Podgorica is a hole!

Montenegro is a beautiful country but its capital, Podgorica, is the exception. It’s an ugly, lifeless, depressing city that has no place existing!

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Podgorica, Montenegro

For such a beautiful country, Montenegro sure has an ugly capital. And not just ugly – boring and lifeless too. Yep, I’m not going to hold back here. Podgorica is a hole!

Imagine a dirty semi-desert plain, with just a scattering of small weary shrubs covering it, like only a few tufts of fur on the skin of a mangy dog.

Then imagine a city had been built in the middle of this plain but that this city was a collection of bland concrete apartment blocks coloured in a way that they are almost camouflaged against the dry land.

Imagine each window on each of these buildings looks the same and each appears like a hollow dead eye that has given up on life because there is nothing worth looking at. Well, that would be a luxurious version of what Podgorica is.

Podgorica, Montenegro

It’s a tiny city by international capital standards – about 150,000 people. The small population doesn’t give it a folksy neighbourhood feel, though.

Instead it makes Podgorica feel stretched too thin without a density to justify social interaction. It’s a bit like if you’ve ever been to a sports stadium complex on a day when there is no game. The only difference is that this city doesn’t get full even a once a week.

Podgorica, Montenegro

It takes longer to walk everywhere than it should – partly because the roads stretch out from nowhere to nowhere, and partly because you find your feet moving slower than usual for there’s no incentive to get anywhere.

It’s quite hot during the day in summer and the residents seem to make no effort to leave their homes. The city appears deserted while the sun is up.

Podgorica, Montenegro

The only saving grace I found was when the sun went down and the very centre of the city became busy with open cafes and late night shopping. Here you got a sense of the potential – if only for a few nocturnal hours and in just a few small blocks away from most of residential Podgorica.

To say this saves the city, though, is like saying it would be nice to live on the moon because astronauts come to visit every so often.

Podgorica, Montenegro
Podgorica, Montenegro

Abandoned buildings, graffiti, potholes, overflowing bins.

In some cities in the Balkans I have found those things give the place an edgy feel, rough edges of a gem. But here in Podgorica they just seem depressing and I interpret it all to mean that even the citizens have lost faith and given up on a city they show no pride in.

How is a visitor supposed to like it here if even the locals don’t?

Podgorica, Montenegro

I ended up staying in Podgorica for a few days but simply because it was a convenient base to explore some interesting parts of Montenegro that could all be reached within less than an hour by public transport. Each evening I would dread going back to the city, though, and each attempt to find something redeemable ended in disappointment.

Podgorica, Montenegro
Podgorica, Montenegro

On my final day, waiting at the city’s bus station to leave, I watch a young man sit in full view of everyone and squeeze some glue from a tube into a plastic bag. As he sits down and prepares to start sniffing it, an elderly woman begins to shout at him.

She’s also sitting down with a wooden cane by her side and purple swollen feet propped up in front of her. I guess that she is probably as destitute as the young man but she’s still going to try to stop him.

At first he ignores her and laughs but as she gets angrier he moves away and out of view.

Perhaps there is a bit of pride in this city after all. Personally I can’t see why, but I suppose everything is relative.

If this woman, despite her situation, cares enough to try to stop a hopeless man dissolving his brain, perhaps there are some people here who care about Podgorica… and that is all a city really needs to have a bit of life.


Podgorica is a very affordable city for accommodation and you can get good value across the whole range of travel styles.


For a friendly and cosy hostel, I would recommend the lovely Hostel Q.


With a nice breakfast and unbeatable location, Hotel Kerber is really good value.


For something modern and cool, Hotel Hemera has a great design and fantastic facilities.


And the best five-star luxury hotel is the Hilton Podgorica Crna Gora, in the centre of the city.

232 thoughts on “Podgorica is a hole!”

  1. Maybe she was getting relieve of her own frustrations, and wanted him do it someplace else.
    This city does not appear to be on a bucket list any time soon 🙂
    But I like a story about the rougher edges of travel and ‘off beat’ destinations. Enjoyed the story.

  2. Gah, that’s unfortunate that you ended up not really being able to find anything redeemable in the place. It’s rare to come across somewhere where there’s hardly anything worthwhile. Granted, I can think of a few from where I grew up in the U.S., but that’s always the case with your home towns =P

    • Why don’t these countries give their capitals a bit more love? I don’t understand. What’s the point. Even Australia, with its small capital of Canberra, keeps it pretty and tries to make the place interesting.

      • Seems like it is difficult Mr. Turtle to understand why Podgorica is rather undeveloped and doesn’t look as stunning as some cities he visited.

        During the WWII r the city was bombed 72 times, making it one of the most bombed cities during the war. It gained a status of a “Phoenix” city as it has always been destroyed to the ground and then rebuilt.

        Maybe someone like you might not fully comprehend the consequences of these conflicts, and should avoid making firm statements like this.

        Sources: Born and raised in Podgorica

        • Well put. Nice to hear fr a local. What a shame you have to defend where you live. I would expect if could be a depressing place to live. Not all of us have the luxury of living where we like. My hat goes off to you

        • Yes, it was bombed .. nearly 80 years ago .. It’s time they stopped moping and started rebuilding. This is like the excuse the Bulgarians use “Dude! you have to understand we were slaves of the turks!” (yes that’s an actual quote from a friend to explain why the elevator wasn’t working). On the other hand, Podgorica has some beautiful places – the author just wasn’t lucky enough to have local guides who could tell him where they were. 3-4 years later .. there are still parts that have not changed much since WW2 .. but other parts are truly beautiful.

        • Thanks Ivan – I lived all over the world, including Frankfurt, Berlin and many many years in Sydney Australia. I have spent one of the most amazing years of my live living in Podgorica and what these western, uncultured monkeys are saying is abhorrent.
          Ryan – understand that no one is moping. Montenegrins are some of the happiest people I’ve ever known – unlike your country that’s full of mentally ill psychopaths with needles hanging out of their arms. NO ONE is moping, Ivan was defending his country and so he should – and you can go and crawl back into whatever western shithole you crawled out to write this. And take your mother with you, I’m done fucking that retarded bitch now.

    • Seems like some people can travel but even then they don’t understand beauty of other country’s different constructions etc. It’s pitty for you…I’m sorry for you that you can’t understand… But o my nobody’s perfect. No one can say for some city it’s a hole only people without creativity pure mind people…. All the best

      • You know why? Because they go somewhere and jump on facebook to find other foreigners to talk to. “I’m in XX, is anyone here?” Yes, bitch. Lots of local people who incredible stories, should go out and actually talk to them.

        99% of fools travel and take pics for instagram, never experiencing an iota of the place they land in. Idiots.

        Podgorica is an amazing place and I loved the year I spent living there.

    • Please then stay at home, it’s funny you mentioned how all of then look the same, coz many cities in the US look exactly the same to me too, there’s no “disgusting” places, just ignorant people

    • What is wrong with some of you?Dude,you are taking pics of the part of the town where it is abandoned and as you can see no one is there.You didn’t take the pictures of the sea or the real beauty all of you would fall on your asses.

    • central america?? i live in mexico wich is central america and i found my city and contry very pretty full of life and color! you should go to mexico and compare that shit hole with us to see the big diference …..

      • Mexico is in North America not Central America. I do agree with you that Mexico is full of life and colour. Guatemala is a C. American country that is full of life and wonderful people.

      • This guy it’s frustrated. He need some help and some knowledge. He was completely lost in the city and didn’t find so many cool places in the city. But also he didn’t want to make photos of real highlights of the City. So this usualy happened when some persone is depressed and on the beginning already don’t like some place because he read sometging before he came. So all people who wants to know how Podgorica city really looks like just visit our website and also if you have some questions or if you need some help and professional information we are here for you. This guy should speek maybe for his country but not for some country and city he didn’t meet on right way.
        Regards from Lovely Podgorica 🙂

      • You can skip life also , BUDALO
        Indeed Podgorica is taken time to rebuild , after the WW, Yugoslavia War, bombing Serbia while they formed a country , etc..etc.. BUT ….she will become a real capital. And why the hell you took pic of the worst part? Sorry and Paris, New York, Milano also have ugly parts …asshole, btw I’m not from here

      • michael,

        well, by the look of it, i guess you buy every new version of ipod, you listen to mtv music and dream about limousins and trashy discotecs. i guess you like things that average people like. and it´s ok. but you miss a lot becouse of that. you miss beauty, and that is sad. yes podgorica is in many ways ugly. but judging by your pictures, thats the only side you wanted to show. life consists of small things. and podgorica is full of those small moments in which beuty lies, and in which the heart feels warm. i guess wherever you are, you ll miss them. pity

      • My thoughts of my home town are very divided. I do understand why you find is so ugly, I also do- quite often- but I also can’t escape to see beautiful parts of it
        1. The most beautiful skies I have ever seen, in almost all types of weather you can always see beautiful mountains around, sky is always clear and when the weather is changing it is a scene to die for. I am in love with the sky of Podgorica
        2. Fascinating Moraca kanyon that goes through all the city
        3. The main boulevard, so green and pretty!

