Budva is the most visited tourist destination in Montenegro accounting for more than 40% of the overnight stays in the whole country. The historic city is located at the Adriatic coast 90 km south of Dubrovnik and 60 km north of Ulcinj. Getting to Budva is fairly easy, how easy depends on the mean of transportation.
By Car: Budva is connected to the E80 which is one of the main roads in Montenegro. From Dubrovnik there is a travel distance of 94 km, including a crossing with the frequent ferry between Lepetane and Kamenari. If you travel around the Kotor bay the trip is about 30 km longer. From Podgorica there are two roads to Budva and, both have a travel time of around 1 hour and 15 minutes. From southern direction there is road a connection from Ulcinj and Bar. None of the above mentioned roads are real 4 lane highways and the quality of the roads varies from quite good to adventurous.
By Train: travelling by train to Budva is not really an option as the closest train station is in Sutomore, 30 km south of Budva. The only scenario in which the train might be an option, is if you travel from Belgrade to Montenegro. Other countries like Croatia or Bosnia do not have train connection to Montenegro.
By Bus domestic: getting to Budva by bus is probably the easiest option. From inside Montenegro e.g. Podgorica, Herceg Novi or Bar there are very frequent buses to Budva (app every hour during day time), from Herceg Novi to Budva bus travel time is about 2 hours, from Podgorica to Budva about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, from Bar to Budva around 1 hour. Tickets for the local domestic buses can be purchased at the bus station. The location of the bus stations can be found here:
By Bus international: One of the most popular bus connections is for sure the one between Dubrovnik and Budva. During summer months the buses on this route are mostly sold out, so buying your ticket in advance is advisable – here you can buy a ticket from Dubrovnik to Budva, and of course in the opposite direction from Budva to Dubrovnik. NOTE: as the buses from Dubrovnik drive as early as 7 AM and the latest bus leaves Budva after 6 PM it is possible to make a day trip to Budva using the bus.
Another very popular route is from Belgrade to Budva, each day there are several departures between the cities, some of the buses travel as night bus between the cities. Travel time for the route is about 10 hours.
If you wish to travel from Germany, Switzerland or Austria to Montenegro, there are not many direct buses to choose between, in most cases you will have to take a bus to Dubrovnik and then continue from there on. However there is at least one summer bus, which drives each Saturday from Hamburg, Hanover, Kassel, Würzburg, Nuremberg and Vienna to Budva – the returning bus drives from Budva on Thursdays.
By Plane: For travelling to Budva these are the most common airports used:
- The closest airport is the small airport in Tivat which is about 20 km from Budva. As there is no public bus or airport shuttle, the easiest way to get to Budva is to pre-book at transfer or take a taxi.
- The other alternative in Montenegro is Podgorica airport which is located 65 km from Budva centre, also here there is no option to take a bus, which leaves you with taxi or a pre-booked private transfer.
- The third airport which is commonly used when travelling to Budva is the Dubrovnik airport in Cilipi which is about 75 km from Budva. In principle you can take the bus from there to Budva, but as the buses do not depart from the airport, you first have to travel 20 km in the opposite direction to get to the main bus station in Dubrovnik, which makes it quite a bit a hassle. Most commonly people pre-book a transfer from the airport to Budva, here you can do so.
Also if you are travel to the smaller cities south of Budva like Becici, Sveti Stefan or Petrovac, taking a transfer from one of the mentioned airports is the easiest solution.
Excursions / day trips to Budva: From Dubrovnik you also have an option to join a day trip to Montenegro which is usually a full trip including also a visit to Kotor and other places along the coast. The price for a day trip from Dubrovnik is about 70-80 Euro a person, depending on what’s included in the trip.
What to do and see in Budva:
Basically Budva and its old town is the main place to see. Due to the cascaded landscape, there is a pretty good view on the city especially from the Citadel. The old city walls are also something to have a look at.
A visit to Becici which is connected to the southern end of Budva is something which can be done by foot.
A must do when being in Budva is to visit Sveti Stefan which is located 9 km south of Budva, and as you can see in the photo below it just looks fantastic.
Also a visit to Petrovac, which has a very nice old town part, is something one should do. The town is located about 18 km south of Budva and is among the most beautiful in Montenegro.
From Budva you can easily reach both Sveti Stefan and Petrovac, by and inexpensive shuttle bus, driving frequently along the coast. Also it is possible to get to the towns by a water taxi, which is of course more expensive and for that you get a fantastic view on the beautiful coast.
Budva, as well as the 3 locations mentioned all have some great beaches worthwhile spending some time at. During the summer season these beaches get really crowed, so if you are looking for peace in a hidden bay, you are at a wrong spot.
If you are staying the entire holiday in Budva you have options to join some interesting day trips, like e.g. a rafting tour on the Tara River – or a visit to the Ostrog Monastery, a sailing trip in the Kotor bay, do not forget a visit to the National park Skadar Lake which is quite close to Budva.
Useful tips when visiting Budva:
Due to the popularity of Budva it is for sure not the cheapest place you can visit in the country, especially not during the main season, when prices increase due to the high demand but, compared to the general European price level, the prices are still reasonable.
Despite the fact that Montenegro is not a member of the EU, the official currency is Euro: other currencies like US dollar or pound can be exchanged at post offices in banks or exchange offices. Thee exchange rate can vary quite a bit, so it is advisable to compare rates.
Credit cards, Master card, American express and especially Visa are widely accepted.
Like in the majority of European countries the power is 220 voltages (50 HZ), so no adapters needed, expect for the UK travellers.