Montenegro has been on my travel itinerary since I watched James Bond Casino Royale. Now, it’s not lost on me that none of the movie was actually filmed in Montenegro (such a bummer to find that out!)…but it sparked my interest in the country none the less! At that time I never dreamed I’d visit Montenegro with kids, but it was the perfect place to settle into our family road trip around the Balkans.
Montenegro is a beautiful country. The sapphire blue of the Adriatic Sea borders the West coast of the country, while the black mountains (for which Montenegro was named) vault up almost immediately from the sea providing the unique opportunity to visit the beaches and mountains all at the same time. Small villages sporadically punctuate the mountainside in stark contrast to the larger cities hugging the coastline. This is a country of contrasts, but everything blends together so seamlessly that it’s hardly noticeable.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly European holiday just slightly off the beaten path, you can’t go wrong visiting Montenegro with kids. Here you’ll find valuable tips and info about travelling in Montenegro with kids including the best places to visit, family friendly places to stay and kid-approved meals (including ice cream stops…of course!). If you’re thinking about heading on a family vacation in Montenegro, or are looking for a good dose of inspiration, keep reading!
Table of Contents
Things To Know Before Visiting Montenegro With Kids
. .– Useful Information For Travel In Montenegro
. .– The Best Time To Visit Montenegro
. .– How To Get To Montenegro
. .– How To Get Around Montenegro
Places To Visit In Montenegro With Kids
. .– Kotor Bay
. .– Budva
. .– Sveti Stefan
. .– Cetinje
. .– Lake Skadar
. .– Ostrog Monastery
. .– Durmitor National Park
How Much Does It Cost To Visit Montenegro?
Things To Know Before Visiting Montenegro With Kids
Useful Information For Travel In Montenegro
- Currency is the Euro (€)
- ATM’s are widely available. Many won’t charge a fee for withdrawal, but they’ll offer to charge in your local currency, thus exchanging at an inflated rate. Don’t get caught (I did, but only the first time!). When it asks what currency you’d like the charges to be, choose Euros.
- SIM cards are also widely available for a very reasonable price. T-Mobile had the best short-term tourist card options when we visited. Just be sure to have your passport with you when you purchase your SIM.
- WiFi is fast and available everywhere. Most cafe’s and restaurants have their wifi locked so you’ll need to ask for the password (sometimes it was printed on the menu).
The Best Time To Visit Montenegro
Montenegro has four distinct seasons, from steamy summer days on the coast to snow-covered winter peaks inland. When to visit Montenegro will be dependent on what you want to do while you’re there!
Winter is great if you’re on the hunt for an inexpensive ski vacation at one of the ski resorts in Montenegro. If you come during the winter you’ll want to stick with skiing as most of the restaurants and accommodation along the coast will be closed for the season.
Summer (July and August) in Montenegro can get quite hot along the coast, but does remain a bit cooler in the mountains. Coastal towns such as Budva and Kotor will be jam-packed with people, so I’d suggest avoiding these months unless they’re the only time you can travel. We visited Montenegro in August, and although we still very much enjoyed our trip, the roads were busy and we almost completely avoided Budva because it was so busy.
Shoulder Season (May-June and Sept-Oct) is the best time to visit Montenegro, especially if you have kids who tend to “melt (i.e. whine and complain constantly while demanding ice cream)” when they have to walk anywhere in the heat! The days will still be warm, but not stifling hot, and the crowds are significantly thinner. The Adriatic Sea is a bit cooler in May and October, so don’t plan a beach-heavy vacation during these months or you’ll be disappointed!
How To Get To Montenegro
Fly: The two main airports in Montenegro are in the capital city of Podgorica, and the coastal city of Tivat. Montenegro Airlines flies from both of these airports, but the connections from Tivat are mainly to Russia (Moscow) and Serbia (Belgrade). Podgorica is better connected to Western Europe with Montenegro Airlines flying to Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt and Zurich. EasyJet flies daily from London to Tivat, with most of the other international airlines flying into Podgorica.
From Croatia: Many people choose instead to fly to Dubrovnik, Croatia because it has better (and cheaper) connections to Western Europe. It’s easy to get from Dubrovnik to Montenegro and combine these two countries (and potentially other countries in the Balkans) on a longer road trip itinerary.
How To Get Around Montenegro
Driving is the best way to explore Montenegro as so much of it’s charm is found in the lesser-known destinations. Public transit is available and quite inexpensive to use (although I always find when multiplying by the 4 members in our family even the inexpensive tickets add up!).
Bus: There are a few bus companies that offer cheap and comfortable transportation between the main cities in Montenegro. I suggest checking out Get By Bus if you’re interested in traveling around Montenegro by bus.
