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Montenegro travel guide

About Montenegro

Montenegro remains one of Europe’s hidden gems… but for how much longer? Independent since 2006, the country has been quietly developing its fledgling tourism industry and is now being vaunted as one of the continent’s hottest new destinations.

So what does this nascent nation have to offer? Well, inland it’s all pine-scented mountains, rolling prairies and traditional, stone villages, which are a joy for hikers, bikers and nature lovers. The star attraction, though, is the blissful, 293km (183mile) coastline, which gives onto the calm blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.

The most popular coastal destinations are the enchanting Venetian-era port towns of Kotor and Budva, with their medieval stone buildings, family-run seafood restaurants and burgeoning hotel scene. Other less developed seaside towns include Herceg Novi, Petrovac, Bar and Ulcinj, where travellers can get a taste of local life.

The coastline harbours a pleasing combination of long sandy beaches to the south, near Ulcinj, curving pebble bays along the so-called Budva Riviera, and little coves around the perimeter of the meandering Bay of Kotor to the north.

As investment arrives, luxury marina-resorts have begun to spring up, offering mooring facilities for sailing boats as well as accommodation, restaurants, cafes, spas and shops. Porto Montenegro in Tivat is designed to accommodate some of the world’s biggest mega yachts and is indicative of the kind of travellers Montenegro seems to be targeting.

Of course, it’s not all about wealthy oligarchs. Particularly inland, where travellers can grab a slice of traditional Balkan life and lose themselves in rugged mountains, many of which rise above 2,000m (6,560ft).

The hinterland is also home to five national parks. Go in search of bears, wolves and lynx atop the peaks of Durmitor National Park; raft down the River Tara in Europe's deepest canyon; explore Europe's last virgin forest within Biogradska Gora National Park; or go bird watching in the wetlands of Lake Skadar National Park. But go now, before everyone else gets the same idea.

Key facts

Area:

13,812 sq km (5,333 sq miles).

Population:

626,101 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

47.8 per sq km.

Capital:

Podgorica.

Government:

Republic.

Head of state:

President Milo Djukanovic since 2018.

Head of government:

Prime Minister designate Zdravko Krivokapić since 2020.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Montenegro on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

There are currently no direct flights available between the UK and Montenegro. A number of airlines are operating a reduced schedule of indirect flights to the UK due to low passenger numbers. You should contact your airline before you travel to confirm your flight is going ahead as scheduled.

For more information about your rights, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you are not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Montenegro.

Everyone should comply with the measures put in place in Montenegro to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Land border crossings may close at short notice and entry to neighbouring countries may be subject to entry requirements.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact the Ministry of Health for information on testing facilities.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Montenegro

For information on entering Montenegro, see Entry Requirements. A number of restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus have been put in place by the Montenegrin Government, on the advice of the Institute for Public Health.

Public spaces and services

Wearing facemasks or coverings is mandatory in indoor public spaces throughout Montenegro, and outdoors where it is not possible to keep a physical distance of at least 2 metres. Children 5 years old and younger are exempt from this requirement. Non-compliance is punishable by law and subject to fines ranging from €100 to €2,000.

Visiting people in healthcare institutions remains banned. Visits to those in custody or serving prison sentences are only permitted for lawyers and immediate family members. Visits to persons accommodated in social and child protection institutions are allowed, in accordance with the current epidemiological measures.

Gatherings and mass participation events must be held in line with guidance set out by the Institute of Public Health (available here), which includes limits on number of attendees and requirements for social distancing.

Renting private houses or flats is banned for groups of more than 2 people, except if they are from the same household.

Working from home is recommended wherever possible. Otherwise flexible working hours and reduced physical contact between employees is recommended, especially for those facing greater risks should they contract COVID-19.

The full list of measures is available in English on the Montenegrin government website and in Montenegrin at the specialised COVID response website. The latest information on case numbers is available on the website for the Institute of Public Health.

Quarantine requirements

If you have had contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus, or suspected to be infected with coronavirus, you will be subject to quarantine.

