Situated along the coast of Montenegro, Bar appears to be an unassuming travel destination for those exploring the country. But for those heading south of Kotor and Budva, it’s well worth a visit even if for an hour or two. The ruins of Stari Bar (Old Town) and the fortifications are unlike any seen in Montenegro, and the Old Town’s chalet-style coffee shops make for an exceptional stop when on the move.
How to get there
The easiest way to access Bar is by car so for those who are permanently on the road, just head south from Budva and expect to be on the road for an hour. The drive is beautiful along the coast and you can even stop to take pictures outside Sveti Stefan, a recently developed resort island.
Alternatively you can take the train to Bar city from Podgorica and take a taxi to the Old Town. Buses also run in between Kotor, Budva and Podgorica and the station is location 2km from the new city centre and 300m from the train station.
What to see
Bar’s Stari Grad dates back to the Bronze age and was originally called Antibarium, across from the Italian city of Bari. It was soon occupied by the Slavs who eventually shortened the name to Bar, and later the Venetians and the Ottomans, the latter of which eventually ceded the town to the Montenegrins. The current 240 fortifications within the Old Town date back to the 11th century and lie below mount Rumija.
Entrance costs 2 euros per head and gain you access to the castle of King Nikola and a Clock Tower which was built during the religious reform of the Turkish settlers. Remains of catholicism are also embodied in the Cathedral of St. George which remains a central site of the fortifications. The area also possesses one of the oldest olive trees in Europe – the Old Olive of Mirovica – which has been placed under state protection.
Unsurprisingly, Bar like many other Montenegrin towns and cities is littered with cats, kittens, dogs and puppies so be sure to bring treats if you’re a keen animal lover.