When someone asks us about our favorite places on the Balkan peninsula, involuntarily Montenegro comes to our mind. This small country has a lot to offer and especially is extremely friendly to motorcycle tourism fans. Amazing beaches, charming towns, and twisted mountain roads. Are you still wondering if it is worth it? We can tell you right now that you won’t regret it – you will be enchanted by this country. Before that, however, we recommend, to read our mini-guide – “Montenegro practically – what is worth knowing, tips, practical information”. We tried to gather all the information about Montenegro and all the observations from our trips.
Montenegro practically – when is the best time to go to Montenegro?
You should not be surprised, the high-season starts in June and ends in late August. It is then that the highest temperatures occur and Montenegro experiences a real tourist invasion. We don’t like crowds on the beaches, traffic jams, and too high temperatures, so we personally recommend visiting Montenegro in May or early autumn. What should you pay attention to when you go to Montenegro on these dates? Durmitor in May may be impassable, we would even say that it is practically a sure thing. Don’t be surprised that there may still be snow in the higher parts of the mountains. In autumn the weather can be unpredictable – the big temperature drops, rain, sometimes snow. But everything is to be experienced – a few layers of clothes, a raincoat, and you can drive ahead. Last time, and it seems to us that this was the most optimal date, we were there at the end of the first half of September – still warm at the seaside and moderately warm in the mountains with unfortunately already colder nights.
Montenegro practically – necessary documents
Montenegro is not a member of the European Union and the Schengen area. It is possible to enter Montenegro for up to 30 days on the basis of an identity card, and up to 90 days on the basis of a passport. If you are planning to stay there for more than 90 days, you need a visa, which one can be applied for at the Embassy of Montenegro in Warsaw. All the documents must be valid for a minimum of 3 months ahead, starting from the date of planned departure from Montenegro. The necessary document for travelers, whether on two or four wheels, is the Green Card, or in short the international confirmation of our vehicle’s motor insurance. We have already written about the Green Card, how to get it, for how much, before. Here you will find a link to our article. What is important is that you should check if your Green Card includes the code of Montenegro, i.e. MNE, without it the Green Card will not be valid in this country. Have you heard that nobody checks the Green Card and you can basically go without it? Yes you can, yes sometimes nobody checks it, but when they ask for it and we don’t have it, we will have to pay border insurance of €15 for 15 days or €28 for 30 days. We have always entered Montenegro from Serbia or Albania, in Serbia we were asked to show all the documents, in Albania we were just waved to go on. It is not worth risking and senselessly losing money for border insurance, it is better to remember about the Green Card before you leave.
Montenegro practically – traffic regulations and fines
The maximum alcohol level in blood is 0.3 promille, although as we always say – you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Standard motorcycle equipment is required, although, as with our southern neighbors, it is worth also to have spare bulbs. That’s how we know – the Vienna Convention has been ratified by Montenegro, but a set of spare bulbs is a trivial thing, and it may save us unnecessary trouble with the police. As far as speed limits are concerned, they are similar to our Polish ones, however, they are not the same, so it’s worth remembering them because inspections happen quite often and it’s not worth to screw up your holiday with an unnecessary fine.
- 50 km/h in urban areas.
- 100 km/h on highways.
- 80 km/h on other roads.
Since 2013, Montenegro has new traffic rules in force, which drastically increase the penalties for violation of the traffic regulations. The highest fines (up to €2000) or a prison sentence of up to 60 days are for exceeding the speed limit of 70 km/h in urban areas and 90 km/h in unbuilt areas, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (more than 0.5 promille) or for refusing to control alcohol in blood. We personally have never had any problems with the Montenegrin police, however, many times we have seen them stick fines for inappropriate parking.
Montenegro practically – currency, payments, prices
In Montenegro, although it is not a member of the European Union, the currency used is the EUR. In most cases, we had no problems with card payments, although sometimes it happened, mainly in small villages, that card payments were not accepted. A big surprise for us was the lack of possibility to pay by card at the bridge on the Tara river (last time we were there in September 2018). It seemed to us that it was quite a popular place, and for accommodation, food or souvenirs you could not pay otherwise than in cash. That’s why it’s always worth having some local currency with us because if it wasn’t for the help of Pawel, with whom we were traveling at the time, we would have to go back to the ATM in Žabljak.
