IF YOU want a European holiday with warm weather and cheap food and drink, we've found a great pocket-friendly holiday destination just a few hours from the UK.
And with cheap flights and hotels, it won't break the bank this summer either.
While millions of Brits flock to the Algarve in Portugal and the Costa Del Sol in Spain, Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro, is one of Skyscanner's trending destinations this year.
The capital's popularity has been on the rise in recent years and searches for the destination have soared in recent weeks.
A spokesperson from Skyscanner told Sun Online Travel: "We’ve seen a significant upsurge over the past year with a 381% increase in searches to the capital since April 2022."
Montenegro was also named one of the cheapest lesser-known destinations for Brits to visit, according to research from Love Holidays.
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Set in Central Montenegro, the capital city of Podgorica is surrounded by breathtaking mountains with direct flights from the UK.
Both Wizz Air and Ryanair operate direct flights from London to Podgorica for £40 each way.
Passengers can also board indirect flights from Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Manchester but cost a lot more.
With a flight time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, holidaymakers will arrive in the capital in less time than it takes to get to Athens in Greece and Sicily in Italy.
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Food and drink is cheap too, with a bottle of beer costing £1.
A meal out at a mid-range restaurant will cost £15, while street food such as a Montenegrin burger can be snapped up for as little as £3.
When booking a trip, the best time to visit Podgorica is between May to July with highs of 32C in the capital.
Hotels are extremely affordable too with a night at Hotel Podgorica, a four-star hotel, costing as little as £66 per night per person.
Despite these bargain luxury stays, holidaymakers can also book to stay in a budget double room for £37.50 per night per person.
Beds in hostel dorms and single rooms in apartments can be purchased for as little as £12.
What is there to do in Podgorica?
There's plenty to do in the capital of Montenegro too.
To delve into the country's history, head to the Podgorica clock tower, which is one of the few remaining landmarks from the Ottoman Empire in the capital.
There's also the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, which opened to the public in 2013 after taking twenty years to build.
Meanwhile, other holidaymakers go on architecture and street art tours.
But many of Podgorica's top attractions lie outside of the city in its surrounding natural areas.
Lake Skadar is a stone's throw from the capital and lies on the border between Montenegro and Albania.
Buses run from Podgorica central station to Virpazar (the main town on the lake) daily.
Once on the lake, tourists are spoilt for choice.
Boat cruises give holidaymakers the chance to see wildlife, there's also kayaking on the lake too.
On the ground, visitors can go hiking, visit wineries and explore old fortresses too.
For those people who are less adventurous, sunbathing is also another option on the lake too.
Meanwhile, the Moraca River is a twenty-minute drive north of Podgorica and where many locals head to spend an afternoon at the "beach" because there's a bar, deckchairs, and sun umbrellas.
There are also some waterfalls in the canyon of the Cijevna River, which is to the east of the city.
What else is there to do in Montenegro?
Montenegro is well-known for its beaches, but these are a 90-minute drive away from the capital.
Holidaymakers who are after a beach break in Montenegro would do well to base themselves in Budva on the country's coast.
There you'll find yourself spoilt for choice with the likes of Morgen Beach, Jaz Beach, and Becici Beach all nearby.
Just over 10km away from Budva is Sveti Stefan Beach, which was made famous by Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Elizabeth Taylor.
Slightly further north, there's also Kotor which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
What else do I need to know about Podgorica?
The local languages in Podgorica include Montenegrin and Albanian although people may speak English in tourist areas.
Montenegro is currently 1 hour ahead of the UK.
The local currency is the Euro with £1 getting around 88 cents.
While Brits don't need to prove their Covid vaccination status to enter Montenegro, anyone who tests positive while on holiday will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for five days.
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Brits can stay in Montenegro for up to 90 days without a visa.
However, your passport must have at least three months left after the day you plan to leave.
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