Budva (Montenegrin: Будва, Budva, or) is a Montenegrin town on the Adriatic Sea. It has around 14,000 inhabitants, and it is the centre of Budva Municipality. The coastal area around Budva, called the Budva riviera, is the center of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife. Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast.
There is vast archaeological evidence that places Budva among the oldest urban settlements of the Adriatic coast. Substantial documentary evidence provides historical references dating back to the 5th century BC.
Greek colonization of Adriatic begins in 4th century BC, when Emporium was established on the site of Budva. In the 2nd century BC, the area of Budva became part of the Roman Empire. Upon the fall of the Empire and its division into east and west, the defensive barrier which separated the two powers happened to run across this area, subsequently making a lasting impact on the history and culture of this town.
In the 6th century, Budva was part of the Byzantine Empire, and in the following two centuries, Slavs and, to a lesser extent, Avars begin to arrive in the area, mixing with the native Roman population. Budva bay was reportedly known as Avarorum sinus during the Avar incursions. In 841, Budva was sacked by Saracens, who devastated the area.
With the fall of Republic of Venice in 1797, Budva came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy. During the Napoleonic Wars, Montenegrin forces allied with Russia took control over the city in 1806, only to relinquish the city to France in 1807. French rule lasted until 1813, when Budva (along with Boka Kotorska) was ceded to the Austrian Empire, which remained in control of the city for the next 100 years.
A union of Boka Kotorska (and Budva) with Montenegro took place for a brief period (1813–1814), but from 1814 until the end of World War I in 1918, Budva remained under Austria-Hungary. After WWI, Serbian army entered Budva abandoned by Austrian forces and it came under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
In 1941, with the beginning of World War II, Budva was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy. Budva was finally liberated from Axis rule on 22 November 1944 and incorporated in SR Montenegro, now part of SFR Yugoslavia.
A catastrophic earthquake struck Budva on 15 April 1979. Much of old town was devastated, but today there is little evidence of the catastrophe – almost all the buildings were restored to their original form.
Montenegro became an independent country in 2006, with Budva as its primary tourist destination.