Bar, Montenegro is Unfortunate

I think that if someone held a gun to my head and told me that I had to say something nice about Bar, this port town on the coast of Montenegro, I’d probably be dead.

When heading there from Budva, it was originally our intention to head on to Ulcinj and then to Albania. When we arrived we were greeted by sleazy taxi drivers who were trying to tell us that there were no buses to Tirana (the capital of Albania) or even just across the border. Not wanting to believe these annoying guys, we asked the woman at the ticket counter if there were any buses to Albania. She said that there weren’t. We then asked if there were buses from Ulcinj in to Albania. She glanced over at the taxi driver and said that there weren’t. This glance was all we really needed to realize that they had a lovely little scam going to hook tourists. While we can speak the language, it’s clear that we’re not locals and so they were trying to take advantage of us.

With the realizing that we looked like cows ripe for milking, we made the quick decision to take the train straight up to Belgrade to stay with a cousin of mine and avoid this whole mess. You see, beyond the sleaziness of this town and the fact that the ticket woman was a remnant of the Communist attitudes that will hopefully die off in a couple more decades, there is nothing in Bar. Yeah, there’s a little beach, but I wouldn’t swim in it because their massive port is right there as well and the water is bound to be filthy. Maybe it’s a bit cheaper to stay there for a holiday, but you’d have to be pretty down on your luck to do that, since Montenegro in general isn’t that expensive just yet.

Oh, once we decided to move on, the taxi drivers kept following us and even a polite, “Stop it, we’re taking the train.” Was answered with, “The train?!! That takes two days to get to Belgrade.” A slight overstatement as it’s really a scheduled 8.5 hours and just another reason to mention that if you find yourself in Bar, Montenegro at any point, get the hell out as fast as you can. Now if you happen to be a Brit, Aussie, or Yank on a drinking holiday and then, “Bar? Bar?!! You mean it’s spelled B-A-R?!! Oh yeah, get the lads, we’re there!” by all means go to Bar immediately and begin the binge of a lifetime.

Bar, Montenegro is Unfortunate

7 Replies to “Bar, Montenegro is Unfortunate”

  1. If you had little bit went around maybe you coul say yes and to be alive…

    Why you didn’t visit Stari Bar (the old city), or went to the small and gorgious crvena plaza (red beach), or went up to the top of mount Rumija from where in the nice days you can see till Italy, or at least you could have a boat trip on the lake Skadar…

    Many others things to see… many others things you lost!


    1. I didn’t even know there was an old city. It just looked like a port town and the guide books mention nothing about that. I was just really surprised at how it all looked. Port towns like Rijeka and Split are much nicer with the old town right at the train and bus stations. This is the view that many people will see though and if the city government doesn’t want this impression, then they should really go about making these sites more transparent. For instance, I never would have thought to go to Skadar from Bar and those taxi drivers are some real bastards.

    2. The old town is on a hill 3-4 km from the center of Bar.
      I really cannot belive that the Bradt travel guide doesn’t mention it!!!…
      Anyway, just in front of the port there is the tourist office where they give all information about Bar and his surroundings.

    3. Well, it’s much better than I expected from those photos, but it given how the trains and buses are, I would have been hard-pressed to make an easy connection I think.

    4. What is so strange if you couldn’t find a bus conection from Bar to Tirana??????
      You are that kind of people who will complain even you have been sent in heven!!!
      Next time take a airplane – if yo have money to pay a ticket

    5. I was in Bar this last summer, and there are now buses to Tirana. I think it’s a once or twice a week thing, since it’s such a long ways away. (More than an hour on a bus would drive me nuts) There were other far distances you could take by bus as well: Dubrovnik and Beograd. So, you wrote that in June of 07, while I went in July of 08.

      Also, I disagree with how you said Bar isn’t a nice town. It’s a beautiful town, with enough stuff to do if you’re gonna stay a few days.

      I had a bad experience in Beograd, but I’m sure that’s not the norm. So, reconsider Bar. It’s a pretty little town filled with lots of things to see and do. (And you’re not far from Sutomore and the like for better night life)

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