Discover the 24 best things to do in Herceg Novi Montenegro. You’ll find everything you need for your stay including the best things to see in Herceg Novi Old Town, boat trips, and beaches.
More ideas in this Herceg Novi travel guide include things to do with kids, day trip ideas, and some off-the-beaten-track gems. You will also find the best free and cheap things to do, things to eat, and places to find authentic experiences.
If you are visiting Herceg Novi or wondering what to do in Herceg Novi during your stay you've come to the right place. I’ve lived here for 15 years and love it!
Read on for the 24 best things to do in Herceg Novi.
Old Town Herceg Novi is off-the-beaten-track compared to other old towns in Montenegro like Kotor and Budva. That’s why it’s less crowded and more authentic, which makes it a wonderful place to visit.
The old town’s cobbled streets are lined with boutiques, bakeries, bookstores, and charming stone houses with colorful doors. Locals walk the streets, browse the stores, and leisurely sip coffee in the open-air cafes.
One of the best things about the Old Town is the amazing views. Make a stop at Gradska Kafana to enjoy the views over the Bay of Kotor over a coffee and Pekara Panino 2 for delectable breads, pastries, and cakes.
Herceg Novi’s clock tower was built by the Ottoman Turks in 1667. The clock tower was both an entrance gate to Herceg Novi and a town clock. The bells were added in 1753 and were a gift from Tsarina Catherine II of Russia.
At the base of the clock tower stop by Salt Book Store for interesting books like The Austro-Hungarian Fortresses of Montenegro: A Hiker's Guide. Nikola, the owner, has also published several books about the Bay of Kotor.
Belavista Square is full of life, with bright buildings and cafes all around. It's a great place to sit, have a coffee, and watch the world go by.
In the square, you'll also find the 19th-century Church of St. Michael. The Church of St. Archangel Michael was built during the Austro-Hungarian period and sits on the spot of an earlier church built by Herceg Stefan.
This church is notable for its Korčula stone construction and inside there is an iconostasis crafted from white Italian marble, adding to its historical and architectural significance.
If you visit the church, it is respectful to have your shoulders and knees covered
Kanli Kula, towering over the old town of Herceg Novi at 279 feet above sea level, is a significant historical landmark in Herceg Novi and also offers magnificent views of the town.
Its name, meaning "bloody tower" in Turkish, reflects its history as a fortification and prison during Ottoman rule. There are many sad stories of torture and sacrifice as the Ottomans sought to convert the Christian people of Herceg Novi to Islam.
The exact date of its construction is unknown, but it was first mentioned in the 17th century and is believed to have been built by the Turks in 1539. The Venetians expanded and repaired it in 1687, enhancing its strategic importance.
Kanli Kula is also one of the largest amphitheaters in the Adriatic, and is a hub for cultural events, particularly during summer. Look out for August’s International Film Festival and the renowned Operosa Montenegro Opera Festival.
You can explore the tower for a small fee, which includes a video presentation in the visitors center. You can visit the dungeons and see etchings from former prisoners and there is also a well-preserved Venetian water cistern.
It’s well worth it for the impressive views from the top and the chance to learn about the history of Herceg Novi.
Entrance: €3 per person (cash only)
Forte Mare is one of the most significant fortifications in Herceg Novi and an important hub for outdoor events.
Originally built in the 14th century by the town's founder, Tvrtko I of Hercegovina, this fortress has undergone numerous transformations and reconstructions throughout its history.
Initially built as a citadel to protect Herceg Novi from sea attacks, it has been used by various rulers, including the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian Republic, and Austro-Hungary.
The fortress's current size, shape, and dimensions were largely developed during the Turkish reign. In the middle of the 16th century, it was known as “Jaka kula” (“Strong Tower”) or “Kula Apasbase,” but it received its present name, Forte Mare (“Sea Fortress”), in the 18th century during the Venetian reign.
Today you can explore the fortress's passageways, ladders, and stairs within the stone complex. Although a large part of the fortress fell into the sea during an earthquake in 1979, part of the defensive wall from its original construction is still preserved on the southeast side.
Forte Mare hosts various events, festivals, and outdoor film screenings, especially during the summer.
Entrance: €1 per person
Just off the main square in Herceg Novi Old Town, you'll find Herceg Novi farmers market (pjaca).
