Budva, Montenegro

Living in Budva

Iyna Bort Caruso

Budva is an ancient settlement in a young country, Montenegro.

Set along a stretch of the country’s 295-kilometer Adriatic coast, Budva is sunny, scenic and historic. Over the course of 2,500 years, this prized spot of land has been ruled by Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Slavs.

Old Town, or Stari Grad, is the beautifully preserved heart of Budva. Its narrow, winding streets and small squares are surrounded by Venetian walls. Architectural treasures here include monasteries, monuments and the landmark of Budva, the 15th century citadel, a monumental complex, which now houses a museum and serves as a performance stage for the prestigious Theatre City festival of music, art, literature and theater held each summer. An earthquake in 1979 caused considerable destruction. However, thanks to years-long restoration efforts, little evidence of the damage remains. After the earthquake, Budva expanded beyond the city walls but it was Montenegro gained independence from its federated union with Serbia in 2006 that development exploded.

These days, Montenegro’s celebrated seaside resort buzzes with action, day and night. Yachts fill the marina, sun-seekers fill the beaches and night owls fill the casinos and open-air nightclubs, which are clustered along the main promenade. Sunsets here are legendary. For adventure-seekers, canyoning and diving are easily accessible. Those looking for a quiet getaway, sail over to the nearby and barely touched island of Sveti Nikola, known more familiarly as Hawaii.

After independence, the property market gained the attention of international buyers who saw Budva real estate as a fashionable yet affordable coastal investment, particularly among Russians and Central and Eastern Europeans. Its location, just two hours or less by plane to global cities like Rome, Paris and Istanbul, is another lure. Historic stone homes in Old Town, hillside villas and modern luxury apartments with magnificent sea views are among the choice offerings. There are no restrictions on buyers from abroad.