COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Montenegro is a small country in the Western Balkans that has experienced significant political and economic changes over the past two decades. It is a parliamentary democracy aspiring to Euro-Atlantic integration via membership in the European Union (EU) and NATO. There are many tourist facilities in Montenegro, but they vary in quality and some may not be up to Western standards. Hotel accommodations are plentiful on the coast and in Podgorica, the capital, but limited in smaller towns, especially in the North. English usage is limited except for Montenegro’s main tourist centers and the capital. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Montenegro for additional information on U.S.-Montenegro relations.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Montenegro, please take the time to inform our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here is the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: U.S. citizens with tourist, official, or diplomatic passports do not need a visa to enter and stay in Montenegro for up to 90 days. However, you must register within the first 24 hours of your stay. If you are staying in a hotel or tourist facility, the hotel will automatically register you; otherwise you are personally responsible to appear at the police station to do so. If you do not, you may be subject to a fine, incarceration, and/or expulsion. Visitors who fail to register sometimes face difficulties in departing the country. The form for registering with the police can be purchased at bookstores and is also available online.
U.S. citizens wishing to extend their stay longer than 90 days must apply for a temporary residence permit no later than one week before the 90-day period expires. Given the length of time needed for administrative procedures, we advise you to apply as soon as you learn that you will be staying in Montenegro longer than 90 days. This rule applies to bearers of all types of U.S. passports – tourist, official, or diplomatic.
You can contact the Embassy of Montenegro in Washington, DC for the most current visa information. The Embassy of Montenegro is located at 1610 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20009; telephone (202) 234-6108; fax: (202) 234-6109; firstname.lastname@example.org. The Consulate General of Montenegro in New York is located at 801 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 661-5400; fax: (212) 661-5466; email@example.com. Montenegro’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website contains additional contact information for its diplomatic posts in the United States.
Travelers are required to declare currency exceeding 2,000 Euros upon entry. To avoid customs charges, travelers must also declare luxury goods, jewellery, paintings and computer equipment. At the port of entry, travelers can ask customs officials for a currency declaration form that must be completed and presented at departure. Failure to comply with these policies may result in confiscation of funds/goods and criminal proceedings.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Montenegro.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: Demonstrations related to political activities, labor conditions, or sporting events are usually peaceful, though some have exhibited low levels of violence. Non-Montenegrins are rarely the target of violence, but there is always the danger of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While most Montenegrins are open and hospitable to foreigners, visitors might encounter anti-foreign sentiment.
Montenegrin nightclubs are popular with foreign tourists; patrons should be aware that these establishments can be crowded and may not comply with Western standards for occupancy control and fire safety.
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CRIME: Street crime in Podgorica is at a level to be expected for a small European city with fewer than 200,000 people. Residential break-ins present the greatest security concern for U.S. citizens in Montenegro; however, the frequency of these crimes is still relatively low. Violent crime is infrequent. Police have a limited ability to provide services in English.
Cases of credit card fraud and theft at ATMs are minimal in the winter months, but there is a significant increase in theft at ATMs during the tourist season between May and September. Visitors should ensure that they protect their PINs at all times when using ATMs, and monitor card activity.
Don’t buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
The local equivalents to the “911” emergency line in Montenegro are 122 for police, 123 for the fire department, and 124 for an ambulance.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Montenegro, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In Montenegro, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. Likewise, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. There are also some things that might be legal in Montenegro, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Montenegro, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.
Persons violating Montenegrin laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Montenegro are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Carrying of weapons is forbidden. While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Dual U.S.-Montenegrin nationals may be subject to laws that impose special obligations on Montenegrin citizens. If you were considered a dual citizen of Montenegro and another country before Montenegro declared its independence on June 3, 2006, Montenegro still recognizes that dual citizenship. If you became a dual citizen after June 3, 2006, Montenegro will only recognize your dual citizenship if it is with a country with which Montenegro has signed a bilateral agreement. Currently, Montenegro has signed a bilateral citizenship agreement only with Macedonia, but it still abides by the bilateral consular agreement between Yugoslavia and the United States. As of August 30, 2006, Montenegrin men are no longer required by Montenegrin law to perform military service.
There are occasional water and electricity outages throughout the year.
