From its Balkan coast to clear lakes, fast-flowing rivers and majestic mountains, Montenegro is a country blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. Though the country is small, moving to Montenegro can be a great adventure, and expats will relish exploring this beautiful and geographically diverse country.
Living in Montenegro as an expat
Montenegro is a young country, only officially gaining independence in 2006 after nearly a century of being part of various federations. That said, in its brief existence, it has experienced rapid development.
Most of Montenegro's small expat community is found in the capital city, Podgorica, and consists of diplomatic personnel and those working for international organisations and NGOs. The number of expats moving to Montenegro to set up businesses and take advantage of the country's growth in tourism is also on the rise.
While the younger generation of Montenegrins will often speak English, German or French, it's wise for expats to learn basic Serbian or Montenegrin to improve their interaction with the locals and have a richer understanding of their unique culture.
Cost of living in Montenegro
Compared to other European destinations, Montenegro has a fairly low cost of living. Accommodation will be an expat's main expense, but expats can save money by living in smaller towns or, if living in the capital is a must, opting for a suburban home instead of city-centre housing.
Although buying imported items can quickly become expensive, everyday items such as groceries are well-priced, but clothing can be pricey.
Families and children in Montenegro
There are several international schools in Montenegro, located mainly in Podgorica. However, as space is limited, many expats send their children to boarding schools in their home country or elsewhere in Europe.
The number of private hospitals in Montenegro is increasing quickly. However, healthcare isn't always up to the standards that expats from North America or Western Europe may be accustomed to. While nationals of EU member states are entitled to free healthcare, it is best for expats to have private health insurance that entitles them to private medical treatment.
Crime isn't a major concern for expats living in Montenegro, but like in other parts of Europe, it's best to be vigilant in crowded town centres or on public transport where pickpockets are known to target foreigners.
Climate in Montenegro
The climate in Montenegro is diverse, ranging from Mediterranean at the coast to continental inland. Winters are cold and wet, while summers are hot and dry.
Montenegro's convenient location and access to the European market make the country a place of great economic potential. Those who have the opportunity to experience expat life should seize the prospect of moving to Montenegro with both hands and make the most of what this exciting country has to offer.
Population: About 630,000
Capital city: Podgorica
Neighbouring countries: Montenegro is bordered by Serbia to the north, Kosovo to the east, Albania to the south, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west.
Geography: The terrain in Montenegro is varied, ranging from high mountains to coastal plains.
Political system: Parliamentary republic
Main languages: Montenegrin, Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian and Albanian
Major religion: Orthodox Christianity
Currency: The Euro (EUR) is divided into 100 cents. ATMs are available in all major cities and towns, and expats will have access to a range of banking services in Montenegro.
Tipping: A gratuity of around 10 percent is usually expected throughout the service industry.
Time: GMT+1 (GMT+2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz. Round, two-pin plugs are used.
Internet domain: .me
International dialling code: +382
Emergency numbers: 112 (general)
Driving: Cars in Montenegro drive on the right-hand side of the road. There are bus systems operating in most cities, and taxis are readily available.