Thinking about visiting Bar but not sure what to do there? Look no further, we uncover all so you can experience the best.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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.
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:
Read More: Car hire in Montenegro
Read More: Airport transfers to Bar
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.
*2017 Update: These ferries have been cancelled.
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:
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.
There are two trains daily in each direction: a day train and a sleeper train:
The trains run 365 days per year.
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.
Lovcen: 6-berth couchettes, 4-berth couchettes and 1, 2 & 3 bed sleepers with a washbasin.
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.
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.
Phone: + 382 30 301 615
Address: Beograska bb, 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.
Phone: +382 30 346 141
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