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The Ultimate Guide to Bar (2024)

Welcome to the Essential Guide to Bar! Situated in Montenegro’s southern region, this seaside town is the heart of Bar Municipality. With its prime location along the Adriatic Sea, Bar boasts breathtaking vistas over the azure waters. Though it’s not a sprawling metropolis, the pristine nature around it, including the nearby Lake Skadar and the remnants of 16th-century architecture, combined with its rich olive oil heritage, makes Bar an unmissable spot for anyone journeying through Montenegro to witness the nation’s splendor.

Where is Bar?

Bar, Montenegro is located on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of the capital city of Podgorica.

Bar: Know before you go

✈️ Airport: Podgorica Airport (TGD) is approximately 33km away

⏰ Time Zone: Central European Standard Time (GMT+1)

 Currency: Euro

 Language: The official language of Montenegro is Montenegrin. Other languages commonly spoken in Podgorica include Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian.

 Visa: Those with passports from Australia, Canada, the EU, UK and US can travel to Montenegro without a visa and remain there for up to 90 days. Please click here for more details about your own country

 Electricity Socket: The most common type of electricity socket used in Montenegro is the standard two-pin European socket, which uses 220-240 volts at a 50Hz frequency.

 SIM Card: Wondering, Do I need a SIM card for Montenegro? The answer is yes, and read our blog post on what the best way is for tourists.

About Bar

Bar city, with its rich history rooted in the Neolithic Era, has seen the footprints of numerous civilizations. The remnants of a Roman Castle once graced its city center, and over time, the Byzantines, the Venetian Empire, and the Ottomans have all left their mark on this historic locale. Notably, Bar played a pivotal role in the Balkan narrative, being the birthplace of the region’s first railroad. The legacy of Jovan Vladimir, among others, is intricately woven into the tapestry of Bar’s past.

Fortress Bar: Credit Alexander Shchukin
Fortress Bar: Credit Alexander Shchukin

Despite being around for a long while, Bar doesn’t have a huge population. The town itself has just 13,000 inhabitants, with the entire municipality standing at a little over 40,000. This has resulted in the area around Bar remaining untouched, with plenty of ancient ruins, nature walks, and other experiences to enjoy. 

What is the best time to visit Bar?

The best time to visit Bar is between May and September. The daytime temperature during these months is pleasant, but it’s worth noting that July and August see the peak demand, especially during the European school holiday season. For travelers not bound by school breaks, June and September offer optimal travel conditions with comfortable daytime temperatures and milder minimum nighttime temperatures.

Montenegro Essentials

⛰️ Montenegrin Essentials 🏖– Planning a trip to Montenegro? 🇲🇪 These travel essentials will help you plan your journey ⛰️

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Montenegro Tours

Our Top Choice for Montenegrin Tour Operators: Viator and Get Your Guide offer discounted tickets 🎫 for major attractions and have the best variety by far.

Getting Around Montenegro: To fully explore the stunning mountains and beautiful beaches, a car is essential 🚗⛰️🏖️. We highly recommend using LocalRent for the most affordable rental rates.

Why Visit Bar?

Bar is just 53km from the capital of Montenegro, which is close enough for a day trip, but far enough that you get a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Bar is famous for its stunning views over the Adriatic Sea. While the beaches around Bar are very stony, there are small villages and towns close by with stretches of sandy beach, and they are all reachable from within Bar.

Bar, Montenegro - Credit qkudev
Bar, Montenegro – Credit qkudev

Bar’s primary allure lies in its stunning hiking and nature trails, especially those around Mount Rumija. During the summer, the town buzzes with tourists eager to immerse themselves in nature, with Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the region, offering a serene backdrop for boat rides on its shimmering blue waters.

For architecture enthusiasts, Bar is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Its compact size ensures that every corner is accessible by foot. As you wander through its winding streets, you’ll be enveloped by a blend of ancient edifices and contemporary structures. The stony beaches add to the town’s charm, and tucked away in its alleys, gems like the Church of St Jovan Vladimir await discovery, ensuring there’s always something new around every bend.

Key Attractions Around Bar

While Bar is small, it is certainly not hurting for attractions.

Visit the Old Town

The Bar Old Town is an excellent example of a typical medieval fortified city. You can wander through its narrow streets, admire the beautiful stone buildings, and climb the castle walls to get breathtaking views of the city and the sea. Admission is free, and the Old Town is open from dawn to dusk.

Visit Stari Bar

Stari Bar is a ruined city that was abandoned after an earthquake in 1979. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination and a great place to learn about the region’s history. Admission is free, and it’s open from 9 am to 4 pm every day.

