Ulcinj is an old pirate town built in the 16th century. Its quaint charm and picturesque beaches are perfect for a few days escape.
If you’re venturing to Ulcinj then look no further than Hostel Pirate! We were recommended this hostel by various people we met in the days leading up to our arrival in Ulcinj, and for good reason. Hostel Pirate is situated close to the centre of Ulcinj and an easy walk from the bus station. It has large rooms and its interior is adorably pirate themed, but what really makes this place stand out is the atmosphere. The staff go above and beyond to make sure you’re stay is fun which gives the whole place a friendly and welcoming atmosphere! Learn the hostels famous card games, chill out with a movie all together or get rowdy with the free beer from 9-12. Yep. Free beer.
You’ll be in good hands as soon as you arrive. The staff give will equip you with a map and a wealth of information about the area to ensure your stay is epic. Also, if you book directly through the hostel and mention The Balkan Backpackers they’ll give you a generous 10% off!
5 minutes walking from the Hostel you can find a large supermarket and a well stocked fruit and vegetable market. Beware of one of the ladies selling her produce, she is super friendly and lovely but she will try to add a lot of extra items for you. This whole experience is greatly enjoyable though, trying to communicate in Montenegrin that you only want 1 apple, not 5 apples, 4 zucchinis and everything else she wants to show you!
Hostel Pirate has a great kitchen so I’d recommend cooking up a feast for yourself to help keep costs low.
If you want to eat out, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes lining the main street of Ulcinj. The old town also houses amazing restaurants, although these will come with an increased price tag. We were recommended to eat at Fisherman Hari, a local family run restaurant serving delicious freshly caught seafood with a delightful sunset view over the ocean.
Want to save some money? (don’t we all!) By staying at Hostel Pirate you’ll be ready to go with FREE BEER (again.. yes. Free beer). This awesome freebie is offered from 9pm-12am every night of the week. This concept is great because one, free beer, and two, it gets everyone together and creates a fun atmosphere at the hostel. The party is at your doorstep! If you want to get a bit of shut eye don’t stress though, the staff ensure that the party is contained to one area after 12am.
If beer isn’t your thing, I’d recommend picking up a bottle of local wine at the supermarket. If you’re not too picky with your grape varieties you can get a nice bottle wine for approximately $3-5 AUD. My favourite local wine is Vfranc which is cheap and comes in a 1 litre bottle, because 750ml obviously isn’t enough.
Head to Sunset Beach Bar if you feel like a cheeky beverage while watching the sun set over the ocean (west coast always = best coast). A half litre of beer (to share or hey, have alone, I ain’t judging) will cost you about $5, which I’d is a pretty good deal!
My favourite activity in Ulcinj was visiting the female only (sorry guys) nude beach. There’s just something so liberating about being naked in public. How often do you get naked around other people without it being a sexual experience? Never! Well unless that’s your thing, but I’m fairly certain public nudity is illegal in most places.
Anyway, the beach costs 2 Euro’s to enter and 3 Euro’s for a sun bed to lounge on and soak up that sun without the hassle of tan lines. Of course you don’t need to strip down to your birthday suit if this isn’t your thing, but you’ll see dozens of local women of all ages, shapes and sizes in all their naked glory, so you’ll probably feel like the odd one out. Why not just try to forget all of those preposterous body insecurities and let all your lovely lady lumps (thanks Fergie) bask in the sunlight! Plus, while I’ve never encountered any uncomfortable moments at a mixed nude beach, the fact that it is female only gives a bit of peace of mind that you won’t have to worry about an unwanted male gaze.
If seeing people naked isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other beaches to choose from. Try Lamong 2. Like most places in Europe though a bed here will set you back 5 Euro.
If you fancy a little stroll, about 20-30 minutes walking from the hostel you will find olive trees. I’m not talking about a few olive trees. I’m talking almost 20 THOUSAND. Guys, I did the math, and that’s a lot of olives. The tale behind why there’s so many olive trees, is that back in ye’ olden days when a man wanted to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage he had to plant 10 olive trees. Why? Who knows, but it’s still a fun fact and a beautiful walk!
For sunset, head to the nearby salt flats. Grab a map from the hostel and see if you can spot some of the flamingos that have been known to peruse the area. Don’t worry If you don’t find any though, there’s still 250 different types of birds in the area you can try to spot. Just remember to bring some old shoes as it is muddy!
Want a fun day trip on the water? Hostel Pirate runs a boat cruise most days (depending on weather) from 10am that’ll take a small group of you out on the sea! You can go cliff jumping, sail around the bay and check out a scheduled beach far from all the other tourists. This is the best way to get to know the other travelers staying in the hostel (new friends yay!). It’ll also allow you to check out the spots in Ulcinj you’d otherwise miss out on, like Valbanos beach where pirates supposedly hid their ships. Who knows, maybe you could find some buried treasure..
Been to Ulcinj? What did you enjoy doing? We’d love to hear from you, hit us up on Instagram with your thoughts!