The 17 best sights of Bar – description and photos

Bar Sights

Red Beach Market “Topolitsa” Besac Fortress Lesendro Monastery Orahovo Monastery Beshka Cafe “Garden Caffe” Old Maslina Old Town Bara Palace of King Nikola Bara Quay

This site compiles Bara sights – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Bar, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Bar.

Red Beach

Red Beach (photo)

Red Beach is located in a picturesque bay that can be found between Sutomore and Bar. As you can easily guess, the beach got its name because of the unusual bright red color of the sand. There is a whole legend connected with the Red Beach. They say that in ancient times the real nymphs used to gather on the local cliff. Nymphs combed their silky hair with coral combs, personifying the living elemental forces. The locals often heard their laughing voices, but no one dared to tell about it – according to legend, anyone who talks about the nymphs will remain mute for the rest of his life.

The length of Red Beach is only 50 meters. But its total area exceeds 600 square meters. The beach is ideal for lovers of relaxation.

Coordinates: 42.16340300,19.00589000

Topolitsa market

Topolica market (photo)

Topolica” market is the oldest and largest food market on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro. Here there is a huge selection of local delicacies, you can also buy clothes, shoes, various souvenirs.

The market is located in the town of Old Bar, just a few kilometers from the city of Bar. There are always lots of visitors and it is especially crowded on Saturdays – apart from locals and tourists, the market is visited by citizens from nearby settlements.

“Topolitsa is famous for its large selection of local fruits, olive oil and local alcoholic beverages that tourists from around the world take home as souvenirs. These are grape moonshine, herbal and nut tinctures, the famous plum brandy and Montenegrin wines.

Coordinates: 42.09229100,19.13219600

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Fortress of Besats

The fortress of Besats (photo)

Fortress Besac is one of the oldest military fortifications that have survived on the territory of modern Montenegro. It was built in Ottoman times in the second half of the 15th century, but some of the towers behind the fortress walls date back to the medieval state of Zeta. In ancient times the fortress separated Slavic and Turkish territory, so today it is of significant historical value not only for Montenegro, but also for the entire Balkan region.

Location: the fortress is located near Skadar Lake on a small hill, lying near the settlement of Virpazar in the municipality of Bara.

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Lesendro Fortress

Lesendro fortress (photo)

In the past, before the construction of the road and railroad, the fortress Lesendro was located on a small elongated island, which, due to its position at the mouth of the Cernovica river, was often called the “key of the lake”, so the island fortress was a constant “bone of contention” in the Montenegrin struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Location: the fortress is located on a small peninsula of Lake Skadar, adjacent to the section of the road Bar-Belgrade near Vranjina in Barska municipality.

In the 18th century, during the reign of Petar II Petrovic Njegos it was decided to build a defense fortifications to protect the Montenegrin lands adjacent to the Chernojevica River from the Turkish dangers, so that the local population could safely engage in trade and fishing. The reason for building the outpost was the capture and execution by the Ottoman Rashid Pasha of 8 Montenegrins during their trade mission in neighboring Shkoder. As a result, on the island of Lesendro was a defensive fortification with an area of 3150 m&sup2 with high walls and towers. According to legend, Peter II himself liked to visit the fortress, and even wrote several of his works within its walls.

The fortress was under the Montenegrin power until 1843, when the Turks made a successful foray, taking advantage of the absence of a regular garrison in the fortress, occupied in other military activities. They captured Lesendro and the neighboring Vranjina, which allowed them to strengthen their military presence in this part of Lake Skadar. The loss of the fortress was so distressing to Negos that there was even a popular saying, “Suffers like a lord over Lesendro,” which is used to describe someone’s great distress.

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The island was liberated from the Turks only in 1878, when, by decision of the Berlin Congress, it became part of the independent Montenegro, along with neighboring Zabljak. After liberation, the fortress was used as a military arsenal, in this role it lasted until World War I.

Orahovo Monastery

Orahovo Monastery (photo)

In a small Montenegrin village 2 km from Virpazar, today you can find the Orthodox monastery Orahovo, which is part of the Zeta Holy Mountain and the cultural heritage of the Balšić era, because the first church in this place was built in the 14th century.

Location: Bara municipality, village Orahovo near the town of Virpazar.

