Budva (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Будва, pronounced [bûːdv̞a]
or [bûdv̞a]) is a Montenegrin town on the Adriatic Sea, former
bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see. It has around 14,000
inhabitants, and it is the centre of
Budva Municipality. The coastal
area around Budva, called the
Budva riviera, is the center of
Montenegrin tourism, known for its well-preserved medieval walled
city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife.
Budva is 2,500 years old,
which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast.
3 Local government
5.1 Old Town
5.2 Outside the Old Town
10 Twin towns – sister cities
11 See also
13 Sources and external links
13.1 Official sites
In Serbian the town is known as Будва or Budva; in Italian and
Latin as Budua; in Albanian as Budua and in ancient Greek as Bouthoe
Extensive archaeological evidence places
Budva among the oldest urban
settlements of the Adriatic coast. Substantial documentary evidence
provides historical references dating back to the 5th century BC.
Illyrian helmet from
Budva (4th century BC)
The Old town in 1615.
A legend recounts that
Bouthoe (Βουθόη - Vouthoe) was founded by
Cadmus, the founder of Thebes, Greece, when exiled out of Thebes,
finding a shelter in this place for him and his wife, goddess
Greek colonization of Adriatic began in 4th century BC, when an
Emporium was established on the site of Budva. In the 2nd century BC,
the area of
Budva became part of the Roman Empire. Upon the fall of
the Empire and its division into east and west, the defensive barrier
which separated the two powers happened to run across this area,
subsequently making a lasting impact on the history and culture of
In the 6th century,
Budva was part of the Byzantine Empire, and in the
following two centuries,
Slavs and, to a lesser extent, Avars began to
arrive in the area, mixing with the native Roman population.
was reportedly known as Avarorum sinus (Avar bay') during the Avar
incursions. In 841,
Budva was sacked by Muslim Saracens, who
devastated the area.
In the early Middle Ages,
Budva was reigned by a succession of Doclean
kings, as well as Serbian and Zetan aristocrats.
The Venetian walls of Budua (Budva) on a 1900 postcard
Circa 1200, it became the see of a Roman Catholic Diocese of Budua,
which lasted until 1828 and was nominally revived as a Latin titular
bishopric. The Venetians ruled the town for nearly 400 years, from
1420 to 1797. Budva, called Budua in those centuries, was part of the
Venetian Republic region of
Albania Veneta and was fortified by
powerful Venetian walls against Ottoman conquests. According to the
historian Luigi Paulucci in his book "Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810"
Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor in 1810), most of the population spoke the Venetian
language until the beginning of the 19th century. One of the most
renowned theater librettists and composers, Cristoforo Ivanovich, was
born in Venetian Budua.
With the fall of
Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice in 1797,
Budva came under the rule
of the Habsburg Monarchy. During the Napoleonic Wars, Montenegrin
forces allied with
Russia took control over the city in 1806, only to
relinquish the city to France in 1807. French rule lasted until 1813,
Budva (along with Boka Kotorska) was ceded to the Austrian
Empire, which remained in control of the city for the next 100 years.
A union of
Boka Kotorska (and Budva) with
Montenegro took place for a
brief period (1813–1814), but from 1814 until the end of World War I
Budva remained under Austria-Hungary. The southernmost
fortress in the Austro-Hungarian empire, Fort Kosmač, was constructed
nearby to guard the road from
Budva to Cetinje. After the war, the
Serbian army entered
Budva after it was abandoned by Austrian forces
and it came under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
In 1941, with the beginning of World War II,
Budva was annexed by the
Kingdom of Italy.
Budva was finally liberated from Axis rule on 22
November 1944 and incorporated in the Socialist Republic of Montenegro
(which was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).
A catastrophic earthquake struck
Budva on 15 April 1979. Much of old
town was devastated, but today there is little evidence of the
catastrophe – almost all the buildings were restored to their
Montenegro became an independent country in 2006, with
Budva as its
primary tourist destination.
The municipal parliament consists of 33 deputies elected directly for
a four-year term. Following the last local election held on 16 October
2016, the ruling DPS lost its absolute majority, the new local
government being formed by a coalition of opposition parties.
