Is Montenegro Expensive? Travel Costs & Budget Tips For 2024

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Let me answer one of the most popular questions of the year: Is Montenegro Expensive?

In the heart of the Balkans, Montenegro welcomes travelers with its breathtaking landscapes, historic charm, and deep blue waters of the Adriatic. From medieval towns to rugged mountains to idyllic coastlines, Montenegro offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveler.

I have spent the last 5 summers (and some fall and winters) in Montenegro and consider myself as sort of an honorary local. After 5 years of visiting, I have visited a big portion of the country and am very aware of changes in crowds, towns and especially prices!

Like most places, prices in Montenegro have gone up year over year. The increases are more noticeable in some places/attractions than others but overall it is not quite as cheap as it used to be.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of “Is Montenegro expensive” and how to deal with it.

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Top 5 HOTELS in Montenegro

➡️ Best Budget Hotel in Montenegro: Old Town Hostel in Kotor, Montenegro
➡️ Best Midrange Hotel in Montenegro: Hotel Monte Cristo in Kotor, Montenegro & Iberostar Slavija in Budava, Montenegro
➡️ Best Luxury Hotel in Montenegro: One&Only Portonovi, Herceg Novi, Montenegro & Regent Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro

🚗 Book your rental car with Discover Cars.

Is Montenegro Expensive?

In short, Montenegro is NOT an expensive place to visit. The country offers a diverse range of experiences, and its cost can vary depending on your preferences and travel style. Compared to some Western European destinations, Montenegro tends to be more budget-friendly.

But, there are more and more luxury resorts, hotels, and villages being developed in Montenegro, and in these places, you will find similar prices to Western Europe.

I love to visit these places as a treat: Porto Novi, Porto Montenegro, and Luštica Bay.

🏨 Accommodation, especially outside the peak tourist season (summer), can be reasonably priced, with options ranging from budget-friendly hostels to boutique hotels.
🍤 Dining out is generally affordable, especially at local restaurants with traditional Montenegrin cuisine.
🚗 Transportation costs are relatively moderate, but renting a car for flexibility may add to your expenses.
🥾 Activities such as exploring national parks, and historical sites, and enjoying outdoor adventures are typically reasonably priced. Entrance fees to attractions are generally affordable, and outdoor activities like hiking and going to the beach are free.

➡️ I book all my tours in Montenegro with Get Your Guide and Viator

While Montenegro can be budget-friendly, costs can increase during the high season, so planning and booking in advance can contribute to a more economical experience.

Read More: Best Beaches in Montenegro

Is Montenegro Expensive for Vacation?

Montenegro offers a diverse range of experiences for vacationers, and whether it’s considered expensive largely depends on your travel preferences and choices.

For budget-conscious travelers, Montenegro can be a relatively affordable destination, providing stunning landscapes, historic sites, and a taste of local culture without breaking the bank.

If you want to keep prices lower here are some tips:
➡️ Avoid staying in the most touristy towns (Kotor, Budva, Tivat)
➡️ Opt for hotels or guest houses
➡️ Eat at local restaurants
➡️ Opt for hikes or swimming instead of constantly doing paid tours

How Much Does A Trip To Montenegro Cost?

The cost of a trip to Montenegro can vary widely based your travel style, accommodation preferences, dining choices, and the activities you do.

Montenegro offers options for both budget-conscious travelers and those seeking a more luxurious experience.

➡️ Read More: Best Places to Visit in Europe in November

ACCOMMODATION: How Much Does a Hotel Cost in Montenegro per Night?

The cost of a hotel in Montenegro per night varies depending on the location, type of accommodation, and the time of year. Montenegro offers a range of options to suit different budgets.

💡 During the peak season (June to August) I always see prices that are much higher and right when September 1st hits they tend to drop!

Some prices you can expect:
➡️ Budget: under €60 / night
➡️ Mid-Range: €60 to €120 / night
➡️ Luxury: €120 +

It’s best to book accommodation in advance, especially during the high season, to secure the best rates and preferred choices.

