GLXY Travel Guide - Exploring the LGBT Scene in Podgorica, Montenegro

19 Aug, 2017
In this article you can find out why and when to visit Montenegro & Podgorica, how friendly is this city for LGBT persons, where to go for gay-friendly dinner options, bars, clubs and other venues, what are the most important LGBT events of the year not to be missed; how to meet locals; and other interesting and important practical details.

About Montenegro and Podgorica

Montenegro is a sovereign country since the referendum that was held on 21 May 2006, officially gaining its independency on the 3rd of June. On 28 June 2006, it became the 192nd member state of the United Nations, and on 11 May 2007 the 47th member state of the Council of Europe. Montenegro presented its official application to the European Union on 15th of December 2008. The country was full of hope to gain EU candidate status in 2009. Montenegro is a small country in the Adriatic coast of Western Balkans. The capital of the country is Podgorica, and the literal translation of the meaning of the name is something like, under a hill. Podgorica is the largest city of Montenegro, and for obvious reasons a capital.

During 40 years of exYu, legendary president Josip Broz Tito rulership, Podgorica carried a name Titograd (literal translation Tito's city). In 1992 it gains its name putting a lot of work under the hill. Ribnica and Morača are two rivers that are conjoining to the zeta Plain. Morača is the biggest river. The city is close both to mountains and to the sea shore, and its climate is more and more Mediterranean. Interesting fact about Podgorica is that it holds 30% of population of the country, which proves the city to be economical, cultural and educational centre.

LGBT situation

Montenegro has decriminalized homosexuality in 1977 and it was the first Balkan country to do that. After that, the LGBT's have been haunted and harassed by the police. Today, we are happy to say that Montenegro is walking in big steps towards equalization. In 2010, the Montenegrian Parliament passed a nondiscrimination law that includes both sexual orientation and gender identity. Since it is a very small country, the gay scene is quite small too. First Gay Pride happened in July of 2013, in another coastal city, Budva. In October of the same year Pride Parade took place in Podgorica. After peaceful walk in Budva, Podgorica LGBT's were violently attacked by anti-gay protesters, but the police took care of them. That's how it looks like when a country supports it citizens. They proved their will and, also, repulsive feelings towards violence. Montenegro pride became an annual event, where there is a weekend festival. During the weekend, Podgorica, usually not very party-hype place, fires up and welcomes LGBT's from all around the world, flamboyantly colouring the landscape of the city. There is still not a law that would register same-sex relationship legally, but LGBT activists in Montenegro are working hard to get there. And what is even more important, it seems like their government is more than ready to cooperate for the better of all citizens.

Since the guy scene is quite small there are just couple places LGBT and LGBT friendly bars/restaurants/places to see:

1. Berlin cafe- A bar placed in the bare centre of the city offers a range of different drinks, with a kinda alternative look to it and alternative music tone to it. It is always full of interesting queers. The adress is Njegoševa 24. It is not officially a gay place, but is seriously getting there. Check it out!

2.Buda Bar-This unique bar in central Podgorica is a hub for students, tourists and locals alike. Offering a diverse and eclectic atmosphere, Buda Bar is a memorable must-visit whilst in town. Eccentric edge was given to this place by its grand chandeliers and mismatched furniture, also place is interesting becouse of professionally mixed coctails and tented terrace placed outdoor which is great to grab a drink. The quaint mezzanine over the main bar area is an excellent spot for relaxing, people-watching, and enjoying the warm, welcoming atmosphere of this busy city center bar. Drinkers at Buda Bar can come in the early evening and stay all night In Buda Bar because of the pop music which is played until early hours as well as an eternally packed dance floor.

3. Bibliothèque- Bibliothèque is a popular bar boasting an outdoor seating area always bustling with people, especially on the weekends. This bar is located in urban area and metropolitan feel makes this place excelent for enjoying in life of capital city of Montenegro, also in this bar you can choose both local and international wines and beers, as well as coctails placed on changing coctail list. The name Bibliothèque comes from the literature-themed interior with a number of Montenegrin quotes written on walls, and books placed everywhere, on shelves, behind the bar, placed on walls, everywhere, which is great for the book lovers. With live acoustic nights presenting local artists several days a week, this is also a great venue in which to see talented bands perform.