Ulcinj Montenegro is the perfect beach destination on the Adriatic Coast for a fun-filled few days. Here’s what you can get up to in the seaside town Ulcinj!
You could describe Ulcinj in Montenegro as is a bit of a strange place. (Bear with me here!)
Located in a gorgeous bay, Ulcinj is undeniably beautiful; of that there’s no doubt. And when I say it’s the perfect beach destination on the Adriatic Coast, I really mean that.
Ulcinj is a small seaside town much like any small seaside town around the world. It has a beach with parasols for sunbathing, a beautiful blue sea for swimming, shops selling the latest inflatable swans and donuts, and Albanians. Lots and lots of Albanians.
Now I’m not saying Albanians are strange, far from it. What’s strange is that this is a little Albanian enclave on the coast of Montenegro. And it really is Albanian.
Put it this way.
Most of the Albanians (both in Montenegro and Albania) consider Ulcinj to be Albanian. In fact, most Montenegrins consider it to be Albanian too, which makes it more than a little confusing when visiting the place.
At least 70% of the population living in Ulcinj are Albanian or of Albanian decent. I even met a few Macedonians, but I didn’t meet a single Montenegrin.
However, Ulcinj is 100% in Montenegro. It’s just no one really accepts that.
If there’s one thing that’s for certain though – it’s that this is a beautiful beach destination and well worth visiting for a fun-filled few days in Montenegro.
Where is Ulcinj?
Ulcinj is on the southern coast of Montenegro, very close to the Albanian border.
The reasons why there is so much confusion around Ulcinj and whether it is a part of Montenegro or Albania comes down to leasing.
Montenegro has been leasing the land from Albania (much like the UK did with Hong Kong) for the past 100 years. Well, 106 years to be exact, a fact that angers most Albanians because Montenegro was supposed to give up the land at the end of the 100 year lease in 2012.
For now, it remains a part of Montenegro, but most people in the area, including Montenegrins, have no doubt that it will change hands in the near future.
This means it’s a pretty unique beach destination because in the future it will be in a different country!
Things to do in Ulcinj
One of the main reasons so many people are attracted to Ulcinj are the beaches which are considered the best in Montenegro.
Ulcinj is a really nice place to spend a few days, and it is sufficiently different to Tivat, Budva or Bar (all small seaside towns along the coast of Montenegro) to make it worth the visit.
One of the things that strikes you about the town is it’s obviously for the affluent Albanians, the ones who can afford to come over the border (where it is more expensive than Albania).
Also, a lot of Albanians from Kosovo, Switzerland and even the USA who fled their country during the war make it their prime destination for their holidays. It’s like a little home away from home away from home.
This means, when it comes to things to do in Ulcinj, you’ve just got to enjoy it! I really loved immersing myself in the beach vibes here.
What I loved about Ulcinj is it’s really compact and easy to walk around. You can walk from the beach up to the Old Town in less than 10 minutes.
Also, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from along the waterfront, most serving up 2-4-1 happy hour cocktails and the latest catch of the day in the evenings.
Nightlife in Ulcinj
At night Ulcinj really comes to life, and all the bars along the seafront were packed, everyone enjoying cheap beer and or sipping coffee.
One of the best places to go is Zeus. This is a proper sweat-fest nightclub and the locals absolutely love it. Might be a bit too much for those over the age of 30/35, but if you’re looking for a cracking night out then this is it.
During the day there is an old fortress that overlooks the bay. The museum only costs €2 to enter and the majority of the time you’ll have it to yourself.
The views from the top of the museum are to die for so I really recommend visiting here.
If you’re looking for the best hotels in Montenegro, you can check out my guide on all the best places to stay in the country.
The Old Town of Ulcinj
Like most towns along the coast of Montenegro, there is an Old Town with cobbled stones and small side streets. This is where you’ll find the most expensive restaurants with the best views of the sea and the town below.
Down by the waterfront, the Sailor’s Mosque is an important landmark in the town, and up until recently the mosque served as a lighthouse for sailors. Make sure you bring you camera because it’s lovely lit up at night.
Ulcinj may be a bit of a strange place, a bit of a no man’s land neither truly belonging to one country over the other, but it is still well worth visiting when travelling around Montenegro and the Balkans!
Have you ever been to Ulcinj before? If so, what did you make of the little seaside town in Montenegro?
I’d love to hear your thoughts so make sure you post in the comment box below!