Montenegro is a Southeastern European country in the Balkans, located southwest of the Adriatic Sea. It is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Kosovo to the east, Serbia to the northeast, and Albania to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while the city of Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica (former Royal Capital City). Its official language is Montenegrin, which is essentially the same language as Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian. Montenegro is classified as a middle-income country by the World Bank. It is a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Central European Free Trade Agreement, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean, and a candidate for joining the European Union and NATO. The country’s lower areas along the coast experience a Mediterranean climate, having dry summers and mild, rainy winters; whereas Central and northern regions have Continental climate, where temperature varies greatly with elevation.
What to see & do
Despite its small size, Montenegro has a wealth of spectacular mountainous landscapes, dramatic coast lines, historic monuments, and majestic walled towns. See the Bay of Kotor, one of the world’s most beautiful bays. Here lies the town of Kotor, a beautifully preserved fortified medieval town that has a rich history. See the 12th-century St. Tryphon Cathedral, the Church of St. Luke, and the Orthodox St. Nicholas Church. Visit Montenegro’s most famous tourist destination, Budva. It is home to amazing beaches and a lovely, walled town centre, the old parts of which is situated on a rather small peninsula. Some of the interesting monuments in this include the seventh-century St. John's Church, the eighth-century Santa Maria of Punta, and the 12th-century Church of St. Sava. Check out breath-taking architecture in the quaint town of Perast, which used to belong to the Republic of Venice. See well-preserved Venetian, baroque architecture, with highlights including the Bujovic, Zmajevic, Badovic, and Smekja Palaces.
How to get around within Montenegro
Montenegro has a local train service that operates from Bar, through Podgorica and Kolašin and Mojkovac to Bijelo Polje. This is considered as the quickest and cheapest way to travel from north to south, although trains are not as frequent as buses. One can check the timetables on its website (now also available in English) and tickets can be purchased on board. The easiest way to navigate around the country, however, is by bus, since they are frequent (especially during summer), safe, and more or less on schedule; although local buses usually have no air conditioning. There are also minibuses at bus stations and they are usually slightly cheaper, faster, and more comfortable. Since the country has no motorways, most of the roads have only have two lanes, and a frequent addition of a third lane for overtaking. Hitchhiking is common in the country.
How to get there
The main international airport of Montenegro is Podgorica Airport, situated 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) south of Podgorica. Airlines that operate here include Adria Airways, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Belavia, Edelweiss Air, Enter Air, Montenegro Airlines, Ryanair, and several others. These carriers fly to and from Ljubljana, Belgrade, Rome-Fiumicino, Vienna, Minsk-National, Zürich, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Moscow-Domodedovo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Prague, Moscow-Domodedovo, and more. This airport serves as a hub for Montenegro Airlines, the country’s national airline carrier. From the airport, one can take a minibus to get to the city centre. There’s scarcity of buses, so this is usually the only option. Other airports that serve Montenegro include Tivat Airport, which is located near the city of Tivat on the Montenegin Coast. It offers regular flights to Belgrade throughout the year, and has charter flights to major European destinations during the summer. Other ways to get in are by train (one daytime and one overnight train – two in summer – from Belgrade), bus (Montenegro is well-connected with neighbouring countries), car (from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Albania, one can take European routes E65, E80, E762, E763 and E851, which pass through Montenegro), and ship (regular ferry lines from Bar to Bari and Ancona in Italy are available).
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