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Podgorica is the capital and largest city of Montenegro. The city was also called Titograd from 1946 to 1992 during the existence of SFR Yugoslavia, and before that Duklja.
Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement. The city is close to winter ski centres in the north and seaside resorts on the Adriatic Sea.
The city's population was 204,877 in the 2011 census. The Podgorica Municipality contains 10.4% of Montenegro's territory and 29.9% of its population. It is the administrative centre of Montenegro and its economic, cultural and educational focus.
|POPULATION :||City: 187,085|
|FOUNDED :||Before the 11th century|
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1)|
|LANGUAGE :||Montenegrin 42.4%, Serbian 41.17%, Others 7.35%|
|RELIGION :||Orthodox Christians 78.27%, Muslims 11.23, Catholics 4.27%|
|AREA :||108 km2 (42 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||48-56 m (136 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||42°26′28.63″N 19°15′46.41″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48,73% |
• Female: 51,27%
|ETHNIC :||Montenegrins 57.35%, Serbs 23.26%, Albanians 5.13%, Others 14.25%|
|AREA CODE :||+382 20|
|POSTAL CODE :||81000|
|DIALING CODE :|
While not a typical European eye candy, the is city definitely worth visiting, owing to its interesting mix of old and new, its café culture and nightlife, and its laid back Mediterranean atmosphere. Both Montenegrin coastal cities and its mountain resorts are within one hour's drive from the city, so it is an excellent starting point for day trips to anywhere in Montenegro.
Podgorica is at the crossroads of several historically important routes, near the rivers Zeta, Morača, Cijevna, Ribnica, Sitnica and Mareza in the valley of Lake Skadar and near the Adriatic Sea, in fertile lowlands with favourable climate. The earliest human settlements were in prehistory: the oldest physical remains are from the late Stone Age.
In the Illyrian age, the area between the Zeta and Bjelopavlići valleys was occupied by two Illyrian tribes, the Labeates and the Docleats. The population of the city was 8,000–10,000.
From the 5th century AD, with the arrival of the first Slavic and Avar tribes and the beginning of the break-up of the Roman Empire, the area bore witness to many noteworthy events. With time, the fortifications ceased their function and new towns were built. Slavic groups in the area were in constant war with Byzantium and tended to establish a new state. The result was establishment of a new settlement that was probably named after the Ribnica River on whose banks it was built. The first mention of Ribnica is during the rule of the Serbian royal family of the Nemanjići.
The name Podgorica was first mentioned in 1326 in a court document of the Kotor archives. The city was economically strong: trade routes between Dubrovnik and the State of Nemanjici, well developed at that time, were maintained via the road that led to Podgorica through Trebinje and Nikšić.
The Ottoman capture of Podgorica in 1474 interrupted its economic, cultural and artistic development.The Berlin Congress in 1878 annexed Podgorica to Montenegro, marking the end of four centuries of Ottoman rule, and the beginning of a new era in the development of Podgorica and of Montenegro.
Podgorica suffered heavily during World War II; the city was bombed over 70 times throughout the course of the war and razed to the ground, causing the deaths of over 4,100 people.The city was liberated on 19 December 1944. Under the name of Titograd, the city became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro on 13 July 1946.the population increased dramatically, The city was heavily industrialised, infrastructure was improved, and health, educational, and cultural institutions were founded. The city rapidly became the commercial, socio-economic, and cultural centre of the country. The progress halted again when the break-up of SFRY began in the 1990s. The name of Podgorica was reinstated on 2 April 1992.
The destructive Yugoslav wars bypassed Montenegro, but the entire country was greatly affected economically. A period of severe economic stagnation lasted throughout the 1990s. The economy began to recover in the early years of the 21st century, when Podgorica began to emerge as a modern, pro-western city. Following the successful independence referendum in May 2006, Podgorica became the official capital of an independent state.
Podgorica has a borderline Mediterranean climate and humid subtropical climate, since there is only one summer month with less than 40 millimeters (1.6 in) of precipitation, with hot, moderately dry/wet summers and cool winters.
Although the city is only some 35 km (22 mi) north of the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean, Rumija mountain acts as a natural Dinaric Alps barrier, separating Skadar Lake basin and Podgorica area from the sea, thus limiting temperate maritime influence on the local climate.