➡️ The top hotels I recommend are:
Best Budget Hotel in Montenegro: Old Town Hostel in Kotor, Montenegro
Best Midrange Hotel in Montenegro: Hotel Monte Cristo in Kotor, Montenegro
Best Luxury Hotel in Montenegro: One&Only Portonovi, Herceg Novi, Montenegro

TRANSPORTATION: How Much Does It Cost to Get Around Montenegro?

Getting around Montenegro involves various transportation options, each with its own cost considerations.

🚙 Car Rental: Renting a car provides flexibility to explore Montenegro at your own pace. Prices vary by rental company, vehicle type, and season. During the high season, rental costs will be higher, so booking in advance is best. Example cost for 1-week car rental in June booked in advance: €170.

➡️ Book your rental car with Discover Cars

🚎 Public Transportation: Montenegro has a network of buses connecting major cities and towns. Bus prices are very affordable, but travel times are much longer than they need to be. During peak tourist seasons, buses are always packed with people!

🚕 Taxis: Taxis are available in city areas and are convenient (and pretty cheap) for short distances.

🛥️ Boats and Ferries: Traveling between coastal towns or exploring the Bay of Kotor by boat is a unique experience. Prices for boat tours and ferries can vary.

For convenience and the ability to explore at your own pace renting a car is what I recommend most. However, public transportation is the most cost-effective option, especially for those traveling on a budget.

Scenic panorama view of the historic town of Perast at famous Bay of Kotor with boats on a beautiful sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer, Montenegro, southern Europe

FOOD: Does Eating Out in Montenegro Cost a Lot?

Eating out in Montenegro offers quite varied prices, with options ranging from budget-friendly to upscale dining. In general, compared to many Western European countries, Montenegro offers reasonably priced meals, making it accessible for various budgets.

Eating options include:
⭐️ Local Restaurnts: Traditional Montenegrin restaurants and local gems provide affordable options. Be sure to sample local specialties like cevapi or fish dishes!
⭐️ Street Food: For a quick and inexpensive meal heading to a street food stand/bakery is best.
⭐️ Mid-Range Restaurants: In tourist-heavy areas like Budva and Kotor, there are mid-range restaurants all around. You can choose dishes based on your price preference.
⭐️ Upscale Dining: Fine dining establishments and restaurants with sea views will typically have higher prices. However, these experiences are worth it to me if the spot is right!
⭐️ Grocery Stores: Visiting local grocery stores is a cost-effective way to enjoy meals or substitute for eating out all the time.

OVERALL: How Much Money Do You Need for a Week in Montenegro?

The amount of money you need for a week in Montenegro will vary quite a bit from person to person. Here’s a breakdown to help you budget:

🏠 Accommodation: Budget for accommodation based on your preferences, ranging from budget hostels (€20-€60 per night) to mid-range hotels (€60-€220+ per night).
🐟 Meals: Eating at local restaurants can keep daily food costs between €20 and €40. If you prefer mid-range restaurants, budget ~ €40 to €60 per day.
🚘 Transportation: If you plan to rent a car, factor in rental costs, fuel, and potential parking fees (€20 / day). Public transportation costs are relatively low, with buses ranging from €2 to €10 depending on the distance.
🥾 Activities: Budget around €10 to €30 per day for activities.
🌟 Miscellaneous: Include a buffer for other expenses, souvenirs, and other miscellaneous costs. Budgeting around €10 to €20 per day should cover these.

During the high tourist season, prices for accommodation and other things will be higher. To save money, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons, book accommodations in advance, and explore local markets for cost-effective meals.

Old town in Herceg Novi, Montenegro
Ship and beach in Rose, Montenegro

Tipping In Montenegro

Tipping in Montenegro is appreciated but not practiced like in some other countries. In restaurants, rounding up the bill or leaving a 5-10% tip is customary, especially if service isn’t included.

💡 Tipping taxi drivers is common, with rounding up the fare being the norm.

Hotel staff, such as housekeepers and bellhops, may be tipped a small amount, but it’s not obligatory. Tour guides and excursion leaders often receive tips as a gesture of satisfaction for their services. However, tipping it isn’t mandatory.