        I live here so I am very critical of its architecture and how corruption affects it but as a tourist I think I would appreciate it a bit more, after all it is different than most of European capitals

        All in all, I think your article was a bit too critical and you did not notice one positive thing. I think you need to give it another try, obviously not during summer when it’s 42 Celsius outside:)

    • You should really think before you give such review

      you came in Podgorica in the worst part of year and took the pictures of the wort part of it

      “the residents seem to make no effort to leave their homes” on a scorching heat of + 40 who would O.o

      “that would be a luxurious version of what Podgorica is” – you must have been blindfolded or your eyes filter just ugly buildings

      “The small population doesn’t give it a folksy neighbourhood feel, though. Instead it makes Podgorica feel stretched too thin without a density to justify social interaction” – again the heat of + 40 plus the vicinity of the cost or mountain which are – 10 degrees than the capital and are pretty compelling to go to

  3. We spent a couple of hours in the Podgorica bus station when our bus from Budva to Sarajevo broke down. TBH, I was glad we hadn’t planned to visit the place – even the bus station was pretty depressing!

    • The bus station is probably extra depressing – but it does capture the general feel of the place quite well. Most of the city is just like that (or even worse in some parts). I’m sorry you had to spend even two hours there!

        • Podgorica is a nice place to live and people are nice and kind…its not our problem that ur boyfriend probably left you the day before visit…but you are welcome to visit us again.just don’t forget to give us a call becouse I am surethat many off us would like to see you…

      • You are a pussy.Smradu jedan posrani lazljivi picko usta ti se poserem.Pu pickotino jedna mrs kanto jedna mrs tamo odakle si dosa majmuncino jedna aljkava!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Oooo and he is so depressed. Are you girl mu dear? How you even survive Podgorica? You look like big girl who is so depressed of everything.who gave this guy to write anything. I gues all of us can be blog masters.hmm oooo sory i hope you are not again depressed… Jahahaha

    • I have yet to understand why the buses break down so often in the Balkans. While in general my trips are sound if not a bit tiring, I had one catch fire between Zagreb and Split and then another between Belgrade and Sarajevo [er, Sarajevo Istočno] blow a radiator hose.

      • That’s funny, I didn’t have any problems with the buses in the Balkans. In fact, I generally found them to be quite comfortable. They weren’t big on sticking to the timetables and plenty of times I thought I had missed a bus… only to discover it was just an hour late. But luckily no breakdowns!

    • I lived both in Podgorica and Paris and I can assure everyone that Paris has many more (in percentage as not comparable otherwise) dirty and dangerous places than Podgorica does, but nobody ever will go to Paris to take a picture of those places.. I saw one funny comment that Podgorica’s bus station is depressing, well, imagine Gare de Nord or Saint Denis with all those dirty stinking SDFs who urinate there and haven’t taken a shower for ages.. is that the only thing you’d take a photo of, when you’re in Paris? Or is that why would you eliminate it from your travel list? Ofc, not.. I am not trying to persuade anyone to go there or not. Point is in the fact that everywhere and in everything there is something nice to see and feel. I think you were lonely and unprepared for hot Podgorica’s summer and then you took all your depression and anger to the town and people who live there. It’s nor fair neither polite. I am still moving from one country to another but wherever I come I try to see nice things, and I honestly suggest you to change your mindset if you have any intention to keep on travelling. Otherwise you’ll be only hurting others but even more yourself with such an attitude.

    • O may she was so depressed. Oh bus was broke down nooooo is it possible. How did you survive that? Those kind of people are so funny haahaa

  4. I love that after travelling (briefly) to Podgorica, and googling “Podgorica is a hole”, there’s a blog post with that title. I like to think everywhere I go, even if I really don’t like the place, I can find some positives. This was the first place where I really couldn’t.

    And have you ever seen so many people wearing tracksuits?

  5. It’s quite interesting that you’ve took pictures of the suburb and central places that almost no one visits…

    You could have done a lot better for a travel journalist….if you can call yourself one…We don’t call this balance do we…

    Leave the judgment to people who might go there…

  6. Turtle..
    First of all, you visit Podgorica in a very bad period of year – August. Podgorica is warmest capital in Europe and 90% of people are moving to the south on a seaside which is only 50km away..

    If you did your homework you would come in any other period of year (especially Fall and Spring) and see thousands of young people, full caffe gardens, a lot of parties, football and basketball games of local team Buducnost, National Theatre show and many many other things…

    From 2006 to 2014 number of foreigners who stayed to live in Podgorica jumped for more than 45% !!?

    Why people from Europe would rush to live here if it is as you describe ??

    And, photos… you went on very ugly parts of the cities (every City has it right?) and presented that as there is nothing else…

    Wrong… very wrong, travel writer ?? Hole writer you’re my little Turtle …

      • Yeah man, I didn’t enjoy reading that at all. It was a shame for you to find nothing personally interesting in a city that populates around 180 000 people and slander the place they call home. And encourage people not to participate in tourism in the region.

        But then to see you follow up this childish attitude in the comment responses.

        It’s really sad. I dont think this is what travel should be about.

        You have power through your site. Be a little more responsible.

        • Lol, it’s not like we always have to fawn over everything and give it a pretentious allure. Call a pig for what it is.

  7. My friend just forwarded this article to me, as me being Podgorica born. I would agree that the town has no soul, especially when days in August are warmer than 40 C temperature. I personally dont have nor soul no life on those temperatures. One more remark would be that somehow you managed to see the ‘favelas in rio’ part of Podgorica, you should be lucky nothing bad happend to you (but then again, who has energy for robbery when being so hot on those days?).

    This article of yours just shows how ignorant people can be, speaking so selfconfident about the things they don’t know about or didnt want to know about. More sadly, seems that you haven’t experienced the nightlife of Podgorica, nor clubs by the river, nor parties on open outside the city.

  8. This blog has no connection to reallity. Even in New York you can find buildings like these. Podgorica isn’t the prettiest of them all, but it sure is a nice city to visit. You didn’t take pictures of upper west side, nor its attractions. You took the ugliest possible pictures you could. I can only imagine that you did it on purpose. Here is a link for all to see our beautiful city – http://www.podgorica.me/en/multimedija/fotografije

    These pictures aren’t even the best we have.

    And to you – please, never come back!

  9. Next time you’re here I recommend you take a giant LSD in order to trip even higher on that sun. The dude was actually walking around whole day long…

    You used it as a base to explore because everything is in like an hour drive from there?

    What the f*** do you think we do?

  10. It is a bad place to go during the warmest month, ’cause it’s even hard to breathe. But, blaming the heath and people on vacations for your own lack of imagination is just wrong.
    My favourite places in Montenegro I’ve been were actually Kotor, Cetinje and Zabljak. But, the only city that lives during the entire winter,spring and fall is Podgorica. You should do your research and at least check some historical and cultural places, because from your pictures I can see you’ve been lazy as a Montenegrin.

    And say whatever you like, it is your persective but do not talk about Montenegrin pride, or lack of faith in their town ’cause that just shows you do not know basic things about Montenegro, or Balkan in general.


  11. What kind of travel writer are you? You posted the photos of the ugliest part of the city!? And that’s unbelievably. You didn’t post not even one photo of the new city of Podgorica. New city is modern and has interesting architecture. It’s small but is very nice.
    Podgorica is very modern and large city for such a small country as Montenegro is. Podgorica has beautiful ortodox temple to..You didn’t post even photo of the main square- Republic square.. I just can’t believe how you presented Montenegro’s capital.To be fair,Podgorica is not very attractive city like Budva,Kotor,Ulcinj and the other Montenergo’s cities on the cost but surely is not ugly city!

  12. What a shitty column ? WFT is this ?? Where U have been ? Hidding in some hole like real turtle ? O yes you are turtle , keeping your head inside obviously !

    You haven’t missed much… Podgorica during whole year round, tens of thousands young people, students (imagine Podgorica has 3-4 Universities) on the street, easy life, everyone in the caffe’s and restaurants, nice concerts, sports events, great positive atmosphere and imagine almost none crime or danger for foreigners !!?

    You call yourself world traveler and writer ? Yeah right.. and I am Mark Twain probably ?

    Speaking of pride of the locals… check comments… pride is catching you slow turtle !

  13. What a horrible, biased column.

    Look at what a travel columnist from the New York Times (excuse me very much!) had to say about the same city you’re misrepresenting here:


    And just to try to explain: Podgorica had the misfortune of being the most bombed town in WWII, and that has left the population with the urgency to build quickly and cheaply. So yes, it’s a city filled with ugly buildings. There are now new, modern and pretty neighborhoods, but still, it’s perfectly acceptable not to define it as a beautiful city – it’s not. It has great parks, pretty streets, but it certainly can’t be compared to European capitals (although I have traveled most of them and I can assure you that in all of them, from Paris to Rome to Madrid, you can find horrible buildings and neighborhoods to put in pictures like the ones you chose!)

    But to call it lifeless and boring is a ridiculous lie. The only way it could have been lifeless is during the day in August (I dare you to go to Milan in August, when nothing is open and the heels of your shoes sink into the concrete), but even then in the evenings people are out having fun.

    This article is SHAMEFUL and please, do everyone a favor and don’t ever come back to Podgorica, or Montenegro at all.

