On our roadtrip journey from Italy to Turkey, Montenegro was the first non-EU country we crossed and honestly we didn’t know much about this tiny country before visiting it: long story short, we remained damn positively impressed!
For those who don’t know, Montenegro is a tiny country nested in the Balkan Peninsula and facing the Adriatic sea, which obtained independence from Serbia in 2006 (thus becoming one of the youngest countries on Earth and the 192th member of the United Nations 🙂 ).
Breath-taking nature, postcard-worthy panoramas, curvy mountain roads and friendly locals have been our companions for our seven days through the country as we discovered Montenegro with our own eyes and found it both highly safe and visit-worthy.
In this blog post, we tried to create a “worry less, travel more” guide with ALL the info you might need to travel to Montenegro both as normal tourist, or like us, with your campervan or motorhome 🙂
Planning to Visit Montenegro with an RV?
Let’s Get you Ready for your Trip!
Among all of the Balkanic countries, Montenegro is not one of most known nor visited!
The fact that the country has not yet joined the EU, sometimes stops many tourists to visit the country, but that actually is a big mistake: after our visit I can tell you that Montenegro completely “feels” like EU: it’s safe, it uses the euro currency and people have the same values and customs are everywhere else on the old continent!
For people traveling by camper or van, the country has lot to offer: the fjords and the bay or Kotor, the beaches of Budva, the hauntingly beautiful Skadarsko jezero (Shkroder Lake), the modern Podgorica or the many dirt roads that leads to the mountain peaks are just to name a few!
In Montenegro there are not many campings or camper-facilities, but wild camping is generally widely tolerated.
In this guide, we try to put all information you might need to visit Montenegro into one place: wild camping rules, where to fill freshwater, where to empty waste, safety tips, money tips, places to see and much more!
Let us go with order, and start with the summary!
Happy reading! 🙂
Roadtrip in Montenegro – The Ultimate RV Travel Guide
1. Entering in Montenegro with a Motorhome: Visa and Documents
- EU-UK-USA-UAE and citizen with a multiple-entry Schengen Visa can travel Visa-Free for 90 days
- Over 100 Countries enjoy Visa-Free or Visa-on-Arrival. Check out the List of Countries that have Visa Exemption.
- If you need a Visa, you can apply for Montenegro Visa on the Official Website
- Montenegro is not part of the Schengen Area, so Time spent in the country doesn’t counts toward your 90 days visa (if you come from UK or abroad)
- Bring your passport, you need at least a blank space and three month of validity
- All International Driving Licenses are accepted
- EU Citizens can enter Croatia without Passport (just with ID Card) but only for 30 days instead of 90 (Visa-Free)
- Any European RV/Motorhome Insurance normally covers Montenegro too. Check your Green Card (now also called “International Insurance Certificate) for the letters MNE (Montenegro)
TIPS FOR ENTERING IN MONTENEGRO WITH A MOTORHOME:
- You don’t need a Passport if you’re an EU citizen. As EU Citizen, you can enter Montenegro with your ID card for 30 days visa-free (although the passport gives you 90days and it might be helpful if you plan to visit nearby Balkan countries such Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, North Macedonia or Kosovo (which are all outside of the EU).
- Check if you’re eligible for Visa-Free Travel or Visa-on-Arrival: Click Here
- If you’re not eligible, or you want to stay more than 90 days, you can apply for an E-Visa: Click Here
- If you’re driving your motorhome to Montenegro from any country, you will find a barrier at the border. Here police will stop you and briefly inspect your vehicle (couple of minutes) and make you few questions about your itinerary. No stress, that’s the normal frontier experience to enter any country in the world outside the Schengen area. 😉
- In n most non-EU borders we crossed in the Balkans, they just asked us for passports and insurance (be sure to check your Green Card in advance!), open the vehicle, look inside 30 seconds, close it and go: easy, fast and beautiful 🙂
2. Safety in Montenegro: Crime Rate and Road Safety
- Montenegro is a safe country to travel, violent crime are almost non-existant
- Reports of Crime targeting specifically Foreigners are rare.
- The main dangers (not so common too!) are Pickpocketing in crowded areas and break-ins in cars/RV in larger towns
- Like Everywhere, is it important to use common sense against petty theft and not leave your vehicle alone in isolated, sketchy places.
