Once upon a moonshine it is necessary to be a tourist and certainly in a very small country like Montenegro (which is tiny) it’s hard to escape places of mass interest. If you’re looking for things to do in Budva with kids, here’s what we found.
Where is Budva?
Budva is on Montenegro’s central western coast between Bar and Kotor. Montenegro doesn’t benefit from a huge coastline but what it has is very impressive and kids are sure to love it.
What do the pros say about Budva?
Lonely Planet dubbed Budva
the poster child of Montenegrin tourism. Easily the country’s most-visited destination, it attracts hordes of holiday-makers intent on exploring its atmospheric Stari Grad (Old Town)
Unlike Croatia which has been welcoming tourists for at least three decades, Montenegro has been slow to enter the tourism market. I have no idea why because it’s an immensely beautiful country, the food is good, the sea is amazing and after originally only booking two weeks here, we booked another three.
The city of Budva
Budva is a sprawling metropolis on a Riviera coast line and everything gordy that comes with mass-tourism; high-rise hotels, neon flashing lights, cheap tourist apartment blocks and casinos but it’s saving grace is about 21km of beach and coastline. Budva is loud and busy but tucked away from the main road is the Stari Grad (Old Town).
Of course as we visited during the early summer months it was horrendously busy and crammed full of people from all nationalities trying to score photos and coffees.
It wasn’t a particularly good representation of current Montenegro but it does give a glimpse of Montenegro’s rich, cultural heritage – which by the way includes pirates!
Here’s things you can do with kids in Budva
Visit the Old Town
The Old walled town, which dates to roughly the 5th century, lies in a small peninsula and comprises a walled city with narrow, paved streets, archways, tunnels, buildings, Roman remains and a ridiculous number of churches and squares.
Today it is all a mis-match of shops, cafés, restaurants, museums and galleries but for an hour or two it was fun to explore and find somewhere to eat.
The old town has been restored considerably and is pretty in a quaint and unusual way.
Find somewhere to eat
After a few weeks of eating Montenegrin food, we were looking for something very different and we found Shanghai, an Asian inspired restaurant. We ate vegan sushi and noodles.
Swim or paddle on the beach near the walls
On each side of the old town are small beaches.
The one closest to Budva dive shop is a small triangle of shingle beach. We sat here. with a few of the locals, and we were able to walk around the base of the walls whilst getting our feet wet.
On the other side of the old town is Old Town Beach. It is much more touristy and has sun beds for rent.
Walk around Dukley Marina
The old town is actually REALLY SMALL and we were able to cover most of the streets inside an hour. In the 20th century Budva started serious expansion – this is evident from the hotchpotch of newly designed and built buildings sprinkled along the main road.
Located just outside the walls is the newly built marina. Here you can pick up a man and a boat and head over to the blue cave or over to some of the islands. They charge roughly €20 an hour.
You can also go and gawk at the huge boats that cost more than we’ll EVER earn in our life times!!
Jump off the Jetty
Walking further away from Budva marina is a jetty and Greco Beach. The kids spent a while looking for fish and crabs. The sea is so clear that it’s easy to spot shoals of tiny fish.
What we liked about this area of Budva was its calmness. There were lots of small beach areas, mostly shingle areas, where you can just enter the water and swim and snorkel. Certainly older Montenegrins can be seen every day taking their constitutional swim. It’s not surprise they all look so healthy.
You can also jump off the jetty here and snorkel.
Pose with the Ballerina
Nearly every photo I’ve seen of Budva has contained the bronze statue of the famous Ballerina so we went to find it.
Walk round to the hidden beach
There’s a pathway leading round the side of the rocks and it leads to Mogren beach and Mogren beach 2, both hidden from view. Although it’s busy, there are lots of areas for everyone: rock jumpers (not photographed here), paddlers, snorkellers, SUP boarders… everyone can find a place here.
The water is crystal clear and it’s clarity is unbelievable.
A short distance from Budva itself is the Austrian, Mogren Fortress. You can access it either from Mogren beach 2 or from the highway. The highway is the easiest choice.
The fort offers a great panoramic view of the entire western coast of the Budva Riviera.
Top TIPS for visiting Budva
- Don’t forget your swimmers (like we did).
- Consider downloading an offline map to help you get around.
- Some cafes only accept cash. There are cash machines in Budva but not Budva Old Town.
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What else can you do in Montenegro?