  14. Sure that everyone has his tastes but what I consider your problem is being alone during your travel visits. Wherever you have been Im sure there were times your felt like a real turtle, but as I am from Podgorica I could belive you felt it even more turtlish in August-all alone. Since Podgorica is one of the warmest cities in Europe and since I live there, whoever can afford not being there during August is a lucky one!
    However, who can afford to live in Podgorica his life is even more lucky because it is a nice place to be.
    It is true our standard is not on the good level and ppl cannot afford themselves to have big monuments. But you should post more realistic photos of Podgorica to show these people how one city with so turbulent history and living conditions is really beautiful. Your photos are not real picture of our city though.

    I have been living in few EU countries and obviously lot of things in Podgorica are missing and could be better. But honestly, I consider it as a nice place to live and I came back with that intention.

    I encourage all of the people to come visit Montenegro. I think the best time is from May-October but for instance these days its 15-20 C degrees as well.



  15. Dear all who have read this article about Podgorica and who are not from Montenegro,

    Don’t be “mesmerized” by the words of the person who wrote this article! Podgorica is still recollecting its soul after bombarding in WWII, but, luckily, it really has some great spots that can be proudly presented to the tourist who come to visit Montenegro. If you are to be heading to Podgorica in the future someday, I would gladly like to be your guide and show you a different point of view we have already seen in the article above. But make sure you plan your voyage in autumn or in spring, and please avoid summer.
    Thank you for visiting Montenegro in advance!

  16. Of course Podgorica dont have soul for you, but for us have very very big soul!!! I am very disapointed with this text, so i will please you, dont come any time again, please!!! You just said some insults for us!!! And i want to say something on our language: Da ti ja jebem majku u picku imbecilu jedan imbecilni!!! Idi u tu svoju rupu od grada sve ti naslednike jebem tako da i njihove naslednike boli!!! Your Europe destroy our city, bomb our city 250 times, ejjjj 250 times!!!! Majku vam jebem, kad je u ovaj grad pjaca bila, i kad smo mi visili po bastama podgorickih kafica vi ste i dalje uzimali kosti i koristili kao orudje!!! SVe vam jebem mrtvo i zivo!!!

  17. Well, hello there, Michael.
    First of all, I must tell that you are a shitty journalist (dear readers, sorry for the expression). You are not objective, nor open-minded. Putting out the worse pictures of run-down city parts only tells abut how NOT professional you are. I have lived in Milan for a year, and you should see this metropole during the summmer, or on Sunday. Even on a daily basis, Podgorica offers many more nice caffes where beautiful, relaxed people hang out (and not like in Milan, where you can’t find nice place with huge garden with plenty of space for large group of people, no, Italians in couples or in groups of three max. have ‘Aperitivo’, which takes them no more than half an hour, so that they can return to their busy, empty lives.) .Podgorica has got a soul, its warmth makes it worth visiting. People there are very friendly and know how to enjoy life. And,also, it has plenty of cultural spots. It lies on five rivers which make the city even more wide and fresh. It offers many restaurants with delicious national cusine, but also Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese cusine. In Podgorica you can fintd lot of green surfaces for people to relax, train, have fun, spend some quality time with persons they love, or with their pets. It has bustling city center, and increasing number of neighborhoods with modern buildings. It has so much more to offer, I left out so many cool things worth seeing in the capital of Montenegro, but you obviously missed everything nice, what makes you a miserable traveler, or you pointed out only ugly parts of this warm, pure city, what makes you a miserable man.

  18. Podgorica is Europe’s second most bombed town (after Warsaw) in WWII. Podgorica was flatened in 1943. It was bombed by British RAF, and until today, we haven’t got any clue why. Since we were alies, and german troops were kilometers away. So, Podgorica may be ugly, but after the WWII, we had to build some ugly buildings just to live in them. The writer is british? Oh, thank you sir for harsh words and to your grandad for bombs. Hope Scotland will gain its independency

  19. well mike u suck ass mate,this article is so ridiculously unprofessional and one sided.u only showed the bad parts,we should all probably kill ourselves for living in podgorica.and u call yourself a travel journalist,you re a joke mate.

  20. you should sit ,grab a beer ,somwhere around 8 PM,in the pubs located in the centre of the city,believe me mate u wouldhave totaly different picture.If you are living male,you could not help your eyes going from left to right as they stumble on a pair of nice boobs or pair of long legs wrapped in tight jans.And so on…
    Howewer, describing a city and not even trying a night life or walk trough central caffe or pub strets is nowere near fair.

  21. I just can’t believe in this! Podorica is one beautiful city, and it does have soul. This text is like you just wanted to say only bad things about Podgorica. We have so much beautiful places to visit. Where are the photos of University park and that area around it? Where are photos of all those beautiful buildings?
    But, after I read this, I understood that you are one jealous “person”, full of hatred!
    Da Bog da crka’, majku ti tvoju, smradu jedan odvratni!!!!!!!!

  22. City doesnt make buildings, nice streets, fancy restoraunts. People make it special. So obviously you have been in a wrong town couse Podgorica is lovely! And its not true it is dirty, and this pictures are from the worst parts of town, old part of town! So you dont have a clue!

  23. As someone who spent 4 years living directly above one of the areas you photographed, I have to agree with a few other folks here – you focused almost entirely on the outskirts of town, and skipped some of the really beautiful parts. Most of the photographs are of the “old town” region of Podgorica on the west side of town, or from Zabjelo, that consist mostly of residential dwellings and typical levels of less suburban development, and which is a good 10 minute walk from real “Podgorica”. Where are the pictures of the new bridges? The revamped downtown area? The dozens of cafes and restaurants and the shopping district? What about all the parks? Hell, I can go to Barcelona, Venice, Budapest, Paris, or London and find equivalent photographs to what you’ve captured here, which look to me to be clearly intent on focusing on the bad side of things. You didn’t even bother to capture the mainstay of Podgorica, in the corsa, which you were less than a 5 minute walk from when you photographed the municipal building.

    The “young man” you refer to was most likely a Roma beggar – an inhabitant that Podgorica and much of the rest of the Balkans have been forced to tolerate due to an inability to deal with them effectively due to their tendency to ‘fly under the radar’ as homeless nomads that aren’t even registered as citizens. This is no more a fair measure of Podgorica than evaluating the homeless situation in Washington D.C or other European capitals, which are plagued by the same issues.

    I’d also urge a grain of salt in evaluating Podgorica, as it’s a post-war, post-communism, emerging economy, and also a relatively new capital area (because up until the 1950’s, it was not even the capital). It’s hardly fair to compare it to other older and more developed capitals that have enjoyed years of peaceful prosperity, or booming economies to accommodate the wars they endured more than a half century ago, versus as recently as 20 years ago.

    Overall, I’d give you a C- for analysis, but a B+ for some relatively good points on things that could be improved, and hope you’ll return in the near future to give it a second chance.

  24. Namjerno cu na CRNOGORSKOM pa ko razumije razumije a ovaj idiot stete velike sto me nece razumjet!!!
    Podgorica je mlad grad jer je prije pedesetak godina srusena do temelja, iz tog razloga nema stare gradjevine ali ima dusu i prelijepu prirodu…
    Zao mi je nemamo Koloseum, Duomo, Ajf.toranj, Trijumf.kapije ali imamo ljepsu prirodu nego pomenuti gradovi!!!
    U avgustu je u Podgorici samo ko mora jer je nepodnosljiva vrucina!!!
    Nego da ne ispa’ne da se pravdam ovom liku Podgorica je moj grad i najljepsi grad!!!

  25. Nice article, but probably you’ve been alone or at wrong places in the wrong time of the day 🙂

    Full of spirit, not in terms of the city, but people who live there. It’s a pity that maybe you’ve not met the right angles.. I’ve been a couple of times and the experience was always greeeeat! 🙂

  26. Podgorica has been bombed at the end of the World War II . The city was completely ruined.. After that, at the end of 70`s, Podgorica survived terrible earthquake.. And city was ruined one more time.. Now Podgorica has terrible city governor.. He is ruined the rest. Of all named catastrophes he is the biggest one . Bad luck I guess 🙂

  27. This is an article written by a man frustrated that a place he visited didnt live up to his expectations. Not an objective journalist.
    Mate it is your folt that you came to Podgorica in August, vhen majority of administration is on colective brake. The courts dont work, the goverment doesnt vork…. It is over 40 degrees and everyone who can goes out from the city. Majority of its population has a vikend home in the mountains or in coastal aerea.
    If you were a serious journalist you wold know that, not only pepole from Podgorica, but Montenegrins in general, in former Yugoslavia were considered as lazy. Thats because Montenegrins are laid back, and tend to have several coffe breaks a day. There are a lot caffes in Podgorica, and I mean a lot, and theay are always full, even vorking days,
    Maybe its not as pretty as some other European capitals, but Podgorica is always full of people, except during summer, it is wery safe, and new parts of the city are wery modern.
    All in all, you are an amateur. YOU WROTE AN ARTICLE LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, IF I WOULD WROTE “DONT GO TO VENICE ITS ALWAYS FLOODED” because it was flooded when I visited.

  28. ” What you see is what you are ”
    hello everyone and give me a couple of minutes of your day, first of all. 3/9 pictures you have created in a ” hole ” i dont seem to recognize, and i live in Podgorica, so basicly that tells what kind of lame places you have visited.

    second, you came in august ? For real ? even i who love Podgorica with all my hearth can not stand days in august here. But i have a simple explanation for that…

    Since it was +40 and you were losing time looking for abandoned places in Podgorica, except being on a beach, drinking some cool juice and relaxing on a sun..
    i understand, i whould be pissed off too, but i whouldnt go around making town’s look like chernobyl..

