The Best Place to Live in Montenegro

Deciding where to live in Montenegro can be an exciting yet challenging journey, as this enchanting country offers a buffet of diverse and captivating locations.

In this article, I’ll guide you through an in-depth exploration of Montenegro‘s most alluring regions, provide you with some pros and cons, and give you insight into the best areas to consider in each town.

My aim is to help you navigate the diverse landscape of Montenegro, so you can make an informed decision and find the best place to live that aligns with your needs and desires.

Kolašin

  • Area: 897km²
  • Elevation: 1,016m
  • Population: 9,949

If you want the choice of adventure and peace of mind, Kolašin is the town for you. Located in the North of Montenegro, the city is perfect for a serene retreat surrounded by stunning nature.

Some of the key attractions in Kolašin include the Biogradska Gora National Park, a 30-minute drive away and one of Europe’s last three primeval forests, and the Kolašin Ski Resort, a popular destination if you are a winter sports enthusiast.

Pros

  • From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer, Kolašin is similar to what you can expect from a holiday in Andorra. If you are a fan of an active lifestyle, you’ll find something to do year-round here.
  • The town is relatively quiet compared to other tourist hotspots making it ideal if you want to get away from the stressful big city life.
  • Kolašin has seen increased popularity in recent years, making it an ideal place for real estate investment.

Cons

  • The lack of international schools and private medical clinics could make it difficult to live here long-term.
  • Expect summers to come with good weather but also a lot of tourists, especially around popular sights.
  • The town’s remote location can make it challenging to access, particularly during winter when road conditions are difficult. Snow tires are a must, and it’s worth getting a 4×4 to be safe.
The Kolasin ski resort with people are skiing next to snow covered houses
The Kolašin Ski Resort comes with stunning views and slopes for all levels.

Best Areas of Kolašin

If you are interested in living in Kolašin, the town center is an excellent choice, with a variety of housing options and easy access to local amenities. The area surrounding the main town square has a lively atmosphere and a range of local shops, cafes, and restaurants.

For a more tranquil experience, consider residing in the village of Lipovo, situated just a 15-min drive outside Kolašin. Going here, you will see the village boasts traditional Montenegrin houses and offers a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. 

Another attractive option is the area near the Kolašin Ski Resort. This location offers convenient access to winter sports and other outdoor activities, as well as breathtaking views of the mountains.

Property prices in this part of Montenegro can be higher due to the demand, but the unique experience of living in a mountain resort may be worth the investment.

Tivat

  • Area: 46km²
  • Elevation: 6m
  • Population: 10,237

Tivat, a coastal town situated outside the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, is becoming a center of nautical tourism in the Adriatic Sea.

Known for its luxurious lifestyle and the development of Porto Montenegro, Tivat attracts yacht and sailboat owners seeking high-end facilities such as upscale restaurants, shopping centers, and the five-star Regent Hotel. It’s no wonder it’s been called “the Adriatic Monaco.”

Pros

  • Tivat is located close to an international airport which will give you easy access to European destinations.
  • The platinum-certified Porto Montenegro marina offers everything you need for you and your yacht.
  • The town is well-connected, with many foreigners living in the area, so it’s a great place to connect with fellow expats.

Cons

  • Due to its growing popularity, you’ll find higher real estate prices compared to other areas in Montenegro.
  • During the off-season, you might find Tivat dull as there are fewer attractions and activities than in other places in Montenegro.
Porto Montenegro filled with yachts and views of the mountainside in the background
Porto Montenegro is a popular location for yacht owners, especially during summer.

Best Areas of Tivat

Porto Montenegro is the heart of Tivat and is perfect if you want to be where the action is and even more ideal if you got a yacht.

Do you need a more quiet scene? Then Donja Lastva, located next to Tivat, is an attractive alternative. The village offers stunning views of the open sea and is conveniently close to Tivat Airport, so it’s easy to get to and from if you are a frequent traveler.

Budva

  • Area: 122km²
  • Elevation: 10m
  • Population: 22,061

If you are looking for a vibrant coastal city in Montenegro with a rich history, beautiful beaches, and lively nightlife, Budva is the place for you.

Often referred to as Montenegro’s Miami, Budva offers a diverse range of activities, from exploring the medieval cobblestone lanes of the old town to enjoying water sports and nightlife.

Staying in Budva, you can’t miss visiting the picturesque Old Town, the iconic Sveti Stefan island, and the popular Mogren Beach. The town is also home to an international school, making it an attractive location if you want to settle down with the family.

Pros

  • In Budva, you’ll find diverse activities, from beach relaxation to historic sites and vibrant nightlife.
  • The central location on the Montenegrin coast provides easy access to nearby attractions and other coastal towns.
  • The town has an international vibe since many expats reside in the area. It’s an especially popular location for the many foreigners who came to the country via Montenegro’s golden visa program.

Cons

  • It tends to get overcrowded during the high season, especially around popular tourist spots and events.
  • During summertime, you can expect heavy traffic due to the many visitors that frequent the town.
Sveti Stefan Island seen from Budva
Sveti Stefan Island seen from Budva.

Best Areas of Budva

There are several places to settle in Budva. The charming Old Town offers a range of housing options and easy access to local amenities.

For a quieter experience, you can consider the neighborhood of Bečići and Rafailovići, located just outside the bustling town center. These areas offer more peaceful surroundings and beautiful beaches while still providing easy access to Budva’s main attractions.

Another attractive option is the village of Reževići, situated on the hillside between Budva and Petrovac. While being a bit further out, this area boasts traditional Montenegrin architecture and offers stunning views of the coastline.

