With its Adriatic Sea coastline and towns like Kotor, Budva, and Sveti Stefan, Montenegro is a popular tourist destination in Europe. However, while it offers a diverse range of experiences, there are some potential pitfalls travelers should be aware of. To help you make the most of your trip, here are five mistakes you should avoid.
5. Don’t Be Surprised By The Amount Of Smokers
If you’re someone who is bothered by cigarette smoke, brace yourself — Montenegro has one of the highest smoking rates in Europe. As of 2020, 31.40% of the country’s population above 15 years of age smoke regularly. This might be something that might catch you off guard, especially if you come from a place with strict smoking laws.
4. Use The Train Instead Of The Bus
Montenegro has an extensive transportation network, including both buses and trains. However, if you have the option, it might be more comfortable and pleasant to travel by train. The train line, which runs from Bar on the coast to Belgrade in Serbia, allows you to cross half the country — from beach to mountains — in just one day for a couple of Euros. While the train network isn’t as extensive as the bus system, it is often a preferable choice when available.
3. Vegetarians Might Have Trouble Dining Out
The cuisine in Montenegro leans heavily toward meat, with traditional dishes featuring lamb stew, sausages, smoked ham, and roast lamb. Vegetarians and vegans may find limited options when dining out, often having to settle for salad, pasta, or pizza. While you may find a sliver of capsicum or a wedge of potato accompanying a meat dish, vegetarian-friendly meals are not a highlight of Montenegrin cuisine. Pre-trip research into vegetarian-friendly restaurants is advisable if you want to avoid surviving solely on side salads and tablebread.
2. Be Prepared For Communication Problems
If you don’t speak Montenegrin, communication may prove to be a hurdle, particularly in rural or remote areas where English is not commonly spoken. Larger cities and tourist destinations may offer some respite, with the younger generation more likely to speak English. So, picking up a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way. Surprisingly, German is more commonly spoken among locals than English, so if you have some familiarity with the German language, it might come in handy.
1. Don’t Plan A One-Day Trip To Kotor
Kotor, a town located on the Adriatic coast, deserves more than just a day of your trip. With its old town, cobbled streets, bars, and restaurants, there is much to explore. The main attraction, the city walls, costs €8 to access and offers an uphill walk that’s more challenging than one might expect.
It takes around 45 minutes to reach the top and involves a considerable amount of climbing, so be prepared. Due to this activity and the plethora of other things to see and do, planning at least a four-day stay in the area is recommended. Near Kotor is Lovcen National Park, another location worthy of exploration, especially if you enjoy hiking.
Knowing what to expect and how to prepare can make your trip far more enjoyable. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’re well on your way to having a fulfilling Montenegrin adventure. Happy travels!