All those who were quarantined or self-isolating and who test positive for the coronavirus and are unable to continue self-isolation in their place of residence will be subjected to compulsory institutional isolation. The same rule applies for those who have received hospital treatment for coronavirus and recovered but have not passed two sequential negative coronavirus results; and to those who arrived in Montenegro from abroad and subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus.

Violation of these measures is a criminal offence.

Healthcare in Montenegro

If you develop any coronavirus symptoms or are concerned about your health you should call the designated Institute of Public Health hotline 1616 from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on weekends or ask a Montenegrin-speaker to call on your behalf. Call handlers will be able to assess the risks you have been exposed to and provide further recommendations and instructions.

You may be advised to go to a COVID health centre will perform an initial check and decide whether you will be tested for COVID-19 immediately or referred to a local specialist clinic. People requiring a PCR test for non-COVID reasons, such as admission to a hospital for an injury, can be tested at local specialist clinics. Hospital treatment for coronavirus patients is provided free of charge to all foreign tourists who have contracted coronavirus during their stay in Montenegro.

All foreign tourists who require a negative PCR on return from their visit and can prove that they have paid tourist tax in Montenegro can obtain one free of charge for that purpose. A request should be sent to travel@ijzcg.me at least 72 hours prior to the travel departure date.

You can also request and obtain a PCR, quick antigen or serology tests for COVID at your own expense from these private laboratories in Montenegro.

Contact details for public and private medical facilities are available from this non-exhaustive list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Montenegro.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Montenegro

We will update this page when the Government of Montenegro announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Montenegrin national vaccination programme started in March 2021 and is using the Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Sputnik V vaccines. The Government of Montenegro has stated that British nationals resident in Montenegro are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. This is not dependent on citizenship or whether you are insured with the Montenegrin Health Fund.

The Montenegrin authorities have created an e-portal with information about the local COVID-19 vaccination programme (only available in Montenegrin). Vaccination in Montenegro continues at vaccination centres across the country. Residents of Montenegro can attend with their identity documents without a need for advance registration, every day from 8am to 8pm.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Montenegro, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Help and support

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings from street crime, particularly in larger towns. Do not leave valuables unattended and watch out for pick pockets in public places like tourist hot spots, beaches, airports and on public transport. Use a hotel safe if possible. Report all incidents of crime to the local police and get a police report. If you lose your passport, you should also contact the British Embassy Podgorica.

Incidents of violent crime between organised criminal groups can occur. You should exercise caution, remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. In the event of any incidents, you should follow the advice of local authorities.

The main emergency numbers are: 112 (general emergencies), 122 (police), 123 (fire department) and 124 (ambulance service).

Local travel 

Information on local road closures is available on the Auto-Moto Association of Montenegro website or by telephoning 19807, +382 20 234 999 or +382 63 239 987. You can also use these numbers to ask for roadside assistance.

Road travel

See the AA guide on driving in Montenegro.

Licences and documents

To drive you must have a valid driving licence and International Driving Permit (IDP). The correct IDP is the one issued in accordance with the 1968 UN Convention on Road Traffic. 1949 IDPs previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted in Montenegro. You can get the IDP over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

If you bring your own or a rented vehicle into the country, you must have the original vehicle registration/ownership documents and a locally valid insurance policy with you. If you fail to carry the right documents, you will be refused entry and the car may be impounded until you can prove ownership. The FCDO cannot assist you in confirming the validity of photocopied and/or emailed registration logbooks (V5C) nor obtain originals for you.

Check if your insurance provides European Green Card vehicle insurance valid in Montenegro. Drivers of cars registered on foreign plates and without a valid green card will be asked to buy temporary insurance valid for Montenegro, and available for purchase at all official border crossings (“granichno osiguranje” in Montenegrin).

Road standards

The standard of roads is fair to poor with conditions worsening in rural areas, especially in the winter and after bad weather. In particular, the two-lane Moraca Canyon in Montenegro can be dangerous when conditions are poor and there is overcrowding. Roads leading to Montenegro’s coastal areas are in better condition, but can be overcrowded during the summer season.

Driving regulations

By law you must wear a seatbelt. Riders of scooters, mopeds or motorcycles must wear a crash helmet.