Train: Montenegro has both local and international train service available, and you can find the schedule and pricing on the Railway Transport of Montenegro website. The main international route is from Bar to Belgrade, and the main local route is Podgorica to Niksic. For the local trains there’s often no need to purchase your ticket in advance, but I do recommend advance purchase for the Bar to Belgrade route.
Car: As I mentioned above, driving is the easiest way to get around Montenegro, especially if you’re traveling with kids. A car gives you freedom to set your own schedule and work around the kids. (It also means you can pull over whenever you need to for a bathroom break or because someone’s feeling car sick in the back seat!). We rented our car in Dubrovnik (hence the Croatia license plate) and made sure it had “Green Card Insurance” so we could drive it into Montenegro. We also chose the smallest car possible since we knew driving on the narrow roads and parking in the tiny parking spots in the various cities around the Balkans would be easier with a small car.
A little side note about driving in Montenegro: The distances between places may seem short, but the roads are narrow, winding and can get quite busy with traffic…these are NOT North American roads!! I highly recommend giving yourself way more time than your initial gut reaction tells you it should take, especially if you have a child (or two) who have a tendency to get car sick on winding roads. And whatever you do, do NOT let your kids have a screen in the back seat if they’re prone to car sickness!
We find audiobooks and podcasts are a great way to keep our car-sick-prone kiddos entertained on long car rides. They each have an iPod (or iPad) loaded up with fun things to listen to and a pair of Etymotic Kids ear buds. Throw in a few snacks and they’re well entertained for even the longest road trip.
Places To Visit In Montenegro With Kids
For such a small country there’s a surprising number of things to do in Montenegro. Many of the city centres are pedestrian only, so you don’t have to worry about your kids getting run over while you’re exploring…WIN!! The beaches are a variety of different sized pebbles, so you don’t end up with sand everywhere (another big win imho, although you’ll want to be more prepared than me and bring water shoes for everyone…this will make the lack of sand WAY more enjoyable). And the mountains offer a wide variety of hikes so you can enjoy the fresh air and beauty of the countryside even with your kids in tow.
The other great thing about Montenegro, is that Montenegrins love kids! We never once felt like our kids were a nuisance when we were tourist-ing or eating. We loved being able to eat outside because the kids could be a little louder and we didn’t feel like we were bothering anyone.
Bay Of Kotor With Kids
Kotor Bay is stunning and is one of the highlights of any trip to Montenegro with kids (or without them!). If you only have a day or two, the easiest place to base yourself is Kotor city. I highly recommend staying WITHIN the city walls. The Stari Grad (Old Medieval City) is similar to Dubrovnik but much smaller and less touristy (although it still sees it’s fair share of tourists!). It’s pedestrian only making it the perfect city to explore with kids.
Things To Do In Kotor With Kids
Kotor Cat Museum
If you’ve spent any time wandering around Kotor you’ll surely have noticed ALL the cats around the medieval city. The proceeds from the Kotor Cats Museum helps feed and provide care for the cats of Kotor. It supports a good cause, making it worth the minimal entrance fee and short amount of time needed to visit.
The Kotor Cats Museum is a small museum with a couple rooms but NO A/C. It gets quite hot inside, so bring water and come prepared to sweat (if you visit during the summer). The rooms are filled with various cat-centric pictures and artifacts! If you’re a cat lover you’ll love it…if not you’ll spend a few minutes then escape the steaming rooms for the breeze outside.
Hours: 10am-8pm, 7 days a week
Cost: €1 ($1.45 CAD) per person, half price for kids
Walk The City Walls
The City Walls of Kotor are worth a wander on your visit to Kotor with kids. It’s free to walk the walls (unlike Dubrovnik) and they don’t tend to attract crazy crowds (like you’ll find in Dubrovnik).
The entrance to the city walls is at Kampana Tower (in the North) and you can walk all the way to Gurdic Bastion (in the South). Unfortunately there’s no exit at the South end, so once you walk all the way down, you have to walk all the way back again! This is actually a good thing because it stops many people from walking the entire stretch of wall. The Southern-most section ends up being relatively void of crowds, even during high season.
*expert tip – the walls aren’t shaded, and there’s nowhere to stop and buy a drink. Wear a hat and bring lots of water with you!
*kid tip – Once you’re finished you can grab a drink or an ice cream at Citadela Restaurant in Kampana Tower.
The view from San Giovanni’s Fortress (Kotor Fortress) is beautiful, but it’s a long and sweaty hike during high season! You’ll follow the medieval city walls up the hillside, passing through a number of forts, bastions and towers along the way.
