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When to visit Montenegro

The best period to visit Montenegro's coast is from April to October. Peak temperatures can reach up to 40°C (104°F) in July and August, and water temperatures during that time will be anywhere from 22°C (72°F) to 26°C (79°F). The waters are usually warmer at the southern end of Montenegro's coast, and quite a bit saltier, given the open sea influence. Bay of Kotor water temperatures can be slightly lower, due to mountain springs that remain active throughout the summer, which makes water a bit less salty as well.

There are pros and cons to visiting in the warm season, and it is up to you to decide what time of the year to visit. During the warm season, especially June, July and August, accommodation prices will be significantly higher than in May and September, but tourists will have a greater array of adventures and sights to choose from. During the warm season there are many more town festivals, and a much better assortment of open beach clubs, cafés, and night clubs. For those wishing to avoid loud music, lots of tourists, and overcrowded beaches, there are plenty of smaller towns that offer more isolated beaches.

Montenegro experiences occaisional tropical rains during the spring season, from March through June. In autumn months, September and October, Montenegro is ideal for those wishing to relax, look at scenery and travel. The weather is still quite warm then, but not as hot during summer months. Beaches are not as overcrowded and accommodation prices will drop, in some instances up to 50%.

Winters in Montenegro are generally mild, especially on the coast, but be prepared to wear some warm clothing as temperatures can drop to 0°C (32°F). Check our climate page for more information on Montenegro's climate.

For the best valued accommodation, stay in private rooms, which are very popular in Montenegro. Hotels are good, but expect to pay considerably more for top class accommodation.

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Getting to Montenegro

Most visitors enter Montenegro either by car or plane. The easiest way to drive in from the north is to go from Munich, Germany, through Austria, through Slovenia and Croatia. The highway system across Europe is very good, and signs are posted along main highways, so getting to Slovenia and Croatia should not be a problem.

Once you arrive in Northern Croatia, head for Rijeka, continue going south to Zadar, then Split and finally Dubrovnik. From Dubrovnik, continue traveling south, past Dubrovnik International Airport, and you will arrive at Debeli Brijeg, the border crossing with Montenegro.

For visitors arriving by plane, there are two international airports in Montenegro: Tivat and Podgorica. A number of tourists visiting coastal Montenegro decide to use Cilipi international airport due to its proximity and the frequency of flights from major European cities.


If arriving in Dubrovnik, it will generally take you about an hour driving to reach Herceg Novi by car, and another half an hour to reach Bay of Kotor.


Dubrovnik Airport:
IATA:DBV
Tel: (+385) 20 773 375
(+385) 20 773 377
(+385) 20 773 333
Email:airport-dubrovnik@du.tel.hr
Web:Airport-Bubrovnik.hr

If Tivat is your destination airport, it will take you roughly 20 minutes to reach the Bay of Kotor via Lepetane ferry boat, 30 minutes to Herceg Novi, 30 minutes to Budva, an hour to Bar, and two hours to Ulcinj and Podgorica.

Tivat Airport
IATA:TIV
Tel: (+381) 82 670 960
(+381) 82 670 930
(+381) 82 671 337
Email:info@aptivat.com
Web:ApTivat.com

If neither of these airports work for you, you can land in Podgorica, but if you are traveling south to the coast, it will take some extra time. Although traveling to and from Podgorica can offer magnificent views of the mountain tops, valleys and Adriatic Sea, the ride can make some travelers nauseous, given the winding roads up and down the mountains.

Podgorica Airport
IATA:TGD
Tel: (+381) 81 242 912
(+381) 81 243 007
(+381) 81 244 916

From the airports, you can find busses or taxis that will take you to your final destination. Below are some bus companies that pick up tourists from the airport.

“Perla” D.O.O.
Mobile:(+381) 67 338 833
Tel:(+381) 88 344 092
“Bokašun”
Mobile:(+381) 67 301 272

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Getting Around

There are several ways to travel around Montenegro. The methods will differ depending on your needs, and what you want to see.

Air travel

Since Montenegro has only two airports which are a two hour drive from each other, it would be rather inefficient to fly throughout Montenegro. Most of the air traffic is international.

Bus

The bus system in Montenegro is pretty decent. All towns and surrounding areas have bus service. Coastal areas are very well connected, connecting them towns to Podgorica and other northern locations. For those traveling around and up from the coast, standard and mini buses (now very popular) will pick you up at Autobuska stanica, the town's bus station, for a very small fee (2€ - 10€ per person, depending on distance).