This is the best place to find fresh produce. You'll find locally grown fruit and vegetables, fresh fish (this is where we buy fish if we haven’t caught enough), flowers, prosciutto, homemade cheeses, juices, brandy, and olive oil.
Most produce here is locally grown or made, often by the person selling it to you. A 'domači' sign means something is locally grown.
I recommend trying figs, marinated olives, honey, olive oil, cheese in oil, pomegranate juice, tomatoes, and brandy.
Opening hours: Every day except Sunday 8am - 2pm.
Pet Danica Walkway is a picturesque walkway stretching along Herceg Novi's coastline between Lazure Marina and Hotel in Meljine and Igalo. This 7km promenade is perfect for leisurely walks and has several beautiful beaches.
Although quite busy during the day, in summer the promenade comes alive at night. People start to come out from 8 pm onwards to walk the promenade.
Grab a cone of gelato at Do-Do Cafe by the marina, or dinner at one of the many restaurants along the promenade. We love Konoba Feral and Konoba Škver, both by the marina.
At the Igalo end, you’ll find popular bars and clubs like La Bamba, Peoples, and Casa.
Herceg Novi’s beaches are some of the best in the bay, with clear water and cozy beaches offering loungers, sun umbrellas, cafes, and changing facilities.
Herceg Novi’s beaches are mostly pebbly, except for the large, sandy beach in front of Tito’s Villa in Igalo.
Three beaches in Herceg Novi (Yachting Club 32, Rafaello, and Mimosa) have been awarded the Blue Flag certificate, which means they have high standards of service, safety, water quality, and environmental practices.
Here are some of my favorites:
Herceg Novi is a great place to go kayaking. You can explore the coastline around Herceg Novi, head across the bay to the adorable village of Rose, or paddle to Mamula Island.
You can take a guided tour or hire kayaks and head out on your own.
The 18th-century building that houses Herceg Novi's museum was bequeathed to the town with the stipulation that it become a museum by resident Mirko Komnenović (1870 - 1941).
The stately building and gardens house archaeological, historical, ethnological, and religious collections.
Many exhibits show Herceg Novi's proud sea-faring past and the garden is made up of over 100 carefully chosen Mediterranean and subtropical plants.
The museum is small and you can cover it in an hour, but it’s worth visiting if you're interested in history.
Entrance: €1.50 per person
Savina Monastery is a significant historical and religious site in Herceg Novi. This monastery, named after Archbishop Sava, a revered figure in the Serbian Orthodox Church, began with a small church built in the 13th century.
The monastery has three churches: the smaller Church of the Assumption, the grand Great Temple of the Assumption, and the Church of St. Sava.
The smaller Church of the Assumption, dating back to 1030, was renovated in 1831. It has beautiful frescoes by Lovro Dobricević, a renowned 15th-century Kotor painter, blending Byzantine and Gothic styles.
The Great Temple of the Assumption, constructed between 1777 and 1799 by Nikola Foretić, is a masterpiece of Dalmatian Baroque architecture. Its belfry, adorned with decorative elements, adds to its elegance.
The temple houses the revered icon of St. Mary of Sava, believed to have miraculous powers, as per a legend involving the protection of the city from a Venetian naval attack.
The Church of St. Sava, believed to be built by St. Sava in the 13th century and renovated in the 15th century, is located near the upper burial site.
Savina Monastery also houses significant relics, including the remains of Serbian Tsaritsa Elena and Apostles Thomas and George, along with St. Sava's crystal crucifix. Its library contains over 5,000 texts, including a 1375 Gospel manuscript and a 17th-century Russian alphabet book used by the famous Montenegrin poet, Petar II Njegoš.
Savina Winery, nestled in the picturesque landscape above Savina Monastery, is a hidden gem in Herceg Novi.
This family-run winery, with its rich tradition and passion for winemaking, offers a chance to experience authentic Montenegrin wine and hospitality.
Their tasting sessions featuring a selection of excellent local wines, each featuring the region's unique terroir and grape varieties.
The winery's serene setting, with stunning views of the Bay of Kotor, provides the perfect backdrop for savoring these fine wines.
The winery is open by reservation only.
Rose, a quaint fishing village across the bay from Herceg Novi, is my favorite getaway. We love to jump in the boat and head over there first thing in the morning for a seaside coffee.
It’s so tranquil and idyllic!
