Most tourists flying into Montenegro will begin their trip by flying into Podgorica Airport (TGD), located 9 kms out of the city. Since for most travelers Podgorica is the beginning and ending point of their journeys, renting a car from here is certainly practical.

Podgorica is the capital and largest city in Montenegro, with a population of roughly 170,000. The city is unique as it is located on the banks of six rivers: Moraca, Ribnica, Zeta, Sitnica, Mareza, and Cijevna. Architecturally, the city is extremely diverse owning to its long and colorful history. The Ottoman empire ruled this region for some time, leaving their mark on the city. There are also many examples of medieval structures coexisting beside grey communist functionalist buildings, and then the modern glass ones, typical of most European cities. The ultra-modern Millenium Bridge is a stunning example of the newest face of Podgorica.

Podgorica is the cultural capital of the county, and tourists that rush off to the beach towns or mountains without spending some time in Podgorica will certainly be missing out on an important part of the country. The city is the trading center of Montenegro, and as such, the shopping in Podgorica is tremendous. Imported Italian fabrics and clothes, art galleries, and bodegas selling the finest Montenegrin wines and brandies are all reasons to spend a few days in the capital city. Visitors will certainly want to see the Sat-Kula, or clock tower that looks down over the city, a remnant from the Ottoman conquest of the area. Also of interest to those interested in the archeological history of this region is Duklja, the site of the original settlement here some twenty centuries ago.

Renting a car is the most independent and convenient way to see Podgorica, and from the city there are loads of interesting day trips that provide a different view of this spectacular country. Just a short drive north, and the snowy mountains are available for skiing or relaxing in nature. To the south are the resorts, beaches, and sun, which provide a completely different environment. Here are a few of the day trips from Podgorica that shouldn’t be missed by any visitor.

  • Scadar Lake: If not the most beautiful lake in all of Europe, the certainly among the top few. Scadar Lake lies on the Montenegrin/Albanian border and is a National Park, habitat to millions of pelicans, and the largest lake in the Balkans. There are numerous islands, peninsulas, and inlets with old churches, prisons, and other ancient and interesting structures to see. To get to the lake, drive south on E65/E80 for about half and hour.
  • Danilovgrad: Located about a half hour’s drive west of Podgorica (South on E65/E80, then right turn on 18/E762), Danilovgrad is a beautiful river town, with beaches along the river, boat rides, and beautiful greenery. The town has been a favorite for artists and sculptors for many years, and contains many fine galleries. Just a few kilometers outside town is the Zdrebaonik monastery, with its beautiful gardens.
  • Zabljak: Located in the Durmitor mountain region, Zabljak is a peaceful alpine town, located 1500 meters above sea level. With snow half the year, this small town is perfect for snow skiing, or just spending some time away from it all. The Durmitor region is a national park, and is located 170 km from Podgorica. The roads here are difficult and need maintenance, but are open unless extreme weather forces them to close.