- Montenegrin roads are curvy but well-kept (although, if you plan to venture on the mountains, prepare yourself also for some dirt roads!)
- Police is generally tolerant with RVs, but be very careful with speed limits! (50km/h in centers, 80km/h outside)
- Montenegrin drivers are energic to say the least, but still nothing un-manageable by being careful 🙂 Beware of traffic in the main tourist hotspots (Kotor – Budva) especially if you travel in the high season!
TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE IN MONTENEGRO:
- The Safety Phone Numbers in Croatia are: General Emergency (112), Police (122), Fire Department (123), Ambulance (124)
- It’s better to Travel during the Day: Montenegro panoramas are marvelous, both the mountains and the coastline! If you travel by night you’re going to miss the beauty of the road. Said that, although most roads are properly paved, they are also very curvy and we found street lighting very poor even in touristic centers, and almost non-existent in the rural areas outside of Kotor, Budva and Podgorica.
- Water from the Tap is safe (if you find a tap!): water in Montenegro is safe to drink and fresh (especially in the area near the Lake Skadar!), and if it’s not it will be well-advertised. Said that, there are not many “free” taps or fountains around, so if you see one be sure to make use of it when you can 😉
- Use Common Sense to avoid petty theft: keep your items in front in crowded places, travel in group where possible, don’t park in sketchy/isolated/dark areas, be mindful of your surroundings and where you are at all times… I know it’s the usual advice you hear for every travel destination, but using Common Sense is the main rule you should follow to stay safe 99,9% of the time! 😉
- If you’re in Doubt where to Park, ask the locals and Park4Night: Montenegrins are veeeeeeeeery friendly, they are welcoming to tourists and many of them speaks a very good English. If you feel something is out of place with a parking, you can always ask some locals/shop nearby for advice 🙂
- Ask locals for Tips to visit the surroundings: if there are some dangerous neighborhoods (like there are everywhere!) locals know it better. If you happen to chat with someone (at the hotel, on the street, bar, etc.) ask them for safety tips: they will be happy to help you both stay safe and get the best experience of your time there!
- Know the Costs of Goods, Attractions, and Services before you Travel there and you buy them: Montenegro is cheaper than Croatia, and in general prices are more affordable than in western Europe. If you want to have an idea of the prices before traveling, check out the Numbeo Montenegro page for a screenshot of the average costs of living.
3. Money in Montenegro: Currency and Credit Cards
- Since Euro has been introduced in 2002, Montenegro decided to adopt it and make it its legal tender
- You can obtain EUROS through the ATMs or Exchange Foreign Currencies in Touristic Hotspots
- Credit cards are widely accepted everywhere
- Having some petty cash on hand will be useful for small purchases on the shops/markets you find road (es. fruit, local products)
TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY IN MONTENEGRO:
- Check your Bank Contract for Hidden Fees: before entering the country, I suggest you to check whether your bank charges commissions for withdrawal or card payments, to know which is the best way to manage your money. (If your home currency is not the Euro, it might be better for you to change cash in a exchange house (many charge 0% commission) instead of withdrawing from the ATM (that might charge you 3% for changing currency).
- Have a little bit of cash with you: on all our roadtrip through Montenegro, we almost never payed with cash. Said that, having a little bit of cash on hands can be good for tipping especially great services or make fruit/vegetables purchases of 0km products on the road.
- Tipping in Montenegro is not mandatory, but appreciated. If you really liked the service in bars or restaurant, rounding up the bill adding a 10-20% will be received as a wonderful compliment!
- Download the free app XE Currency Converter (iOS, Android) to have an offline currency converter always with you (if you’re planning a roadtrip through all the Balkans, believe me that it will save your mental sanity, thank me later!
- If you Smoke or Drink Beer, know that Croatia has very good prices! You can get a large beer in not-touristy bar for less than 3 Euros and a Cigarette packet for 2,80 Euro.
