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- Bijelo Polje
- Herceg Novi
- Opština Kolašin
- Opština Nikšić
- Opština Plav
- Opština Plužine
- Opština Šavnik
- Opština Žabljak
- Opština Rožaje
Wiki Voyage Travel Information
Montenegro ( Montenegrin : Crna Gora, Црна Гора) is a country in the Balkans , on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the north, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the south. To the west of Montenegro is the Adriatic Sea.
Montenegro's tourism suffered greatly from Yugoslavia's tragic civil war in the 1990s. In recent years, along with the stabilized situation in the region, tourism in Montenegro has begun to recover, and Montenegro is being re-discovered by tourists from around the globe.
Infrastructure greatly improved since independence as Montenegro became home to numerous five star hotels, glamorous new settlements and investments in roads, energy, water and sanitary pipelines.
Montenegro is officially divided into 21 municipalities, which can be grouped into five regions:
- Podgorica - the capital, and administrative centre as well as biggest city in Montenegro, intensively developed in last decade
- Bar - the major port of the country
- Budva - fortified Old Town surrounded by high-rises, resorts and new developments is the most popular tourist spot with amazing beaches and wild nightlife
- Cetinje - the old royal capital located beneath Lovcen mountain and its national park features numerous museums, monasteries and former embassies.
- Herceg Novi - founded in 1382 and located in the entrance of the Bay of Kotor, bordering with Dubrovnik , Croatia
- Kotor - an ancient fortified town located deep down the Boka Kotorska bay, UNESCO World Heritage Site . It is cruiser ships regular spot
- Nikšić - the second largest city in Montenegro and economically important, home to infamous Montenegrin beer Niksicko
- Tivat - a small town in the Bay of Kotor, quickly emerging into a major touristic, business and transport centre due to the 2nd international airport in the country
- Žabljak - located beneath Durmitor mountain and its national park is one of key tourist destinations both in summer and winter activities
- Ulcinj - an ancient fortified town once a pirate home surrounded by 12km long sandy beach which is kite-surfing hotspot, and naturist heaven
- Bečići - with a 2 km long fine sandy beach, it is home to numerous resorts and hotels
- Biogradska Gora National Park - some of the last remaining untouched forests in Europe, and beautiful small lake where You can fish Yourself
- Durmitor National Park - rafting through the Tara Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe, is one of the most popular activities in Montenegro
- Lovćen National Park - beautiful mountain with natural, cultural and historical scenery
- Mount Ostrog - the amazing monastery situated on the almost vertical cliff of Mount Ostrog
- Perast - beautiful small village, a UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site
- Prokletije National Park - hiking and mountain climbing are this park's main attraction
- Skadar Lake National Park - the largest lake on the Balkans and the natural habitat of the very diverse flora and fauna
- Sveti Stefan - picturesque town-hotel, a former fishermen town on the small peninsula near Budva (currently closed for renovation)
Montenegro was founded as a state under its present name in 15th century, continuing the tradition of the Slavic state of Duklja. It was able to maintain its independence during the reign of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, as its independence was formally acknowledged at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. After the World War I, fighting for the Allied powers, it was absorbed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which later became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. Montenegro was also later part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia, until it regained its full independence from the federation of Serbia-Montenegro on the May 2006 referendum. Montenegro was the only subsequent republic of the former Yugoslavia that supported Serbia during the wars of the Former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Montenegro's lower areas along the coast enjoy a Mediterranean climate, having dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Central and northern regions have Continental climate, where temperature varies greatly with elevation. Podgorica, lying near sea level in the valley of the central region, is noted for having the warmest July temperatures in Montenegro, averaging 35-40°C (95-104°F).
Cetinje, in the Karst at an elevation of 670m (2,200 ft), has a temperature 5°C (10°F) lower. January temperatures range from 8°C (46°F) from Bar on the southern coast to -3°C (27°F) in the northern region.
Montenegro's mountainous regions receive some of the highest amounts of rainfall in Europe. In the northern mountains, snow is present throughout the spring.
