Discover buzzy beaches and romantic laneways
Budva is a Montenegrin town on the Adriatic Sea. It has around 14,000 inhabitants, and it is the centre of Budva Municipality.
The coastal area around Budva, called the Budva riviera, is the center of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife. Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast.
The Old Town of Budva is situated on a rocky peninsula, on the southern end of Budva field. Archaeological evidence suggests that Illyrian settlement was formed on the site of the Old Town before Greek colonization of the Adriatic. While the site was permanently settled since Roman era, most of existing city walls and buildings were erected during the Venetian rule.The entire town is encircled with defensive stone walls. The fortifications of Budva are typical of the Medieval walled cities of the Adriatic, complete with towers, embrasures, fortified city gates and a citadel.
Tourism is the main driver of the economy of Budva. It is a significant tourist destination on the eastern Adriatic, and by far the most popular destination in Montenegro. During the 2013, Budva recorded 668,931 tourist visits, and 4,468,913 overnight stays, thus accounting for 44,8% of tourist visits to Montenegro, and 47,5% of its overnight stays. Although Budva is notable for its long history and its well preserved Old Town, it is not primarily known as a destination for sightseeing or cultural tourism. Unlike Kotoror Dubrovnik, Budva has an image of a crowded beach resort, with a lively and vibrant atmosphere and a very active nightlife.
The Budva Riviera has some of the most attractive beaches of south Adriatic, and the most pleasant climate in Montenegro. Mogren beach is arguably the best known and most attractive of the Budva city beaches, nested beneath the cliffs of the Spas hill, between cape Mogren and the Avala hotel. Other city beaches include the small Ričardova glava ("Richard's Head") and Pizana beaches, next to the Old Town, as well as the 1.6 km (1.0 mi) long Slovenska plaža (Slav beach), that makes up the most of the city's coast.
However, majority of the beaches of Budva Riviera are outside of the city itself. Jaz Beach is a long and spacious beach west of Budva, its hinterland serving as a popular concert and festival venue, as well as a campground. Bečići resort town, with its long sandy beach, is situated south-east of the city, separated from Budva by the Zavala peninsula.
Further to the south, numerous small beaches and towns, make up the more high end and exclusive part of Budva Riviera. This is especially true for the famous Sveti Stefan town, but also for other smaller Paštrovići settlements in the area, that once were unassuming fishing villages. The area of Sveti Stefan and Pržno, including Miločer resort with its park and secluded beaches, is considered the most exclusive area of the Montenegrin coast. The town of Petrovac and the Buljarica field occupy the very south of the Budva municipality. Sveti Nikola Island is located opposite of Old Town, 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) across the Budva bay.
It is a mostly undeveloped island with some beautiful beaches. Well connected to the mainland with water bus, it is a popular excursion site for tourists visiting Budva. Budva is well known regionally as the capital of nightlife of the eastern Adriatic. The first discothèques in Budva started to emerge during the 1980s, as hotel-attached dance clubs. However, the clubbing scene mushroomed in 1990s, with numerous open-air clubs opening along the Budva sea promenade. This trend continued into the 2000s, with Old Town and its promenade hosting a large number of bars, pubs and restaurants, and two big clubs, Top Hill and Trocadero, dominating the clubbing scene.
Gambling tourism is also popular in Budva, as many hotels have attached casinos. Maestral hotel and casino in Pržno are particularly popular among international gamblers, but other large hotels have also attracted players from European countries. Budva marina, nestled to the north of the Old Town city walls, contributes to the image of Budva as a nautical tourism destination. Luxury yachts dominate marina berths during the summer, overshadowing small fishing vessels owned by the locals.