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  • Position: South East Europe
  • Population: 676.872
  • Capital: Podgorica
  • Surface: 13.812 km2
  • Coast: 293 km
  • UNESCO places: Durmitor, Tara canyon, Kotor old town and Kotor bay
  • National parks: Durmitor, Lovcen, Biogradska gora, Prokletije
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time zone: GTM 1
  • Airports: 2 (Podgorica and Tivat)

How to get there

Flights to Montenegro are in pretty short supply, but Montenegro Airlines (w www.montenegroairlines.com) flies to Podgorica and Tivat (near Kotor) from several European destinations. The state is also easily reached overland from any of its neighbouring countries. From Croatia, there are buses along the coast from Dubrovnik – also home to the closest budget flights – and there are a couple of services from Split too; some of these will require a bus change after a short walk across the border. From Serbia, there are several daily buses between Belgrade and the Montenegrin coast, via Podgorica; daily trains – including a night service – also run from Belgrade to Bar along the same route. From Bosnia-Hercegovina there are direct buses to Podgorica from Trebinje and Sarajevo.

Perhaps the most romantic way to arrive in Montenegro is by ferry from Italy. Between April to September, Montenegro Lines (w www.montenegrolines.net) runs between two and six weekly services to Bar from Bari (from €50).

Getting around the city

For a country with such a small population, the frequency of intercity buses is quite remarkable. In addition, Montenegro has poured substantial funds into the upgrading of its main travel arteries, and travel times are accordingly short. A train line heads to Bar from the Serbian border – a beautiful journey. While services are infrequent, prices are dirt-cheap and almost every inch of track affords breathtaking views, especially the run into Podgorica from the Serbian border – be sure to sit on the western side of the train.

Discover Montenegro’s head office is located opposite the Regent Hotel, within Venice Square at Tara building.  The 42-metre sailing yacht Riana is also berthed at Porto Montenegro.

 

Costs
Daily budget Basic €30/occasional treat €50. Drink Nikšičko Tamno beer €1 (bottle from shop). Food Sarma €2.50–4. Hostel/budget hotel €20/€50. Travel Bus: Budva–Kotor €3; train: Podgorica–Virpazar €1.80.

Crime and Personal Safety
Montenegro has a pretty low crime rate as far as muggings and petty theft go, though of course it pays to be vigilant, especially around bus stations. The police (policija) are generally easy-going, and some speak basic English.

Emergencies
Police 92; Ambulance 94; Fire 93.

Entry Requirements
Note that citizens of some countries, notably South Africa, still need visas to enter Montenegro. You may have to apply at a Serbian embassy, since not all Montenegrin ones are up and running yet.

Health
Pharmacies (apoteka) tend to follow shop hours, though you’ll find emergency 24-hour telephone numbers posted in the windows. If they can’t help, you’ll be directed to a hospital (bolnica), the majority of which are pretty good.

Information
Many towns and resorts now have a tourist information office, though hours can be infrequent and staff do not always speak English. Though they can advise on local accommodation, it’s unlikely that they’ll book rooms for you – head to a travel agent instead.

Internet
Getting online is becoming easier as many hotels, hostels and cafés have wi-fi connections; internet cafés typically charge €1–2 per hour.

Mail
Most post offices (pošta) are open Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, Saturday 8am to noon.

Money and Banks
Though not yet a member of the EU, Montenegro uses the euro (€). Banks are generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to noon, and ATMs are widespread.

Opening Hours & Holidays
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm. Museums are usually closed on Mondays, and all shops and banks shut down on public holidays: January 1, 6 and 7, Orthodox Easter (April or May), May 1 and 21, and July 13.

Phones
Post offices are your best bet for phone calls as public phones are in extremely short supply; local landlines are cheap to call, though calls to mobile phones are usually €1 per minute.

Student & Discounts
Quite a few sights and museums now offer discounted fares to students (an ISIC card may be useful, but is not essential), and for what it’s worth, InterRail tickets are valid on Montenegro’s single line (which never costs more than a few euros anyway).

Interesting Districts

Kotor

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Perast

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Cetinje

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Lovcen National Park and Njegos Mausoleum

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The Ostrog Monastery

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Sveti Stefan

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