Staying in Podgorica on the cheap
Staying in Podgorica is very much a challenge for the budget traveller. When we arrived on a grey, windy, rain-swept evening all the hostels that we initially tried were full, all declaring that you need to book in advance. The problem is that the options in the city are not great, with only a limited number of hostel beds available. If you miss out on these then prices climb very steeply, very quickly, so our advice is book ahead if at all possible.
Rooms Lijepa Kata (Steva Kraljevića bb) is not your typical hostel, is extremely difficult to find and fails to advertise itself in almost any place. It is, however, a life saver if you do actually manage to find out about its existence. The sleeping arrangements were a basic bunk bed and one toilet to share between the 6 or so rooms, but at the attractive price of 15€ a bed (when everywhere else was quoting 40€+) was good enough for us.
Hostel Nice Place (19 Decembar 60) is located very close to the city centre and comes very well reviewed. There are 4/5 mixed dorms and double bed private costing 11.40-14.40€ depending on season and if it’s the weekend, and although it was full when we tried, the hostel owner was apologetic and did try to organise us a bed elsewhere, even if he was unsuccessful.
Hostel Podgorica (Gojka Radonjica 11) is centrally located near the Turkish Old Town, with dormitory (10-15€) and private rooms (25-40€) options available. Facilities include wifi, common room and lockers and there is also a kitchen for travellers to use.
Nightlife in Podgorica can be broadly divided into two areas. In the Centar district, and especially on Njegoševa ulica and around the central square Trg Republike, lie the majority of the city’s cafés, bars, restaurants and clubs. The other concentration of nocturnal activity is located on the west bank of the River Moraca around the more modern Rimski Trg in the Vectra neighbourhood.
Given its grim appearance the nightlife in Podgorica is surprisingly well developed although the popularity of certain bars and clubs seems to wax and wane with the new moon. At present, for those looking to dance the night away, check out Buda Bar, which is open all day and deep into the night and Club Mint, located in the south stand of the stadium and a popular weekend spot that hangs on until very late.
Things to buy
The city centre shopping district is based around the streets: Njegoševa, Slobode & Hercegovačka which are mostly pedestrianised and are packed full of shops, cafés and banks. For those interested in clothes and fashion head to Bulevar Džordža Vašingtona, home of the boutique in Podgorica.
Podgorica’s two major markets are Mala pijaca, which specialises in fruit, veg and other foodstuffs, and Tuski put, which can be found near the edge of town and is a warren of stalls selling all manner of bric-a-brac. And if you are in need of anything else, head to one of the hypermarkets Mall of Montenegro or the little further out Delta City, where you can but English language books at Mamut.
Things to try
A couple of local Podgorican specialities include Popeci, a type of bread-crumbed pork fillet stuffed with white cheese and topped with mayonnaise and sour cream and carp prepared with strained plums and stewed vegetables. Other cheap eats include the Montenegrin staple pleskavica, a kind of hamburger which is sold in most places and Pizza Caffe (Oktobarske Revolucije 85) where you can get cheap pizzas for less than 5€.
You are never far away for an internet connection in Podgorica and it is even possible to get online at the free public wifi on Trg Republike. If that fails you, check out our useful map to help you fulfil your virtual needs.
written by: Jon