How is life in Montenegro

Living in Montenegro in 2021: pros and cons

The state of Montenegro, located on the Adriatic Sea, attracts more and more tourists from the CIS countries every year. However, life in Montenegro is of interest not only to travelers, but also to potential immigrants who dream of a measured existence near the sea. This is how the Montenegrin lifestyle can be described: slowness, calm and the ability to enjoy life. However, before deciding to take a responsible move like moving to another country, weigh all the pros and cons of the final destination.

Economy and standard of living

The economy and the standard of living in Montenegro are characterized by dynamic development, which in turn affects the improvement of the quality of life: the tourism industry brings the country more profits every year, the real estate market develops and the foreign labor market is replenished. This is also facilitated by good ecology, where the average age of the inhabitants of Montenegro is 75 years.

When it comes to the cost of living in Montenegro, it should be borne in mind that the cost of living and the cost of food are much lower here than in other European countries. And all because Montenegro's economy is weaker than that of the European Union and the standard of living in the country is generally lower. However, the country's government is trying to implement European standards in all of Montenegro's administrative systems. In recent years, the state has seen a rapid increase in wages, and the cost of living in Montenegro also increased in 2021.

The average wage of Montenegrins in 2021 was 480 euros. In this case, life in Montenegro claims that a family of three needs an income of at least 1,000 euros per month for a comfortable life.

Average prices in the country

If you are interested in how much money you need for groceries in Montenegro per day, on average one person is enough for 10 to 20 euros per day - it all depends on the choice of food and catering establishments. In addition, the various household expenses must be taken into account: travel in transport, rental housing, entertainment. If you want to visit Montenegro as a tourist, you should also consider the cost of the excursions (25 to 45 euros for one excursion). On average, a day in Montenegro costs around 25 euros per person, but if you are a tourist it is advisable to double or even triple this amount. It should be noted that the prices for accommodation in Montenegro vary depending on the location of the city: the closer to the holiday region, the higher they are.

The average cost of goods and services

The cost of household goods and services is comparatively lower in Montenegro than in EU countries, but significantly higher than in CIS countries. The average prices for some goods and services are shown in the table:

Type of servicePrices in euros
Travel by public transport3
Parking machines (per day)0,75
Theater ticket7
Rent a car25
toothpaste2
washing powder1,75
Dishwashing liquid for dishes1.5
Cigarettes1,75
sneakers85
Leather shoes for men90

Cost of food

The products in Montenegro are environmentally friendly and of high quality. The products cost a little more on the market than in supermarkets, but they are fresher and better here. The average cost of staple foods is shown in the table:

ProductsPrices in euros
Chicken eggs 10 pcs.1.5
1 kg of beef6
1 kg bird3.5
1 kg of fish8.5
1 kg vegetables (cabbage, carrots, cucumber)1.5
1 kg of rice1.5
1 liter of juice1
Tea (100 g)1.5

What kind of work can you expect

In Montenegro, which is bathed by the Adriatic Sea, many tourists come in summer, so it is quite easy to find a job in the tourism sector at this time of the year. The most popular professions are cooks, bartenders, waiters, housekeeping, massage therapists, drivers.

Installers, engineers and contractors can also find jobs in Montenegro. It should be noted that Montenegrin employers are ready to hire graduates who can use their skills as translators in the fields of information technology, science, business management, etc. The average salary in Montenegro is 480 euros per month, the minimum is 160 euros.

Education System

Everyone who lives with children in Montenegro is interested in the question of what constitutes a local education system. It should be noted that schools in Montenegro are divided into two levels: primary school (9 years) and secondary school (3-4 years). Training on both levels is free.

At the same time, attending elementary school is a must and, on average, you can do what you want.

Higher education in Montenegro can be obtained in both public and private educational institutions. Most of them focus on tourism as this industry is the most profitable in the country. The main requirement for admission to higher education is knowledge of the national language. There are preparatory courses for foreign students, upon completion of which a certificate of knowledge of the Montenegrin language is issued.

Real estate market

Property prices in Montenegro vary significantly depending on the city or region of the country. The lowest property prices in remote cities like Niksic.

Buy real estate

The cost of one square meter of living space in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, is around EUR 1,750 in the central area and EUR 1,000 in the bedroom. In the center of the spa town of Budva you can buy an apartment for 3,200 euros per square meter and in the residential area for 1,800 euros. Read more about real estate in Budva here. In Niksic, apartments for sale cost 550 euros per square meter. m in the central area and 700 euros - for 1 place. m in the bedroom.

Real estate for rent

For example, if you take a one-room apartment in Podgorica, such an apartment can be rented for 300 euros a month, in Budva for 350 euros and in Niksic for 150 euros. Renting two-room apartments is a bit more expensive: the average rent in Podgorica is 500 euros per month, in Budva 600 euros, in Niksic 200 euros.

Entrepreneurial activity

Since the country attracts a lot of tourists from different countries in the world, the most beneficial thing to do is to open business in Montenegro in the tourism industry. The widespread practice of renting yachts and boats, as well as real estate, is constantly opening up new restaurants and hotel complexes in the countryside.