    I invite you to come to Podgorica for just 2 days, just two days in september..

    So dude, think positive and everything whould be positive, peace out.

    • Marijana, why? Wasn’t he hard on PG with this biased text and choice of photos and the 150.000 people that he insulted ? That doesn’t change because he wrote nice things about other places.

      Podgorica is not a place for touristic sightseeing, and many of us have explained why. But it’s anything but a joyless hole.

      Malo misto, Dara, time sto radite potpuno obesmisljavate reakcije svih ovoj ljudi.

      • because in the end he wrote the true. you may love it, have memories, etc. but comparing to other cities it it disaster. they may say because of bombing, bit it doesn’t change that its ugly town.

        • My other comment awaits moderation, probably because I put some links to pictures of a different Podgorica.

          I’ll paste the rest:

          Aesthetically – maybe. Not all of it, there are pretty places to show.

          But to call it a lifeless hole whose citizens have no pride is far from the truth. I have lived all around the world, and seen many beautiful places, but ultimately, I’ve learned that it’s the people and the atmosphere that make a place full of life. Podgorica is anything but lifeless.

          And as far as aesthetics go, like I said, it’s relative. It’s not Rome or Paris, but it’s not what he showed.

  29. At first, I didn’t want to comment at all. Why? The answer is so simple. If you write this kind of post you have to be objective which you certainly haven’t been at all!

    First of all, as a lot of people know, Podgorica was the most bombed city in Europe. And guess what? You’ve showed all the dull, shabby and underdeveloped places where neither I have been to, and I am resident of Podgorica. That is just ridiculous!

    I get that you didn’t like PG, but, may I ask why haven’t you put decent pictures of PG?

    Second of all, you were in PG when a lot of people aren’t there (home). It is a summer time, everyone is having fun and chilling on Montenegro’s sea cost or mountains or somewhere else in the world. For sure, we won’t stay home on 40C when all that beautiful nature is all around us and sea just 30min away. It is a summer break for God’s sake!

    Subsequently, we make fun of our people (residents of Podgorica) because salaries are really low, but nevertheless our cafes, parks, disco clubs are ALWAYS (excepted on summer break- July and August) crowded! So, once again, your pictures are not relevant!

    Finally, I must say I am not subjective when I talk about PG. I lived in a lot of different places, including: Washington DC, Paris, ect. and I have been to a lot of places in the world. So I DO KNOW that PG is not a cosmopolitan city with a great history, BUT I am convinced that life in PG is not bad at all. Cafes are always open and crowded, it is a nice place to start a family, with a low crime activity, ok education and so on. But it is NOT a tourist place. So, I don’t get why all the hatred.

    At the end, everyone can search images of Podgorica on Google and see that is not a hole like you said. It is just a mediocre town in Europe. But what doesn’t make it mediocre town is its surrounding which is -A MUST SEE- !

  30. Viđi mogu ti napisat’ na EngleskI komentar,ali neću… Evo mi nemamo ” soul ” a ti odakle god da si imaš sigurno ! I nikakve su ti slike propali abortusu ! Bolje bi slike mrtav čo’ek napravio… “Lifeless hole” je jedino pička tvoje žene. ^_^

  31. I can accept any kind of criticism of Podgorica, but I will not sit here quietly and let you convince people that Foto Dejo (from your first picture) is an ugly shop. The shop is owned by Dejo Nikić, the son of a local bussiness success story. His father used to be a locksmith, until universe aligned stars in such an order which allowed him to build buildings, hotels, open numerous shops etc. Yes, he is an asshole, but since he’s rich, he is not really an asshole, he is now excentric. He earned that right. He is an example of montenegrin dream. Foto Dejo would make those pictures of yours minimum 7% better, since he is a professional photographer, and you are not. Even if he fails with his shop, he still gets his father’s millions, which is much better than being traveller and writing articles with pictures of people who you, obviously, envy. Not everyone can be part of Nikić family.

    P.S. If you had only waited for few hours, you could’ve seen women who would’ve made you erect permanently.

  32. Hi Michael,

    This is a very poor piece of writing and I hope you do your homework better in a future, before you go out and shit over some other destination.

    I grew up in Podgorica and still go back there quite often and, frankly, I have not, ever in my life, seen some of the areas that you photographed. You obviously chosen to feature outskirts of the town, which is ok, but you can find similar suburbs even in the most beautiful European cities.

    I am not saying that Podgorica is a beautiful city as it is not. But it is far from you described. And it is perfectly fine that you picture the ugly parts of the town, but if you pretend to be serious travel writer, you should also say few words about the prettier areas. What about rivers, revamped new Podgorica that is quite nice, even by European standards, what about pretty hill in the very downtown? And your statement about people staying at home and do nothing is an absolute lie. In fact we have very strong coffee culture and love to sit outside on the sunny days.

    The fact that you travelled there in August shows how poorly you prepared. Podgorica is the warmest city in Europe in August with temperatures going up to 48 C, so if you expected people sitting outside in that heat, there is something wrong with you! People leave the city in August and move to cooler areas in mountains or seaside.

    Serously, you either had an agenda with this article or should take it off because it’s nothing more then a bunch of lies.


  33. Yes I agree Podgorica has a lot of ugly parts the same as any other town. Even here in Czech Republic where architecture is beautiful you can find horrible industrials parts (even in Prague). Podgorica has beautiful climate, a lot of sun, six rivers, it is very close to mountain and see region, it has wonderful Skadarsko lake near it. This town has great potential but it’s true that people who live in it are somehow indifferent and do not try to make some contribution and make its own town alive and full of joy.
    During a weekend or even in sunny working days this town is crowded with people who are taking a walk or having coffee in some of cafe gardens. The problems are nights because local regulations are very strict (and officials are very corrupted) so just a few places are working after midnight which is unacceptable . In those clubs or pubs you usually listen the same type of music which is boring I admit but a few initiatives can change that drastically. I hate Podgorica’s nightlife but it’s up to people (especially young) ones to change that.
    You really posted ugly pictures Podgorica has much prettier parts such as Milenijum bridge, main square in center, Fontana near Atlas Capital Centre, Gorica- samll hill very people usually do some sport activities and taking walks it has beautiful see point on all town, it has beautiful restaurants with excellent food and do not forget all part of town with Clock Tower and traditional restaurants.
    You review is all in all superficial and populist. My recommendation for you is Las Vegas. I think it’s your style.

  34. You were there in August? Podgorica is deader than Elvis in summertime. It’s too hot to go outside. So most people travel down to Sutomore. The rest stays indoors until the sun goes down.

  35. Sad moment for “journalism” is all can say.
    Podgorica is Ancient city from roman times from Doclea,Ribnica,Podgorica, Titograd (different names for Podgorica).. More than 2000 years old, there is a church in center of town 1300 years old. Old city not fare from where you have taken those pictures also 500 years old, with old clock tower adn two mosques. Also in New city there are many city blocks looking just like any new European city. It’s sad what you presented here, really sad. I am from Podgorica and i love my city very much, this town is the most bombed place in Europe in second world war, allies troops dropped all bombs when they were returning from air raids, town was raised to ground literally.
    I know how beautiful is my city, maybe not i your tired eyes, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you didn’t gave Podgorica a chance, and you lost her.

  36. Go get life asshole,in any city in the world you can found some places and made some “bad” photos ,and send the bad “image” to the others.. why you did not made the photos from some other places in Podgorica.. typic stupid American type of guy..that is why whole world is laughing on you…pfffff
    This song is real picture of America= lie Lie LIE


  37. Disappointed to read such a negative report. Yes it is true, Podgorica will not win the award for European City of Beauty for a while yet … but the city was totally destroyed after WWII (by my own countrymen I might add) and then endured 45 years under communism, being forgotten while other parts of Yugoslavia had the investment / spotlight. As a token gesture it was renamed Titograd during this period. Montenegro then spent another decade in the shadow of the Balkans conflict and when that was over they were last on the list for any assistance for reconstruction – since the war was not fought on their soil. Really basically forgotten about in a country which most foreigners could not pinpoint on a map in even the right hemisphere. However people in Podgorica are proud of their country and nationality, culture and cuisine, history and roots – as are people throughout Montenegro. In a country where the average salary is around EUR 500 per month, and where most people are out of work during the winter (summer tourism is the main income), they don’t have the money to keep their city as nice as they would like. However homes are usually immaculate on the inside and people take price in the way they dress and take care of their appearance – in stark contrast to the sweatpant millions who have no regard at all for the way they look in the UK or any regard for culture or history. Podgorica is located on a plain surrounded by snow capped mountains in winter – skiing is only a 90 minute drive away, the spectacular Adriatic coastline is 30 mins drive, the Bay of Kotor is an hour away and gorgeous Skadar Lake is on the doorstep… try driving an hour in any direction from most major US or European cities and you’ll find yourself still in suburbs which probably look as soulless as Podgorica can seem. The journalist who wrote this article obviously did not interact with the local people, or properly discover the cafe culture which he mentions briefly. If he had, he would have had a much better experience. Podgorica has improved a great deal in recent years and whilst most visitors to Montenegro use it mainly as a transport hub before travelling onwards, it does have something to offer – this is real life and real people … and that is what travelling is all about… not just places which look pretty on the postcard home, to impress others. Not impressed by this piece of ‘journalism’ needless to say.

