“Where is Montenegro? – Never heard of it.” – This is a common statement I hear a lot when I tell people where I am. If you are one of those, it will change in a second because it is worth knowing it. Montenegro should be on your bucket list if you love the outdoors and beaches alike! Let’s not waste our time and look at the various reasons why you should visit Montenegro.
Montenegro has gorgeous landscapes
From the beautiful mountains to a breathtaking coast with divine beaches – In Montenegro, you will have it all. I fell head over heels in love with this country’s nature. This reason is at the top of this list on purpose because, in my point of view, it’s the main reason why Montenegro should be on your bucket list.
Explore medieval old towns
Who loves to stroll through narrow streets in old towns? ME!! And I hope you, too! Montenegro has a few old fortresses with that Mediterranean flair which makes you feel like in a different era. Kotor, Budva, and Herceg Novi are only three of them. Each of them is more gorgeous than the other.
Do you only have one day for Kotor? Read this!
Feel the history at fortress ruins
Montenegro was part of former Yugoslavia, so this country didn’t stay unharmed in the recent war. However, this wasn’t the only war or conflict that happened in this area. The result is that you will see fortress ruins, abandoned houses and other destroyed buildings.
Of course, these sites have a bitter taste to it, but it is still interesting to check them out and learn something. For example, Stari Bar is being reconstructed because it is the major sight of the city.
Montenegro is a tiny country
Limited time? No problem with Montenegro because it is pretty small. Although I would suggest spending a few weeks in this tiny country, you can get around quickly. Most cities are only 1-2 hours apart from each other. So, you can see a lot within a weekend or a week. You can even get the perfect combination of beach, nature, and history within this short time frame.
If you want to explore Montenegro to the fullest and are an adventure seeker, you should stay a bit longer, though. There is plenty of things to do and to explore.
Visit the Petra of Southeastern Europe
Ostrog Monastery is built in the rock, like Petra in Jordan – just more European style. This spiritual sight became a hotspot for pilgrims around the world.
This Orthodox Christian monastery is divided into a lower and upper complex. Traveling to the latter is seen as the sacred journey. Read more here.
Great bus system that brings you almost everywhere
If you cannot afford a rental car, don’t worry! Montenegro has a great bus system that brings to plenty of places.
If you are nice to the bus driver, you can get dropped off even at places without a bus stop. That actually happens quite often. I have also seen many people who are just waiting on the street (no bus stop) and waving at the bus.
You can buy a bus ticket at the central bus stations, online, or on the bus. Central bus stations seem to be 0.50-1.00 Euro more expensive. However, they are easier to find than the right bus stop on the streets.
Swim in crystal-clear water
The mostly rocky beaches have one big advantage: crystal-clear water. I love swimming in the sea here! The color and clarity are just incredible. If you don’t mind the pebbles, you will enjoy the beaches here too. If you don’t like it, there are chairs you can rent for more comfort. There are also some sandy beaches, for example, around Budva.
Go on adventures all day long
Canyoning, kayaking, coasteering, hiking, parasailing, paragliding, trekking, rafting, skiing, and that’s not even all – Montenegro is a paradise for adventure seekers. Tara Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in Europe and offers some adrenaline-pumping activities.
Besides that, you have many hiking trails that offer spectacular views. In addition, you can explore the 5 national parks and indulge in Montenegro’s pure nature.
The local cuisine is really delicious. You will only like it if you are a meat and fish lover, though, because most of the dishes aren’t vegetarian, nor vegan.
You can often get a daily menu for around 5 Euros, which includes a soup (thick or broth), some fresh veggies or a salad, and the main dish (goulash, stuffed bell peppers, meatballs, or other traditional dishes).
They also have amazing grilled meats or dishes with mouth-watering tender meat. Like I said, if you love meat, you’ll love their cuisine!
Montenegro is an affordable destination
Montenegro should be on your bucket list if you are a budget traveler. Accommodation and food are pretty cheap compared to other European countries. Of course, in touristy areas, you have to pay way more but that’s no secret. It’s everywhere like that.
The first time, we spent between 800-900 Euros per month (2 persons) here, but we had a monthly rental and it was off-season. In summer (June-August), you’ll have to expect to pay more, often the double price. That’s why we are spending around 750 Euros per person/per month this time. So, if you are on a tight budget, avoid summer here.
Not in the Schengen area
Last but not least, Montenegro is not part of the Schengen area, which can be quite important for people who like to travel in Europe for longer but need to leave the Schengen countries for a while. Most nationalities are allowed to stay 30-90 days. My husband and I can spend 90 days in Montenegro (US and German passports).