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Montenegro or Crna Gora (Winter 2008-09)


General

In Montenegrin, "Crna Gora" translates as "black mountain".  The word "Montenegro" that we all know probably comes from an old Dalmatian language, similar to Italian, that died out in 19th c according to Lonely Planet.

Fortunately your Hvala (wah-la) for thank you and Doberdan (doe-ber/br-don) for "hello" from Croatia will serve you well here too.


These "somun" at Kotor were our favorite sandwich bread.

Our favorite bread in the Balkan Peninsula quickly became the thick, pita-shaped "somun." Our Kotor Pantomarket sold the smaller 150g buns for 25 and the larger 250g ones for 40. We didn't find these chewy breads in the Pekara or bakeries but at the supermarkets.

Timing one's visit to Montenegro is tricky. We were there in November of 2008 and March-April of 2009. It had been a cold winter and continued to be a cold spring, with snow levels dropping down to about 1000' on the coast. Most of the apartments were buttoned up for the winter and they are where the higher quality, better priced lodging was to be found. In March we found no apartments open in our search in Herceg Novi and barely found a place in Tivat. In both places we looked online and cruised around on our bikes. The going rate for the hotels in the off season is 70, which seemed absurd for the quality. We pay less than that for an apartment in the Italian Dolomites in July or for a nice B&B in Sicily. But as soon as high season hits in Montenegro, many of the prices double from what already seems to be a poor value.

As a cyclist, be forewarned that our Intersistem Karatografija map didn't indicate any of the several tunnels we went through nor was it at all  useful for anticipating how much elevation gain a route might entail. The mileages were often uncertain and there was no information about seasonal road closures.

Here's a useful national website:
www.montenegro.travel

See below under "Bar Tourist Info Office" for the best selection of tourist info brochures we found in Montenegro.

Coastal Montenegro

Herceg Novi (pop. 30,000)

Hercg Novi extends a ragged welcome if you approach from the north through Croatia as we did. The poor infrastructure-look dominated as we approached and we pedaled a long way on the beach promenade before it became handsome or historic looking. It wasn't until we reached the Stari Grad or old town that we could see what prompted Lonely Planet to describe Herceg Novi as "a lovely place". We found the lodging to be over priced in November and were happy to move on.

We stayed in Herceg Novi three times. Our better abode was at the 4 star Villa Palma adjoining the Copas Restaurant on the promenade below the old town at Setaliste 5 Danica 62a, Tel: +381 88 34 57 97 / 34 59 52, www.montenegro.com. It was open at the end of November 2008 but much to our disappointment, not at the end of March 2009.  Our apartment in Kotor didn't have the stunning seaside view but was more pleasant and comfortable.

In March 2009 we reluctantly stayed at the 4 star Hotel Vila Aleksandar on the promenade. The room was toasty warm, had a nice sea view from the small balcony, and was generally pleasant but the double bed was one of the "seismic" varieties: one person scratches their nose and the other person thinks there is an earthquake. I almost slept on the floor because of all the jiggling that occurred with Bill's slightest gesture. The low season price was 70 though our hesitation resulted in a 10 discount from the manager/owner. The bikes were kept in a part of the promenade restaurant that was closed off. No differently-abled access or elevator here: many flights of steps up to reception and then another flight or 2 to your room.

Road South From Herceg Novi

We approached Herceg Novi from the north, from Croatia, on our bikes. We immediately hopped on the pedestrian promenade along the sea which runs the full length of Herceg Novi. If you keep bearing towards the sea after the Herceg Novi promenade ends, you can be off of the main road for almost all of the next 14km, until 1.5km before the ferry that shortens the journey to Tivat. If you aren't in a hurry, it's definitely worth the trouble to find the back way that keeps you off of the unpleasant truck route. There are little markets and restaurants in the string of villages to take care of your lunch needs.

And if you aren't in a hurry, skip the ferry and ride into Kotor and plan on spending the night. The walk up to the fort is worth the view and the old town will remind you of Dubrovnik but without the opportunity to walk on the walls.


Kotor Bay was lovely in late November.

Kotor Bay 'Boka Kotorska' (pop. 23,000)

We were enchanted by looping around the fjord-like inlet to Kotor though our pleasure as cyclists was likely greater than that of motorists--the sometimes one-lane roads that were a pleasure to us might be a nightmare to drivers. The scenery was nice, though not grand, but the overall experience for us was a delight.  Finding an inexpensive and very comfortable apartment continued the glow.

