Podgorica Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Podgorica gay travel guide to hotels, where to stay, things to do, local safety & gay life.
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.
Podgorica has a ubiquitous post-Soviet atmosphere. Wandering the streets, you will almost feel transported back in time. The architecture, the graffiti on the sides of buildings, and a pervasive stoic aura will engulf your senses.
Before I get into some awesome things to do in Podgorica, get acquainted with the city with the beautiful drone footage in the video below, produced by One Man Wolf Pack.
Should You Visit Podgorica?
A visit to Podgorica is truly best for the diehard traveler. I wouldn’t recommend just anyone planning a holiday to set their sights on the city. Podgorica is honestly not a vacation destination. It’s more about discovery and embracing the vibe of a new corner of the world.
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.
Since the city is so inexpensive I have to 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.
Gay Podgorica: Hotels & Where to Stay
Podgorica is not very large, so even if you book a homestay or apartment rental 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.
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.
I paid a total of $18 USD per night after fees for my place…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.
Recommended Podgorica Hotels & Apartments
Here are a few other fantastic hotels and local apartment rentals in Podgorica that are highly rated and perfectly located for exploring the city.
Meeting A Local At My Podgorica Apartment
My stay ended with a memorable encounter with my host’s 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.
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.
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.
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 local parks. I found myself stopping to sit on park benches every hour or so while touring the city.
The Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection in Podgorica is absolutely stunning. Stroll through the wonderful landscaping outside before you tour the building.
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.
I spent some time at Street Bar after visiting the cathedral, enjoying an Aperol Spritz. It cost no more than 3 Euro!
Many cafés can be found along the streets of the city center. Café culture seems to be big here in Podgorica. Why not try a few?
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.
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
Gay Travel Safety
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.
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.
Taking A Bus? Print Your Ticket.
Bus travelers departing Podgorica should make sure to print out bus tickets in advance of going to the station. Most of the time, even though bus ticket reservations say to print the ticket, I rarely do, assuming everything will work out.
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 apartment rental in Podgorica.
There are no mobile phone-based taxi apps and most of the taxi company dispatchers that you call don’t speak English.
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.
A taxi ride anywhere within Podgorica city should cost no more than five euros. 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.
Montenegro Gay Rights
Montenegro has many protections for LGBT individuals in place, including 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 a requirement for Montenegro to be in the running to join the European Union. Same-sex sexual activity is also legal.
In 2020, the parliament of Montenegro made a huge step forward, formally recognizing same-sex unions. This gives the LGBT community many of the rights that come with marriage, but not all of them. The fight still continues!
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 merely a small stepping stone to much-needed LGBT visibility in the Balkans.
See wolfyy’s complete collection of gay travel guides for more gay destination ideas around the world.