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Holiday Guides for Eastern Europe - Yugoslavia

Make the most of Montenegro's renaissance

Getting travel advice before departure is key

Montenegro is attempting to find its feet as a country after declaring its independence in June 2006, so anyone looking to travel there should be aware of some key pointers.

There is unrest in parts of the country in relation to the events of February 17th this year, when the government of Kosovo claimed its independence from Serbia.

The UK government has recognised this move, but when the Montenegrin government followed suit on October 9th, it heralded a major public outcry from the natives.

A mass demonstration was held in capital city Podgorica last Monday, and although the clamour has gradually died down, there is still the possibility of further demonstrations.

As such, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is warning anyone in or planning to travel to the region to avoid large gatherings as they could spark violence and to check the local media.

On arrival in the country, there are a number of aspects to consider to ensure that the journey passes off smoothly without any nasty shocks.

Although visas are not required for stays of less than 90 days, every British national must get an entry stamp on their passport or risk facing charges of illegal immigration, a heavy fine and possibly even imprisonment.

In addition, registering with the local police in the town or city you are staying in within 24 hours of arriving in Montenegro is essential, unless you plan to stay in a hotel or official tourist accommodation.

In terms of healthcare, all British visitors are entitled to free genuine emergency treatment, although it must be emphasised that the country often has a shortage of certain medicines.

As a result, cash may be required in certain scenarios, so ensuring that you have a comprehensive travel and medical insurance package in place before travel is a sound strategy.

Generally speaking, the levels of crime in the country are low, particularly against foreigners, but the FCO advises travellers to be vigilant to be as safe as possible.

It is also worth mentioning that British visitors should carry their passports with them at all times for the purposes of identification, while registering your arrival with the British Embassy would also be advisable.

Finally, a large number of counterfeit Euro notes have been seized by the authorities in Montenegro, so checking that money received from sources other than banks and currency exchanges is genuine is crucial.