Budva Visitor's Guide: Attractions, Hotels, Restaurants and More

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Budva is Montenegro's most popular seaside resort town. With a 2,500 year-old town, miles of beaches leading to glittering sea, endless fun and parties til dawn... you'll find it all in Budva.

A 2,500 year-old town, glittering sea, beaches galore, endless fun and parties til dawn... you'll find it all in Budva, Montenegro's top seaside holiday resort.Budva old town. Image: Deposit Photos

With a sunny Mediterranean climate, swathes of beaches and excellent nightlife, Budva is one of Montenegro’s favourite holiday resorts. 

If you’re after a beach holiday where your daily exercise consists of wandering between your lounger and the shore for a cool off in the sea (maybe with a couple of snaps of your fingers to call your waiter to refresh your drink thrown in), Budva is the perfect destination for you.

And if a beach holiday sounds like just what you need… but you’d also like a bit more to do than just going to the beach, Budva delivers. You’ll also find adventure activities like kayaking, canyoning and paragliding in Budva.

Budva’s central location means it’s also a good base for exploring. It’s well connected and from here you can easily visit Montenegro’s top attractions with a rental car.

Budva is also a relaxed destination for families. You’ll find family-friendly resorts where your kids can spend hours building sand castles and splashing in the hotel pool while you catch up on some reading. You’ll also find fun family activities like Budva Aqua Park and canyoning, and at night you can wander the promenade with cones of gelato.


The Legend of Budva

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Budva old town. Image: Deposit Photos

The legend of Budva is the tale of Cadmus and Harmonia, who founded the town more than 2,500 years ago. 

Cadmus was the prince of Phoenicia. While searching for his sister Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus, Cadmus found himself among the Greeks.

Eventually he married Harmonia, daughter of Ares, the God of War and Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. But Cadmus was tortured by a cursed necklace they'd received for their wedding and they were exiled from Thebes. So they left Thebes and made their way to the Adriatic coast in an ox-drawn cart. They chose the most beautiful place on the coast to settle in and called it Bouthoe/Budva after the faithful oxen (butoe) who drew their carriages on their journey.

Despite founding both Bouthoe and today's Ohrid in Macedonia, Cadmus was still troubled by ill-fortune from having killed a sacred dragon and said that if the gods were so enamoured by a serpent, he might wish to be one too. His words were taken literally and he immediately began to grow scales. Harmonia begged to join him and was also turned into a serpent. Local legend says they still live on in the bushes of Budva.

Free Montenegro vacation and holiday planning guide, written by Montenegro destination expert.

Things to Do in Budva

Stari Grad - The Old Town

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Budva old town. Image: Deposit Photos

Budva’s stari grad, the old town, is must see while in Budva. The terracotta-roofed town juts out into the azure Adriatic and it’s surrounded by beaches, so you can combine exploring the ancient streets with some beach time.

Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast and was settled around 2,500 years ago by the Illyrians. After the Illyrians, it was also ruled by Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Slavs.

The walls and streets of the old town were mainly built during Venetian rule, but, like other old towns from Dubrovnik to Ulcinj, Budva old town suffered significant damage in a 1979 earthquake. The earthquake unearthed a lot of previously-hidden archaeological sites and artefacts, which are now on display in the town and in the town museum.

You can spend as much or as little time in the old town as you like. A cursory walk through the streets will take you around 30 minutes, depending how many times you stop to take photos. But you can also spend several hours exploring the nooks and crannies, and people-watching over a plate of seafood buzara and a couple of cold rosés. 

And you can explore the citadel, walk the town walls, and visit the town museum and Gallery of Modern Art.

The Citadel

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Budva Citadel

The first mention of Budva’s citadel was in 1425, but archaeologists believe this was the site of an acropolis in ancient times. The acropolis was traditionally built on the highest point, with sheer cliff below it. From here, a settlement could be defended easily. 

The citadel has been consistently expanded and upgraded through the various empires that have ruled Budva. The biggest part of the citadel is the wing of barracks, built by the Austro-Hungarians in 1836.

Inside the citadel you’ll find a small library and a little museum. You’ll also find the ruins of Santa Maria in Castello Church (12th – 14th centuries). 

There’s not a lot to see in the citadel, but it’s a good place to grab a cold pivo (beer) and enjoy the views of the Budva Riviera and Sveti Nikola island.

Address: Citadel, Budva Old Town
Opening hours:
9am – midnight May – October, 9am – 5pm November – April
Entrance: €2.50

Ruins of early-Christian Basilica

In front of the citadel you'll see ruins of an early-Christian basilica that's dated to the late 5th or 6th century. 

