Ulcinj in Montenegro is quite different from the famous and overcrowded beach spots on the Montenegrin coast. Although many tourists go here in summer, you won’t find many Western people as the place is loved by Albanians, Serbs, Montenegrins and Russians.
Located in the south of Montenegro, right at the border with Albania, Ulcinj is desperate to be discovered by the ordinary tourist. The maze of houses, local restaurants and many beaches feel completely different from the rest of Montenegro.
Where Budva en Bar are party heaven, Ulcinj is calmer. The Old Town, which is almost completely in ruins, is a great spot for wandering around without being disturbed and gives you a great view over the intensely blue Adriatic Sea.
Here are the top things to do in Ulcinj
Feel like a canned sardine at Mala Plaza – City Beach
Admittedly, Mala Plaza is not the place to go during the peak season. In July and August there is no sand to be spotted due to the crowds enjoying some fun beach time. It’s best to walk a little further, to the rocky parts. Although not as comfortable as the sandy beach, you’ll find a little more quiet time here. Mala Plaza is also where you can find the imposing Liberty Monument.
Enjoy the peaceful Velika Plaza – Long Beach
Velika Plaza is better for getting your tan. This 13 km long beach has enough space for some, relatively, quiet time. You can rent sun beds for €5 or lay your towel on the sandy shore.
The beach is divided into individual beaches. Some are meant for nudists while others are more suitable for families.
The fun part about this beach is that you can get there by boat, departing from the tiny harbor in front of the Old Town. Halfway, you’re supposed to jump out and swim (walk, basically) to shore. A super fun experience when you don’t carry loads of expensive camera gear!
The other option is to take a taxi, which shouldn’t cost you more than €7 one way. There are no public transport links to this beach.
Enjoy the rocky beaches
Sapore di Mare and Aquarius Beach are just two of the rocky beaches you can find in Ulcinj. Usually it will be a little less crowded here because everyone tries to get a spot on the sand. When you rent a sun bed, there’s nothing to worry about through.
Check out the many mosques of Ulcinj
Ulcinj is close to the Albanian border which made that the city is filled with mosques. Whether you visit Pasha’s Mosque, which has a Turkish hammam attached, or the Mezjah Mosque, Ulcinj’ main place of worship, there’s enough cool stuff to see all around!
Wander the ruins of the Old Town of Ulcinj
The Old Town of Ulcinj is still in ruins due to the earthquake of 1979. Despite the fact that there’s not much to do here, wandering around can be quite peaceful as there are usually not many people around. The Old Town feels authentic and old because of the lack of flashy tourist shops and street vendors. Quite nice, for a change!
The Old Town also has amazing views over the Adriatic Sea, which you can enjoy without too many fuss around you. The best time to come here is when the sun sets.
Learn about Ulcinj through a museum
Inside the Old Town you can find a museum and gallery, located right next to each other. The museum houses Roman and Ottoman artefacts and a relief map of the town. The entrance fee is around €2.
View from the Old Town over the stunning Adriatic Sea.
Visit the St. Nicholas’ Cathedral
Close to a beautiful grove of olive trees you’ll find Nicholas Cathedral. The building dates back from 1890 although it is believed it was built upon a monastery from the 15th century. Right next to it, you can also see the Orthodox cemetery.
See Valdanos Cove while you can
There are rumors of privatization of this beautiful piece of the Adriatic so make sure you see it while you still can! The cove is covered in 18.000 olive trees that are up to 2000 years old. The best thing you can do here is pack a picnic basket and enjoy your day with some great snacks.
Go bird watching at Lake Sas
Lake Sas is probably one of the lesser-known things to do in Ulcinj. This spot is ideal for bird-watching as well as spending a day in nature. If you venture up the hill above the lake, you’ll find the ruins of Sas old town. This town, which was probably once a monastery, was invaded by the Serbs, Mongols and Ottomans before it became the ruin it is today.
When it’s 43 degrees Celsius, hilly Ulcinj is tough!
How to get to Ulcinj
From Montenegro, there are many bus connections to Ulcinj. We took the bus from Kotor to get in Ulcinj 5 hours later. Popular beach town like Budva and Bar also connect to Ulcinj, as well as capital city Podgorica.
Where to sleep in Ulcinj
Vukmanovic Apartments is located in the city center and offers fully equipped apartments with great views over the sea. From the terrace you can watch the sun set while enjoying a great bottle of wine.
Motel Ajana is a very affordable choice when you want to spend your time in Ulcinj by the beach. It offers deluxe rooms with great facilities as well as a delicious breakfast. The best part is that room prices start from €20!
Ready to visit Ulcinj?
Let me know what’s on top of your list for visiting this amazing Montenegrin city! Have you been? Make sure to tag me in all your travel photos on social media!
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