However, remember that access to Reževići can be challenging, especially during the winter, so you should get a 4×4 vehicle to manage the elements.

Podgorica

  • Area: 1,441 km²
  • Elevation: 44m
  • Population: 185,937

Podgorica, the capital and largest city of Montenegro, is a dynamic and culturally diverse urban center situated at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers.

As the country’s political, economic, and cultural hub, you’ll find a wealth of modern amenities, including shopping malls, international restaurants, top healthcare clinics, and, if you have children, multiple options at one of Montenegro’s schools.

The city has an international airport, making it well-connected if you need to travel both nationally and internationally. If you are an entrepreneur interested in setting up a company and doing business in Montenegro (and the EU), Podgorica is an ideal hub to set up shop.

Pros

  • Excellent public transportation and infrastructure, so you will find it easy to get around the city.
  • Central location, making it an ideal base if you are interested in exploring Montenegro and surrounding countries, setting up a business, or becoming a permanent resident.
  • Lower rents and living costs compared to coastal areas. There is also a wide range of real estate investment opportunities available.

Cons

  • It can be crowded and noisy, particularly in the city center and during peak tourist season.
  • Over the last few years, there has been a loss of historical charm due to urban development.
  • In the summertime, temperatures can get hot, and winters are also colder compared to coastal cities.
  • Personally, I feel there is limited natural beauty compared to the coastal areas of Montenegro.
The Millenium Bridge in Podgorica on a clear autumn day
The Millennium Bridge (Most Milenijum) spans the Morača River in Podgorica.

Best Areas of Podgorica

The Preko Morače neighborhood is a popular choice if you are looking to live in Podgorica. Located just across the Morača River from the city center, you’ll find a mix of residential and commercial properties, easy access to local amenities, and the city’s main attractions.

The neighborhood of Stara Varoš, with its narrow streets and historic buildings, is great if you are looking for a more traditional and authentic experience of Podgorica.

If you are a fan of the suburban experience, consider the neighborhoods of Zabjelo and Blok V, located on Podgorica’s outskirts. Here you’ll find a mix of residential options, from single-family homes to apartment complexes, and a more peaceful setting away from the bustling city center.

Bar

  • Area: 598km²
  • Elevation: 5m
  • Population: 42,068

Bar is a coastal town in the south of Montenegro. The town offers you a unique blend of modern development and historical charm, with key attractions including the ancient Stari Bar fortress, King Nikola’s Palace, and the lively Bar Marina.

Being one of the more quiet coastal towns in Montenegro, Bar offers a great selection of sights and restaurants, but it is perhaps best known for its relaxing atmosphere and charming beaches.

Pros

  • The town is a major transportation hub with a port, providing convenient connections to other coastal towns and international destinations.
  • You’ll also find lower property prices and cost of living compared to some other Montenegrin coastal areas.
  • In case you are looking for business opportunities, Bar is also the center of olive oil production in Montenegro.

Cons

  • It can become crowded during the high season, especially around popular tourist spots and events.
  • Quieter than other areas of the Montenegro coastline, which may not appeal to everyone.
  • Bar has fewer expats and English speakers compared to other coastal towns.
  • The closest international airport is an hour’s drive away.
A beach in Bar with mountains in the background
The beaches of Bar have both clear waters and views of the mountainside.

Best Areas of Bar

Bar has plenty of opportunities if you are looking to buy property in Montenegro. The town center and its surrounding neighborhoods offer a range of housing options and easy access to local amenities.

For a quieter experience, consider the neighborhoods of Šušanj and Topolica, located just outside the bustling town center. Here you’ll find more peaceful surroundings and beautiful beaches while still providing easy access to Bar’s main attractions.

Another attractive option is the village of Dobra Voda, situated on the hillside south of Bar. Living here, you’ll wake up to the stunning views of the coastline and the historic Haj-Nehaj Fortress.

Herceg Novi

  • Area: 235km² 
  • Elevation: 145m 
  • Population: 19,536

Herceg Novi is a coastal town at the Bay of Kotor entrance in Montenegro. The town is a captivating destination for its rich history, lush vegetation, and breathtaking sea views.

The town masterfully combines its historical sites, such as the Forte Mare and Kanli Kula Fortress, with a lively waterfront and an array of green spaces and outdoor activities.

Pros

  • Herceg Novi offers everything from historic charm to modern amenities, with a wide range of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities.
  • The town’s location is at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor, giving you easy access to other coastal towns and areas in Montenegro.

Cons

  • You should expect crowds during the high season.
  • As a growing tourist destination, property prices and living costs have been rising in Herceg Novi.
  • The closest airport is an hour’s drive away, which can be inconvenient, especially when dealing with traffic during high season.
The old town of Herceg Novi during sunset
The old town of Herceg Novi, during sunset, gives the old town a different look.

Best Areas of Herceg Novi

If you want to move to Herceg Novi, the old town and its surrounding neighborhoods have a range of different real estate options for both rental and investment.

Do you value privacy and peace? Consider the neighborhoods of Topla and Sutorina. These areas offer more quiet surroundings, sea views, and easy access to nearby beaches while still being close to Herceg Novi.

The village of Zelenika, situated further along the coast, is a more relaxed atmosphere that offers you clean beaches and a close-knit community.

The Best Place to Live in Montenegro

There are plenty of great places to live in Montenegro, and you can quickly get into an analysis paralysis in terms of making your choice.

Moving to Montenegro brings with it many considerations and decisions, so we really encourage you to get first-hand experience.

The best way to decide is to consult a local advisor and book a visit so that you can experience these towns and coastal cities yourself.

If you need help in planning a visit or have any questions about where to live in Montenegro, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


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