Montenegro is another one of those Balkan countries that few people get to hear about nowadays. Maybe it’s not surprising that Montenegro dropped off the tourist map following the Yugoslavian War, but luckily it has started to edge its way back into tourist guides and recommendations. Montenegro is the kind of place that binds you with it spell, and compels you to visit it again and again, and it’s not difficult to see where its charm lies. Montenegro has a good chunk of that lovely Adriatic coastline that made Croatia such a hit with tourists, and it also has mountains, old monasteries, deep woods and countless historical attractions. And the best part is that you will not have to squander your life savings to be allowed to see the beauties of this Balkan country: welcome to Montenegro, a backpacker’s paradise.
If you have time and resources, there’s nothing more pleasant than buying a map of Montenegro and visiting random towns, villages and spots on the map. But if you want to be sure that you’ll find cheap accommodation and food, you should head to tourist hubs like Podgorica, the country’s capital, Nikšić, and other larger cities. There are several towns and cities that are a must-visit in Montenegro: the mountain town of Žabljak, the center of Montenegro’s mountain tourism, the ancient fortified town of Kotor, or Budva, the most popular beach resort in the country.
If you want to travel very cheap in Montenegro, you should consider hitchhiking – people are very friendly and don’t always expect you to pay for the road (as it is the custom in many Balkan countries). The downside is that roads in Montenegro are in pretty bad shape in some parts of the country, so getting from one point to another can take a lot of time. The cheapest way to get from north to south is to travel by train ; Montenegrin trains are not the most comfortable, but they are a convenient way to cross the country. However, the best way to explore Montenegro is by bus, thanks to the extensive public and private bus network. Minibuses tend to be even cheaper and faster than buses.
You can survive on fast-food and pastries while in Montenegro, but given that the national cuisine is finger-licking good, you’d definitely not want to spend your money on food that you can find back home too. There is the usual range of restaurants serving ‘regular’ European food in Montenegro, but it is worth paying a bit more to eat in restaurants serving Montenegrin cuisine. Don’t forget to check out a few markets and nibble on various cheeses, cured meats, and for breakfast try the buttered corn porridge – cheap and filling!