Health and safety in Montenegro

Health

It is recommended that travellers from the UK to Montenegro be up to date on primary courses of vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus and polio; these now come as an all-in-one vaccine (Revaxis), which lasts for ten years. Travellers should also check that they have had two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) given at least one month apart.

Other vaccines to be considered are pneumococcal and flu vaccine in the elderly, as well as hepatitis A. Hepatitis B should also be considered for longer trips and definitely for those working in medical settings or with children.

Safety

The level of crime in Montenegro is low and it is generally safe to walk in towns after dark, at least in the central areas. There is some petty theft, for instance from pockets, beach bags or unattended cars, but very little personal violence.

The laws regarding the use or possession of drugs, and the penalties for breaking them, are broadly similar to those in the UK. Possession as well as trafficking in drugs can mean a jail sentence. The police and military do not like their personnel, buildings or vehicles to be photographed.

Women travellers

Female travellers will feel quite safe walking alone after dark in busy tourist areas, but that said, just as in Britain or the US, it is common sense to exercise reasonable caution with regard to lonely spots, either urban or rural.

It is also wise to think twice before diving into a rowdy male-dominated bar or club. In Montenegro alcohol consumption by young women is rarely great, most preferring juice, and any ‘laddish’ behaviour runs the risk of sending out the wrong message.

Travellers with limited mobility

In common with many other Balkan countries, very little attention has been paid to the needs of people with disabilities in Montenegro, and while attitudes are slowly changing, there is still much to do – indeed, the claim by many local hotels to be ‘disabled friendly’ is often based on a very loose definition of the words.

The only place where facilities for people with disabilities are likely to be anything like comprehensive are in some of the classier hotels, where there should be a degree of level access and some awareness of the needs of wheelchair users, which increasingly means dedicated wheelchair-accessible rooms. An increasing number of beaches, too, have disabled access.

Public transport is often poorly accessible, and cars with hand controls are rarely available from car-rental companies. Moreover, few museums or sites have much by way of disabled access; it’s always best to call ahead if you’re determined to visit a particular place.

LGBTQ travellers

In common with many Balkan countries, tolerance of the LGBTQ community is low. The majority of the population remains largely unsympathetic – even hostile – and there are few, if any, manifestations of gay life, even in the capital or major coastal resorts.

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples. That said, there is now a Gay Pride event, which was first held in Podgorica in 2013 and which usually passes off peacefully.

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