the cost of living in Montenegro retired or expat or digital nomad

The cost of living in Montenegro: How to survive as a Montenegrin expat

You’re interested in living as an expat in Montenegro, eh?

Or for all you digital nomads out there, you might be interested in being a mini retired person in Montenegro for a period of time maybe? Well whichever you are, you’re awesome for that.

Montenegro has been called the pearl of Europe, so I totally get why you’re searching for the cost of living in Montenegro. 

So just how much money do you need to survive as an expat or retired person in Montenegro? 

In order to help you answer that, I have focused on 7 areas where your money will consistently go each month to examine how much money you need. 

The following numbers reflect the costs of living alone in the more prominent cities and towns like the capital Podgorica and popular tourist destinations like Kotor and Budva.  If you are coming as a couple or a family, you can do the necessary multiplications to figure out how much money you need for your specific situation. Also, keep in mind that smaller and less touristy towns will have a lower Montenegrin cost of living. This rule pretty much goes for all the other countries in the Balkans as well. 

Aaaand… here’s where your money will go!

Rent

For a studio apartment or a one bedroom, the price should be around 150-250 euros per month. Naturally, cheaper apartments will be smaller, not as renovated or outside of the main towns and city centers. Also let me remind you that if you live in the center of town, apartments will be pricier than those further away from the city center.  For Kotor, a cheaper apartment might be a 5-10 minute cab ride (30-40+ minute walk) outside of the old town in a neighboring town like Dobrota. The same goes for Podgorica. But hey… there’s always the bus!

Utilities

Basic utilities (electricity, heating, water) are of course cheaper in the summer and more expensive in the winter. If you are paying for phone, internet, and TV (which will be about 15-25 euros), as well as heating in the winter months, and you don’t have central heating, utilities could be 60-80 euros for a studio or 1 bedroom apartment. If you have central heating, it could be more, especially if you are also paying for trash, parking and any other building facilities. The summer’s utility bill total is usually about half the winter’s or less. 

Transportation

For a month long bus pass, you can expect to pay about 15-20 euros depending on which town you are living in. A one-way bus ticket will be less than 1 euro. 

Going Out

Social life varies from person-to-person of course. And beware of tourist traps in Kotor. I have fallen for one that got me good. I can’t even talk about it; that’s how embarassed I am.

A nice club in Podgorica or Kotor might cost you 15-20 euros by the end of the night. If you stick to a pub or a small bar, you could spend 10-15 euros the whole night. Restaurants as well vary. If you go to the trendy restaurants in the city center , you could spend 15-20 euros for some sort of main dish and a couple of drinks. In places like Kotor and Budva though, some restaurants could cost at least 30 euros for one person because there are many fancy places in these towns, so just make sure you read some of the menus correctly if you don’t want to fall for any tourist traps. You can also just as easily find restaurants where you can spend no more than 10 euros for a meal and some drinks, especially if you are just drinking beer. 

Healthcare

As an expat, you can’t receive the free public healthcare. Be prepared to pay 10-30 euros to see a doctor privately. General physicians will be cheaper than a doctor who specializes in specific or advanced treatments for certain disorders and diseases. In regards to pharmacies, most antibiotics should be less than 5 euros. Other prescription medications for disorders and diseases could be 15-25 euros.

Groceries

Groceries will be pretty cheap in Montenegro by western standards.  If you are just shopping for one or two people. Expect to spend about 20-25 euros a week to every week and a half.

Monthly total

You can get by on as low as 500-600 euros a month in Montenegro.  But to live more comfortably as a one-person expat, ideally you want at least 650-700 euros a month.  

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or have anything you want to say about your experience living in Montenegro if you have lived there, please do so below!  Also feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you need help with anything. 

Thanks so much to my friends in Montenegro for helping me with this!

Posted in Balkans Digital Nomad, Balkans Expat Guide, Retire in Balkans Guide.

Nwando is an American expat based in the Balkans. She is a musician, blogger (duh!), and youtuber with over a million views on her channel about traveling and life in the Balkans!