The entrance to the pathway is in the North East corner of Old Town, beside the Church of St. Mary Collegiate. Head through the gate (to pay) and walk along the walls up the hillside. You can also enter by leaving Old Town at the bridge north of the Church of St. Mary Collegiate, turning right once you’re across the river and continuing up the path above the city walls. The second way is free, although it’s a longer hike! (Both are well marked on Google Maps).
Hours: 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week (however you can get through the gates at any time. If you spend the night in Kotor I’d highly recommend starting well before 8am to beat the heat!).
Cost: €8 per person (kids free)
Kotor Beach is only a few minutes walk from Kotor’s main gate. It’s easy to spend an hour or two cooling off in the bay during the heat of the day before heading back into the medieval city for dinner. There’s a swimming area roped off with buoys so it’s perfectly safe for kids.
*kid tip – Most of the beaches in Montenegro (and Croatia) are pebble beaches and NOT SAND. Pack water shoes (at least for the kiddos) so you don’t end up walking along the beach like a robot (gingerly stepping on the pebbles and wincing with pain when you step on a sharp one).
Hours: Open 24 hours, chairs available during daylight hours.
Cost: €15 for 2 chairs and 1 umbrella (in August).
Around The Bay Of Kotor
You can easily spend a day driving around the Bay of Kotor, exploring the many towns and villages along the way. My favourite stop along the bay is Perast, and if I had to pick just one place in the bay apart from Kotor, Perast would be it!
Perast is found along the North coast of the bay, and is a cute little town with an (almost) pedestrian centre. As a visitor you’ll need to park outside the city and walk in. It’s only a few minutes stroll along the water, with the occasional car or golf car passing by.
The main site in Perast is Our Lady Of The Rocks church. The legend says that local sailors found an image of the Virgin Mary on a rock in the middle of the ocean on July 22, 1452. Upon returning from a each sea voyage they would throw a rock into this same place in the sea. One day, an island emerged out of the ocean, made of all the sailor’s rocks of course!
The church now belongs to the Roman Catholics, but the original church was Serbian Orthodox.
Getting To Our Lady Of The Rocks: You can catch a boat taxi from the small dock beside the restaurant “Conte”. They run every 20-30min in the summer, but if you’re there during slow season you may need to negotiate a pick-up time.
Cost: Boat Taxi is €5 round trip (kids half price). Entrance to the church is free, entrance to the museum is €2.
Where To Stay In Kotor
There are options in Kotor for every budget, and it’s significantly cheaper than it’s Croatian neighbour. If you stay in or near the Old Town you’ll be within walking distance to the major sites without having to fuss with traffic (the traffic in Kotor is atrocious!).
Apartment Palata Bizanti
This is the adorable little apartment we stayed at in Kotor. It’s located near the central plaza in the Old Town in a cute courtyard that makes you feel (almost) like a local. We stayed in the smaller apartment, which had 2 rooms, a bathroom and a small kitchen area. If we were staying for more than a couple nights I’d go fo the superior apartment, which is bigger and has an extra living room.
Book Apartment Palata Bizanti here, or check the latest pricing here.
Hotel Villa Duomo
This is a great option if you want the space of an apartment but the security of a hotel. The rooms are oozing with old world charm and offer lots of space for a family. It’s not cheap, but includes breakfast and a ton of space to spread out.
Find the latest prices or book Hotel Villa Duomo here.
Lana & Ena Apartments
Beautiful, well appointed apartments well located in the centre of the Old Town. You can choose from a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom.
Book your stay or find the best price here.
Budva With Kids
The only thing we did in Budva was eat lunch on our drive from Dubrovnik. To me it just seemed like a busy town without the charm of Kotor. I must caveat that we didn’t visit Stari Grad (the Old Town) in Budva, and that may have endeared me to the city a bit more than lunch in a tourist trap!
Budva is busier than Kotor. It’s right on the coast and gets lots of European (mainly Italian) tourists. The Old Town is also quite small (significantly smaller than Kotor) and can easily be explored in an hour or two. Budva can make a good base for exploring Montenegro with kids as it’s on the main highway and within a short drive of many of the main tourist spots in the country. If you’re looking for a central location to plop down for a few days while visiting multiple destinations, Budva might be for you!
Things To Do In Budva With Kids
Stari Grad (Old Town)
Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the entire Adriatic Coast. Initially settled by the Illyrians, it’s also been home to many other great civilizations including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Slavs. The walls surrounding the Old Town were built by the Venetians (just like Dubrovnik) but were almost completely destroyed in the 1979 earthquake. Today they’ve been rebuilt, and the Stari Grad is now full of tourist shops, restaurants and bars.