Avoid Overpaying or Falling into Tourist Traps: Get an idea of the prices in Montenegro to estimate what you should be paying for the things you need (check Numbeo)
4. Motorhoming in Montenegro: Campings and Fuel Prices
- In Montenegro there are almost no campings (as we intend them in western Europe), but many paid service areas where you can at least park and relax
- Parking in a service area costs normally 10-25Euro for a Van with two people and prices don’t fluctuate excessively between seasons
- In low season, most service areas are closed and discretely park and sleep in both rural and touristy areas is tolerated
- Gas Prices don’t Fluctuate day to day, not even by one cent: when we were there, they remained constant during all our stay
- Fuel in Montenegro is slightly cheaper than Croatia, Serbia and Albania, but slightly more expensive than in Kosovo
- Diesel price in Croatia was 1,35Euro/liter in March 2023 (when we were there)
MOTORHOMING IN MONTENEGRO – GENERAL TIPS:
- Roadtripping through Montenegro is the best way to visit the country: The country is not huge, but it’s packed with fantastic natural views! By traveling with a Campervan you can slowly enjoy mountains, fjords, lakes and the coast without being in a hurry. There’s so much more than it meets the eyes!
- Download Maps.Me for an Offline Map: visiting a new country might mean having very few mobile data on your phone. For this reason, I suggest you to install the free app Maps.Me (iOS, Android) on your smartphone and download the entire map of Montenegro. In this way, you’ll never get lost, even without an internet connection! 🙂
- Drive Careful and Respect the Rules! If you self-drive, remember to always switch on traffic lights (mandatory), respect the speed limits, always have with you your driving licence and the vehicle documents, don’t drink when you drive (the limit is 0,3g/l, so don’t drink more than one small beer if you planning to drive 😉 ).
5. Wild Camping in Montenegro: Rules, Bans and Fees
WILD CAMPING RULES
- Free Camping Areas for Vans and Motorhomes almost don’t exist in Montenegro. Wild camping is officially forbidden but widely tolerated!
- If you plan to travel in touristy areas in high season, prepare your money! Police actively stays on the lookout for RVs sleeping outside of tolled places.
- In low season (oct-march), as campings are closed, discreet wild camping also in touristy areas is tolerated and rules are not strictly enforced (our experience)
BANS AND FEES
- Parking where there’s a forbidden sign might get you a fee between 20 and 200Euro!
- In coastal towns (Kotor/Budva) is where controls are higher: in the high season, there’s really not option here except in paid parkings
- You can drive with an alcohol level of 0,3g/L
- If police approaches you but you think you’re not doing anything illegal, ask for a written receipt for paying the fee (in this way, you will avoid scams/bribes).
6. Camper Service: Where to Refill Water and Waste Disposal
- Fountains are rare, almost non-existent on the coast. We suggest you to use the app Park4Night to find them and to plan your itinerary 🙂
- Gasoline Stations often offer to refill water for free but it’s almost never drinking water, but better than nothing 🙂
- In towns it’s possible to find fountains, but we haven’t found any truly convenient where is possible to park a van in front (and we crossed all of Croatia!)
WASTE DISPOSAL (NIGHTMARE!)
- On this side, we immediately noticed we are not anymore in the European Union. The waste disposal in most of Montenegro is an “all-in-one” experience
- The recycling level of Montenegro in 2022 was just a meager 1,8% . Very sad 🙁
- There are almost no camping sites, and very few gasoline stations offer to empty blackwaters. On Park4Night there’s almost no facility pinpointed too!
- We didn’t have a problem as we don’t have blackwaters in our van (we use a composting toilet 🙂 I believe that many RVs with blackwaters had to make it just “disappear” somewhere (if you know what I mean…). Pretty sad too! 🙁
- For greywaters, we use sustainable soap/shampoos and we emptied in nature (not containing any chemical product!). Also using the grids of carwashes might be a viable option.
TIPS FOR WATER AND WASTE DISPOSAL IN MONTENEGRO
- Plan, plan, plan! Montenegro almost doesn’t offer any free, official facility for water filling or grey/blackwater waste for RVs and campervans. Design your roadtrip and plan your route with this concept in mind 🙂
- Be Respectful of your surroundings! Not because there are no facilities, we are allowed to do whatever we want. Check the map before-hand, count the days when you will have to refill-empty and move accordingly. Let’s be responsible and let’s try to make our part to leave the place better than we found it, even if they don’t make it easy on us.
- If you need a free shower, check on the beaches! On the beaches in Montenegro is common to find public showers. You normally cannot use shampoo there, but it’s still a great way to refresh yourself after a day at the beach without consuming the water of your vehicle.