Kotor: Tianis Apartmani.

Look for the sign on this pink building on the right side of the street on the north side of the old town. It's the first street past the 'canal' which parallels the moat. This 3-star, fresh, modern, nicely appointed apartment was well-enough insulated to be warm with little use of the heating system. The hostess and the associated cafe staff speak English. Internet is available farther down the same street at a bar on the left and in the old town. Apartments #1 & 2 are on the sunny south side with a nice view of the hills from the balconies. #2 with twin beds was better for us as the TV is in the kitchen instead of the bedroom and there are more outside windows. BBC and CNN on the TV. The 30 for 2 per night in November and March jumps to 70 in high season. www.tianis.net, info@tianis.net, Tel: +382 (0) 32 302 178, +382 (0) 69 086 921. We liked it so much in November that we came back in March for a week without our bikes for our jet lag recovery.

Tivat

Apartmani N&T has no name on it or the sign on the road indicating that there is an apartment 15 meters to the right, up the street off the main road as you are heading into town from the south. It is about opposite the marina and just before one of the several signs directing you to the hotels in the marina area. The bright green balconies are its most distinctive feature. The owners are actually in the adjacent building on the down hill side, which is on the main road. We went around to the main door of this apartment building, which is on the downhill side, and the dog in the owner's building started barking. Soon a young man poked his head out of the window and after a few words, his dad came running out to show us the room. It was a steal at 25 per night for 2. Quiet and basic but fresh and new with a small kitchen. No shower curtain, Euronews was the only English on the TV but our alternatives had been a shabby apartment for the same price or hotel rooms for 70, so we were delighted with the find. The owners speak English. The bikes tucked in along the indoor stairway next to the mangle. We were glad to have our own supplemental heat source as the room was slow to warm on our rainy March arrival day. apartmani-nt@cg.yu; Tel: 032-672-581; 032-672-746; 069-841-990.

Tivat's tourist office at Palih boraca 8 is easy to find by following the road signs. In low season it is closed on Sundays and closes on other days at 2 or 3pm. We picked up their accommodations brochure on our way out of town. It's a bit difficult to use as there are no prices or open dates listed for the establishments except for a few hotels open year-round. There is a map with tiny numbers locating the establishments by page number though it may be easier to generally place them by their distance from the airport, which is also indicated. The website on the back of the brochure is www.tivat.travel. Tel: +382-32-671-324.
Budva (12,000)

Budva Lodging.  We stayed at Marinero Apartments at Jadranski Put 35, the main road into town. We easily spotted #34, which unfortunately is several blocks away. This apartment is just before the traffic light as you descent down the hill from the north. It's on your left as you head south, on the inland side of the road 2 doors down from the Hotel Villa Lux. There is no sign or house number on this white building with blue trim set back from the street.  Our well-appointed, fresh and comfortable studio was 40 at the end of March. The son, Mirko, speaks English and his cell number is +382-68-339-765. We found this property on www.montenegro-adventures.com and then looked for the Marinero's website www.marineroapartments.com to get their phone number: +382 33 451 581.

Budva's tourist office has a booklet of private accommodations with about 50 paid ads and almost 400 other listings. Our place was only in the directory listing of 400 listed by the family name of Jablan. www.budva.travel, www.tob.cg.yu were sites listed on the back of the city's brochure.

Petrovac. Hotel Danica is near the water's edge (105m down from the turn-off) at the far right end of town as you face the sea. It was purportedly the only lodging of the 130+ establishments open in early April when we were there and was the only place we found available. The 50 price for 2 with breakfast was better value than we expected under the circumstances. Being roomy and freshly done with a great shower and a tiny but well-equipped kitchen, it nicely met our needs. It's a little beyond the well-stocked Voli market--well stocked except for the fresh produce you should have bought earlier in the day at the open market in the square. With some nudging, the hotel provided a locked room on the ground level for the bikes. Tel: +382 (0)86 462 304; www.hotel-danica.com.

Virpazar on Lake Skadar. Hotel Pelikan has tiny though freshly remodeled rooms for 58 for 2 with breakfast. The bathroom sink is about large enough to wash 1 sock at a time (if you bring your own plug) and I had to duck and bend around the wall mounted TV to get into bed. The mosquitoes meant keeping the windows closed and running the HVAC for some air circulation in the evening. The very eager hostess speaks German and has enough English words to get by. We kept the bikes in the tiny lobby. BBC on the tube. +382 (0)20711107. pelikanzec@cg.yu. www.pelikan-zec.com. There were a couple signs for rooms for rent near the hotel though the nicest one was really buttoned-up in early April.

