“At the birth of the planet, the most beautiful encounter between land and sea must have been on the Montenegrin coast.”lord byron
Top Five Destinations In Montenegro
- Kotor Is one of the best-preserved medieval towns on the Adriatic coast. The fortified town is tucked against the steep mountains surrounding the deep channels of the Bay of Kotor. Kotor’s architecture reflects the various empires that ruled over the region, with the Venetian-flavored Old Town as the highlight. The 12th-century Cathedral of Saint Trypho is a gem.
- Durmitor National Park Is a thickly forested mountainous area of the village of Žabljak, is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. In the Dinaric Alps, the park includes the high-altitude peaks of the Durmitor Massif, 18 glacial lakes, and the Tara River, home to the second deepest gorge in the world.
- Perast Is an idyllic small town notable for its stone-crafted villas and historic churches. Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George, situated on tiny islets, are some of the city’s most picturesque chapels. The Church of St. Nikola is worth a visit for the lovely views after your climb up to the belfry. This bay-front city has stone jetties along the waterfront that are popular places for sunbathing and relaxing.
- Budva At the center point of Montenegro’s coastline, and as some call it Montenegro’s Riveria, Budva boasts a picturesque Old Town, an abundance of beaches, and several important cultural sites. It has vibrant nightlife, which draws a lot of tourists. It is very much a party town by night and a gambling haven, second only to Monaco.
- Ostrog Monastery High up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda, you discover this wonder. It is the country’s most unusual architectural site and a major Christian pilgrimage destination. This 17th Century monastery was carved out of a cave in an almost vertical mountain cliff with only the whitewashed facade visible. The monastery includes two inner cave churches ornamented by frescoes, some of which were painted directly on the rock walls.
Did you know?
- Population: 609,859
- Capital City: Podgorica
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Government type: Parliamentary Republic
- President: Milo Dukanvic
- Ethnic groups: Montenegrin 45%, Serbian 28.7%, Bosniak 8.7%, Albanian 4.9%, Muslim 3.3%, other 4.5%, unspecified 4.9%
- Languages: Serbian 42.9%, Montenegrin (official) 37%, Bosnian 5.3%, Albanian 5.3%, Serbo-Croat 2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 4%
- Religions: Orthodox 72.1%, Muslim 19.1%, Catholic 3.4%, other 2.8%, unspecified 2.6%
- US State Department Risk Level: 4 due to Covid
- Terrorist groups: N/A
- Bosnia and Herzegovina border Montenegro to the North West, Serbia to the North East, Albania to the South East, and Croatia to the west.
- Montenegro is comparable to the size of Connecticut.
- Bobotov Peak in the Durmitor Mountains is the country’s highest peak at 8,274 feet.
- There are 117 beaches in this small country.
- GDP 4.9 billion.
- Dominant industries: metal processing, textiles, engineering, tourism, chemicals, passenger and cargo ships, and wine.
- Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia on June 3, 2006, making it one of the world’s newest countries. Other than Serbia, only Kosovo (2008) and South Sudan (2011) are newer.
- Life Expectancy is 78 years old.
- Literacy rate 98.8%.
- Montenegro got its name from the dark mountain forests of Mount Lovcen that cover the land. The name breaks down into two words, ‘monte’ and ‘negro’ (black, mountain), and dates back to the 15th century.
- Montenegrins are some of the tallest people globally, with an average male height of 6 feet.
- The village of Crkvice on Mount Orjen is said to be the wettest place in Europe.
- The monastery of Ostrog is one of the most visited shrines in the Christian world.
- The village of Mitrovica is home to one of the oldest olive trees in the world. Stara Maslina is believed to be over 2,000 years old!
- Tourism has been growing quickly in Montenegro and is anticipated to be a strategic industry.
- Sveti Stefan, an islet on the Budva Riveria, is certainly one of the biggest tourist draws of Montenegro. In fact, it was Marilyn Monroe’s favorite getaway destination in Europe.
- Montenegro is a bird-watching paradise and draws bird watcher enthusiasts from all over the world.
- In some parts of the country, families still live by a centuries-old law called Krvna, which establishes to the believers that they have the right to vengeance; if a man from one family kills another, the victim’s family must respond in kind. This could explain Montenegros conflict history that continues today.
- Montenegro is featured in the 2006 movie “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.
Good to know before you go
- As the tourism industry is growing, tipping etiquette is more established. Restaurants and bars check the bill closely for a service charge. If there is none, you can round up the bill or leave 10%. Taxis and car services are around 5-10%. Hotels are 1 euro per bag for bellhops and 2-3 euros a night for housekeeping.
- They are casual dressers, often wearing jeans. Trousers and comfortable shoes. They do not appear to have a certain style. Many women wear dresses, and they dress modestly overall. Keep in mind it is populated by Orthodox Christians and Sunni Muslims. Short skirts and shorts are not permitted in churches, monasteries, and mosques.
- The roads are mostly two lanes roads except in major cities. Despite the reputation, most are well maintained and driveable. Don’t hesitate to rent a car. The mountain roads, as expected, have many hairpin turns. You will find a lot of breathtaking scenery, so it may be challenging to keep your eye on the road. There are no tolls roads. If you are passing someone, you beep your horn. Seatbelts are a requirement by law, and they will pull over if they see you without. Please pay attention to the speed signs as they changed quickly; additionally, the fines for speeding more than 10 Kmh are steep and can include jail time.
- Montenegrins are friendly and warm.
- The Montenegrins have a relaxed attitude towards life, choosing to relax first and deal with whatever needs to be done later. This can become a challenge as a visitor, so remain patient and adopt this relaxed culture.
- Montenegrins have historically valued people and relationships over frenetic activity. Samo polako, a term coined for their culture, notes living in the here and now. Take it easy or slow down, and that philosophy penetrates deep into their culture.
