Prologue

So far, I've only been to Montenegro twice - once in 2001, then coming from Kroatien, in the aftermath of the war. At that time, no ordinary person was allowed to enter Serbien, but my wife and I managed to get into Montenegro. The second time was in 2005 - coming from Albanien and leaving for Serbien. Montenegro finally declared independence in 2006. This means I haven't visited Montenegro after it became independent - but as far as I heard, things haven't changed that much. However, things might change, so the following information might be out of date.

Visa

Almost all European nationalities, as well as US citizens, Canadians, Australians, New Zealander, Japanese etc. can stay up to 30 days without visa. As with all other countries, the passport should be valid for at least another 6 months.

 

 

Geld

Already during the war in the 1990ies, Montenegro unilaterally adopted the Deutschmark as its currency, although it was still united with Serbien which had its own currency. After the introduction of the Euro, Montenegro - again unilaterally - adopted the Euro as its currency.

There are ATM's accepting all major credit cards as well as Cirrus and Maestro cash cards - however, these ATM's are rather hard to find outside the capital and the coastal area. Some banks and hotels can exchange money.

Costs

Montenegro is a comparetively cheap destination - cheaper then Kroatien for example. It's no big problem to find decent accommodation even in summer and along the popular coast for around € 10 per night. A good dinner in restaurants rarely costs more then € 10, but it's also possible to get stuffed for as less as € 2. However, especially in summer and in towns popular with visitors, restaurants can be more expensive. Travelers on a small budget should be careful when ordering fish dishes - prices are often for 100 g, so it can get really expensive if it's a large fish... Since Montenegro is not very large, bus and train rides aren't expensive either.

 

 

 

Anreise

By bus, train, plane or boat. There are some direct flights from Germany, Austria and a few other countries to Montenegro - namely the airports of Podgorica and Tivat - with the latter being much closer to the coast. There are several charter flights from European cities in summer. Regular flights however aren't very frequent. The national carrier is called Montenegro Airlines.

Regular ferries cross the Adriatic Sea from Bari and Ancona in Italy to →Bar. They run over night, take 10 hours and 16 hrs respectively. Ticket prices for the Bari-Bar ferry start at € 51 - including the € 7 port tax. There are also ferries running along the coast to Durrës near →Tirana in Albanien - prices start at € 40.

There are long-distance busses from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and many towns in Ex-Yugoslavia as well as Albanien. A daily bus runs from →Dubrovnik to →Kotor - in 2001, the price was 71.5 Kuna (around € 9) then, the trip took almost 3 hours. Microbuses run from →Shkoder (North Albanien) to →Ulcinj in Southern Montenegro and to Podgorica, the capital. Buses start in Shkoder at 3 pm and 5 pm, the ticket costs € 5. There are also buses to Bosnien and Serbien.

There are no train connections to Kroatien and Albanien (actually there is one to the latter, but that's for freight only). Montenegro only has 249 km of railroads - most of it taken by the international train connection from →Bar to Serbien. There are two daily trains from Bar to →Belgrade and two more passing Belgrade, running via →Novi Sad to Subotica in Northern Serbien. All of those trains also stop in Podgorica (around 1 hour). The whole way to Belgrade takes around 8½ hours. Note that those trains are often completely booked out in summer. In that case, you may need to resort to a 1st class ticket, which costs € 21.20 (as of 2005).

Border crossings

There were two border crossings to →Albanien: The larger one is called Han i Hotit between →Shkodër and Podgorica North of Lake Scutari, the smaller is at Muriqan between Shkodër and →Ulcinj.

There's only one crossing to →Kroatien - at Debeli brijeg near the coast. The closest town on the Montenegrin side is Igalo. The next large town in Kroatien is →Dubrovnik.

Border crossings to →Bosnien and Hercegovina are in Sitnica, Vilusi, Vracenovici, Scepan polje and Metaljka.

Additionally, there are numerous border crossings to →Serbien.

 

 

Food and drinks

The typical Balkan diet (grilled meat en masse, meat pies etc) plus some extras. Montenegro has it's share of the Adriatic Sea and some large lakes, so there is fresh fish as well. Balkan food means that goats and sheeps play an important role - making mutton, lamb, goat as well as goat's and sheep's cheese part of the staple diet. To cut it short - Montenegrin food is mostly very fresh, healthy and plentiful.

Montenegro's #1 beer is called Nikšic and it's not too bad. Montenegro has plenty of mountains, a lot of limestone and many sunny days - a perfect location for growing wine. Montenegrin red and white wine are definitely worth a try - there is a lot of local, excellent wine that isn't sold abroad.

 

 

 

 

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