Welcome to Herceg Novi, the westernmost city of Montenegro! This vibrant tourist destination attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and it’s easy to see why. In this overview, I will guide you through the must-visit attractions in Herceg Novi, including its beautiful beaches and the finest restaurants. Additionally, I’ll provide information on various tours you can embark on during your stay. Let’s get started!
Table of contents:
- Herceg Novi: general information about the city
- How to get from the airport and other cities
- The best restaurants in Herceg Novi
- Apartments and hotels in Herceg Novi and Igalo: rating and best area
- Overview of the beaches of Herceg Novi and Igalo
- What to visit: sights of Herceg Novi
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Montenegro without these websites
Herceg Novi: general information about the city
Let’s delve into the city’s captivating history. The name “Herceg Novi” originates from the title of Duke Stefan Vuksic, and it eloquently translates as “New Duke.” Under his enlightened rule, this coastal gem flourished, reaching its pinnacle of prosperity.
Now, let’s uncover some intriguing general information:
- Compared to its ancient neighbors along the Bay of Kotor and the coast, such as Kotor, Budva, and Ulcinj, Herceg Novi is relatively youthful, having been established in the year 1382.
- Although the city’s population hovers around 16-17 thousand residents, it surprisingly claims the title of the fourth largest city in Montenegro and proudly stands as the foremost coastal hub.
- A delightful feature that sets Herceg Novi apart is its picturesque promenade, stretching gracefully for about 8 kilometers—a remarkable distinction unmatched by any other city in the country.
- City coordinates on the map: 42.457022691774725, 18.53122355367921
- Intriguingly located in the Bay of Kotor, Herceg Novi enchants visitors with its breathtaking vistas and alluring charm.
Good to know:In Herceg Novi, you won’t find the same multitude of beaches as in the Budva Riviera, nor will you encounter as many historical sights as in the ancient city of Kotor. However, despite these differences, the city remains a beloved destination among tourists. By the end of this article, you’ll understand why.
Getting to Herceg Novi from the airport and other cities
Montenegro’s public transport network is relatively underdeveloped, with the most efficient bus services operating between cities along the coast. If you’re planning to travel to Herceg Novi, the most convenient way is from other coastal cities.
It’s important to know:Montenegro boasts two international airports: Tivat and Podgorica. While direct buses from the airports to Herceg Novi are not available, you’ll find plenty of bus connections from major cities throughout the country, including Tivat and Podgorica.
As you read these lines, it’s essential to consider the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with some countries still facing restrictions. If you’re planning to visit Montenegro, I advise you to check the latest information on travel guidelines and restrictions. As of the beginning of 2023, Montenegro has lifted all Covid-19 related restrictions, making it a possibility to explore this beautiful country once again.
From Tivat, Kotor, Budva there are no less buses every day. About 30 buses daily from each city. Buses depart from the bus stations of their cities every 20-30 minutes.
- Details about public transport in Montenegro: where to find a schedule with prices and how to buy tickets.
Best restaurants in Herceg Novi
As elsewhere in Montenegro, food service in the country is well developed. There are thousands of restaurants, taverns and cafes on the streets of any city. Distinctive features of Montenegrin cuisine: large servings and a lot of meat. They also love Mediterranean cuisine and seafood: pasta, pizza, risotto and so on.
Useful:Oyster farms are an attraction of the Bay of Kotor. Each farm has a small restaurant and they will take the oysters out of the water, open and properly serve them to you only after your order. Mussels and various seafood are also served here. If you are a fan of such cuisine, then a visit to the oyster farm is a must. There are no such farms in other parts of the country.
Below is a small list of cafes that I personally like. Everywhere is very tasty, moderate prices, and large servings. Maybe these are not the best places in Herceg Novi, but they definitely deserve your attention:
- Konoba Risan (Konoba means tavern): 42.45132, 18.5359. Small and cozy family restaurant serving national cuisine. Located in the heart of the old city, but not easy to find. At the stairs down you will see a sign to a small street to this tavern.
- Konoba Skver: 42.45094503656636, 18.533565289418824. It is located on the waterfront of the city, not very noticeable from the road, but when you sit down at a table – the views are excellent and the atmosphere is just right. The menu includes national cuisine and seafood.
- Tri Lipe Restaurant: 42.45032, 18.53544. Another great restaurant with huge servings.