- Montenegrins have their own unique mottos by which to live life. Two typical Montenegrin proverbs that reflect that are. 1. Love thy bed as you love thy own self. 2. If at any time you are struck by a strong urge to work, sit down, be quiet, wait, and in due course, it will pass. 3. “If you see someone resting, help him.”
- You will find it difficult to find anything to help you communicate in their home language of Montenegrin; however, you can also rely on Croatian as most can speak that as well.
- Montenegrins are as tough as they come. For centuries, this tiny mountain nation battled much larger enemies who came to conquer it, managing to retain its independence. This makes for proud, resilient people, and its national identity is built on that.
- Montenegrins have a very close connection with the art that their people have produced. Thre are very passionate and protective of it. Artists like Milo Milunović, Dado Đurić, and Risto Stijović have put them on the map. Seek out museums and other art and culture opportunities to see why art is such core to their life.
- The people of Montenegro are particularly passionate when it comes to celebrations of any kind: weddings, birthdays, christenings, graduations, and more are greeted with excitement and joy, along with plenty of their favorite drink, rakija.
- Italian and Turkish influences are strong in the country’s cuisine, which creates a mixture of Mediterranean vegetables and seafood alongside succulent grilled meat and sweets.
- Life begins and ends at home in Montenegro, as ancestry and lineage are extremely important. Montenegrins possess a deep love and respect for a family that can often get in the way of personal growth. You will observe the family unit everywhere you go.
- Montenegrins know how to hold their alcohol and expects visitors to do the same. Being visibly drunk is a sign of bad taste.
- You will not find many people able to speak English unless in major cities and at tourist destinations. This is the case with police and emergency services. Be ready with a good translation guide or app.
- Demonstrations are known to occur often and should be avoided. Sometimes you can find anti-US sentiment. Sign for the STEP program with the State Department to issue warnings of situations you should avoid.
- Montenegro is a safe place to travel to. Crime is uncommon. Pickpockets are common in the bigger cities and tourist venues.
When to go to Montenegro
Though as a small country, Montenegro’s climate is very diverse. The landscape goes from sea level to the mountains. The coastline is narrow and bordered by a steep mountain range to the east. The Dinaric Mountains serve as a natural barrier between the Mediterranean region and the climate to the east. June and September are widely regarded as the optimum months for a visit when the sunshine is virtually guaranteed.
The Montenegrin coast has good weather any time of the year, but it can get quite crowded in July and August. During this time, temperatures and tourists reach their high levels. Accommodation is also at its most expensive during this period. You can still enjoy this area in the shoulder seasons, April-June and October, with reasonable prices, low tourists, and still beautiful scenery.
Montenegro winters in the mountainous regions are cold and snowy. If you are there for skiing and winter sports, you will enjoy stunning views and good skiing. This is yet to be a fully discovered winter destination, so crowds will not be an issue.
- Summer 60-82 °F (15-27 °C)
- Spring 49-71 °F (10-22 °C)
- Fall 52-79 °F (11-26 °C)
- Winter 46-60 °F (8-16 °C)
Our Favorite Montenegro Resources
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Montenegro was a quick visit for us during our time in Croatia. We did some research on it but only near the border of Croatia. It is a fascinating and beautiful country, and speaking with others who know it well, we felt deserved a page. The Adriatic seemed to be calling out to us with its magnificence. Many of the recommendations don’t come from our own experiences but come from strong resources.
A passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on the highlights Montenegro has to offer and what hidden discoveries await you. Enjoy Sveti Stefan’s view while lazing on the beach, visit Njegos” tomb on top of Black Mountain, or experience ancient history in Kotor. Great photography and lots of details to aid planning. Discover this travel guide here
Our favorite websites
2. US Department of State: Bureau of Consular Affairs Montenegro Country Info
We cannot encourage you enough to visit this website as you plan and prepare for your trip. This is the US Federal Government addressing the safety, security, travel risk, entry, exit, visa documents mandates, emergency US and Embassy contacts, health, local laws, special circumstances, threats, traveler vulnerabilities, government warnings, and transportation in Montenegro. This is your best and most reliable resource for all this important info. Check back often before you go, as things can change quickly. Being prepared is essential in all travel, but especially internationally.
3. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers Health Resource
This CDC travel resource provides essential health info for your specific destination. Using their tool you can determine which vaccines, medications, and health advice recommendations are needed for Montenegro.
Our favorite maps
Easy to read maps with practical road and travel information. Major sites and landmarks are well marked. Mapped road network with distances and designations for major highways to the off-the-beaten-path roads. Though we default to Google maps, this came in handy when service was poor or during construction detours. Find this essential map here
Our favorite apps
Rome2rio: Trip Planner Trip and Holiday Organizer Enter any address, landmark, or city; the app will instantly display all your travel options, booking info, along with accommodation providers and things to do. Find on your local app store.
Rick Steve’s Audio Europe This app includes a vast library of Rick Steve’s audio content. Get cultural and travel info. Includes self-guided tours of top attractions and historic walks. A must-have. Find on your local app store.
Montenegrin English Translator It’s a free, fast, and easy solution for translations. You can use translated text to send. Find it at your app store. (Disclosure we did not use this app in Montenegro as our visit was so short, if you use it, please let us know your experience)
Google Translate We used this often to practice proper pronunciations of words. You will not find Montenegrin on here, but since they often also speak Montenegrin, you can use that. As we always encourage, it is essential to learn the basics to greet and thank people in the local language. Google translate was an easy app to use. If needed, you can enter text in English, and it will speak back in whatever language you need to aid in communicating with locals. Furthermore, it came in very handy to translate text into images instantly.
Do you have a favorite Montenegro travel resource? Share your favorites in the comments section at the bottom of this page or