LGBT RIGHTS: LGBT individuals are protected by anti-discrimination laws in Montenegro, and there are no legal or governmental impediments to organizing LGBT-related events. In practice, however, LGBT individuals are subject to widespread societal discrimination, ostracism, and harassment. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Montenegro, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. While Montenegro passed a law on spatial planning and construction in August 2008 regulating the accessibility to public facilities, it only applies to future services and construction. Some structures built recently do meet those standards. The law mandates that until August 2013, all public facilities must be adjusted to allow access to persons with disabilities. The country has all normative regulations for protection of persons with disabilities, including access to transportation and communication. It also has a general anti-discrimination law. However, these regulations have not been adequately implemented in practice and everyday life. Accessibility for those with disabilities, including on public transportation, is lacking throughout the country. The overall geography is mountainous and often steep, including along the coast, which presents challenges to some persons with disabilities. Outside of urban areas, accessibility is limited.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Although many physicians in Montenegro are highly trained, hospitals and clinics are generally not equipped or maintained to Western standards. Travelers may need to go to privately owned pharmacies in order to obtain medicines and basic medical supplies. Hospitals and private clinics usually require payment in cash for all services. Montenegro has only a small number of ambulances. As a consequence, emergency services are generally responsive in only the most severe cases. Otherwise, people must have their own transportation to hospitals and clinics.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You cannot assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It is very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctor and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy does not go with you when you travel, it is a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Montenegro, you may encounter road conditions and driving styles that differ significantly from those in the United States. Roads in Montenegro are often poorly maintained, especially in rural areas. Dangerous areas for road travel include a road through the Moraca Canyon, north of Podgorica. This twisting, two-lane road is especially overcrowded in the summer, and is the site of frequent rockslides. In the winter, the Moraca Canyon and northern parts of Montenegro are covered with snow, which may slow traffic and make the road hazardous. Roads leading to Montenegro’s coastal areas are in better condition, but are overcrowded during summer season. Drivers should exercise extreme caution, as it is common for Montenegrin drivers to attempt to pass on winding roads and hills. Local drivers can be reckless and aggressive, and accidents are frequent.
The use of seat belts is mandatory for all passengers and cell-phone usage while driving is prohibited. Traffic law requires that vehicle lights must be switched on at all times while driving. Right turns on red lights are strictly forbidden unless a distinct green arrow is seen. At unmarked intersections, the right of way is always given to the vehicle entering from the right. Traffic law changes that took effect in January 2013 require each vehicle to have a reflectivefluorescent vest to be used in the event of an emergency road stop, as well as a European car accident report form. Children under 5 years old must be transported in a safety seat that is attached to a vehicle safety belt. Vehicles must have winter tires and carry snow chains between November 15 and March 30.
Additionally, pedestrians crossing streets in designated crosswalks have the right of way. Drivers must stop to allow these pedestrians to cross, although you will find that many pedestrians cross where there is no crosswalk.
Police in Montenegro will test a driver’s blood alcohol level on site and arrest any driver if the concentration of alcohol in the blood is greater than 0.03 percent, a very strict standard, significantly lower thanthe U.S. limit of 0.08 percent.Roadside assistance is available by dialing 19807, 382 (0)20 234 467 or 382 (0)20 234 999. Other emergency numbers are police: 122; fire department: 123; and ambulance: 124.
Metered taxi service is safe and reasonably priced, although foreigners are sometimes charged higher rates. Although there are some taxi stands in each of the cities, taxis generally do not pick up passengers on the street and must be ordered by phone or SMS. We recommend negotiating a price prior to traveling by taxi between cities, although some taxi companies have a price list of most intercity destinations on a control board.
Travelers in the region may wish to consider the safety of public transportation, including trains, buses, and ferries, in view of aging and poorly maintained equipment.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Montenegro’s National Tourism Organization and the Auto-moto Association of Montenegro, the national authority responsible for road safety.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: When the FAA last assessed the former country of Serbia and Montenegro, the Government of Serbia and Montenegro’s Civil Aviation Authority was not in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Serbia and Montenegro’s air carrier operations and the country was given a Category 2 rating. Although the independent country of Montenegro has not been assessed, Montenegro will continue to be rated Category 2, based on the earlier assessment, until the FAA verifies that the Government of Montenegro is in compliance with ICAO aviation safety oversight standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Montenegro dated August 01, 2012 to update all sections.