Hippo Hostel 2006 -2012


For a number of years this was the Hippo Hostels website. 2012 marked the seventh year of the Hippo and following in the tradition of its founders, Dave and Nadya, Giacomo, the newest owner, set out to change the hostel to make it a better, safer, cheaper place to stay for 2-15 nights. Unfortunately a year later this notice appeared on the website:

Content is from the site's 2006-2012 archived pages.

Whether the Hippo Hostel is presently open in 2018 is questionable, although there are several online booking sites that mention it, such as www.hostelio.com/montenegro/budva/.







Budva, the eastern Adriactic's oldest town, features Montenegro's best beaches and nightlife. And, it's right in the middle of the Montenegrin coast, so everything is a short day trip--from the old towns of Kotor and Ulcinj to the snow-covered mountain peaks of Biogradska Gora.

Why Hippo Hostel?

We offer you an oasis in Budva where you can kickback and enjoy yourself – with a large green garden, BBQ and patio seating area our guests can enjoy Budva’s many beaches by day (just 400m away), socialise outdoors with a BBQ in the evening and then head into the hustle and bustle of Budva’s beach front bars and Venetian Old Town by night.

Our neighbourhood is set back from the noise and crowds of old town and the beach strip and our many long staying guests find our homely and relaxed atmosphere is exactly what they've been looking for.

FREE Breakfast & More!

Every morning you get a FREE breakfast of tea, coffee, juices, cornflakes, chocolate spread and bread

All guests can make use of our big fully equipped kitchen, BBQ anytime you wish or eat out at a number of cheap local restaurants. There is a small market 15 meters from the entrance to the hostel.

All Hippo guests receive:

  • Free breakfast
  • A free welcome beer, glass of wine, or shot
  • Free internet
  • Free lockers

Hippo Hostel Facilities:

  • Two outdoor patios for eating, talking, BBQing, and drinking the night away
  • Big kitchen with a full-size cooker and refrigerator
  • Big common room with a 29" TV, DVD player, original 1985 Nintendo with Super Mario, Double Dragon and more
  • World's largest hostel DVD collection* with more than 250 titles
  • Bike rentals

* not independently verified





  • Serbia: take the bus or train.
    Buses from Belgrade arrive at the Budva bus station. When travelling by train, it's fastest to get off at Podgorica and transfer to a bus. For the best scenery, go to Bar and take a bus from there. It's about 45 minutes longer in total. Trains always arrive 2 hours after the stated arrival time.
  • Croatia: take the bus. There is at least one every day. You are encouraged to take a morning bus as the night bus often arrives as late as 2:00AM due to long delays on the Croatian border.
  • Albania: there are frequent buses from Durres, Tirana and Shkoder but no set schedule that we are aware of.


Hippo Hostel is a 20 minute walk from the Budva bus station. 

If you prefer, you can take a taxi for 3 Euros. Make sure the taxi meter starts at 1 Euro and not 3 Euros. Most taxi drivers know us by name but if they seem really confused, tell them to take you to market 'DMD Mijovic' (we are opposite).

The Budva bus station has direct buses to and from Dubrovnik, Split, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Mostar, Bar and Podgorica.







A Hippo can be a very big and dangerous animal but Hippo Hostel is a very small and friendly place.

You can choose between a dorm (there are two rooms for 6-8 people and a room for 4), or a private room (2 separate rooms for 2 people). All have shared bathrooms. The Hippo's maximum capacity is 24 people, so you'll know all the people you're staying with and will definitely have lots of fun.

Ok, where were we? Oh yes, prices. The prices vary depending on a season and amount of people. So here they are:

Dorm Room
Private Room
July #


# Prices are 2 euros more from July 8-10.

If you equal the record for the longest stay, the record breaking night is free. We wish you good luck.

And as we like to say: "You don't pay for your bed. You pay for the ambiance and the bed is free."



Dorm Room
(per person)
Private Room
(total per room)
July (2 night minimum)
Aug (2 night minimum)







The tale of the Hippo is in fact that of its founders/managers, Nadya and Dave.

Dave--itinerant, restless, bold, American--left the sanctuary of California's bay area for Moscow in the winter of 2004. (You're probably not the first to wonder why someone would ever do that. Your trustworthy narrator bears first-hand experience of the unforgiving chill concurrent with such a wintry hell, and he assures you it's no cup of coffee.) Here, taking upon himself the mantle of English teacher, Dave tooth-and-nailed his way through a series of women, knowing that the perfect one did in fact exist, if she would but choose to saunter through his heart's saloon-style swinging doors--enter our more gracious half.

Nadya--free-spirited, vivacious, eminently likeable, Russian--was working at the reception of the English language center where Dave found employment. Few who were there will ever forget the gust that filled the room when these kids met. Our heroine stole the knight's heart and soul; meeting the two of them you shall immediately and fully understand why.

Thorn Tree forum 2008

Hippo Hostel in Budva, Montenegro is for sale

hope this is the right place to post this. Forgive me if not.

This is the last year of Hippo Hostel in Budva under current ownership. That's right....we are FOR SALE...we hope the place does not die with us as it's the only hostel in the all of Montenegro and doing quite well. We just need a change.

Budva, where we are located, in the capital of Montengrin tourism. We have a 24 person capacity and are usually completely packed from the end of May to mid-September. It's possible to increase capacity by 16 beds by building a 3rd floor. There is ample common space to absorb this many more people.