The terrain of Montenegro ranges from high mountains through a segment of the Karst of the western Balkan Peninsula, to a narrow coastal plain that is only one to four miles wide. The coastal plain disappears completely in the north, where Mount Lovcen and other ranges plunge abruptly into the inlet of the Gulf of Kotor.
Montenegro's section of the Karst lies generally at elevations of just below 1,000 m (3,000 ft) above sea level-although some areas rise to 1800 m (6,000 ft). The lowest segment is in the valley of the Zeta River, which flows at an elevation of 460 m (1,500 ft).
The high mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe. They average more than 2,100 m (7,000 ft) in elevation.
Most foreign tourists enter Montenegro directly by air, by road from Croatia or occasionally by sea from Italy . The land routes from Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania are mainly used by tourists from those respective countries.
Holders of travel documents containing a valid Schengen visa, a valid visa of the United States of America or a permission to stay in these countries may enter and stay, i.e. pass through the territory of Montenegro up to seven days, and not longer than the expiry of visa if the period of validity of visa is less than seven days. Visit 1 for more details. However, border guards are not fully aware of this information, and they might tell you that you require a visa to enter Montenegro. Stay calm and politely ask them to recheck their information. They will fill a form with your passport and car registration information which can take up to 1 hour!
As of Nov 2010, nationals of the following states may enter, pass through the territory of and stay in Montenegro up to 90 days with a valid travel document without a visa: Andorra , Argentina , Aruba , Australia , Austria , Belgium , Bermuda , Bosnia and Herzegovina , Brazil , Brunei , Bulgaria , Canada , Chile , Costa Rica , Croatia , Cyprus , Czech Republic , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany , Guatemala , Greece , Holy See , Honduras , Hungary , Iceland , Ireland , Israel , Italy , Japan , Republic of Korea , Latvia , Liechtenstein , Lithuania , Luxemburg , Macedonia , Malaysia , Malta , Mexico , Monaco , Nicaragua , Netherlands , Netherlands Antilles , New Zealand , Norway , Panama , Paraguay , Poland , Portugal , Romania , Russia , El Salvador , San Marino , Seychelles , Serbia , Singapore , Slovakia , Slovenia , Spain , Sweden , Switzerland , Turkey , United Kingdom , Uruguay , United States of America and Venezuela .
The exemption from the visa requirement also applies to the holders of valid travel documents issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
Podgorica airport is Montenegro's main international airport. It is situated 12 km (7.5 miles) south of Podgorica. It is a hub for Montenegro's national airline carrier, Montenegro Airlines.
One can get from the airport to Podgorica centre by taking the minibus, which usually waits in front of the terminal. The taxi to the centre will be more expensive, usually at €15. From the city centre (Republic Place) to the Airport, metered Taxi costs €5-6.
One thing to notice about Podgorica airport is the lack of bus service to the coast. Hence, as soon as you exit the terminal, you will be surrounded by guys asking if you want a taxi. At this point, they are competing to see how much they can squeeze you for. Montenegro is most definitely not a cheap country, but still, keep your wits about you. Hotels in Kotor will offer airport transfer for approx 70-80 euros, so don't listen to guys quoting EUR120 or more for the drive to the coast. If you say "forget that", and take a taxi to the centre, they may try to bargain when you're in the car... at least here it's one-to-one.
Tivat airport is situated near the city of Tivat, on the Montenegin coast. It has regular flights to Belgrade throughout the year, and has charter flights to major European destinations during the summer. Tivat airport is 20km from Budva and Herceg-Novi and 60 km from Bar.
Destinations covered from these airports are listed in detail on the website of 'Airports of Montenegro'. Destinations covered by Montenegro Airlines, as well as booking information, can be found on the website of the carrier.
Dubrovnik airport in Croatia is a half hour drive from the Montenegro border and the coastal city of Herceg-Novi, and is served by many major airlines, so it might be a good option for tourists coming by plane.
