Montenegro, which literally means Black Mountain, lives up to it’s name it it’s large mountain terrain along the coast of the Adriatic. This small Adriatic country offers all you could wish for. To the west, beaches and the Adriatic envelopes the plain, with small fishing villages dotted along the coast. Further inland, you will find wide plains and high mountains like Maja Kolata. Hospitality is very important to Montenegrins, and your choice accommodation will always be clean. Montenegro might be small, but this gorgeous nation has a huge array of natural and man-made wonders. Enjoy this Montenegro travel guide and we hope it helps you plan your visit to this beautiful country.
When to Visit
Montenegro is a pleasant place to be at any time of the year but it can get uncomfortably congested during the high season of July and late August, when temperatures and crowds reach their peak. Aside from being the busiest, taxis cost more than in other months. Also, accommodation is at its most expensive during this period, with rates almost doubling in some places.
Getting Around Montenegro
The bus service to most towns is comprehensive, safe and cheap. City buses usually go on a half-hourly schedule, while inter-city buses go several times per day. Bus drivers can let you out nearly anywhere along the route. Bus ticket prices are fairly low and costs up to 15 EUR. Renting a car is your best bet to get to various remote destinations with an average cost of 11EUR daily. It also saves you money when you go on tours. Taxis in Montenegro are readily available, but one of the more expensive ways to get around due to drivers’ habits of overcharging. In some cities such as Podgorica, taxi fares for 1km is 1EUR start and 0.45EUR for every kilometer. The Montenegrin rail network is limited(has about 250km of track), running from Bjelo Polje in the northeast through Mojkovac and Podgorica to Virpazar on Lake Skadar, ending at the coastal port city of Bar in the southwest. Train travel is useful if you’re heading to the mountains and is an extremely cheap option, but can be unreliable and uncomfortable.
How to Reach the Destination
Montenegro is a country with rich culture. Each city has its own story, so it can be quite challenging to decide where to go and what to see. However, here are popular must-see cities that will let you experience Montenegro in the right way!
Budva: This is the busiest tourist destination and as such a city that should be on your list. Some of the most popular beaches such as Mogren, Becici and other attractions such as Church Sv. Trojica, Podostrog monastery are part of the rich heritage of Budva
Perast: Perast is one of the most beautiful little places in Boka Bay, located just a few kilometres from Kotor. It is a city that looks like a piece of Venice that floated down the Adriatic. This tiny
City boasts 16 churches and famous landmarks located right in the middle of the waters
Sveti Stefan: With a history dating back to the 15th century, the islet of Sveti Stefan is not only one of Montenegro’s most stunning and iconic sights, but is also a destination soaked in culture. It is home to Aman Sveti Stefan, one of Montenegro’s 5-star luxury holiday resorts. It also has lots of beaches and monasteries to explore.
Kotor: Surrounded by dark mountains, the city is remarkably, stunningly beautiful and its Old Town is a Venetian maze of cobblestone streets. This city has lots of tourist attractions which include Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Church of Saint Luke, the Prince’s Palace and the Napoleon’s Theatre
Ulcinj: Located at the southern tip of Montenegro near the Albanian border, Ulcinj is an ancient seaport once known as the pirate capital of the Adriatic Sea. Today, the city is most famous for its many beautiful beaches, of which the sandy stretch of Plazhe e Mahed, or Long Beach, is one of the most popular.
Podgorica: As the capital of Montenegro, this city is filled with ottoman architecture and many archaeological sites. Some of the city’s most visited attractions include the Natural History Museum of Montenegro, Center of Contemporary Art of Montenegro, Zlatica Monastery
Do try to converse in the local language. Try to make an effort in speaking the local language, even just for a few words (Hvala, Molim, Prijatno, Dovidjenia) or a few sentences (jedan kafa sa mlijekom, pola kilo sir)
Do try one of Montenegro’s most famous dishes. Basically a mix of ground beef and pork shaped into skinless sausages, spiced and grilled to perfection, ćevapi is a dish you should try out. They’re often served with anything from fries to pita to grilled or raw veggies such as raw onion, tomato, and cucumber
Do visit the San Giovanni Fortress. Simply breathtaking, no visit is complete without a hike to the top of this 9th century fortress. The views from the top take in the Bay of Kotor, Mt Vrmac and Kotor old town.