As with most of the walled Old Cities in Montenegro, Budva’s Stari Grad is pedestrian only. It’s easy to spend a couple hours following the kids around the various nooks and crannies found throughout the city. You can also stop and grab a coffee and people watch while the kids play around one of the many squares.
The Citadel is small, but the views of Budva alone are worth the entrance fee. Building of the Citadel began in the 9th century, and it’s been continually expanded and renovated over the centuries. It’s main purpose was to protect the city from attacks coming from the sea. Today it houses a small library, the ruins of the Church of St. Mary and a small museum. The piece-de-resistance is the restaurant and terrace, from which you get spectacular views of Budva and it’s surrounding coastline.
Cost: €3.50/adult, kids free
Hours: May to October 9am – midnight, November to April 9am – 5pm
Ricardova Glava Beach
There are a number of beaches around Budva, and many are worth exploring. Ricardova Glava is close to the Old Town and has plenty of space to spread out with the rest of the holidaymakers! It’s easy to visit with kids due to it’s proximity to Old Town.
(Budva Old Town and Ricardova Glava Beach: Image source Adobe Stock)
We don’t often indulge in kid-centric activities when we travel, and our time in Montenegro wasn’t long enough to feel the need to break this rule!! However, I did a bit of research ahead of time just in case we needed a travel-break (we didn’t visit Aquapark Budva ourselves).
Aquapark Budva is the perfect place to spend a few hours if you (or more likely the kiddos) need a break from the tourist pace. There are 4 pools, a number of water slides (some are great for small kids, others are only for older kids and adults), and a restaurant with a great view over Budva Bay.
Hours: 10am – 8pm daily from 1st May – 30th September
Entrance: Adults – €20 (€15 after 3pm), Kids 1m to 1.3m – €12 (€8 after 3pm), Children under 1m – Free.
(Image credit: Aquapark Budva)
If you’re looking to get out of the city, this is the ideal retreat. Nestled in the mountains North of Budva is this cute little village with a restaurant, (cold) swimming hole, a few animals and a zip-line! The kids will be free to run around while parents sip Turkish coffee and enjoy the quiet.
Where To Stay In Budva
The best location in Budva is near the are of Old Town and the adjacent Greco Beach. Everything’s in walking distance, including great restaurants, tourist shops, cafes and shopping.
Best High End Hotel – Hotel Majestic
This is a beautiful hotel, perfectly located between the beach and the Old Town. The rooms are big and clean with a fantastic breakfast included in the price. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury (at a reasonable price in North American terms), look no further than Hotel Majestic.
Check availability and pricing here.
(image credit: Booking.com)
Best Hotel With A Pool – Hotel Budva
Near the heart of Budva’s city centre, and along the promenade, Hotel Budva is the perfect choice for experiencing everything Budva has to offer. The kids will love the pool, and the adults will love the short walk to restaurants and the beach.
Find the latest prices for Hotel Budva here.
Mid-Range Hotel in Old Town – La Villa Boutique Hotel
Suites available allowing for a decent amount of separation between the adults and kiddos beds. It’s not an apartment, but it’s as close as you’ll get with the convenience of a hotel. There’s also a delicious breakfast included, the perfect way to start your day!
Check pricing and availability at La Villa Boutique Hotel here.
Mid-Range Apartment in Old Town – Apartments Aleksić Old Town
These quaint, retro apartments are located in Old Town and adjacent to Pizana beach. There’s also a cute little balcony, the perfect place for an evening night cap after the kiddos go to bed.
Find the best pricing for the Apartments Aleksic Old Town here.
Mid-Range Apartment Outside Old Town – Amazonico Apartment
With incredible views of both the sea and the mountains from the balcony, you’ll never feel like you need to leave this place! There are 1 and 2-bedroom options, with enough room to fit a family (up to 6 ppl in the 2-bedroom) comfortably.
Check the availability and pricing at Amazonico Apartment here.
(image credits: Booking.com)
Budget Apartment in Old Town – Palm Square B&B Apartment I
Located in the heart of the Old City, this 2-bedroom apartment is excellent value! The best part, there’s a washing machine!! The host is incredibly helpful, and it has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay whether it’s for a night or a week.
Find the most up to date pricing for Palm Square B&B Apartment I here.
(image credit: Booking.com)
Budget Apartment Outside Old Town – Il Gatto
This apartment is truly a steal of a deal! The price is fantastic, and it’s location near Old Town and the beach makes it incredibly convenient. The fixtures inside the apartment are new, and parking is available for €10/day, an excellent deal for Budva.
Check the latest price and availability for Il Gatto here.