Some good things about us: Lonely Planet, Bradt Guide and multiple French guide book listings; 10 minutes from the beach; great reviews on hostelbookers and hostelworld; we own the building and everything in it; ability to expand; little red tape.

We wish to sell the business and building. We could sell the business separately but do not wish to rent the building.

Let me know if you have any questions or advice about where I might better advertise this. I have no idea where to offer a hostel for sale. Thanks.



The latest chapter at the Hippo begins with its manager, Marcus. Arriving as a guest at the Hippo in April 08 and enraptured by the beauty of the mountainous terrain, the crystal blue seas of the Adriatic and the ‘rough around the edges’ charm of this colourful, unique and friendly country – he has never left.


The final chapter at the Hippo begins with its newest owner, Giacomo. Arriving as worker at the Hippo in April 2010.

His goals at Hippo are simple; get to know people from all over the world and to help them discover the gem that is Montenegro. In exchange for your embellished travel stories your host, himself an avid explorer of these lands, will gladly offer up his local wisdom.

2012 marks the seventh year of the Hippo and following in the tradition of its founders, Dave and Nadya, Giacomo has set out to change the Adriatic: to make it a better, safer, cheaper place to stay for 2-15 nights; to encourage those wishing to take their journeys a little farther down the road; to empower travellers--young and old--who've set their wandering sights on the pearl that you behold upon capturing the Balkans; to remind mankind that, yes, Montenegro is a tourism force to be miss-handled at the adventurer's peril.

I’m quite certain that you'll enjoy the hell out of life here in Budva. The weather is delightful; the food is second-to-none; the people are warm, friendly, and generous; and the experience is surpassed only by that enjoyed by the Titans of yesteryear. See you on the Adriatic; see you in Budva; see you at the Hippo.






In and Around Budva

  • Walk to the beach--it's 10 minutes from the hostel. There you can go cliff jumping, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, bungee jumping, water skiing, or just relax.
  • Stroll around Budva's Old Town founded in the 6th century BC. It's the oldest settlement in the Eastern Adriatic and Montenegro's most beautiful.
  • Walk from Sveti Stefan to Milocer where you'll find the palace of the Yugoslav King and an 18 hectare nature preserve which surrounds Montenegro's most beautiful beaches.
  • Enjoy Montenegro's best nightlife, particularly in summer where bars line the beach from Old Town to the next town.
  • Go the the many summer festivals in Budva, Kotor, Petrovac and Perast.
  • Become a PADI-certified scuba diver. The instructor can pick you up at the hostel and bring you to the dive site. Or just do a one day introduction to diving for 50 euros.

Day and Half-Day Excursions

  • Head to Kotor (a 30 minute bus ride), walk around Old Town (a UNESCO world heritage site) and hike to the fortress on top of the mountain. It's must do half-day trip.
  • Visit Perast. The Venetian era town is gorgeous but the main attractions are the two tiny islands easily accesible by taxi-boat. Facing each other, one houses an Orthodox church and the other, which is man-made, a Catholic church.
  • Ostrog Monastery: take a day trip to the monastery embedded into the side of a mountain. See the sock-wearing ghost of the monk who founded Montenegro's holiest shrine.
  • Skadar Lake: go bird watching, wine tasting and hiking at the biggest lake in the Balkans and Europe's largest bird sanctuary.
  • Biogradska Gora: one of the last 4 remaining virgin forests in Europe. At the top of the mountain range you can see glacier covered mountains stretching all the way to Albania. Even the drive there lets you see spectacular scenery. We have several pictures on the website.
  • Cetinje: visit the medieval capital high in the mountains yet just 30 minutes drive from Budva. The architecture and laid-back atmosphere are the atrractions here. Also, check out the finger of John the Baptist, one of only 12 in the world.
  • Rijeka Crnojevica is the most beautiful town in Montenegro, next to Budva, of course. Few tourists go to this ancient town which is famous for its bridge that you see on all bottles of Montenegro's Plantaze wine. Sitting near the mouth of the river that opens to Skadar, millions of lily pads along the lazy river are pure tranquility for weary travellers.
  • Dubrovnik is a spectacular 3 hour bus ride away. Leave in the morning and the bus takes you all the way around Kotor's fjord before arriving in Dubrovnik. A bus returns in the evening leaving plenty of time to see all of the Old Town.
  • Albania!!! Yes, you can do it in a day. There is a great one day tour through a local agency which has stops in Shkoder, Durres and Tirana. It's 60 euros and includes the border tax. This excursion begins in May.
  • Rafting in Tara Canyon, Europe's deepest canyon, can be done as a day trip. It includes a guide, all transport, and two meals. Done through a local tourist agency, our guests have recommended this one.

More than a Day Trip

  • Durmitor National Park is UNESCO world heritage site. Go hiking and white water rafting in Tara Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world next to the Grand Canyon in the U.S. Prove your bravery by swimming in ice cold Black Lake. The bus ride there is about 5 hours, so all but the hardest of hardcore travellers will need more than a day.




Hippo Hostel Montenegro - Great Place to stay
Pory Ireland /Jul 11, 2006

Eventually got to montenegro, spent the first night at the Hippo Hostel in Budva. Great Hostel , really comfortable beds, good kitchen, lovely garden to sit in, market accross the road. Owners Nadia and Dave speak, serbian, russian and english and gave us great advice an where to eat, what to see. They even helped us find further accommodation for 10 nights as we were looking for an appartment - as we have two kids. having stayed in many hostels over the years this hostel ( the only one in Montenegro) really gets the balance right.