Guide to Montenegro for Beginners

Everything you need to know for your first visit to Montenegro

Montenegro has many things to offer intrepid travellers. A rich cultural heritage includes Roman villas with mosaic floors, ornate Orthodox monasteries, and elegant mosques. The country is a former non-aligned communist state that has maintained its independence from the Eastern Bloc. Montenegro is also home to many hidden gems. You will also find this guide useful if you’re considering living in Montenegro as a digital nomad.
The country gained independence in 1878, when the Congress of Berlin recognized the new state. In this era, the Serbs were the majority of the population, and Montenegro was once ruled by the Crnojevic family. In the 19th century, Montenegro began to transition to a more secular principality.

Table of Contents

Montenegro is a small Balkan nation with a long coastline facing Italy’s eastern coast. Its rugged mountain ranges, with an average elevation of 2,000 meters, are home to some of the largest lakes and canyons in southern Europe.
Montenegro is a Balkan country that boasts rugged mountains, medieval villages, and a narrow stretch of beaches along the Adriatic coast. Its bay of Kotor is reminiscent of a fjord and is studded with fortified towns and coastal churches. The rugged terrain also includes bear-inhabiting limestone peaks, glacial lakes, and the 1,300 meter deep Tara River Canyon.
If you’re still not sure where Montenegro is, read this useful article – Where is Montenegro?

Find apartments for rent in Montenegro here.
Learn more about temporary residence permits in Montenegro!
Are you looking for the best destinations for digital nomads in MontenegroThen read this article – Discover the Best Places for Digital Nomads in Montenegro

If you are interested in longer-term solutions to relocating to Montenegro, visit the following pages:

Everything you need to know about Montenegro for first-time visitors!

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What is the Weather and Climate in Montenegro?

The weather and climate in Montenegro are influenced by its location in Europe. The country is located in a position where large action systems such as the Genovian cyclone, the Black Sea depression, the Icelandic cyclone, the Azores anticyclone and the Central European anticyclone impact the region. These cyclones can have substantial effects on the local climate, including changes in the amount and type of precipitation.
The climate of Montenegro depends on the location of the mountains, sea, and land. It is mostly influenced by the weather patterns of the Mediterranean area. The precipitation in the area varies from one year to another, but overall, it tends to be fairly constant during the cold part of the year.
Montenegro’s climate is typically Mediterranean, with high temperatures in summer and cool, wet winters. The average sea temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum air temperature can reach 40 degrees. Although the summer months are warm and dry, autumn is generally sunny, lasting until mid-November. The mountains also affect the winds in this region, and the prevailing NW winds of three to five BFT can increase the daytime breeze.

Guide to Montenegro - Black Lake, Durmitor National Park

Guide to Montenegro – Black Lake, Durmitor National Park

Tourism in Montenegro

Tourism in Montenegro is a major industry for the country. This region is known for its natural and historical heritage. Its beaches are an attractive attraction for tourists. Montenegro developed a comprehensive tourism strategy for the years 2010-2020 and is continuing that trend beyond 2022. This strategy includes measures that will help to diversify the country’s tourism offer and position it as a high-quality destination. The strategy also calls for the development of sustainable and health tourism.
The region also has many great natural attractions, including four national parks: Skadar Lake, Lovcen, Biogradska Gora, and Durmitor. Each park is home to natural beauty that will leave you breathless. Montenegro’s National Tourism Organization is dedicated to developing a quality tourist product and a reputable tourist brand. The goal of the NTO is to improve the quality of tourism in Montenegro and increase incomes and the standard of living for the people. According to Sasa Radovic, director of the NTO, the priority goals are the extension of the tourist season and regional development.
Tourism in Montenegro is booming, with over 2 million tourists visiting the country last year. Because of this, the government of Montenegro is trying to attract greenfield investments and make the best use of the undeveloped coastal areas.
You can find best tours in Montenegro right here – Book tours in Montenegro!