The village's waterfront is lined with stone villas and small boats. It also has crystal-clear waters (just watch out for sea urchins) and excellent seafood restaurants (Adriatic is our favorite).
It's a perfect spot to spend a quiet day by the sea, swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the laid-back vibe in a traditional Montenegrin fishing village.
To get there, catch the taxi boat from Herceg Novi marina (called Škver). It travels back and forth between Herceg Novi and Rose 7 times per day and a return ticket costs €7.
The Blue Cave is one of Montenegro's most popular natural attractions and one of the top things to see in Herceg Novi.
Located on the Luštica Peninsula, this sea cave is famous for its iridescent blue waters, created by the sunlight reflecting off the seabed. Inside the cave, the light creates a surreal, glowing blue environment, perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
The best way to get to the Blue Cave from Herceg Novi is by taking a boat tour from Herceg Novi marina. These tours often include other attractions around the bay.
Žanjice Beach, nestled on the Luštica Peninsula near Herceg Novi, is a favorite beach destination for both locals and tourists in summer.
This picturesque beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and pebbly shore, making it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. It’s surrounded by rugged hills and lush greenery which make it all the more idyllic.
The beach is well-equipped with amenities you need to spend a few hours here, including sun loungers, beach bars, and restaurants serving fresh seafood.
To get to Žanjice Beach, take a boat tour from Herceg Novi marina for €20 per person.
Mamula Island, at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, is one of three forts that protected the entrance to Kotor Bay: Fort Mamula, Fort Arza, and Fort Prevlaka (on the Croatian side).
Built in the 19th century by the Austo-Hungarians, the island was a military stronghold and a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.
Until recently, you could freely explore Mamula’s crumbling fortress buildings. However, it has been developed into one of Montenegro’s newest luxury hotels, Hotel Mamula.
Although you can’t explore the island anymore, except as a guest of the hotel, most boat tours cruise by the island and tell you about the history of it. There is also a small museum in the hotel dedicated to the former prisoners of the island that anyone can visit by calling in advance.
Adventure Park Vrbanj (Avanturistički Park Vrbanj) is a hidden gem in Herceg Novi that only locals know about. This is one of the best things to do with kids in Herceg Novi.
A 40-minute drive from Herceg Novi in Nature Park Orjen, this adventure park is suitable for all ages 5 and up. The park has a variety of obstacle courses and zip lines that weave through the treetops. The courses get progressively more challenging and end with a zip line through the trees.
The Adventure Park has picnic tables and there’s a range of hiking trails in Nature Park Orjen. When you’ve finished at the adventure park, stop at Motel Konak Vrbanj’s restaurant for some hearty Balkan grill to refuel.
The Spanish Fortress (Španjola) is another off-the-beaten-track destination that offers a glimpse into Montenegro's history.
Built in the 16th century, by the Spanish and Ottoman Turks, but was also used and renovated by the Venetian Republic and Austro-Hungarian Empire. It has been abandoned since the end of World War II.
Today, this impressive fortress offers a rare chance to explore some authentic ruins. The fortress is in the shape of a square with round towers at each corner.
Inside you’ll find the remains of various buildings which were the mosque/church, barracks, food and weapons stores. You can also walk around the fortress walls, from which you’ll get views over Herceg Novi and the Bay of Kotor.
Portonovi is a luxurious marina and resort village just outside of Herceg Novi in Kumbor. The village's beautiful architecture, landscaped garden, and lively atmosphere make Portonovi a popular destination year-round.
Portonovi is home to Europe’s only luxurious 5-star One&Only hotel. The hotel has incredible villas with private beaches, luxurious rooms, and a Chenot Espace wellness center. It’s a fabulous place to stay in the Herceg Novi area.
The village itself is a popular destination with both locals and tourists. It has upmarket restaurants, a beach club, cafes, and boutiques. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s a great place to come for a nice meal or a relaxed stroll in a beautiful environment.
Portonovi also has a busy event calendar that includes concerts, markets, and family activities, especially during summer.
The Church of Sveti Ilija, also known as the Church of St. John, in Žvinje near Herceg Novi, offers some of the best views around Herceg Novi.
Perched on a hill, this modest 17th-century church is a beautiful example of a traditional, modest Orthodox church.
There are 15th-century gravestones and a a monument to French soldiers who died in this area in 1806.
From the church, you’ll get expansive views over the Bay of Kotor on one side and Croatia and the Adriatic Sea on the other.