7. Interacting with Locals in Montenegro
- Montenegrin is the official language of Montenegro
- English is spoken by a good 50% of the population for our experience 🙂 you won’t likely need
- The main religion in Montenegro is the Ortodox Chuch
- Smoking inside is forbidden everywhere and also strictly enforced!
- You are not expected to Tip. If the service was good though, round up by 10-20% to make the server very grateful!
- People in Montenegro are welcoming and very friendly with tourists. They are proud to have you visiting their country and we found everyone very helpful with us on our journey 🙂
- Greet people on the road as you walk with a “Zdravo” (good day), it’s a sign of respect 🙂
8. Motorhome Roadtrip in Montenegro:
When Should you to Travel?
- Montenegro enjoys mostly a Mediterranean climate, with hot/dry summers and mild/wet winters
- The inner regions have instead a sub-alpine climate, with fresh summers and freezing snowy winters!
- The warmest month to visit is July, while the coldest is January
- On summer heat waves, sometimes temperature can reach 35-37°C (cooler than Albania and Greece, but still pretty hot!).
- The peak season to visit Montenegro is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is warm and sunny.
- With a Campervan, also spring and autumn are great seasons to witness the changing nature of Montenegro
- For milder temperatures and fewer crowds, consider visiting in the spring (April to May) or fall (September to October).
IDEAS ON WHAT TO VISIT IN EVERY SEASON
Spring in Montenegro: Witness nature’s rebirth with scenic walks in Skadar Lake National Park, discover ancient history in the Roman ruins of Risan, and savor the delightful fusion of Mediterranean flavors in local cafes.
Summer in Montenegro: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Sea Dance Festival in Budva, unwind on the pristine beaches of Sveti Stefan, and venture into the breathtaking landscapes of Lovćen National Park for unforgettable hikes.
Autumn in Montenegro: Experience the wine harvest festivities in Plantaže vineyards, capture the picturesque fall foliage in Biogradska Gora National Park, and take a leisurely boat ride along the Tara River Canyon, Europe’s deepest gorge (a must see!) 🙂
Winter in Montenegro: Winter probably is not the best season for RVs, as mountain roads might be closed, temperatures are low and many touristy spots are closed. If you like winter sports though, the slopes in the ski resorts of Kolašin or Žabljak might be a good retreat for you.
9. Top Places to Visit in Montenegro – Roadtrip Itinerary
HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED FOR A COMPLETE RV ROADTRIP OF MONTENEGRO?
To saviour all the beauty that Montenegro has to offer, we believe it will take you 7-10 days.
We spent 7 days crossing Montenegro before entering in Bosnia, and we felt that it was the right amount of time. Maybe we would have spent 3-4 days more in the Durmitor park if the season was better (but when we were there it was still covered in snow 🙁 ).
We thus wouldn’t recommend driving your motorhome to Montenegro if you have less than a week, unless you’re fine to perhaps just focus on the touristy towns on the coast of Kotor, Budva and Saint Stefan 🙂
WHAT TO VISIT IN MONTENEGRO?
Here after you find the best hotspots to add to your Roadtrip in Montenegro. Just above this paragraph I left you an useful map to localize them and plan your itinerary in a logical manner 🙂
As you can see, the points of interest are spread all over Montenegro, and that’s why I believe self-driving the country with a van/camper is the best way to truly savior its different locations and particularities.
