Guessing travel outgoings can be hard, especially when heading somewhere that’s totally new to you. We recently visited our first Balkan country and before our trip we weren’t too sure what to expect in terms of cost. Lucky for all you lovely people, I kept track of everything we spent while in Montenegro from bus fares to burgers to help you budget for off-season travel in this beautiful country. Here’s what we spent on our trip to Montenegro both on our travel and our in-situ purchases to give you an idea of the cost of one week in Montenegro and how to explore Montenegro on a budget.
As we bought some things while at home, which were paid for in pounds sterling, and some things in Montenegro where they use the Euro, I have converted our pre-departure costs to try and help keep things the same throughout.
Cost of Flights to Montenegro
So the first expense is of course our flights. We chose to fly from Manchester to Tivat with Easyjet. This was the first year they had taken this flight route but the cheap flight was one of the reasons we opted for Montenegro in the first place. We are, however, based in Glasgow so we also had the added cost of getting to Manchester for our flight out but this works out as just over 3 hours driving for us so wasn’t too bad.
EasyJet return MAN-TIV – approx €187 (€94.50 per person) | £167 (£83.48 per person)
Allocated seats – approx €22 (€5.55 per person per flight | £20 (£4.99 per person per flight)
One added hold luggage – approx €45 (€22.43 per flight) | £40 (£20 per flight)
As we were driving down from Glasgow and had an early morning flight we had to add the following additional costs to our trip.
Manchester Airport Hotel – approx €122 | £108
Airport Parking for 7 days – approx €46 | £41.30
We shopped around for airport parking deals and actually got the cheapest price on a third party website called Looking4Parking.com. At the time they were running a discount code promotion but I think these might occur pretty regularly so checking out this and other third party and discount code sites might be worthwhile.
Our hotel is kinda a story in itself. We had been given a hotel voucher from a family member so we thought that’s great we’ll use that and we picked out the Holiday Inn Express and booked it nice and early. Only it turns out we hadn’t. The site we used was so confusing and all the airport hotels have very similar names it turns out we actually booked the Airport Inn formerly owned by Holiday Inn and now a Britannia venue. It was horrid. It stank, there were so many stains on the floor, the bedding was tatty and when I went to put the chain on the door it simply fell out the wall. This room with breakfast cost £108! I do not recommend staying there. Maybe the real Holiday Inn Express is nicer but we’ll never know.
Cost of Accommodation in Budva
We selected Budva as our base during our stay which has a wide range of options from all inclusive resorts to home stays and private lets. On this occasion we chose an entire property option through Airbnb so we had our own apartment and could cook our own meals when we required.
While the kitchen facilities weren’t extensive in our apartment they were perfectly adequate for the basic meals we made during our week in Montenegro. From our own searches on Airbnb there do seem to be a lot of options in Budva and during October we found a rental option much cheaper than a hotel room though this may be due to fewer hotels staying open during the off-season.
Airbnb apartment in Budva – approx €201 | £180 for seven night stay
Transport and Tours within Montenegro
We found that some things were easily booked before leaving the UK but others benefit from being on the ground in Montenegro. This will also depend on your own personal budget and the types of things that interest you. Our Montenegro budget breakdown was based on quite a low cost holiday with more time dedicated to relaxing rather than full on adventure trip.
We pre-booked transport from Tivat Airport to our accommodation in Budva. We searched online and found Connecto Transfers to be the cheapest at our time of purchase and again did our research and found a discount code to give us a little off their standard return price. We received email confirmation, a text once we landed to give us an update on where the driver was and there a name card so we knew who to go with which all worked out well for us especially in comparison to some other transfers we’ve had in the past. There are also taxis waiting at the airport and we have read that other travellers walk into Tivat to get local buses but we found information on how far a walk this was or how frequently buses travel to Budva was very unreliable so opted for the transport that made us most comfortable.
Airport taxi return trip – €37.20
Airport taxi tip – €2
Our taxi driver dropped us off directly at our accommodation which was great but we also did not have exact change so he rounded up and took the rest as a tip without even considering if we wanted any change. It was a case of “thanks, bye”, so make sure you hand over the amount you want to pay as change may not be forthcoming. We learned from this and ensured we gave a smaller tip on the return trip.
