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Country Reports

Montenegro Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Montenegro is a young (independent from Serbia since 2006) and small (population 620,000) Balkan state located in southern Europe along the Adriatic coast. Since gaining independence, the country, with its capital in Podgorica (150,000 inhabitants), has followed a distinct political and historical course relative to neighboring Serbia.

The vast majority of trips to the country are carried out under favorable conditions, including high levels of security, decent hotel infrastructure, and good health conditions despite the sub-par quality of medical facilities.

CRIME

Despite a low crime rate, it is necessary to be vigilant as pickpockets are active on public transportation, in crowds, and in markets. Purse snatchings increase from May to September due to the large number of foreign tourists, especially in coastal areas.

Cases have been reported of police stopping foreign cars for supposed traffic infractions and asking for cash payment of the fine. Do not hesitate to request more details; if the disagreement persists, contact your embassy.

Organized crime - particularly in drug and human trafficking, fraud, and extortion - is well established in the country. However, foreigners are typically not affected by these organizations.

SECURITY

Foreign visitors are advised to avoid traveling to areas along the border with Kosovo, as well as to zones of military activity along the southern border.

POLITICS

Montenegrin parliamentary elections took place in October 2016, while the next presidential election is due to take place in 2018.

SOCIAL UNREST

Protests are not uncommon in Montenegro. As a precaution, it is advised to avoid all demonstrations.

NATURAL RISKS

Montenegro is located in an active seismic zone.

Flooding is not rare in winter months during periods of melting snow.

Numerous wildfires have been reported in recent years during the summer.

TRANSPORTATION

The bus network is dense and covers the whole country. The railway network is usually crowded, especially in the intercity trains, and includes a cross-country route from the Adriatic Sea to Serbia via the capital: Bar - Podgorica - Kolasi - Bijelo Polje - Belgrade. It should nonetheless be noted that public transportation is generally uncomfortable, outdated, and overcrowded.

Despite the absence of highways the road network is relatively well developed with major arterials, although traffic jams are not rare, especially during the summer. The secondary and semi-urban roads can be in poor condition (with livestock present, lack of road construction signals, etc.). Mountain roads can be twisting and dangerous (damaged guard railing, collapsed shoulders, etc.). It is advised to be vigilant while driving following intense rain or snow. The canyon roads in Moraca, linking Niksic to Zabljak, and mountain roads are to be avoided in case of bad weather. Winter tires are mandatory from November 15 to March 23. It is worth noting that Montenegrin drivers can be aggressive.

An Eco tax is mandatory for all foreign vehicles entering in the country, with price varying depending on the vehicle model. The payment of this tax is validated by stickers which must be placed in the corner of the windshield.

Taxis are numerous and inexpensive. Ask for a fare estimate before departure and confirm the price prior to payment, especially if the fare differs from the meter. Travelers should refuse taxi services proposed by random individuals.

Ferries are available, linking Bar to Bari in Italy.

Traveler should note that there are two international airports in Montenegro: Podgorica (TGD) and Tivat (TIV).

HEALTH

It is essential to take out a health insurance policy before departure that covers healthcare abroad as well as medical evacuation and repatriation.

The hospital infrastructure and emergency services do not meet the highest European standards and are average quality. Individuals should consider seeking medical services outside the country in the case of serious medical complications.

LEGAL

It is forbidden to take pictures of military personal or installations without the authorization of the defense ministry; anyone violating the law could face sanctions.

OTHERS

The LGBTQ community is not well accepted in Montenegro despite homosexuality not being illegal.

Montenegro is not a member of the European Union, although it is a candidate state and wishes to join the bloc; it does, however, use the euro as its currency. The use of bank cards is widespread, however small businesses often prefer cash payment.

Climate

The climate is continental in the interior of the country, mountainous along the reliefs, and Mediterranean along the coast. In the center of the country, summers and autumns are hot and dry and winters are cold, even harsh, with frequent snow. Summers in coastal regions are hot and dry while winters are mild and humid. In the summer temperatures are cooler in mountainous regions.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +382 Police: 122 Fire Dept.: 123 Ambulance: 124

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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