Some smaller towns do not have clearly designated bus stops, but if you come to the main road, Jadranska magistrala, and waive your hand, you will get picked up. Tickets are usually paid for when you board the bus, but in larger towns, you can purchase tickets beforehand from a ticket office.

Buses in Montenegro provide excellent, cheap coverage if you do not mind spending more time traveling, and now that parts of the motorway are rebuilt, express service buses are even more practical.

Bus companies
Autoboka, KotorAutoboka.com
Autosaobracaj, Herceg NoviAutosaobracaj.com
Podgorica Express, Podgorica(+381) 81 634 147
Autoprevoz, Nikšić(+381) 83 24 553
Bus terminals in Montenegro
Podgorica(+381) 81 620 430
Herceg Novi(+381) 88 21 225
Budva(+381) 86 41 600
Cetinje(+381) 86 21 052
Ulcinj(+381) 85 81 225

 

Car

If you wish to see Montenegro by car, you will have a lot of flexibility. The road and motorway system in Montenegro, although less extensive than other European countries, is of reasonable standard. The total length of Montenegro's road system is 5,174km (3,215 miles). The motorway from Petrovac to Podgorica, Kolašin and Bijelo Polje have recently been upgraded to accommodate the increasing number of cars on the road, and to make transport faster between south and north.

By far, the most picturesque road is Adriatic road (Jadranska magistrala) which goes from Ulcinj to Igalo, and continues on to Dubrovnik, Croatia and further. Reconstruction of this road, which winds along the beautiful Adriatic coast, is in the planning stage. Reconstruction would widen the road and connect it as far south as Greece. These plans will become reality in 2015. Until then, tourists will be able to see a road that hasn't changed much for decades.

Train

Montenegro's train system is not a very popular mode of transportation throughout the country; however, for traveling to neighboring countries it serves travelers well. There are only a few places in Montenegro that have train stations, and it is much faster to travel to those towns by bus or car. On the other hand, train transport is rather cheap—much cheaper than in other parts of Europe.

Train Stations in Montenegro
Bar(+381) 85 312 210
Podgorica(+381) 81 633 663

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Money

In early 2002, Montenegro declared the EURO as its currency, and used it ever since. Some believe this was an effort by Montenegro to speed progress towards EU membership, while others believe it was a mistake.

Carrying a lot of cash is not recommended, since ATMs are plentiful and major credit cards are accepted widely. If you wish to carry cash, there is no need to exchange dollars or pounds in your home country, there are plenty of currency exchanges and banks that will help you for a small service charge. Avoid changing currencies in airports and hotels—while convenient, expect to pay higher rates.

Tipping is generally not required unless you feel it was well deserved. Generally it is 10%.

Check the current exchange rates between EURO and various world currencies.

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Telephone communication

If you wish to use the telephone while in Montenegro, all post offices offer telephone service. If you prefer to use a cell phone, there are two providers at the time, 067 Monet and 069 Promonte. All European phones will work in Montenegro. All you have to do is purchase new SIM cards found at every news stand (kiosk). A SIM card will cost you 10€: 5€ number and card, and 5€ for the airtime. Generally, this will be enough for moderate use while you are in Montenegro If you need more time, simply charge 5€ more to the account and you are good to go.

One word of caution for US tourists; make sure your phone is both quad band and unlocked. Most phones sold through carriers are locked, but you can search on Ebay for unlocking phones, or buy unlocked phones.

The telephone code for Montenegro is 381 and for Croatia 385.

Important telephone numbers:
988Information
92Police
93Firefighters
94Ambulance
9807Road assistance

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Health and safety

Montenegro is a very safe place to travel. While it is mostly safe to drink tap water, we suggest buying bottled water, especially in small towns where a lot of water is not plant processed. If you wish to see a doctor, you will have to pay for the visit.

If for some reason there is an incident, please report it to the local police. They can be found in every town, either walking around or sitting in their cars.

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Cuisine

The food in Montenegro is quite varied, from the fresh fish and seafood found in coastal town, to the central European dishes in the north.

Montenegro has its own traditional dishes. The costal areas have been influenced by years of Venetian rule, and pasta and pizza dishes can be found everywhere. There are specialties such as cheese (mladi sir), cream (kajmak) and dried ham (pršut). Prices are generally lower than in other western European countries, making eating out a value for money experience. Don't forget to try the local brew, “Rakija”!

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Other useful information

Electricity in Montenegro is 220V, 50Hz. Montenegro uses a standard European 2 point plug. If you are arriving from UK, purchase plug converters from any electronic store. Montenegro is on the metric system.