- Podgorica and Tivat Airport Bus Service, Car Rental and VIP Limo Transfers
- Airport and City Transfer
There are one daytime and one overnight train (two in summer) from Belgrade . Trains go through Bijelo Polje, Kolašin, Podgorica and ends in Bar , Montenegro's main seaport. The railway through the Dinaric Mountains is considered as one of the most scenic railways in Europe. Travel by train is the cheapest way to get to Montenegro, but the quality of service is not very good. Trip time is 10h from Belgrade to Podgorica (11h to Bar), but expect considerable delays.
Ticket from Belgrade to Podgorica costs €19.20, plus €3 compulsory seat reservation or €6 berth reservation. Tickets can be purchased at Serbian railway e-shop 2 .
Montenegro is well connected with neighbouring countries and ticket prices are all under €25. During the summer, more seasonal lines are being introduced.
European routes E65, E80, E762, E763 and E851 pass through the country, connecting it to Croatia , Bosnia and Herzegovina , Serbia , Kosovo and Albania .
There are no roads in Montenegro built to full motorway standard, as all roads are of single carriageway type. Almost all roads in Montenegro are curvy, mountainous roads, and speeds over 80km/h are not permitted. The general speed limit within a built-up area is 50km/h. Roads in the northern mountainous region require additional caution during the winter.
Driving with headlights is obligatory, even during the daytime; so is the use of seat belts. A €10 'ecological fee' for passenger cars used to be collected at the border posts when entering Montenegro, but it was scrapped in 2012.
There is a regular ferry line from Bar to Bari in Italy. The Bar-Bari line operates throughout the year, with service several times weekly during the summer. A trip to Bari takes around 8 hours. There is also ferry service from Bari, Italy, to Dubrovnik in Croatia. From there, bus service is available to Montenegro - the Dubrovnik bus station is adjacent to the port where the ferry docks.
There is local train service, operating from Bar, through Podgorica and Kolasin and Mojkovac to Bijelo Polje. It is the cheapest way to travel from north to south and vice versa, the quality of service is not on the high level. Montenegro received new trains from Switzerland in the last months, replacing some of the older rolling stock that what used for local services. The level of quality should be up with European standards.
Montenegro Railways also reactivated the train route to Niksic, providing a scenic and pretty cheap journey, without being slower than the bus.
This may be the easiest way to get around Montenegro. Buses are frequent (especially during the summer), safe and are more or less on schedule. Ticket prices within Montenegro are all under €15. Examples of prices: Podgorica-Ulcinj €6, Podgorica-Cetinje €3,Cetinje-Kotor €5, etc. Local buses usually have no airconditioning.
Besides the buses, there are minibuses at bus stations that are usually slightly cheaper, but are actually a faster and more comfortable option.
As there is no real highway in Montenegro; most roads are two-lane only, with frequent addition of a third overtaking lane, and generally are not up to European standards. Most roads are curvy and mountainous, so speeds over 80 km/h (50 mph) are rarely legal, and rarely safe.
The speed limit is 80km/h on the open road, unless signs specify otherwise. The speed limit inside the cities is 50km/h.
The use of safety belts and headlights during the day is compulsory, and the use of cellphones while driving is prohibited. Signposts used in Montenegro are almost identical to those used in EU countries.
Local drivers tend to drive fast, and to get involved into dangerous overtakings. Traffic jams are common during the peak of the summer season. Pedestrians are noutorious for jaywalking in every Montenegrin city.
Drivers tend to be extremely vocal, so don't take it personally if a driver yells at you.
Rent-a-car business are numerous and prices start from 20 EUR per day for Toyota Yaris.
Hitchhiking works pretty great in Montenegro. See Hitchwiki for more details.
Roads from Podgorica to Bar and to Niksic are fairly good and easy to drive on.
The roads from Podgorica through Cetinje to Budva and to Petrovac are both in good condition, but are curvy mountainous roads which rarely permit speeds over 70km/h.
The road from Podgorica north to Kolasin, and then on to Zabljak or Serbia, is considered dangerous during the winter, especially the part through the Moraca canyon. It is recommended that one takes the bus to the north during the cold or rainy days, as bus drivers are experienced and know the road.