Guide to Montenegro - A view of Perast in Kotor Bay

Guide to Montenegro – A view of Perast in Kotor Bay

Most Popular Destinations in Montenegro

Montenegro is a Balkan country brimming with medieval villages, rugged mountains, and a long, narrow strip of Adriatic coastline. The Bay of Kotor, which resembles a fjord, is dotted with fortified towns and coastal churches. Its best-known national park, Durmitor National Park, contains limestone peaks and glacial lakes and includes the 1,300m-deep Tara River Canyon.
Montenegro also has a fascinating history, and several sites are well-known for their historical significance. For example, the island of Lastavica, located at the entrance to Boka Bay, was used as a prison and concentration camp during both world wars. After many years as a popular tourist attraction in the town of
Herceg Novi, it is now undergoing development to become a super-luxury hotel.
Another popular Montenegro attraction is the Old Town of Kotor. This UNESCO-protected city is a must-see. Its breathtaking views, history, and food will captivate you for days. The Old Town was once fortified by 20-metre-high walls, but you can still walk the narrow streets and visit the town’s main square.
Most recently, Budva was named one of the “Top Trending Destinations for 2023” by The global travel booking platform described Budva as one of the ultimate destinations to visit in 2023, alongside other exotic, world-renowned destinations like São Paulo and Pondicherry.

Guide to Montenegro - A view of Budva Old Town

Guide to Montenegro – A view of Budva Old Town

Activities in Montenegro

Montenegro is a beautiful Balkan country that offers a wide variety of attractions. It is home to rugged mountains, medieval villages, and a small stretch of Adriatic coastline. The Bay of Kotor resembles a fjord and is dotted with fortified towns and coastal churches. If you like the outdoors, you can visit the Durmitor National Park, which is home to bears and includes limestone peaks, glacial lakes, and the 1,300-metre-deep Tara River Canyon.
One of the best activities in Montenegro is biking. This adventure requires mental and physical preparation, so make sure you’re in good shape and bring plenty of water. You’ll also want to wear comfortable clothes and a comfortable pair of shoes. While cycling, keep in mind that it can be quite challenging due to the temperature changes between locations.
Another exciting activity in Montenegro is canyoning. Those who want to try rafting in the country can experience the canyoning thrills that the Tara River offers. The canyons are over 100 kilometers long and reach a depth of 1,300 meters. The best time to raft in Montenegro is between April and October. Early spring melt and rainy season are the most exciting times to try out this thrilling activity.
Being such a mountainous country, hiking and mountaineering are also extremely popular activities in Montenegro. There are more hiking trails in the small country than you could explore in a year or more!
Of course, with nearly 300 kilometres of Adriatic coastline, Montenegro is the perfect location for all kinds of water sports. You can enjoy relaxing swimming, SUP boarding, kayaking, or something more adrenaline-filled like wakeboarding or kite surfing.
While most people who think of Montenegro only think of it as a summer destination, there is still plenty to offer in the winter season. Montenegro has two main ski destinations – Zabljak and Kolašin – with a number of much smaller ones dotted around the countryside. Although these “ski resorts” are tiny in comparison to somewhere like the French Alps, they are equally beautiful and only a fraction of the price!
Montenegro can offer pretty much every kind of activity you can think of and then a whole lot more!

Guide to Montenegro - Incredible hiking in the mountains of Montenegro

Guide to Montenegro – Incredible hiking in the mountains of Montenegro

Cost of Living in Montenegro

Renting an apartment in Montenegro is relatively cheap. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment can cost as little as 200 euros per month. A three-bedroom apartment will cost more, but it’s still affordable. In the city center, rent can climb to 500 euros and higher. In the countryside, rent for a one-bedroom apartment is as low as 150 euros per month.
Rental prices update October 2022 – It is worth keeping in mind that since these figures were published, world events have caused a surge in demand for rental properties in Montenegro. This means that you could experience rental prices that are double those stated above.
The cost of living in Montenegro varies, depending on the season. In the summer, prices for goods and services double. This is because the majority of vendors buy goods and services from suburban wholesalers and supermarkets. Real estate in the coastal cities is more expensive than in the interior. However, a few cities in Montenegro offer low-cost housing.
Healthcare is relatively cheap. A doctor’s visit in Montenegro costs about twenty to fifty euros. An antibiotic is usually five euros, but some medications are more expensive. Electricity and telephone bills are both relatively cheap, but Internet access and heating can cost up to 80 euros per month.