When it comes to prices in Montenegro, they are certainly lower than in Croatia, but it is not as low as we have sometimes read or heard from the stories of others. Prices are rather moderate for our Polish budget, although in some places they can surprise you. The most expensive, and basically comparable to Croatia or even Italy, was in Kotor. Similar prices, although slightly lower, were in Budva and its surroundings. Generally speaking, one can say that the more popular places – the more expensive, which should surprise no one at all. Our lunch at Kotor was over 20€ per person. It was not strictly in the center, but outside of the old city walls. The advantage was that the portions were so large that we (and nearby cats) were fulled. It could be cheaper, that’s for sure, but we were too tired and hungry to look for a cheaper place. For comparison, right after crossing the border, in Pljevlja, we ate a great pljeskavica for less than 5€. The prices in the shops seemed to us more or less comparable to the Polish ones, maybe a little bit more expensive. The same with gasoline at petrol stations.
What to eat in Montenegro – a few words about Montenegrin cuisine
Montenegro’s cuisine is typical Balkan cuisine, so if you’ve been to the Balkan countries before, you probably know what to expect from Montenegro. And you also know that you can forget about the diet – a lot of meat, a lot of frying, a lot of cheese, sweet fruit and even sweeter desserts. Just like in Croatia, Montenegro is dominated by ćevapčići, pljeskavica, reliable burger, various kinds of grilled meat, seafood in a thousand ways, stuffed peppers in various shapes, and baklava and fritule desserts. It was always delicious and we always enjoyed it. At least what we tasted, that is mainly meat and sometimes vegetarian dishes, because we do not like fish and seafood.
Montenegro practically – internet, roaming
As we wrote earlier, Montenegro is not a member of the European Union, so you can forget about cheap internet roaming. The data packages offered by our domestic Polish service providers were quite bad – too small data and for too much money. Therefore, the best way to get access to the Internet, for a reasonable price, is to buy a local SIM card with data access. After a short search, during our trip in 2018, we acquired Turisticki Paket from Telenor. We bought our card at a local kiosk for €5 with a data limit of 10GB and it was valid for 15 days from the moment of its activation. Attention! The lady in the kiosk asked us to present our identity card – the card have to be registered. It was some time ago and we know that package prices have changed, so we refer you to the website of the network operator. Here you will find the most reliable and up-to-date information about available cards. We have also heard about the possibility of buying cards from two other operators – m:tel and Telekom (our T-mobile), but we did not use their offers, so we refer you to the operators’ websites. Unfortunately, both websites are in the local language.
A night in a tent, or maybe private accommodation?
Formally, wild-camping is illegal. We’ve heard and read on other blogs that the Montenegrins don’t seem to be doing any trouble if we pitch a tent on their territory if we behave decently or ask for permission beforehand. But not always, so we mainly slept on camping sites or in apartments that we were looking for online on Booking.com and Airbnb.pl. The off-season prices were so decent that sometimes we just chose a bed instead of a mattress for our own convenience. The exceptions will of course be Kotor and Budva, but here it is always much more expensive than in other parts of Montenegro.
The coolest camping spot in Montenegro?
It was unanimously the Safari camping in Ulcijn. We pitched the tent almost on the beach itself, and to sleep, we were swayed by the scream of gulls and the sound of waves. Also, we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets in our lives. It was magical. If you want to experience the same thing as we do, you can find a link to the campsite here. P.S. It’s no paid advertisement, camping was recommended by our friends, we recommend it to you.
A bunch of useful links and information at the end
- In our opinion, one of the most beautiful scenic routes in Montenegro we have written before. You will find a link here, and of course it is a route through Lovcen and a VERY twisting descent to Kotor.
- Before you leave, read about the Revolut card. We recommend it because it is really great for frequent travellers. Have a look at our article about it.
- What to take on a motorcycle trip? Download the checklist with our subjective tool.
- From the non-motorcycle attractions, if you like it, we recommend rafting down the Tara River and cruising to the Blue Cave.