Cetinje. Pansion 22 at Ivanbegova 22 was 55 for 2 with breakfast, which was pizza at a restaurant across the street. We paid a premium for our agency internet booking as the posted price for 2 was 40, perhaps without breakfast and perhaps plus tax. The host claims to speak no English, German or Italian but comes up with enough German words to communicate the basics and understands some key English words, like "more toilet paper".  He doesn't staff his office so we had to ask a passerby to call him when we arrived. Our room was spacious and fresh. There was no English on the TV and enjoying a soak in the tub required drawing water twice from the small water heater over about 2 hours. Both a space heater and a fan were in the room. The tiled hallway was too effective at sharing our neighbors TV selection with us but it was otherwise quiet and gave what we needed for a good night's sleep. Tel: +382 (0) 69/055 473. pansion22@mtel-cg.net.

Bar (37,000) We stayed at a no-name "apartmani" on the north end of Bar in uanj on the same crossroads-street (perhaps Ilino) as the 2-star Hotel MD. The hotel was full with a sports team, though it looked like a good choice www.hotel-md.com. Our 25 apartment was adjacent to the "Castello" restaurant. Our apartment was quite spare as it lacked cooking supplies in the kitchen; a shower curtain; and heat. We supplemented the token amount of TP with our own; used our own hot pot and cooking supplies and were glad to have a small space heater to drive out the considerable damp-chill in the room. The single blanket for each of us would have been inadequate in April without the heater running all night. The eager and friendly hostess speaks no English, German or Italian and wants to be paid when she hands the key over to you. We had planned to stay at the Hotel Pharos but got no answer the many times we tried to call for a reservation.

Bar's Tourist Info Office. At last, a tourist info office with some information, piles of it. Bill asked about the train schedule and they printed out a copy. I had thought it kind of silly as we were going to walk to the train station anyway, but the schedule at the station was written in Cyrillic, not the Latin alphabet.
Their "Bar" accommodation booklet also includes Virpazar private accommodation options we hadn't seen listed before.

"Bjelasica Komovi: Planinarsko turistička karta" is a free, detailed map showing both the roads and hiking trails in the Nacionalni Park Biogradska Gora. A rare treat: it also shows elevations. None of the chit-chat on the map is in English though the legend is trilingual with English and German.

"Coastal Mountaineering Transversal Route, Orjen-Lovcen-Rumija, Guidebook/Map" is in English and was funded by the USAID (US Agency for International Development.) It contains a map of the entire route plus a booklet with high points of each major segment of the route, including distances, estimated walking times, elevation gain, and water availability. Montenegro Mountaineering Association at www.pscg.cg.yu provided the information for the booklet and map and presumably would be a good resource for hikers.

"Montenegro Explorer, Visitors Guide" is a slick guide with loads of advertising. In the back is a useful, non-nonsense Directory. It includes lists of hotels, though not private accommodations, for the major cities; museums; and other tourist resources. Sometimes it helps to have another phone number to try if the one you are using isn't working.

Ulcinj. We stayed at Lonely Planet's recommended apartment, the Bonita. The friendly hostess speaks English. We had the largest of the sea view rooms on our level (#202) and it was lovely. The room was spacious, fresh, and clean. Unfortunately there was no English on the TV but the kitchen was equipped and there was heat available. We had the usual problems of a musty bathroom because of the chronic sink leak and the kitchen faucet sprayed half the water laterally. Curiously, this was the second place in Montenegro where we had to ask for a top sheet--or was it the bottom sheet? Anyway, we didn't consider 1 sheet and a blanket an acceptable combination. At 25 for 2 per night in April, it was a steal and we stayed extra nights to get caught up on our chores because of it. To get there, follow the main commercial road to the new traffic circle and take the road that dips towards the sea. In a short distance the road forks and you'll want to take the upper road. Follow it along as the Bonita is on this street.  It's at Ivan Millutinoviquit 67, a couple of doors down from the Senator Apartments/B&B. Watch for the big sign. Tel: 423-164. bonita-ul@cg.yu.

