Podgorica is the capital and largest city of Montenegro. Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement. The city is close to winter ski centres in the north and seaside resorts on the Adriatic Sea.
From the 5th century, with the arrival of the first Slavic and Avar tribes and the beginning of the break-up of the Roman Empire, the area bore witness to many noteworthy events. With time, the fortifications ceased their function and new towns were built. Slavic groups in the area were in constant war with Byzantium and tended to establish a new state. The result was establishment of a new settlement that was probably named after the river Ribnica on whose banks it was built. The first mention of Ribnica is during the rule of the Serbian royal family of the Nemanjići. The importance of Ribnica was its position as crossroads in communications with the west. In occupying these areas, the Slavs created a new state and developed their own culture and art, acceptable to the mediaeval church and feudal class.
The Ottoman capture of Podgorica in 1474 interrupted its economic, cultural and artistic development. Podgorica became a kaza of the Sanjak of Scutari in 1479. The Ottomans built a large fortress in Podgorica and the existing settlement, with its highly developed merchant connections, became the main Ottoman defensive and attacking bastion in the region. At the beginning of 1474 there were informations about intention of Ottoman sultan to rebuild Podgorica and Baleč and settle them with 5,000 Turkish families in order to establish an additional obstacle for cooperation of Principality of Zeta and Venetian Shkodër. The fortified city, with towers, gates and defensive ramparts, enabled the Ottomans to resist all attacks. In 1864, Podgorica became a kaza of the Scutari Vilayet called Böğürtlen 'blackberry'. It was also known Burguriçe in Albanian.
The Berlin Congress in 1878 annexed Podgorica to Montenegro, marking the end of four centuries of Ottoman rule, and the beginning of a new era in the development of Podgorica and Montenegro. The city developed quickly and became a strong marketplace. The first forms of capital concentration were seen. In 1904, Zetska savings bank, the first significant financial institution, was formed. It would soon grow into Podgorička bank. Roads were built to all neighbouring towns and, in 1902, a tobacco plant became Podgorica's first significant commercial company.
Podgorica suffered heavily during World War II; the city was bombed over 70 times throughout the course of the war and razed to the ground, causing the deaths of over 4,100 people. The city was liberated on 19 December 1944. Under the name of Titograd, the city became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro on 13 July 1946. A period of unprecedented expansion followed, which marked the SFRY era: the population increased dramatically, the city was heavily industrialized, infrastructure was improved, and health, educational, and cultural institutions were founded. The city rapidly became the commercial, socio-economic and cultural centre of the country. The progress halted again when the break-up of SFRY began in the 1990s. The name of Podgorica was reinstated on 2 April 1992.
The destructive Yugoslav wars bypassed Montenegro, but the entire country was greatly affected economically. A period of severe economic stagnation lasted throughout the 1990s. The economy began to recover in the early years of the 21st century, when Podgorica began to emerge as a modern, pro-western city. Following the successful independence referendum in May 2006, Podgorica became the official capital of an independent state, boosting its status as a regional centre and raising its economic prospects.
The currency in Montenegro is the Euro (€). ATMs are widespread in the city center and the new part of town. Upscale shops and restaurants will usually accept any major credit or debit cards.
Streets in the center of Podgorica are filled with boutiques, yet, one should be aware counterfeited clothes of world famous brands. Most of the premium clothing brands have their stores in new part of the city, chiefly Vectra-Maxim neighborhoods. The prices are on par with those in the region. There are a few shopping malls in Podgorica, most notably Delta City, a 48,000 sqm mall with over 70 stores, food court and a multiplex cinema, and Mall of Montenegro. There are also smaller malls, such as Palada andNikić Center.
- The Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is a cathedral of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The shrine is dedicated to the Resurrection of the Christ and it represents the largest Orthodox Christian shrine in Montenegro. It is located in part of Podgorica called Momišići. The construction of the Shrine begun in 1993 and it is still in progress. The founding stone was laid by the Russian patriarch Aleksey. The impressive architectural structure is dominated by golden crosses, which were a present and a donation from Russia.
- Trg Republike or Square of the Republic is the central town square of Podgorica. It is located in Nova Varoš (New Town), the administrative, as well as socio-cultural heart of the city. The city library "Radosav Ljumović" is located on the square, as well as the state gallery "Art". The square is bordered by Ulica Slobode (Freedom street) to the east, and Njegoševa ulica (Njegoš's street) to the west. Both Njegoševa and Slobode street are newly-renovated pedestrian zones - with Ulica Slobode also being a popular shopping street. Bokeška andVučedolska street create the square's northern and southern borders, respectively. A pedestrian passage connects the Republic Square to Podgorica's City Hall and the Montenegrin National Theatre building. Trg Republike was until 2006 known as Trg Ivana Milutinovića (Ivan Milutinović square) - a famous Montenegrin communist politician, military general and national hero. In 2006, the year of the Montenegrin independence, the square underwent a massive reconstruction. It was widened, paved, a big central fountain was constructed and the area was turned into a car-free zone. The square was decorated with colonnades, palm trees and water channels. The whole project cost around 2.5 million Euros. In late 2011 and early 2012, the square was the site of a series of anti-government protests, organized by several Montenegrin NGOs. The largest event occurred on March 18, 2012, with an estimated attendance of 20.000 people, according to the organizers (7.000 people, according to the Montenegrin police). The events were popularly dubbed the Montenegrin Spring by the media.
- The Millennium Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Morača River. The bridge was designed by the Slovenian company Ponting and Mladen Ulićević, a professor at Faculty of Civil Engineering in Podgorica. It was built by the Slovenian company Primorje, and opened on July 13, 2005, Montenegro's National Day. It quickly became one of the city's most prominent landmarks. The bridge is 140 metres long, and the pylon soars 57 m above the roadbed. Twelve cables support the roadway deck, while twenty-four more are attached to the counterweights, creating an imposing image. The construction of the bridge began in 2005, and the building cost was approximately 7 million euros. The roadway carries two lanes of traffic and a pedestrian walkway in each direction. The bridge connects the Boulevard of Ivan Crnojević in the city centre and July 13 street in the new part of city, thus relieving the other congested bridges connecting the city center with the densely populated districts over the Morača river.
- The Old Mosque Of Skender Čauš This mosque was built by Skender Čauš in the late 15th century. With the fortress mosque above the estuary of Ribnica and Morača named Mehmed Han’s Mosques, this was the only mosque in the Old City until 1582. It has been rebuilt many times. Major expansions took place in 1985. Mosque courtyard contains headquarters of the Islamic Community Board for Podgorica and Mešihat (highest religious and administrative organ) of Islamic Community in Montenegro.