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Budva, Montenegro is a historic, walled city that sits on a south facing, half moon bay on the Adriatic Sea. The Budva Riviera, with beaches extending to both the east and west, is a well-known holiday hot spot – and it is only 25 km from Kotor, which makes it a perfect destination for a day trip.
More developed for tourism than Kotor, but with an equally rich history, there are many things to do in Budva Old Town and beyond. The Budva beaches are lined with modern resorts, shopping centers, fun nightlife and heaps of entertainment.
What To Do in Budva, Montenegro
While travelers spending long holidays in Budva will have plenty of time to experience all that the city has to offer, visitors on day trips from Kotor will want to plan how to best spend their day.
In this Budva blog post, we are highlighting our top recommended Budva activities – and also include how to get there, a Budva map and other top info (which you will find at the end of the post).
Use our guide, The Best Things To Do in Kotor, for more tips on regional sightseeing!
Budva Old Town
Old Town Budva, Montenegro – also called Budva Stari Grad – is the best place for day trippers to start their exploration of the city. It is the oldest part of the city with origins that date to the 5th century BC – making it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coastline. The entire Old Town, which is surrounded in protective walls (built by the Venetians), sits on a rocky outcrop – and is car-free.
Within the old city walls of Budva, Montenegro, the cobblestone lanes are filled with souvenir shops, jewelry stores, restaurants and cafes. Rather than navigating through the Budva city center with purpose, we think it is most enjoyable to wander the tangle of streets just to see where each lane leads. Some streets end at windows that overlook the sea, while others open onto pretty squares…and a few continue through ancient city gates.
Budva Citadel and Churches
The Budva Citadel and three churches are located on the southern tip of Old Town Budva.
Built directing into the sea-facing stone fortifications, the Citadel was built in the Middle Ages. Throughout the centuries, the fort – once called the Castle of St. Mary – was expanded to include towers and a church. For a small fee, visitors can go inside to visit the Citadel of Budva Museum, the church ruins and take in the views from an observation deck.
Standing on the square that fronts the Citadel are three churches: St. Ivan, Holy Trinity and Santa Maria in Punta.
St. Ivan Church (or Church of St. John) is a Catholic church was built in the 15th century on the site of a former 7th century church. The exterior is decorated in the Gothic style and the bell tower was constructed in 1867.
The small church in the square is the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church. It was built in 1804 and is adorned in colorful artwork. At the back of the church, visitors can light tall candles.
Santa Maria in Punta is the oldest church in Budva, dating to the year 840. The small church was built directly into the Budva town walls – and today is used as an art gallery.
Pro Tip: Kotor is also known for an abundance of churches! Find out more in our blog post: The 10 Best Churches in Kotor.
Outside of the old city walls, the Budva Riviera stretches along the coast both to the east and west, with numerous coves boasting beautiful beaches.
Old Town Budva Beach (Plaza Ricardova Glava)
Following the main street away from the square, an old city gate leads to the outside of the city walls and onto the Old Town Beach. The small beach has a massive beachfront restaurant that is popular on sunny days. The beach sits under the imposing city walls, which stand tall and strong against the sea.
Mogren Budva, Montenegro Beach
To the west, a shoreline path wraps around rocks to another small beach, Mogren Beach. Quieter than the bustling Old Town Beach, the beach is naturally beautiful, which makes it quite popular with tourists. At the far end of the beach is a stellar viewpoint, but we think the best views of the Budva Old Town are from the path between Mogren Beach and the Budva center (near the Ballet Dancer Statue), which is especially beautiful under the glow of the setting sun.
Jaz Beach in Budva, Montenegro
Even further west, Jaz Beach is a 1 km, a (mostly) sandy beach with clear water and standard beach amenities. On the east end of the beach is an FKK Beach (a.k.a. Nudist Beach). However, visitors on a day trip to Budva will find this beach is quite far from the Old Town – as it is best reached with you own vehicle as transportation.
Budva Riviera Slovenska Plaza
The longest beach on the Budva Riviera, Slovenska Plaza stretches for 1.6km – from the Budva Marina to Dukley Resort. The beach consists of both pebbles and sand – and features shops, food kiosks and sunbed rentals, as well as free places where guests can spread out towels.
Sveti Nikola Island Hawaii Beach
The island that sits just south of Budva Old Town, Sveti Nikola Island, is mostly uninhabited, but features nice beaches and amenities on the northern end. Visitors can get to the island via an inexpensive 10-minute boat ride.
