Montenegro possessed in 1907 228 m. of excellent carriage roads, admirably engineered and maintained. The remarkable zigzag road from Cattaro to Niegush and Cettigne was completed in 1881; it was afterwards prolonged to Rieka, Podgoritza, Danilovgrad (where a fine bridge across the Zeta was erected in 1870), and Nikshitch. Another road connects Podgoritza with its port, Plavnitza, on Lake Scutari; a third runs from Antivari to Rieka, and unites the sea-coasts with the richest districts of the interior. The ports of Antivari and Dulcigno are insufficiently sheltered, but are capable of considerable improvement; both are places of call for the Austrian Lloyd steamers, and a regular service between Antivari and Bari on the Italian coast is maintained by the "Puglia" Steamship Company. The Boyana is navigable by sea-going vessels as far as Oboti (122 m. from its mouth), where cargoes from Scutari must be transferred to small river craft. Important harbour works were inaugurated in 1905 at Antivari by the Italo-Montenegrin Compagnia d'Antivari, which in the same year began the construction of a railway from that port to Virbazar on Lake Scutari. Four steamers belonging to the same company ply on the lake. Postal and telegraphic communication is fairly complete. There were, in 1906, 16 post offices and 20 telegraph stations, with 412 miles of wire. The number of letters posted in that year was 91,250. The telegraph is much used by the people: the number of telegrams sent in 1906 was 54,750.
Podgorica Bus station, has numerous buses going around the country & abroad.
if you travel around Montenegro, which is small, best bet to catch bus for out of the country is to come to Podgorica. Buses for Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and far a field like W Europe leave from the Main Bus station in town
A few street smarts from DAO:
The Balkans are small enough to drive around in a couple of days in a rental car. The following are some essential thing to think about if you want to drive into and around Montenegro.
• You have to pay a 10 Euro ‘Road Tax’ at the border. See picture 4 for a photo
• You have to have written permission from your rental company and other paperwork. This will be checked!
• Your headlights must be on at all times. I was warned on the Kosovo side when I forgot. The guard said “Next time” indicating a fine. It’s really easy to get a fine, so check before you start off.
• Snow chains are mandatory in the car in winter. If in any doubt, get them in the car – for safety reasons!
• The road surfaces are often much slicker than other roads in Europe. Even a moist day means you need to slow down.
• You will encounter cows. Hit one and you will need to pay for another car.
• The alcohol level for drink driving is HALF the level of many countries. Don’t even think about it.
• The roads in the mountains are not banked that well and you cannot take curves at speed.
• An International Driving Permit may or may not be required. For less than $10 best to get one!
Keep is safe and you will enjoy some beautiful scenery!
There is a good page on more practical advice here:
The Unofficial Rules
Meridian Rentacar rented us a bright yellow Hyundai Accent Automatic for 4 days in 2005 for 228 euros, including delivery to and collection from Perast. It gave us excellent service over many miles of narrow and mountainous roads, and its colour made it easy to find when we left it amongst other cars! (The rather ancient Yugo next to it belonged to the person who took us out on Skadar Lake!)
We had the same car in 2006 and 2007, and again it gave us excellent service.
Montenegro is not the easiest place to reach by airplane. There are two airports in Montenegro, Tivat and Podgorica. Both airports are small. Tivat is the more convenient one to use if you are traveling to the coast or the Bay of Kotor region. Almost all of the flights into both airports are provided by the two state-controlled arlines JAT and Montenegro Airlines. You generally have to connect through Belgrade (Serbia), although there are also some direct flights on Monenegro Airlines from Frankfurt, London and Zurich into Tivat and from Rome, Vienna and Budapest into Podgorica. However, those flights do not run every day. Belgrade seems to be the one route that is available seven days per week.
For travelers from the US, beware that many of the US airlines do not have reciprocal agreements with JAT and Montenegro Airlines, which means that they can't ticket your connection onto those airlines and can't deal with baggage transfers. It will make your life much easier to use a European Airline, such as Air France, for the US to Europe leg of your trip.
An alternative is to fly into Dubrovnik, which is about 30 miles over the border into Croatia and has more frequent air service from other European countries. However, if you fly into Dubrovnik and then go to Montenegro, beware that there are some quirks with the border crossing between the two countries (they don't seem to like each other). If driving a car, you must have a green card certifying that you have insurance for both countries. If taking a bus or cab, you may need to get out at the border, walk about 1/4 mile between the two individual passport/customs stations, and then transfer to a separate bus/cab on the other side, which you will have to have prearranged.
A lot of airlines offer cheap flights to Dubrovnik in Croatia. Dubrovnik Airport ?ilipi is appr. 20 km from the Montenegrin border (Debeli Brijeg). Taxi to the border costs 30€, and taxi from the border to Herceg Novi about 15. Talk to people on your plane or in the baggage reclaim area, you will generally find someone to share the costs with. If you have time to wait, you might find a shuttlebus taking you to the border, with connection to a Montenegrin bus on the other side. Otherwise, at least in Montenegro, maxi taxis or mini buses traffic the roads from time to time.