You must drive with dipped headlights on during the day and must not use a mobile phone while driving. You must equip your car for winter conditions when the weather requires it, including winter tyres on many roads from 15 November to 31 March.

Montenegrin traffic law defines intoxication as a blood alcohol level higher than 0.3 g/kg, or 0.1 g/kg for drivers younger than 24 or with less than 12 months of driving experience.

Exceeding the speed limit by just 10kph will get you a fine in Montenegro, while excessive speeding (30kph over the limit in towns and 50kph on motorways) and overtaking under dangerous conditions will lead to automatic confiscation of your driving licence. Fines for traffic offences range from €20 to €6,000. Prison sentences can also be imposed.

If you are issued with a fine, the issuing police officer will usually request payment is made to a bank account within a reasonable time. In certain circumstances your passport may be seized. If you deny the charge you have the right to appear in court. All fine receipts have serial numbers and can be monitored in a central register for 3 years.

If you are involved in a small traffic accident, you can request a police investigation at a cost of 50 euros. This fee is reimbursable from the person found guilty for causing the accident after completion of the court proceedings. Drivers can opt to complete a European accident report and submit it to their insurance company without a police investigation.

The only toll in Montenegro is the Sozina tunnel between Lake Skadar and the sea.

Extreme and adventure sports

A wide range of outdoor activities are on offer for tourists. Take precautions to prevent injuries and use protective equipment. Before signing up with paragliding instructors, for example, ask to see their training licence for tandem flights. Make sure you have a correct licence when renting vehicles, particularly jet skis. Take particular care when hiking in the Montenegrin mountains. Do not underestimate the hike: factors like weather, landscape, distance and elevation can increase the risks. Ask your guide about the required hiking equipment according to landscape and season; take fully charged mobile phone and enough supplies with you.

If you get into trouble, call the emergency number 112.

Political situation

In 2020 there were a series of largely peaceful protests over a new law on religion, which caused some disruption and involved some clashes with police and the closure of some roads for a number of hours. There have been sporadic protests during 2021, often in front of government buildings and the Parliament.

You should exercise caution, keep up to date with local developments, check local media and avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings. Find alternative routes where possible. In the event of any incidents, you should follow the advice of local authorities.

Terrorist attacks in Montenegro cannot be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Terrorists may target religious sites, including churches.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Under Montenegrin law you must carry a valid form of ID with you at all times, for example a driving licence, passport or equivalent, otherwise you may be fined. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place.

Drug laws are similar to those in the UK. Possession or trafficking of drugs will attract strict penalties and often a lengthy prison sentence.

Taking photographs of military and police installations, personnel or vehicles is forbidden and may lead to arrest and prosecution by the local authorities.

There are no laws against same-sex sexual activity and there is a general tolerance towards same-sex couples in Montenegro. However, due to the conservative nature of society, overt public displays of affection may attract unwanted attention. Pride events have been held since 2013 and generally take place without incident. You can find more local information on LGBT issues on the website of Queer Montenegro. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Montenegro set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Montenegro

If you’re travelling from the UK, you will need:

  • a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel; or
  • a negative rapid antigen test recognised by the European Commission taken within 48 hours of travel; or
  • a positive serology test on IgG antibodies not older than 30 days from a registered laboratory; or
  • proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’)

Children under the age of 5 do not require a test or proof of vaccination.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status

Montenegro will only accept the letter format from the UK to demonstrate your COVID vaccination status. You should not use apps to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Exemptions to providing a test or proof of vaccination

You do not need a test or proof of vaccination if you have only been in the following countries in the past 15 days:

  • European Union member states, Israel, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and North Macedonia, Switzerland, Moldova, Norway, Kazakhstan, USA or Canada.

British nationals with Montenegrin residence permits travelling from all other countries can enter Montenegro without a valid test or proof of vaccination, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Land border crossings

Border crossings are open as normal, except border crossing Vuca from Rozaje to Tutin, and border crossing Metaljka from Pljevlja to Cajnice which are only open from 7am to 7pm.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You can enter Montenegro for short-term stays of up to 90 days without a visa. The Montenegrin law considers “stays of 90 days” as 90 days in total in a 180-day period, counted from the first entry date.