Sveti Stefan With Kids
Sveti Stefan is an exclusive island that you can only visit if you’re staying at the uber-fancy Aman Resort…but the adjacent city is also called Sveti Stefan (I know, confusing right!). The adjacent city is a great place to base yourself on a trip to Montenegro. The beaches are lovely and it’s not quite as busy as Budva.
If you want to go beach-hopping in Sveti Stefan, opt for the beach south of the island. Entrance to the beach is free, you’ll have an incredible view of the fancy island, and lounge chairs can be rented for a reasonable price (€15 for 2 loungers and an umbrella). The beach north of the island is owned by Aman Resort, and loungers go for a hefty €80 each! In all honesty, the north beach is nicer than the south beach (it’s less rocky, better kept and has fewer people), but not nicer enough to cough up the extra cash!
If you REALLY want to visit the island, you can make a restaurant reservation at either Nobu or The Taverna. Prices are definitely higher than elsewhere, but it’s the only way to get on the island without paying the insane hotel price!
For a break from the beach, head next door to the Olive restaurant where you’ll find a great little playground (and public toilets if needed) to run off some steam.
(Image credit: Adobe Stock)
Where To Stay In Sveti Stefan
Luxury Stay – Aman Resort
Of course, the most impressive place to stay in Sveti Stefan is in the Aman Resort. The island has been meticulously restored and you’ll feel transported back in time as you walk the cobblestone streets, surrounded by luxury. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime splurge, this might be it!
Cost: Village rooms (king bed)start at €883/night, including breakfast for 2. Once you add in the kiddos, you’re looking at either 2 of the Village Rooms or one of the suites which range above €2000/night. Like I said, it’s definitely a splurge!
High End Villa With Pool – Villa Steven
This beautiful villa is located a short 5 min walk up the hill from Sveti Stefan. There’s a lovely private pool and terrace and free parking (hard to come by in Montenegro!).
Check availability and pricing for Villa Steven here.
Beach Front Apartment – Apartments Sunset Beach
These are gorgeous apartments with an incredible view and easy access to the beach. There are different sizes for different families, and free parking is included in the price!
Find the best pricing and latest availability for Apartments Sunset Beach here.
Large, 3-bedroom Apartment – Edelweiss
Offering perhaps the best view of Sveti Stefan “island”, these basic but clean and well appointment apartments are the perfect place to stay if you don’t mind a short walk to the beach.
Look for availability and pricing for Edelweiss here.
Budget Apartment – Apartments Kentera
For the price, these apartments can’t be beat! There’s a pool if you don’t want to walk down to the beach, as well as free parking. It’s truly a steal, you’ll want to make sure you’re staying more than one night.
Book your trip to Apartments Kentera right here.
A Bit Further Afield – Blue Mediterranean Apartments
If you’re looking for something a bit quieter, look a short drive down the coast to Blue Mediterranean Apartments. It has a more local vibe but is easily accessible to Sveti Stefan. While you’re enjoying a home-cooked meal made with local ingredients, enjoying the view out over the coast, you’ll wonder why you ever considered staying anywhere else!
Check for the most up to date availability and pricing for Blue Mediterranean Apartments here.
Cetinje With Kids
Cetinje was my favourite city in Montenegro, and was definitely an unexpected surprise. I booked it on a whim, deciding that I didn’t want to spend 3 nights in Kotor, but wanted to stay somewhere smaller (and cheaper!) that could serve as a base to visit the South and Western parts of the country. It turned out to be the perfect choice, and I wished we could’ve spent one (or two) more nights in this cute little mountain town.
Cetinje is relatively small, with a population of less than 20,000 people, but it was the old capital of Montenegro so there’s actually quite a few things to do here. The main tourist draw in town is the National Museum of Montenegro. It’s comprised of 5 separate Museums positioned around a large pedestrian-only square.
National Museum of Montenegro
We bought a Collective Ticket that gave us entrance to all the museums plus Njegos’ Mausoleum (Cost: 15 Euro each, kids free) and spent a wonderful day visiting (all) the buildings that make up the museum. The girl’s favourite was King Nikola’s museum, located in the former Royal Palace. It gave some insight into what the life of the ruling family was like, and was a good introduction to the history of Montenegro.
My favourite museum was the Historical Museum (the building also houses the Art Museum). The museum was set up to walk the visitor through the history of the country starting in Illyrian times, right through to the fall of Yugoslavia and Montenegro’s return to independence. We spent a lot of time reading, silently to ourselves, and out loud to the girls when they got tired of reading or when the descriptions were too high for them to see! They stayed interested for most of our 2+ hour visit, but by the end they were laying on the floor, surprisingly still listening to the descriptions and looking at the objects and pictures from their new angle…no one else was around so we just let them!