Communications

Lonely Planet recommended making international calls from the post office rather than using phone cards but our single call to the States from the PO cost us 20 ($25). Better to have a Skype account and find the rare internet shop or perhaps use a cell phone. (Tourist Info in Kotor said there was only 1 internet shop in town but we tracked down 3 more by asking at the first bar with internet and walking around in the old town).

Cell Phone: 5 gets you a SIM card to put in your unlocked phone and 5 of minutes. Each minute is .16 and you pay for out going calls only. You'll need to ask about the length of the service interval for your 5 and if there is an optional calling card that can be used for making international calls.

Promonte had a much better deal than T-Mobile for accessing the internet via a cell phone. Ask for a "Data SIM" which will be understood even if your clerk speaks little English.

Transport

At Kotor

www.blueline-mne.com for the local bus line. No schedules available at the bus station.

www.autoboka.com perhaps Montenegro service

It's about 2 1/2 hrs by bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor, with service 1-2 times a day most days.

Public transport isn't available to all of the tourist destinations, like Lovcen, the national parks, and the Ostrog Monastery. We did manage to get to the Ostrog monastery (though it wasn't all that grand) by bus and taxi. We took the local bus from Podgorica to the tiny village of Bogetiči, which took about an hour on the 'milk run' for 2.50 each. From there we took a ride in an unlicensed taxi for 5 the 2 of us to the lower monastery. The driver was on the road where the bus dropped us off. If no one is trolling for customers on the main road, walk down into town and it's very likely you'll be able to buy a ride for the 7 km journey. We got the driver's cell number and when we'd seen both the upper and lower compounds, we asked the woman at the lower monastery gift shop to call him for us. She did so without batting an eye though spoke little English. We paid him another 5 for the hair-raising trip back down to the main road where we flagged a bus going into Podgorica for 2 each. We spent about 3 hours at the monasteries, including eating lunch, and the entire leisurely outing was about 6 hours.

Biking

We do not recommend Montenegro as a cycling destination. It's OK, it's do-able, but so many places are so much better, one has to ask "Why bother?" Montenegro, as a number of countries, suffers from not having many roads. For a cyclist, that means you spend most of your time pedaling on truck routes. Most of the roads with services are 2 lanes with little or no shoulder though often on the steep climbs a very welcome third lane is provided for the uphill traffic.

Being off the main roads requires much longer riding days than we care to do (80-100km) or being provisioned for free camping, including carrying enough food for almost 2 days on some stretches. Our map was useless in predicting elevation gain and almost every ride racked it up, so lots of miles also means thousands of feet in elevation gain.

The Montenegrins, like their brethren the Croatians and Serbians, don't do anything to help cyclists out on the road. They are perhaps the most flagrant about ignoring our presence when passing as oncoming traffic. Though it is still just 1 car in each lane, there is something more terrifying about being passed closely by a car coming at you than from behind. Perhaps it's because it is an inherently more dangerous maneuver and we know that avoiding us is yet another overloading distraction as they are assessing the level of foolishness of their decision. (When pausing one day we watched a full-sized bus pass a school bus despite 6 oncoming cars in the lane he took--the oncoming cars almost completely stopped to prevent a pile-up.)

One young man bluntly told us that Montenegrins didn't like bikes--it was just part of their nature, he said. It was hard to make sense of the comment but it fit with our experience as cyclists on the road. However a few 30-something men behind the wheel gave us a light toot on the horn and a wave, a smile, or a thumb's-up.

We saw very, very few people on bikes in Montenegro. In Kotor Bay, we spotted several people a generation older than us going to market on their bikes. Elsewhere, it was often as little as a single person on a bike in a given town. There was a bike race going on, so someone is supporting the sport. Though when Bill asked for directions to a bike shop in Tivat he was told that there was none.

Unlike in Croatia where a stray dog was a rare, rare sight, stray dogs are quite common in Montenegro, especially in and around the coastal towns. The central-city dogs are those amazingly well-adapted pooches that snooze deeply in the doorways of businesses or at the base of park fountains. The ones on the periphery however are more likely to charge a passing cyclist. Most of these dogs were easily deflected with our well-practiced deep-growling-shout. We did keep our telescoping walking sticks in their ready position and found that flashing our sticks also quickly delivered the respect we were looking for.

