The Montenegrin tourist capital of Budva is a tempting 23 km south of the Bay of Kotor. Budva has a big reputation as a beach holiday destination and we decided to check out the city beach of Slovenska, to see what all the fuss was about.[pinit]
Fighting our way through stalls selling beach towels and cheap sunglasses and bypassing the kid’s carnival rides, we eventually popped up on the promenade. The beach stretches off into the distance but it’s tiny width of 7 m, allowed us to see through the sun-lounges, umbrellas and touts, to the dazzling blue of the Adriatic.
We were here to see the beaches and old town, but many more visitors come for Budva’s night life.
Slovenska beach with the old town in the far left of the frame.
Side by side lounges are not our kind of beach scene, but a quick reality check reminded us this was Europe not Australia. What better way to absorb this fascinating scene than to find a seat in a vine covered cafe and watch the goings on. The majority of visitors to Budva are Russian and Ukranian.
July and August are the months that Eastern Europe flocks to Budva’s beaches and Clubs. Clubs like Top Hill “The best open air seaside club in Europe” which attracts 5000 revellers to an open air venue on Toplis Hill. The official travel website of Budva claims “Their nights are even hotter than the days” and I believe them.
We were headed for a more sedate end of town, along the beach walkway, beyond the marinas to where walls rise from the Adriatic to surround the old town. Open 9 am till midnight May to October and 9 am to 5 pm the rest of the year I liked the casual atmosphere of the walled town. Like Kotor’s, it was rebuilt after being partially destroyed by the 1979 earthquakes.
Immediately before reaching the old town there are two marinas, the closest one to the old town attracting mega yachts in the summer season.
The first Marina with views back to the beach promenade and city.
The Marina is a relaxing place to linger and nearby Restoran Porto has a 1st class view.
Old Walled Town
In July and August, the crowded old town, with it’s plays and concerts, is bursting at the seams, but in June you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the alleys.
Some parts were more action packed, with tourists, boutiques and men wearing nothing but underwear (and shoes).
The Citadel is at the far end of the old town with it’s ramparts forming part of the wall. It houses a library full of old books and maps and gives access to a small section of the wall with grand views to the ocean, hills and town.
Church of the Holy Trinity.
St. Ivan’s Church in the old town.
Church of St. Maria Punta (foreground) seen looking down from the Citadel was first built as a Benedictine Monastery in 1864.
Toplis Hill boasts the largest party space but on the beach side promenade of Slovenska Obalasome final touches were being added to some other popular bars.
Look for the Eifel Tower for Dancing, DJ’s and Live Acts at Trocadero Bar. That’s a huge disco ball being mounted in the tower.
The boat is the bar…
I’d like this bar when my feet were tired.
Outside the Wall – Party Space. The white rope around the top of the wall is flouro lighting and this whole space will be full of revellers till 1 a.m.
Deer roam free on St. Nicola Island only 1km off-shore. The kids call it Hawaii and you can catch a water taxi from near the marina 3 Euro each way. It boasts restaurant, cafe and three sandy beaches. We didn’t have time to indulge.
Looking across the walls from the Citadel over the top of the churches of the old walled town to modern day Budva and the hills.
Natural lush greens and deep blues when arriving in Budva from Bay of Kotor.
Looking down to the beach to the north of Budva. The road from the Bay of Kotor can be seen.
We love the ocean, so it follows that we love beaches. Budva’s Slovenska Beach reminded me of a teenager – bold and unrepentant. The beach scene was not too crowded in June, but would be torrid though July and August. On the other hand if I wanted to party the night away I’m guessing it would be outrageous fun.
Do you like party beaches?
Things to know.
Budva is 93 km south of Dubrovnik and 23 km south of Kotor.
Read about local beach buses and those from further away here. In summer there are daily buses to Dubrovnik.
The closest airport is at Tivat (Bay of Kotor) 20km to the north.
Add a link to your travel post at the link up below. I am co-hosting Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday with Ruth from Tanama Tales and Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations.
Oh, you are sparking that travel bug of mine with these posts of yours! I am not a fan of summer beach travel – wall-to-wall-bodies – leave me wanting wide open spaces. But I love seeing photos of people who have flocked to the beach and are enjoying the sun and sea!
Hi Jackie, Budva has a variety of beaches and we only visited one, I’m sure they have other beaches that are less crowded than the one right in the city. It was fun visiting and absorbing the vibe.
Ruth - Tanama Tales
I have heard mixed impressions about Budva. Some like it because it is kind of cosmopolitan. Other do not like it that much since it is touristy. From what I have seen from your photos, I would like to visit. The town and the water look beautiful. I am sure there are plenty of surprises around.
The beaches here remind me so much of the ones along the coast in Turkey at Bodrum. They are pretty tacky actually! And yes European men do wear their underwear on the beach! Yuk!! The rest of Budva looks spectacular. We are so spoilt here in Australia with gorgeous beaches.
We didn’t visit Bodrum in Turkey. I didn’t realize underwear was normal beach wear lol.
It’s very, very pretty but the beaches are so crowded. I wonder what they think when they come to Australia and see our massive beaches and silky sand. Captivating photos as usual, Jan.
They might possibly think our beaches were very boring lol (and beautiful too of course).
The beach and scenery at Budva look beautiful, but I think too crowded for me. I am not one for party beaches. The Old Town, however, looks a place I could spend hours wandering through.
Yes the old town was gorgeous in June. The weather was perfect – blue skies and warm but not hot. I believe it does get very crowded in July/August though.
What a beautiful city! I can see why it attracts so many people.
The beach reminds me a bit of Coney Island in the summer – covered with chairs and umbrellas – but it looks more orderly. Still, I can’t imagine just sitting like that. I wonder how warm the water gets in July and August. As someone from the tropics, I find it’s still pretty chilly here so I don’t go in even though I love the water.
Thanks for the tour, Jan!
I’m from a warm climate too Marcia and I didn’t even consider entering the water at Budva. I think it would be fine in August though 🙂
Grey World Nomads
I love to follow your posts as that part of the world is totally alien to me. What stunning pictures! I’m sure you could have enjoyed the beach if it would have been out of season in Montenegro. It looks very crowded in Budva but great for party fond people. #TPThursday
I thought it was a fun looking place in June, but I’m not sure about in July and August. 🙂 It is such a beautiful area.
Hi Jan! Beautiful scenery. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a man sporting only underwear. I’ll have remember this alley! 🙂 Love the look of the old walled town. Thanks for co-hosting this week. #TPThursday
I thought the underwear in the old town was unusual, but maybe not! The old town was lovely and I would like to see it with a few more people in it. Then I would find a cafe and settle in to watch the action.
Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats
The city and island look great, but that beach looks scarily crowded to me! I’d definitely also skip the beach in the summer and explore elsewhere as you did.
I think the beach would have looked a lot less crowded without the umbrellas and lounges!
The views are gorgeous! Amazing setting and looks so perfect for a holiday! I don’t think I like part beaches. I would prefer not so crowded beach any day!
Ha ha, I understand Indrani. I mostly like quiet beaches, but I like seeing other kinds of beaches as well.
Jo ~ Lifestyle Fifty
Can see why Budva is a popular beach resort, but the old walled town looks fascinating too. Aren’t the cliff views spectacular in that part of Croatia too.
Yes the cliffs and mountains provide wonderful views. The mountains behind Omis in Croatia were spectacular.
Loved Kotor and Budva looks nice but probably too “cool” for us – we’re way past the party times of our youth and sitting around pretentious cafes with the Gossip Girl set doesn’t appeal. So July and Aug would be out but would definitely want to check out when its quieter.
July and August would be too crowded for us Frank.