9 Reasons Why You'll Fall in Love With Montenegro's People

Get stylish at Terminal 4
Get stylish at Terminal 4 | © Terminal 4

Montenegro is a country of incredible natural gifts, from the mountains of the north to its magnificent coastline. The country’s most impressive natural attraction might well be its people however. Montenegrins are incredibly easy to love, and here is why.
They are literally known as the ‘People of the Black Mountain’, but there is nothing foreboding about the citizens of Montenegro. This is a state where all of the best bits of the Balkans come together as one, best typified by the 650,000 or so people that reside here.


If there is one defining characteristic that covers the people of the Balkans, it is hospitality. The Montenegrins may well be at the head of this particular table, although they will just as likely insist that you, the esteemed guest, sit at that prestigious spot. This is a country where ‘enough’ does not exist, where every last drop of rakija will be drank from the bottle and everything will be done to ensure a great time. The Montenegrins are seriously generous.

In Montenegro be prepared for some good old fashioned hospitality

Sense of humour

The Montenegrins might be seriously generous but they aren’t exactly serious all of the time. There is a keen sense of humour here that will almost certainly appeal to the Brits, as gallows humour is alive and well in this little corner of the continent. Much like their neighbours the Serbs, nothing is off limits and all situations call for a dry joke or two. If the quip can sum up life in a melancholy manner at the same time, even better.

Man drinking out of a glass bottle in Montenegro


No country does self-deprecation quite like Montenegro. This is a country that has taken its national stereotype, that of being lazy and preferring to stay in bed as opposed to work, and turned it into a world championship and a real mark of pride. Momir Bulatović, former President of Montenegro and Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, famously referred to himself as ‘Mummy’s little boy’ on a number of occasions. Montenegrins will often make a joke at their own expense in an attempt to lighten the mood, so be prepared.

Absolute resilience

Nations don’t come much tougher than little Montenegro. It is no coincidence that the mountain state was able to ward off the Ottoman Empire for much of the time the Islamic armies were rampaging through the region. These people were not giving up without a fight! You have to be tough to survive in this climate.

A commitment to independence

Centuries of fighting for its independence has meant resilience is part of the national fabric in Montenegro. Don’t make the mistake of lumping the Montenegrins in with the Serbs — doing so could well be the end of the fun times on your Montenegrin holiday. These people take their autonomy seriously, and rightly so.

Unusual creativity

The cultural history of Montenegro is littered with a number of charming eccentrics who left behind quite the legacy. Rambo Amadeus might just be the most unorthodox, and we’re not just talking about his name. The self-proclaimed World Kilo Tsar (downsized from World Mega Tsar in an effort to be a little more environmentally conscious) was the satirical brains behind the turbo folk movement that has been bastardised beyond recognition in the three decades since. The former champion sailor is wildly productive and he isn’t alone in that respect when talking about Montenegrin artists.

Sve polako, sve polako

If you aren’t fluent in Montenegrin, do not fear. The phrase above literally means ‘everything slowly’ and it can be used to describe the pace of life in Montenegro. The people of this gorgeous state have a reputation for being somewhat on the lazy side, and the Montenegrins don’t disappoint. Don’t take it as a negative though — this is a place where everyone has time and isn’t afraid to use it, where an afternoon coffee can easily stretch into an evening beer. Don’t worry about it, simply relax and everything will be fine.

A little bit of everything

Montenegro is a very small country and has spent much of its history warding off the advances of major international powers. The Venetians, Ottomans, Austrians, Serbs and others dipped their toes into the feisty Montenegrin waters, leaving behind plenty of culture. The Montenegrin people thus seem like an amalgamation of a mass of influences, combining Mediterranean charm with Balkan passion. It is a truly beguiling mixture.

Perast traditional balkan village in Montenegro

Humanity and bravery

It is the code by which Montenegrins have lived for centuries. The idea of humanity and bravery is at the centre of Montenegro’s culture and history, and goes a long way to telling the stories of its warriors, artists, revolutionaries and the rest. There is no respect without integrity, dignity, sacrifice and humility, and there is nothing without respect. The idea might not be as strong among modern generations today but plenty of it survives — it is the typical Montenegrin way.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article