The temperature exceeds 25 °C (77 °F) on about 135 days each year and the median daily temperature is 15.6 °C (60.1 °F). The number of rainy days is about 120, and those with a strong wind around 60. An occasional strong northerly wind influences the climate in the winter, with a wind-chill effect lowering the perceived temperature by a few degrees.
Podgorica is particularly known for its extremely hot summers: temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) are common in July and August.
Snow is a rare occurrence in Podgorica: it rarely snows more than a few days per year.
Climate data for Podgorica
|Record high °C (°F)||18|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.5|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||1.4|
|Record low °C (°F)||−11|
|Source #1: Hydrological and Meteorological Service of Montenegro|
|Source #2: BBC Weather:Podgorica|
Podgorica is located in central Montenegro. The area is crossed with rivers and the city itself is only 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Lake Skadar. The Morača and Ribnica rivers flow through the city, while the Zeta, Cijevna, Sitnica and Mareza flow nearby. Morača is the largest river in the city, being 70 m or 230 ft wide near downtown, and having carved a 20 m or 66 ft deep canyon for the length of its course through the city.
In contrast to most of Montenegro, Podgorica lies in a mainly flat area at the northern end of the Zeta plain, at an elevation of 40 m (130 ft). The only exceptions are hills which overlook the city. The most significant is 130.3 m (427 ft) high Gorica Hill, city's namesake, which rises above the city centre.
Podgorica is not only the administrative centre of Montenegro but also its main economic engine. Most of Montenegro's industrial, financial, and commercial base is in Podgorica.
In the early 1990s, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav wars, and the UN-imposed sanctions left Podgorica's industries without traditional markets, suppliers, and available funds. This, combined with typical transition pressures, led to a decline of the industrial base. Many industries collapsed, leaving thousands of citizens unemployed. However, some of the industries, including Podgorica aluminium smelter and Plantaže, managed to survive the turmoil of the 1990s, and are today major contributors to Montenegrin export and industrial output.
Podgorica is home to the Montenegro Stock Exchange and other major Montenegrin financial institutions, telecommunications carriers, media outlets, Montenegrin flag carrier airline, and other significant institutions and companies.
The municipality of Podgorica consists of Podgorica City Proper and two subdivisions called Urban municipalities , Golubovci and Tuzi.
The entire municipality of Podgorica is further divided into 57 local communities.
Almost all hotels, bars, cafes in Podgorica offer free Wi-Fi for their guests.
Internet cafes are widely available in podgorica.
Prices in Podgorica
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.05|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€4.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€18.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€30.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€40.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€3.70|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.65|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.50|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€5.20|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€5.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.14|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€2.50|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.50|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€50.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€29.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€72.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.70|
36 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
118 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Podgorica Airport(LYPG/TDG) (10 km (7 miles) south. - There is the Aerodrom train stop~800m - Combi buses operate to and from the city center, but may not be available at all times. Thus, probably the best bet is to take a taxi to the city, as taxis are to be found in abundance in front of the terminal. Taxi rides cost a flat rate €15 as per December 2009, but this should be confirmed with the taxi driver in advance or there's an Information desk in the airport who can tell you the current rate.). It is a base for Montenegro Airlines, Montenegrin national carrier, which flies to major European destinations. For booking and flight schedule check the carrier website. For other airlines serving the airport. Many city companies provide reliable and cheap taxis from Podgorica Airport.
Train station (železnička stanica) (near the city center). There is regular passenger train service from Subotica through Novi Sad and Belgrade. Train tickets are cheap, but quality of service is lower comparing European standards. There are overnight trains with sleeping cars for around €25. Trains can be late but are a usual mean of transportation.
- Bus station (Glavne autobuska stanica), Trg Golootočkih žrtava (next to railway station. City center is 10 minutes walk from there, but if you have any luggage - it's recommended that you either take a minibus (combi) or some of the taxis usually waiting at the station entrance.), .Cashdesk 05:00-24:00. serves number of domestic destinations, as well as those in neighbouring countries.