  38. Seems like it is difficult Mr. Turtle to understand why Podgorica is rather undeveloped and doesn’t look as stunning as some cities he visited.

    During the WWII r the city was bombed 72 times, making it one of the most bombed cities during the war. It gained a status of a “Phoenix” city as it has always been destroyed to the ground and then rebuilt.

    Maybe someone like you might not fully comprehend the consequences of these conflicts, and should avoid making firm statements like this.

    Sources: Born and raised in Podgorica

  39. I have been to Podgorica many, many times and while it is not the most exciting city, it certainly is beautiful. You are looking at sections of the city that are worse for the wear. How stunning are the parks, bridges, river? How incredible are the waterfalls just a few minutes drive from the city center but very clearly still in Podgorica? The vineyards of Plantaze wine?

    You obviously didn’t know anyone there or anyone normal who could show you the special qualities that exist. No one who knows anything about PG goes there in the summer. No one from PG is there in the summer unless they must work Monday to Friday and then they leave the crazy heat each Friday straight to the seacoast for the weekend. Obviously no one is hanging out in 40 degree dry weather. Who would?

    This is a very negative article from someone who clearly didn’t know any better.

  40. You should see it historical new about the city and its past and then comment about it. I mean 72 times bombed man. I live in this place and didnt knew that and it explains very much everything. You can see that its very much beaten up and that it still stands after all the wars they had, I really wonder how it still exists.

    Next time you visit a place look up the history of it not just the view. I know it is a hole but for now and not all of it is bad. It will get better trough time. Even though we live in this place we still didnt lose our pride. No reason for it.

    Good luck on your nect visits in other countries cause this isnt the worst of them all.

  41. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/travel/uncovering-charms-in-montenegros-capital.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 Here you are one objective article, with beautiful sides of Podgorica too… You made it so ugly, and you showed just an ugly part of it… Please read this and then think again if you saw everything you should.. Beside this article, there are many monuments and historical places you could visit there. You just didn’t have with you anyone to show you… If you ever come back to Montenegro, I’m will to show you Podgorica in the way everyone should see it… And the painfully part of your article is when you claimed Podgorica soulless, and that’s so not true… So I wish you the best on your travels, and if you ever come again in Podgorica, you should know where to go, and what to see.. If you are interested I could send you some pictures of that beautiful parts of town…

  42. I realise that you don’t like it, but is it really that bad? This city has something more valuable than the builldings and luxury, it has it’s soul and the people in it. Maybe we don’t have the money to keep it clean and nice, but we love it and it’s our home. But i guess, people today are so superficial to appreciate the real thing in life. You only look for stories and only care for money. I suggest everyone to visit us and give Podgorica a chance to prove itself.

  43. It’s not as appealing of a town as some of the towns along the coast or further up North, in the mountains. It still has a classic European charm to it, though. Also, I felt safe visiting there. The people were exceptionally friendly and their knowledge of the English language pleasantly surprised me. The food was out of this world. Fresh, natural, and very inexpensive. I compare it to some places in Spain and Sardinia. Best of all, the women were tall and *GORGEOUS*. It’s like I died and went to brunette heaven!

    I wish I had such positive impressions of some of the American cities I had the misfortune to visit: NYC, DC, LA, Miami. The rest of the US is like one giant hog farm: filthy, nasty, polluted. McDonalds restaurants everywhere, fat people drive huge jeeps, and will threaten you in traffic for the most trivial of inconveniences. The only place I enjoyed visiting in the US was San Francisco.

    PS American women were either like hogs or ruined with plastic surgery and Botox injections. Artificial breasts galore.

  44. Of course experiences can vary, but having visited Podgorica ourselves, we found people to be friendly and approachable, with a good attitude for the future.

  45. Ja sam strani kurac i ja volim Podgoricu!

    Im not sure who should be more offended. People of Podgorica or real journalists?

    This blog is a perfect example of a traveller who wants to take lots of photos being embarrassed of being a tourist so conveniently starts a blog and calls themselves a journalist.

    As many others have pointed out there is no mention of any of the historical/social background that provides the context to the outside appearance of the city. Just as Skopje was destroyed by an earthquake in the 60s, Podgorica suffered terribly from Allied bombing during WW2. Both these occurrences necessitated fast rebuilding.

    Strangely enough most people of sound mind stay indoors or at least out of the direct sun during 40 degree plus heat. Ever tried buying Tapas in Granada in the summer between the hours of 1-5pm? No, because its acknowledged that its stupid to operate in such conditions. If you had tried a little harder maybe you would have found someone to speak to at the beautiful waterfalls and swimming spots near the Restoran Niagara not far from the city.

    As a long time traveller in the Balkan peninsular, I found Podgorica far more emblematic of the qualities that keep me returning than the (admittedly photogenic) coastal tourist attractions. The warmth of the hosts, the dry and pitchblack humour (definitely welcome as a brit), the ability of the people to make a party out of nothing, the mixture of cuisines that provide the most satisfying street food of Europe. Some of the best burek I have ever eaten has come from Podgorica (and Ive eaten A LOT of burek).

    I could go on and on but I fear it would fall on deaf ears and it seems that you were so busy taking photos of buildings you dont like that you forgot to speak to anybody.

    PS – Piss poor excuse for journalism.

    Strani Kurac

  46. Wow, so much hate. I’m unsure what the writer / traveler wanted to experience but so far from the truth. Podgorica has a soul. Not everything is in architecture.

  47. It is unclear to me whether Michael Turtle is an Aussie or just spent some time there – I won’t make assumptions, but as an Aussie (with British blood in me too) I am rather mortified by his article and wish that he would grab Tony Abbott out of Australia and take him travelling too!
    Sadly – although to every cloud there is a silver lining – for this was the first website I found when googling what to do in Podgorica if I spent a night there – also hoping to buy some new hiking shoes there (are there any hiking/outdoors shops there I wondered?).
    Now all I can do is thank Michael for encouraging you all to speak up for your city – and I have nine weblinks that I extracted from your responses that I can read through so that I know where to go and see the heart of this city (and hopefully buy some walking shoes!!) when I stay overnight shortly.
    Needless to say, his comparison to our capital Canberra is a poor one – we may live in a lucky country, but not all beautiful either. I like that you say your people are kind – we sadly are quite influenced by the American way, and have more thought for ourselves than others quite often, and we have a very bad track record with our own indigenous peoples and our current asylum seekers – many of us are unhappy about that.
    I have spent time in Cambodia and Oman as a tourist – hot climates with some similar issues as your capital Podgorica – and I know that it takes effort to get out there and find the beauty, no matter wherever you are!
    I hope that Michael will one day redeem himself and visit Podgorica after reading all the websites I am about to read – he may even enjoy himself, but will he be safe??? I suggest incognito Michael…

  48. Shameful article! What did you expected to see in Podgorica, a dancing bear?!
    City was totally wiped out by so-called “Allies” during WWII despite Montenegrins were fighting Nazis! It was 2nd most bombed city in Europe, after Dresden!
    Fcuk off Britts & Yanks!
    Podgorica is the best!

  49. I was travelling to Podgorica every two weeks by many motnths. It was couple years ago.
    It is true – Podgorica is not London or Paris. But you can find similar ugly places as on your photos everywhere all over the world in every capital. You can find in Podgorica also new, clean and modern buildings. You just haven’t shown them. You can go 15 mins from the center and visit ruins of ancient city Doclea – have you been there?
    Actually Podgorica is not as owfull as you described, in compare to other ex comunist cities like Moscow (it is really horrible) or Kiev, Podgorica is very nice.
    There are plenty of places to go after hours, but of course during the daytime streets are rather empty.
    Montenegro is very small country and their capital is also small, so you must consider that when visiting.

  50. It’s really sad that this article seems to come up at the top of lots of Google searches about Podgorica. I’m slightly hesitant about posting anything on the off chance drawing attention to it will somehow contribute to it getting more hits, but I just wanted to point out to the many hilarious, lovely people of Montenegro that have responded to this article that not all Australians are ignorant dickheads like Mr Turtle who have no appreciation for the history of the places they visit and probably can’t appreciate a city unless it has a beach attached to it. If you’re the kind of person who loves going to Kuta beach in Bali (which is maybe the kind of place Mr Turtle should stick to writing about) then maybe Podgorica is not the place for you. I have enjoyed the few days I’ve spent here though and would encourage anyone to pass through and make your their own decision. It’s small but its beautiful and the people are very friendly. The above article is a cheap attempt at garnering attention for a substandard travelblog and does not accurately describe Podgorica.

  51. “I’m not going to hold back here. Podgorica is a hole!” SUPER, nobody likes a guest like you. Pozdrav iz Podgorice 🙂

  52. As an expat who’s been living here for 15 months I can tell you this article is not too far off the mark, *especially* if you come during the hottest months of the year. Of course, the longer you’re here the more good you see (but that comes from making friends, which takes time cause the people in PG aren’t very open), but for someone just coming for a couple of days, don’t expect more than this article talks about.

  53. Hi Michael ,
    You have really insulted people with this !
    And it is funny to read how they swear at you in their language.
    Worst insults, i will not translate them to you.
    But i understand them.
    Btw Podgorica can be wonderful if you know the people there.
    Former Yugoslavia is like Brazil –
    Ugly but still wonderful and vibrant.