Kotor is the jewel of Montenegro, a wonderful coastal town with a medieval feeling. The old town is well preserved and its fortress is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. A wonderful place to spend half a day 🙂
If you’re traveling with you van/RV, and you like adventures, try to reach the Kotor Serpentine viewpoint over Kotor, I promise it’s an experience you’ll never forget 😉
Budva is THE summer destination if you’re visiting Montenegro in the good season. Beaches, plenty of sport and recreational facilities, bars and restaurants. In Budva we felt a bit like in Mallorca 🙂
3. MOUNT LOVCEN
This is the dark mountain that gives the name to Montenegro (literally translated: black mountain) 🙂
Podgorica is the surprise that you don’t expect! The capital city of Montenegro is a very modern capital, with a lot of green areas, wide roads, art and malls! A good place to spend few hours strolling and learn about Montenegro history 😀
5. SKADAR LAKE
The Skadar lake, on the border between Montenegro and Albania, offers a natural landscape of extreme beauty, ancient monasteries, charming fishing villages, and historic churches, all of which embody Montenegro’s rich cultural heritage
6. DURMITOR NATIONAL PARK
Virgin forests? Wild lakes? Snowy peaks? Fresh mountain air? This is the place you should go! It feels like my dear Italian home-region Trentino, but in Montenegro 🙂
10. Food in Montenegro: Typical Dishes, Supermarket and Prices
- The Montenegrin Cuisine is a typical meat-based Balkan Cuisine
- Cevapi, Burek, Black Risotto, Njeguski Steak and Njeguski Prosciutto are 4 specialties you must try in Montenegro
- The most drunk spirit in Croatia is Rakija (40°), like in most of the Balkan region 🙂
- On the coast, you can try the fish-specialty “Buzara”, while on Skadar lake you can try the “Skadar Carp”
- Tasty food and affordable prices make Croatia an awesome foodie destination!
WHERE TO EAT
- Traditional Street food is fantastic and you can get Burek couple of Euros, which is awesome (we loved it!)
- You can eat in cheap restaurants for less than 10 euros if you know where to go!
- In touristic towns, especially Kotor and Budva, prices can get way more expensive than elsewhere. Check the menu before sitting down 😉
- Beer is less expensive than most places in Europe, you can get a Pint for around 2-3 Euros in most places
- In Montenegro we found hard to find healthy food and beverages (in supermarkets you see sweetened and calories-packed food everywhere! Just be careful if you care about your diet, here you won’t find many “light” versions of anything 😉
11. Fun Facts about Montenegro
If you would like to know more curiosities and fun facts about Montenegro (which I believe will enrich your journey and your experience in the country, I leave you here a full article we wrote about
12. Campervan Gear you Might Need on your Journey into Montenegro
Here is a list to help you making sure you are ready for your motorhome roatrip through Montenegro:
ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN THE CAMPERVAN
- Insurance Papers
- Spare Wheels and Tools to Change it
- Reflective Jacket
- Warning Triangle
- First Aid Kit
GOOD TO HAVE
- Suncream and Water Bottle!
- GPS Navigator or Offline Map
- Two different Cards (if one doesn’t work)
- Mosquito Repellent
- Mosquito Machine for Campervan
- Pic-Nic Ultra-Foldable Blanket
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide – World
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide – Montenegro
INTERNET IN MONTENEGRO
- Free Wi-Fi Hotspots are easy to find in Major Tourist Areas, but hard elsewere.
- Phone signal, due to the many mountains, is often weak and unreliable.
- We used the Starlink on the roof our van on our roadtrip and we had fast internet connection anywhere.
- Being an extra-EU country, the fees of using an international SIM might add up pretty quickly, so you better switch off your data before entering the country 😉
- The best way to have internet in Montenegro while traveling by van (if you don’t have Starlink), is to get a local SIM card once there, or order online an E-Sim for Montenegro
13. Travel Montenegro with a Motorhome – Ultimate Guide
Here we are at the end of our article for today.
I truly hope you got all the essential info you plan and organize your campervan roadtrip in Montenegro and make the most out of your upcoming adventure! 😀
After talking about how to enter in the country, how to stay safe, how to move around, when to travel, water, waste, money tips, custom, food, hotspots and itinerary; all is left is giving you my last very personal advice.
If you ask me to tell you something about Montenegro, I’d say you this:
“Montenegro is the tiny country that you don’t expect: we didn’t expect people to be so friendly and welcoming, we didn’t expect nature to be so wonderful and we didn’t expect food to be so tasty! The best part of traveling is seeing the world with your own eyes and leave behind distorted narrations by media and people just “heard” about things. Montenegro is an incredible country, super-safe, which definitely deserves a visit! So, if you crossing the Balkans with your van, be sure not to miss out, my word you won’t regret :)”
As every time, I ask you to let me know if the article as been useful to you in the comments below (it motivates me a lot to write more! 😉 ). In the same way, let me know if you have other tips that you would like to see added to the article, or you if you found some mistakes (can always happen too!) 🙂
I wish you a life full of happiness and happy travels!
See you in the next article! 😀
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