I’ve been so excited to write this post because in the 15 days I spent in this little country, I fell in love with it. I’m hoping this letter might inspire others to get exploring this gem! This post will contain all the information you need – from accommodation to travel and activities to food. Enjoy!
TOTAL SPENT: €420.10
- Average per week = €210.05
- Average per day (14 nights) = €30
- Average accommodation price = €13.68
Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy each place – it’s a relaxed country and you won’t want to be hopping around quickly. It’s also super cheap so it’s worth taking your time here!
TAKE MY ADVICE ON HOSTELS – I loved (almost) all of the hostels I stayed in, so honestly, take a note of them because they are great!
Chat to the locals; they are wonderful, wonderful people.
Eat out – it’s super cheap (recurring theme here).
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Kotor – 4 nights
- Stari Bar – 4 nights
- Ulcinj – 2 nights
- Zabljak – 4 nights
I had a leisurely fortnight in Montenegro and felt I had the perfect amount of time everywhere – apart from Ulcinj, which I’ll explain about later. I can’t rave enough about this country but I’ll try in this post, so brace yourselves.
If you’ve had as much ramble as you can handle already, I will offer a quick summary here and you can be on your way. Montenegro is a country of beautiful beaches, serene lakes, breathtaking mountains, quaint old towns, kind people and once-in-a-lifetime hostels. It’s a backpackers Balkan paradise and should occupy a firm place on everyone’s bucket list. It’s cheap and cheerful which means you have the chance to sample the local cuisine and get out of the hostel kitchen. It’s small enough to get around without an issue and you’ll find there aren’t many hostels so you’re likely to stay in the same place as all the other travellers in the area. You make friends quick – it’s a solo travellers paradise. What else can I say? Book your damn flight.
You can fly in and out of Tivat (close to Kotor) or Podgorica (the capital – which I was told was not worth a visit so I simply travelled to it and flew out the next morning, hence why it won’t be included in this post). I flew Podgorica to London Stansted on July 27th and I paid £30.
Flights can be super cheap or pretty pricey so I’d recommend setting yourself some price alerts on skyscanner for when you want to go.
The airports are both close to wherever you’ll be staying so taxis are the best way to go. I believe I paid about €5 for a shared cab.
4 nights = €121.80
- Accommodation: Centrum Hostel €60 (bed in 4-bed dorm)
- Okay hostel, not my favourite, not my least favourite. Owner is pretty weird however one of the girls working there was absolutely lovely and I got to know her well. (One of those kind locals I’ve already mentioned.) The Old Town Hostel is the most popular but I still went for nights out even though I wasn’t staying there. This one is cheaper.
- I couldn’t find the link to the hostelworld page – maybe they took it off? If I were you I would stay elsewhere anyway.
- Transport €19
- Bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor was €17
- Takes about 3 hours but I’ve heard many horror stories of the wait at the border being stupidly long.
- Return bus ticket to Perast €2
- Definitely worth visiting! Such an adorable place.
- Bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor was €17
- Food €25.30
- Mostly supermarket food here with scattered pizza slices, ice creams and boreks.
- Other €16.50
- A healthy combination of drinks, including a cider or two taken up to the monastery for watching the sunset over the fjord, fridge magnets and postcards.
Kotor is a must-visit, just one look at the sunset view is surely enough to convince you, right? You probably don’t need a whole 4 nights there but why not? It’s a lovely little town.
4 nights = €130.60
- Accommodation: The Grove €60 (dorm bed)
- Hands down the best hostel I have ever, and probably will ever stay at. This converted olive mill is run by a group Aussies and Brits who go way out of their way to make each and every guest feel at home and even take you on trips around the area for free. They cook amazing meals every night (and some mornings) and organise fun nights out in the village. It truly made my stay and I am dying to go back. You even get a double bed in the dorm!!
- Website link – best to just email to book, and trust me, you’ll stay longer than you planned. (Also follow them on Instagram)
- Transport €6
- Bus from Kotor to Bar and then a local bus up to Stari Bar, very easy to get to the hostel.