It takes 5 days to register the company in Montenegro. Once you have received your identification number, you can start your business.

Banking system

There are 11 banks operating in Montenegro. There are bank branches and ATMs in every city. Bank employees often speak English or Russian, so visitors can easily do banking without even knowing the Montenegrin language. To open a savings account at a bank in Montenegro, it is sufficient that a foreigner only has one foreign passport. On weekdays, banks open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday the financial institutions are open until 1 p.m. and on Sunday they are closed.

The official language

Montenegrin is the official language in Montenegro. In 2007 he received official status after leaving the country from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Since the official language of the Union was Serbian, most of the residents currently living in Montenegro speak Serbian. The Montenegrin language is part of the Serbo-Croatian language system and is very similar to Serbian. Implementing it as a common language is therefore quite a challenge. In addition, there are no officially established and approved rules for the Montenegrin language. According to the 2011 census, 37% of the population of Montenegro said it was their mother tongue (compared to 22% in 2003).

Transport system

Due to the highlands, rail transport in Montenegro is poorly developed. The fact that tunnels are needed to build new railways is a costly development for a developing country today. The main tour branch starts in Belgrade (Serbia), leads through Podgorica and Biel Pole and ends in Bari. In addition to passenger traffic, there are also two cargo branches in Montenegro: Podgorica - Niksic and Podgorica - Shkoder (Albania).

There are also two international airports in the country: Tivat and Podgorica. There are regular flights from the capital and charter flights from Tivat.

You can use traditional public transport such as buses and taxis to get around the city. The transport of people between the cities is carried out by buses and minibuses.

Features of public transport

Bus connections exist within the country and between Montenegro and other countries. Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Albania and Kosovo are easily accessible from the capital and most cities. Double-decker buses are often used for international passenger transport.

Passenger buses follow the timetable. You need to buy tickets at the ticket office. However, if you don't have a ticket and are forced to stop the bus at a bus stop, on the highway, or near the airport, you can request a seat from the driver and pay for them in person.

It should be noted that bus transport is not offered in all cities, but only in large cities - for example in Podgorica.

Features of a taxi

Both official (licensed) and unofficial (unlicensed) taxis operate in Montenegro. The prices in licensed companies are around 30% lower than in private ones. Before getting into a taxi, you must present a price list or report the travel costs by telephone. It should be noted that all official taxis in the country have meters. In addition, licensed taxis are usually represented by cars of the same brand, which is what you can say about the cars of unofficial owners, no different even in the best condition and age. Although there are new cars, their drivers appear to be official. So always check the numbers of the preferred taxi with the ones you called.

Popular vacation spots

When asked where to live in Montenegro, it should be borne in mind that vacation spots are the most convenient for both summer vacation and permanent residence. The most popular tourist resorts in Montenegro are Becici, Budva, Petrovac, Rafailovic, Bar, Herzog-Novi and Tivat.

Becici Resort has gained popularity due to its sandy beaches (most of the beaches in Montenegro are pebble). Becici beach was named the best beach in Europe in 1938. Currently, the beach in Becici is awarded the blue flag, which indicates the high standard of the water quality and of the entire beach.

The most popular tourist destination in Montenegro is Budva. There are many different entertainment options with noisy discos, bars and restaurants and shops, but the prices are much higher than other resorts. If you are wondering where to stay in Budva, choose accommodation according to your budget: there are many four- and five-star hotels in the city, but when you rent an apartment the cost is many times cheaper.

Petrovac is a small tourist resort located 17 km from Budva. It is surrounded on all sides by coniferous forests and olive groves, which is why the air here is considered to be beneficial. Petrovac is considered to be one of the best resorts in Montenegro designed for family or romantic vacations.

Rafailovich - a small fishing village in Montenegro, near Becici. Due to the proximity, guests of the city have the opportunity to visit both the famous Becici Beach and their own sand and gravel. Also, vacationers in Rafailovich spend time on Kamenev Beach, and renting an apartment will not be difficult.

Bar is the city with the largest seaport in the country. At the same time, it is also the business center of Montenegro. The prices are much lower here than in other cities popular with tourists - for example, it is very profitable to buy Italian clothes, shoes, jewelry and cosmetics in bars. The local beaches do not differ in their particular beauty and cleanliness, but the ruins of the old town attract travelers here.

Herceg Novi is considered the greenest city in Montenegro. There are many beaches, restaurants, shops and all kinds of entertainment. The beaches here are mostly concrete, although there are pebbles, but they are much smaller.

Tivat is not only known as one of the two airports in the country. It's also a resort town that's especially popular with locals. Concrete beaches of Tivat are not very attractive to travelers, but due to the lack of foreign tourists, Montenegrins love to relax. Outside the city, however, you can find sandy beaches.

Internet and mobile communication

Montenegro's internet service is provided by only one provider, T-com, which uses two types of internet connections: ADSL and dial-up. To connect the first type of Internet, you need a residence permit (socket), for the second the telephone number is sufficient. To register a phone number, you need to provide the same documents as for ADSL registration.