Do take a boat tour to the Blue Cave. Hope on a boat and explore the depths of Blue cave and the iridescent blue light inside the cave.
Don’t forget to see some of Europe’s only flamingos. Montenegro hosts the adorable flamingo. During the springtime, about a 15 minute taxi outside of the town of Ulcinj, you will see Solana Ulcinj home to salt pans where hundreds of flamingos make their home.
Don’t miss the hiking. Montenegro has some excellent hiking spots with well marked trails and many a valley and mountain peak to climb. Durmitor National Park is one place to start with as it is the premier hiking spot in summer.
Price Range for Hotels
Lodging is reasonable here, but during summer the coastal spots fill up with domestic travelers, Russians, and occasional Europeans bringing a whole family. The sweet spot for lodging in Montenegro is cheap guesthouse apartments where you get a private room with a bath and maybe a kitchenette. However, depending on the city, the cost of accommodation varies. Dorm rooms cost about 11-20EUR per night, guesthouses and hotels about 30-50EUR while luxurious hotels can cost 60-100 EUR per night.
Cost of Meals
The restaurant scene in Montenegro is quite disappointing as traditional meals have largely been pushed out by pizza and pasta, and prices have risen beyond those of neighboring countries. Most cafes offer salads at a cost of 8EUR. A meal at a very luxurious restaurant will begin at 40 EUR. A three-course meal with bottled wine starts from 65-95 EUR per person. However, if you decide to cook your meals, the cost of groceries per week is 25-30EUR. The groceries include cabbage, vegetables, peanuts, cheese, tomato sauce, chicken, and other basic foods.
Top Places to Visit
Our Lady of the Rocks
Our Lady of the Rocks is a small man-made island in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. It was created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. Now it’s the home of a spectacular church and can be visited by boats leaving from Perast, a small town on the Kotor Bay coastline.
Embrace nature in Biogradska Gora National Park
This park is home to one of Europe’s three remaining virgin forests, which have mature ecosystems as a result of being more or less untouched by man. The park also has 150 kinds of birds, ten kinds of mammals, 86 kinds of trees, and nine glacial lakes within its 5,400 acres.
Feel the air of Durmitor’s deepest gorges
Best known for the Tara River canyon, which has the deepest gorges in Europe, Durmitor National Park was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers. In winter, it plays host to a major ski resort; come summer, it’s popular for hiking and rafting.
Crusie the Lake Piva
Artificially created along with the construction of Mratinje Dam on the Piva River, Lake Piva is the second largest lake in Montenegro. Take a boat cruise of the lake and access to Oteša cave, and then hop out at the Podvođe bend for some swimming.
Explore a millennium of
architectural history in Ostrog
Built almost entirely into a vertical rock face, Ostrog is something of an architectural marvel. It houses the remains of Saint Basil of Ostrog and is the most important pilgrimage site in Montenegro.
View the artworks in
This active monastery in the central part of the country is known for its religious art housed in two churches—the Church of the Dormition and the smaller St. Nicholas’s Church. Notable artworks include Prophets and Hymnographers, Georgije Mitrofanović’s The Virgin Enthroned with Child, and Jovan Kir Kozma’s Saints Sava and Simeon.
Stroll through Porto Montenegro
Situated in the Bay of Kotor, this is one of the planet’s most amazing marine regions. The coastal community that has built up around the area makes for the perfect getaway. It has rentals right on the water, fantastic restaurants and hotels, great shopping, and tons of water sport.
Experience beautiful vibes of Lake Skadar
Enjoy bird watching, cultural-historical monuments, festivals, cruising, water sports, and much more in this lake with Roughly 400 square kilometres. If you are an outdoor enthusiast that wants a more laid back location, the vibe here will be perfect for you.