You'll also find several more churches in town:

  • Church of St John the Baptist (Sveti Ivan), 17th century (but the original church was built in the 7th century)
  • Church of Santa Maria in Punta, 840
  • The Church of the Holy Trinity, 1804
  • Church of St Sava the Annointed (St Sabba Abbas), 12th century

Town walls

In the corner where the citadel meets the outer wall, you'll find the entrance to the town walls, which you can walk around. 

Budva’s town walls date back to the 9th century and in the 16th century had six watchtowers. A huge earthquake in 1667 damaged the walls, but they were rebuilt. From the top of the walls you’ll get views of the town and coastline. 

Address: Budva Town Walls, Budva Old Town
Entrance:
€1.50

Greek and Roman Necropolis

There's evidence that Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. In 1938 a Roman and Greek necropolis was uncovered by today’s Avala Resort. The necropolis was in two parts – one part was Greek, dating from the 4th to 1st centuries B.C, and the other part was Roman, dating from the 1st to 2nd centuries A.D. You can see part of the ruins of the necropolis next to Avala Resort.

Budva Museum

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Budva Museum

Budva Museum is where you can see examples of life in Budva through the ages. The original town gates suggest Budva is as old as the 6th century B.C., when it was an ancient Greco-Illyrian settlement.

The museum has permanent exhibitions of archaeological and ethnographic collections as well as a lapidarium (exhibit of stone artefacts).

The archaeological collection has displays of weapons, tools, jewellery and everyday objects dating back to the 5th century B.C. They include artefacts from the Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Slavs who have lived here. 

The ethnographic collection shows you examples of traditional clothing, furniture and every day household items from the 18th to 20th centuries. 

Address: 11 Petra i Petrovića, Budva
Phone: +382 33 453 308
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Entrance: €2 for adults, €1 for children
You should know: The museum covers 4 floors and there are no lifts, only stairs

Gallery of Modern Art

Opened in 1972, Budva’s Gallery of Modern Art has exhibitions and displays of modern art from local artists. It also houses an eclectic collection of modern art from around former Yugoslavia.

Address: Cara Dusana 19, Stari Grad, Budva
Phone: +382 33 451 343
Opening hours: 8am - 2pm and 6pm - 9pm Monday - Friday, 6pm - 9pm Saturdays

Local's Tip: Download Google Maps on your phone to find these attractions in Budva. Click here for instructions on how to use Google Maps offline (without data or Wi-Fi connection.

Budva Dancer Statue

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Budva Dancer Statue. Image: Deposit Photos

Budva’s Bronze 'Ballerina' statue has become an iconic symbol of the town. The sculpture is by Gradimir Aleksic and is said to be inspired by a girl who waited for her sailor to come back from sea. The sailor never came back and she died on this spot of a broken heart.

You’ll find the statue on the walkway from the old town beach (Ričardova Glava Beach) to Mogren Beach.

Budva Beaches

Mogren Beach. Image: Deposit Photos

Budva has a stunning coastline of beaches just waiting to be explored. Right next to the old town you can grab a lounger on Ričardova Glava (Richard’s Head) beach. From there, a seaside walkway brings you to Mogren Beach, a popular 350m stretch of beach that’s divided by a rock tunnel. 

On the other side of the old town, Budva’s most popular beach is Slovenska Plaža (Slovenian Beach), a mile-long stretch of beach between Budva old town and luxurious Dukley Hotel and Resort.

Read More: All 20 Budva Beaches

Kayaking and Stand Up Paddling

Budva's coast is ideal for exploring by kayak or SUP, especially when the summer temperatures are rising. The water is around 26°C (79°F) in summer and it's mostly calm, so it's great for beginners and families. The Adriatic Sea is also very clear, so you'll be able to go snorkelling and see lots of sea life under the water. 

Kayak or SUP Tour to Coastal Caves

You can take a three-hour tour along the coast to explore the caves that can only be reached from the sea. There's plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling and they'll also give you photos and video of your tour.

Read More: 3-Hour Paddle Board or Kayak Tour to Coastal Caves

Kayak and SUP Hire

You can also hire kayaks and stand up paddle boards and explore the Budva coastline on your own. You'll get full instruction if it's your first time and they'll also tell you the best places to go. Then you're free to explore on your own.

Read More: Kayak and SUP Rental in Budva

Canyoning

Canyoning is a fun and exciting activity where you hike, abseil, swim, slide and jump your way through a canyon. There are lots of canyons where you can go canyoning in Montenegro and Budva has one right on its doorstep.

