Parking and Parking Fines in Montenegro: Navigating the Rules for a Hassle-Free Visit

While exploring Montenegro in a rental car you need to know where you can and can’t park, as well as how to pay for parking when you do find a spot. Not planning ahead and parking in the wrong place can earn you a fine and maybe even get your car towed.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Parking in Montenegro

Montenegro offers a mix of free and paid parking spots, each with its rules to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Getting the hang of these can save you from fines and hassle, giving you more time to enjoy what this beautiful country has to offer.

In this guide, we’ll share some local tips on navigating the parking scene, from the busy streets of Podgorica to the serene shores of the Adriatic. Whether it’s finding a free spot near a popular beach or understanding how to use the paid parking meters, we’ve got you covered.

Free parking

Finding a free parking spot in Montenegro can feel like striking gold, especially during the bustling summer months. But fear not, because there are indeed treasures to be found if you know where to look.

Free parking in Montenegro is usually marked, but it can also be a bit of an informal affair. You’ll find these free spots along road sides, in designated bays, or even in some less equipped areas. The key is to park where you won’t block traffic or access – think outside the busy centers but still within a comfortable walking distance of your destination.

Aerial view of dozens of cars parked in a crazy manner on an asphalt car park. Text over reads - Free Parking in Montenegro

Parking Tip

While free parking is widely available, it’s more common away from the historic downtown areas and major tourist spots. But, consider this a small adventure! Parking a bit further can mean a pleasant 15-minute walk through some of Montenegro’s picturesque streets or along its stunning coastline, turning a simple parking decision into part of your exploration.

Just remember, the golden rule of free parking is to keep an eye out for signs and markings. Avoid parking in spots marked for paid parking, and you’re all set. And a little tip – during summer, when the crowds swell, getting there early can help you snag that perfect free spot.

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Paid parking

When the free spots are all taken or you’re in a hurry to get to that must-see spot, paid parking comes to the rescue in Montenegro. It’s straightforward, available in most towns and cities, and comes in two main flavors: on-street parking and car parks with boom barriers.

On-Street Parking

These spots are gold in the city centers. Look for the “P” sign that spells out the details: time limits, rates, and how to pay. Parking on the street is usually time-limited to a couple of hours, which is perfect for a quick stroll through the town or grabbing a bite. Rates are friendly to your wallet, ranging from €0.5 to €2 per hour. Just make sure to park within the bay markings to keep things tidy and avoid fines.

Car Parks with Boom Barriers

If you’re planning a longer visit or prefer a bit more structure, these are your best bet. They’re easy to spot and use – drive up, grab a ticket, and you’re in. These places don’t have a time limit, giving you all the freedom to explore without watching the clock. Rates are a tad higher than on-street parking, but the convenience and peace of mind can be worth the extra cost.

Paying is a breeze

For on-street parking, keep an eye out for the nearest parking meter. Drop in your coins, press the button, and place your ticket where it’s visible. Alternatively, if you’ve got a local SIM card, paying via SMS is as easy as sending a text. Car parks with boom barriers usually have a payment station where you use your entrance ticket to calculate the fee as you’re leaving.

Aerial view image of many cars parked in an organised manner in an asphalt parking lot. Text over reads - Paid Parking in Montenegro
Image Credit – Andy Arthur

Parking Tip
Parking rates and times can vary, so a quick check of the signs or a local parking app can save you from any surprises. And remember, spending a bit on parking is investing in a hassle-free visit to Montenegro’s treasures. So, pick your spot, pay, and enjoy your adventure!

Here’s a concise table summarizing the parking rates and notes for various locations in Montenegro:

LocationParking Prices Per HourNotes
Budva€1.00-2.40Many free parking zones
Pržno, Bečići, Rafailovići, Petrovac, Sveti StefanMainly freeShortage of spaces in summer
Bar€0.50-1.00Numerous free car parks
ŠušanjVaries (few lots available)Choose accommodations with parking
Tivat€0.50-2.00
Tivat Airport€0.80No free parking, short stops only
Kotor€0.80-1.20Limited spaces
Herceg Novi€0.50-1.00Ask hotels for parking; town built on hillsides
Podgorica€0.40-0.80
Podgorica Airport€0.60
On-street Parking Zones (Green/Yellow/Red)Green – €0.40, Yellow – €0.50, Red – €0.60Free car park on town edge and in special bays

This table provides a quick overview of parking options, highlighting free zones, rates, and important tips for each location to help you plan your travel and parking in Montenegro.

A panoramic view of Kotor Old Town in Montenegro, from the mountain fortress above the city. Beyond the city is the bay of Kotor and steep mountains in the background. The text overlay reads - Car rental in Kotor

Payment for parking

Whether you’re parking on a bustling street in the heart of the city or in a more structured car park, understanding your payment options can make the process smooth and stress-free.

Street-side Parking Meters

You’ll find these handy machines near on-street parking zones. Just drop in the correct amount of coins (note: they don’t give change), press the green button, and place your ticket under your windshield where it’s visible. Rates and time limits vary, so keep an eye on the signs to avoid any surprises.

SMS Payments

For a quick and seamless experience, use your phone to pay for parking if you have a local SIM card. Each parking zone has instructions and a specific number to text your car’s license plate to. You’ll get a confirmation message with your parking expiration time. Remember, this service is in Montenegrin, but it’s straightforward once you get the hang of it.