Due to its location in central Montenegro, Podgorica is the hub of all main roads in the country. Road from the northern Montenegro and Serbia requires additional caution during the winter.
Transportation - Get Around
- Walk - Podgorica is a medium-sized city of about 140,000 people. If your accommodation is near the city center, or the "Preko Morače" district - all points of interest could be visited on foot.
- Public transport - Public transportation consists of buses, that are not very frequent, and maps of the lines could be hard to locate. Ticket price is between €0.80 per single ride, and can be purchased on board, usually directly from the driver.
- Taxi - Probably the best option to move around Podgorica are cheap and reliable taxi service. There are over 20 taxicab companies, that usually operate new air-conditioned European sedans. Taxi stands are virtually everywhere in the city, but they could also be reached by calling the dispatcher. - The fare is cca. €0.40 per kilometre, and usually no start fare is charged. Considering the size of Podgorica - no drive within the city should cost more than €3 or €4. - Taxi numbers: 19700 ALO Taxi, 19702 Royal Taxi, 19703 Boom Taxi, 19704 PG Taxi, 19705 Pink Taxi, 19706 DeLuxe Taxi, 19709 Orange Taxi, 19711 City Taxi, 19712 Exclusive Taxi, 19714 Red Line Taxi, 19723 Peugeot Taxi, 19800 Bel Taxi, 19708 Elite Taxi
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The currency in Montenegro is the Euro (€). ATMs are widespread in the city center and the new part of town. Upscale shops and restaurants will usually accept any major credit or debit cards.
Most of the premium clothing brands have their stores in new part of the city, chiefly Vectra-Maxim neighborhoods. The prices are on par with those in the region.
- Delta City shopping mall. a 48,000 sqm mall with over 70 stores, food court and a multiplex cinema
- Mall of Montenegro.
- Palada. smaller mall
- Nikić Center. smaller mall
Open markets on the outskirts of the city are a place to buy very cheap clothing, often of low quality.
Almost all fine restaurants in Podgorica are located either in the traditional city center, the new business district around the Roman Square, or along the Sv. Petra Cetinjskog boulevard that connects the two.
- Maša restaurant, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 31, . Renowned for its fresh seafood.
- Carine Centar, Slobode 43 (Near Trg Republike), . The Carine Center features both the fine dining restaurant and the pizzeria. Probably the best pizza in town.
- Carine Moskovska, Moskovska 43, . The Carine Moskovska features both the national cuisine restaurant, and the pizzeria. Probably the best pizza in town.
- Salvador Dali, Bul Džordža Vašingtona 87, .Newly open and chic restaurant, a favourite among local celebrities.
- Plantaže restaurant, Mareza bb (Mareza resort, few kilometers west of Podgorica), . A great place to eat.
- Hong Kong, Stanka Dragojevića 14, . So far the only Chinese food restaurant in Podgorica.
- Il Giardino, Rimski Trg 28, . Renowned for the Italian cuisine.
- Restaurant Zheng He (Kineski Restoran Zheng He), Vojvode Maša Đurovića 31 (near Delty City shopping mall (city kvart)), , e-mail: [email protected]. 08:00-24:00. New Chinese restaurant in Podgorica
There are dozens of pizzerias through city, and most of the cafes serve pizza, pancakes, etc.
- Alpe Bar, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 88, . A pizzeria and a cafe, one of the city's landmarks.
- Alpe Bar, Stanka Dragojevića 14, .
Most popular fast food in Podgorica is the regional hamburger variantpleskavica. You can eat great hamburgers, as well as anything made on the barbecue (roštilj) in places all across town, but best known and most visited are "Voda u kršu", "Gurman", "Calimero", "Kruna"...
There are no international fast food chains such as McDonalds, Burger King or KFC in Podgorica.
Coffe & Drink
Most loved amusement of Podgorica's residents is to sit in a cafe on a summer day and drink their espresso.
There are dozens of cafes in pedestrian Njegoševa street in city center, and many more scattered around the city center. Most of the new and trendy cafes are located around "Vectra" district in the new part of the city.
