Montenegro: how to have a cheap vacation
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Montenegro has a reputation for a budget resort. Many tourists go here in purpose of savings and are surprised to find the prices at the level of Central European. The country is developing very fast, and with it the cost of tourist services is growing. But there are still some ways to organize an inexpensive vacation in Montenegro.
Cheap living and housing in Montenegro.
The basis of the «housing stock» for tourists in Montenegro are private apartments. Some of them you can find on Booking or Airbnb, but to save money — look for accommodation directly from owners or one broker-realtor (the situation in the transaction involved 2-3 realtors is common in Montenegro)
The most extreme option — to look for living on arrival. It can work and you will find a good and cheap apartment from unencumbered remains. In the tourist cities of Montenegro there are signs everywhere: «sobe», «apartmani» («rooms», «apartments»). But keep in mind that most of them will be occupied, and the free owners will first break the price, which you, tired of the road, will agree. So decide on this option only if you are energetic, not burdened with children and suitcases and are ready for decisive bargaining.
Pleasant and safer to go to a pre-booked accommodation.
How to save money: place a request in one of the largest groups in Facebook for rent in Montenegro. Important: Immediately indicate dates and budget. The public price of apartments is often overestimated, and in real messages realtors make absolutely other offers. Especially if your dates successfully close an existing window in the schedule.
In order not to become a victim of deception, make friends with realtor in Facebook, see how much his profile is alive, how active he is in the rental housing group. If in doubt, ask whether you can trust this person with someone from the other members of the group: Montenegro is a small country, most realtors know each other.
What to look for:
- Check if the cost of rent utility bills and the Internet is included or not(with a short lease to 1 month, usually included)
- who pays for cleaning before settling (if not to discuss this point in advance, the owner of the apartment can hang this payment on you)
- whether there is a parking space (if you are renting a car, finding a free parking place in Montenegro will often be a problem)
- whether it is possible to walk to the beach (in Montenegro there are cheap accommodation options on a high mountain, where it is difficult to walk down and even more difficult to climb.If you can get to the beach only by car, add to the cost of renting a car and a car — almost everywhere near the beaches they are paid) .
In which city of Montenegro book accommodation
The cheapest living is in the south of Montenegro. The most expensive — in Budva, Kotor and in the area of Sveti Stefan.
Approximate cost of an apartment of an average level, with 1 bedroom in July in different cities of Montenegro, euros:
Sveti Stefan 70
Herceg Novi 50
Dobra Voda 40
When to go to Montenegro
If you want to relax in Montenegro cheaply, don’t come in July and August. At this time, there are the highest prices for rental housing (and not only for rent) and the busiest beaches.
June and September are the best months for a holiday in Montenegro: good prices, the temperature of water and air.
If you are not afraid of cold water in the sea, come in May or October, you will be pleasantly surprised how cheap and calm Montenegro can be.
Thin first line
Do not seek to settle on the first line, especially — in large settlements. Firstly,you will overpay. Secondly, until the night you will listen to loud music of discos and bars. Third, the first line can be very conditional: your house will be the first from the sea, but from the beach it will be separated by a road and embankment with shops and restaurants.
If you want to live by the water, look for small villages, take a look at the Boka Kotorska Bay: there you can rent apartments in the house with your own exit to the sea. Most likely, it will be a concrete pier. But the sensations of the sea beyond the threshold and the stunning view from the window are guaranteed.
How in Montenegro not to spend the entire budget on food
If you rent an apartment, they will most likely have a kitchen.
How to save: cook by yourself
What to look for:
- in supermarkets, fruits and vegetables are cheaper than in markets
- in the markets during the season behind the scenes operates a double tariff: one — for natives, another — for visitors; if you have come for a long time and will buy fruit and vegetables from the same seller, it is possible that you will start to make a discount
- in Montenegro, in some cities there are «morning bazaars.» They open at 5-6 in the morning. There you can buy vegetables and fruits at wholesale prices
- in many butcher shops you can ask to fry the products you bought: it will be delicious and free (or cost 1-2 euros)
- prices in small shops that open during the season and are designed exclusively for tourists are significantly higher than in large supermarkets.
In Montenegro, there are several large supermarket chains.
Main of them:
MEGA — the best vegetables and meat here
Franca — prices for many products are lower by 15-20%
Aroma — average prices and choice
Voli — you can buy rare products for Montenegro, such as gluten-free soy sauce, rare for Montenegro, eastern seasonings, rice noodles
HDL — the largest supermarket, a huge selection of products. One of the shops is on the way from Tivat airport towards Budva: it is convenient to purchase food immediately after arrival
Prices for meat in Montenegro are low, and it is of excellent quality.
With fish and seafood everything is more complicated. On an industrial scale, they are not mined in the country, so the prices of seafood and fish are high.