The Budva Marina
Outside the city walls is the large Budva Harbor, housing everything from row boats to luxury yachts. Old men fish from the docks, sitting on small stools just passing the time. Restaurants line the entire length of the harbor and continue down the beach, a few even offer food service at tables on the sand.
More Things To Do in Budva, Montenegro
Most day trip visitors from Kotor will find that our above outlined Budva activities will fill an entire day. However, there are many more Budva things to do!
Aqua Park Budva, Montenegro
The massive Budva water park complex is located north of town on Toplish Hill. While the main attractions are the slides and pools, there are also on-site restaurants, bars, kids activities and stunning views over the Budva Riviera.
The nightlife in Budva, Montenegro is legendary. The Top Hill nightclub is considered to be one of the best clubs in the Balkans, but it is a short hike from the Old Town. Trocadero on Slovenska Plaza is another popular club that features DJs and dancing until dawn.
The TQ Plaza Budva shopping center is the largest mall in the city and hosts well-known, international brands. On the other hand, the Budva shops in the Old Town are mostly boutiques and local craft shops.
Budva, Montenegro is home to four world-class casinos: Merit Casino Royal Splendid, Merit Casino Avala, Maestral Resorts and Casino and Falkensteiner Casino Queen. All of the casinos are part of larger resort complexes, where visitors can stay, eat, drink and play.
Spa Budva, Montenegro
There are numerous spas in Budva where guests can receive wellness treatments. Many of the city’s luxury spas are found at the upscale resorts.
Budva to Sveti Stefan
The famous Sveti Stefan islet is located just 5km from Budva. The island is now occupied by the exclusive, 5-star Aman Sveti Stefan Luxury Resort – and it seems that they only welcome hotel guests and people with prior restaurant reservations onto the property. Visitors who just want a glimpse of the island can certainly make the trek (or take the bus) to the island. The coastline Olive Budva restaurant offers a fine dining option with a view of Sveti Stefan, too.
Budva Tours and Activities
Guests visiting Budva, Montenegro in a day will certainly be pressed for time, but adventurers might want to fit in a few fun tours or outdoor activities into their day trip itinerary.
Budva Boat Tours
Visitors interested in Budva boat trips have a few options – like coastline cruises, island exploration and private tours. There are also opportunities for kayaking and whitewater rafting.
SUP or Kayak Budva
Embark on a 3-hour Stand Up Paddle Board or Kayak tour along the Budva Riviera. Participants will have the chance to swim and snorkel near hidden Budva beaches, too! Get the details!
A full day adventure, participants go rafting down the Tara River through a picturesque canyon. Get more info!
Limited on time, but want to make the most of your day? Join a Montenegro coastline tour that explores Kotor, Boka Bay, Perast, Budva and Sveti Stefan. Find out more!
Budva, Montenegro: What You Need To Know
Before setting off on your day trip from Kotor, we have a few more tips for your trip!
The Budva climate is Mediterranean – meaning mild winters and sunny summers. In the summertime, the weather in Budva, Montenegro is hot, with temperatures exceeding 90-degrees Fahrenheit. While the winters are mild, it tends to be rainy from mid-autumn until early spring. We use weather.com for the Budva, Montenegro weather forecast.
Day trip visitors will not need to book a Budva, Montenegro hotel, but guests who are trying to decide between staying in Budva or Kotor will find there is a range of hotels in Budva – from luxury resorts to simple hostels. We recommend searching for hotels on Booking.com. Visitors looking for holiday homes will also find numerous choices for Budva, Montenegro AirBnb apartments – check availability!
There is no airport in Budva, but the Tivat Airport is not too far away. The Podgorica and Dubrovnik Airports are also options.
Budva – Kotor: How To Get There
For day trippers, there are a few ways to get between Kotor and Budva, Montenegro.
We used public transportation to get between the two cities. The Kotor-Budva Bus route takes 45 minutes to an hour – depending on whether or not it makes a stop in Tivat. A one-way ticket from Budva to Kotor costs about €3 and there are numerous daily departures.
Rent a Car Budva, Montenegro
Another option to get from Kotor to Budva is to rent a car. Self-driving allows for much more area exploration. There are several fee parking lots within walking distance to Budva Old Town.
Taxicabs are a quick and easy way to get from Kotor to Budva. The ride takes about 30 minutes and will cost about €30.
Use this link to Google Maps for an online version of our Budva, Montenegro Map.
Perast is another great day trip from Kotor! Use our guide: Perast, Montenegro – What To Do on a Day Trip from Kotor for our top tips on how to spend your day!
We Want To Know: Do you have any tips for what to see in Budva, Montenegro? What are your favorite things to do in the city? Give us your best advice in the comments below!
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