On entering Montenegro, make sure the border police put an entry stamp in your passport. This helps avoid problems related to verifying the length of your stay in the country.

If you are in the UK the Montenegrin Embassy in London will be able to advise on what kind of visa you may need before travel to Montenegro.

If you wish to extend your stay once in Montenegro, you will need to apply for a visa or a temporary residence permit from the Montenegrin Ministry of Interior Affairs no later than one week before the 90-day period expires.

Passport validity

Your passport should be undamaged and in accordance with local law should be issued in the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months after your planned date of departure from Montenegro.

If you hold dual citizenship, the Montenegrin authorities will consider you a citizen of the issuing state of the passport with which you entered Montenegro.

Border crossings

Only enter Montenegro through recognised border crossings.

If you are planning a mountaineering tour which involves crossing borders other than at an official border crossing point, contact the National Tourist Organisation for advice.

There may be additional delays on roads approaching the border crossings between Montenegro and neighbouring countries, given coronavirus-related restrictions. See Staying during Coronavirus section for further details.

Registration

By law you must register with the local police or tourism organisation in the town/city where you are staying within 24 hours of your arrival in Montenegro, unless you are staying in a hotel or other commercial accommodation where you’ll be registered automatically on checking in.

If you do not register you may be fined, detained or face a court appearance.

Customs requirements

The Montenegro Customs Administration advises travellers of the main regulations regarding import of food, medicines, flora and fauna species, animals, tobacco and alcoholic beverages and firearms, in their downloadable guide.

Although there is no limit to the amount of money you can bring into Montenegro, you should declare sums of money in excess of €10,000 (including travellers’ cheques or equivalent in other currencies). To take more than €10,000 out of the country you will need to provide proof that you brought the money in. Customs Officers at all border points issue declaration forms. On departure, you will need to return a certified copy of this declaration to customs. For sums of money in excess of €15,000 you should also have obtained a document which states the origin of the funds. If you fail to comply with these rules, your money may be confiscated.

To avoid customs charges, declare items of value like expensive jewellery, photographic and computer equipment.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted by Montenegrin authorities for entry, airside transit and exit from Montenegro and are valid forms of identity documents in Montenegro.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for COUNTRY on the TravelHealthPro website See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Montenegro.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you are abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you are travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For more information on controlled and legal medicines, contact The Montenegro Customs Administration or Montenegrin Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

While pharmacies across the country stock a good supply of medicines, not all medicines prescribed in the UK are available in Montenegro. You should make sure you have sufficient medical supplies (including prescription medicines) for the duration of your stay and any unforeseen delays. Ordering medicines from abroad and importing them by post to Montenegro is neither legal nor possible.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement for British nationals visiting Montenegro, which entitles you to free treatment for genuine emergencies. In order to exercise this right, you should present a British passport and some evidence of being insured in the UK to the office of the Health Fund of Montenegro and obtain a certificate. More detailed information can be found on our living in Montenegro page. The reciprocal agreement does not cover repatriation to the UK or any additional costs, so we highly recommend taking out adequate travel health insurance to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 124 to contact the ambulance service directly. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Montenegro lies in a seismically active zone and small tremors are recorded throughout the year. Serious earthquakes are less frequent but do occur. The last serious earthquake, in 1979, resulted in 94 deaths and approximately 1,000 injuries and caused major structural damage along the Montenegrin coast. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Wild fires are common in Montenegro from April to October due to the dry/hot weather. Wild fires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas. Make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished, do not light fires or barbecues and do not leave any rubbish, particularly empty bottles, behind. If you see a forest fire, call the emergency services on 112.

Flooding can be a problem in winter and spring when heavy rains and snow melt causes rivers to swell.

Monitor media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities if a forest fire, flood or earthquake occurs in your area.

The official currency of Montenegro is the Euro.

Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country.

Only Bank of England issued bank notes are recognised or exchanged in Montenegro. Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes are not accepted.

If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you are there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you are concerned about whether or not it is safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you are travelling to, together with information from other sources you have identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it is safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we will state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you have booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or cannot offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you are not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We are no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you are looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you cannot find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you are a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that is not covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry.

We are not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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