You can buy fish in the markets (the cheapest in the Bar, the most expensive is Zelena pijaca in Budva) or from private traders (they need to be caught on quays, along roads or in yards).
Prices for fruits and vegetables are medium. Many of them are imported. One way or another, there is no shortage of them.
Eating in cafes and restaurants.
Prices in cafes and restaurants are directly depend on location. Even the most impoverished cafe, located on the first line, considers it its duty to wind the n-th percent «for the sea air».
How to save: move away from the «shataletish» (embankment) for a couple of hundred meters — and the situation changes. The standard bill for one person, which includes the first, second, a salad and a glass of wine (or a mug of beer) rarely exceeds 10 euros.
You can have lunch cheaper: for this look for a cafe with a daily menu with a standard set of dishes. In this case, you will pay 4-6 euros for quite a decent dinner.
What to look for:
- In Montenegro it’s customary to leave a tip; their standard size is 10-15% of the bill
- You will not meet giant portions and cheap bills in the cafe on the coast. For the legendary Montenegrin hospitality it is necessary to go to the interior of the country (but even there it is not found everywhere)
- Bill in restaurants in Montenegro bring immediately with the first order: do not be surprised, it’s such a law here
Idemo na plažu
The set «2 sunbed + umbrella» in the season costs from 7-10 euros to 100 euros (such expensive sunbeds on the beach of Dukley Gardens, for example, or on the paid part of the beach near the island hotel Sveti Stefan).
How to save money: at the beginning of vacation, buy your umbrella (7-12 euros) and sunbathe on a towel
What to look for:
- By law, 30% of the beaches in Montenegro should remain public. On each beach, with rare exceptions, there is a zone for free rest
- If you are suddenly not allowed to lie on the beach for free, ask: where is the public area and move there. If you are told that there is no such zone, contact the municipal police. +382 68 — 815-094 (on duty number); e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org If you are on a private beach, completely closed to «third-party» tourists, the police will tell you about it.
- In Montenegro, it is not customary to keep sunbeds for the owner if he left without leaving any things on him
To see the real Montenegro and understand all its charm — you need to travel across the country Along the coast and always deep into the country.
To visit not only tourist places, but also small villages in the north. Try the real Balkan cuisine, with the most gigantic portions for three; home proshut and rakia.
How to save money: travel by bus or rent a car
If you move more than one, renting a car will be cheaper than organized tours. In EasyBookingCar you can rent a car from 25 euro per day. At the same time, the price will already include Wi-Fi and a baby car seat.
In addition to the fact that renting a car in Montenegro for a family or company is cheaper than excursions, you get full freedom with the car: do not depend on the tour schedule and instructions of the guide.
Renting a car can be cheaper than even traveling on regular buses. For example, a ticket from Budva to Ulcin will cost 7 euros per person one way. If you are four, you will spend 54 euros for a round-trip bus.
Bus intercity communication along the coast and into the country is well established. This mode of transportation is less comfortable, in comparison with car rental, but also economical.
You can see the bus schedule and buy a ticket on this site: https://busticket4.me/RU
What to look for:
- Cars are better to book in advance. In the season «on the spot» the price will be higher, and the choice is less
- prefer a small compact car (if you do not travel a large company): there are narrow roads and little parking space in Montenegro. Models such as Suzuki Ignis or Hyandai i30 fits perfectly
- bus can be canceled before the trip, it is better to specify the schedule at a particular bus station
- on weekdays there are more bus trips than on weekends
- buy a ticket from the bus driver is more profitable than at the station: so you do not pay the collection of the bus station (about 1 euro). But for this you need to «catch» a bus, like a minibus, right on the track
- International buses (to Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina) do not pick up tourists voting on the highway. They need to buy tickets only at the bus station.
Access to many places of interest in Montenegro is paid or conditionally paid.
But you can still save here.
The entrance to the wall of Kotor in 2018 was risen in price and now costs 8 euros. But if you exit the River Gate (from the main entrance they are on the left) to the bridge and turn to the mountain to the right, you can — literally goat’s tracks — climb the wall completely free of charge (and the views will be no worse)
For the entrance to the famous monastery Ostrog from the parking place of the taxi will take you for 2 euros. But you can overcome a steep and climb yourself or 10 minutes (besides there is a belief that saints are forgiven for walking to the monastery’s guests.) This thought is very supportive during a difficult climb.
The entrance to the Citadel in the old town of Budva costs 3.5 euros. But if you decide to combine the inspection with a trip to the restaurant on the territory of the fortress — the entrance for you will be free.
And the main advice:
Communicate with people, Montenegrins or experienced tourists. They will tell you where you can taste delicious and cheap dinner; which trail leads to the «secret» little beach (they are still some in Montenegro) and where you can buy food at a wholesale price.
Travel together with EasybookinCar!