  54. It is absolutely normal to have an opinion of places you have visited, but obviously you lack some basic manners.

    Just for the record, it is extremely rude to name place ( never mind whether it’s Podgorica or not)- a hole. People LIVE in this hole, you know?
    And 50% of them struggle to pay the bills at the end of each month, and so- they might, just might, not have the will to do a lot about the city. If you were a proper journalist, you would have done your homework better( you would have realised how beautiful Podgorica is by reading about the history) , you would not have been that rude about someone’s hometown,
    and – you wouldn’t have been replying only to the comments that support your article. That says enough about your ‘constructive critics’ .
    It is such a shame that people like you get these cool jobs-people with zero creativity and willingness to comprehend different as beautiful

  55. You are so wrong about Podgorica. The thing is that you were in Podgorica when the temperatures are over 40C and the most of our population is at the sea cities. In this time of year Podgorica is full of different events and tourist. You shold came in april or may, time when Podgorica shining with her full shine!

  56. I was living in Podgorica for a couple of years. And I’ve been travelling the world throughout almost all my life, discovering new places, cultures and local customs and traditions. From what I have experienced, and with no offence to anyone, Podgorica is the least interesting (and the least beautiful) city I’ve ever been to.
    I guess that, compared to the author, I had much more time to eperience Podgorica and it of course I was focused on making my stay more beautiful and meaningfull – but it was hard to find anything, no matter how subjective you try to be sometimes and meet your need to make this place more apealing.
    Many of the commenta are talking about city’s soul and people. Excuse me, but the language you’ve used shows that you have no manners and that being polite is something you are not used to. Having read that, why would anyone think that such people can create a city with the soul.
    Again, living in Podgorica made me understand that its citizens don’t travell often (if, at all). This is why it must be difficult to understand the dissapointment of any experienced traveller.
    If anyone cared about the city they would review the negative comments and sww how they can make Podgorica a better place. And they would show a bit of hospitality and invite the writer to visit again where someone would show the good side they are talking about. And yes, please don’t talk about IIWW, the littering around the city can’t be from the prevous century.

  57. Wish I had read this article before deciding to pay a visit. Then again, knowing me, I would have thought of it as utterly exaggerated, biased and the author’s personal opinion.
    But, having read this a day after I arrived in Podgorica, while drinking a coffee on the “Ulica Bratstva i Jedinstva” where Hostel Podgorica is, I have to admit that this is the most boring, depressing and monotonic place I have ever been to. So no, there’s no exaggeration from the author’s side.
    Considering its history, and the diversity of ethnicities living here, I expected a livelier city. There’s practically nothing going on. Stay away, preferably as far as the sea coast, because you won’t be missing anything by not visiting Podgorica.

  58. Okay, you know yourself, you’ve been a tad too harsh, however, from an unbiased point of view there are some good points here in your report. Not the “miss capital”, but I can’t see it that ugly though. These blocks are everywhere, in Europe, Japan, US, not only eastern block. Austria might be one of my favorites as a whole nature+history+Vienna which is probably nicest capital anywhere but Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt are just as Podgorica, if not worse. Or take any country… UK, ffs, how depressing is that? Maybe it’s the expectation that matters, I’ve heard only bad things about Podgorica and was surprised how actually okay it is. And I was also in August, for an afternoon and evening only. There are enough places of interest for a small town like it is, but totally doable in half a day including picking up the atmosphere at a coffee or a restaurant. It was much cleaner than expected, too, like Western Europe almost. Nightlife supposedly crazy like in all country, but I wouldn’t know. What would you say for Belgrade then, lol, that’s REALLY ugly, with a really beautiful park over the rivers and two nice wtreets, but that’s all. For a big city! Or even Sofia, but it was for me also partially very nice. Won’t mention Athens at all, that’s worst and dirtiest. But I’m glad I did all these cities and would return to any of them, you always find interesting people and sights and food and culture and memories and I should have been writing a travelblog xd

  59. well, I see that there is quite a lot of comments on your post… however, jusr want to add something: give it a try in spring. it smells like spring. it flowerishes and shines. dzring the summner due to climate (+40) it is deserted because there are so many nice places aeound. You come up with that as a tourist, why do you think that citizens did not?

    • Thanks for the advice. I agree – this is something I have learned from all the people who have kindly taken the time to comment on this page. Although Montenegro is a fantastic place to visit in summer, Podgorica is probably not at its best. I will go back one day… and I hope to use all this advice to see it in a different light!

      • Please,don’t…Don’t ever come back here again. Just stay away from us…Stay away from our city.

        Call it ugly,call it beautiful,call it the worst,call it the best…But just stay away from it. If possible,for the rest of your life.

        You and Podgorica should never,ever come across again. We,citizens of Podgorica,are begging you to keep away from our (as you call it-“stinky”) world,if anyhow possible-till the end of time.

  60. Currently I’m on a Euro Trip and I Just finished 2 Nights in Podgorica. Prior to Podgorica I spent the past week in Croatia, immediately coming from the Tourist packed Dubrovnik. When I was researching my trip, this blog post of course came up. I also researched the cities history so I was aware of its troubled past during WW2. Having just been there…….I have to agree with alot of the points made in this blog post. However despite overall agreeing, I found my stay rather pleasant. The first day (Sunday) had the blazing 40-C heat…….but thankfully it was a dry heat….not a Humid Heat which would have been alot worse. The next day was more cloudy so the temp was more reasonable in the low/mid 30s. Now walking around Sunday….it was a Ghost Town…….no one was really out and nothing was open. Turns out that’s every Sat & Sun in Podgorica since everyone goes down to the shore towns like Budva on the weekends. Not while that can certainly be a con…in my case having just come from the Tourist packed Dubrovnik…..Being able to wander around the empty Podgorica was actually very much a relief, It was just such a perfect contrast. The city doesn’t get many tourists and doesn’t have the same “Tourist Infrastructure” other capitals have…..but that made it feel more real……like you felt like you were exploring an actual city…..not a Tourist city. And there was definitely beauty along the way. Some of the ruins around the river were fascinating to explore, and from many points the city did have some very pretty photo ops. The next day Monday, the city was more normally filled and the downtown section had a bunch of interesting bars and restaurants. (Buda Bar I really liked)

  61. With the exception one country Ive experienced all the countries of Europe and compared to many of the former Eastern block capitals I found Podgorica clean , full of charm and a very pleasant place to visit. Sure its smaller than most capital cities and does lack tourist attractions but your selected graffiti strewn photos are not true reflection of this city.

  62. Sadly, Podgorica isn’t even much for a hop-off point. Some very nice people there, but outside of the government and a new Hard Rock Cafe (that I hear will be closed soon due to lack of interest), I’d rather stay on the beach and spend more time hopping off.

  63. It is incredible how two tourists can have such a different opinion. I have backpacked Podgorica twice, I love the city. It’s vibrant, it’s laid back, it’s untouristic and it’s much more raw and less cliched than the other cities in Montenegro I toured (Budva and Kotor for example). I ended up nicknaming this place “Poddy” as I loved it so much and with Ryanair serving it cheap flights, a great cheap option for a weekend with locals in their capital. Safe travels. Jonny

    • I am actually really pleased to hear other travellers say they liked Podgorica. These things are often subjective and you can clearly see from these comments that most of the locals think it is a great city. So I like to hear from visitors who could see that side of things themselves.

      • You have been to Podgorica, you think that the name is catchy, but you didn’t find what does the name means? Podgorica( pod Gorica- under Gorica). Gorica is really special place, that you didn’t get a chance to visit, and full of people when it’s sunny( yet not too hot). It is true that it’s really empty at summer because it’s really hot, and people go at cities with sea. It is not bad as you wrote, you just didn’t know where to look. I don’t blame you, a lot of people which live here even they couldn’t help you find them. But yes, the capital appears somehow dead, because our government invest money only in cities with sea, because they attract tourists. It is really sad, but there isn’t much that we can do. Some of us that live here for a long time, we love it based of memories how it was…

      • I think it’s probably changed a bit in the last three years — like Jonny, we found it a pretty nice, lowkey place to wander around and check out. Still not a destination on its own, but we took the train down from Belgrade and stayed overnight. Saw most of the city in one day. There’s a cafe called Karver in a converted Turkish hammam underneath a bridge, and we sat down by the river and the street art, on a lovely spring day, and had coffee and juice and read. Pretty much everyone we encountered asked us why we were there at all (like in Serbia!) — I guess they were different locals than the folks leaving so many of the comments here. I don’t think your original post would’ve made me skip the city, but these comments certainly would have!

  64. I’m subjective when I say that it’s the best city in the world because I was born in Titograd (Podgorica) but unless you live in it, you can’t talk like this. It’s not made for tourists though.

  65. Ive recently started a website, the knowledgye you provide on this site has reduced the problem tremendously.
    Thank you for your time & work

  66. Written by a left wing hack who is upset that the town is not still called Titograd. Obviously upset at what years of communism and euro rule can do to a beautiful country and city. Wonder what he would write about Detroit??

