Montenegro on a Budget: Beaches, Culture & Balkan Charm

With charismatic locals and the usual Balkan charm, Montenegro has it all: vibrant beaches, idyllic fields, incredible mountains, amazing cultural heritage... But there’s so much more than pretty views.


Photo © iStock/00Mate00

Getting In and Around Montenegro

As it is standard in the Balkans, accessibility is still being improved, but Montenegro has room for it all.

By air, Ryanair has just started operating new routes to/from Podgorica.

By sea, many cruises choose Kotor for a memorable day-stop.

By land, good connections and safe buses or minibuses are the easiest way to explore this special country. Check here for the most up-to-date information.

If you're feeling adventurous, the best (and most memorable) way to explore Montenegro is by car. The tight curvy roads go around bays, up and down mountains, and through national parks for breathtaking views.

If you venture a bit off the main roads, you may even encounter friendly cows crossing the street. It’s an experience like no other.

Top Things to Do in Montenegro


A UNESCO World Heritage site, Kotor’s Old Town was built as an almost vertical maze for protective purposes. Climb 1,350 steps up ‘Montenegro’s Great Wall’ for priceless views of the city and its bay.

Insider’s Tip: about half-way up the walls, an almost hidden hole-in-the-wall will take you away from the crowds of tourists and into a bucolic scenery of free-running cows, abandoned churches, and goat cheese wonders.


With a gorgeous Old Town that breathes history, and known for its vibrant nightlife and beach resorts, Budva is Montenegro’s main destination – and tends to be crowded during summer.

Insider’s Tip: a €2 bus ride away lies Sveti Stefan, an old town built on the cliff of a rocky island, connected to the mainland by a narrow path of sand. Sunbathe on the two beaches overlooking the island, and snap some of the best pictures you’ll take in the Balkans.

Lovćen (Njegoš) Mausoleum

Built to honor one of the most important figures in the region’s history, the Mausoleum at the top of National Park Mount Lovćen is otherworldly.

With very unusual architecture and 360 degree views to Podgorica, the Bay of Kotor, and the Adriatic Sea, a picnic feels like brunch-with-the-Gods at a Montenegrin Mt. Olympus.

Ostrog Monastery

Almost unknown by non-religious tourists, Ostrog is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Europe. Carved in an almost completely vertical cliff, this Orthodox pilgrimage site showcases no English signs, but incredible paintings on the mountain walls, divine views, and a surprising vine growing out of the rocks. It feels peaceful, holy, and powerful.

Places to Stay in Montenegro

Podgorica may be the most convenient landing point in Montenegro, but the city is quite unappealing and does not deserve an overnight – unless you’re visiting Ostrog.

Stay either in the seaside or by the peaceful Bay of Kotor.

Some good options include: Freedom Hostel Budva, Bocche di Cattaro Apartments, and Hostel Old Town Kotor.

Cost Guide to Montenegro

Even though Montenegro is not part of the EU, the national currency is the Euro.

Much like the rest of the Balkans, the country is famous for being inexpensive, although you may find slightly inflated prices compared to its neighbors.

Expect to spend around 9 for a good meal, and in terms of accommodation, €6-12 for a shared room, or 15-30 for a private room.

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  • Flávia Diniz said

    Nice!! Hope to have the opportunity of going to Montenegro one day!

  • Lynn Magnuson said

    Sounds interesting. Another place to add to my list of places to go when I can afford it.

  • Ryan De Los Reyes said

    Awesome!! I am visiting in April!

  • Lively said

    Would love to go here. Thanks for the valuable tips!

  • Craig said

    We did Kotor last year. Amazing little walled city. Little being the operative word. Kind of impossible to get lost Just keep turning corners and you ll end up where u started. We were on a ship that stayed til dawn and they recommended strolling the streets at night. Way to go. It's touristy by day. But at night it was far less crowded and so charming and old world. I had the black risotto and cuddlefish. Really a high light of our entire Adriatic cruise Id go back

  • Jerry Kovacs said

    I lived in Montenegro for two years. Once I understood the local customs (as anywhere else) and figured out how to travel around by bus, I found it a very interesting and affordable place to live and travel. Have fun. You won't regret a visit to beautiful Montenegro.

  • david gabriel said

    I like beautiful Montenegro and would like to return again someday soon for a happy visit.

  • Anny said

    If you're coming up from Albania, passing through Shkodra (which is also an interesting city) your first stop might be Ulcinj, which is also an interesting seaside town with a walled city and much less expensive than other places in Montenegro. I have been to Montenegro several times....Kotor is can rent a bike and ride quite a way around the bay, which is quite large.

  • Luka Zekic said

    Montenegro is a beautiful country, nice mountains, nice people, and much more.
    If you ever visit Montenegro,

    I recommend you visit

    Tivat- South of Herceg Novi and West of Kotor, the beaches kinda suck, because they don't have sand, but instead use rocks, its always sunny, and you could easily walk to the beach, if you go there, also check out Porto Montenegro, it has boats, restaurants everywhere, popcorn, beautiful at night too

    Rozaje- Its a part of Montenegro that my grandfather used to be the mayor of somewhere in the 80s and 90s, it has a spectacular view of the mountains, nice people, pizza, and food everywhere.

    Ostrog Monastery- A church built into a mountain, it is usually a tourist attraction, it has an astonishing view of the mountains, and a large part of the church is inside the mountain.

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