Montenegro travel guide
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.
13,812 sq km (5,333 sq miles).
626,101 (UN estimate 2016).
47.8 per sq km.
President Jakov Milatović since 2023.
Prime Minister Milojko Spajic since 2023.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.
Before you travel
No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:
- advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
- information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers
If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Montenegro set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Montenegro Embassy, London.
Land and border crossings may close at short notice and entry into neighbouring countries may be subject to entry requirements.
There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Montenegro.
Passport validity requirements
To enter Montenegro, your passport must:
- have a ‘date of issue’ less than 10 years before the date you arrive
- have an ‘expiry date’ at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave
If you hold dual citizenship, the Montenegro authorities will consider you a citizen of the issuing state of the passport you used to enter Montenegro.
Checks at border control
Make sure you get your passport stamped.
The dated entry stamp helps avoid any problems about the length of your stay in the country.
You can enter Montenegro for a short term stay of up to 90 days without a visa. Under Montenegrin law this means 90 days in total in any period of 180 days, counted from your first entry date.
Applying for a visa
Check which type of visa or work permit you may need with the Montenegro Embassy in the UK.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Montenegro guide.
Registering with the authorities
You must register with the local tourism office or police in the town or city where you are staying within 24 hours of arrival in Montenegro. If you are staying in a hotel or other commercial accommodation, this is done automatically when you check in.
If you do not register you may be fined, detained or face a court appearance.
There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of Montenegro.
You should declare items of value like expensive jewellery, photographic and computer equipment or anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.
Taking pets into Montenegro
Montenegro accepts pet passports. Pets can be transported non-commercially (up to 5 pets) as long as they meet the medical and other requirements for bringing pets into EU countries.
Taking money into Montenegro
Declare cash or travellers cheques if the value is 10,000 euros or more. You will get a certified declaration to show you brought it in with you. If you do not, your money could be seized when you leave.
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.
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 how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.
Terrorism in Montenegro
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.
Protests and demonstrations sometimes take place in Montenegro, often in front of government or religious buildings. They are mostly peaceful but can lead to traffic disruption, clashes with police and the potential for violent incidents.
Protecting your belongings
Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings from street crime. Do not leave valuables unattended. Use a hotel safe if possible.
Incidents of violent crime between organised criminal groups can happen. Be cautious, remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. In the event of any incidents, follow all advice given by the local authorities.
Laws and cultural differences
You must always carry a valid form of ID e.g. a driving licence, passport or equivalent, otherwise you may be fined. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place.
Illegal drugs and prison sentences
Drugs laws are similar to the UK. There are strict penalties and lengthy prison sentences for possession of or trafficking of drugs.
Using cameras in secure areas
Taking photographs of police or military installations, personnel or vehicles is illegal and could lead to arrest and prosecution by the local authorities.
While there is a general tolerance towards same-sex couples in Montenegro, LGBT+ travellers should be aware that showing affection in public, for example, could result in unwanted attention due to the conservative nature of society in Montenegro. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.
Outdoor activities and adventure tourism
Take precautions to prevent injuries and use protective equipment. Before signing up with paragliding instructors, ask to see their training licence for tandem flights. Make sure you have the appropriate licence and insurance when renting outdoor activity vehicles, such as jet skis and quad bikes. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.
Hiking and mountaineering
If you’re hiking in the mountains:
get expert advice from local guides
don’t underestimate the hike, factors like weather, landscape, distance and elevation
take a fully charged mobile phone and enough supplies with you
Hikers have got lost in the mountains when they have left marked paths. If you get into trouble, call the emergency number 112
The standard of roads is fair to poor with conditions worsening in rural areas, especially in the winter and after bad weather. The 2-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.
Exceeding the speed limit by 10kph will get you a fine, 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 euros. Prison sentences can also be imposed.
If you are issued with a fine, you may be able to pay the police officer by credit card, if the police vehicle is equipped with a POS terminal. If not, you should go to a bank or post office to pay the fine within 8 days and before leaving the country. Unpaid fines for foreign nationals are recorded on a database. If you wish to appeal, 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 of 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.
If you are sailing to Montenegro, enter only at a designated port or harbour. If this is not possible, contact the local harbour master (in Montenegrin only) or the police before entering.
If you have experienced an accident at sea, call 129, the emergency number of the rescue unit within the Maritime Safety Department (in Montenegrin).
Extreme weather and natural disasters
Wildfires are common in Montenegro from April to October due to the dry/hot weather. Wildfires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. You should:
- take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas
- make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished
- not light fires or barbecues
- not leave any rubbish
If you see a forest fire, call the emergency services on 112.
Flooding can be a problem when there is heavy rain and snow melts, causing rivers to flood in winter and spring.
Montenegro lies in a seismically active zone and small tremors are recorded throughout the year. Serious earthquakes are less frequent but do happen. The last serious earthquake was in 1979. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website tells you about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
Monitor media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities if forest fire, earthquake or flood occurs in your area.
Before you travel check that:
- your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
- you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation
This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.
Emergency medical number
Dial 124 and ask for an ambulance.
Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
For more information read guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe.
Vaccinations and health risks
At least 8 weeks before your trip:
- check the latest information on vaccinations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s Montenegro guide
- find out where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.
The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.
Healthcare facilities in Montenegro
FCDO has a list of English speaking doctors in Montenegro
Health insurance cards
Although Montenegro is not a member of the EU, it does have reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the UK and recognises health insurance cards.
Apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC, it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.
The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Montenegrin nationals. If you do not have your card with you or you’ve lost it, contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team.
It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. A GHIC or EHIC does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.
GHIC and EHIC cover state healthcare only, not private treatment. You will be responsible for the cost of any treatment provided by a private doctor or private clinic.
Travel and mental health
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.
Emergency services in Montenegro
General emergencies: 112
Contact your travel provider and insurer
Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.
Refunds and changes to travel
For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.
Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:
- where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
- how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim
Support from FCDO
FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:
- finding English-speaking lawyers , funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Montenegro
- dealing with a death in Montenegro
- being arrested in Montenegro
- getting help if you’re a victim of crime
- what to do if you’re in hospital
- if you’re affected by a crisis, such as a terrorist attack
You can also contact FCDO online.
Help abroad in an emergency
If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Podgorica.
FCDO in London
You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.
Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)