Porto Montenegro


Single-handedly responsible for Tivat's transformation, this surreal 24-hectare town-within-a-town occupies the former Arsenal shipyard and naval base. Primped, preening and planned right down to the last polished pebble, the almost impossibly glamorous complex includes upmarket apartment buildings, a 'lifestyle village' of fancy boutiques, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, a museum, a resort-style hotel and berths for 450 yachts (with a total of 850 berths planned by completion).

Porto is a phased development – construction is ongoing – but the works don’t detract from the surreal feeling of finding yourself in a place usually reserved for those of otherworldly wealth.

Unsurprisingly, the project hasn’t been without controversy: 3500 locals took to the streets to protest the sale of the shipyard – a state asset – to foreign investors (an international consortium of the exceedingly rich led by the Canadian businessman, the late Peter Munk, who sold the complex to the government of Dubai in 2016) and the loss of 480 jobs. Yet many naysayers have been silenced by the improvements that are evident in the town.

The complex is open to the public and it's a pleasant place to stroll and ogle opulent yachts – if you're not prone to fits of rage at the injustices of contemporary economics. Kids will love the playground shaped like a pirate ship near the maritime museum.

The success of such of a venture relies partially on enticing yacht crews to dock here for the winter, so bars, restaurants and activity providers operate year-round (unlike along most of the Montenegrin coast). Prices are generally geared more towards crew-members than oligarchs and so, while expensive for Montenegro, they are reasonable by European standards. It appears the strategy is having no small amount of success: the marina was named Superyacht Marina of the Year (2015) by the international Yacht Harbour Association.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tivat attractions

1. Large Town Park


North of the centre, this park is a leafy, peaceful retreat, originally laid out in 1892. It's a serene antidote to the excesses of Porto Montenegro.

2. Buća-Luković Museum & Gallery

0.24 MILES

Aristocratic families from the inner bay once built their summer residences at Tivat to take advantage of its sunnier outlook. One of the few survivors is…

3. Maritime Heritage Collection

0.25 MILES

Porto Montenegro doffs its hat to its past with this well-curated display (in Montenegrin and English) devoted to the history of the Arsenal shipyard and…

4. Town Beach

0.37 MILES

You're better off heading to the Luštica Peninsula for a proper swim, but Tivat does offer a couple of options if you're desperate for a dip. Town Beach…

6. Sveti Djordje


Sveti Djordje, rising from a natural reef, is the smaller of Perast's two islands. It houses a Benedictine monastery shaded by cypresses and a large…

7. St Nicholas’ Church

3.65 MILES

This large church has never been completed, and given that it was commenced in the 17th century and the bay’s Catholic community has declined markedly…

8. Gospa od Škrpjela

3.69 MILES

This picturesque island was artificially created (on 22 July 1452, to be precise) around a rock where an image of the Madonna was found; every year on…