Last updated on July 5th, 2023
Montenegro has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to its shores every summer. But with all that boom in tourism, the question still remains: is Montenegro a good country to visit or even to live in?
Well, that all depends. Like any destination, Montenegro has its own set of unique characteristics and challenges that may impact your decision to visit or even live there.
And to understand them, I wrote this post to explore the pros and cons of this Balkan country to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your holidays or not.
So go through these main questions and my answers to them before planning a Montenegro itinerary, and if any other question still remains, drop it in the comment section or send me a message!
Are You Planning a Last Minute Trip to Montenegro?
Below are the essential resources you’ll need!
Top Tours & Activities in Montenegro
- Boka Bay Day Cruise – from Kotor, Budva, and Herceg Novi
- Lovcen NP & Beyond – top-seller to get acquainted with Montenegro mountains
- Rafting on Tara River – for adventure seekers
- Kotor Old Town Tour – to see the most beautiful city in Montenegro
- North Montenegro Tour – including Ostrog Monastery!
Top Hotels in Montenegro
- Portonovi Resort – 5 star luxury
- Hotel Vardar – my fav hotel in Kotor!
- Regent Porto – 5 star in Tivat
- Lazure Hotel & Marina – luxury in Herceg Novi on a mid-budget
- Stara Carsija – 5 star boutique hotel in Bar
Visiting Montenegro Independently? Be sure to book your Montenegro car rental ahead of time from the best company in the region!
Is Montenegro a Good Country? Let’s Find Out!
Is Montenegro a Good Place to Visit?
Before I start answering this question (as well as others), I want to ask you this. How much have you traveled? What was the last destination where you spent a lot of time and which you fell in love with? What do you like to travel for?
Answers to these questions will define whether Montenegro is a good place to visit for you personally or probably not so much. Seriously.
I know there are tons of articles and guides over there saying undeniably that Montenegro is a must-visit destination for everyone without exception. However, in my experience, that’s not the case for everyone. I’ll explain why.
My perception of Montenegro changed a lot throughout the years, multiple visits to this country, and after helping to plan travel to Montenegro for others.
When I visited this country for the first time in 2008 (and that was one of the first countries I traveled to outside my home country Ukraine), I was in awe. Montenegro looked like a place from another world because I have never before seen the nature that I saw there. Then I returned to Montenegro in 2018 (after traveling through many countries) to live there as a nomad and I still loved it as much.
But then I started to plan Montenegro trips for others and got some interesting feedback from some people who were saying that Montenegro didn’t live up to their expectations.
Reasons for that were very different. Someone didn’t like Montenegro because he traveled in the wrong season.
Others because prior to Montenegro they traveled to places with some dramatic landscapes and excellent service, so Montenegro didn’t impress them. Their expectations were much higher than what the country could offer.
This is why, depending on how much you traveled, how easily you get excited from travels, and what you expect from the Balkans in general will define if Montenegro is a good country to visit and whether you’ll enjoy the trip there or not.
Overall, in my opinion and experience, Montenegro is a fantastic place to visit for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those who enjoy cultural experiences. But that’s with a condition if you enjoy any type of beauty anywhere and if you want to get more out of your budget.
Montenegrin Sea is among the most beautiful seas I have ever been to. The country’s national parks and historic towns still offer a variety of activities for visitors.
However, it may not be the best destination for seasonal travelers or those looking for luxurious experiences that have access to outstanding tourist infrastructure. Also, keep in mind while Montenegro has beautiful natural landscapes and historic towns, it may not offer the same level of diversity in terms of attractions and activities as larger countries.
And, if you traveled many times to some of the destinations with the most dramatic landscapes and want to visit Montenegro for nature alone, it may not be the same as you envision. Nature in Montenegro reminds a lot of nature in Norway, Switzerland, and some other countries, just on a much smaller scale and with less developed infrastructure.
So, I’d say that if you see beauty everywhere, want to have a sea and mountains vacation, save money, learn about the Montenegrin culture, and don’t mind a limited number of amenities, Montenegro is a fantastic place to visit.
