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Must see stops from Budapest to Montenegro

Hi there, we are a family of 6 that will be driving our leased vehicle (have checked already and it is fine to take it out of the EU) from Budapest to Montenegro mid-august. Can somebody suggest a route and a couple must-see stops. We were going to tackle it in one VERY long day of driving just to get it done with but that seems like such a waste. Any suggestions for must see stops along the way and perhaps even a one night stay somewhere too? Thanks in advance!

Posted by
16606 posts

I assume you're heading initially to Kotor. ViaMichelin.com suggests three possible routes. Have you decided which one you will take?

The western (fastest) route runs near the southern shore of Lake Balaton; I'm not familiar with that area, but there might be nice views. It then skirts Zagreb, which has a very handsome historic area and lots of good museums; however, Zagreb is a major city and I suspect traffic would slow you down if you tried to drive into the center.

That route takes you near the wonderful Plitvice Lakes National Park (for an extra 1-1/4 hours of driving time), but if you want to see it, it's key to spend the night in or near the park. It is severely overcrowded during day-tripping hours, so you'll want to see it late in the afternoon and/or when it first opens the next morning. The route then passes a long list of popular Croatian destinations: Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir, Split and Dubrovnik. Just after you cross the Montenegrin border you have Herceg Novi.

The central route takes you somewhat near the interesting city of Pecs (adding about 1-1/2 hours or driving time). It skirts Sarajevo, a very foreign-feeling city but again one where traffic would probably slow you down.

The easternmost (longest) route takes you past Kecskemet and Szeged, both interesting Hungarian cities. Then you cross the border to Serbia and pass Subotica, another attractive (though not prosperous) place. Next comes Novi Sad, which has an historic center with a funky vibe. Then Beograd, the capital--a large city with probably-significant traffic issues.

If you're more interested in seeking out nice scenery than architecture, zoom way in on the ViaMichelin maps and look for the roads marked in green; they are especially scenic.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you acraven.

After some more research today I was thinking about trying to make it to Zabljek the first night? Then exploring Durmitor National Park in the early am and then spending the next two nights in Perast before heading up through Croatia for 10 days?

Posted by
1893 posts

This post is from BC (Before COVID). Now, in AC (After COVID), I bet this is off. I doubt many will be traveling this summer.