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Podgorica Gay Travel

What should you expect with Podgorica gay travel? Here are wolfyy’s recommendations for where to stay, things to do, tourist safety and the local gay experience. 

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The Gay Travel Experience: Podgorica, Montenegro

Why did I travel to Podgorica? Well, on my way to Budva and other coastal cities in Montenegro, I wanted to see the capital! Podgorica surely isn’t a thriving cultural or nightlife center, but the lazy city will let you feel local Montenegrin life in the truest sense.

Montenegro gay scene

Podgorica has a ubiquitous post-Soviet atmosphere. Wandering the streets, you will almost feel transported back in time. The architecture, the graffiti on sides of buildings, and a pervasive stoic aura will engulf your senses.

Montenegro gay scene
graffiti
graffiti
As you may expect in a city such as Podgorica, there is no gay culture. Most gay people in Montenegro will flock to coastal places like BudvaUlcinj or somewhere in Croatia for work. Montenegro is quite a religious nation, and Podgorica shows this clearly.
podgorica church
I’ll get to some cool things to do in Podgorica below, but since the city is so inexpensive I will also mention that Podgorica is a great place to take a travel respite.
If you’re someone like me who has been traveling for a while, sometimes you need a few guilt-free days inside. You won’t find any better place than the outskirts of Podgorica to sit home and chill inexpensively.

Should I Visit Podgorica?

I must say that a visit to Podgorica is really best for the avid traveler. I wouldn’t recommend anyone taking a holiday to set their sights on the city, as it’s not a vacation destination. Travel to Podgorica is about discovery and taking in the vibe of a new corner of the world.
podgorica attractions
You can see the entire city in one afternoon. If you have the luxury of time, then let the remainder of this guide help you make your decision on whether you should make the stop.

Gay Podgorica: Where to Stay

Podgorica is not very large, so even if you book a homestay or Airbnb on the outskirts of the city, you won’t be more than a 30-minute walk from the city center. In general, the entire city is walkable with sidewalks along all roads.

podgorica attractions
pine trees in park
pine trees in park

I stayed to the west of the city center on a road called Ivangradska. The location was quite residential, and I chose it because I had planned to do some writing for a few days. I wasn’t planning to leave the apartment often. The best part was that Airbnb rentals in Podgorica are stunningly cheap for the western traveler!

Podgorica gay traveler
I paid a total of $18 USD per night after fees for my Airbnb…and I got an entire 1-bedroom apartment. It seemed too good to be true when I booked it, but alas I had a ton of space to spread out.

Meeting A Local In Podgorica

My stay ended with a memorable encounter with my hosts mother. As I was checking out, she was trying to tell me I could leave my bags in a locked area. She knew I didn’t speak a word of Serbian and she spoke no English.
flowers outside church
She pulled out her phone and in her harsh native language uttered a few sentences. The phone repeated the sentences in English and she smiled at me as I listened to her kind words with the inflection of a robot.
river view
flowers outside church

She was so happy to have met an American traveler and I was very glad to have interacted with a nice older woman who humbly wished me well on my travels. It was a beautiful moment for me.

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Attractions & Things to Do in Podgorica

Rent a bike and explore Podgorica via the wonderful bike paths! Podgorica has wide roads that are often adjacent to large parks. I found myself stopping to sit on park benches every hour or so while touring the city.
church in podgorica

The Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection in Podgorica is absolutely stunning. Stroll through the wonderful landscaping outside before you tour the building.

church in podgorica
sun shining behind church
This church is immaculate and the best thing about Podgorica! Also, don’t miss the underground devotional area, where you can observe the candles lit by locals to pay their respects.
church candles in water

Meals and drinks are very inexpensive similar to the rest of Podgorica. I spent some time at Street Bar after visiting the cathedral, enjoying an Aperol Spritz. It cost no more than three Euro! There are many cafes along the streets of the city center. Café culture seems to be big here in Podgorica. Why not try a few?

Podgorica gay travel
podgorica bar
Podgorica gay travel
The area around the Old Ribnica River Bridge has the most historical feel of any spot in the city. It is a peaceful place to relax outside around the old stone pathways and lookout points. There are a bunch of little paths to explore so it feels like a mini-hike inside a city.
podgorica bar

The Milenium Bridge is a fun modern structure to pass by as you wander Podgorica. There are various green spaces nearby covered in beautiful pine trees.

Podgorica Gay Travel Tips

Most importantly, remember that homosexuality is not widely accepted in Montenegro. Many locals do not understand homosexuality and the heavily Christian population intensifies this. Keep any public displays of affection to safe, private spaces.
memorial
Most locals in Podgorica do not speak English, and so for many situations you are left to your own devices. Google Translate and other speaking-based vocal translate applications will be of good use. If you don’t have cell phone data, make sure to download a Serbian/Montenegrin library to use offline.
Podgorica gay traveler
bike paths
bike paths

If you are departing Podgorica via the Podgorica bus station, make sure to print out your bus tickets in advance. Even though bus ticket reservations say to print the ticket, I rarely find myself actually doing so.

But, the bus station in Podgorica has a special, sort of archaic, way of ticketing and they will not allow you to board a bus without the paper printout. Don’t forget!

Taxi Cabs in Podgorica

Ordering a taxi in Podgorica is actually very difficult. You may need to ask your host or hotel concierge to book a taxi, should you need one. This is one benefit of staying in an Airbnb in Podgorica. There are no mobile phone-based taxi apps and most of the taxi company dispatchers that you call don’t speak English.

podgorica gay travel
river view
gay rights Montenegro
One odd thing about taxis in Podgorica is that you cannot hail them off the street. I tried doing this to no avail. All taxis you see on the streets are either occupied or being dispatched to pick someone up. This is where having someone who speaks the local language comes in handy.
gay rights Montenegro

A taxi ride anywhere within Podgorica city should cost no more than five Euro. Obviously, you should have cash with you. Try to keep your taxi fare in a separate pocket so you don’t flash a wad of money. I say this just because it may be a little uncomfortable to be clocked as having tons of cash on you if alone in a city with few tourists.

Gay Rights in Montenegro

Montenegro has many protections for LGBT individuals in place. Workplace anti-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and laws prohibiting hate speech help to protect gay people.

These laws were enacted back in 2010 as required Montenegro to be in the running to join the European Union. Same-sex sexual activity is also legal.

church candles in water
podgorica gay travel
montenegro castles

The fight for same-sex couple equality continues in Montenegro. Only recently in 2019, the parliament of Montenegro blocked a bill to grant limited legal recognition to same-sex couples. It’s a good sign that a portion of the government is trying to do better by their LGBT citizens. Hopefully those opposing the laws will soon be defeated.

Although some protections are in effect for gay citizens, a pervasive anti-gay sentiment is deeply ingrained in Montenegrin society. For this reason, most gay people in Montenegro keep their sexuality to themselves, dealing with this struggle in various ways.

Podgorica held the first Montenegro Gay Pride in 2013. Unfortunately, the parade was met with violent protests. This event was a merely a small stepping stone to much needed LGBT visibility in the Balkans.
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Read more about Montegro gay travel destinations in wolfyy’s Budva Gay Travel Guide and Ulcinj Gay Travel Guide.

Need more ideas for gay vacations? Explore wolfyy’s full list of gay travel destinations!

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