After our full group reconvened on the bus, we made our way to Budva. Budva is supposedly the place that the casino from Casino Royale is located but from my understanding, it’s not true. That being said, you will find a Casino Royale there in Budva that uses the movie as its claim to fame. That being said, we pulled up to Budva and it was by far one of the most interesting cities I’ve seen so far.
The city has a lot of money from Russia and you can see the influence from the money in the architecture which proves to be a crazy contrast to the rest of the city. You have the standard Old Town which contains old cobble stone roads and stone buildings surrounded by the wall and water. Then there are super modern buildings and in between you’ll find buildings that look like they came right out of the 80s.
Our bus parked by a giant building that looked like it belonged in Miami Beach in the 80s and then we began walking along the water to Old Town. Our guide recommended that we eat in Budva because there were more options. Along the coastline are a bunch of restaurants that you can check out and look out over the coast from the decks. There were definitely significantly more options around Budva than in Kotor. I think with it being more of a destination for people with money, the holiday season doesn’t affect the businesses as much and things are actually open during the winter season.
Most of the tour group decided to go grab food and I decided to head straight for Old Town. I wanted to make sure I could do all my tourist things before sitting down to eat, and I knew that I could always just buy food and eat it on the go. I wandered Old Town and to be honest, it was actually significantly smaller than Kotor and so I was done with it after about 20 minutes. I even climbed the wall and looked out over the coastline and contemplated life, or at least I pretended to but really my stomach was starting to grumble and I needed to get food.
So I started back toward the restaurants that the guide had recommended and decided to stop at a seafood place. I walked into the restaurant and immediately turned around and walked out. The instant you walked in there, you could feel the cigarette smoke consume you and I personally do not do well with smoke. So I decided to check out a few more restaurants along the water but their menus weren’t interesting or they weren’t open. I eventually found myself inside of the gates of Old Town again and I saw an Italian restaurant that sounded delicious so I went there and walked in, only to turn back around again because yet again, people could smoke inside.
I ended up leaving Old Town and walking to a few of the hotels on the other side of the wall in search of a grocery store and/or a hotel with a restaurant that wouldn’t have people smoking inside. Sadly enough, all the hotels allowed smoking where the restaurants are and when I finally stumbled up on a grocery store, they didn’t have any prepackaged foods that I could grab and go. So I was without food after about an hour of hunting.
So I went back to Old Town, found a pizza stand and grabbed a slice of folded up pizza (also known as a pizza wrap) and made my way back to the coastline.
To be honest, there isn’t much to see in Budva. I’m sure it’s a beautiful city but it didn’t feel that great to me. While it was super interesting architecturally, it wasn’t that eventful for me. I think that most people actually go there to gamble more so than anything else, but we obviously didn’t have enough time for that. I eventually, found myself at a little market where I roamed the stands and then eventually made my way back to the bus to get ready for the drive back to Dubrovnik.