Exact data about the time of the construction of the monastery Orahovo is not preserved. In the historical sources, there is a document from the time of King Milutin, dated 1314-1318, in which this monastery is mentioned as a branch of the monastery Vranjin.

The monastery complex consists of a monastic building and two single-nave churches erected in honor of one saint. The older church of St. Nicholas apparently dates back to the 14th century and was built on donations from Jelena Balšić, and is now in a derelict condition. The second church, also dedicated to St. Nicholas, is somewhat smaller and was built in the XVII century. Its interior was painted in 1663 by Vasilije Njegos, and the iconostasis of 22 icons is the work of Macedonian master Dzinovski. In 1909, a bell tower was added to the new church. This church, in addition to performing monastic functions, serves as a parish church for the immediate neighborhood.

The monastic cells are still in ruins and are just beginning to be restored.

The monastery of Orahovo is a male monastery and belongs to the Metropolitan Church of Montenegro-Primorje of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Beška Monastery

Beška Monastery (photo)

The monastery, located on Beška Island, made a significant contribution to the spiritual life of the ancient Slavic state of Zeta, because, like the monastery of Starčevo Gorica, it was active in copying church books. Moreover, the temples of this monastery today are valuable monuments of architecture of the late Middle Ages

Location: Bara municipality, Beška island in the southern part of Lake Skadar.

The Beška Monastery owes its appearance to the Balšić dynasty, which left behind a large number of monasteries in the region of Lake Skadar. It is believed that the monastery was built at the end of the 14th century, funded by Georgi II Stracimirović Balšić.

There are two churches in the monastery – the church of St. George and the church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both reflect the high art of Zeta masons and architects, who managed to organically and beautifully merge these buildings into the island landscape. The main church of St. George is a one-nave building with a dome, a spacious vestibule and a large bell tower with three bells. The floor of the temple is lined with stone slabs. The smaller church, dedicated to the Mother of God, appeared somewhat later on the island through the efforts of Elena Balšić, the daughter of Prince Lazar and wife of St. George II, which has a corresponding inscription above the entrance to the church, dated 1440. It is also a single-nave church, but smaller, decorated with fine stone carvings. Jelena Balšić planned to use the church as her tomb, and after her death she was buried in the chapel by the southern wall.

The Beška monastery has left a mark in the spiritual history of the country through the transcription of various church books. The most renowned examples of this work are the “Shestodnya Sr. Nikon of Jerusalem”, today kept in the Savina monastery, and the “Goric Collection”, today kept in the library of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which contains the correspondence of Helena Balšić and her confessor Nikon of Jerusalem.

Garden Café

Garden Cafe (photo)

The interior of the cafe is modern, you can sit down at a single table or at the bar. The air feels like a club atmosphere. And this is no accident, because the walls are decorated with photos of famous musicians, and in the evenings there are often performances of musical rock bands. High windows in the room, almost the entire wall, let in a lot of natural light and create a special atmosphere of warmth.

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The cuisine is mostly national and European and more Mediterranean, with a predominance of seafood and delicacies. Large selection of delicious pizza is an integral part of the delicious and varied menu. Large portions and reasonable prices are the highlight of the restaurant.

Coordinates : 42.28848500,18.83722700

Old Olive

Old Olive (photo)

One of the oldest trees in Europe, the Old Olive tree, is the symbol of the city of Bara. It grows about 15 minutes away from the city. It is 2000 years old, as the official plate solemnly informs. The tree, still bearing fruit, is protected by the state as a nature monument, it is surrounded by a fence, and, although you have to pay 1-2 euros for a photo (the olive is really protected), you can look at it for free.

In fact, the olive tree is several trunks, which over the years have become so intertwined and twisted that they are now a very complex architectural structure. In some places, the trunks have been damaged by fire, and in some places they form such openwork intricacies, soaring up to the sky, that they remind something of Gaudi’s brainchild – the Sagrada Familia. If a person with imagination stares long enough into the folds and wrinkles of olive bark, he can see among them absolutely phantasmagoric pictures.

Coordinates: 42.08722200,19.12638900

Old Town of Bar

Old Bara Town (photo)

The city of Bar is quite big for Montenegro with the population of 38 thousand people and where the biggest port of the country is situated. Of particular interest is the old part of town, the Old Bar, which is separated from the port by a resort area.