Special notes for cyclists:

Budva Tunnel. If traveling on the road north of Budva on a bike, seriously consider taking the walkway through the tunnel just north of Budva instead of being in the traffic lanes. In the likely event that 2 trucks encounter each other inside the tunnel, there will be no room left for you as a cyclist and the barricade protecting the walkway is too high to hop over. The walkway is on the ocean side of the tunnel only. It was just barely wide enough to walk on with our bulging panniers at the Budva end. Do take care at that end not to snag your clothes or panniers on the brackets protruding from the tunnel wall at about knee level. At the Tivat end the sidewalk is outside of the tunnel and was wide enough to easily coast downhill as we were coming from the north.
Petrovac to Virpazar
over the pass rather than through the tunnel: 650m gain, 30 km with a lot of 8-9% grades. Low traffic though a high percentage of the vehicles were trucks.

Virpazar to Cetinje on the road through Rijeka Crnojevica: 40 km, 1050m gain, 200m tunnel a few km from town. Scenic, with little traffic (no trucks) but a long day with lots of climbing until the last few km into town--then the traffic was fast and furious on the main road. The only market along the way is at Rijeka Crnojevica and we never saw a sign indicating that the road was headed for Cetinje.

Cetinje to Kotor on the back road: 45 km (the last 20 km mostly downhill), 620m gain. Going Kotor to Cetinje would accumulate 1250m in elevation gain. The switch-backed road above Kotor offers stunning panoramas of the larger bay area though the frequent haze diminished the visual experience.

Bar to Ulcinj on an inland secondary road was a grand choice. There were no road numbers on our map and no towns on the route to identify it. But when looking at your map, notice that the main road follows the coast and that there is a roughly east-west, inland road north of Ulcinj that is linked to the coast by a 10 km long, main north-south road. We took that inland east-west road that the village of Krute is on. There was little traffic and the scenery was above average for Montenegro. This day was about 375m in gain with over 200m being spent getting up onto this bypass road near Dobra Voda. Curiously, the elevation gain was about the same when we made our return trip on the coastal road, which was a significantly shorter route. It too was a pretty ride--nicer than we expected.

Kolain to Podgorica is a beautiful ride down the gorge: 240m (790') elevation gain, most of which is in the first 10-15 km (6-10 miles); 1095m (3600') elevation loss; for a total distance of 72km (45 miles). There are over 30 tunnels on this road; only 1 is lit though we took the road around it.

Most of the tunnels are short, as in less than 100 m (330'). There is however 1 longer tunnel which is  about half way along the route that is 0.6 km (0.37 miles) long and it is very dangerous for cyclists. We put on all of our reflective gear, turned on all of our lights and pulled out our flashlights, and then walked through clinging to the line. A ditch was where the sidewalk should have been at the Kolain end, which convinced us to walk rather than ride and it was the right thing to do. We only made this journey because it fell on a Sunday though that only spared us from the trucks in the morning. We were in the saddles about 4 hours though we were on the route for about 7 hours with the extra hours being consumed by stops for photos, snacks, lunch, and to size-up the difficult tunnel.


We finally turned around--too many trees blocked the trail.

Hiking in the Coastal Region

Based on our limited experience, we can't recommend Montenegro for casual day hikers like ourselves for 2 reasons. The first reason is that it is impossible to find maps or guide books for hiking. We asked several times in Kotor where a handful of trail heads are marked on the road and were always told that there were no maps and that they didn't know anything about the trails. We looked online and in book stores and never found anything useful except for details about the high "Transverzala" route. The second reason is that even though the trail heads are marked at the roadside it doesn't mean that the nearby homeowners welcome you on their property or that it will be a useable route, either because of lack of maintenance or lack of marking.

We made 4 hiking attempts out of Kotor Bay. The 2 routes that originate close to the fort in Kotor were fine. The route to the fort is relatively short though quite steep. In high season there is a 2 fee to access it and you can get on the trail from in or outside the fort.

There is a much longer trail to the left of the fort which you access on the left side of the canal, the second of 2 rushes of water flanking the northerly side of the fort. It starts on a narrow path and becomes a wider, old access route to the larger "Transverzala" long distance route somewhere up on the high ridge. This is also an easy to follow route that delivers stunning views. You will pass by a homestead with an angry guard dog tied up next to the path.


This sign marks the trail as well as the way to the police staion.

