The pleasant town of Bar is literally the first port of call for many visitors to Montenegro, thanks to regular ferry connections with Italy. While the beach is rocky and there are no real attractions in the centre, it’s worth at least an afternoon thanks to the magnificent ruins of Stari Bar – stari means old – which sit 5km up the hill. The beauty of its setting is quite staggering – sheer cliffs surround this old town on all sides, and tiny farming communities dot the valleys below. Fragments of pottery found in the area date it as far back as 800 BC, though it wasn’t until the sixth century that the Byzantine Empire created what you see today; the destruction also in evidence was caused during the Ottoman resistance battles of the 1870s. A trip to Stari Bar should set you back no more than €5 by taxi.
The train station is located in the south of town and the bus station lies 300m further along. The ferry terminal is immediately west of the centre, while there’s a tourist office on the opposite side of the main road.
There are few sobe rooms in central Bar, so it’s best to head to Šušanj, a pleasant district hanging over the almost unpronounceable beach of Zukotrlica. It’s a 20min walk north along the seafront, or a €2 cab ride.