The Mala Rijeka viaduct
 

Spectacular scenery between Belgrade & Podgorica or Bar as you travel to Montenegro comfortably by train. No airports, no flights.

See photos & video of this amazing train ride.

Montenegro's Adriatic coast by train

It's easy to travel by train all the way from London or Paris to Podgorica, Bar, Kotor or Budva in Montenegro.  Leave London mid-morning, travel via Paris and Zagreb, and you'll be in Belgrade by early evening the next day, with modern high-quality air-conditioned trains throughout.  You can then take the amazing Belgrade-Bar railway to Montenegro, one of Europe's most scenic train journeys.  Alternatively, travel by train to Italy then catch a ferry across the Adriatic to Montenegro.  It can cost little more than flying, yet it's a memorable travel experience not a soulless flight.  This page explains how to plan, book and make a train journey from the UK to Montenegro.

Train times, fares & tickets

small bullet point  London to Podgorica, Bar, Budva, Kotor by train

small bullet point  The spectacular Belgrade to Bar railway

small bullet point  General European train travel information

small bullet point  Luggage   Taking bikes   Taking dogs  

small bullet point  Hotels & accommodation

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

Route map

Route map:  London to Montenegro by train

Useful country information

Train operator:

www.zcg-prevoz.me.

Eurostar times & fares.  All-Europe online train times:  int.bahn.de

 

Railpass:

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

+382

Currency:

Montenegro uses the euro, 1 = approx 1.11   Currency converter

Hotels:

Find a hotel anywhere in Eastern Europe

Tourist information:

Tripadvisor Montenegro page

Page last updated:

5 May 2024


London to Montenegro

There are two ways to travel from the UK to Montenegro, both have their own appeal - feel free to go out one way and back the other.

Option 1, London to Podgorica, Bar, Budva by train via Belgrade

This option involves comfortable modern trains all the way to Belgrade, then a ride on the famous Belgrade-Bar Railway, recognised as one of Europe's most scenic.

London ► Montenegro

Montenegro ► London

Fares & how to buy tickets

What's the journey like? 

See the Belgrade to Bar page for a full account of this journey and what to see on the way.

High in the mountains of Montenegro

The Adriatic, seen from the train leaving Bar

Option 2, London to Podgorica, Bar, Budva by ferry from Italy

Montenegro Lines used to sail from Bari in Italy to Bar in Montenegro, but ceased trading in 2017.  Jadrolinija (www.jadrolinija.hr) then resumed once a week sailings (twice a week in high summer) between Bari & Bar.  They seem to have abandoned this route again, but check online - if you find no ferries from Bari to Bar, you may find ferries from Bari to Dubrovnik, a short (ish) bus ride along to coast from Bar.

Montenegro Lines ferry from Bar to Bari

The former Montenegro Lines ferry to Bari at Bar ferry terminal.

Bar ferry terminal, Montenegro Lines   View of Bar ferry terminal, across the marina

Bar ferry terminal.

 

Bar ferry terminal, from across the marina.

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European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).

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Guidebooks

Lonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at Amazon.co.ukTo get the most from your visit, you should take a good guidebook.  For the independent traveller, I think this means one of two guidebooks, either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide.  Both series are excellent.  You can buy a guide covering all the countries in Eastern Europe.  Lonely Planet Eastern Europe.

Click to buy online at Amazon

 

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Find hotels in Montenegro

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & other tips

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least 1m or preferably 5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card!  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, 500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you 5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or Buy from Amazon.com.

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!

 


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