The Republic of 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... Read more...
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The Republic of 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 began to recover, and Montenegro is being re-discovered by tourists from around the globe.
In 2007 the country received peak level of tourism which almost reached pre-war volumes. As a result, in 2008 many roads are being renovated (which affects driving time) and many hotels are being constructed or renovated (which results in in extra noise and inconvenience).
Montenegro is divided into 22 municipalities, which can be grouped into 3 main geographical regions:
The coastal region, stretching along the 295 km long Montenegrin coast. The region is of main interest to tourists, with 72km of beaches, many picturesque old towns, and luxury hotels.
The central region, in the Zeta river valley, in which the capital Podgorica is situated.
The northern region has some of the most beautiful nature in Montenegro. High mountains, clean rivers and mountain lakes, and in the winter lots of snow for enjoying the ski resorts. In the summer the typically continental climate is good for swimming in the river Lim or on the lakes (Plavsko, Pesica, Siska...) during the day, and in the evening there is fresh air and temperatures around 5-10 C.
Podgorica airport is Montenegro's main international airport. It is situated 12km (7.5 miles) south of Podgorica. It is a hub for Montenegro's national airline carrier, Montenegro Airlines, which maintains regular flights from Podgorica to Belgrade, Budapest, Zurich, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Paris, Rome and Vienna.
One can get from the airport to Podgorica center by taking the minibus, which usually waits in front of the terminal. Taxi to the center will be more expensive, usually 10+ euros. There are also bus lines connecting the airport with some other Montenegro cities.
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.
Dubrovnik airport in Croatia is half hour drive from the Montenegro border, and coastal city of Herceg-Novi, and is served by many major airlines, so it might be a good option for tourist coming by plane.
There is regular passenger train service from Subotica through Novi Sad and Belgrade. Train goes through Bijelo Polje, Kolasin, Podgorica and ends in Bar, Montenegro's main seaport. Travel by train is cheapest way to get to Montenegro, but the quality of service is not very good. There are overnight trains with sleeping cars for around €25, which must be booked in advance, but are a more comfortable option.
Montenegro is well connected with neighbouring countries, except Albania, 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. Coming in from Serbia during the winter requires additional caution, as curvy mountanious road is not in good condition. Hiring a car to drive in to Montenegro from one of the surrounding countries can be problematic. Not all car hire companies will permit the journey. You will need a border pass.
There are regular ferry lines from Bar to Bari and Ancona in Italy. Lines operate almost daily throughout the year, and get more frequent during the summer. Trip to Bari takes around 16 hours.
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, quality of service is not on the high level. It might also be dangerous, an accident with over 200 casualties occurred in 2006. Tickets can be purchased on board.
This may be the easiest way to get around Montenegro. Buses are frequent(especially during the summer), safe and on schedule. Ticket prices within Montenegro are all under €15. Local buses usually have no airconditioning. In addition, it is common for people to smoke on a crowded bus.
Besides the buses, there are minibuses at bus stations that are usually slightly cheaper, but are actually faster and more comfortable option.
As there is no real highway in Montenegro, all roads are two-lane only, and generally are not up to European standards. In addition, drivers tend to be extremely vocal, so don't take it personally if a driver yells at you.
Roads from Podgorica to Bar and to Niksic are fairly good, easy to drive on. The road from Podgorica through Cetinje to Budva is in good condition, but is a curvy mountanious road which rarely permits speeds over 70km/h.
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 one takes the bus to the north during the cold or rainy days, as bus drivers are expirienced and know the road.
Speed limit is 80km/h on the open road, unless sign specifies otherwise. Speed limit inside the cities is 50km/h. Use of safety belts is compulsory, and use of cellphone while driving is prohibited. Signposts used in Montenegro are almost identical to those used in EU countries.
Also be aware that it is necessary to use headlights 24 hours a day in Montenegro.
When to go
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 92, 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, gypsies and pickpockets are common. Don't be afraid of giving them a couple euro-cents, but do not ever let them see that you possess a lot of money or something valuable, as they will send someone after you to beg for more money. Always carry your bags in the safest way, slung around your shoulder with the pouch on the front of your leg where you can see it. If you see a boy or girl running in your direction and you're holding an object, put it out of the way until he/she passes by, as they may try to knock it out of your hand.
In June 2006, following a referendum in which a 55.4% majority chose to split from Serbia, Montenegro declared its independence.