Discovering hidden places in familiar destinations is always exciting. This is especially true when it comes to popular cities such as Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.
Located in the central region of Montenegro, Podgorica is often visited by tourists who want to enjoy this urban and business environment. Also, many choose to stop here on their way to the stunning Adriatic coast.
However, Podgorica is much more than a transit zone. In this city, you can enjoy the quiet charm and relaxing atmosphere. What makes it stand out even more are the hidden places scattered around the city waiting to be discovered. Therefore, keep reading as we share the local choice of hidden gem you probably missed when researching Podgorica.
The Thrilling Capital
Like any capital city, Podgorica offers a blend of the old and the new. Its centuries-old architecture alongside modern buildings creates a unique vibe that collides with the vibrant atmosphere. Speaking of which, when visiting Podgorica you shouldn’t miss popular sights like the Millennium Bridge. It is a symbol of Montenegrin modernity, famous for its spectacular design and stunning view of the Moraca River. From there, you can enjoy the panorama of other Podgorica bridges and meanders of the river that goes through the city.
On the opposite side of the town, the ancient ruins of Doclea provide a glimpse into Podgorica’s Roman past. At the same time, Petrovic Castle, now a gallery, located in the business district of the capital shares the story of Montenegro’s royal era.
The Hidden Places of Podgorica
Besides the most popular attractions that are often visited, Podgorica has many hidden gems that make it special. Sometimes, even locals forget about these locations and their value, so rediscovering them contributes to the unique allure that the former “Titograd” has. In the next few paragraphs, we bring you some of the most important and not-so-popular attractions to see in Podgorica:
Stara Varos, or the Old Town of Podgorica, is a small area in the city center with narrow lanes and Historic architecture. These are remains of the former settlement dating back to Ottoman times, whose influence can be felt even today. Buildings in this area are preserved and provide an interesting contrast to the modernity surrounding it.
Stara Varos offers a serene escape from the big city’s hustle. At the same time, every stone and corner tells a story of the city’s rich history. Although it is known for Sahat Kula, the clock tower located a bit further from the actual old town, Stara Varos is much more than that.
While visiting, pay attention to its true jewels the Skender Čauševa-Starodoganjska and Osmanagica masques, dating back to the 15th century. Besides these two significant religious buildings, Stara Varos is home to the oldest preserved house in Podgorica, Cardak Krupljevica. It is believed that the house was built at the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth.
All these elements rightfully place Stara Varos among the exceptional hidden places of Podgorica that should be more explored.
Just a short drive from the city center lies the Plantaze Vineyard, one of the largest vineyards in Europe. It has over 28 species of grapes in this area, among which 63 old vines are unique and can only be found in Montenegro.
This hidden gem offers a relaxing atmosphere away from the city. Simultaneously, you can indulge yourself in the best wines in the region including Montenegrin Vranac. It is often overseen as a place to stroll around nature and enjoy the marvels of winemaking.
The vineyard’s picturesque setting provides a perfect backdrop for a laid-back afternoon. This makes Plantaze a special place in Podgorica that is worth visiting.
Medun, located just northeast of Podgorica, is a village that holds a significant place in Montenegro’s history. The ancient ruins were once a city constructed between the 4th and 3rd centuries and home to the Illyria tribe Labeata, who ruled the Skadar basin. Today, in this area you can visit the fortress and St. Nicholas Church.
Medun also plays an important role in Montenegrin history as it is the birthplace of Marko Miljanov, one of the biggest local heroes. You can visit his museum as a tribute to the region’s past and the heroic acts of Miljanov.
The village is often a choice of locals running from the big city noise and seeking a rustic charm and historical significance. The panoramic views from Medun are a visual treat, showcasing Podgorica’s natural beauty which should definitely be on your to-do list.
Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus
The Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus is the only Catholic temple in Podgorica, offering a unique spiritual experience. However, modern architecture and brutalist design are what attract visitors to this stunning building.
The church represents a visual delight and one of the hidden places of the city contrasting with the traditional Orthodox churches found in the city. Its peaceful ambiance provides a space for reflection, while its unique presence in Podgorica adds to the city’s diverse religious landscape.
However, because it is not a very popular landmark, many consider it one of the best-hidden gems of Montenegro’s capital, parallel in architectural value to the Blok V and the University building.
Dajbabe Hill, with its lush greenery and peaceful environment, is a natural retreat not far from Podgorica’s center and yet another example of hidden places in this city. It extends from the Zabjelo neighborhood to the Aluminum plant, offering numerous spots for sightseeing, jogging, relaxing, or exploring. The area boasts trails, benches, viewpoints, and an ancient Orthodox monastery in a cave near the Aluminum Plant.
On the hill, you can check out the Dajbabe Tower. It is not a TV tower as it appears, but a facility for managing radio frequencies. Enjoy a nearly 270° view from the hill, encompassing the cityscape, Skadar Lake, and distant mountains. It is one of the best views in town, although this hill is less popular than Gorica.
Podgorica, the heart of Montenegro, is a city that encapsulates a rich versatility of historical, cultural, and natural allure. However, this capital city is also full of hidden places and interesting spots that are often overlooked.
From the incredible atmosphere of its modern cityscape to the interesting past echoing through the ruins of Doclea and the scenic lanes of Stara Varos, Podgorica is a place to enjoy. The city’s particular appeal comes from several undiscovered locations, including the spectacular architecture of the Church of the Holy Heart of Jesus and the historic importance of Medun, the astonishing landscapes of the Plantaze Vineyard, and the breathtaking views from Dajbabe Hill.
Therefore, when visiting Podgorica make sure to truly explore this interesting city by paying attention to all the wonders that it offers along its streets.