Is Montenegro a Good Holiday Destination for a Week or 2 Weeks Vacation?
Montenegro can be a great holiday destination for those seeking a more laid-back and relaxed vacation for a week or two. The country’s natural beauty and slower pace of life can be a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of busy tourist destinations.
Thanks to a few luxury hotels (like Portonovi Resort or Splendid Conference & Spa for example), you can plan a luxurious holiday without spending too much and yet be closer to the sea, mountains, and fjords at the same time.
However, if you are looking for a holiday in Montenegro that will include a lot of activities like Dubai or Istanbul or lively nightlife like Bodrum or Marmaris, Montenegro may not be the best choice for a vacation trip.
While there are plenty of under-the-radar gems and outdoor activities to enjoy, the nightlife scene is relatively low-key and the entertainment options are quite limited compared to other European popular holiday spots.
Additionally, in summer for example, some areas of Montenegro are overcrowded while others are quite secluded and may not offer the same level of amenities and conveniences which is a priority for many people.
Is Montenegro Good for Solo Travelers?
Montenegro may not be the first destination that comes to mind for solo travel, but this small Balkan country has plenty to offer independent adventurers. From easy walking trails along the Adriatic Sea and lazy nights by the fjords to strenuous hikes in Durmitor national park that are safe to do on your own, a solo traveler (including solo female travelers) will have plenty to do in this country.
One of the biggest advantages of Montenegro for solo travelers is its safety. Montenegro is very safe, the country has a low crime rate, and is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe.
While I personally don’t think that locals are among the most friendly and hospitable people in the Balkans, they are still very welcoming. And the tourist infrastructure is well-developed, making it easy to get around when you are alone.
What also is important for many people who travel solo is that Montenegro is quite an affordable destination in Europe (and among all the countries in the Balkans) with reasonably priced accommodation, food, and transportation options. That means that solo travelers can stretch their budget further while enjoying all that the country has to offer.
When I lived in Montenegro with my husband, I still had a chance to travel around the country on my own when our schedules didn’t match (even though I’m a scaredy-cat to go somewhere alone). I always felt very safe, even with my non-existent level of language knowledge and when many times I didn’t know where I was going.
So this brings me to a point. If you are a solo (female) traveler, you can plan a trip to Montenegro with confidence. I talk more about its safety and things to know in my post on how safe Montenegro is. But shortly – whether you’re into hiking, history, road trips in your own company, or just chilling on the lesser-popular beach, Montenegro has something to offer every type of solo traveler.
Examples of Must-Have Activities in Montenegro for Solo Travelers
- Kayaking & Stand-Up Paddling from Budva – discover the Adriatic Coast on your own
- Rafting on Tara River – a great chance to do one of the most famous activities in the company of other people
- Wine & Food Tasting in Kotor – private walking tour through Kotor’s old town and UNESCO sites
- Durmitor Park Day Trip – Black Lake and Tara Canyon with a guide for the whole day
- Bay of Kotor & Island Cruise – see many sites of Kotor Bay from the water
Is Montenegro a Good Country for Families?
Honestly? Montenegro is excellent for families as it offers plenty of outdoor activities and scenic landscapes to explore that kids will love.
This country’s coastline is dotted with family-friendly beaches, from secluded coves to bustling stretches of sand, offering plenty of options for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Many hotels along the Adriatic Sea have pools and some even water slides.
Almost all beaches have crystal-clear waters and gentle descent into the sea which is perfect for little kids and for older ones who are not confident swimmers yet. And since the water is so clear that it is transparent, many kids will be very comfortable when swimming as they can see the bottom and not be scared of the unknown.
Plus, Montenegro’s long coastline boasts several beaches such as Becici or Ulcinj that are perfect for families as they have sand. Kids will definitely enjoy swimming there in the clear waters and building sandcastles on the shore.