Montenegro Cost of Living Comparison Table – 2024

Montenegro Cost of Living Table

Table: Cost of Living in Montenegro

A Guide to Montenegro - Plate of olive, prosciutto ham and local cheese

A Guide to Montenegro – Affordable quality is the cost of living!

How Much are Income Taxes in Montenegro?

How Much are Income Taxes in Montenegro?

[This information was originally posted on our Residency in Montenegro page.]
“Personal Income Taxes in Montenegro
Income taxes in Montenegro are significantly lower than in many other countries, with the base income tax rate being 9% for both corporate and personal income tax and 15% for higher rates of domestic and worldwide income.
According to PWC – Worldwide Tax Summaries, personal income for foreigners is taxed in the following manner:
“From January 1st 2022, Montenegro introduced progressive taxation of salary:
Salaries up to EUR 700 (gross) are exempt from tax;
Salaries ranging from EUR 701 up to EUR 1,000 (gross) are subject to 9% tax;
Salaries from EUR 1001 (gross) are subject to 15% tax.”

“One of the biggest changes in 2022 is the introduction of a new rate of income tax for entrepreneurs:
From EUR 8,400.01 to EUR 12,000 is subject to 9% tax;
From EUR 12,000.01 is subject to 15% tax.”
Corporate Income Taxes in Montenegro
“Entities operating in Montenegro are subject to progressive corporate profit tax (CPT). The applicable tax rate depends on the realized profit of taxpayers and tax rate varies from 9% -15%. Progressive tax rate are as follows:
On the profit up to EUR 100,000, the tax rate shall be 9% fixed;
On the profit from EUR 100,000.01 to EUR 1,500,000, the tax shall be paid in the amount of EUR 9,000 fixed + 12% on the profit above EUR 100,000.01;
On the profit above EUR 1,500,000, the tax shall be paid in the amount of EUR 177,000 fixed + 15% on the profit above EUR 1,500,000.01.
Resident taxpayers are taxed on their worldwide profit. Non-resident taxpayers are taxed on their Montenegrin-sourced income or income attributed to their Montenegrin permanent establishment (PE). Non-residents are also subject to withholding tax (WHT) on income sourced in Montenegro.
(There are more details to the regulation of income taxes in Montenegro for both domestic and foreign income, which are broader than the scope of this article).
Which Countries have Double Taxation Treaties with Montenegro?
The following list of countries have double taxation treaties with Montenegro at the time of writing this article:
Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, India, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Malta, Holland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Income tax treaties with Spain and Qatar are pending.

A Guide to Montenegro - A man fishing at sunset on the shores of Boka Bay

A Guide to Montenegro – Who wants to see a photo of income taxes?!

Geography and Nature of Montenegro

Montenegro is a small country with a Mediterranean climate on the coast and alpine conditions in the mountains. The coastal region enjoys warm summers and cool winters. Temperatures can vary greatly from month to month and can reach up to 30 degrees Celcius in July. The average monthly sunshine hours are 270. July and August are the warmest months in Montenegro, with the coldest temperatures occurring between November and February.
Montenegro’s landscapes are remarkable and varied. The country has high mountains along its border with Kosovo, as well as Karst in the Balkan Peninsula.
Montenegro has a diverse and rugged landscape. The mountains average just over two thousand metres in height and the highest peak is Bobotov Kuk at 2,522 metres (8,274 feet). During the last glacial period, the Montenegrin mountains were some of the most ice-eroded parts of the Balkan Peninsula. The country borders Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its climate is moderate and its latitudes range between 41degN and 44degE.
The coastline is narrow, only one to four miles wide, with many mountains separating it from the sea. In the south, Mount Lovcen plunges abruptly into the Gulf of Kotor. The coastal region is also noted for its regular seismic activity.
Montenegro’s climate affects its biomes. Terra Rossa, which is red soil, is found in some areas. This is the result of the weathering of limestone and dolomite rocks. This type of soil is also found in some Karst depressions. In contrast, the mountainous areas of the country have typical grey-brown forest soils known as podzols.