- Bonus: one of the closest oyster farms near Herceg Novi. Coordinates: 42.45932, 18.67244. Only 12 km from the city.
Interesting to know:Fresh oysters and mussels in wine sauce are served in many restaurants in the city. They are even on the cafe menu from the list above. But visiting an oyster farm in the Bay of Kotor is a must for all food travelers. Follow the link for a large overview of the Bay of Kotor, where you will find all the main oyster farms of the bay, prices and menus, find out why there is a short daylight hours and cold water.
Apartments and hotels in Herceg Novi and Igalo: rating
The city has a large number of hotels, apart-hotels and apartments. Where to stay is up to you. We like to stay in apartments (not only in Montenegro) because of the kitchen. Private kitchen is very convenient in any journey.
Below you will find a dynamic ranking of the most popular accommodation options in Herceg Novi and Igalo. For each option, you can click, see photos, prices, reviews.
Good to know:Igalo is a small fishing village in the north of Herceg Novi. Today, both cities have grown so much that there is no longer a border between them. Even the locals do not know exactly where Herceg Novi ends and Igalo begins. They have one single promenade. If you want to stay closer to the old town and attractions: look for accommodation in Herceg Novi, if you want closer to the beaches – then in Igalo. More about the beaches below.
- See more hotels and apartments in Herceg Novi at the link.
- You can find a rating of good and budget hotels in Montenegro here.
Overview of the beaches of Herceg Novi and Igalo
It’s important to know:In all cities of the Bay of Kotor there are almost no beaches. Here the daylight is short because of the mountains on all sides, and the water is colder than the sea because of the cold streams that flow from these mountains. And the number of beaches is inferior to popular resorts such as Budva.
If you look at the map, you can see that Herceg Novi is located at the very beginning of the bay, almost at the exit to the sea. And this is a big advantage for tourists. Compared to Kotor, Perast, Tivat, and other cities of the bay, there are more beaches, more sun, and warmer water.
Therefore, the resort of Herceg Novi, in terms of a beach holiday, is something in between Kotor and Budva, where Kotor is 1 point, and Budva is 10 points. There are beaches here, but they are not as good as the beaches of the Budva Riviera.
So, a mini-review of the main beaches of Herceg Novi and Igalo (from north to south). All major beaches will be marked on the city’s attractions map (map below).
- Galeb beach. Pebbly, about 200 meters long and only 10 wide. On the outskirts of Igalo. Coordinates: 42.45468, 18.50835. It is considered semi-wild, there are no sun loungers for rent, no restaurants on the beach either.
- The main beach of Igalo, which is called Igalo: 42.45877, 18.51589. Concrete platforms and large pebbles. All occupied by sun loungers, many restaurants. This is an infrastructure beach. The width of the beach is not more than 10m. In fact, all the beaches of Herceg Novi are quite narrow.
- Raffaello beach: 42.45677, 18.52229. Pebble beach no more than 100 meters long. Very crowded during the season. There is all the infrastructure. By the way, in the high season, on all the beaches of Montenegro, renting an umbrella and two sun loungers for the whole day is 15-20 euros.
- Topla Beach (or at the tunnel): 42.45473, 18.52563. Named after the Topla pedestrian tunnel on the waterfront, near which it is located. The beach is made up of concrete platforms.
- Boka beach or the beach at the yacht club: 42.45173, 18.53141. The only sandy beach in the area. The width of the beach is 5 meters :). Here, even the water entry is good, you can relax with children if you find a place.
- Herceg Novi beach, also called Sting: 42.44992, 18.53519. A Sting because there is a long and narrow pier nearby like a sting. It is located right in the very center in its old part under the walls of the Sea Fortress. The beach is 100% pebbly.
- The beach of the Plaza Hotel is named after the hotel, which is located across the road:42.45044, 18.54188. Partly concrete platforms, partly pebbles mixed with sand. Often they write on the Internet that this is a sandy beach, do not believe them. The beach is accessible to everyone, the hotel has only a small piece of it.
Important:In addition to these main beaches, there are dozens of wild beaches in Herceg Novi. Tourists simply sunbathe on the promenade, on stones, on piers and concrete platforms. Wherever you can find a place and go down into the water. Sun loungers are also placed on every convenient part of the land, it does not have to be a beach.
