Montenegro hitchhiking essentials
Advantages of hitchhiking in Montenegro
In Montenegro hitchhiking is most definitely doable, but it is certainly not the easiest country in which to travel by thumb. In our experience, whilst it was not as easy as in neighbouring Kosovo, Albania and Croatia, it was certainly better than in Bosnia and Serbia, and if you are a fan of mountainous landscapes, the stunning Montenegro is definitely the country for you.
Another advantage is that crossing the borders is relatively simple and if you are from the EU, you don’t even need a visa for a 90 day visit, ample time to see the many charms of this hidden gem.
Accommodation prices may be a little steep but at least there is no fear of land-mines in Montenegro and as long as you stay away from public places, wild camping is a useful way to save a few pennies.
Finally, if you are from Eastern Europe, Russian is wildly spoken by locals and tourists alike and can help hitch a ride, especially along the coast.
Disadvantages of hitchhiking in Montenegro
Hitchhiking in Montenegro is extremely slow going. Roads are treacherous, usually single lane, and curve around and around the mountain tops. Journey times are long, and travelling even the shortest distance may take the whole day. Coastal roads are extremely narrow in places, and finding a safe place to hitch from can also be an arduous experience.
Billed as a luxury destination, Montenegro’s hotels certainly have the prices to match, with affordable options (especially in the capital, Podgorica) usually booked out weeks in advance.
Another rather annoying disadvantage are the essentially pointless tourist information offices, if when they do exist are merely elaborate distributors of badly-drawn maps and unable to help with such trifle matters as accommodation or what is in the town to visit.
Lastly, if your only language is English, then Montenegro can be a tricky destination to navigate through. However, hand signals and smiles will get you through in the end.
Types of roads
There are 5,277 km of roads in Montenegro, of which only 1,729 km is paved, and in theory four classifications of roads of which only three exist as there are no roads of motorway standard in the county. In short, don’t expect a fast ride…
① Main roads (Magistralni putevi: M roads) are typically single lane dual carriageways with a speed limit of 80 or very occasionally 120 kilometres per hour (50 / 75 mph). They normally link the main cities and 4 main roads are included on the international E-road network. Hitch-hiking on them is legal.
② Regional roads (Regionalni putevi: R roads) complement the main road system and typically have a speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour (30 mph). Traffic is light but hitch-hiking is legal.
③ Local roads (Lokalni putevi) are infrequently used and rarely paved but hitch-hiking on them is legal.
50 km/h (30 mph) within inhabited places
80 km/h (50 mph) outside inhabited places
120 km/h (75 mph) on express-ways
There are no motorways regardless what the sign tells you!
Road map of Montenegro
Absolutely essential hitch-hikers phrasebook
– Hello – Здраво. Zdravo. (ZDRAH-voh)
– Thank you – Xвала. Hvala. (HVAH-lah)
– Yes – Да. Da. (DAH)
– No – Не. Ne. (NEH)
– Please – Mолим. Molim. (MOH-leem)
– Excuse me. (getting attention) – Извинитe. Izvinite. (eez-VEE-nee-teh)
– How are you? – Kaкo стe? Kako ste? (kah-KOH steh?) – formal / како си? Kako si? (kah-KOH see?) – informal
– Well, thanks. Добро, хвала. Dobro, hvala. (DOH-broh, HVAH-lah)
– Goodbye Дoвиђeњa. Doviđenja. (doh vee-JEH-nyah)
– Hitch-hiking – стопирао. Stopirao. (sto-pee-ra-oh)
– I don’t have money. – Немам новца. Nemam novca. (Neh-mum NOV-tsah)
– We don’t have money. – ми немамо новацa Mi nemamo novca. (Me Neh-mah-mo NOV-tsah)
– Money – новац. Novac. (NOH-vahts)
– I’m going … – Идем… Idem… (EE-dehm…)
– We are going to … – Ми Идемо у … Mi idemo u … (Me EE-deh-moh ...)
– Where are you going? – Где идеш? Gdje ideš? (Gdje EE-desh?)
– Can we go with you? – Можемо ићи са вама? Možemo li ići sa vama? (Moh-ZHE-moh lee Y-chy sah VAH-mah?)