Montenegro also offers mobile phones for foreigners provided by three operators: ProMonte GSM, T-Mobile and M: tel.

Tax system

The tax system in Montenegro is quite liberal and in some cases even provides benefits. For example, law firms are not taxed for the first three years of their existence if they are open in the regions of the country that need to boost their economies. In other cases, the income tax rate is 9%. The value added tax is 19%, the value added tax on groceries is 7%. If the income of individuals does not exceed 720 euros per month, the income tax rate is 9%. However, if the income is higher, the tax rate increases to 15%. The amount of property tax varies between 0.1 and 1% and depends on the purpose of the house and its proximity to the coast.

The problem of corruption

According to a survey by the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) in June 2017, 67% of Montenegrin citizens have been exposed to corruption. At the same time, 65% of Montenegrins reported corruption in medical institutions, 50.4% to the police, inspectors, judges and customs officers, and 33% to teachers.

Fight against crime

Crime in Montenegro tends to decrease. Without taking corruption and nepotism into account, the crime rate in the country is quite low. The number of organized crime groups, most of whom are involved in the domestic and foreign distribution of drugs, is decreasing every year. The police have been successful in solving crime, but investigations into high-level corruption and credit abuse are taking a long time.

The judicial system of Montenegro is represented by the Main Courts, Supreme Courts and Commercial Courts, Appeals Court, Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Montenegro. In this case, the main dish of Montenegro can be found in almost every major city in the country.

Social programs

In cooperation with the EU, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs implements various social programs in Montenegro. The country's government is gradually introducing social assistance programs for pensioners with financial support from the European Union. In some cities there are special retirement homes where they are looked after.

Pension reform

The Montenegrin government is currently implementing pension reform in the country to gradually raise the retirement age. In 2017, the retirement age in Montenegro increased to 65 years and 8 months for men and 61 years for women. And by 2021, the retirement age will be 66 years and 2 months for men and 61 years and 9 months for women. The main condition for retirement is the availability of 15 years minimum service. If the experience is 40 years, you can retire earlier. The transition period for the retirement age runs until 2040.

The average pension in Montenegro in 2021 is 285 euros, the minimum - 122 euros.

Medical system

Montenegrin medicine is divided into paid and free medicine. All private clinics in Montenegro only pay for medical services. To get free medical help, you should go to public clinics, but only if you are a Montenegrin citizen or have a temporary residence permit (residence).

In addition, you can buy drugs from state pharmacies at great discounts, and some can be obtained for free by buying wounds.

The diversity of nationalities

The question of who lives in Montenegro often arises because the Montenegrins are often confused with representatives of other nationalities, including the Serbs. Historians also disagree about these two nationalities: some consider Serbs and Montenegrins as one ethnic group, others as two completely different peoples.

If you are interested in the question of what nationalities live in Montenegro, it is logical to assume that the majority of the population is Montenegro. However, the Montenegrins make up only 47% of the country's population, or 620,000 people. The second largest nationality in Montenegro are the Serbs - there are 30% of them. In addition, 9% of the Montenegrin population are Bosniaks.

If you are interested in what nationalities are still living in Montenegro besides the above, 5% of Albanians, 3.5% of Muslims (the special nationality name introduced by the leader of the Yugoslav Communist Party, Joseph Broz Tito, live here the Bosnian Muslim population, and Herzegovina) as well as 1% of Roma and Croatians. Other national minorities living in Montenegro: Arabs (Egyptians), Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Macedonians, Slovenes, Hungarians, Gorans, Italians and Germans - make up less than 1%.

Rural diaspora

Many migrants live in Montenegro, including from the Commonwealth of Independent States. However, representatives of other states in Montenegro are still not enough to maintain their own cultural unity. The largest diaspora in Montenegro was created by Ukrainians. The formation of the Russian and Belarusian diaspora is still in its infancy.

The Ukrainian diaspora in Montenegro was historically shaped: most of the immigrants from Ukraine who live in the country today moved here in the 20th century. The Embassy of Ukraine in Montenegro actively supports the Ukrainian diaspora in meeting the national and cultural needs of their representatives and promoting cultural achievements. Ukrainians themselves in Montenegro are constantly carrying out various events dated to important dates in the history of Ukraine.

Pros and cons of living in Montenegro

Of course, life in Montenegro has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include in particular:

  • stable overall wage and economic growth;
  • low crime rate;
  • low prices for groceries, services, buying and renting real estate;
  • good ecology;
  • lots of resorts and clean beaches;
  • enjoy your meal;
  • Registration of a marriage in Montenegro for many foreign nationals is legally valid and recognized in their home country.

Despite the advantages, living in Montenegro has some disadvantages:

  • Lack of central heating in houses;
  • As Montenegro is not a member of the European Union, a visa is required to enter the Schengen countries.
  • Peculiarities of the Montenegrin mentality, characterized by non-fulfillment of the agreements;
  • increased humidity, which causes mold in houses;
  • high levels of corruption at various levels of government;
  • Difficulties in connection with the Internet for foreigners;
  • Lack of urban public transport in many cities.