If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know that I despise clichés. However, one cliche that comes to mind when I think of Montenegro is one that I think they should consider embroidering on their flag. The best things in life come in small packages. The country of Montenegro, which occupies a small portion of Southeastern Europe, is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful and underappreciated beaches, as well as some of the continent’s most stunning canyons and mountains. All of this on just 13,000 square kilometres of land! You’ve come to the right place if you’re planning a trip to Montenegro.
You should be aware of a few fundamentals.
Montenegro’s name means “Black Mountain” in its native tongue. Even though Montenegro has a lot of dark mountains, it also has some breathtaking beaches and canyons. As a result, it’s sometimes referred to as Europe’s New Zealand.
In 2006, Montenegro became one of Europe’s newest countries, becoming independent from Yugoslavia. Today, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are just some of the countries that border the country. It was once a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and then of Yugoslavia, for the better part of the last century. Citizens of Montenegro voted to break away from Serbia’s federal union in 2006, establishing Montenegro as an independent nation.
Montenegro’s transportation needs
There is no difference in visa requirements between Montenegro and the other Schengen states. Montenegro does not require a visa for citizens of countries like Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Driving in Montenegro is legal if you have a valid driver’s licence from your home state or country of citizenship. However, if you plan to rent a car, be aware that some companies may require you to have a driver’s licence from another country. Don’t forget to secure adequate travel protection.
Going on vacation in Montenegro
Montenegro’s public transportation system is significantly inferior to that of most European countries. Smaller towns have fewer transportation options than their larger counterparts. Because most towns and cities in Montenegro are so compact, locals often opt to walk rather than take public transportation. Visitors, particularly those hoping to see the countryside or smaller towns, may find this to be a problem.
Make your car rental reservation online instead of at a nearby dealership. Everything is more expensive during this time of year, including car rentals. It will cost you at least 30 euros a day if you decide to do this. If not, you can save up to 30% on your Montenegro car rental by using this link. In addition to taking a bus or a train, there are several other options.
From Bar on the coast, the train travels to Podgorica, then on to Kolasin and finally to the Serbian border. Using the train, you can travel across more than half of the country in a single day, from beautiful beaches to the most breathtaking mountains, for a fraction of the price.
The train is more comfortable and less expensive than the bus, but it can take you to more places. Keep in mind, however, that getting around in Montenegro requires navigating a lot of winding mountain roads, so planning accordingly is advised.
Tips for booking a room in Montenegro
Resorts and campgrounds can be found in Montenegro. Suto More has the most affordable lodging, while Sveti Stefan, Kotor, and Budva have the most expensive options.
In terms of tourism, Budva is known as the “Miami of the Adriatic,” while Kotor serves as the country’s historical capital. There are a lot of tourists in these areas, which means that the prices are going up.
However, one of my favourite things about Montenegro is how inexpensive day trips can be from Suto More or Kotor.
Hostels for backpackers can be found in major cities. Even in remote areas, you’ll find plenty of mountain cottages that serve up hearty meals made from the region’s freshest ingredients.
It’s another perk of Montenegro that you can camp just about anywhere you want. Camping is permitted in Montenegro almost anywhere, including along the river, in the mountains, near lakes, and the countryside.
Food in Montenegro is great!
Montenegro’s food is reasonably priced, except on the island of Sveti Stefan, where prices are astronomical. You can get a three-course meal for less than 15 euros in any other country. Tap water is safe to drink across the country except in Herceg Novi during May when the local water pipes are being cleaned, which is another way to save money.
The following are some of the most popular dishes on the menu:
corn, barley or whole wheat Kachemak, a simple but nutritious breakfast meal
Vegetables, especially those from the cabbage family are used in Rastan.
Young cow’s cheese melts in your mouth in this dish.
Japracu: a soup-based dish that includes dry meat, rice, and peppers.
Josip Broz Tito’s favourite veal/pork schnitzel steak, the Njeguski Steak.
Bizarre: a delicious red sauce-based dish made with shrimp, prawns, and other seafood.
You can’t go wrong with Isopod Saca, the Balkan version of a Sunday roast.
Be cautious if you intend to cook for yourself. It is not uncommon for vendors to try to take advantage of tourists who are unaware of the market’s hidden prices. Keep an eye out when you’re grocery shopping or just go to a well-known supermarket to avoid being overcharged or given a spoiled or older product.
Before you head to Montenegro, here are a few more things you should know.
If you’re greeted by a grumpy local, don’t take it to heart. Keeping a distance and not smiling is just part of their culture. Despite their friendly nature, Montenegrins can come across as grumpy when speaking to strangers. When your waiter asks, “What do you want?” without a smile on his face, don’t take it personally. In Montenegro, that is considered polite.
In the fall, the weather is ideal for a visit. At least, that’s what I believe. I know that it’s not the best time of year for sunbathing, but there are still a few days in September when the weather is pleasant. When there are fewer tourists around, I feel more at ease. High temperatures and a high UV index make mountain exploration difficult in the summer. Montenegro is at its most beautiful in the fall.
Tourists are taxed. The law mandates payment of a tourist tax if you’re not staying in a hotel and instead are renting a private apartment. Taxes on tourists vary by city, but they never go above one euro per day. People who did not register with the government, however, had no issues when they left the country. This means that if the border patrol officials are being too suspicious, you may be able to get away with not paying the tourist tax.
Smoking is permitted in all public places. Montenegro appears to be the exception to the rule when it comes to smoking cessation. Bars, restaurants, supermarkets, and even public transportation all allow smoking.
It is safe to travel to Montenegro! The greatest danger is posed by the local dishonest vendors and reckless drivers on the mountainous highways. Apart from that, there’s nothing to be concerned about.