Sleepy Cetinje sits just over the mountainous crest from Budva and Kotor, and is well placed for a visit if you’re heading between coast and interior. Cetinje became Montenegro’s capital on independence in 1878, and of the clutch of embassies that were established, many remain visible today as faded relics of the city’s proud past. Though the status of capital has long been passed to Podgorica, many government offices – and, in fact, the presidential seat – remain in Cetinje. The town centre is small enough to walk around in an hour or two, and almost all sights are located on or near Njegoševa, a mostly pedestrianized central thoroughfare. Buses pull into a tiny terminal next to the Sport hotel. From here it’s a 10min walk into town. Note that there’s no tourist office in Cetinje.
Cetinje’s former embassies are quite fascinating, and it’s fun to track them down – basically, look for any oldish building sporting a crest. Nearest the bus station is the grey French embassy, covered with an assortment of lemon and blue tiles. Down on Trg Dvorski, the Serbian embassy contains the aforementioned ethnographic museum, and the Bulgarian one is now a great café. Further down the road, the crumbling British embassy is now a music academy; turn left for the Turkish embassy, now home to the Faculty of Drama, and the pick of the bunch – the gorgeous, peach-coloured Russian embassy.
The Palace of King Nikola sits at the southern end of Trg Dvorski. Prior to becoming king in 1910, Nikola was a military leader and poet (as well as a prince, of course), and his old palace is full of regal bric-a-brac. Opposite this is the Ethnographic Museum, which mainly features nineteenth-century costumes. Down the road in Trg Revolucie you’ll find the Biliarda, once the residence of King Petar II, and named after a billiard table – still visible today – that he once had hauled here from Kotor. Near the Biliarda you’ll find the National Museum, worth visiting for its first-floor art gallery, and nestled into the hillside across the square is Cetinje Monastery. All these sites are open daily 9am–5pm, and can be visited on a €10 combined ticket, or cost from €3 to €5 each.