💡 Montenegro definitely has a more relaxed tipping culture, and service charges are sometimes included in bills. While tips are appreciated they are not an obligation.

Tips For Montenegro On A Budget

Traveling in Montenegro on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on experiences. With its stunning landscapes and rich culture, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this destination without breaking the bank.

Use Public Transportation

Using public transportation is a great way to explore Montenegro on a budget. The country has a network of affordable buses connecting major cities and towns. Bus fares are reasonable and can get you from point A to point B effectively.

💡 However, the buses can get pretty busy and crowded so prepare for this!

➡️ Read More: Best Places to Visit in Montenegro

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Maximize your Montenegro experience on a budget by taking advantage of the numerous free activities the country has to offer. Montenegro’s natural beauty is unparalleled, and many attractions don’t come with an entrance fee.

Explore the hiking trails, relax on beaches, or wander through charming Old Towns like Kotor or Ulcinj without spending a dime. Additionally, Montenegro boasts historical sites, such as ancient fortresses and monasteries, often open to the public at no cost.

Travel During Shoulder Seasons

Optimizing your budget while enjoying all that Montenegro has to offer is much easier when you strategically plan your visit during shoulder seasons. Spring (April to June) and early autumn (September to October) are ideal times to explore the country.

During these periods, accommodation prices tend to be lower, and attractions are less crowded. The weather remains pleasant, allowing you to indulge in outdoor activities and appreciate the stunning landscapes.

Viewpoint at the top of Jezerski mountain, near Njegos mausoleum in  Lovcen National Park. It is the inspiration behind the name of Montenegro, Black Mountain. Summer blue mountain landscape.

Visiting Montenegro: FAQs

Planning a trip to Montenegro? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you navigate and make the most of your visit to this enchanting Balkan gem.

Do they speak English in Montenegro?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Montenegro, particularly in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. In larger cities and popular destinations like Kotor and Budva, you’ll find that many locals working in the tourism industry speak at least some English.

You may encounter fewer English speakers in more rural or remote areas, but people are generally friendly and appreciate any effort to communicate in the local language, Montenegrin.

Is Croatia or Montenegro cheaper?

Montenegro is more budget-friendly compared to Croatia, although the cost difference can vary depending on the specific regions and cities within each country.

Montenegro has gained a reputation for offering affordable accommodations, dining options, and activities, making it an attractive destination for travelers on a budget.

Croatia, particularly in popular tourist spots like Dubrovnik and Split, tends to have higher prices, especially during the peak tourist season. Accommodations, meals, and activities in these well-visited areas may be more expensive compared to some parts of Montenegro.

However, both countries provide a range of options to suit different budgets, and it’s possible to find affordable experiences in both Croatia and Montenegro.

➡️ Read More: Croatia vs. Montenegro

Town of Petrovac beach and coastline aerial view, archipelago of Montenegro

How safe is Montenegro for travel?

Montenegro is safe for travel. It has a low crime rate, and violent crime is rare. However, like any destination, it’s essential to exercise standard safety precautions.

Be vigilant with your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and take necessary precautions when engaging in outdoor activities.

The country is known for its hospitality, and visitors often feel secure exploring its diverse landscapes and cultural attractions. Always stay informed about local conditions and follow any travel advisories in place during your visit.

Can I use dollars in Montenegro?

No, the official currency in Montenegro is the Euro (€). While some businesses may accept other major currencies, it’s best to use Euros for transactions to avoid unfavorable exchange rates.

Conclusion: Is Montenegro Expensive?

Montenegro offers a diverse and enchanting travel experience without having to break the bank. While the cost of living and travel expenses can vary, Montenegro is considered more affordable than many Western European destinations.

Exploring the stunning landscapes, historic sites, and coastal gems doesn’t need to be costly. Traveling during shoulder seasons can contribute to savings, and engaging in free activities allows for an authentic experience without spending a dime.

Whether you’re drawn to the captivating Bay of Kotor, the pristine beaches of Budva, or the rugged beauty of Durmitor National Park, Montenegro offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler, irrespective of their budget.