“10 QUESTIONS – 10 ANSWERS” PODGORICA
“10 QUESTIONS – 10 ANSWERS” PODGORICA, Alma Osmanovic | 11.01.2016
(1) How would you describe Podgorica in a few sentences?
The capital, Podgorica, is like a mixture of the other cities in the country. It is the central connection point for the north and south parts of Montenegro. It is the center for cultural events and education in the country. It is also a city that brings together people from different places, countries, and continents.
(2) Why should a traveler add Podgorica to their list of places to visit in your opinion?
Montenegro, being a small country whose farthest end-to-end distance can be traveled in 2.5 hours, provides limitless opportunities for its visitors. The main feature that attracts tourists to our country is the diversity that can be found in this small area. The people, culture, and nature is different in each city in the country. High mountains, green forests, lakes, rivers, the sea, rare flora, delicious foods, and entertainment are all here together. The capital, Podgorica, may not be the most interesting city within the country; however, it is located at a central point, which makes it easier to visit the different places around it. Transportation to the other areas of the country from Podgorica is very easy, especially to the coast. This provides a great advantage in reaching the coast during the summer period, which is filled with tourists and social events. Foreign tourists also prefer Podgorica because of the sunny weather, warm people, and the limitless amount of bars they can go to. There are small and hidden spots in almost every city of Montenegro, where you can rest your body and soul while enjoying the colors of nature. This country, which has been visited by world famous stars such as Madonna, the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, David Guetta, and Psy, has a beauty that will attract everyone’s interest. Let yourselves go out on the roads; meet friendly people that will always welcome you and be helpful to you. As it is often said: “The road to Podgorica is a one-way road.”! When you arrive here, you will not want to leave Podgorica and Montenegro.
(3) What are the most important touristic spots in the city in your opinion?
There are many mosques, temples, churches, and other religious venues, museums, and bridges in the city. The Millennium Bridge, Podgorica Cathedral (Hram Hristovog Vaskrsenja), Clock Tower (Sahat Kula), Petrovich Palace, St. George’s Church (Sveti Djordje) and the Vladimir Vysotsky Monument are some of the constructions that are the symbols of the city. The Transformers statues found in different locations in the city attract the attentions of tourists. Also in the city center there is the Gorica Hill, which is a place where you can enjoy nature, eat at restaurants, play tennis, take walks, and ride bikes.
(4) Which places near Podgorica should be visited in your opinion?
You should definitely visit historical places near Podgorica such as Duclea, where you can see the remains of the Byzantine culture. You can also add the Ostrog and Moraca Monasteries, St. Peter’s Church that is located at Bijelo Polje and also has Miroslav Bible scriptures, and the Husein-paša’s Mosque, which has the highest minaret in the Balkans. Husein-paša’s Mosque, with its Islamic architecture, is considered to be one of the most beautiful sacred monuments in Montenegro. You can also go to islands such as Lesendro, Sveti Stefan or Gospa od Skrpjelap; national parks such as Lovcen, Biogradska gora or Durmitor; the Albanian Alps and other small natural beauties at Kotor Bay or enjoy wine and fish at Skadar Lake, which is only 30 minutes away from the city center.
(5) What would you say are the activities that you would consider a must-see for visitors?
One of the most exciting activities for visitors is to experience rafting on the Tara River. The rafting tour starts at the Bosnian border and lasts 2–3 hours. It is an adrenaline rush, and offers great views of the wild; the trip will ensure that you never forget the Tara Canyon, which is the longest canyon in Europe and second longest in the world after the Grand Canyon. Before starting the tour you can visit the ethnic towns and enjoy organic foods. You can also enjoy many different activities such as paragliding, bungee jumping, diving, cycling tours, walking and horse riding in Podgorica. Those wishing can find tranquility in the ethnic towns located in the mountains, look at the rare plants and animals at the top of the mountains or even swim in the lake.
(6) What are some of the local tastes that are special to the city?
Among the local tastes of the city you can find kacamak, cicvara, honey, priganice, buckwheat, and meat products.
(7) What would you advise visitors to buy in Podgorica?
We would advise you to buy organic honey, cheese, dried meat, and the world famous Plantaze wine. If you are young and wish to get around the city, you can buy many interesting things from shopping malls such as the Delta City and Mall of Montenegro.
(8) What is the ideal season to visit Podgorica?
The best time to visit the city in my opinion is in May or June. In these months, when the summer season has just began and the weather is great, low amounts of tourists come and the city has many activities.
(9) What were some of the different and interesting things you noticed when you first came to Podgorica?
Because Podgorica is a small city everyone knows each other and people have close relationships with one another. The city folk are very friendly and they live traditional lives. A foreign tourist may see how strong traditions are here and be surprised by it; however, the people are open to seeing different cultures and effects.
(10) Is there anything else you would like to add?
In Podgorica there are events such as the many music festivals like Suncane Skale, Tamburasa Festival and events like Art Colony, which bring together people from all over the world. Montenegro, with its magical natural beauties, nature, history, culture, activities, and friendly people, attracts more and more travelers each year.
Note: This article was prepared with contributions from my colleague Milanka Burzan, who I worked with at the Turkish Airlines Podgorica office.