Two other routes were fair to impossible. The "fair" route was around the tip of the bay, about opposite the fort. There is a sign pointing you to the Vrmac trail that shares a pole with a sign to the police station. Keep a generally uphill direction as you proceed on public stairways. When you get to the hairpin curve with a through road, it gets tricky. The narrow path actually off to your right as you face uphill and is above a homestead with a barking dog. The home owner indicated that we should take a different path which parallels the main road and headed away from the hiking trail and his property.

We were suspicious that we were being pointed in the wrong direction but wandered around and finally found our way on to the main trail. Had we not seen the zigzag trail from across the bay and above the fort a few days before we likely never would have found the trail.  We confirmed the homeowner's intentional mis-information on our descent as the trail indeed traversed his property. In addition to the this rough start, the trail isn't maintained. We walked for part of an hour and were picking our way through blackberry vines, fallen trees, and slides. We followed the footsteps of others that evaded the worst of the obstacles until the density of the downed trees was just too much. We'd have loved to make it to the top of the ridge but it would have required more bush-whacking than we were equipped to do.


This sign was clear; the trail wasn't once it left the pavement.

Our final route out of Dobrota on the fort-side of the bay was a non-starter. We again followed the unambiguous sign on the road pointing to the trail that also links with the Transverzala. As we progressed on the city streets, there was sign painted on a roadside retaining wall indicating walking times that reassured us we were on the route. The street-route continued uphill with the trail markers becoming the familiar red and white stripes or circles that were high on street poles. The trail then took a sharp bend uphill. A wooden telephone phone in a field was distinctly marked with huge red and white stripes. Looking up hill we saw several large rocks with huge blotches of paint presumably marking the trail.

We scrambled for 20 minutes or so in the rocks and scree without finding the trail. It was so distinctly marked at the base of the steep area that we couldn't believe we couldn't find the route. We scrambled down off the slope on an alternate path and were confronted by a home owner that ordered us off his property. "There is no trail here," he said. "Ya, right" we thought. It was too much like the previous hike where the home owner carefully pointed us in the wrong direction. Once off his property we again scanned the slopes and never found any sign of the route. One has to wonder if the locals haven't intentionally obliterated it or perhaps it's disappeared due to a lack of maintenance.


The massive walls higher up weren't maintained.

These 2 experiences cooled our interest in hiking in Montenegro. We'll try again elsewhere in the country but if a traveler is heading out on trails well marked at the roadside one expects to be able to actually get somewhere. 

Inland Hiking

The inland hiking looks like a better bet than what we experienced around Kotor. As mentioned above in the section on Bar, there are 2 good hiking references available from the Bar Tourist Info office near the port. One is "Bjelasica Komovi: Planinarsko turistička karta" which is a free, detailed map showing both the roads and hiking trails in the Nacionalni Park Biogradska Gora. A rare treat: it also shows elevations. None of the chit-chat on the map is in English though the legend is trilingual with English and German.

  The second booklet was "Coastal Mountaineering Transversal Route, Orjen-Lovcen-Rumija, Guidebook/Map" is in English and was funded by the USAID (US Agency for International Development.) It contains a map of the entire route plus a booklet with high points of each major segment of the route, including distances, estimated walking times, elevation gain, and water availability. Montenegro Mountaineering Association at www.pscg.cg.yu provided the information for the booklet and map and presumably would be a good resource for hikers.

When we biked from Virpazar to Cetinje we saw some Montenegrin day hikers following some of the posted routes in the area. I'd noticed signs to some of the same route numbers when in Virpazar, so these probably are better routes than the ones we attempted out of Kotor.

Though Montenegro continued to be a difficult place for us to just go for a hike. It seems like a place where you have to do your homework and advance planning to even have a successful day hike.

Holidays

Jan 1 New Years

Jan 7 Orthodox Christmas

Orthodox Easter (1-5 weeks later than Latin Churches)

April 27 Nation Day (or just Serbia?)

May 1 & 2 Labor Days

May 9 Victory Day

July 13 Uprising Day

Nov 29 Republic Day


Miscellaneous

The Euro is the official currency and is dispensed at the ATM's.

English is surprisingly well and often-spoken. German is also used.

Montenegrin and Serbian are the local languages and you'll see both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.

Even in the off-season, we found that the supermarkets were open 7 days a week with no lunch time closures.

Mail can be received at the post office as 'Post Restante' according to Lonely Planet.


Tipping

According to Lonely Planet, rounding up on restaurants and taxis unless too paltry; restaurants catering to tourists will be expecting 10%.

 

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