Stari Bar – Credit Jormancoskreci

While to some it may not be particularly interesting, Bar is also home to the oldest olive tree in Europe. It is said to be almost 2,500 years old!

Hike to Rumija Mountain

Rumija Mountain is the highest peak in the area, and it offers fantastic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding mountains. You can take a guided tour or hike on your own, but be aware that the trail can be challenging. The best time to visit is during the summer months. Admission is free.

Bar Royal Palace

The real highlight of Bar is the Bar Royal Palace, constructed near the end of the 19th Century. This stunning palace is still used as the summer residence of the royals, and a lot of people attempt to catch glimpses of them during the summer months.

Bar Royal Palace, Bar - Credit Jelena Arunovic
Bar Royal Palace, Bar – Credit Jelena Arunovic

Go to the Beach

The Bar Riviera boasts some of Montenegro’s most captivating beaches. Veliki Pijesak, Maljevik Beach, and Sutomore stand out as the most renowned among them. While every beach welcomes visitors without an entry fee, amenities like chairs, umbrellas, and water sports equipment come with a rental charge. Additionally, Susanjska Beach is another gem on the Riviera, known for its unique gravel beach texture. Not to be overlooked, Zukotrlica beach offers a serene escape for those looking to bask in the beauty of the Montenegrin coast.

Also Read: Drobni Pijesak Beach

Anybody heading to Montenegro absolutely should take a trip down to Bar, particularly if interested in the nature of Montenegro. 

Also Read: Visit Murici – an idyllic village

Places to stay Bar

Best For Families – Hotel Pharos

  • Ulica Sćepana malog. br. 14, 85000 Bar, Montenegro
  • Telephone:  +382 67 569 670 

Hotel Pharos is one of the highest-rated places for families. It isn’t a surprise, really. It is just a short hop from the beach and the center of the city. Perfect for when you have tired children in tow. If you don’t feel like leaving the hotel, then you have a fantastic swimming pool to enjoy.

One of the major highlights of staying at Hotel Pharos is that it gives you access to a private beach. There are free shuttle buses running to the private beach every single day, and it saves you from having to deal with the hustle and bustle of Bar’s beaches during the summer months.

While the hotel rooms are not exactly top-class rooms, they are perfect for families. The prices are low, and it means that you can still be in comfort. The on-site hotel, on the other hand, is one of the best in Bar. People come from far and wide to taste the culinary delights here.

If you do stay here, then make sure that you take a trip up to the shared rooftop terrace. Not only is it relaxing, but you can enjoy some of the best views over Bar, including a gorgeous view of the amazing Cathedral. 

Best For Couples – Hotel Princess

  • Jovana Tomasevica 59, 85000 Bar, Montenegro
  • Telephone: +382 30 300 100 

Located just a short distance from the center of Bar, Hotel Princess is rated as one of the best hotels for couples. It is fantastic for a one-night stay, but if you are planning on hanging around and exploring Bar’s natural beauty, then Hotel Princess can be the perfect base of operations. 

Hotel Princess offers stunning rooms, fantastic food, and poolside bars to let you wile away the summer months in one of the most tranquil settings in the country.

Couples that are looking to unwind will enjoy the well-equipped wellness center, offering hot tubs, a sauna, and a gym.

After getting back from a long day at the beach or exploring nature, Hotel Princess runs various music events. You can listen to traditional Montenegran music while drinking amazing Montenegran drinks. 

Off The Beaten Path – La Petit Chateau

  • Obala kralja Nikole, 85 000 Bar, Montenegro
  • Telephone: +382 30 314 400 

The small size of Bar means that it is difficult to venture off the beaten path. So, while you won’t be finding these quaint hotels in the middle of nowhere, you do have some quirky hotels in the center of the town. La Petit Chateau is one of the best.

Privately owned, La Petit Chateau has just three rooms. It is set within the walls of King Nicola’s Palace, so you really will be taking your seat among the royals (who still visit the area during the summer). 

Should I visit Bar?

In conclusion, Bar stands as a versatile destination, offering a myriad of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re drawn to its 16th-century historical sites, the allure of Skadar Lake, or the beautiful beaches that line its coast, Bar promises a memorable journey. Nature enthusiasts will be enchanted by the surrounding landscapes, while history buffs will delve into the numerous legends that the town holds.

The welcoming embrace of its residents, coupled with mouthwatering local cuisine and a vibrant ambiance, ensures that every visitor feels at home. If a blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation is what you seek, then Bar beckons. Embark on your Montenegrin adventure and let the enchanting beauty of Bar sweep you off your feet!

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. 

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