In total, there are about 240 buildings. But since the old town was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1878, many of the monuments appear to tourists as ruins. One of the oldest monuments of the old city is the gate of the 10-11th centuries. Are of interest are the ruins of the cathedral of St. George of the 11th century and two churches – St. Catherine and St. Venus. There are also some noteworthy monuments from the Ottoman period, such as the aqueduct from the 16th-17th centuries and the clock tower, built in 1753. A well-preserved mosque with the minaret of Omerbasic and the tomb of Dervish-Hacan (17th century) at the southwestern wall of the Old Bar. Near the mosque are buildings for the accommodation of pilgrims and imams.

Coordinates : 42.09949600,19.09303700

King Nikola’s Palace

Palace of King Nikola (photo)

The palace of King Nikola is a palace complex, which besides the palace building includes a beautiful park, a chapel and a winter garden.

The royal palace stands on the very seashore and was built in 1885 for Princess Zorka, Nikola’s daughter. The palace complex can be called a delightful ensemble. The palace looks elegant and ornate, and it is surrounded by a truly unique garden, which is planted with a lot of unique trees for this area. Earlier there was also an original greenhouse and a small pier for sea yachts.

Nowadays the palace is used as the building of the Regional Museum of Bara, and there is also an exhibition hall where various cultural events are organized.

Coordinates: 42.10077000,19.09142400

Bara promenade

Bara embankment (photo)

The waterfront in Bara is a favorite destination of Montenegrins and tourists alike. The wide, long and picturesque street begins at the seaport (the biggest in Montenegro, from here there is a ferry to the Italian city of Bari) and ends somewhere near Shushani, a neighboring with Bari resort village, buried in the green Mediterranean pine trees.

There are a lot of inexpensive cafes, where you can have a good meal and not just a snack. In the high tourist season it is here at the service of many tourists – a variety of excursions and other entertainment. Vacationers can rent boats, catamarans and pleasure boats.

The most significant landmarks of Bara promenade are the biggest sea port of Montenegro and the palace of King Nikola with the whole palace complex and the park, where the smell of the sea is mixed with the sweet fragrance of blooming trees.

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Coordinates: 42.10092100,19.09045000

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Sights of Bar (Montenegro)

Montenegro is an attractive country for tourism, with an optimal combination of beautiful natural landscapes, European service and vacation prices. Many cities in Montenegro are open for visitors, and one of the most popular is Bar. This small port town with comfortable hotels, cozy cafes on the waterfront and inexpensive shopping attracts tourists from all over Europe and Russia, and the sea and forest landscapes will not leave anyone indifferent.

The city is located in the south of the country on the coast of the warm Adriatic Sea, which makes its climate mild and comfortable for exploring the local beauty. Well, if you are interested in what to see in Bar (Montenegro), then we assure you, you can make a very dense program. We have selected 17 of the most attractive sights of the city so that you will spend your vacation with pleasure and great benefit.

Old Bar.

View of Old Bar

View of the Old Bar. | Photo: Tatiana Torgonskaya / Flickr.

The ancient part of the city resembles a historical and architectural museum in the open air. Here you can always find tourists studying archeology and history, interested in excavations, monuments of ancient cultures.

At the end of the 19th century the city was almost completely destroyed and many historical monuments were lost. Nevertheless, more than two hundred sites are still available for exploration, albeit some in a state of ruins.

In Old Bar you can see the ruins of the Cathedral, the oldest churches of the 11th century, the ancient city gate. It is noteworthy that the centuries-old “antiquity” peacefully coexists with modern buildings, where you can rent an apartment.

Address: Old Bar, Bar, Montenegro.



Aqueduct. | Photo: wikimedia.

In the north of the above mentioned area of the city is one of the most popular attractions – Aqueduct. The word from the Latin translates to “aqueduct” – a device that provides water to irrigation canals, hydroelectric power plants and the population for domestic and household needs.

Agree, it is very interesting to get acquainted with this construction and understand the scheme of its work. Old Bar Aqueduct, despite its long history, is perfectly preserved.

Address: Bar Aqueduct, Stari Bar, Montenegro.

King Nikola’s Palace

King Nikola's Palace

Palace of King Nikola.| Photo: wikimedia.

This tourist attraction is also located in the Old Bar, so be sure to stop by here after visiting the Aqueduct. The complex consists of two majestic palaces and is located in a park near the port. Around the palaces there are botanical and winter gardens with local plants and trees. Nearby there is a cozy little chapel.

