On the outskirts of the capital city of Montenegro, Podgorica, are the ruins of the Roman town of Doclea – Duklja in the local language. The town dates back around 2000 years and was lived in until around 500 AD, when either an earthquake (or an invasion) led to its destruction.
Having lived in Montenegro without a car for a couple of years (for me, everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road), I’ve taken public transport literally all over the country.
The trains and buses are pretty basic but are inexpensive, surprisingly frequent and usually on time. However, using them can be tricky without these few simple tips that will make your journeys around the country much, much easier.
Budva is probably the most well-known town in Montenegro, and when I meet people who have visited this country before, it’s usually to Budva on the Adriatic coast.
In summer it’s incredibly crowded and busy, a town of bars and beaches and nightclubs and with every one of its many apartment buildings full of tourists from Russia, Serbia, and elsewhere.
It also has a small but beautiful Old Town, and out of season, it’s a different place. Without the crowds in its narrow streets, its charms are more visible. I went on a sunny day in mid-October for a wander round the Old Town.
When I moved to Montenegro, I didn’t know a single word of the language. I read some online guides to useful Serbian phrases (it’s the same language, just with a different name) but half of the words I never heard anyone use or I heard them in a different context and was just confused all the time.
After two years here, I have a little more of a grip on the basics and have written out some useful phrases and their context that will help you out on your trip to Montenegro or in your first phase of moving here.
Ulcinj is a seaside town on the south coast of Montenegro, near the border with Albania. While it’s most famous in Montenegro for the 12km long stretch of sand that is Velika Plaža, I like it for the diversity of beaches, the chaotic edge, and the seafood.
Kotor is one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro, if not the world. With its combination of mountains, the sea, an ancient fortress and a labyrinthine medieval old town, there is nowhere else like it. It was my introduction to Montenegro and I meant to visit for just a week, but I fell in love and ended up staying the entire summer.
I lived in Kotor for a summer without learning more than how to say Dobar dan (good day), but when I moved to Podgorica I decided to make it a priority. One embarrassing trip to the shops on my first evening was all it took to convince me.