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Ulcinj Gay Travel

Explore the gay Montenegro you never knew existed. Discover Ulcinj nightlife, ancient ruins, gay beaches & more. Don’t miss out on Ulcinj gay travel with wolfyy.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Ulcinj, Montenegro

Compared to Budva, a beach town farther north, Ulcinj has more of a local Montenegrin feel and less Russian influence. Many Albanians and Serbians head to the Ulcinj region for holidays.

There is also a ton of history to be found in the Ulcinj old town and what’s more, there are barely any tourists here!

gay life Montenegro
gay life Montenegro
Ulcinj gay travel

Local gay guys tend to keep out of the public eye, but it’s not impossible to find them. Friendly gay locals are in the most common of places; it just takes a little practice to spot them.

Ulcinj gay travel

On a day trip south of Ulcinj, I met a local gay guy who frequents Montenegro. He was one of the most upbeat and bubbly guys I’ve ever met! Read more in this guide for my story on him!

Is Montenegro Gay Travel Safe?

While in Montenegro, it is important for gay travelers to stay safe by avoiding public displays of affection. Locals are not so comfortable with the idea of homosexuality. To avoid any stares, rude remarks or other type of trouble, it’s best to keep your affection private.

Ulcinj gay travel Montenegro
Mumbai gay hotel

Keep in mind homosexuality is legal in Montenegro. The anti-gay sentiment is still present however. Read more at the end of this Ulcinj gay travel guide for more about gay rights in Montenegro.

Gay Life in the Balkans: A Story

I was enlightened after spending time with a gay friend I met in while staying in Ulcinj. This man who will remain nameless per his request, is native to the Balkan region.

With his perspective, I learned the difference in how gay men lead their lives in this area of the world and their justification for doing so.

ocean waves hitting rocks
ocean waves hitting rocks
Ulcinj gay travel Montenegro

I have many friends who were born in the Balkans. Most of these gay individuals are not open with their sexuality, in part or in whole. They usually have a small network of gay friends and prefer to keep it that way. In my experience, they are not privy to telling their parents in fear of upsetting their normalcy of life.

From what they’ve told me, these Balkan-region gay men can lead happy lives without being open about their sexual preferences. Most err on the side of caution by omitting details about who they are to their family.

Ulcinj old city
Ulcinj old city
local museum

Some may not have the resources to uproot themselves from their hometowns to move on to a different life and some may simply desire not to do so. It surely is not an ideal situation, but this is often their reality.

local museum

Some westerners will surely have opposing opinions and viewpoints on this. However, it seems gay men in Montenegro, Albania, Croatia and other countries in the region prefer to keep things private instead of disrupting their status quo.

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Where to Stay for Ulcinj Gay Travelers

Most travelers choose to stay in the Ulcinj old town center. Instead, my good friend Martin and I chose a location that is much more secluded. We sought something more affordable and since we had rented a car, it was easy to get to.

mediterraneo hotel

We stayed at the spacious Mediterraneo Hotel, an ApartHotel outside Ulcinj proper. Meditarraneo is located in a secluded area only accessible via a one-lane, hilly road from the old town center.

Although the hotel wasn’t the most opulent, I truly loved how much space we had in the rooms, as well as the enormous balcony overlooking the coast.

mediterraneo hotel
Ulcinj gay travel experience

Our stay included a free parking spot, superb daily breakfasts, an enormous traditional apartment and a private beach. If you choose to stay at Mediterraneo, note that it is still perfectly walkable from the Ulcinj old town.

Ulcinj gay travel experience

If you’re seeking something more luxurious while staying in Ulcinj, I recommend Hotel Pirate Old Town. I had a late lunch at Hotel Pirate Old Town and saw some of the building. Their stellar attention to detail and the central location make it unbeatable.

Things To Do In Ulcinj

Ulcinj has beautiful waterfront promenades that stretch from the old town past the Jadran Peninsula. There is a lot to see here, from hidden restaurants to historical ruins.

I recommend taking a long walk and exploring everything along the waterfront. I found this be most enjoyable after the hottest part of the day, before the sun sets. It was quite hot in July!

Ulcinj gay traveler

The main tourist center is in the Mala Plaza area. You can find some souvenir shops, a pharmacy, quick food and proper restaurants here. This area it best once the sun sets. Mala Plaza after dark is the place to be as the Ulcinj bars and clubs come to life. More on that in a bit!

hotel beach umbrellas
Ulcinj gay traveler

If you’re interested in seeing some ancient ruins, check out the Ulcinj Museum. What beautiful historic buildings and charming little pathways! I think the photos speak for themselves. I really loved the Ulcinj Museum. Also, there were virtually no people!

hotel beach umbrellas

The art exhibits in the Ulcinj Museum are not so impressive, but walking around the historic stone walls and observing the architecture was what made the visit worthwhile. Entrance is €2, payable by cash only.

Gay Beaches in South Montenegro

You will need to have access to a car to reach the Ulcinj gay and nudist beaches. If you’re able, I recommend renting a vehicle while in Montenegro anyway!

nude beach Ulcinj

Montenegro's Gay & Nudist Beach: Ratac

One Ulcinj gay beach is in Ratac. Ratac is small bit of land area along road M2.4, halfway between the towns of Budva and Ulcinj. When you reach Ratac, there is a triangular piece of coastline that juts out into the ocean.
nude beach Ulcinj
Ulcinj gay beach
Ulcinj gay beach

Here is where you will find a small parking lot and a steep path down to two rocky alcoves. Ratac gay beach is also a nudist beach, so you will find the typical free-spirited people all around.

