Moving to Montenegro
Despite its small size, expats moving to Montenegro will be treated to a life in a beautiful and geographically diverse country. From its Balkan coast to clear lakes, fast-flowing rivers and majestic mountains, Montenegro is a country blessed with an abundance of natural beauty.
Montenegro is a young country, only officially gaining independence in 2006 after nearly a century of being part of various federations. However, 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.
There are a number of international schools in Montenegro, located mostly 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.
Montenegro isn't the most well-equipped destination for expats, but its rapid development and progress means that more and more foreigners are seeing its economic potential, especially considering its convenient location and access to the European market. Therefore, those who have the opportunity to experience expat life in Montenegro should make the most of what the country has to offer.
Population: About 650,000
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: Terrain in Montenegro is varied, ranging from high mountains to coastal plains.
Political system: Parliamentary republic
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.
Major religion: Orthodox Christianity
Main languages: Montenegrin and Serbian
Time: GMT+1 (GMT+2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)
Electricity: 230 volts, 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's an efficient and reliable bus system operating in most cities and taxis are readily available and relatively cost-effective.