Your Travel flamingo: Digital nomad Montenegro Experience
One of the many digital nomads who have been coming to our country in recent years is Jacqueline from California. She shared her impressions of her stay in Montenegro on her blog. In addition to expressing her impressions, she also came across a small guide for those who come to Montenegro for the first time. And we are transmitting part of her guide...
Hi! My name is Jacqueline, a California native who ran away from home 10 years ago. I've now visited 60+ countries as a solo female digital nomad. With a suitcase full of bikinis and a camera in hand, I'm always looking for the next adventure.
A Guide to Montenegro for Digital Nomads
The name Montenegro is one that may have drawn some confused looks when mentioned just a few years ago. But now, it is quickly growing (and for good reason!) in popularity and fame for all types of travelers. For one reason: this country may small, but packs in a lot to see and do. From beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, lush lakes, national parks, and lots of parties in the summer, choosing Montenegro as your digital nomad home base is bound to be an amazing experience. As a digital nomad, my only tip is to get there before it becomes completely overrun by tourism like Croatia next door. Here's everything you need to know about Montenegro for digital nomads.
The Digital Nomad Visa
As of October 2021, Montenegro has announced the plan to roll out their own digital nomad visa in 2022. This is a move that follows Croatia's initiative to do the same.
This is great news for digital nomads who prefer a more long term home base, and want to spend more time in Europe. This also has positive implications for the future, when Montenegro will be a part of the EU and possibly the Shengen Area.
If they do succeed in integrating, then digital nomads with a digital nomad via in Montenegro may be able to travel within the Shengen area longer than the current 90 day limit.
Wifi in Montenegro is decent. As of October 2021 mobile download speeds average 44 mbps, and 60 mbps on fixed broadband according to Speed Test.
SIM cards for travelers in Montenegro are very convenient to have and easy to buy. You can purchase a prepaid SIM card at the airport, or when you get to your destination city.
For convenience, I'd go ahead and buy it straight from the airport even if it costs a few bucks extra. At Podgorica International Airport, you'll find kiosks selling SIM cards for about 15 euros for 500 GB of data. This is obviously very generous, but it will cover all your bases as you travel around Montenegro and realize the fixed broadband wifi doesn't always work.
The best SIM card to buy in Montenegro is likely Telekom, a popular network, so you'll be able to easily find stores to top up later in your stay.
For detailed information on choosing a SIM card in Montenegro, click here.
Cost of Living
You can spend a month in Montenegro and spend $1800 living comfortably. Montenegro is on the Euro currency, which has brought up the prices in recent years. It's more expensive than nearby Balkan countries such as Bosnia & Herzegovina and Albania. But still far cheaper than next-door Croatia, where prices have gone through the roof recently. My personal opinion? It's only a matter of time until Montenegro goes the same way. With its popularity increasing, and an upcoming integration into the EU, it's inevitable for travel prices to increase. So the cost of living for digital nomads will surely increase as well. All the reason to visit sooner than later!
You can find an Airbnb apartment in a major city or tourist hub for $500 – $800 USD. If you plan to stay in the capital city of Podgorica, there are more options available at slightly cheaper prices. The most expensive Airbnbs I found during my stay were in Kotor, not surprising considering it's popularity and how limited spaces are. If you want to save money on accommodation you can opt to stay in a less popular destination. For example, apartments in Kotor can easily be $1000 a month or more, but just a short bus ride away in nearby towns around Kotor Bay you could find places for nearly half the cost.
Eating out in Montenegro will cost just as much as eating out in Western Europe in many places. This rings especially true in tourist hubs like Kotor and Budva, where a standard meal costs anywhere from 12 – 30 euros. The quality of food is great, and well worth it though so definitely plan to eat out several times. Particularly, the seafood dishes are noteworthy and should not be missed.
A weeks worth of groceries will cost $40 – $50 USD, and a bottle of decent Montenegrin wine will cost 10 – 15 euros from the shop. As a digital nomad, you will likely spend around $500 – $600 USD on food a month here, with a mix of cooking and eating out, and drinking sometimes. If you love drinking and nightlife, obviously expect to pay a lot more.
Getting around Montenegro is both frustrating and practical. On one hand, there aren't really any trains, and buses are often very late. However, the local buses that are very affordable, convenient and easy to navigate. A 2 hour bus ride from Podgorica to Budva can be as little as 5 euros. A 10 – 20 minute taxi ride in Podgorica costs between 2 – 4 euros. For convenience or more freedom, you may choose to rent a car, which will cost a lot more. You can spend anywhere from $100 – $300 a month on transportation, depending on how many times you'll rent a car or take taxis.
Montenegro for Digital Nomads
There are many reasons why Montenegro is perfect for digital nomads, and I definitely see it having digital nomad hub potential. You have good weather, beautiful nature, fun parties, and decent enough infrastructure to get by. Not so much in terms of co-working spaces yet, but there are plenty of hip cafes to work from. I firmly believe it will become an even more popular destination in the near future, so come before the massive crowds and tourist prices roll in. You won't regret it.
Where to stay, what to visit, what you can do, as well as the positive and negative sides, read on the website YourTravelFlamingo
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