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Is it better to stay in Budva or Sveti Stefan?

When planning a trip to Montenegro, travelers often choose either Budva or Sveti Stefan. However, choosing between these two destinations is not easy. Both locations offer unique experiences with a variety of amenities to explore.

Although very close to each other, Budva and Sveti Stefan offer completely different experiences. In addition to incredible nature, these places provide some of the most spectacular views on the Adriatic coast. Budva and Sveti Stefan’s convenient locations also provide easy access to cultural heritage sights as well as plenty of modern amenities, making them top picks for travelers.

But how do you decide which one is right for your vacation?

Don’t worry we got you covered! In this blog, we’ll help you make decisions by outlining some of the highlights of both Budva and Sveti Stefan. Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, serene beaches, or historic charm, this guide will include all you need to choose the next destination for your vacation.

Montenegro Essentials

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Budva, located on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations due to its amazing amenities. It is set close to both Podgorica and Tivat airports, and its infrastructure makes it easy to navigate the rest of the country.


Budva is one of the most developed cities in the south of Montenegro, and it has numerous natural wonders to explore. Among the most important sights are Budva’s beaches, including Jaz and Kamenovo, together with the island of Sveti Nikola. Here, you can enjoy the crystal clear water, sand, or pebbly beaches and incredible horizons in front of you.

Budva - Fotolia
Budva – Fotolia

Besides natural wonders, Budva is renowned for its rich history centred around the city’s Old Town (Stari Grad). This is a must-visit location, featuring narrow cobblestone streets, ancient churches, and Venetian-era buildings. The Citadel, a fortress offering panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, and Mogren Beach are known as the ultimate attractions when exploring the marvels of Budva.

However, Budva is not only about culture and nature, but it is also about a fun night out. With plenty of clubs along the coast and its hills, Budva will offer you a night to remember. These include the Top Hill with popular Balkan beats and electronic music with Trocadero and Omnia.

Budva's Old Town and beach
Budva’s Old Town and Beach


Finally, as Budva’s popularity grows each year, there is a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets and preferences. In addition to hotels, you can enjoy a variety of private accommodation options on AirBnB and Booking. However, make sure you make a booking in time, especially if visiting during the summer months. If in doubt, see our guide for best budget hotels to stay in Budva. We also recommend Avala Resorts – which pretty much has what you could be looking for.

If in doubt, feel free to book through Hotellook, which provides the best prices for all the local hotels by scouring through all the websites so you don’t have to.

In this way, Budva caters to a wide range of travelers. It is a good location for families with kids due to its great beaches and parks, although many youngsters choose it due to its incredible nightlife. Couples can also have fun while enjoying romantic sunset walks along the promenade and intimate dinners at seaside restaurants.

Where to Stay

Looking for a hotel to stay?

Always compare the prices of Hotels – and end up saving $$$s. We recommend Hotel Look for the best prices

Prefer staying in Villas?

Montenegro has a great range of apartments and villas available at VRBO

Charter a Yacht

Looking for a luxurious and hassle-free way to discover Montenegro’s breathtaking coastline?

SEARADAR makes yacht chartering a breeze! Enjoy personalized service and a selection of the finest yachts, all at unbeatable prices. Whether you want to sail through the serene waters of Kotor Bay or experience the vibrant nightlife of Budva, SEARADAR takes care of everything from booking to sailing. 

Sveti Stefan

A five-minute ride from Budva is Sveti Stefan, an iconic island transformed into a hotel. It is connected to the coast with a narrow passage that features a beach on both sides. Sveti Stefan is well known as the ultimate luxurious destination where you can enjoy peace away from Budva’s rush.

Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan


It is renowned for its iconic 15th-century fortified village, now managed by Aman Resorts. The islet itself is the main attraction, offering a glimpse into Montenegro’s history and a chance to experience a private and serene environment. The hotel complex is open for the public to visit and explore, although the hotel itself is closed for stay.

The surrounding nature of Sveti Stefan is stunning. It offers plenty of hiking trails leading to the secluded beach of Milocer, where you can also find numerous restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy your time on the coast. Besides, visitors can enjoy guided tours and relax on the sandy Queen’s Beach (reached only by boat) and King’s Beach.



Accommodations in Sveti Stefan are predominantly high-end, with the Aman Resort being the highlight. However, as the resort is closed, there are many other accommodation options in the area, including hotels or private rooms and suites with modern amenities nearby. These offer stunning sea views and premium services to all of their guests.

The island is predominantly considered a relaxing location in Montenegro, which makes it perfect for families or couples. It is often chosen by travelers who seek peace for their vacation. Plenty of amenities are in close proximity, so you don’t have to leave this area, which makes it an ideal location for a stationary holiday. You can also enjoy sophisticated bars and restaurants with traditional food and music for a casual night out or a simple terrace drink while enjoying the beautiful panorama.  


Budva and Sveti Stefan belong to the top two destinations when exploring the Montenegrin coast. Both locations have a lot to offer, including mesmerizing natural wonders and modern amenities to keep you entertained. However, these two locations offer vastly different experiences in terms of atmosphere.

Sunset over Sveti Stefan

While Budva is lively and central, Sveti Stefan is much more for travelers seeking peace and fewer crowds. Additionally, Budva is much more suitable for on-budget travelers as its price range is much more versatile, while on Sveti Stefan, high-end price tags are a part of the experience. Therefore, based on your preferences, both locations can be the right choice depending on what you seek to experience, what your travel budget is, and whether you are traveling with your family, solo, or as a couple.

In any case, no matter what you decide, both locations will provide you with an unforgettable experience of the Adriatic Sea and Montenegrin hospitality.

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