Drenovsnica Canyon is just a few minutes from the heart of Budva and it's suitable for anyone over 12 years old. The tour finishes with an optional zip line and lunch at a local restaurant.

Read More: Canyoning in Drenovsnica Canyon

Paragliding

Braici, in the hills above Budva, is one of Montenegro's best paragliding spots. And from here you get views over the whole Budva Riviera. You can take a tandem paragliding flight with an experienced instructor even if you've never been paragliding before. All you have to do is gather your courage and enjoy the ride!

Read More: Paragliding Experience from Budva or Petrovac

Diving

Budva

There's a wide range of diving experiences, packages and courses available at the PADI dive centre in Montenegro.

Even if you've never dived before, you can book a dive experience and learn in just a day. If you've always wanted to learn, you can become a fully qualified diver in just 4 sessions. 

Read More: Diving in Montenegro

Water parks

Aquapark Budva

Aquapark Budva is Montenegro's top water park. It's a great place to spend a day, especially for families. The park has 12 slides, 4 pools, a restaurant, cocktail bar and VIP booths.

Address: Topliski Put, Budva
Opening hours:
 10am - 8pm daily from 1st May - 30th September
Entrance: 
Adults (1.30m and taller): Full day - €20, 4 hours (after 3pm only) €15
Children (1m-1.3m): Full day - €12, 4 hours (after 3pm only) €8
Children under 1m: Free

Aqua Park Mediteran

Hotel Mediteran has a small water park that has 7 pools, a lazy river, slides and sunbathing areas.

Location: Aqua Park Mediteran, Jadranska Magistrala, Bečići
Opening hours: 11am - 7:30pm daily
Entrance: €15 for adults and €7.50 for children under 14.

Krapina Estate

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.

Krapina Estate is just 5km from Budva but you'll feel like it's a world away. The village has a zipline, animals, walking paths, swimming holes, a waterfall and a traditional restaurant. 

Read More: Explore Krapina

Nightlife

Next to the beaches, Budva is also famous for its nightlife. People come from all over Montenegro to go out here. 

It's easy to go bar-hopping in the old town. Most of the bars have outdoor areas - perfect for summer heat. Not so perfect if you want to stay in the town and like to go to bed early though.

There's a 1am curfew for music in Budva old town, so when the bars shut down everyone heads up to Top Hill, on the hill just above Budva.

Top Hill is by far the most popular club in Montenegro. It fills with up to 5,000 people all summer. In fact, it's only open in July and August! After the old town bars close, grab a cab up to Top Hill, just 5 minutes from town and party into the wee hours. Top Hill regularly features international djs and has wine, vodka and Jacuzzi bars as well as a VIP area.

Opening hours: 11pm - 5am
Address: Topliski Put
Entrance: €10 - €25 depending on the event

Casinos

Many people come to Montenegro and want to visit the casino featured on 2006's James Bond film, Casino Royale. Unfortunately, it wasn't filmed in Montenegro! It was filmed in the Grandhotel Pupp in the Czech Republic.

So although you can't play at the same table as James Bond, you'll find casinos in these hotels:


Day Tours From Budva

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Rafting in Tara Canyon

You can join full-day tours around Montenegro from Budva. These tours start in Kotor, but have pick-ups from Budva, Tivat and Herceg Novi.

  • Durmitor, Tara and Ostrog Monastery Day Trip: this tour takes you to some of Montenegro’s most wild and dramatic scenery. You visit the Tara Canyon, the second-deepest canyon in the world, and can zip line across it, then visit the Black Lake in Durmitor National Park. To end, you visit Ostrog Monastery, built into a sheer cliff and Montenegro’s holiest site. Read more >
  • Montenegro: Full-Day Tour to Lovćen National Park and More: this tour takes you to Njeguši village to try rakija and prosciutto, then on to the Petar Petrović-Njegoš mausoleum in Lovćen National Park. A walking tour in Cetinje is followed by lunch and a boat trip at Rijeka Crnojevića and ends with a walking tour of Budva. Read more >
  • Boka Bay Day Cruise: this day cruise combines the beauty of the Bay of Kotor with a fun cruise and plenty of swimming. The cruise takes you to Our Lady of the Rocks, the Blue Cave and for lunch at a beachside restaurant. Read more >
  • Rafting in Tara Canyon: Rafting through the Tara Canyon is one of Montenegro’s top activities. The rapids are biggest in the spring and slowly get smaller throughout the summer. Whenever you go, this a really fun activity with lots of beautiful scenery and tasty, local food! Read more >

Tours to Budva

You can visit Budva on a group tour or with a private guide. 