It’s not a very busy place, but it is where local gays in Montenegro hang out. I visited in July and there were more than a dozen dudes hanging around.

Ada Bojana Nudist Beach

A second gay beach option is Bojana Island. There is a huge nudist beach and nudist resort called Ada Bojana on the western tip of Bojana Island. On the beach in front of the resort, it is actually mandatory to be completely naked.

Ada Bojana is not officially a gay beach, as no beach is named as such in Montenegro, but many gay locals in the region frequent this spot.

ocean waves hitting rocks

The Ada Bojana Resort Beach takes being nude in front of their property very seriously! If you enter with clothing on, they will ask you to immediately leave the beach and can be quite aggressive about it. Remember, people are paying to stay in this resort for a reason.

Montenegro gay travel
ada bojana restaurant
Montenegro gay travel

Ada Bojana brings me such nostalgia, as I met a wonderful gay friend at this beach. While spending a day in the sun with my friend Martin, we noticed an adorable man running over the burning hot sand toward the shower area.

I must admit…I was in awe at how gorgeous he was! Martin agreed. To my surprise, Martin comes walking back from the ocean fifteen minutes later conversing with this same guy!

ada bojana restaurant

Long story short, we made a new friend, he grabbed his things to sit with us on the beach and we then spent the entire next day together up until Martin and I had to head to the airport.

He told us his story about being gay in Montenegro and Serbia and it was lovely getting to know him. I felt so lucky to meet such an open and friendly guy.

Ulcinj Gay Travel: Other Beaches

There is a beach right next to the old town called Mala Plaza, but I do not recommend going here. I found this beach to be filled with garbage as I walked by one afternoon. Instead, continue walking past Mala Plaza until you reach a place called Far Beach.

Ulcinj gay beach

Far beach is not a sandy coastline, but a beach club built into the mountainside. Martin and I walked into this place and were allowed to sit on the decks along the rocky shoreline.

Ibiza Beach Club is also just a bit further down the road, however I did not visit. If you dont feel like sandy coastline, then maybe these beach clubs will be more your style.

Ulcinj Restaurants

If you make the trip out to Bojana Island, eat at Restaurant Barakuda. Barakuda is a stunning waterfront seafood spot. My friend Martin and I, along with our new friend we met on the beach, shared freshly fried fish and octopus salad. It’s not cheap, but you’re paying for the locally caught fish and the serene view.

best restaurant Ulcinj
best restaurant Ulcinj
barakuda ada bojana

The best antipasti I’ve had in my entire life was right here in Ulcinj. Granted, I haven’t ordered many antipasti dishes while in Italy, but the one I ordered at the Hotel Pirate restaurant blew me away. Definitely make a pit stop at Hotel Pirate as you walk the seaside of the old town. It’s great for cocktails too.

barakuda ada bojana

I had dinner at Restoran Manhattan Steakhouse one night in the Mala Plaza beach area. It was very good traditional western food! The owner is a local who actually lived and had his own restaurant in New York City for many years. He was quirky and super fun to talk with.

Ulcinj Nightlife

You probably didn’t know that Ulcinj has an enormous and rowdy nightlife scene! As soon as the sky turns dark, partygoers flood the Mala Plaza waterfront ready to enjoy the night.

Music blares from bars and clubs, engulfing the clamor of bar patrons. This area is easily reachable from the main Ulcinj town center.

hotel Pirate
hotel Pirate
city map

Plan B nightclub had the best music in my opinion. Most of the bars in this area are playing popular western hits. I was really surprised at how vibrant these Ulcinj bars are!

Ulcinj Gay Travel Tips

At bars in Montenegro, it is common to receive little individual receipts for every drink you order. Waiters expect you to keep these on the table, and they count them at the end to compile your total order. I made the mistake of using these as napkins one time!

city map

Montenegro surprisingly utilizes the euro as the national currency. For Europeans, this makes things much simpler! Overall, Montenegro is cheaper than Croatia since there are fewer western tourists in the beach towns. On the other hand, the country is not extremely inexpensive either.

bus to Ulcinj from Budva
bus to Ulcinj from Budva
montenegro castles

If you end up going to Bojana Island and plan to still be there after sunset, make sure to bring mosquito repellent. This area is adjacent to an enormous protected woodland that is just across the Albanian border. This means tons of mosquitoes are ready to bite you up as soon as the sun goes down!

Gay Rights in Montenegro

Montenegro has many protections for LGBT individuals in place. Workplace antidiscrimination 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.

sunset over mountainside near hotel
Ulcinj gay beach
sunset over mountainside near hotel

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.

The first Montenegro Gay Pride in 2013 was met with violent protests in the capital of Podgorica. It was a small stepping stone to increased visibility.

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Heading to the capital of Montenegro? Read wolfyy’s Podgorica Gay Travel Guide.
Need more ideas for gay vacations? Explore wolfyy’s full list of gay travel destinations.

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