  67. I am sorry you had wrong impression, but reading and watching Your photos I think you didnt see but a little part of it. I see you didnt go to Old city from Otoman period, I see you didnt go to the Biggest temple in the region situated in Podgorica, I see you didnt go to the hill Gorica with adventure park, and church of St George … I see you didnt go in the part of the city called ,,Preko Morace,, around 5 km from the centre, where there are amazing big buildings and modern shooping malls and student area, and where more people are spanding time in the summer days, because we realy have around 45c in the summer so it is impossible to be outside in that tempreture. In the very center there are only small houses because town was completly ruined and bombed so many times in the World II war, so nothing amazing in the very center, but if you had a proper tour guide you would have better impressions…

    • I’m a bit late arriving to this blog. Whilst I agree that PG is not the most photogenic city I’ve ever visited, the reasons are clear – allied bombing raids and earthquakes don’t make for picture postcard destinations! However, I spent one night there (deliberately, to have a look around) en route to Kotor and the Adriatic coast. Fine, if Brutalist architecture is not your style, but after vast tracts of the city were destroyed – again, in 1979, the residents all needed somewhere to live and that was the Yugoslavian / communist style of building emergency housing back in the day.
      I liked the use of open spaces to create little parks with benches everywhere, the old Ottoman bridge area was fascinating and in the evening, the best place to go is Bokeska and adjacent Njegoseva streets in downtown Podgorica. There are lots of cafes and bars and it’s busy most nights.
      I had a complete ball in Culture Club Tarrantino, great crowd, vibe and music.
      I wouldn’t be in a hurry to return there (apart from cheap flights from the UK tend to go to PG airport) but neither would I slag it off – certainly not on the basis of a one night stopover (My hotel and meal were both exceptional , btw)

  68. I oftend visited balkan cities and countries, and I even lived in the “lid” of Balkans, Hungary, just at the border with Croatia and Romania, in Szeged. I see you travelled a lot, but I guess you cannot understand what you see.
    Sometime we simply don’t like a place, that is ok, but if you want to offer a gaze and stimulate readers to discover and understand, what you wrote about Podgorica (Подгорица) could be good for the average american guy, but it’s truly too dumb, more than insulting. You express in your text moral judgments, that is the worst thing an “explorer” could does currently. Moreover, the final pathetic observation betrays a real inability to observe and to watch where you are and the link beteewn what happens, the context, the past, and so on. Those places suffered a civilian war that made more than 250.000 victims, with the destruction of a nation. The spread of drugs exploded just with the end of Yougoslavia. So…
    The same concrete buildings are witness of the popular construction very common in the former socialist countries.
    If you pretend to be “travel reporter” and to visit other countries to inform about them, it is imperative to be unarmed of your own prejudices and to free yourself of any kind of preconception.
    Try again.

  69. The article was sad and uninformative. It seems you just picked the worst parts and photos and put them on. You can find sad looking places like that all around the world :USA, New Zealand , France and etc. But that is not the sole of every country, that are unfortunate people and their life. You cant be a travel blogger and do pick and choose on a negative twist.

  70. If you get to go back .. i can heartily recommend the view of Ribnica fortress from the terrace of the Hotel Podgorica .. I can recommend a picnic in Njegosev Park, go see Kraljev Park, climb that hill in Ljubovic area … go visit the old Ottoman town .. climb the Gorica (of Podgorica fame). The old sport centre on the Moraca is a disgrace – but it could be beautiful once again. Ice cream in Delta City .. perfect, lunch at the Siempre, perfect. Park Petrovica, perfect. Dječiji park, perfect. The Saborni hram Hristovog Vaskresenja .. sublime. Centralni park .. Cake and Ice cream on the Boulevard Svetog Petra Cetinjskog. I am in Podgorica a few times a year – and I’ve never yet run out of places to go. A city of bars, cafes and parks (and yes, awful 1950s architecture, urban decay, graffiti and uncollected rubbish).

    • Thanks for the comment, Ryan. I tend not to reply to people on this story because most of the comments are either personal attacks or just repeating earlier issues that I have already responded to.
      But I wanted to think you for your detailed suggestions. I do plan to visit Podgorica again one day and I truly hope that I will have a different view of it. Having some of these specific tips will, I hope, help me see the other side of it.
      I’m glad you enjoy your time there when you visit!

  71. What a complete Turtle Head !!!
    TypIcal American Spunk Stain !!
    I feel sorry that the good people of Podgorica had to endure this twats presence …….if he shows up again give him a good beating lol

    • He’s Australian and he can say whatever he wants!!
      People need to get some perspective and loosen up. Everyone should be free to expression their opinion and it doesn’t have to conform to your world view.

      • “Anyone can say what they want…” Shut the fuck up. His perspective as a rich Australian with the privilege of traveling the world is literally HARMFUL to the people of Podgorica. Perpetuating these stereotypes has larger implications than just someone’s “opinion.” Fuck off.

  72. I am right now in Podgorica with my boyfriend, luckily only for a night. I just stumbled across your blog because we just came home from our visit to the „center“ and I had to google if that was really it. And we had to laugh while reading it. Because I just said one hour ago that I am wondering why noone is sniffing glue here, I would do it all day to forget where I am…

  73. I had seen Podgorica when it was still Titograd. I’ll never forget the horror I felt. It’s forever etched in my mind as the most desolate and ugly place I have ever seen. Today for some reason I wondered what happened to Titograd and ran into this article. Sad, though.

  74. I was considering visiting Podgorica to open a bank account but this post was indeed useful.
    While I do agree that the city is probably uninteresting, the fact that it was in August probably contributed to a rather empty/miserable overview.

  75. Too bad you couldn’t appreciate the relax vibes of the place! It is a great place to live, with lots of green parks around the city, and super safe!

  76. Hey Michael,

    I’ve been reading through your blog a bit and I found you write a lot of good pieces. But your piece on Podgorica is absolutely appalling. Not only is it extremely problematic, but it is downright dehumanizing to the people who are struggling through the post-socialist transitional economic changes. Eastern Europe (which Austria is definitely not) has struggled immensely and been exploited time and time again. Likening Podgorica to that of a “mangy dog,” positing that the people of Podgorica don’t even like their own city, and ending your blog with an image of a man sniffing glue isn’t even rude, it’s fucked up.

    The city, the country, does not exist for YOU to enjoy as a tourist. You have the privilege to travel the goddamn world as a rich dude from one of the richest countries in the world, and you perpetuate stereotypes of Eastern Europe, dehumanize the people of Podgorica, and don’t for a fucking second stop to consider WHY the country is in the situation it’s in, nonetheless even consider what YOU COULD DO TO HELP. Instead, you view it as your own personal playing ground. People’s cultures and cities aren’t for you to CONSUME. You as a rich dude get to take all these nice photos with brown kids and feel better about yourself for posting about World Heritage Sites, but what are you actually doing to better their lives? Absolutely nothing. If you’re going to just visit the poor countries in Eastern Europe and talk about how disgusting they are, get the fuck out of them. We don’t want your money.

    Assholes like you do this shit and wonder why we don’t want you in our countries. Assholes like you wonder why we hate foreigners and won’t cater to them when people like YOU have bombed our countries and then blame us for it! Idi u tri pičke materine. You and your racist asshole followers jerk each other off in your comments about how Montenegro and Central American countries are disgusting and you’re above them. You’re above the people who are actually struggling. You don’t give a fuck about anyone but yourself. You might have a nice camera and a fancy phone, but it’s a product of birth. You don’t deserve anything you have, you just got lucky. You’re a piece of shit. Fuck you.


    • Maybe I wouldn’t curse the way you did, but I can understand your anger and I 100% support you! The people who read this and comment supportively to the author are people who aren’t aware of the world and how life gives roses to someone while others get thorns! I’ve just left my comment below because my head was boiling when I read all this ridiculousness he wrote, even if it was a long time ago!

  77. Well, I stumbled upon this article on Google and I feel sorry that I did. This was written many years ago, obviously, as Podgorica has around 240k citizens today and the best infrastructure of all the cities in Montenegro, connected by railway, roads and air with all parts of Europe. Podgorica has many expats living there happily and calling this place their new home! Additionally, it’s one of the greenest cities compared to the size, and I couldn’t see at least one photo inside your blog of a boulevard Saint Peter of Cetinje, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. Well educated people would know that we went through hell and back during socialism and I can see some comments below where people refer to WWII, not even knowing that we had a war in 1992, then again in 1999 and finally we split up with Serbia in 2006. Since 2006, everything started to improve, but we can not just erase decades of socialism and bring all new buildings and fairytale designs as some of you would expect. It must be nice living in happy countries with happy citizens and with high standards, but Montenegro is not there yet! Most of the people from the building that you took a photo of are having concerns on how to survive a month ahead, rather than thinking about how their building front looks like! You should respect the poverty we lived in for decades and give this town a chance to develop and prove that is worth visiting! Many visitors would agree because I work for a network of online travel guides, I also write about Podgorica and I know what the majority of visitors do actually think! It’s not nice taking photos of the neighbourhoods where you stayed only, not showing the rest of the city to your readers! It’s the same as if you’d go to Berlin and take photos of socialism remains only and tell people how ugly Berlin is, but we all know it’s not true! I just hope that people who read this bitter article you wrote would have an urge to visit it themselves so they can prove you wrong!

  78. You seriously showed a level of insanity and ignorance never seen.

    Expat living in Podgorica. City Kvart is beautiful and our flat overlooks the Delta Mall. People are nice and clean. What else do you want ? Please don’t be so bitter about life. It shows.