(Reply to Forum request for travel companion in Aug 2008)
WOW looked perfect until I noticed I'm a few years too late.
I was passing through en route to Albania,
Train from Budapest to Podgarica
is a really fantastic journey if you don't mind
trains Balkan style which I'm used to...
Hopefully will make it to Ulcinj this August 2010..:)
The cost was about 15,000 HUF in 2008 and guess
with the Forint dropping like a stone the price
could be between 18,000 Huf to 20,000 Huf in 2010.
The through train to Bar runs only in the summertime!
We hired a car in Dubrovnik before crossing the border to spend a week exploring Montenegro. If you're only planning to visit the Adriatic coast in Montenegro, then having a car is useful though probably not essential as there are reasonably good bus services up and down the coast.
If, on the other hand, you plan to explore more of the country inland then hiring a car is worth the expense as the transport links are not as good and you'll be able to visit the more difficult-to-reach sights.
Crossing the border from Croatia was no problem, though make sure you mention to your car-hire firm that you're planning to take the car across the border and they'll give you a required form. Most car hire firms don't charge extra for this though if you don't have it at the crossing you may have to pay a fine.
There is no motorway in Montenegro, but the roads connecting the main cities and on the coast are in a reasonable state. Further inland, especially in the mountain areas, the road quality is not so good, so make sure you allow plenty of time for trips in this area. It's also worth your while buying a map - these were on sale at the border crossing from kids knocking on car windows.
You might on a narrow road such as this one find IN FRONT of you a flock of sheep. Given that you are not driving fast, this is not big deal! Stop and wait until they have managed passed! That won't take long!
You might be unlucky and find yourself BEHIND a flock of sheep, going in the same direction than you. Do not even think about surpassing it! You will have to wait till they have reached their place or have reached a wider place where, may be, there will be a possibility to surpass. That might take 10 minutes, half an hour, who knows! Cool, you are on vacations, aren't you?
Driving from Croatia border and Herceg Novi to the south (Budva, Petrovac, Bar) you can shorten your trip using a ferry and not going around the Kotor bay. It is considerably shortage of the way.
The cost of the one way ferry crossing is only 3,5 EURO. You are not able don't see the ferry, it is just near by the only road from Dubrovnik to Budva and Bar.
Our experience of the buses along the coast was that they provide a frequent, efficient and cheap service, although some of the vehicles are somewhat ancient and lacking in comfort! The fares from Perast to Kotor and from Przno to Budva were only one euro each way.
As we discovered when we went to Petrovac from Przno, they are supplemented by 'taxi-buses', which seem to take you wherever you want to go, looking and calling out en-route for other people wanting to go in the same direction. (We discovered them after realising from the timetable that the regular buses through Przno village to Petrovac had finished running the previous weekend. Having just set off to walk up to the main road to see if we could get one there, a minibus with a taxi sign in its windscreen, which was already full of people, pulled up along side us. When we asked if it would take us to Petrovac, everybody squashed up and on we got to travel to Petrovac, dropping people off and picking others up as we went!). When we wanted to return to Przno, we found a vehicle-park on the edge of Petrovac where another taxi-bus was waiting and asked the driver to take us back to Przno which he duly did. The fares for this journey were two euros each way.
Montenegro has a beautiful coastline and plenty of mountains. The best way to see them is by car. We rented a car from a small rental car company in Budva called Terrae Car. They delivered the car (a Toyota) to us when we landed at the Tivat airport.
Three things to remember about renting a car in Montenegro:
1. Most rental cars in the country have manual transmissions. You have to request automatic transmissions in advance.
2. If you want to cross over the border into any of the neighboring countries, you need to state that up front to the rental agency so that they can arrange for you to be insured in those countries.
3. If you are driving into Croatia, be careful where you park your car. We heard numerous stories warning us about Croatians vandalizing cars from Montenegro.
If you are trying to go North/South and do not want to drive all the way around the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska). there is a car ferry service that crosses the narrow part of the bay near Kamenari. The crossing takes about 15 minutes and saves you about an hour of driving. You just drive your car onto the ferry and drive off on the other side. It runs continuously, 24 hours per day.
There is only one operable train line in Montenegro; the main line from Bar to Beograd. The branch from Podgorica to Nikšic is not in use. I took the train from Sutomore to Mojkovac, appr. 3 hours, at a cost of 5€. A lot of people tried to convince me that it would be much better to go by bus. I don't agree. The train climbed up, along and through the mountains, the view was spectacular and it is much easier to start a conversation in a train than in a bus.
I love trains!
Bus schedules are found at the main bus stations, but they are generally not accurate. But if you wait long enough, a bus will come ;-)
A lot of mini buses and maxi taxis traffic the roads, not all of them stop at the main bus stations since they have to pay a fee. But they stop anywhere else. If you wait at a bus stop somewhere, sooner or later someone will start organising people to share a maxi taxi :-)
Old town 322, Kotor, 85310, Montenegro
Good for: Business
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