*kid tip – If you’re visiting the Art Museum, watch out for room 10, the collection by Miodrag Dado Duric. There are a few relatively gruesome sculptures and paintings that may not be suitable for young kids.
If visiting 5 museums in 1 day with 2 kids wasn’t enough, we also wanted to see the famous Cetinje Monastery. It’s located right in the heart of town, branching off the pedestrian-only square that houses the National Museum buildings. The Monastery is small making it a quick and easy detour.
You’ll only need a few minutes to explore the rooms open to the public. It’s also possible to purchase prayer candles from the small monastery shop. The right side of the prayer area is for the dead and the left side is for the living (just so you don’t make the same mistake as us and have someone tell you the kids should probably be praying for the living…although I’m not sure why the kids couldn’t pray for someone who’s already passed away?!).
*expert tip – Both males and females need to have their shoulders and knees covered inside the Monastery. Once you pass through the outer doorway there’s a large basket filled with scarves you can use for this purpose.
Njegos Mausoleum in Lovcen National Park
I definitely had a few mom-panic moments on our visit to Njegos Mausoleum, but the views were worth it!
After climbing (461, i.e. WAY TOO MAY) stairs we emerged from the covered staircase to a paved walkway along the ridge of the mountain. On either side the mountain dropped-off hundreds of feet below. It wasn’t a cliff, and the walkway was plenty wide enough to keep everyone safely away from the edge, but I still had a few moments of panic as well walked along it!
The mausoleum itself is pretty, but it seemed like most people were rushing through it to get to the viewpoint out the other side. There was a random staircase near the back, so of course we decided to see what was down it. The temperature of the air cooled slightly, and a doorway opened up to reveal the tomb of Njegos.
The crypt was peaceful, and it felt right to pay our respects to the man for whom this incredible mausoleum was built.
*expert tip – Make sure you walk down the stairs at the back of the Mausoleum to see Njegos’ tomb before continuing on towards the viewing platform!
The walk from the mausoleum to the viewpoint was even more stressful than the walk to the mausoleum. The path was half as wide, and the mountain seemed steeper on either side! I wasn’t the only one who felt the effects of the height…Kacela held tightly onto my hand the whole walk and was NOT impressed when I’d let go to take a picture!
We visited first thing in the morning, and managed to have the viewpoint to ourselves (for a short window). It’s rumoured you can see half of Montenegro from here. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I do know that the view is truly spectacular!
Where To Stay In Cetinje With Kids
Cetinje is such a small, compact town you can stay almost anywhere and be within walking distance to everything.
This is where we stayed in Cetinje, and it was lovely. The living space is downstairs from the bedrooms, so we didn’t have to worry about waking the kids up at night. My only complaint is that there were no railings on the balconies, which freaked me out a bit with the kids. It wouldn’t be ideal for kids too young to understand the no-balcony-alone rule!
Find the most up to date availability and pricing for Apartment L&M here.
This is possibly the best-located apartment in all of Cetinje, right across the street from the National Museum. The only downside is each room sleeps 2 people, so you’ll need 2 rooms for a family. The location makes this worth it though!
Look for prices and availability for Apartments Bokan here.
Hotel – Gradska Cetinje
If you prefer a hotel rather than an apartment, Gradska Cetinje is the best hotel in town. The rooms are doubles, so you’ll need two for a family. It’s a beautiful, new hotel with stunning decor and an incredible location.
Find the best availability and pricing for Gradska Cetinje here.
(image courtesy of booking.com)
This large, 2-bedroom apartment is about a 10min walk from the centre of Cetinje. This is a bit further than the rest of the options, but still easily walkable. The owner is lovely, and there’s a washing machine! You can also have breakfast provided for you at a nominal cost.
Check out the latest pricing and availability at Apartment Mirkovic here.
Lake Skadar With Kids
Lake Skadar is stunning, and definitely worth including on your visit to Montenegro. We went as a day-trip from Cetinje and it was perfect!
If you’re driving yourself, the first thing you’ll want to do is find the lookout for horseshoe bend. It had popped up multiple times on my instagram feed, and I was on a mission to see this incredible view for myself. While the view was completely worth it, it wasn’t at all what I expected for something that’s somewhat insta-popular!
The road was only wide enough for one vehicle (like many of the secondary roads throughout Montenegro), requiring us to hug the hillside or pull into a turn-out periodically to let oncoming traffic past. If you’re driving yourself, proceed with caution! We found many of the foreign drivers to be conscientious, but the local drivers are obviously used to the road conditions and were pretty aggressive (which made me all sorts of nervous…thank goodness I wasn’t driving!).