Read More: Montenegro Tours from Dubrovnik >


Budva Accommodation

You’ll find lots of accommodation in Budva, from luxury hotels to hostels

If you stay in, or near, the old town you’ll have the convenience of having everything, including beaches, within walking distance. But you’ll also have to pay for parking if you have a rental car and the bars can play music until 1am, making it somewhat noisy in the height of summer.

Bečici Beach is a popular beachside destination, especially for families. The beach is a combination of small pebbles and sand and you’ll find lots of upmarket resorts to choose from.

Away from the beach, you’ll find lots of self-catering apartments and smaller hotels in the newer part of Budva. And you’ll also find villas in the hills and a little further south along Budva’s coast, also known as the Budva Riviera.

Some of the top hotels in Budva are:

Falkensteiner Hotel Montenegro – formerly the Queen of Montenegro, the Falkensteiner Montenegro is great for a beach holiday on Bečići Beach. This four star hotel is the ideal place to relax with a spa, pool, great views and a hotel beach. Read more >

Splendid Conference and Spa Resort – with a beach front position on Bečići Beach, this five star resort is the ultimate place for a beach holiday. It has both indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a hotel beach just a few steps from your room. Read more >

Hotel Astoria – Hotel Astoria is a cosy boutique hotel in Budva old town. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner and a few steps through a gate in the old town walls leads to Ričardova Glava Beach. Read more >

Slovenska Plaza – Slovenska Plaza is a popular holiday resort on Slovenska Plaza Beach. It has a village feel with buildings dotted among gardens, lots of activities like beach volleyball and yoga, outdoor pools and it’s ideally located on the main promenade close to Budva old town. Read more >

Dukley Hotel and Resort – this five star resort is a more intimate five star hotel than Splendid Conference and Spa Resort. With small private beaches, an hourly water taxi to Budva old town and every whim catered to, this is one of the best places to stay in Budva. Read more >

Avala Resort and Villas – Avala Resort and Villas is ideally located next to the old town on Ričardova Glava Beach. From here you’re a short walk from the town, promenade and Mogren Beach but away from the busiest and noisiest parts of Budva. Read more >

Read More: Hotels in Budva

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Restaurants

Find out what to see and do, where to sleep, where to eat and how to get to Budva, Montenegro's most popular seaside resort.Dukley Beach Lounge. Image: Dukley Beach Lounge

The old town is teeming with restaurants and dining options that cater to everyone.

Inside the town you'll find authentic seafood and meat dishes at Konoba Stari Grad. And if you're willing to travel a little out of town, you'll find some off the beaten path gems.

Read More: Best Budva Restaurants


Budva Weather

Budva has a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot, sunny summers and mild winters.

The weather is consistently hot and sunny through July and August, which is why it’s such a popular summer holiday destination. Spring and autumn/fall are mild and warm, but with an higher chance of rain. Winter is mild, with higher rainfall but no snow.

Here’s a general temperature guide to help you decide what to pack. Don’t forget that if you’re planning to go inland in Montenegro, you’ll need to bring layers because it can be much colder away from the coast.

January: 1.4°C – 9.5°C
February: 3.1°C – 11.3°C
March: 5.8°C – 15.1°C
April: 9.1°C – 19.1°C
May: 13.5°C – 24.3°C
June: 17.3°C – 28.2°C
July: 20.3°C – 31.8°C
August: 20.2°C – 31.7°C
September: 16.5°C – 27.3°C
October: 11.6°C – 21.7°C
November: 6.8°C – 15.4°C
December: 2.9°C – 11.1°C


Getting to Budva

By Plane

The best airports to fly into are Tivat (21km/12mi away) and Podgorica (65km/40mi away) airports. You can also fly into Dubrovnik airport in Croatia (72km away). Beware that you can face lengthy queues at the border, the Kotor Bay ferry and on the roads between Dubrovnik and Budva from mid-July to mid-August, particularly on weekends.

Read More: Flights to Montenegro

By Car

Budva lies on the E80 Adriatic Highway. It’s very easy to drive yourself to Budva in your own car or with a rental car from the airport.

By Taxi

You can easily book transfers from any airport to Budva, and if you stay in a central location you can easily stay in Budva without a rental car. You’ll be able to walk to beaches and restaurants and use local taxis and tours to get around. If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing around Montenegro, I recommend hiring a car

By Bus

Budva’s bus station (Autobuska Stanica Budva) is in the centre of town. You can catch regular intercity buses to Budva from elsewhere in Montenegro and Serbia. You’ll find bus timetables at Busticket4.me and Balkan Viator.

