combines hiking and rock climbing. You'll use a harness and follow a cable system to climb the hill.

The path has ladders, bridges, and steps, letting you experience rock climbing without needing any training or particular strength.

You'll find a via ferrata route along the Sedlo Pass section of the Durmitor Ring. Make sure to book in advance.

I absolutely loved this experience and highly recommend it!

Durmitor Ring

Durmitor Ring, MontenegroDurmitor Ring

The Durmitor Ring (Durmitorski Prsten) is a great way to see Durmitor's spectacular scenery with minimal effort. This circular drive takes you through quaint mountain villages, past lakes, and over the stunning Sedlo Pass.

This scenic route will show you some of the best landscapes in Montenegro.

Day 3 Tour Option

If you don’t have a rental car, I recommend the Durmitor, Tara, and Ostrog Monastery Day Trip which includes:

  • Đurđevića Tara Bridge
  • Black Lake in Durmitor National Park
  • Ostrog Monastery

This small-group tour is a fun and cost-effective way to experience Montenegro’s stunning northern region.

Day 4: Kotor Bay

The Bay of Kotor, known as Boka, is a winding bay on Montenegro's Adriatic coast. It's famous for its dramatic scenery, with mountains plunging into the deep blue sea.

You'll find medieval towns along its shores, including Kotor, Perast, and Herceg Novi, each offering historic sites like ancient churches and fortresses.

You'll also find small beaches, idyllic restaurants, and stunning views around every corner.

Below you’ll find recommendations for boat tour and an itinerary you can do by car.

Kotor Bay Boat Tours

Taking a Kotor boat tour is one of the best things to do here. The bay is stunningly beautiful and traveling by boat is such a fun experience!

You can also see attractions you can’t get to by car and incorporate some beach time. The most popular stops on these trips are:

There are many boat trips to choose from. Here are my picks of the best for this itinerary:

  • Full-Day Boka Bay Cruise: A full-day boat cruise that takes you to the Blue Cave, Our Lady of the Rocks, submarine tunnels, Porto Montenegro, and includes lots of of swimming.
  • Kotor Scenic Boat Trip with Church, Blue Cave, and Beach Stop: A 6-hour boat tour that includes Our Lady of the Rocks, the Blue Cave, Yugoslav submarine tunnels, Mamula Island, and swimming time at the idyllic fishing village of Rose.
  • Speed Boat Adventure: A private boat tour with my favorite Montenegro tour guide that includes Our Lady of the Rocks, Perast, the Blue Cave, Yugoslav submarine tunnels, Rose fishing village, and a walking tour of Kotor.
  • Mrs Zora’s Yummy Oysters: A private foodie tour to Our Lady of the Rocks, Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Kotor, and lunch at a family-run oyster farm.

Kotor Bay Drive Itinerary

Kotor - Perast

Perast, Bay of Kotor, MontenegroPerast

Take the 15-minute drive to Perast, which is known for its beautifully preserved Baroque palaces and churches.

Walk the shoreline then take a boat to Our Lady of the Rocks. Our Lady of the Rocks is an historic 15th-century island church and museum. You can get a boat to drop you off and pick you up after you've toured the church and museum.

Our Lady of the Rocks, MontenegroOur Lady of the Rocks

Perast - Kamenari

Drive around the Bay to Kamenari, where the Kotor Bay Ferry docks.

If you feel like stopping for lunch or coffee on the way, I recommend Ćatovića Mlini, a beautiful water mill turned restaurant in the village of Morinj.

Catovica Mlini , Bay of KotorCatovica Mlini, Morinj

Kamenari - Tivat

Porto Montenegro Jetty OnePorto Montenegro, Tivat

Take the Kotor Bay Ferry from Kamenari to Lepetani, a scenic journey that takes around 10 minutes.

In Tivat, you can take a walk along the promenade and through the town. The main attraction here is Porto Montenegro, the world’s first platinum-rated marina. 

You can walk along the jetties to see some of the world’s most impressive superyachts, browse the high-end boutiques in the village, and get drinks or a meal at cafes and restaurants.

Tivat - Kotor

Drive back to Kotor via the Vrmac Tunnel.

Day 5: Departure

If you’re flying out, you can drive from Kotor back to any of the three airports. 

Summer traffic and border crossing between Croatia and Montenegro can make this trip significantly longer in July and August, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport.

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