There is a point on the wall around the church lies on the border between Montenegro and Croatia. This is a great spot for a picture where you can have one foot in each country.
The Bay of Kotor's traditional cuisine is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean flavors and Montenegrin heritage. Although you’ll find pizza and pasta on every corner, trying the local cuisine will complete your stay in this special part of the world.
This region is renowned for its fresh seafood, with dishes like grilled fish and squid, often seasoned with local herbs and olive oil.
A must-try is the "Buzara," a savory seafood stew enriched with garlic, wine, and tomatoes.
Meat lovers will enjoy "Njeguški pršut," a locally cured ham, and "Ćevapi," grilled sausages.
Side dishes often include fresh vegetables, olives, and homemade cheeses.
Completing the meal are the delectable local wines like Vranac which perfectly complement the region's rich and diverse flavors.
Here are some of my favorites:
Ivo Andrić House in Herceg Novi is a cultural gem dedicated to the celebrated Yugoslav novelist and Nobel Prize winner, Ivo Andrić.
This traditional house, where Andric spent significant time, has been transformed into a museum where you can explore rooms filled with personal items, books, and photographs that offer a glimpse into Andrić's life and work.
The house, with its quaint architecture and serene garden, provides a reflective space for literature enthusiasts.
Mount Orjen Nature Park, in the hills above Herceg Novi, is a haven for nature lovers and hikers.
The Orjen mountain range boasts scenic trails that offer breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and rugged landscapes. The trails vary in difficulty, catering to both seasoned hikers and casual walkers.
Along these paths, you'll find mountain huts like Subra (Za Vratlom), where you can rest, meet other hikers, and get a hot meal (usually only on weekends).
The Subra trail, in particular, is a popular choice, leading you through diverse terrains to spectacular viewpoints.
The most popular way to get to the park is from the village of Vrbanj.
There are several day trips you can make from Herceg Novi. Having a rental car makes it especially easy to fit a lot into a day of sightseeing, but you can also take day tours from Herceg Novi.
>> Read Kotor day trip itineraries for more information on these day trip destinations. You can do all of them from Herceg Novi.
Full-Day Montenegro Tour - this 12-hour tour is one of my favorite day tours in Montenegro and includes Lovćen National Park, Njeguši village, Cetinje, Lake Skadar National Park, and more.
Durmitor, Tara and Ostrog Day Tour - this tour takes you to Montenegro’s stunning mountain scenery in Durmitor National Park, the Tara Canyon, one of the holiest sites in the Balkans, Ostrog Monastery.
Boka Bay Day Tour - this fun day tour on a luxury catamaran is the ultimate way to spend a summer’s day in the Bay of Kotor. It includes Our Lady of the Rocks, submarine caves, Mamula Island, the Blue Cave, and plenty of time for swimming!
One & Only Portonovi is the epitome of luxury. This exclusive resort, on the Herceg Novi Riviera, offers unparalleled elegance with its world-class accommodations, exquisite dining, and a state-of-the-art wellness center.
Apart Hotel Sun Village Apartments, a 10-minute drive from Herceg Novi, offers a seasonal rooftop pool, free Wi-Fi in public areas, and massage facilities just 150 m from the sea.
The apartments come with balconies, a seating area with satellite TV, and a kitchen area with a refrigerator.
Additional amenities include free private parking, an airport shuttle service, and a tour desk.
Guest House Bajceta offers a tranquil stay near Igalo Beach. This 2-star guest house features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, private bathrooms, and patios.
The guest house has free private parking and a terrace and lies 1.5 km from Igalo Beach. The property also offers a paid airport shuttle service if you don’t have a rental car.
If you a rental car, you'll need to know about how to pay for parking.
There's a system of red zones in the most popular areas and yellow zones elsewhere. A colored line on the ground will tell you which zone you've parked in. The red zone costs 80c per hour and the yellow zone costs 50c per hour. You can also pay for 24 hours of parking in the yellow zone for €5.
Paying by sms: You can pay for your parking by sending an sms with your full licence plate with no spaces eg. HNBC809.
You'll see signs with these numbers dotted around. If you pay this way, you'll get a text 5 minutes before your hour is due to expire and you can send another sms to pay for another hour if you wish.
Paying by voucher: You can buy parking vouchers at any of the newspaper kiosks you'll see on the street. Just fill in the voucher and display it on your dash.