Modern design and relaxed atmosphere of the cafes coupled with Podgorica's art of making espresso will make an interesting experience. Some of the well known cafes are :"Alpe bar", "Buddha bar", "Carine", "Greenwich", "Grand cafe", "Café, Café", "Switch cafe", "Soul II Soul"...and many more.
Espresso costs from €0.50 to 1.50. Coke and other soft drinks and juices will cost from €1.00 up to 2.50.
There is a number of clubs and bars to go out to in Podgorica. In the summer, there are many open-air bars and clubs. However, by law, open air bars must turn the music off at 01.00 AM, when the crowds move to the clubs located mostly in the basements in the city center.
Depending on your taste, it may be important to know whether a club plays worldwide popular dance hits the entire night, or the playlist include folk music from ex-Yugoslav countries, which is often the case.
- Switch cafe, Stanka Dragojevica (five minutes walk from the main Republic Square, near the Millennium bridge.). 08.00-02.00. A club It plays mostly foreign pop/electronic/rock music, and there are interesting music programs almost every night. Place with lot of fun. Beer: €1.10, wine: €1.50.
- Tantra club (a 15-minute walk (or short taxi ride) from the centre). It plays dance music and is generally busy throughout the week. Drink prices are not too expensive and there is a good atmosphere.
Clubs are most crowded from 11PM until 2AM on the Friday and Saturday nights, but some of them are full throughout the week.
- Skaline (open river bar) (Old Town). Two rivers, two bridges. Pop music, drinks, coctails, icecream.
Sights & Landmarks
- Old Turkish town ("Stara Varoš" or "old town"). with its mosques and old clock tower. A typical old Turkish "kasaba" (town), with narrow and curvy streets.
- Skaline (the stairs). on the outfall of the Ribnica river to Morača, with its old Turkish bridge over the Ribnica, and the ruins of old Nemanja's town.
- Monument to King Nikola (Spomenik Kralju Nikoli), Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (in the park across the street from the Montenegro's parliament).
- Hercegovačka pedestrian street, Hercegovačka street (in the city centre.).
- Trg Republike, Slobode (next to Hercegovačka street). the central square of the city, a lot of life at the end of the day, when people finish to work. Lot of cheap restaurants and friendly people, a pleasant place to spend the first part of the evening.
- St. George's church (Ц. св. Джордже), 19. Decembar. built in 10th century, on the slopes of the Gorica hill (hill after which the city was named.). - 17th century frescoes.
- Catholic Church, Mojkovačka, Konik district.
- Millennium bridge. the impressive new bridge over the Morača river.
- King Nikola's castle. turned into a museum, also fine the surrounding park.
- Cathedral of the Resurrection (Saborni Hram Hristovog Vaskrsenja, Serbian: Саборни Храм Христовог Васкресења Подгорица), Bulevar Džordža Vašingtona. This is a newly built orthodox temple
- Church of the Great Martyr Holy Dimitrije (Crkva Svetog Dimitrija), Ljubljanska (Park Petrovića).
- Rimski Trg, off Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog (near the orthodox temple). the square in the new part of town.The square and the surrounding area is the home for the trendiest of Podgorica cafes and restaurants, and favourite meeting point for Podgorica citizens.
- Cetinje (West 39 km. - 45mn by bus, about a bus per hour)). it is a great opportunity to escape from Podgorica's pollution for a couple of hours by breathing the fresh air of the Lovcen National Park in the former capital.
- Morača river canyon (north to the Podgorica). Visit the 13th century Morača monastery and enjoy scenery
- Doclea (Duklja). ruins of the old roman city that preceded Ribnica and Podgorica.
- Meteon (Medun) (13 km northeast of Podgorica). ruins of a fortress erected at III century B.O.T.
- Skadar Lake National Park (S 25 km - just 20 min by car.). The largest lake on the Balkans, and a national park.
Things to do
While in Podgorica, one can enjoy the diversity of Montenegro's capital cafes and restaurants, check out the nightlife, or take a walk at some of the favourite picnic locations of Podgorica citizens - Mareza, Skadar Lake, or Gorica hill. While strolling through Podgorica center, you might find the shopping area interesting, as there is a good number of boutiques.
Note that swimming in the Morača river might be a pleasant way to cool off in the summer months! The other option would be newly built open-air public swimming pools.