  79. This is a relatevely young country (since 2006) and you can still find a lot of “influencers” from the times of Yugoslavia. New generations of westrn thinking people are needed to turn this country around, sadly the whole region seems to be sharing the same fate… maybe one day.

  80. During summer, Podgorica is a dead city. Almost every day, I went to Montenegring Coastal and almost all people went to sea after their working hours are finished.

    As a town of only 150-200k inhabitants, Podgorica is a small city. From town center to outside, you need 30 minutes by walk in any direction.

    There is not much to see in the city. And it is very close to reach by walking from our city center. There are: King’s residence (10min), High School (5min), 2 devasted Ottomans jails (10min and 20min), Music school (5min) and maybe 2 more buildings which survived bombing and very strong earthquake. Tower Watch (10min) is from Ottoman Empire heritage and city stoned walls. Saint George Church (5min) is over 900 years old.

    Podgorica was bombed by British Air Forces during a WWII for unknown reason (Montenegro was occupied by German Nazi but Allies bombed our town to the ground when there was few German solders left in the city). After WWII, Podgorica become Capital. Before the war, our country was monarchy and after war communist tried to not rebuild it. They wanna delete our pre-communist history in my opinion. I wish if they rebuild Podgorica

    But Podgorica have Moraca, Cijevna, Ribnica and Sitnica rivers. You can swim on Moraca and Cijevna rivers and there are beaches (5min walk for Moraca and 10 min drive for Cijevna). You can canoeing on Moraca but there is not any caffe bar or restaurant on the beaches becouse of city laws. Ribnica and Sitnica don’t have a water during summer.

    Also, there are two lakes: Bukumirsko Lake (30min drive) and Skadar Lake (30min drive). A lot of parks, caffe bars and restaurants which are full during whole year but empty during June-August.

    For me, as native Montenegrin, it was very strange when I went to Paris and see empty caffe bars and restaurants during a day except for work break. In Podgorica and in Montenegro, you would see a lot of people during any time in a day to drink coffee in caffe bars and restaurants. We like to meet each other and chillout whole day if we could.

    Podgorica is not night living city cause of our city laws and corruption (after midnight only few places works). Podgorica is peacefull place, nice for living and very hot and empty during summer. Street crime is almost non-existant.

    Also, there is no rasism here at all. But, of cource we have our problems and major is that our gov is supported by Europian Union leaders. In coruption, of course. As a result of that, we have rich and poor citizens and almost deleted middle class. Our president is top-riched president in Europe. And our country is very poor.

    But to stay on topic…

    Our city and people change slow. From last year, cigarette smoke is forbidden in closed spaces (inside caffe bars, restaurants, …). Personaly, I support that decision cause of other non-smoking people but I don’t like cause I don’t have option to drink coffee during winter at warm place. Not a single caffe bar. And thats discrimination too. So I drinked it outside. Low temperatures (5-6 Celsius), rain and strong wind was a “little” problem but I didn’t get a tiny cold. Maybe we really have great climate.

    At the end, I hope you would come again, even in summer, to discover there places. But to discover city life, avoid summer (June-August).

  81. Turtle, you’re an Australian cunt, not a world traveller. I know your kind as I spent many years living in YOUR shithole – the land of roos and cowboys – and I will never go back. Hated IT and hated you fucking bogans, you rotten, unintelligent morons, filled with needles, homeless and filth, riddled with mental illness.

    I spent a year in Podgorica and would knock your druggie teeth out if said this to my face. Go back to your fucking straya as you don’t belong anywhere but the fucking desert.

    Love how you’re the guide here, telling people where to go. Also, your pathetic attempt at poetic writing fails miserably, but then that’s because you cunts are illiterate and most can’t spell for shit and when you manage to string a sentence together, you disrespect other people’s countries? Good on ya karnt.

    Oooooo let me guess, they didn’t treat you the way you expected? So automatically it’s a shit place? If I ever hear the aussie accent around me here, I’ll bury a brick in your fucking skull. Now I know what you look like, I travel too, better hope you never cross my path you pathetic aussie faggot cunt.

  82. Hahahaha currently in australia says your instagram. FEELING A BIT STUCK in the toilet you call Australia? It’ll be years before ScoMo ALLOWS you to travel again haha Yeah go on insta and relive those travelling moments while we, THE REAL TRAVELLERS, continue to travel haha. Faggot cunt.

  83. In your opinion you English people think you are superior than us but you are just another genocide people who want to tke down small countries, but you know what they say smaller is better than bigger so please if stayed in Montenegro little while you would se great we are

    • It’s a pity to read such an article from a westerner, I agree. However, please know that there are other westerners who live in your country and love it! My American husband has lived in several parts of the world, but he is so much happier here. We truly cherish the friendliness of your people and the safety here. May the Maker bless this country for generations to come!

  84. You really should not be writing anything or traveling anywhere, you mindless sniveling excuse for an “expert”. You can see in the comments what kind of racist and snide people latch onto your crap. Please stay at home and lock the doors.

  85. Dude, I think you didn’t give Podgorica a chance.

    You took some pictures of old buildings. Have you read any guides on what to see and do in Podgorica?

    The city and its surroundings have a lot to offer.

    You visited Podgorica in July. During summer, the Capital isn’t popular due to very hot weather – you can’t be outside in 45C! During the summer, most people enjoy the sun and sea at the beaches. Podgorica is just 35 min away from the beaches!

    • He went to the poorest neighborhoods of Podgorica, Zagoric and Zabjelo, and then insults Podgorica.

      He did not visit Karver, Rimski trg, Ribnica.

      Not to say that Podgorica is the most exciting city, far from it. But it is a nice cosy town, with huge huge potential.

  86. Yes, in summer daytime the city can look miserable. We’ve lived here for half a year and now in the winter it’s so pleasant to walk to all sorts of parks, nearby Niagara Falls, art and history museums in the downtown, old ruins and water or just stroll in the old part of the town. Definitely the seaside is more beautiful. We are trying to find more positive and interesting things since we are here to live for a longer period than a tourist. Safety and the friendliness of the locals is the main luxury in this city.

  87. I reeally loved Podgorica and its loneliness …Just back from there to Roma Italy and I cant wait being there again sincerely, ive found people wonderful, food delicious and its quiet pace soothing for my soul.

  88. Yes, I agree. I was pretty much everywhere in Europe (and not only) and have not seen another city as ugly and depressing as Podgorica. I know the history of the town, but hey, it is 80 years after the war (as somebody has already wuitten).

    • Please Ata do not insult. Podgorica not only was bombed 80 years ago, but was bombed and 1999 (25 years ago). Podgorica has been rebuilding and there are many new fresh beautiful spots to visit.

  89. Foreigners who do not know the language and have no tour guide will hardly be able to understand Podgorica.

    Podgorica is loved by its residents. Podgorica is for locals, for families. One of the best places to grow up as a child, safe, parks and greenery everywhere. You can walk everywhere, and always sunny and warm, close to the sea.

    Montenegro has gone through political turbulence in the past 30 years and just in the past few years has begun developing more modern for the EU. Podgorica has many new modern neighborhoods outside of the poor neighborhoods which you visited and took pictures of.

  90. Just by the dates of the comments i deducted that the date he was visiting Podgorica is some time in August. And being the experienced traveler he should deduct that at that time everybody is in vacation. All the government institution an private businesses are almost all closed and people are on the seaside or in mountains. Seems like he did not even try to talk to receptionist and ask because he would get this answer. It’s something like Ferragosto, but in Balkans way. The other months Podgorica is overcrouded. It just seems that he scratched the surface and just left it uninterested. Sorry man, it is just lousy job on your side.

  91. For all of you who think there is nothing beautiful to see in Podgorica, please check No. 47. For years Podgorica’s main boulevard has been among the most magical streets worldwide. Yes, there are more beautiful cities, but Podgorica did not deserve such a harsh article. You deliberatly took the worst angles, which anyone could do in any place in the world. I do not know what made you write it like you did, but if you ever come again, do get in touch, I will make a special tour, just for you 🙂
    P.s. Born and raised in a 2 million concrete jungle, happily living in Podgorica for the past 25 years.

  92. It’s soo bad, had a connecting flight 2 nights stay feels like a week. There’s literally nothing here. Never disliked a place so much

  93. After reading your article and people’s comments, I’m convinced that Podgorica is worth visiting. We will be in Montenegro in October / November and for sure Podgorica will be on our list. I sure it’s not the most beautiful, exciting city but I don’t believe for a moment your article reflects the true Podgorica.
    It would seem that you posted a very biased article and posted the ugliest photos you could find.

  94. My dear Montenegrins, let’s be objective. It’s important to mention that I am also a Montenegrin. The author is completely right, and I don’t see a reason for anger. Those who argue differently are subjective. Let’s simplify: We cannot even compare Podgorica to Rome or Paris, but if you compare the city to any other city in the Balkans (let’s exclude Athens too :-)), it is still the worst capital city (the author has explained in detail why).
    Montenegro is a beautiful country, the north is beautiful and unique and so is the south (although overrated). Instead of getting angry and using vulgar language, it would be wiser for us to make an effort to be better in every sense and promote our country as best as we can. There is much more beauty and goodness in our country than bad things.
    Best regards


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