The best beach of Herceg Novi:This is Zhanits (according to the modest and subjective opinion of the author), located outside the city, and you need to go by boat. But I will tell about it in detail separately in the “attractions” section. Since this is a really cool place for your vacation.
What to visit: sights of Herceg Novi
I can’t say Herceg Novi is rich in sights, but there is definitely something to visit here. And for a couple of days, travelers will have enough interesting places and simply beautiful locations.
Map of beaches, restaurants and attractions of Herceg Novi:
Below is a description, opening hours, ticket prices and tips for visiting.
Old town of Herceg Novi
There is one peculiarity in Herceg Novi: here the old town, unlike other coastal cities, is not walled and has no clear boundaries. Maybe that’s why it has grown to a large size and today walking along its narrow medieval streets is an inexpressible feeling.
In just one old town you will find more than ten interesting sights:
- Main square of Nikola Djurkovic: 42.45173, 18.53671
- Clock tower (Sat Kula) and medieval gate to the city: 42.45169, 18.53718
- Farmer’s market (open until 15:00, but it’s better to come before 13:00): 42.45201, 18.5363
- Pedestrian street of the city: 42.45186, 18.53566
- Sea fortress on the waterfront or Forte Mare: 42.45004901547403, 18.535972390456976. Today it is a summer cinema with a huge screen, a concert venue, a small museum, casemates and an observation deck overlooking the promenade and the sea. Ticket price: 2 euros.
- Kanli Kula Fortress: 42.45249, 18.5383. Another Ottoman fortress open to tourists. Located on a hill above Forte Mare. An amphitheater and also a concert venue were made in it. The amphitheater can accommodate 1,000 spectators. Beautiful views of the bay and the city open from the walls of the fortress. Ticket price: 3 euros
- The old building of the railway station, which was built by the Austrians and the train went to Dubrovnik: 42.45056261804901, 18.534760999379277. The railway road was dismantled a long time ago, but the sign on the building with the name of the station remained.
And this is not all the sights of the old city. There are also five churches, a couple of museums, a stone bridge and many other interesting locations. You just need to walk around the old city and enjoy the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
Visiting tip:For those who are in Herceg Novi for a short time: plan an hour and a half for the old town. If you want to visit both fortresses, then 2 hours. There (in the fortresses) there is nothing special to do, except for observation platforms, nothing interesting, and even 2-3 euros for entry is a lot. And there are enough beautiful views of the bay and the city without them. I give ten points to the old town of Herceg Novi. Attraction is a must to visit.
Fortress Spagnola or Spanish Fortress
The fortress of the 15th century is located on the highest point of the city. It rises above Herceg Novi. The fortress was of great defensive importance for the entire bay. There have been dozens of battles in its history. The fortress withstood even during the attack of Napoleon’s army.
- Coordinates: 42.45647, 18.53391
- Opening hours: 24/7.
- Ticket price: free.
- How much time to visit: from the promenade and from the fortress of Forte Mare – 30 minutes. And 30 minutes to walk around the Spanish fortress. By the way, you can drive by car, parking here is free right at the walls.
Visiting tip:Today the fortress is abandoned. Everything inside is overgrown with bushes. But the walls are well preserved. You can go around the entire fortress along the walls. Here are the most beautiful views of the bay in all of Herceg Novi. The fortress itself is not of great interest to tourists, but you need to go here for the views of the surroundings. Tip: come at sunset, with a bottle of Vranac and glasses.
Monument to the chimney sweep Rudolf Karujic
This monument was erected in honor of the only officially registered chimney sweep in Herceg Novi, Rudolf Karuzic, nicknamed Njunjo. He always walked in uniform and with tools, but was never seen at work. Over time, he became the hero of urban jokes and legends. He dreamed of going to Belgrade, but he never left his hometown. In the 1990s, he disappeared without a trace and has not been seen since. Could he have fulfilled his dream?
- Coordinates: 42.45195, 18.53524. It is located at the end of the pedestrian street.
Visiting tip:The townspeople say that Rudolf grants wishes, for this you need to rub the nose of the statue.
Tito’s Villa „Galeb”
Villa of the General Secretary, President of Yugoslavia – Tito. Built especially for him. He spent his first vacation here in 1976. In total he had time to rest 4 times. In 1979 there was a very strong earthquake here, a lot of destruction throughout the country. The earthquake caught Tito just in this villa, but the villa was not damaged. After his death in 1980, Galeb was not used for a long time.