Democratic Party of Socialists
12 / 33
7 / 33
7 / 33
3 / 33
Socialist People's Party-Demos
2 / 33
Social Democratic Party
1 / 33
1 / 33
Ethnic groups (2011)
Budva is the administrative centre of
Budva municipality, which
includes the neighbouring towns of
Bečići and Petrovac, and has a
population of 19,218 (2011 census). The town itself has 13,338
Ethnicity in 2011 (Municipality):
9,262 Montenegrins (48.19%)
2,332 Others (12.22%)
Churches in Old Town
Old Town by night
The Old Town of
Budva is situated on a rocky peninsula, on the
southern end of
Budva field. Archaeological evidence suggests that
Illyrian settlement was formed on the site of the Old Town before
Greek colonization of the Adriatic. While the site was permanently
settled since Roman era, most of existing city walls and buildings
were erected during the Venetian rule.
The entire town is encircled with defensive stone walls. The
Budva are typical of the Medieval walled cities of
the Adriatic, complete with towers, embrasures, fortified city gates
and a citadel.
Originally, there were gates on all of the four sides of the walled
city. However, sea-facing gates were closed up over the years. The
main city gate is Porta di Terra Ferma, the grand entry to the city
from the west. It is also the beginning of the city's main
thoroughfare, Njegoševa Street. There are also four more gates on the
north wall, facing
Budva marina (Porta Pizana, Porta Pizana 1 and 2,
and Porta Pizanella), and one small gate facing the southwestern beach
of Ričardova glava.
The layout of the town is roughly orthogonal, although many streets
deviate from the grid, resulting in somewhat irregular pattern, with
many piazzas connected with narrow streets. Today, the entire city
within the walls is pedestrian-only.
The town citadel is situated on the southern tip of the city.
Originally known as Castle of St Mary, fortification was continually
rebuilt and expanded through Middle Ages, reaching its final form
during the Austro-Hungarian rule. The sea-facing 160m long ramparts of
the citadel, complete with eastern and western towers, are intricately
connected to the rest of the city walls. Austrian stone barracks form
the most prominent structure within the castle, separating the citadel
from the rest of the walled city. Ruins of the Santa Maria de Castello
church, after which the entire complex was originally named, are
located within the citadel.
A large public square is located to the north of the citadel,
containing all of the churches of the old town - St. Ivan church (17th
century), Santa Maria in Punta (840 AD), and The Holy
The Old Town suffered extensive damage in 1979 earthquake; repair and
reconstruction took eight years (until 1987), but traces of the damage
are now hardly noticeable. Today, it is a prime visitor attraction of
Budva, packed with tourists during the summer months. Its narrow
cobbled streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops.
Outside the Old Town
Budva mountain view
Although confined to the walls of the Old Town for most of its
Budva started significant expansion into the adjacent Budva
field in the 20th century, with the development of tourism industry.
Hotels started springing up near the Old Town and to the west of it,
along the 1600m long Slovenska beach, including the landmark Avala
hotel (built in 1939), the Mogren hotel, and the Slovenska plaža
hotel complex (built in 1984). Development near the Old Town and along
the longest city beach was done in a planned and sustainable manner,
with parts of
Budva built in the
SFRY having all the characteristics
of a well-organized resort town. Most of the hotels and facilities
built during this period are situated to the south of the town's main
traffic artery, a portion of
Adriatic Highway (E65/E80) that crosses
the city parallel to the Slovenska plaža beach.
However, the rest of the
Budva field, to the north of the Adriatic
Highway, developed in a less uniform manner. The western part of Budva
field, containing a civic center (an area featuring local government
offices, schools, sports center, police and fire station, health
center and bus station), Rozino, Dubovica and Golubovina
neighbourhoods, was developed relatively in accordance with principles
of urban planning.
In contrast, the eastern part of the
Budva field, and slopes of the
hills surrounding it, saw the emergence of the chaotic urban sprawl.
