I was honestly a bit scared going to Montenegro seeing all the hotel prices online. But good thing R and I decided not to book anything in advance. Turns out, there is a big divide between coastline and inner city prices– and some room for budget travelers like us!
Some Tips on Visiting Montenegro:
- The best way to get to Montenegro is via an overland route, whether by car or bus, from neighboring countries Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo or Albania. R and I travelled to Budva (Montenegro’s coastline area) by bus from Tirana, Albania, which took around 5 hours.
- For Philippine passport holders, please don’t forget to apply for a Schengen visa! It will be best to apply via other member countries as Montenegro does not have a consular office in the Philippines. For more info, visit VFS Global, now the only authorized Schengen visa processing facility in the Philippines. Most EU consulates do not handle visa applications any longer.
- Montenegro has a reputation of being an expensive country. That is true, unless you forget that the country stretches way out of the coastline. Along the coastline, as is expected in any country, you will find the most expensive hotels, restaurants and shops. But walk a bit further and you will find much value with your 1 Euro. In case you’re curious, 1 Euro in inner Budva can buy you a cup of coffee, a mid-sized hotdog sandwich, or cevapi (kebab).
- Download Google Maps and make use of its offline access feature. I used to download a different app per country, but this just beats all of them for finding the best routes and restaurants. Plus, I don’t have to be on data all the time. CNET has a definitive guide on how to make the most of this new feature.
- Why I want to go back: Ahhh… the beach life. Affordable. In Europe. ‘Nuff said.
- As with any country in the world: do not quickly assume. Make sense of the why behind the what first and while you’re at it, get lost and find yourself. Happy travels! 🙂
P.S. The keys to sustainable travels are universal: take public transportation | stay in accommodations where cooking is allowed (private or shared, it doesn’t matter) | walk as much as you can | wake up early | stay away from guidebooks | immerse yourself in local language, culture and history | visit local cafés | know that the possibilities are endless | listen to your gut