- Coordinates: 42.45533, 18.50684. Located in Igalo, just 3 km along the promenade on foot from the old town.
- Guided tours once a day at 18:00 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Ticket price 3 euros. Duration 75 minutes.
Visiting tip:The villa had many luxurious elements for those times: a swimming pool, a jacuzzi. If you are interested in such objects, then you will like it here. If you have visited similar museums before, for example, Enver Hoxha’s bunker in Albania or the royal palace in Belgrade, there will definitely not be anything new.
Personal opinion of the author: it is better to pay 3 euros for an excursion to Tito’s villa than for the entrance to the fortress of Forte Mare. It was much more interesting for me at the villa.
What to visit around Herceg Novi
Let me tell you about a very interesting place. In this case, even a tour and a sea adventure at the same time. This is the area of Zanjice beach on the opposite side of the bay from Herceg Novi. You can get there by car: a detour around the entire bay is only 75 km away. If you use the ferry crossing, then 45 km. And if you take a boat from Herceg Novi only 7-8 km.
It is easy to find a boat to this location. Tours are offered on the entire promenade in Herceg Novi. There are 2 hour tours and all day tours. You can buy any, they are all good, but better for half a day or all day.
Look for boat trips that have the following points on the route (they are all nearby, marked on the map above):
- Rest on the beach Zanjice. This beautiful pebbly beach is located in a bay closed from the winds. The big advantage is that there are no large settlements nearby, which means few people.
- Coordinates: 42.39914, 18.5804
- Usually on the beach you can relax for 2-3 hours. You can swim, sunbathe or dine in any restaurant.
- By the way, this is one of the best beaches in Montenegro. Follow the link to the TOP 10 beaches of the country and a detailed review of a beach holiday.
- Visiting an abandoned Yugoslav submarine base. There are no submarines themselves, but you can visit the bunker in the rock where they were stored. You can even swim. A very unusual attraction.
- Coordinates: 42.42372, 18.54901
- The route must necessarily pass by the beautiful fortress of Mamula on a desert island. Previously, on the island it was possible to get off the boat and take a walk. But in 2021, this island was bought by an investor, and now the territory is closed. Tourists ride around the island under the walls of the fortress. Who knows, maybe something will change by next season.
- The island-fortress is located at the exit from the bay of Zanjice beach.
- Coordinates: 42.3954, 18.55856
- And the icing on the cake: blue cave or blue grotto. Actually, all tours from Herceg Novi are called Blue Cave. And this is the main point of the tour, and the Mamula fortress, Zhanits beach, submarine base are additional content of the tour program.
- Coordinates: 42.37407, 18.59633
- This is a cave that can only be reached by boat. There is no road along the coast.
- You can swim.
- If the weather is sunny and the sea is calm, then the water will be like in the photo below.
Visiting tip:Such tours from Herceg Novi on a boat cost 20-30 euros per person. Try to choose calm and sunny days, as the boat sails out of the bay into the open sea. In windy weather, there are high waves: firstly, it is very seasick, and besides, the boat will not be able to swim into the cave. The best weather for such a boat trip: calm and sun.
This is not a complete list of the cool attractions of Herceg Novi and the surrounding area. For active tourists there is still a lot to see. And if you have a car at hand:
- The Venetian city of Perast, the pearl of the Bay of Kotor. Only 30 km from Herceg Novi.
- Ancient Kotor and the largest old town in Montenegro, 40 km from Herceg Novi.
- Beach resort Budva and its old town: 60 km. All reviews of each city are available via the links.
In conclusion: Herceg Novi in Montenegro is a unique city. On the one hand, there are no good beaches and beach holidays, the resorts of the Budva Riviera are much better. Excursion tourism to sights, fortresses, churches, the old town, is also inferior to the famous Kotor and Perast. Herceg Novi has a little bit of everything, and most importantly, there is a Montenegrin atmosphere and flavor that you can only feel when you come here.
Herceg Novi is perfect for tourists who come here both for a day and for 3-5 days. The city has only one drawback – its location on the edge of the country. It is not very convenient to live in Herceg Novi and travel around Montenegro. Therefore, tourists stay here for a few days, visit all the sights of the city and its environs, and then go on a beach holiday to the central part of Montenegro.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Montenegro (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual card in Montenegro
- Taxi and transfers from Montenegro airports: Intui.Travel