Address: Autobuska Stanica Budva, Rozino, Budva
Phone: +382 33 456 000

Local’s Tip: Merkur Restaurant, next to the bus station, has excellent local-style food at good-value prices. It’s worth skipping some of the touristy restaurants closer to the sea and eating here instead.

By Train

You can’t get directly to Budva by train. The closest train station is in Bar (40km/25mi away). From Bar train station you can hire a car, get a bus or book a transfer to Budva.

By Ferry

There’s no direct ferry to Budva. The closest ferry port is also in Bar (40km/25mi from Budva) and there are sailings from Bari and Ancona, in Italy, up to six times weekly. Click here to see timetables and book tickets


Getting Around Budva

Rental Cars

Hiring a car is a great idea if you want to do some sightseeing around Montenegro. You can pick one up at the airport or once you get to Budva and it’ll give you the freedom to explore and comfort to make short trips.

Read More: Hire a car in Montenegro

Taxis and Transfers

Transfers

To avoid haggling or getting overcharged by unmetered taxis, it’s a good idea to book transfers, especially airport transfers, in advance. Book your transfers online here.

Taxis

Local taxis are easy to find in the central areas of Budva and you can call them to pick you up. There’s no Uber or Lyft in Montenegro.

Budva Taxi Phone Numbers:

  • Slava Taxi: 19715
  • Terrae Taxi: 19717, 077-272-777
  • Kavex: 19550
  • Hello Taxi: 19555
  • Extra Taxi: 19696
  • Vip Taxi: 19666
  • Sany Taxi: 19728

Buses

There are four local bus routes in Budva. All buses depart from the Budva centre bus stop which is at the roundabout on Mediteranska Ulica opposite Perla Restaurant.

Budva Centre – Aqua Park

Route: Centre, Opština, Stadion, Bim Slavija, Osnovna škola, Aqua Park. 

Budva Centre – Aqua Park:

10:00h, 11:00h, 12:00h, 13:00h, 14:00h, 15:00h, 16:00h, 17:00h, 18:00h

Aqua Park – Budva Centre:

10:30h, 11:30h, 12:30h, 13:30h, 14:30h, 15:30h, 16:30h, 17:30h,18:30h

Ticket price: €1

Budva Centre  Petrovac

Route: Centre – Opština – Stadion – Boreti – Hotel Putnik – Rafailovići – Kamenovo – Pržno – Sveti Stefan (Hotel Adrović) – Blizikuće – Reževići – Skočiđevojka – Perazića do – Petrovac (Centre)

Budva – Petrovac: 

06:10h, 08:10h, 09:10, 10:10h, 11:10h, 12:10h, 13:10h, 14:10h, 15:10h, 16:10h, 17:10h, 18:10h, 19:10h, 19:30h, 21:10h, 23:10h

Petrovac – Budva:

06:50h, 09:10h, 10:10h, 11:10h, 12:10h, 13:10h, 14:10h, 15:10h, 16:10h, 17:10h, 18:10h, 18:50h, 19:50h, 20:10h, 22:10h, 00:10h

Ticket price: €2

Budva – Jaz – Trsteno – Ploče

Route: Centre – Crvena zgrada – Stadion – Bim Slavija – Opština – Jaz – Trsteno – Ploče

Budva – Jaz – Trsteno – Ploče: 

08:00h, 09:00h, 09:30h, 10:15h, 11:00h, 11:30h, 12:30h, 13:15h, 14:00h, 16:15h, 17:15h, 17:45, 18:30h, 19:15h

Ploče – Trsteno – Jaz – Budva: 

08:45h, 09:45h, 10:15h, 11:00h, 11:45h, 12:15h, 13:15h, 14:00h, 15:00h, 17:00h, 18:00h, 18:30h, 19:15h, 20:00h

Ticket price:  Budva – Jaz €1,  Budva – Trsteno – Ploče €1.50

Budva – Sveti Stefan

Route: Centre – Opština – Stadion – Boreti – Hotel Putnik – Rafailovići – Kamenovo – Pržno – Miločer – Sveti Stefan

Budva – Sveti Stefan:

06:00h, 06:30h, 07:00h, 08:00h, 08:30h… every 10 minutes until 22:00h

22:15h, 22:30h, 22:45h, 23:00h, 23:15h, 23:30h, 23:45h, 00:00h, 00:30h, 01:00h, 01:30h

Sveti Stefan – Budva:

06:30h, 07:00h, 07:30h, 08:00h, 08:30h… every 10 minutes until 22:00h

22:15h, 22:30h, 22:45h, 23:00h, 23:15h, 23:30h, 23:45h, 00:00h, 00:30h, 01:00h, 01:30h, 02:00h

Ticket price: €1.50

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