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Montenegro is incredibly beautiful- from the mountainous national parks, to the rocky coast and historic old towns, there is no shortage of variety of sights to see and activities to enjoy. The country is also a much cheaper and less touristy option than neighbouring Croatia.
Here is a breakdown of what I spent during two weeks in Montenegro.
Towns: Podgorica, Mojkovac, Tara, Bar, Ulcinj, Budva, Kotor Bay
Travel Style: Budget
Duration: 16 nights
Season: End of Summer (August & September)
Total Spend: 720€
Daily Spend: 45€
I spent 145€ eating out, 65€ on groceries and 30€ on alcohol.
While local ‘fast food’ can be a cheap option, it’s not very healthy and you’ll likely tire of if after a week or so. Fresh vegetables and supermarket food is relatively cheap, so if you have access to a kitchen and are looking to save money (whilst maintaining a balanced diet) this is probably the best option.
A traditional fast food staple is burek- a huge fried pastry stuffed with meat, cheese or spinach. This is often served with yogurt and the local way is to have a mouthful of burek then a sip of yogurt and mix the flavours in your mouth.
By the coast seafood is fresh and delicious and relatively cheap compared to elsewhere in Europe- around 12€ for dinner at a good value touristic place.
Biogradska Gora in Montenegro’s northeast is one of the country’s five national parks, and is famed for it’s extensive primeval (old growth) forests and beautiful lakes. There are over 2,000 plant species, 200 bird species, and a walk through the park feels like an escape to another world. Many of the trees are over 400 years old and protection of the area dates back to 1878- the second oldest protected park in the world after Yellowstone.
I stayed at Camp Rebrenovic in Mojkovac where you’ll find cabins, tent pitches and camper van spots, all nestled in a beautiful valley. Tara River is a 15 minute walk away for a refreshing swim and a 10 minute taxi ride (3€) will take you to a small but endearing town with a real local feel. I found the area to be a lot less busy and touristic than other areas in Montenegro’s mountainous north.
After spending a few days in the area, I’d recommend getting the local bus to Tara (5€ for an hour trip along the river) where you can raft Tara Canyon and experience the incredible views of Tara Bridge and the canyon below from the thrilling zip line.
Montenegro’s Old Royal Capital Cetinje is a beautiful, peaceful town well worth a visit on it’s own, but also the entry point to St. Petar’s Mausoleum. Perched atop Jezerski Vrh peak of Lovcen Mountain, the Mausoleum itself is not overly impressive, but the views from the top are spectacular. A quick 10 minute (steep) hike to the the rocky peak affords views of rugged mountains and the Bay of Kotor in the distance. Be sure to walk through the Mausoleum and along the narrow path to the guvno, a circular stone structure traditionally serving as a gathering point where important decisions were made.
From the capital Podgorica or the popular town of Kotor you can take a local bus to the Cetinje bus station. The trip from Podgorica is shorter, at around 30-45 minutes and a little cheaper (3.5€) than the 5€, 1.5 hour trip from Kotor.
From the bus station in Cetinje it’s best to take a taxi to the Mausoleum. It should cost around 25€ for the return trip, including an hour of exploring at the top. I split the trip with two fellow travelers, so it was very affordable at around 8€ each.
Entrance to the Lovcen National Park is 2€ per person and 5€ to the Mausoleum. You can still appreciate the view without paying for the Mausoleum entrance but the best view is at the end and well worth the fee.