Spontaneous growth begun in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as a
combination of high demand and inability of the state to enforce urban
planning, as the
Breakup of Yugoslavia
Breakup of Yugoslavia took place. This trend
continued into the 2000s, with prices of real estate skyrocketing
following the Montenegrin independence. Overwhelming demand, fueled by
the influx of foreign capital (in large part from Russia), meant that
all the undeveloped lots in the
Budva field and surrounding hills were
quickly being turned into construction sites. Local and state
authorities have failed to keep up with the developers, resulting in
the unfortunate lack of urban planning in much of the area. Thus,
large parts of
Budva are connected with an irregular grid of narrow
streets, and have overall inadequate infrastructure. This trend
continues even today, with limited land forcing developers to turn to
building towering high rises in place of small detached residences
that made up for majority of
Budva field in the early 1990s.
Left: Praskvica Monastery, Centre: Reževići Monastery, Right:
The pressures of the real estate market and neglect of urban planning
have resulted in chronic and severe lack of parking space, and
frequent traffic jams during the summer. Even the water and
electricity supply have failed to keep up with the explosive growth in
the 2000s, but those issues have since been addressed.
A testament to the urban sprawl, the city bypass (Obilaznica, a
crescent road that circles the northern ends of
Budva field, with ends
connecting to the Adriatic Highway) is a bypass only in name, as it
now a busy urban street, swallowed by the city's expanding urban area.
The term Budvanizacija ("Budvanization") has been used regionally to
denote a form of chaotic and massive urban growth, tailored to the
needs of individual land owners and developers, without regard for
sustainability or environment.
Budva Riviera (region)
Sveti Stefan, near Budva
Tourism is the main driver of the economy of Budva. It is a
significant tourist destination on the eastern Adriatic, and by far
the most popular destination in Montenegro. During the 2013, Budva
recorded 668,931 tourist visits, and 4,468,913 overnight stays, thus
accounting for 44,8% of tourist visits to Montenegro, and 47,5% of its
Budva is notable for its long history and its well-preserved
Old Town, it is not primarily known as a destination for sightseeing
or cultural tourism. Unlike
Kotor or Dubrovnik,
Budva has an image of
a crowded beach resort, with a lively and vibrant atmosphere and a
very active nightlife.
Jaz Beach, near Budva
Budva Riviera has some of the most attractive beaches of south
Adriatic, and the most pleasant climate in Montenegro. Mogren beach is
arguably the best known and most attractive of the
Budva city beaches,
nested beneath the cliffs of the Spas hill, between cape Mogren and
the Avala hotel. The beach is separated from the city by the slopes of
Spas hill that plunge to the sea, and is only accessible by a 250m
long narrow path along the cliffs. Other city beaches include the
small Ričardova glava ("Richard's Head") and Pizana beaches, next to
the Old Town, as well as the 1.6 km (1.0 mi) long Slovenska
plaža (Slav beach), that makes up the most of the city's coast.
However, majority of the beaches of
Budva Riviera are outside the city
Jaz Beach is a long and spacious beach west of Budva, its
hinterland serving as a popular concert and festival venue, as well as
Bečići resort town, with its long sandy beach, is
situated south-east of the city, separated from
Budva by the Zavala
Further to the south, numerous small beaches and towns, make up the
more high end and exclusive part of
Budva Riviera. This is especially
true for the famous
Sveti Stefan town, but also for other smaller
Paštrovići settlements in the area, that once were unassuming
fishing villages. The area of
Sveti Stefan and Pržno, including
Miločer resort with its park and secluded beaches, is considered the
most exclusive area of the Montenegrin coast.
The town of Petrovac and the undeveloped
Buljarica field occupy the
very south of the
Sveti Nikola Island
Sveti Nikola Island is located opposite of Old Town, 1 kilometre (0.6
miles) across the
Budva bay. It is a mostly undeveloped island with
some beautiful beaches. Well connected to the mainland with water bus,
it is a popular excursion site for tourists visiting Budva.