The old road from Cetinje to Kotor is mostly a narrow one-lane road offering stunning views of Kotor from above, but exercise extreme caution when passing on-coming traffic, over-taking and around corners.
The official language is Montenegrin. It is essentially the same language as Serbian , Croatian and Bosnian . In some municipalities with an Albanian majority (Ulcinj) or large minority (Plav, Gusinje) and the Malesia district in Podgorica municipality, Albanian is commonly spoken. Slovenian and Macedonian are also understood. Even though their languages are virtually identical, people still distinguish between the Montenegrin, Serb, Croat and Bosniak ethnicities, Montenegrins forming a slight majority. Montenegrin is found written in both Cyrillic and Latin forms. Latin text is much more common in Montenegro than in neighboring Serbia and the Serbian portion of Bosnia.
In Podgorica and the coastal area, many people can speak some English, but that is not always the case in the north. Older people sometimes have a working knowledge of German . Italian also comes in very handy, especially along the coast. Russian , which belongs to the same family of Slavic languages and is spoken by many older people.
Montenegro may be small in terms of area, it boast stunning mountainous landscapes, dramatic coast lines, historic monuments and truly beautiful walled towns. The Montenegro coast is just as gorgeous as that of its better known neighbour, Croatia , and it is for good reason that its main tourist destinations can get crowded in summer. Nevertheless, if you can't visit at another time, don't let their popularity hold you back. Even the largest of cruise ship crowds will not stop you from enjoying this country's magnificent Riviera and Medieval coast towns, especially if you're willing to get up early and do your sightseeing ahead of the others.
Of the country's many churches and monasteries, the Serbian Orthodox Ostrog Monastery deserves special attention. It's spectacularly located against a practically vertical background, some 15 km from Nikšić . Founded in the 17th century, it's one of the most visited pilgrimage destinations on the Balkans and boasts a magnificent view over the Bjelopavlići plain.
The Bay of Kotor , is probably one of the prettiest bays in the world. On its deepest point lies the equally stunning town of Kotor , a beautifully preserved fortified, Medieval town with a vibrant history. Wandering through its labyrinth of narrow and cobblestoned streets, you'll come across lively piazzas, many ancient churches and lots of pleasant bars and restaurants. Don't miss the 12th century St. Tryphon Cathedral, the Church of St. Luke and the Orthodox St Nicholas Church. Kotor is locked between the blue sea on one side, and a dramatically steep cliff on the other. It's a heavy walk uphill, but climbing the 1500 steps will allow you to see the old fortifications on the top as well as provide some amazing views over the bay.
Budva is the country's most popular tourist destination and boast some great beaches as well as a lovely, walled town centre. The old town centre is picturesquely located on a rather small peninsula, and its narrow, winding lanes hide a multitude of historic buildings, churches and small squares. Among the most interesting monuments here are the 7th century St. John's Church, the 8th century Santa Marija of Punta and the 12th century Church of St. Sava. The medieval town fortress is referred to as Citadela and right next to it is the colourful Church of the Holy Trinity, built in 1804. Budva's over 30 km long Riviera has been called "The Riviera of Sandy Beaches" and is dotted with lovely hamlets and a wealth of historic monuments. A strip of hotels and restaurants separates it from the impressive mountain massifs of Lovcen. From Budva, it's an easy bus ride to the unique Sveti Stefan resort.
The small but gorgeous town of Perast saw some of its best architecture arise in the 17th and 18th century, when it belonged to the Republic of Venice . That typically Venetian, baroque architecture has been wonderfully preserved, with highlights including the Bujovic, Zmajevic, Badovic and Smekja Palaces which were once owned by wealthy maritime captains. All the way in the south, Ulcinj is one of the Adriatic's oldest towns, with a delightful centre and lots of natural beauty around. It also makes a good base from where to explore the old centre of nearby Bar , Lake Skadar or even a cross border visit to Albania . Although less spectacular than nearby Kotor, Herceg Novi (roughly translated as New Castle) is another charming Montenegrin town with a beautiful old centre and a good number of interesting churches, squares and fortresses.