In the palace halls, too, there is something to see: there are permanent or traveling exhibitions. In the main premises you can visit the local museum with unique exhibits on historical, cultural and archaeological topics.

Address: Palace of King Nikola, Stari Bar, Montenegro.

St. John’s Church

Church of St. John

The Temple of St. John.

Pilgrims from all over Europe come to Bar to visit this huge Orthodox church. It is located almost at the entrance to the city, if you look from the Budva side. The majestic structure is luxuriously decorated and ornamented.

It was consecrated in honor of John Vladimir, who was the first Serbian ruler on the territory of Montenegro. From the temple, he carried out state activities.

Address: Saborni hram Svetoga Jovana Vladimira, 38 Ulica Jovana Tomasevica, Bar, Montenegro.

Old Olive

Old Olive

Old Olive Tree. | Photo: wikimedia.

If you ask the locals what attraction they would recommend to visit, they will all unanimously point to the oldest tree in town. Did you know that Montenegrins have a curious tradition: a young man must plant ten olive trees before getting married.

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The Montenegrins themselves are reverent to this plant, giving it all kinds of honors. So, every year at the end of fall, after the harvest, the city celebrates Olliniada. There is also a children’s event – a festival called “Meetings under the old olive tree”.

What is remarkable about the Shrovetide tree? The thing is that the local olive tree is not one or two centuries old, but two thousand years old! Now this is a real old resident of our planet!

It’s amazing, but the ancient olive tree still bears fruit. It is listed as a UNESCO heritage site and is protected by the state.

Address: Old Olive Tree, Tomba, Montenegro.

Red Beach

Red Beach

Red Beach.

This unbelievably beautiful place is situated in the gulf between Bari and Sutomora. It got its name because of the sand, which is naturally has a rich red color.

There is a legend that in the ancient times, the nymphs used to gather on the local cliff and comb their tresses with coral combs.

The length of the coast is only fifty meters, but, believe me, during the tourist season there is no place for a stone to fall. Fortunately, the area for recreation spreads over six hundred square meters. Mostly come here are couples in love, as well as families with children who prefer a quiet and comfortable rest, romantic scenery.

Address: Red Beach, Bar, Montenegro.

Topolitsa market

One of the oldest and largest food markets on the entire Adriatic coast. It sells many delicacies, as well as various household items, clothing, souvenirs for visitors.

Located market, as well as many other attractions, in the Old Bar. It is always crowded, especially on weekends, so it is better to move the shopping to weekdays. Here you can buy local fruits, drinks of own production, high-quality olive oil. If you prefer alcoholic beverages, you will find interesting variations such as nut and herb liquor, plum brandy and grape moonshine.

Address: Starobarska pijaca, Stari Bar, Montenegro.

Fortress of Besats

Tourists visiting Bar (Montenegro), sights on military themes explore with particular enthusiasm.

The local Besac Fortress is an ancient military fortification that was erected during the Ottoman period, in the 15th century. It once divided the Turkish and Slavic territories, so it is now an important historical monument for the entire Balkan region. The fortress itself is located near Lake Skadar on a hilly area.

Address: Fortress Old Bar, Stari Bar, Montenegro.

Monastery Rybniak

The famous Orthodox shrine of the country, located twenty minutes from Bar. A quiet corner of the forest, a view of the mountains and a wonderful monastery where services are still going on in the church of St. Basil.

Tourists should keep in mind that it is necessary to visit the monastery dressed according to the canons.

Address: Monastery Rybniak, Zupci, Montenegro.

Gora Voluica

Voluitsa Mountain

Mount Voluica.

A beautiful place 256 meters high with a wide panorama of the Adriatic Sea and the ancient ruins of the city. A huge six hundred meter tunnel runs through Voluica. There used to be a military firing range, the first wireless telegraph signals were transmitted here and now there are plantations.

Those wishing to climb to the summit itself can take a cab to the Milena Bridge, and then, moving along the right bank of the river, in just ten minutes find the right path. An ideal place for safe hiking.

Location: 42°04’14.0″N 19°06’22.0″E.

Lesendro Fortress

Lesendro Fortress

The Lesendro Fortress.

The fortress is located on a small peninsula of Lake Skadar. In the 18th century it was erected a defensive fortification protecting the land from the Turkish invasion. Its area was about 3150 square meters, and there were high towers and fortified walls along its perimeter. According to legend, King Peter II himself came here to work on his works.