– I am … – Ја сам … Ja sam … (yah sahm …)
– My name is … – Зoвeм ce … Zovem se … (ZOH-vehm seh …)
– I am from … – Ја сам из … Ja sam iz … (Yahsahm eez …)
– What is your name? – Kaкo ce зoвeтe? Kako se zovete? (KAH-koh seh zoh-VEH-teh)
– Pleased to meet you. – Дpaгo ми je. Drago mi je. (DRAH-goh mee yeh)
– I don’t understand. – Не разумем. Ne razumem. (neh rah-ZOO-mehm)
– now – сада. sada (SAH-dah)
– today – данас. danas (DAH-nahs)
– yesterday – јуче. juče (YOO-cheh)
– tomorrow – сутра. sutra (SOO-trah)
– friend – пријатељ. prijatelj (pri-YA-telee)
Very useful when they ask you where you’re staying. The concept of Couchsurfing is often too difficult to explain, so just say you’re staying with a friend. You can also use this word to express the relationship between you and your fellow travellers.
– Can you stop? – Можеш ли престати? Možešli prestati? (Moh-zhesh lee preh-STAH-tea) – informal; Можетели престати? Možeteli prestati? (moh-ZHEH-teh lee preh-STAH-tea) – formal
– I want to get out. – Желимизаћи. Želimizaći (ZHEH-leem EE-zah-chyee)
– Turn left – Скрените лево. Skrenite lijevo! (SKREH-nee-teh LYEH-voh)
– Turn right – Скрените десно. Skrenite desno! (SKHREH-nee –te DEHS-noh)
– Straight ahead – Право напред. Pravo napred (PRA-vo Na-pred)
– here – овде. ovdje (OV-dye)
– Do you have …? (in a shop) – Имате ли … ? Imate li …?(EE-mah-teh lee …?)
– beer – пива. piva. (PEE-vah)
You should know this word, you will be often invited for some.
– Bus station – аутобуска станица. autobuska stanica. (OW-toh-boos-kah STAH-nee-tsah)
You should know this word and listen out for it to avoid situations when your driver, in their best intentions, takes you off the road and drives you to a station.
– Train station – железничка станица. željeznička stanica. (ZHEH-lyehz-neech-kah STAH-nee-tsah)
– Help! – Упомоћ! Upomoć! (oo-POH-mohtch)
– Look out! – пази! pazi! (PAH-zee)
– street – улица. ulica. (OO-lee-tsah)
– road – цеста. cesta (TSEHS-tah)
– roundabout – кружни ток. kružni tok. (CROOZH-nee tok)
– crossroads – раскрсница. raskrsnica (RAH-scrah-snee-tsah)
Montenegro – Serbia
There are five road border crossings between Montenegro & Serbia:
- Bijelo Pilje (Montenegro) & Brodarevo (Serbia) – It’s the busiest border crossing and it’s located on the E 763. This is the obvious border crossing if travelling to / from north and central Serbia.
- The checkpoint north east of Rožaje (Montenegro) is best if you are planning on visiting south Serbia.
Montenegro – Kosovo
There is one functioning border crossing between Montenegro & Kosovo:
- Kula border crossing is located between the towns of Rožaje (Montenegro) and Peć (Kosovo) on the E80-R106 road. However, be aware that if you plan to visit Serbia later on, you might be refused entry if you have previously crossed from Montenegro to Kosovo. The best thing to do is to ask the Kosovo border control not to stamp your passport upon entry.
Montenegro – Albania
There are three border crossings between Montenegro & Albania:
- The busiest border crossing is on the E762 – SH1 and links the Montenegrin capital Podgorica with the important Albanian town of Skhkoder and onto the capital Tirana. It is the obvious crossing if you are heading south.
- The coastal crossing E851 – SH41 which connects Ulcinj and Shkoder, is also simple enough to cross but expect long waiting times, especially for cars, and try to avoid walking across the no man’s land because it is an extremely long way.
Montenegro – Croatia
There are two border crossings between Montenegro & Croatia:
- Debeli Brijeg – Karasovići is the main border crossing and sits on the 8/2 Highway connecting Dubrovnik (Croatia) & Herceg Novi (Montenegro). There is plenty of traffic here but expect long queues.
Montenegro – Bosnia & Herzegovina
There are 7 border crossings between Montenegro & Bosnia & Herzegovina:
- Two of the three most important border crossings between the two countries are located in the west: Sitnica which connects Trebinje (B&H) to Herceg Novi (Montenegro) and Ilino Brdo – Klobuk which links Trebinje with Nikšić (the 2nd largest city in Montenegro)
- The other important border crossing: Granični Prijelaz – Hum connects the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with Durmitor National Park. It’s located on the M18 road in Bosnia and the E762 in Montenegro on the river Drina.
Written by: Jon