A Guide to Montenegro - A view of Crna Rijeka (Black River) at Skadar Lake

A Guide to Montenegro – Nature and Geography

Culture of Montenegro

The culture of Montenegro has a unique history and culture that makes it a must-see destination. It is known for its sumptuous paintings, beautiful monuments, and diverse gastronomy. The country is becoming a privileged destination in recent years, and a visit to Montenegro will certainly leave you feeling satisfied and fulfilled.
Montenegro’s culture has its roots in a mixture of Central European and Orthodox South Slavic influences, as well as the seafaring Adriatic culture. The country was influenced by a code of chivalry, which is known as Cojstvo i Junastvo (humanity and bravery). In medieval times, a Montenegrin would fight to his death for his country, and being captured was the ultimate shame.
The Montenegrin Culture Law provides a legal framework that protects the rights of independent artists and other cultural creators. The law promotes the diversity of artistic expressions and ensures the protection of copyright.
The inland city of Cetinje is the historic capital of the country and is still seen as the cultural capital of Montenegro.

Guide to Montenegro - A view of the historic architecture of Montenegro

Guide to Montenegro – Culture of Montenegro

National Cuisine of Montenegro

In Montenegro, the National Cuisine is rich in seafood. Freshly caught seafood is widely available in local markets, and you can prepare dishes of your own at home. Montenegro’s chefs have the skill to create culinary wonders, whether you choose to enjoy a meal in a restaurant or prepare it yourself.
Montenegrin cuisine features a wide variety of dishes and aromas. Many of the dishes are made of wholesome, organic ingredients. In addition, the servings are generous, making Montenegrin cuisine a popular choice for visitors. You can sample the local cuisine at a local restaurant or in one of the country’s many traditional stone houses.
Montenegro’s traditional cuisine reflects a mixture of pride, independence, and friendliness. The national cuisine has been influenced by many people, including Slavs, Hungarians, Germans, Turks, and others. Mediterranean influences have also blended into the local cuisine. A typical meal in Montenegro will consist of meat, fish, and vegetables.

A Guide to Montenegro - Fresh fish cooking outside on a grill

A Guide to Montenegro – Montenegro Cuisine

Government and Politics of Montenegro

The Constitution of Montenegro gives the Montenegrin Parliament the power to make laws in the country. It also ratifies international treaties and appoints the Prime Minister, ministers and justices of all courts. It also adopts a budget and performs other duties as required by the Constitution. It also has the right to pass a no-confidence vote on the Government. The Assembly has 78 deputies.
After nearly two decades of a dictatorial regime, Montenegro is finally experiencing a democratic transition. The country’s new prime minister is Dritan Abazovic, who was elected with a one-year mandate. His minority government is composed of the URA bloc, the Socialist People’s Party, the Bosniak Party, and two ethnic Albanian coalitions. The new government will be faced with the challenge of turning the country’s economy around.
Montenegro is a small country with a highly complex political system. Its crisis is centered on the need to break a parliamentary deadlock and form a minority government to restart reform efforts. The two main issues dividing Montenegrin society are corruption and national identity.
The new government’s priorities include the implementation of an anti-corruption policy, reforming its election laws, and improving relations with its neighbours. It will also focus on economic recovery and support after a recent pandemic, and the protection of the environment. The key question is whether the political elites will be able to agree on these important issues and achieve political harmony. If they do, then Montenegro will be on the road to EU membership.

A Guide to Montenegro - View of the Tara River Bridge

A Guide to Montenegro – View of the Tara River Bridge

The Economy of Montenegro

The economy of Montenegro relies heavily on tourism and international trade. In the current global economic environment, the country’s economy remains vulnerable to external shocks. As a result, the central government is striving to carefully manage the country’s fiscal basket and reduce public debt. Its health expenditures are a positive factor for the country’s output, and border control should be effective in testing for COVID-19 and possess the appropriate medical resources.
In addition to tourism, Montenegro’s economy has become increasingly service-oriented. The country’s first factories were built during the first decade of the 20th century, but the economic development of the country was interrupted by the Balkan War.