Paying for parking via SMS or meter not only keeps the parking inspectors at bay but also gives you peace of mind to enjoy your visit without worrying about your car.

Different cities might have varying rates and zones, often color-coded for ease of understanding. Whether it’s a short stop or a longer stay, making sure you’re covered for the duration of your parking can save you from fines or towing.

Parking violation fines

Understanding the Fines

Montenegro takes its parking regulations seriously to ensure that both locals and visitors enjoy a smooth flow of traffic and accessibility. If you park in a restricted zone, fail to pay for your parking, or exceed your allotted time, you could be subject to a fine.

The Cost of Overlooking Rules

Fines for parking violations vary depending on the nature of the offense and the city you’re in. Generally, you might find yourself paying anywhere from €15 to €150. This range accounts for minor oversights to more significant infringements, such as blocking traffic.

Towing and Storage Costs

In addition to fines, if your vehicle is towed, you’ll be responsible for towing and storage fees. These costs add up quickly, so it pays to follow parking rules.

Image of cars parked on a street in Ulcinj, Montenegro. A red parking information sign in the foreground. Text overlay reads - Street Parking in Montenegro.
Image credit – vijesti.me

How to pay the fine and consequences of non-payment

If you find yourself on the wrong side of parking regulations in Montenegro, don’t worry—handling fines is straightforward, but it’s crucial to act promptly to avoid further complications.

Direct Payment

If the fine amount is indicated on the penalty charge notice (PCN), you can simply pay it at any local post office. This is the most hassle-free method to settle your dues quickly.

Through Rental Companies

If you’re driving a rental and the fine amount isn’t specified, reach out to your rental agency as soon as possible. They can guide you on how to obtain the ticket for payment, or in some cases, handle it on your behalf (though additional service fees may apply).

Towed Vehicles

If your car has been towed, the procedure varies by location. Some places allow you to pay the fine on the spot to retrieve your vehicle, while others may require you to visit a bank or post office first. Always check the local procedures.

Consequences of Non-payment

Ignoring a parking fine in Montenegro can lead to increased penalties, additional administrative fees, or even legal action. If you’re using a rental car, unresolved fines can end up being charged to your credit card by the rental company, along with their administrative fees.

Moreover, unpaid fines can cause complications with local authorities, potentially affecting your ability to rent vehicles in the future or leading to unpleasant situations if you plan to return to Montenegro.

In essence, it’s best to address parking fines promptly. Not only does it help you avoid extra fees and legal troubles, but it also ensures that your travel experiences remain positive and stress-free. Remember, parking regulations are in place to keep the traffic flowing smoothly for everyone—tourists and locals alike. So, when in doubt, pay the fine and enjoy your time in Montenegro without any lingering concerns.

Image of a blue and red parking information road sign in Montenegro. Text overlay reads - Parking Signs in Montenegro

Parking rates in Montenegrin towns and cities

Montenegrin parking rates can feel like navigating a map of hidden treasures, with each town and city offering its own unique blend of pricing. From the bustling streets of Budva to the tranquil bays of Kotor, understanding these rates can help you budget your journey and make the most of your Montenegrin adventure.

Parking in Budva
Known for its lively beaches and vibrant nightlife, Budva’s parking rates range from €1.00 to €2.40 per hour. Despite the higher rates, you can still find pockets of free parking if you’re willing to explore a bit further from the main attractions.

Parking in Bar

Offering a mix of historical sites and seaside charm, parking in Bar is quite affordable, with rates from €0.50 to €1.00 per hour. Plus, numerous free parking options are available, making it easier to enjoy the town’s sights without worrying too much about costs.

Parking in Tivat

Home to the glamorous Porto Montenegro, Tivat’s parking rates are similar to Budva’s, ranging from €0.50 to €2.00 per hour. While exploring this luxury marina district, remember that parking costs can add up, so consider parking a bit further away for longer stays.

Parking in Podgorica

As the capital city, Podgorica offers a blend of cultural experiences and urban exploration, with parking rates typically between €0.40 and €0.80 per hour. The city provides both convenience and affordability for drivers.

Parking in Kotor

Nestled within ancient walls, Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage site with parking rates usually set at €0.80 to €1.20 per hour. Parking spaces are limited, so arriving early or parking outside the town walls might be wise choices.

Parking in Herceg Novi

Perched on the entrance to the Bay of Kotor, Herceg Novi has parking rates of about €0.50 to €1.00 per hour. If you’re staying in town, check if your accommodation offers parking to navigate the hilly streets more comfortably.

It’s worth noting that many Montenegrin towns have different parking zones, indicated by color-coded signs. The closer you are to town centers or major attractions, the higher the rate, with zones typically marked in red, yellow, and green for easy identification.

Remember, while parking rates are an essential part of planning your Montenegrin trip, finding that perfect spot is also about timing and location. With a little patience and some local insight, you can park smartly and spend your day exploring everything Montenegro has to offer, from its majestic mountains to its azure coastlines. Happy parking and exploring!

Order an E-Sim for Montenegro and other destinations

Buy a Montenegro E-Sim before arrival for the most convenient way to stay online during your trip!

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Featured image credit – Liilia Moroz