- Food €44.60
- The meals at the hostel are €3 each night – bargin – and for the other food I went to the local shop and one day ate out (on one of the free trips) at a delightful seafood restaurant.
- Activities €20
- There was one trip I paid for which was to Lake Skadar. We went on a boat ride over the lake, went swimming and got great views driving back. It was great and so worth it to see another part of the country.
This was a great part of my trip. I had so much fun with the great people I met and got to go out to explore beaches by cliff jumps, blue lagoons, lakes and also had plenty of time to chill out at the insanely decorated hostel, play football on the beach and watch a few sunsets. Can’t say enough good things about it.
2 nights = €36.10
- Accommodation: Pirate Hostel €23.50 (dorm bed)
- This hostel is the only one in the city (I think), and it’s really fab. The owner is great and so much fun, it’s in a great location and the people I met there were awesome. It’s well worth going to.
- Website Link
- Transport €0
- I got a really late bus from Stari Bar to Ulcinj and the driver just never asked me to pay – so it was free! I believe it’s supposed to be like €3.
- Food €11.20
- I lived on pastries and bits from the supermarket. I also had dinner for free one night because I met a lovely local who offered me some freshly barbequed fish which was to die for. Again – amazing people of this country.
- Other €1.40
- Standard postcards.
This little city has a lot of charm and lovely people. It has a picturesque old town, modern new areas, small beaches and a stunning lookout for the sunset (where you’ll find my hospitable local who cooked me fish). It’s definitely worth a visit – for longer than 2 nights if you can!!
4 nights = €131.60
- Accommodation: Hiker’s Den €48 (dorm bed)
- This hostel is one-of-a-kind. The owner, Alex, is one of the best people I’ve ever met. He really cares about his guests and works hard to get everyone together to go on insane hikes in Durmitor National Park and will give you more information than you could ever need. I met a fabulous group here and I’ll never forget our hikes together.
- Website Link
- Transport €22
- Getting from Ulcinj to Zabljak (which is way up in the north) required changing buses in the capital and cost about €15.
- Whilst in Zabljak there was one hike that needed us to get a taxi midway up the mountain before hiking up to 2,500m. That was about €3 as it was shared with other hikers.
- I also got a taxi up to a viewpoint over the canyon which was about €4. Alex organises all of this and it’s all worth it!
- Food €42.10
- We ate out every night – bar one where Alex did a cracking bbq at the hostel for free. It was cheap and it was my last stop on my 10 week trip so I splashed out. I did take a packed lunch on hikes and ate breakfast in the hostel.
- Activites €17
- There was a fee to get into the national park each day – I don’t actually remember how much though.
- On my last day there I rented a bike which was about €8 and cycled to a lake, which was awesome.
- Other €2.50
- Postcards which I couldn’t resist because it was so freaking stunning.
You have to visit Zabljak if you go to Montenegro. The hikes are manageable, rewarding and wonderful. Bathing in the lakes is blissful and looking into that canyon is something else. It was the highlight of my trip which just happened to fall right at the end. I’ll be sure to return!!
There you go – 2 weeks in Montenegro having the best time, exploring a stunning country. I hope this has been helpful – please ask any questions you have and I’ll be happy to help in any way.
PS. I’ve now (12/03/18) written a full post detailing my travel budgeting formula, which you can check out here: How to calculate a travel budget (and other tips)
MY FORMULA FOR CALCULATING A BUDGET
As I said at the beginning, my average daily spend was €30. I could’ve spend less had I not been splashing out on the last 4 days of my trip, but it’s still pretty good.
- To calculate a budget, I double the average accommodation cost to get a daily budget and add a little on for transport
- €13.68 x 2 = €27.36
- For 2 weeks = €383
- I actually spent €373 without transport (pretty close to the calculated budget)
- Then just add some on for travelling – about €50 (I spent €47)
- And there you go!
- For 2 weeks in Montenegro I would budget around €430 (not including getting out of the country, but including a bus from Dubrovnik)