Set in the Moraca region of Montenegro, Kolasin is a gem for any traveler taking the Belgrade to Bar express railway route. Cushioned between the Bjelasica and Sinjajevina mountains, Kolasin is a quaint little town with plenty of bars, restaurants and a ski slope a taxi ride away.
It is an incredibly cheap area, by European standards, at around one euro per half liter of beer and around three euro for a cheap main course. We stayed in Seju rooms with a wonderful hostess who refused payment until the moment we left. All the local people were this trusting and kind. Sat in a bar, the barman will bring over beers purchased by someone or other, who bought it just to be kind, not for a conversation, one back or recognition. Even the barman bought us a round out of the kindness of his heart. We spent two days here and we absolutely fell in love with it.
On our first day we walked around the afternoon and mostly hit the bars, which are cozy and warm, but the real beauty of this place is hidden in the mountains. Climbing a mountain after breakfast was a great way to wake up, especially as the only footsteps in the snow belonged to us, following our breadcrumbs back down after the easy climb to the top. The entire day was fantastic. We had free beers at two bars, bought by locals for no reason whatsoever, just to be kind. Montenegrin people are awesome, cheerful and accommodating. It seemed we were the only travelers, apart from Russian skiers. There is a nice church to visit and walks in every direction. We strolled around the town and took in some of the sights of the lovely buildings and homes people have built here. On one mountain walk we came across a man cutting down trees for firewood, then later and old man just wandering around in the wilderness. I can truly imagine a fulfilled and simple life here, enjoying the pleasure and simplicity of nature. Continuing in true form, we drank the entire evening away, all in local bars. Leaving the next afternoon was heartbreaking, it felt like leaving home for the first time when we set off traveling. The little village square with its central fountain and Christmas market. The spectacular views in every direction and the bustling of skiers preparing for a big day ahead of them. Kolasin is a must in Montenegro, if you take the express, make a stop here.
Places to eat
Our favourite restaurant was Slavija. The owner was really nice and it was cheap.We paid seven euro’s for a 3 course meal each. They don’t know a difference between starters or main dishes. Consider this when you order because everything will be randomly placed on the table, which we thought was nice.
There is only one place where you can have breakfast. We do not know why but apparantly the Montenegrin people are not keen on breakfast. You can have coffee everywhere but food we could only find in Planin Jelovnik. The people who work here were not that friendly, but hey, we found cheap breakfast!
Things to do
There are not many travelers here, which makes it a really nice quiet place. The tourists who come here are mostly Russian people for winter sports. There are a lot of mountains and it is cheap to ski. We are not into winter sports, but we went for a hike up a mountain. We went to the top of the Bablja Greda mountain which was incredible. This took us two hours, I think. We spent some time at the top, with this incredible view, and then two hours back. When we were back in the city we had a walk in the little centre and moved from bar to bar, until it was time to get dinner at Slavija.
The second day we went to a castle and to the botanical gardens. The botanical gardens are at this guys home. Unfortunately, it was closed because it was winter. We will certainly come back when it is summer and check out the national park and botanical gardens. We will miss the small quiet place with the kindest people we met so far on our travels.