The old town of Budva is also called "the ancient town of Cadmus and Harmonia". You may get a great map of the old town from the tourist office which explains about all the sights in old town.
On the photo you can see the Holy Trinity Church dating back to 1804. Apparently the architecture is similar to the Church of Assumption in Podostrog Monastery. You are not allowed to take photos inside this beautiful church which is also very popular among the Russian tourists. Naom Zetiri, a Greek from the island of Mylos, painted the icons of the iconostasis in 1883.
There are official opening times but I noticed that in summer they were well exceeded.
The most photographed church of the old town (see my intro page photo) is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and used to be a cathedral until 1828. It was first inaugurated in the 7th century and underwent major changes in various centuries.
The second photo shows the Villa Urbana square which is somewhat hidden. There is a lovely palm tree surrounded by a few bits of an old Roman villa.
Otherwise you may visit the Citadel (photo 3) which charges an entrance fee or you can walk on part of the old town wall (entrance fee). There are also a museum and a few other old sights worth seeing.
In the old town you find many little shops with clothing etc, snack windows with pancakes/pizza, restaurants and bars. It's fun to explore the little alleys.
Budva Old Town is located on rocky peninsula, and there are archeological evidence that there was settlement on the very same place even before Greek colonization of Adriatic coast. This place was first settled by Illyrian tribe of Enchelei, then by Greeks, Romans, Slavic tribes, Turks, Venetians… Today, look of the Old Town is mostly from medieval times. Inside defensive walls there is labyrinth of narrow streets, piazzetas, stone facades, sheer stairs, Roman and Hellenic remains… Town fortress – Citadel was built in 16th century on the foundations of an older fortification, and previously on that place was Greek Acropolis. There are four sacral buildings by Citadel walls: Santa Maria in Punta, Crkva Svetog Save – St Sava Church, Crkva Svetog Ivana – Church Cathedral of St John, and Crkva Svete Trojice – Holy Trinity Church. There are Archeological Museum, Modern Gallery in Old Town, but many cafes, restaurants, shops… too.
Budva Old Town is unique and unforgettable place, especially if it can be seen out of summer season and crowds it brings.
Greek and Roman necropolises in Budva was accidentally discovered in 1937, during works on foundation of Hotel Avala, but the most of archeological excavations had been in period 1952 – 1982. So far, 450 graves were discovered in two separated necropolises, one above the other. The older necropolis is Greek, from Hellenistic period (4th century BC – 1st century BC) and ceramic objects, weapons and jewelry were found in it. The other, Roman, dates back to the most prosperous time of ancient history of Budva – the 1st and the 2nd century AD. During that period the deceased were mainly cremated and their remains put in ceramic, stone or glass urns. The necropolis were used till the 4th century AD.
Many valuable items discovered in necropolises in Budva are lost due to lack of professional supervision, especially some pieces of gold and silver jewelry. Many of those saved are in collections of museums in Belgrade, Split, Cetinje… as well as in certain private collections. Some of items are displayed in Budva Archeological Museum.
Although the sea, beach and sun prevent most of the thoughts about history, archeology, museums (and spending time in them)… the Archeological Museum in Budva is worthy of spending one afternoon off the beach. At least.
Museum offers journey through Budva history, from 5th century BC – when Budva, settled by Illyrian tribe of Enchelei, was mentioned for the first time as Buthoe, by ancient writer Sophocles – to 19th century.
The oldest exhibit in Museum is Illyrian bronze helmet dated in 5th century BC. There are several ceramic vases and vessels from Hellenistic period (4th – 2nd century BC), Roman pottery and glass, tombstones and urns (1st – 3rd century AD)… There are impressive pieces of silver, gold and amber jewelry, found in Budva necropolis and made in period 3rd – 1st century BC… This, archeological collection, is exhibited on 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor of the Museum.
There are parts of the naval equipment, traditional costumes, furniture, arms… (19th century) at the exhibition of ethnological and cultural heritage of Budva, on the 4th floor of the Museum.
