Scenery from the Belgrade-Bar train
 

Spectacular scenery from the Belgrade-Bar train.  See route map.

From the Serbian capital to Montenegro's Adriatic coast by train...

The journey from Belgrade to Podgorica and Bar in Montenegro over the celebrated Belgrade to Bar railway is one of Europe's most spectacular train rides, and one of my favourites.  It's a marvel of engineering, with 254 tunnels and 435 bridges on the 296-mile journey from the Serbian capital to the Adriatic.  Construction of the line started in the 1950s but only completed in 1976, opened by President Tito himself.  Yet it costs only €21 - watch the video below and you can see it'll be amongst the best €21 you'll ever spend.   There's more detailed & historical information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgrade-Bar_railway.

  Train times

  How much does it cost?

  How to buy tickets

  What are the trains like?  

 

  Watch the video!

  An illustrated account of the journey

  London to Belgrade by train

  London to Bar by train & ferry

Train times...

 Belgrade ► Bar

 

 Bar ► Belgrade

Train name:

Tara

Lovcen

Train name:

Tara

Lovcen

 Belgrade main station depart:

09:10

21:10

 Bar depart:

07:10

19:00

 Bijelo Polje depart:

18:06

05:52

 Podgorica depart:

08:10

20:10

 Podgorica arrive:

20:09

07:55

 Bijelo Polje depart:

10:45

22:43

 Bar arrive:

21:10

09:02

 Belgrade main station arrive:

19:13

07:06

Read downwards, trains run every day all year round.

Tara = daytime train, 2nd class only usually with cafe-bar, see photos below.

Lovcen = sleeper train with 6-berth couchettes, 4-berth couchettes and 1, 2 & 3 bed sleepers with washbasin, see photos below.

You can easily check these times, and times for intermediate stations using the all-Europe journey planner at www.bahn.de.

The best mountain scenery is within Montenegro, between Bijelo Polje & Bar.  So the southbound sleeper train Lovcen is a good train to take as it'll be light in the morning.  The southbound Tara covers the best sections in darkness during winter.  The northbound day train is best for scenery all year round, the northbound sleeper train is also good in summer when it's light.

>>>>>>>  IMPORTANT UPDATE 2017:  <<<<<<<<<<

Engineering work to renovate & speed up the line is happening in 2017.  The night train Lovcen is cancelled until 1 July 2017.  They day train Tara will run, but passengers will be conveyed by bus rather than train for the first 68 km of the journey between Belgrade & Lajkovac.  <<<<<<<<

How much does it cost?  How to buy tickets?

Watch the video:  A journey from Bar to Belgrade by train...

A video guide to the scenery from Bar to Belgrade.  Be warned, the video features the 'Uh-oh we've hit a horse' incident about 00:02:40 in.

A ride on the famous Belgrade to Bar line...

For the best scenery you should try and sit on the right hand side of the train going south, or the left hand side going North.  This quite possibly means ignoring your reserved seat on a theoretically all-reserved train, but nobody seems to mind about seat reservations anyway.  It's 296 miles from Belgrade to Bar, over a line started in the 1950s but only completed in 1976.  It's a marvel of engineering, with 254 tunnels and 435 bridges between the Serbian capital and the Adriatic.  For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgrade-Bar_railway See route map of locations mentioned below.

Belgrade railway station   Belgrade railway station

1.  The train leaves from Belgrade's historic main station, built in 1884.  See Wikipedia entry See map of Belgrade showing stationStation information.

Locomotives that once pulled Tito's train   Uzice station

2.  The train heads south from Belgrade across the plains - just south of Topcider station, watch on the right for the shed in which Marshall Tito's deluxe private train is kept, followed by a yard of rusting graffiti-covered diesels that used to haul it.

 

3.  After Valjevo the hills begin...  The train calls at Užice (above), where in 1941 the 'Republic of Užice' was celebrated as the first territory liberated from the enemy, a small enclave liberated by Tito & the partisans, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Užice 

Scenery between Belgrade & the Montenegrin border

 4.  In the hills...  Shortly after emerging from the 6km-long Zlatibor Tunnel, the train meanders into Bosnia for some 9km, although there are no stops or border formalities so you probably won't notice!

Lim River, seen from the Belgrade to Bar line   By train from Belgrade to Bar

5.  You'll see the Potpec dam on the Lim River to the right of the train and the little monastery alongside the station at Vrbnica on the left hand side... 

Bijelo Polje, the Montenegro border station   The mountains get spectacular!

6.  The train crosses from Serbia to Montenegro with a Serbian passport check at Prijepolje then a Montenegrin passport check at Bijelo Polje (pictured above left). 

High in the mountains of Montenegro

7.  The scenery now becomes truly spectacular.  The summit is reached soon after Kolašin, at over 1,000m above sea level.

More mountain scenery   Mountain scenery on the Belgrade-Bar Railway

8.  The line then descends steeply towards Podgorica.  See the video to appreciate this section!

The Mala Rijeka viaduct

9.  The train emerges from a short tunnel and crosses the breathtaking Mala Rijeka viaduct.  Until 2001 this was the highest railway bridge in the world, 200m or 660' above the Mala Rijeka river.  You can see what it's like to cross the viaduct in the video.  After the viaduct the line swings sharply to the right along the valley wall, with fabulous views back towards the viaduct on the right-hand side of the train, in between a series of short tunnels.  The photo above was taken from the train just south of the viaduct.

Scenery between Kolasin and Podgorica

10.  The descent...

Podgorica station

11.  Podgorica station...

Lake Skara seen from the northbound day train to Belgrade

12.  Between Podgorica & Bar, the train crosses the beautiful Lake Skadar, passing the ruined Lesendro fortress of 1843...

The Adriatic, seen from the train leaving Bar

13.  In the last few miles to Bar, the train runs along the Adriatic...

Bar station in Montenegro   Train to Belgrade at Bar

14.  Bar station...

 

The northbound Tara about to leave Bar...

The Belgrade-Bar daytime train Tara...

Seats on the Belgrade to Bar train   Bar car on the Belgrade to Bar train

The daytime train consists of a motley assortment of carriages, mostly Serbian, 2nd class only.  You may find some 1st class carriages used as 2nd class.  There's usually a cafe-bar selling tea, coffee and snacks, but it's always a good idea to take some supplies of your own.

The Belgrade-Bar sleeper train Lovcen...

Sleeper train from Belgrade arrived at  Bar station   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper on the night train from Belgrade to Bar

The sleeper train Lovcen has (1) two second-hand sleeping-cars bought from France, with 1-bed, 2-bed & 3-bed compartments with washbasin (pictured above right, set up as a 3-berth), (2) Montenegrin 6-berth couchettes (second-hand German), (3) a Serbian first class 4-berth couchette car and (4) ordinary seats.  Above left, the two Montenegrin sleeping-cars and one couchette car of the Lovcen arrived at Bar station.

2nd hand French sleeping-car on Belgrade to Bar night train   4-berth couchettes, Belgrade to Bar night train   6-berth couchettes, Belgrade to Bar night train

The Lovcen arrived in Belgrade...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

6-berth couchettes


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