Kate in Montenegro

an australian in the western balkans

Things That Don’t Exist in Montenegro

After living in Montenegro for a few years now, I’ve discovered there are quite a lot of things that are taken for granted in bigger countries that just don’t exist here at all.

So, to avoid all the hours of fruitless searching, asking and wondering that I went through – here are some of the things that can’t be had for love or money.

Is there Amazon in Montenegro?

No. Very few online stores will actually deliver to Montenegro. I’ve heard various reasons for this: too small a market, too many packages that went missing, or too many people that reported packages as lost (but actually received them).

You can however get a lot of the same Chinese-made products that are on Amazon here through Aliexpress.

The other alternative is to make friends with someone who lives over the border in Croatia (in, say, Cavtat) and is willing to receive Amazon parcels for you.

Are there self-storage units in Montenegro?

No. The kind of building with purpose-built self-storage units you might find in the US or Australia for storing all your furniture while in between houses or extra stuff that doesn’t fit in your apartment doesn’t exist here.

There is one guy near Tivat who has set up a sort of storage facility where you can hire a shipping container with key, and all the containers are locked in a yard with cameras and dogs, but that’s it.

Is there recycling in Montenegro?

No. Sorting your trash or rubbish into glass, plastics, aluminium, etc, the way you would in other countries doesn’t exist here. I have seen some mobile recycling containers you can take bottles and plastic to but there’s no evidence that they are actually recycled and don’t just go to the landfill with everything else.

Is there proper black tea in Montenegro?

No. Not the kind beloved by the English or the Australians. There are a couple of local brands of black tea but they are either weak or terrible or both. Tea addicts need to bring them back on holiday or buy them from a store like britishcornershop.co.uk (a lovely online store that does deliver to Montenegro).

Are there decaf coffee beans in Montenegro?

No. I searched everywhere and while regular caffeinated coffee beans are easily available in small stores or at the green markets, decaf is extremely hard to come by.

Some supermarkets sell a brick of already ground decaf coffee from Lavazza, but for whole beans you’ll need to bring them back or order them from this one store I found in all of Europe that will ship to Montenegro – https://www.horshamcoffeeroaster.co.uk/.

Is there Ikea in Montenegro?

No. There are a couple of stores that import Ikea furniture at a heavy markup, but there’s no actual Ikea store here. It’s just too small a market.

Is there Starbucks in Montenegro?

No. And that’s a good thing! It’s one of the few countries you can visit without the ubiquitous American coffee chain everywhere. Instead, you have hundreds of local cafes to choose from instead.

Is there McDonalds in Montenegro?

No. The golden arches are absent from the country. I did hear that there was a kind of pop-up McDonalds here a few years back, but I’m not sure it was legit and it didn’t last long. There is a Burger King in Podgorica, however, and local burger shops with far more delicious burgers called pljeskavica are literally everywhere.

Is there an Apple store in Montenegro?

No. There isn’t one in the entire Balkans. The closest Apple stores are in Vienna, Venice, or Rome.

There is a reseller store called iCentar in Big Fashion mall in Podgorica, but it’s basically a showroom and they don’t have very many items actually in stock. (I once went in and enquired about the new Macbook Pro model. Do you have it, I asked. No. Can you order it in, I asked. No. The end.)

You can however get new iPhone models and some laptops from Tehnomax stores.

While in the beginning the lack of familiar things in Montenegro can be frustrating, it actually makes them more special when you can get them! Either that or you just go native and convert to the local way of doing things…

3 Comments
  1. John Smith

    Youtube Premium is not available in Montenegro. Fortunately, a VPN to a supported country solves this problem.

  2. Petr

    We are trying to change situation with recycling here in Montenegro – https://reciklazica.me/en/

  3. Kate

    Great news, thanks Petr.

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