In 1843, the Turks captured the fortress and the nearby Vranjina, which strengthened the military power in this area of Lake Skadar. After the liberation in 1878, the fortress was used as a military arsenal, and it remained so until the outbreak of World War I.

Address: Fort Lesendro, Montenegro.

Cathedral of St. George

Cathedral of St. George

Cathedral of St. George. | Photo: Tatiana Torgonskaya / Flickr.

Unfortunately, this majestic structure has reached our days also in the form of ruins. The ancient complex includes a number of cathedrals that have been preserved to this day thanks to restorations. These are several buildings that remind of the architectural power of the old Montenegrin city of Bara.

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Beška Monastery

Beška Monastery

The Beška Monastery.

The Beška Monastery played a key role in the spiritual life of the ancient Slavic state of Zeta. It is here where they copied church texts. The site is located on the island of Beška, in the south of Lake Skadar.

The monastery was founded by the Balšić dynasty at the end of the 14th century and consists of two churches: the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. George. Thanks to the buildings, the legacy of the ancient Zemstvo engineers and stonemasons has been preserved to this day. The Church of St. George has a huge dome, a tile floor, and a bell tower with two bells. The Small Church, built in honor of the Mother of God, is a single-nave church with fine stone carvings.

The daughter of Prince Lazar Jelena Balšić was buried here a long time ago.

Address: Manastir Beska, Montenegro.

Orahovo Monastery

Orahovo Monastery.

In the nearby village of Orahovo is the monastery built during the reign of the Balšić dynasty. The complex consists of two single-nave churches dedicated to St. Nicholas and a cell block.

The old church is closed to tourists and is in a derelict condition. The second church is much younger, built in the 17th century, it is painted by the famous artist Vasilije Negosh, and the iconostasis of 22 icons is the heritage of the Macedonian artist Djinovski.

This church serves as a monastery and parish church for the residents of the surrounding area. The monastic churches are in ruins and are gradually being restored. The monastery is entirely for men.

Address: Orahovo, Virpazar, Bar, Motenegro.

Bara promenade

Bara seafront

Quay of Bar.

How is it possible to visit Bar and not to walk through the most popular place for rest, both among locals and visitors? The embankment, quite long and wide, begins at the largest seaport in Montenegro and ends near the neighboring village of Shushani, where it is pleasant to walk and enjoy the Mediterranean pine trees.

There is a network of stores, cafes and fast-food places along the waterfront, where you not only have a quick snack, but also delicious seafood dishes. Excursions and a variety of activities for adults and kids start from here. Here you can rent a catamaran, a boat or even a pleasure boat.

Separately from the quay it makes sense to walk to the seaport of Bara, which amazes by its sheer size and the vast flow of ships. By the way, you can easily reach the Palace of King Nikola.

Address: Ulica Jovana Tomasevica, Bar, Montenegro.

Clock Tower

Clock Tower

The Clock Tower. | Photo: wikimedia.

The city, which was repeatedly besieged by enemy invaders, has many defensive points, even if they are now in a dilapidated state.

Walking around the Old Bar, pay attention to the ancient fortress, standing on a hill four kilometers from the coast. There is a majestic Clock Tower, erected in 1752 near the church of St. Catherine. It was destroyed after the Ottoman rule, but was restored in 1980. The inhabitants did their best to give the Clock Tower the clock face it was supposed to have.

Now the tower is surrounded by a beautiful garden and is open to tourists who want to get a souvenir of stylish photos.

Address: Clock Tower of Bar, Stari Bar, Montenegro.

St. Katarina Church

View of St. Catherine Church

View of St. Katharina Church.

Located in the same Old Bar, St. Catherine’s Church rivals other ancient temples and is a monument of architecture of bygone eras. Neither the devastating Turkish-Montenegrin wars nor strong earthquakes were able to completely destroy its walls.

The church is still part of the conditional exposition of the historic museum of Old Bar, located in the open air. The church was erected in the 15th century in honor of the Christian martyr Catherine of Alexandria.

Now only ruins remain at this site, which has not been reconstructed for a long time, and the roof has begun to sag. The ancient walls are overgrown with a dense cover of greenery, which looks fascinating. You can still see traces of the rich murals and frescoes of religious themes.

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