We went on only one organised tour during our time in Montenegro to get a wider feel of the country. We pre-booked this before we left Scotland as we were unsure of language barriers or how quiet October would be so wanted to have a space booked on something. Our tour was a whole day trip which visited the Lovćen Mountain attractions, the old capital of Cetinje and the famous Crnojević River horseshoe bend. It was certainly worth doing but it did come with a few add-ons to the basic price.
Montenegro 360 Grand Tour – €78 (€29 per person)
- Breakfast of prosciutto, bread and soft drink €7 (€3.50 per person)
- Pre-booked lunch at local restaurant in Crnojevića – €14 (€7 per person)
- National Park entry fees – €14 (€2 per person for one park and €5 per person for another)
Other tour Options
While we did not book them, we also spotted boat tours around Boka Bay for €12 which would have been fantastic but tours ran much less frequently and advertising within Budva was often misleading as signage still represented peak season tours. So if travelling in off-season that’s something to watch for. Other tour costs in Montenegro at this time of year included Komarnica River Canyons for €18 and Monestry of Ostrog day trips for €12.
Montenegro has a well established bus system and travelling between towns and cities is fairly easy. We utilised the local buses on two occasions during our trip. Both trips were between Budva and Kotor but did cost a slightly different price which we are unsure if this was due to travelling at peak time or perhaps just differences in bus companies.
Budva to Kotor – €7 (€3.50 per person)
Budva to Kotor – €7 (€3.50 per person)
Kotor to Budva – €8 (€4 per person)
We also saved a fair bit by walking rather than catching buses. From Budva you can walk to neighbouring towns such as Bečići, Pržno or Petrovac using the coastal routes which offer amazing views as well as a full day activity!
Food and Drink
We opted to do a self-catering option but many hotels do have half board and all inclusive options which are reflected in their prices.
We ate very simply with basic pasta dishes in the apartment and only really ate out during our tour. In food stores you need to be a little careful of pricing as often things are priced per individual item even when in a pack – for example we bought a four pack of yogurts which were bound together but the price on the shelf ticket was per individual pot in the multi-pack. Another thing that we noticed during our supermarket dealing is that stores are very quick to give you lots of bags and usually pack them themselves however on one occasions and one occasion only we were charge 3 cents per bag. We had shopped at other branches of the same brand but perhaps each store has it’s own policy so keep an eye out for that too.
Pizza slice – €1.50 each
Burger – €2.50 each
Medium Margaretia pizza to share -€4.50
Supermarket bought foods – €46 over seven days
- 2 litre bottle of Pepsi – €1
- Box of biscuits – €0.85
- Pasta sauce – €2.30
- Box of cereal – €1.69
The main additional cost to consider in Montenegro is the tourist tax. You must complete tourist registration while staying in Montenegro if you are not in a hotel or hostel. If you are part of a holiday package, have booked a dorm bed or have a hotel room this will be included in the cost of your room and your accommodation will do this for you but if like us you are in an Airbnb or other private rental, you must organise this yourself.
Insurance – €30 | £26.50 for a couple
Tourist tax – €14.30 (€1 per adult per day, we have no idea where the €0.30 came from)
Postcards – €0.30 each
We didn’t buy any souvenirs in Montenegro but did bring home a bundle of postcards because we didn’t figure out the postage system in time to buy stamps!
So overall our cost of one week in Montenegro, not including travel into the country and our non-home airport costs (as this will vary depending on your starting point), was a total of approx €480 or £427 for two people. We lived very cheaply and stuck to a super tight budget but could easily have splurged a bit more.
Our outgoings at a glance:
Flights – €245
Tours – €113
Other Transport – €61.20
Accommodation – €201
Food and Drink – €58
Other – €47
Total – €725 or approx £645
We covered all our own costs for this trip and companies mentioned were simply those we ended up booking either due to cost or convenience so we’re not associated with any of them. We found that in October there were a lot of local tour companies cutting prices to try and fill boat tours or coach trips so it might be worth waiting until you are on site to see what is available but as mentioned above check how often excursions run directly with a person and don’t rely on signs, chalkboards or even leaflets handed directly to you. If you’re planing to travel around Montenegro on a budget or are looking for a cheap Montenegro vacation then October was a nice time to visit with high temperatures, fewer crowds and lower prices.
While everyone’s travel choices at a little different hopefully our Montenegro budget breakdown has given you an idea of transport and in country costs to expect from a stay there in October. Remember to use currency converters to check up to date rates.
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