Budva by night
Budva is well known regionally as the capital of nightlife of the
eastern Adriatic. The first discothèques in
Budva started to emerge
during the 1980s, as hotel-attached dance clubs. However, the clubbing
scene mushroomed in 1990s, with numerous open-air clubs opening along
Budva sea promenade. This trend continued into the 2000s, with Old
Town and its promenade hosting a large number of bars, pubs and
restaurants, and two big clubs,
Top Hill and Trocadero, dominating the
Budva is home to the Adriatic Fair (Jadranski sajam), the only
specialized exhibition venue in Montenegro. It hosts numerous trade
fairs throughout the year, including the only auto show in Montenegro,
held annually in autumn.
Gambling tourism is also popular in Budva, as many hotels have
attached casinos. Maestral hotel and casino in Pržno are particularly
popular among international gamblers, but other large hotels have also
attracted players from European countries. The 2006
James Bond film
Casino Royale is partly set in the eponymous casino in the fictional
Montenegrin Hotel Splendide, thus giving a boost to Budva's profile as
a gambling destination.
Budva marina, nestled to the north of the Old Town city walls,
contributes to the image of
Budva as a nautical tourism destination.
Luxury yachts dominate marina berths during the summer, overshadowing
small fishing vessels owned by the locals.
Budva marina was host to
periodic boat shows, but in recent years it has been losing primacy to
the larger and more luxurious Porto Montenegro.
Budva was the host of
Class 1 World Powerboat Championship
Class 1 World Powerboat Championship Grand prix in May 2008.
Budva Old Town
Among the cultural events and establishments in the city, the annual
cultural event Theatre City (
Budva Grad Teatar) is of particular
importance. Founded in 1987, and held in July and August every year,
this festival transforms the entire Old Town into an open-air venue
for a programme of theatre, musical, literary and visual art events
Another popular event in
Budva was the
Pjesma Mediterana ("Song of the
Mediterranean"), annual pop musical festival, held in
Budva from 1992
to 2010. Its format was similar to that of
Sanremo Music Festival,
featuring a competition of previously unreleased songs. The song
contest attracted popular performers from the EX Yugoslavia region.
However, the festival was cancelled in 2011 due to lack of funds, and
has not been renewed since.
In 2014, the
Sea Dance Festival
Sea Dance Festival was organized at Budva's
Jaz Beach for
the first time. A spin-off of the popular Exit festival, Sea Dance
is set to be an annual event.
Jaz Beach rose to prominence as a
popular concert and festival venue with
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones concert
held on 9 July 2007. The show was part of their A Bigger Bang Tour and
attracted a crowd of some 35,000 spectators, twice the population of
Budva town itself. Madonna staged a show at the same venue on 25
September 2008, while
Lenny Kravitz and
Armand Van Helden
Armand Van Helden performed at
Jaz beach during the "Live Fest" in August 2008, along with Goran
Dino Merlin and Zdravko Čolić.
Carnival is a three day long festive event in Budva, happening
annually during late April or early May. It has been organized every
year since 2003, and although a recent carnival, it has attracted
significant regional attention. Budva, together with nearby Kotor, was
host to the Federation of European
Carnival Cities (FECC) World
Carnival City Congress in May 2009.
Budva city museum is one of the prominent cultural institutions in the
city, featuring permanent archaeological and ethnographic exhibits.
Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša memorial home is another significant
institution, honoring the legacy of the famous native of Budva.
Budva occupies a significant place in the history of the cinema of
Montenegro, as it was home to the Zeta Film, the Montenegrin primary
motion picture company from the Yugoslav era. The now-defunct company
has produced numerous Yugoslav movies, including pictures by the
famous Montenegrin director Živko Nikolić. Zeta Film was privatized
in 2004, and its building was converted to a nightclub, leaving Budva
without a single movie theater for a decade. On May 30, 2015, a brand
new four screen multiplex cinema opened in TQ Plaza shopping mall.
The city has occasionally provided the backdrop for international
movie productions. The 1964 movie The Long Ships was shot in and
around Budva, and the prop from the movie, a large 4m tall cracked
bell, has been permanently displayed in front of the Old Town walls,
becoming one of the local landmarks. Recently,
Budva has been the
setting and the filming location of the locally produced, and
regionally very popular TV series
Budva na pjenu od mora (Budva, on
the sea foam).
