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Budva is a coastal town on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro, located at 42°17′7″N, 18°50′37″E. The city has about 18,000 inhabitants and is the seat of the municipality of Budva. The area around the town, along the coast, known as the Budva Riviera. Riviera is the center of Montenegro's tourism, and is known for its sandy beaches and nightlife. Important tourist facilities are located within the Venetian walls of the 15th century, which surrounds the old town of Budva. The old city was badly damaged in the devastating earthquake in 1979., but was completely restored. In the vicinity of Budva is a tourist center Becici.
Budva has seen many invaders, but the city was kept the longest period by the Venetians and Austrians, who left the city at 1918..
Budva is about 3,450 years old and is one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic Sea.
Budva is considered one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic. According to legend, the founder of Budva was Cadmus, the son of the Phoenician king Agenor, ruler of Thebes, husband of Ares and Aphrodite daughter Harmony. In old age spouses were forced to leave the city. At the bullock cart (hence the name Bhutoe - oxen) came into the country of the Illyrians and mastered it. It is believed that the Cadmus and Harmonis grave is located near Epidamna, today Durres.
Rise of the large Mediterranean cultures celebrated the spirit of the city, which is still felt today, when Budva is a unique jewel of tourism in this part of the Adriatic. As a tourist destination this city is known for a long time - the first tourists came here in 1923rd year, and today it is usually called the "metropolis of tourism" as the most visited destination in Montenegro and one of the most visited in the Adriatic. What attracts people and brings them in Budva is primarily something that nature has gifted to this area, and gave him the unique beauty of sun, sea and pearly beach at the foot of the great mountains.
Panorama of the Budva Riviera are spread picturesque natural beauty which gives to the cities of this part of the coast an unique charm. There is:
Great value Budva is its cultural and historical heritage: numerous monuments, ruins, fortresses, monasteries and churches.
The Old Town in Budva has many different tales and stories of its origin. Scholars and historians believe it to have originally been an island, which later joined the shore to form a sand isthmus. The Old Town, along with the city of Budva was said to have been discovered by a Greek sailor by the name of Boutoua. Eventually the Roman Empire took over the whole Montenegrin coast influencing it greatly.
Much of the architecture in the Old Town is of Venetian design. Doors, hinges, windows, balconies and many other small but noticeable things seem to hold the Roman style of the Republic of Venice. There are also three main churches in the old town. The first is St. Ivan's which was built in the 7th century, second St. Mary's of Punta dating from 840 and the third, The Holy Trinity, which was built in 1804. The venetian walls of the Old town are a famous tourist attraction.
The Old Town is also famous for the earthquakes it suffered in 1979, where the whole town had to be rebuilt; it took eight years (until 1987) for it to be finished.
Budva is the capital of Montenegrin tourism. With over 550,000 guests in the 2010 summer season, it is by far the most popular tourist destination in Montenegro.
Because of sandy beaches in and around Budva which stretch for 11,310 m (37,106.30 ft) as well as its vast cultural heritage, architecture, and vibrant nightlife the city is increasingly turning into the most attractive tourist destination in Montenegro.
Budva's most famous beach is Mogren. Nestled in-between several large cliffs it can be reached by a 500 m (1,640.42 ft) pathway from Budva's Old town. Other beaches within official city boundaries include Ričardova glava (Richard's Head), Pizana, Slovenska plaža. Many other beaches are located just outside of Budva in smaller adjacent towns and villages such as Bečići, Jaz, Trsteno, Maestral, Miločer, Sveti Stefan, Pržno, Kamenovo, Ploče, Crvena Glavica, Drobni Pijesak, Kraljičina plaža, Kraljeva plaža.
Outside the old town, Budva does not offer many historical sights. Instead, much of the city consists of new age Mediterranean-style buildings, or private lowrise dwellings. During the turbulent 1990s, Budva grew and expanded without any form of urban planning, which resulted in parts of town featuring narrow streets and numerous cul-de-sacs. This is the reason of major traffic jams during the summer season.
In the close vicinity of Budva there are exclusive resorts such as town-hotel Sveti Stefan and Miločer, places frequented by various celebrities as well as local businessmen and politicians.
There are a few notable drawbacks in development of tourism in Budva. The biggest is inadequate infrastructure of the town. The most quoted problem in Budva, as in all of the Montenegrin coast, is a shortage of tap water. Scarse watersheds around Budva became completely inadequate for the growing town in the early 2000s, so taps in Budva become dry during daytime for most of the summer months. Recently, as the number of tourists at peak times reach 100,000 in Budva, electricity shortages also became commonplace.
The other serious problem is traffic and parking in and around Budva. As most of the beaches are located around Budva, tourists returning from beaches in the afternoon usually jam the roads along the coast, so the trip from Sveti Stefan to Budva, some 10 km (6.2 mi), takes around an hour.
Car parking is also a major problem. Increasing number of tourists are coming to Budva with their own car, so there is overwhelming demand for parking space around the town center. Sometimes one has to wait in line to get a space on a parking lot up to an hour.
Hotels are usually spared these problems, as they have privileges when it comes to water and electricity supply.