Guide to Montenegro - A view of Black Lake in Durmitor National Park

Guide to Montenegro – A view of Black Lake in Durmitor National Park

Real Estate in Montenegro

If you’re considering buying Real Estate in Montenegro, you’ll need to learn about the laws, taxes, and fees. Foreign investors can’t buy certain types of properties directly from local sellers, so they would need to work with a lawyer to set up their business in Montenegro. Foreigners who buy property will also have to pay a 3 per cent transfer tax on the purchase price. There are also notary fees that are equal to 0.01 per cent of the assessed value. Real estate agents’ fees are usually between 3 and 6 per cent of the purchase price, although this is usually paid by the seller as a commission of the sale proceeds.
The process of buying property can be incredibly complicated, especially if you’re buying in a foreign country. Not only are legal procedures different from those in your own country, but you’ll have to deal with different terms and confusing jargon. In addition, location is incredibly important. Fortunately, Montenegro’s real estate laws are fairly easy to follow, provided you have the assistance of reputable solicitors and real estate agents.

Guide to Montenegro - Woman floating in the crystal clear Adriatic sea

Guide to Montenegro – Crystal Clear Adriatic Water

Languages in Montenegro

Montenegrin is a normative variety of Serbo-Croatian and is the official language of Montenegro. Despite its similarities to other languages in the region, Montenegrin has its own distinctive characteristics. For example, Montenegrin is not primarily a tourist language and is commonly used by locals in Montenegro.
Although Montenegrins don’t always speak English, the locals are very hospitable and will try to communicate with you in their language. While English is not widely spoken in Montenegro, there are plenty of English speakers in tourist centers and other establishments. When in doubt, try asking, “Da li pricate Engleski?”
Montenegrin is a standardized form of Serbo-Croatian, based on the most widely spoken Serbo-Croatian dialects. The language is also similar to Standard Croatian and Serbian, as it is based on Eastern Herzegovinian.

Guide to Montenegro - A woman walking on a beautiful sandy beach next to the sea in Montenegro

Guide to Montenegro – Beautiful sandy beaches

Sport in Montenegro

The legal regulation of sports in Montenegro is an evolving field. The earliest regulatory mechanisms were developed by the Sokol movement in the late 19th century. These incorporated an organizational structure and sporting rules. They established a clear membership procedure, a check and balance mechanism, and principles of depoliticisation and transparency. The first statute also laid down rules for elections, quorum, financial management, and disciplinary proceedings in the Court of Honour.
A recent survey conducted by Ipsos and the Montenegrin Ministry of Sports Nikola Janovic and the President of the Montenegrin Olympic Committee, Dusan Simonovic, revealed that sports such as water polo are highly popular in Montenegro. The sport also brings a sense of national pride to Montenegrins. In 2009, Montenegro won the gold medal at the European Water Polo Championship in Spain.
The Law on Sport in Montenegro defines sport as an organized physical activity performed according to rules. This includes both university and school extracurricular activities. The entities responsible for performing the sports activities are known as sports associations.

Guide to Montenegro - Beautiful landscape and Adriatic Sea View

Guide to Montenegro – Beautiful landscape and Adriatic Sea View

Order an E-Sim for Montenegro and other destinations

Buy a Montenegro E-Sim before arrival for the most convenient way to stay online during your trip!

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Religion in Montenegro

Montenegrins follow Orthodox Christianity, the main religion in the Balkans. The country’s religious freedom of worship are protected by the Montenegrin Constitution. While the majority of Montenegrins practice Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholics make up 3.4% of the population. Other minorities make up 1.2% to 1.5% of the population.
The largest denomination in Montenegro is the Serbian Orthodox diocese, which is recognized by other denominations. While this denomination is canonical and closely modeled on Byzantine Christianity, there are significant differences between the Serbian and Montenegrin Orthodox Churches. Nonetheless, the population has never argued over which is the dominant religion.
The first leader of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro was Metropolitan Antonije (Abramovic). He was supported by the biggest pro-independence party in Montenegro at the time. He was later replaced by Metropolitan Mihailo (Dedeic). However, he was later anathemized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, excommunicated by the church, and exiled to Serbia.

Guide to Montenegro - Church on a mountain top

Guide to Montenegro – Church on a mountain top

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