If you’re looking for a home base in Europe, Montenegro has a lot of potential for digital nomads. Podgorica is one of the best destinations in the country if you want to see a traditional Montenegrin way of life. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, with easy access to hiking trails. Additionally, Podgorica is relatively small and easy to navigate, making it a great destination for nomads looking for a more laid-back and authentic experience of the region.
I believe that Montenegro will become the digital nomad hub of the Balkans. You’ll have everything you need here - a low cost of living, access to an international airport, great infrastructure for remote work and a beautiful coastline. Most nomads use Podgorica as a hub to fly in and out of, for the shopping malls that aren’t available on the coast, and active nightlife. From the city, you can easily drive down to coastal cities like Budva, Tivat, Herceg Novi, and Kotor for the weekend. In Montenegro, some nomads prefer to stay on the coast, but some fall in love with the easy-going lifestyle of cities like Podgorica.
This is a great country to start a company from. If you’re building a remote business, you’ll be one of the pioneers here. It's possible for non-residents to open up a company, buy property and get a work permit. As with most Balkan countries, the bureaucratic process is challenging and you'll have to bring a native speaker with you to all appointments. Montenegro is not a part of the Schengen area, so you can stay here when you max out your Schengen tourist visa. With a much lower cost of living than in other European countries, you can focus on your work and spend less. The digital nomad community in Montenegro is growing and has a strong focus on supporting different entrepreneurial ventures. The government of Montenegro even launched a digital nomad visa!
Co-living is very popular amongst digital nomads here. Even if you prefer to book your own place, co-living spaces are a great way to meet people. They often organize events designed to help people connect. I highly recommend checking out Kotor Nest - for accommodation and coworking space. Most digital nomads stay for extended periods of time, which helps create meaningful friendships.
For those that travel for adventure, you can go sailing and skiing on the same day. Drive up to the mountains in the morning and head down to the Adriatic sea in the afternoon. Even in winter, you could be sailing in Boka Bay after a skiing session in the mountains. This made me fall in love with Montenegro when I visited for the first time back in 2018. The country is quite small and you can easily explore it. Bus routes between cities are very affordable - I am currently exploring Herceg Novi and it cost me only €8 to get here from Podgorica.
Another reason why I stayed in Montenegro - the food! The traditional Mediterranean cuisine consists of grilled meats, seafood and stews, along with incredible local wine. There is also a strong tradition of baking bread and pastries, and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. My favorite dish is called “Teletina ispod sača” - veal roasted with potatoes and vegetables in a metal dome covered with hot coal. It’s rich in flavor, smokey and not to be missed! I also recommend visiting Plantaže, the local wineries. Not all Montenegrins speak English, but they’ll make sure you feel welcome nonetheless. A lot of younger people work in the tech industry and on cruise ships, so they speak English fluently. The older generation is very friendly and they’ll treat you like family even if they don’t fully understand you. Montenegro has a unique way of making you feel at home.