Although Montenegro's magnificent sea side scenery is best known among travellers, it's mountainous inland has some grand panoramic views to offer, too. The country shares the large freshwater Lake Skadar with neighbouring Albania. It has National Park status and offers great opportunities for hiking, bird watching and wildlife spotting. Of the many friendly fishermen's towns around it, Virpazar is the most convenient one for travellers. A real must-see is the splendid Tara River Canyon, with its steep banks rising up to 1300 meters above the River Tara waters. It's the second longest canyon in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The canyon is located in Durmitor National Park , which is a World Heritage Site of its own and boasts a rich flora and fauna as well as snow-covered high peaks, several canyons and many glacier lakes. The most visited one is Black Lake, at walking distance of the town of Žabljak , which serves as a traveller's hub for mountain and winter tourism.
Montenegro has a lot of local festivals that are worth going to and may range from typical music concerts to local festivities involving free food and drinks. Usually wine and seafood.
- Bokeska Noc (3rd week of August) - Celebrations under masks by the iconic fortifications of Kotor where each year a hateful figure is burned, and celebrations out in the open continues till early morning.
- Sun Dance Festival (end of July) - infamous Exit festival has found a new home for summer season and the biggest music happening in SE Europe is hosted on Jaz beach in Budva .
- Days of Wine and Fish in Virpazar - worth experiencing. Gathering of wine and fish lovers in a scenic local village on the Skadar Lake. Very crowded, and smokey from fish frying.
- Petrovacka noc ( Petrovac ) - celebrating the local traditions it is great time to visit the city and enjoy the crowd, food and music.
- Spring Break - typical music festival with plenty of DJs on Kamenovo beach
- Blueberry Days - located in Plav in northern Montenegro this festival is attributed to blueberries which are infamous is important gathering of Montenegrin diaspora and its relatives as well as many tourists.
- Pasticada Fest - 21.06
- 'Suncane Skale
- Dani Mimoze
- Brodet Fest
- ATMs: Hundreds of new ATMs have been installed in most major cities. The ATMs accept most international VISA and MasterCard Credit/Debit cards. If you are from the Balkans, Central or Eastern Europe, look for an ATM of your bank. It is quite possible that the bank operates in Montenegro and that there will be no fees.
- Credit Cards: although they are accepted in supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and many shops, always keep some cash with you for open-air markets, souvenir stalls, small bakeries, museums and public transport.
- Exchange offices: Not very common, since nearly all tourists bring euros with them. In case you happen to arrive in Montenegro without any euros in cash, use an ATM (recommended) or find a bank to change US dollars, Swiss francs or British pounds.
Regular businesses and governmental agencies work from 8-9am to 4-5pm while convenience stores, pharmacies and shops usually work until 8-9pm. Bars, pubs and restaurants usually work until midnight or 1am while clubs may run until 3 or 4am.
- Smoked ham
- Traditional clothes
Clothes and Shoes
- City centre and Bulevar Džordža Vašingtona in Podgorica
- Porto Montenegro
- many shops in Old Towns of Kotor and Budva
- Delta City in Podgorica
- TQ Centre in Budva
- Kamelija in Kotor
Convenience Shops & Supermarkets
- Voli markets, HD Laković, Maxi Markets and Roda are main retail supermarket chains and are found in almost all cities. There are also other convenience stores that stuff various goods. The prices of basic local food (baked goods, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables) are on the level of Bosnia and Serbia , i.e. generally cheaper than EU countries.
Apart from the hotels located in towns and summer resorts offering half-board and full-board accommodation, and those along the roads and communication lines such as restaurants, pizza places, taverns, fast food restaurants and cafes, there is a choice of national restaurants offering traditional Montenegrin cuisine.
In addition to the standard European and Mediterranean cuisine, Montenegro offers a variety of healthy food products and local specialities.
