Last year around this time, my boyfriend and I were travelling around Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. We had such a great time in these beautiful countries! It’s crazy to see how the world can change in only one year and how travelling has been (and still is) very difficult the past few months. However, we keep on dreaming about travelling to the most wonderful destinations in the world.
If you’re planning (and dreaming of) a trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina and/or Montenegro, it’s important to think of a few things before travelling to these destinations. I made a list of practical tips which can be useful by planning your trip.
As Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro are countries with lots of height differences, the weather can be different in every part of the country. In winter time, it can be quite cold and even in the mountains you can go skiing. The best time to travel to the two countries will probably in May, June and September. Of course July and August is high season, which means that it can be very crowded in some places (especially along the coast line of Montenegro), but it can also be very hot with temperatures between 30 – 40 degrees Celsius.
May, June and September are months wherein you can have great weather and can avoid the crowds. In general, the temperature is higher when you’re closer to the sea. The inland of both destinations is more mountainous, where the temperature can be lower.
During our time, it was around 30 degrees Celsius in places as Mostar and Kotor. When we arrived in Sarajevo and Durmitor National Park, the temperature was around 20 – 25 degrees Celsius (we travelled here at the end of August en September).
Of course it depends on where you come from on how to get to Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. If you live somewhere around Europe and the drive isn’t that long, it’s easy to drive towards the countries by your own car. It’s important to take your green card and your passport with you as this is what you need at the borders.
If you’re planning on flying to the destinations, there are several airports which you can go to. It’s useful to take a look at the different airport destinations, as it can really save some money at the end. It’s also good to take a look at the car rental company (if you’re planning on renting a car) before booking your flights, as the drop off costs at another depot sometimes can be quite high.
My personal tip: we’ve booked our flights to Dubrovnik, Croatia, as this really saved us some money (we flew from the Netherlands). From Dubrovnik, it was very easy to drive the route through the countries in a circle, so we could drop off our rental car in Dubrovnik again to avoid drop off costs. Dubrovnik is a perfect starting point of your trip as it’s located close to the border of Bosnia & Herzegovina ánd Montenegro.
Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro both have another currency. Although both destinations aren’t part of the European Union, Montenegro does have the Euro as their currency. Bosnia & Herzegovina, on the other hand, uses Bosnian Convertible Marks as their currency. It’s possible to pay with the Euro in Bosnia & Herzegovina, but I would recommend to use the Bosnian Convertible Marks.
Especially for Bosnia & Herzegovina it’s good to know that there are only ATM’s in the bigger places, like Mostar and Sarajevo. It’s recommended to take some cash with you at all times.
A nice fact: compared to the prices in the Netherlands (in restaurants, shops and supermarkets for example), the prices in Bosnia & Herzegovina and in Montenegro are much lower.
If you’re in the bigger towns/cities of the two countries, most of the people can speak English (some just a little bit, but it normally doesn’t bring any issues on communicating). If you’re travelling through the inland, there are some places where the locals cannot speak English very well (especially the older generation). We didn’t mind at all during our trip, as the locals would like to help you in any way and will communicate with you through Google Translate, for example. You’ll always manage to communicate with each other.
The languages spoken in Bosnia & Herzegovina are Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian.
The language spoken in Montenegro is Montenegrin.
It’s always good to read about the religions in a country. Bosnia & Herzegovina, for example, has a mixture of several religions: the Islam, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. In Montenegro, the dominant religion is Orthodox Christianity.
Although the public transport is well arranged in the bigger towns/cities, I’d recommend to rent a car during your time in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. It gives you lots of freedom and you can go to every place you’d like to! As told before it’s important to have the green card and your passport with you as this is what you need at the borders. When you book a rental car, most of the time, the green card isn’t included. You need to pay an extra amount for the green card and an ‘approval’ so you can cross borders. It’s important to check on this when you’re booking your rental car.
Both in Bosnia & Herzegovina and in Montenegro you’re driving on the right side of the road. Keep into account the traffic rules (of course you should always do this, but just a small reminder). Especially in Bosnia & Herzegovina you can be held on your way by the police many many times just so they can check on something, for example if you have all the safety equipment in your car (they know you’re a tourist….).
I’ve already told you a little bit on how it goes on the borders to and from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro: you need to show your green card, your approval for crossing borders, and your passport. It depends on what time you’re going to cross borders and how lucky you’re, but take into account that you may need to wait for a long time to finally cross borders. One time, we needed to wait for almost an hour. It’s recommended to leave early when you have a long day of driving and need to cross borders.
Some people aren’t sure if Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro are safe enough to travel to. Well, I must tell you: I haven’t felt unsafe during my whole trip! All people were very welcoming and we felt a nice ambiance everywhere we came. It’s absolutely safe to travel to these destinations, in my opinion.
If you have any other questions about practical information on Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro, don’t hesitate on asking me in the comment section below.
I’ve written more posts about my trip to these destinations. Would you like to read more? You can find the posts about Bosnia & Herzegovina by clicking here and the posts about Montenegro by clicking here. Enjoy!