This is the main city on the lake and is the base for many of the tourist activities. If you’re wanting to spend an afternoon on the lake there are plenty of options. Entrance to Lake Skadar National Park is €4/adult, kids are free.
Kayak – You can rent kayaks from a number of the tour operators in town and just pay by the hour. The lake is relatively calm and you could easily spend a pleasant hour or two paddling around looking for wildlife.
Boat trip – There’s a wide variety of boat trips available, and you can either book ahead or show up and choose one of the many operators who accost you in the main square. Where you go on the lake will depend on how long the boat ride is. We chose a private, 2-hour boat trip with Milica and headed West into the lake. We enjoyed a quick swim (it was a bit chilly), spotted a wide variety of birds, and marvelled at Zabljak Crnojevica Fortress from the water.
Cost: Expect to pay around €25/hr for a 4-6 person boat.
Besac Castle – Besac Castle/Fortress is an imposing site over the town of Virpazar. It was built by the Ottoman Empire in 1475 and was on the border of the Slavic and Turkish areas (making it strategically significant). The fortress is mostly in ruins, but a few areas have been restored. You can walk (uphill) from town, or drive the narrow roadway. With the kids, we chose to drive, which I think was a wise decision!
Cost: €1/adult, €0.5/kids
Hours: 10am-6pm daily
*expert tip – There’s a free parking lot on the right hand side as you enter the town from the North (labeled Parking Virpazar on Google Maps). It’s a short walk across the road to the main town, and worth the cost savings and not having to fight with the traffic in town.
Where To Stay at Lake Skadar With Kids
Lake Skadar is large, but most things are centred around the town of Virpazar. You can easily visit the lake on a day trip from Cetinje, Budva or Sveti Stefan. However, if you’re wanting to stay at the lake I’d suggest staying in or around Virpazar.
Apartment In Town – Apartment Milena
A clean and spacious apartment with a lovely private terrace. Breakfast is included in the price, and the host family can organize boat trips on the lake as well as home cooked meals.
Look for the most up-to-date pricing for Apartment Milena here.
Countryside Apartment – Wood House
This quaint country cottage is very close to Virpazar, but with a much more relaxed vibe. The house is new, with beautiful fixtures and comfortable beds for the perfect stay. The host family is lovely and can arrange home-cooked meals and tours on the lake.
Find the latest pricing and availability at Wood House here.
(image courtesy of booking.com)
Farm House – Vrzina Farm House
A lovely farm house located a short drive from Virpazar. You can add an incredible local breakfast for a small price, purchase locally-made products, and book a very reasonably priced boat tour on the lake.
Check availability and pricing for Vrzina Farm House here.
Winery – Studio & Winery Kalimut
If you like the countryside, wine and good food, this is the stay for you! Family rooms are reasonably priced with single beds for the kids (always a win for us!). The hosts are fantastic and cook up delicious, fresh, local meals.
Find the pricing and availability for Studio & Winery Kalimut here.
Eco Villa with a POOL – Eco Villas Merak
When traveling with kids, you can never go wrong with a pool! Lake Skadar is okay for swimming, but it’s a bit chilly! Kids will be happy to come “home” and jump in this spectacular pool in the countryside. It’s a short walk (just over a km) into Virpazar, or you can use the free bikes they have on site.
Check out the latest prices and availability for Eco Villas Merak here.
(image courtesy of booking.com)
Ostrog Monastery With Kids
Any time a picture of Ostrog Monastery would pop up on my Instagram feed it would nurture my inner wanderlust, and my need to visit Montenegro and see this Monastery! Ostrog Monastery is built into the side of a cliff WAY up high on the mountainside in the middle of Montenegro. It’s truly spectacular, with incredible views overlooking the valley below further adding to it’s splendour.
We visited Ostrog at the end of the day, arriving technically after “closing time”, but people were still arriving after us so I don’t think they’re particularly strict on the visiting hours! At this time of day the crowd had thinned out and we were able to enjoy a relatively relaxed visit. The girls lit a few prayer candles (their favourite thing) without feeling rushed…which was a good thing because they both decided to buy 10 candles and light each one individually saying a separate prayer every time. Needless to say they were NOT fast, so the lighter crowd was a blessing.
We spent well over an hour wandering through the Monastery and it’s churches, lighting prayer candles, and listening to the evening prayers (even if we couldn’t understand it). If you take into account the drive to and from the Monastery, I’d suggest setting aside a good 3-4 hours depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re staying.
