Montenegro is one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse countries to go backpacking. Situated in the southern Balkans, visitors to the country will find an incredible range of Venetian ports, mountains and lakes. If you want to travel somewhere off-the-beaten-path in Europe, then Montenegro is the place to see.
With its green mountains and glittering beaches, you can explore the Balkan nation easily on a budget of €30-40 per day. Most travellers will arrive in the capital Podgorica, and from here you can explore the country’s beauty spots.
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Backpackers should note that Montenegro doesn’t have a high-speed railway like Western Europe. Travelling in the Balkans, therefore, requires some planning, but with Google Maps you’ll be able to explore Montenegro with ease.
Places to see
Bay of Kotor
Budget hostels are available across Montenegro, and you can sleep cheap in all towns and cities. Even in tourist destinations such as the Bay of Kotor you’re likely to find somewhere to stay for as low as €14 a night.
Image by Nico Trinkhaus (Flickr/Creative Commons)
If you’ve ever considered visiting Montenegro, then the Bay of Kotor was probably at the top of your list of things to see. Europe’s southernmost fjord offers stunning views of medieval castles and has survived centuries of invaders.
Kotor and the surrounding mountains are now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and attract thousands of visitors each year.
- Scheduled bus lines connect all cities of Montenegro and Kotor is only two hours from Podgorica costing about 12 euros.
Image by Raymond Zoller (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Bar is a gorgeous port in southern Montenegro. Most people come here to explore the Stari Bar (stari means old) ruins, about 5km north of the town.
- A trip to Stari Bar from Bar should cost no more than €5 by taxi
- The ferry terminal has regular summer ferries to and from Italy
Image by imke.stahlmann (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Lake Skadar is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and straddles the borders of Albania and Montenegro. Surrounded by dramatic mountains, the lake is home to 260 bird species, fishing villages, islet monasteries, and unspoilt beaches.
- Trains to Virpazar station (nearest town to the lake) are available from Podgorica, Podgorica airport, Bar and Sutomore. From all locations, there are 5 to 10 daily departures, and tickets only cost a few euros.
Image by Mikko Lindstedt (Flickr/Creative Commons)
If you want to relax by the sea, then Budva is an excellent choice. The fifteenth-century port comes alive during the summer months and has a fantastic nightlife with the city now established as one of the country’s leading party towns.
- From within Montenegro (Podgorica, Herceg Novi or Bar), there are frequent buses to Budva (approximately every hour during the day).
Image by David Dufresne (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Ostrog Monastery is the most visited Orthodox Christian site in Montenegro and is only 45 minutes from Podgorica. The heritage site is a spectacular place to visit and offers stunning views of the Bjelopavlic Valley.
- Visitors going to Ostrog Monastery should take the Podgorica – Nikšić highway 20 kilometres north until you reach the turn off for Ostrog.
- For the first-time travellers, there are plenty of tourist buses that organise trips to the monastery from Podgorica and the coastal towns.
*Header image by trombone65 (Flickr/Creative Commons)