City fortress Citadel, formerly known as Castel St Mary, is located on the south edge of Budva Old Town. First buildings on present day Citadel position date back to Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece history, at the time Budva was Greek colony on the Adriatic coast. As many nations of different cultures lived in area of Budva, Citadel had been changing during history.
Citadel is massive defensive fortification nowadays. The biggest structure of Citadel is Austrian barracks, built in 1836, housing Citadel Museum.
Citadel offers Beautiful views of Budva. During summer it is an open air scene for the festival Budva – Theater City.
The old town of Budva lies on a little island that was linked to the land by a sandbar and in time turned into a peninsula. It is surrounded by ramparts originating from the XV century including a medieval fortification system with city gates, defense walls and towers. The Old Town consists of narrow streets and alleys and small squares with precious monuments of different Mediterranean cultures that have marked the development of this town. You can enter in Old Town from one of five entrance doors.
This island in Budva is called Hawaii popularily, but the real name is the island of Sv.Nikola (St.Nicholas). It's a very popular destination for boat trips and excursions, and also for swimmers to swim over (but watch out for speeding ships!!!) There is a restaurant, boat and canoa rental and a stage for summer games, there are numerous TV transmitions of daily beach events. Also, there are many hidden coves and caves, it's exciting to explore!
The view is from the viewpoint at entrance to Budva.
One of the most beautiful parts of Budva is CITADELA, the citadell, the fortification of the old castle. Inside there is a museum and a big terrace with great view n entire city and Hawaii island. The entrance fee is 2 euros, and you get a postcard as well. :)
Citadela is a place for theatre shows as well, there are many plays and performances as well as art evenings.
The picture shows citadela entrance.
Since Budva is over 2500 years old, there are a lot of things in this museum. :) You can read a bit more about the history of the town under General Tips, and thus you can imagine what you can find in the Archeological museum! ;) ~ Hellenistic and Roman collections of ceramics, roman glass, Hellenistic golden jewelry and a valuable antic numismatic collection. There is about 3.000 museum pieces. A part of the exhibition is in the citadel, as I already mentioned.
Since Montenegro coast has been exposed to several different influences, you'll find there Orthodox and Catholic churches, as well as mosques (in Ulcinj area). In the old town of Budva Orthodox and Catholic churches are one next to the other. Nice, isn't it?
Orthodox church is of Sv.Trojice (St.Trinity) - it was completed in 1804. It has severalpoints of interest, the product of unusual, complex concepts of architecture, the work of a trained engineer and skilled stone-cutters and masons.
About the Catholic church, Sv.Jovan (St.John), you can read in General Tips.
Holy Trinity Church was built in 1804. There are fine examples of baroque art in it. Tomb of Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa, famous Serb, Montenegrian writer and politician, born in Budva in 1824, is in front of Holy Trinity Church.
Take a chance to visit the museum in citadela. It's nothing big, but there are some truly interesting things, like amphoras from the bottom of the sea, ancient maps and maquettes of the ships they used, coins jewellry, pottery... all from tha ancient times, like Roman period and before.In the other room is an exposition of modern art.
The Church of Saint John was the seat of the Budva bishopric till 1828. In 1867 the belfry was added to the north side of the church and it still exists. Among preserved monuments the most important ones are the icon “Madonna in Punta” and the rich archives and library. Among its holdings is the Chronicle of Budva most comprehensive source of data and events in Budva between 1796 and 1842. It’s operating church.
Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity is single nave construction with a dome. It was built in 1804 and modeled on one of two churches of the Podostrog monastery. In front of Church you can see tomb of famous writer and politician Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa. Church is parish church and its operating.
St Sava Church, located by the south fortification wall, was built in 1141. Its interior was decorated with frescoes, but now just a fragments remain. During centuries of its existence it belonged to Franciscan Order, it was Orthodox church and Roman Catholic church. Since 1657 it is Orthodox church.