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Given it’s undergone five name changes, passed through the hands of everyone from the Romans to the Turks to the Austro-Hungarians, and twice been wiped off the map entirely, it’s little wonder that Podgorica (Подгорица) seems permanently gripped by an identity crisis. Its streets are a hotchpotch of Ottoman oddments, Austrian shopfronts, brutalist blocks and shiny new malls, and it has a fraction of the big-smoke buzz other European capitals can claim. But with some excellent galleries, plenty of parks and a vibrant cafe culture, pint-sized Podgorica is worth a look.

The city sits at the confluence of two rivers. West of the Morača is the business district, while the Ribnica divides the eastern side in two. The south side is Stara Varoš, the old Ottoman town, while north is Nova Varoš, home to a lively mixture of shops and bars.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Podgorica.