There is also a wide range of family-friendly activities in Montenegro and just some examples are visiting the Biogradska Gora National Park, which has plenty of hiking trails suitable for children or for example taking a boat trip on the Skadar Lake, where families can enjoy the unique scenery and spot wildlife.
If you are traveling to Montenegro with a family and little children, you’ll also find many historical and cultural attractions to discover such as ancient fortresses, museums, and traditional villages. Add to your family itinerary medieval towns like Kotor or Perast, where kids can learn about Montenegro’s history and culture, try some local goodies, and go on a boat ride.
The list of all activities and things to do in Montenegro with kids is very long. I am working on a separate guide for families and it should be on the blog shortly, but meanwhile, take a look at these family-friendly hotels and attractions below to have an idea of what to expect:
Examples of Family Activities in Montenegro
Is Montenegro a Good Place to Live?
Well, that depends on who asks (where in life you are at now, your expectations and goals) and what you want to achieve with the move to Montenegro.
Generally, Montenegro is a good place to live for digital nomads, retirees, and people who work remotely. So basically it is a good place to live if you have income from somewhere else and if you are ready to live through Montenegrin winters as they are usually damp and sometimes too depressing.
If you don’t have a job and want to move to Montenegro to work, it will be a bad choice. Montenegro has a high unemployment rate, a relatively low standard of living compared to Western Europe, and limited job opportunities in many fields.
When the war started (even before the war) in Ukraine, I saw a lot of my acquaintances moving to Montenegro and starting their businesses there (in construction, beauty & wellness, and tourism) and investing money in real estate. But I also saw those who moved without a job and couldn’t find it for a very long time, eventually ending up working here and there for pennies.
So even if you are a qualified worker, chances are very low that you’ll find a job in Montenegro.
Don’t forget that the country’s economy is relatively small and relies heavily on tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. There is no support for IT or tech development and no extra benefits for the IT sector as well as no special governmental initiatives to attract IT engineers.
In addition, there is a high level of competition for jobs, particularly in urban areas such as Podgorica and Budva. Preference is given to locals, so foreigners with a lot of experience will have a hard time finding a job.
Finally, the country’s bureaucracy and regulatory environment make it challenging for businesses to operate and create new jobs.
With a laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle and slow pace of life, Montenegro is a good place to live for people who work online, have savings, or have any streams of income. Affordable living costs are lower than in the EU, nature is abundant, and with nearby countries, there is a ton to explore.
However, you won’t survive for too long there without a job as finding one is very difficult.
Is Montenegro Good for Investment?
Okay, here I want to ask you this. Good for investment in what? In tourism, real estate, energy, or agriculture? Because in recent years, Montenegro started to implement various reforms to attract foreign investment in different fields.
I can tell you (from my experience) about investment in real estate since I have been learning a lot on this topic lately.
If you weigh the opportunity to invest in Montenegro property, remember that now is still a good time.
Compared to other maritime countries in Europe, the cost of real estate in Montenegro is still on the lower side. But the Adriatic coast has already become a place for large investments, so these prices will grow significantly over the period of the next few years. And this year may be the last chance to obtain citizenship in this country through the purchase of real estate.
I will be writing another article about purchasing real estate in Montenegro where I’ll highlight my own experience. So stayed tuned!
More Montenegro Inspiration
- Guide to Beaches in Budva – which one is best for you?
- Where to Stay in Montenegro – overview of the resort cities & accommodation
- Renting a car in Montenegro – what you need to know before booking a car
- Driving in Montenegro – tips & insight for a good road trip
- Is Herceg Novi worth visiting? – helpful guide to decide
- Herceg Novi things to do – guide with activities & places to visit
- Places to Visit in Tivat – must see & do
- Hiking in Montenegro – best hikes that should be on your list
- How to Find & Rent Apartment in Montenegro – if staying long term
- Sedlo Pass Drive – guide to one of the most scenic road trips in Montenegro
- Hiking to Bobotov Kuk Peak – step-by-step manual to the most popular hike in Durmitor
- Day Trips From Kotor – and where not to go
- Autumn in Montenegro – why it’s the best season to visit