Budva has two elementary schools and one high school. In 2009, city
administration founded Knowledge Academy (Akademija Znanja), an
institution envisioned to act as a university center and introduce
higher education to Budva. The Knowledge Academy building, situated in
the Rozino neighbourhood of Budva, is currently home to
library and private Business and Tourism faculty, and serves as the
center of higher education of the municipality.
FK Mogren is the most popular football club in Budva, and the sports
club with longest tradition in the city. Founded in 1920, it competes
in Montenegrin First League, winning the championship in 2008-09 and
2010-11. The club also won the Montenegrin Cup of 2008. Stadion
Lugovi, the home ground of FK Mogren, will probably be relocated in
the near future, as it is situated on a very valuable land lot, right
next to the Slovenska beach.
OFK Petrovac, from the eponymous town, is another significant football
team from the
Another popular sport in
Budva is volleyball, with Budvanska Rivijera
volleyball team being successful in domestic and international
competition. Mediteranski sportski centar ("
center") is the main indoor sport venue of Budva, and is the home of
Budvanska Riviera volleyball team and
RK Budvanska Rivijera
RK Budvanska Rivijera handball
Water polo is a very popular sport in Budva, as on the rest of the
VK Budva is the city's water polo team, competing
in the regional Adriatic Water Polo League.
Budva is the hometown and residence of Nikola Sjekloća, one of the
most successful Montenegrin boxers.
Paragliding is a popular summer activity in Budva. Steep 700m high
hills provide perfect setting and stunning vistas for paragliders,
with the hamlet of Brajići being the usual launching point.
Budva is connected to inland
Montenegro by two-laned highways. There
are two ways to reach
Podgorica – either through Cetinje,
or through the
Sozina tunnel (opened 2005). Either way, Podgorica, the
capital and main road junction in Montenegro, is around 60 km
(37 mi) away.
Budva is connected to the rest of the coastal towns of
the Adriatic Highway, which extends from
Ulcinj in the far south to
Herceg Novi in the north, and on to Croatia.
Tivat Airport is 20 km (12 mi) away. There are regular
Moscow throughout the year, and dozens of
seasonal and charter flights land daily at the airport during the
Podgorica Airport is 65 km (40 mi) away, and
it has regular flights to a number of European destinations throughout
Urban transport consists of Mediteran Express buses, which operate
Budva city center and Sveti Stefan. This line services a large
portion of the
Budva urban core, as well as some small towns between
Budva and Sveti Stefan. The frequency of this line is high during the
summer months, and it is very popular among tourists.
The closest train station is Sutomore. This stop on Belgrade–Bar
railway is some 30 km (19 mi) away from
Budva city center.
Budva has a typical
Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild
winters, and 230 sunny days in a year.
Budva has the typical
Mediterranean rainfall pattern, which results in wetter winters and
drier summers. Daytime highs in the summer range from 24 to
32 °C (75 to 90 °F) and from 8 to 14 °C (46 to
57 °F) during the winter months. The mean summertime temperature
is 25 °C (77.0 °F) and 9.3 °C (48.7 °F) in the
winter. The temperature of the sea reaches up to 25 °C
(77.0 °F) in the summer months, while it keeps between
17 °C (63 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F) in the autumn.
Twin towns – sister cities
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Montenegro
Budva is twinned with:
San Remo, Italy
Novi Sad, Serbia
Velika Plana, Serbia
Gornji Milanovac, Serbia
Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, since 2001
West Palm Beach, Florida, United States, since 2012
List of ancient cities in Illyria
Roman Catholic Diocese of Budua
^ a b c "Montenegrin 2011 census". Monstat. 2011.
^ "Tourism statistics 2013" (PDF). Monstat. 2014.
^ "EXIT festival will be held in
Novi Sad and Budva". B82. 6 December
2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
Banská Bystrica Sister Cities". 2001–2008. Archived from the
original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
Sources and external links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Budva.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Budva.
Official website of
Budva Tourism Organization
Budva tourist guide
Official tourist guide
Budva travel agent
Budva tourist guide
Budva Riviera tourist guide
Budva photo gallery
Balkan History Library – Budva
Sveti Nikola Island
Budvanska Rivijera Budva
List of people from Budva
Seats of Montenegrin Municipalities