Cold hors-d'oeuvres include the famous njeguški pršut (smoked ham) and njeguški cheese, pljevaljski cheese, mushrooms, donuts and dried bleak. The main courses specific for the northern mountainous region are boiled lamb, lamb cooked in milk, cicvara in fresh milk cream (buttered corn porridge), boiled potatoes with cheese and fresh cream. A selection of traditional recipes of the central and coastal parts will include the kastradina (dried mutton), smoked and fresh carp (from Skadar lake) and a variety of fresh sea fish and seafood dishes. Donuts served with honey and dried figs are traditional desserts in these parts of Montenegro.
Products of animal origin are supervised and approved by veterinary and health authorities according to EU standards.
Montenegrin vineyards and the production of quality wine is part of the tradition of southern and coastal wine makers.
The best known Montenegrin wines are the premium whites: "Krstač", "Cabernet", "Chardonnay" and reds: "Vranac", "Pro Corde". All of them are produced by the famous company "Plantaže", but there's also some home-made wines of high quality, like Crmničko wine.
1L bottle of "Vranac" red wine will cost you from €8 to €15 in the bar or restaurant and it is well worth it! Also, you can buy a bottle of "Plantaze"'s wine for about €2-€4 in supermarkets.
The continental region and north are more oriented towards the production of aromatic fruit flavoured brandy (plum brandy - šljivovica, apple brandy - jabukovača). Grape brandy "Montenegrin loza", "Prvijenac", "Kruna" or home made grape brandy (lozova rakija, lozovača) is a must-try, and a good choice to "warm up" before going out in the evening.
"Nikšićko" beer is the best known beer in the Montenegro, and most common alcoholic beverage, which cost from €0.50 to €2.50. It is produced as a draught beer, or bottled, in both "Nik Gold" and lighter "Nik Cool" variant. The dark variant, "Nik tamno", is praised among beer lovers.
Other alcoholic drinks can cost anywhere between €1 and €10.
Montenegro is generally a safe country. There is, like all countries in the world, a number of criminal activities, but police forces are generally fast in their duties. The number is 122, as well as the international distress call 112. When travelling in the areas bordering Kosovo, it is recommended you keep to the main roads. Unexploded landmines may remain along the Kosovo border. You should also avoid areas where there is military activity.
In the resort towns such as Kotor, Budva, Sveti Stefan and Herceg Novi, beggars and pickpockets are not uncommon. As in many other European locations, beggars are part of organized crime groups. Do not give them money. Doing so may also make you a target for more aggressive approaches. Always carry your bags in the safest way, slung around your shoulder with the pouch in front (with your money carried under your clothing) where you can keep your arm or hand across it.
Sea urchins are small, globular, spiny sea creatures that cover much of the sea floor off the coast of Montenegro. This isn't a bad thing being as they only gather in super clear water. It's a good idea to wear sea socks or something to cover your feet while walking through the water. Also, if you snorkel, be carefuil you dont brush up against the ones on the sides of the rocks.
Some roads are really narrow, so be careful while driving in the mountainous regions.
There are two species of viper snakes in Montenegro, sarka and poskok. Both are small but very viperous, so be careful when you hike around, watch your steps and remember that they never attack people if they are not disturbed.
Short pants are usually not permitted inside the public institutions (hospitals, etc.). Wear modest dress when visiting monasteries and churches.
At beaches, taking off the bottom piece of a swimsuit will likely create a stir, and is generally reserved for designated nude beaches.
When toasting and clinging glasses You have too look the opposite person in eyes otherwise its a sign of disrespect.
Being visibly drunk is a sign of bad taste and character in Montenegro: You may be invited to drink gallons, but are expected to be able to hold your drink. People also usually prefer to sip their liquor instead of emptying it in "bottoms-up" style. Be careful, "rakija", a plum spirit (usually about 53% alcohol content), is stronger than expected, and will make you drunk fast!
Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available to customers, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests. Some central tourist areas are also covered by wi-fi.
Be conscious of security when using a unsecured wifi networks.
Mobile phones and SIM cards
You can buy mobile phone sim cards already for € 1. With that amount of credit, and if you plan to stay a longer time in Montenegro, making local phone calls, it will be certainly worth the expense. As of 2011 you need to fill in short form and show ID or passport in order to activate prepaid number at local operator's store.
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