Before we visited my kids were dead-set on spending the night in the Monastery courtyard. Randy was skeptical about this plan at best, and I could’ve gone either way. In the end, when we realized the courtyard was cobblestone and the sleeping mattresses provided were little more than a duvet cover, we opted against it, but the girls still talk about staying there “next time”.
If you’re interested in visiting Ostrog Monastery, I put all the nitty gritty details in a separate post for your reading pleasure! It’s full of information about the Monastery, what to expect during your visit, kid tips, where to stay near the Monastery, and even info about staying at the Monastery if you’re more adventurous than we were.
Where To Stay Near Ostrog Monastery With Kids
If you’re looking to be adventurous, it’s possible to stay right at the Monastery, the details are in this comprehensive post on visiting Ostrog Monastery.
If you’re not looking to be quite as adventurous (or just like a private room with a bed), check out these options:
We ate dinner and slept at Koliba. It’s most of the way down the switch-backs, but still high enough to have an excellent view over the valley. There are lovely two-bedroom cabins available that fit up to 6 people and have a private bathroom. The other option is a twin room (2 single beds) with a shared bathroom. Some of these have air conditioning and some don’t. I’d recommend the rooms with A/C!
All rooms include a cooked to order breakfast.
Check the prices for the cabins on Booking.com.
This hotel comes highly recommended and has a great view of the monastery. It’s found on the “new highway” towards Danilovgrad. The prices were a bit out of our budget, but if you’re looking for something a bit more comfortable than a twin room with shared bathroom, this is your place!
Book your room at Sokoline, or check out the best prices.
Durmitor National Park With Kids
We just dipped into the North edge of Durmitor National Park on our way between Kosovo and Serbia. If our kids were a little bit older it would’ve been higher on the list, because there’s a ton of great outdoor adventures to be found.
If you’re planning on heading to Durmitor (where we will definitely spend MORE time on our next trip to Montenegro), you’ll want to base yourself in Žabljak. This is a small mountain town, and is the perfect antidote to the heat and craziness of the Montenegrin coast. Skiing is the main draw here, so if you’re visiting in the summer it’s actually low-season (hurray!!)
Things To Do Around Durmitor National Park With Kids
Black Lake (Crno Lake)
This is the largest lake in Montenegro, and is great to visit with kids. There’s an easy 3.5km walk around the lake that’s well marked relatively flat. There are info boards around the trail about the plants and animals found in the area that the kids will find interesting. The Black Lake is located in Durmitor National Park, so you’ll need to pay the €3 entrance fee (kids 7 and under are free). If you don’t want to walk (or also want to get on the lake) you can hire a boat from the small dock. Expect to pay €8-10/hr.
Crno Lake (Image Credit: Adobe Stock)
Djurdjevica Tara Bridge
If you’re traveling with littles, rafting the Tara canyon likely isn’t on your itinerary. A more kid-friendly way to see the Tara Canyon is by visiting the Djurdjevica Tara Bridge. The bridge is 365m long and the roadway stands 172 metres above the river. It’s pretty breathtaking!
*expert tip – If you want to walk across the bridge you’ll have to park on either side of the bridge. Unfortunately you have to pay for any parking that’s remotely close.
*kid tip – If you’re traveling with older kids you can zip-line across the canyon near the bridge!
Djurdjevica Tara Bridge (Image credit: Adobe Stock)
There are a plethora of hiking trails here if you have adventurous kids, have trained them well, or brought along the hiking carrier. You can find a map of hiking routes in town, or stop at the Tourist Information Center near the Black Lake.
Durmitor Mountains (Image credit: Adobe Stock)
Where To Stay Near Durmitor National Park With Kids
The main city near Durmitor, and the best place to base yourself for visiting the National Park, is Žabljak.
Apartment – Vuk Popovic
Perfectly located in the center of town, this 2-bedroom apartment is a great home base for a family trip to the mountains. The kitchen is well stocked and the owners are helpful and welcoming.
Check out the latest pricing and availability at Vuk Popovic here.
Organic Family Farm
This might be the most family-friendly accommodation in Montenegro! There’s tons of space for the kids to run, delicious food prepared by the hosts, and it’s close enough to drive into Žabljak for restaurants and shops.
Find up-to-date pricing for Organic Family Farm here.
(image courtesy of booking.com)
How Much Does It Cost To Visit Montenegro?
Montenegro is a relatively inexpensive country for Europe. Our family of 4 averaged $275 CAD/day. This included our car rental & gas. It would be possible to do it for much cheaper, especially if you travel during low season (rather than August, which is the peak of high-season!). For this price we spent money when we wanted, and didn’t really skimp or budget.
If you’re planning on heading to Montenegro with kids, make sure you PIN THIS for later!
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