25 Pros and Cons of Living in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Are You Considering a Move to Herceg Novi?

Living in Herceg Novi, Montenegro offers a unique experience with its stunning natural beauty, interesting history, and warm community spirit. However, you should research this city carefully before deciding to relocate.

We spent an extended period of time in Herceg Novi and got to know the city pretty well. Based on our experience, we compiled the following list of pros and cons of living in Herceg Novi to help you make an informed decision.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Herceg Novi

PRO: Long Pedestrian-Only Promenade

The long pedestrian-only promenade is undoubtedly one of the highlights of living in Herceg Novi. Stretching along the beautiful coastline, it offers a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes. The absence of traffic creates a peaceful and safe environment for pedestrians, making it an ideal place for families with children or anyone seeking tranquility.

The small Old Town is one of the downsides of living in Herceg, Novi, Montenegro

CON: Small Old Town

While Herceg Novi is undoubtedly a gem of a town, it’s important to note that the size of the Old Town may be a drawback for some. With its narrow streets and charming architecture, the Old Town exudes an undeniable charm. However, for those seeking a bustling city with endless shopping and dining options, the small size of the Old Town may feel limiting. While plenty of quaint cafes and local shops are still available, the choices may not be as extensive as in larger cities. That being said, many residents see this as part of the town’s allure – it allows them to escape the fast-paced city life and truly immerse themselves in the town’s unique charm.

Fortress Spanjola in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Natural Beauty

One of the biggest draws of living in Herceg Novi is its stunning natural beauty. Nestled between the Adriatic Sea and lush mountains, this town offers breathtaking views and a serene environment. Whether you enjoy hiking in the mountains, lounging on beautiful beaches, or simply appreciating picturesque sunsets, Herceg Novi has it all. The abundance of natural beauty also means plenty of outdoor activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring the nearby national parks. Living in Herceg Novi will allow you to immerse yourself in nature and make the most of the Mediterranean climate.

Forte Mare in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Many Small Beaches for Sunbathing and Swimming

Living in Herceg Novi means having access to numerous small beaches where you can relax, sunbathe, and take a refreshing dip in the Adriatic Sea. With its coastline stretching along the Bay of Kotor, beach lovers have plenty of options. Whether you prefer secluded coves or lively beachfronts with cafes and bars, you’ll find it all in Herceg Novi. Spending your days on these pristine beaches will make you feel like you’re living in paradise.

St. Archangel Michael Church in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Stunning ARCHITECTURE in Old Town

One of the most captivating aspects of living in Herceg Novi is the town’s stunning architecture. As you walk through its charming streets, you’ll be greeted by a mix of architectural styles that reflect the town’s interesting history. From elegant Venetian palaces to Byzantine-influenced churches, each building tells a story and adds to the unique character of Herceg Novi.

The Old Town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and fortified walls, is a true gem for architecture enthusiasts. You can wander through centuries-old buildings and marvel at their intricate details. The blend of styles creates a visual feast for the eyes and transports you back in time.

CON: Tourist Crowds

While there are many advantages to calling Herceg Novi home, it’s important to consider some of the challenges. One such drawback is the presence of tourist crowds.

Due to its natural beauty and attractions, Herceg Novi attracts many tourists throughout the year. During peak seasons, the town can become quite crowded, making it challenging to navigate through popular areas and enjoy certain amenities fully.

However, it’s worth noting that this influx of visitors also brings vitality and economic benefits to the town. Many local businesses thrive thanks to tourism, and there are plenty of job opportunities in the hospitality industry. Additionally, the tourist crowds tend to be concentrated in certain areas, leaving other parts of Herceg Novi relatively peaceful and quiet.

Fishing on the Bay of Kotor in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Mild WINTERS

Herceg Novi boasts mild winters, making it an ideal destination for those seeking respite from harsh weather conditions. While other parts of Europe endure freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Herceg Novi enjoys a more temperate climate during the winter months. The average temperature rarely drops below 50°F (10°C), allowing locals and visitors alike to enjoy outdoor activities without needing multiple layers of clothing.

During the winter season, the pace of life in Herceg Novi slows down even further, offering a tranquil atmosphere. Take leisurely walks along the waterfront promenade, savoring the gentle breeze and taking in the stunning views of the Bay of Kotor. With fewer tourists around, you’ll have more space to explore the town’s historic sites, such as the medieval fortress of Forte Mare or the charming Old Town.

CON: HOT SUMMERS

While Herceg Novi’s mild winters are a definite advantage, the town does experience hot summers that can sometimes be challenging to bear. With temperatures soaring above 86°F (30°C), the heat can be pretty intense, especially during the peak months of July and August. This can make outdoor activities and sightseeing during the daytime uncomfortably warm.

However, there are ways to beat the heat and make the most of your summer in Herceg Novi. Start your day early to enjoy cooler temperatures and take advantage of the refreshing sea breeze. Seek shade under the town’s lush greenery and relax in one of the many beautiful parks or gardens. If you want to cool off, head to one of the nearby beaches and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Skver City Harbor in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Boating, Sailing, and Water activities

Living in Herceg Novi means having endless opportunities for boating, sailing, and water activities. With the Adriatic Sea at your doorstep, you can indulge in various aquatic adventures.

Rent a boat and explore the pristine coastline, stopping at secluded beaches and hidden coves along the way. Feel the wind in your hair as you sail across the calm waters, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and picturesque villages. If you want to rent a boat and have specific needs, check out your options in nearby Porto Montenegro. It’s the only platinum-certified marina in the area.

For those who prefer a more active approach, water sports are abundant in this coastal paradise. Whether gliding through the waves on a jet ski or testing your balance on a wakeboard, the options are endless. Feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate the waves and let the sea be your playground.

CON: No TRAIN ACCESS TO THE REST OF EUROPE

Living in Herceg Novi may come with its fair share of advantages, but it also has its drawbacks. One significant drawback is the lack of train access to the rest of Europe. While the town offers plenty of charm and beauty, if you enjoy exploring different countries by train, you might find this limitation frustrating.

However, it’s important to note that while train access may be limited, Herceg Novi is still well-connected to other parts of Montenegro and neighboring countries through road networks. Buses provide frequent and reliable service, allowing you to easily explore nearby cities and towns.

Ribarnica in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Amazing seafood

Living in Herceg Novi comes with its fair share of advantages, and one of them is the fantastic seafood. Nestled along the Adriatic coast, this charming town boasts a thriving fishing industry that provides locals with an abundance of fresh and delicious seafood.

Whether you’re a fan of grilled fish, succulent shrimp, or mouthwatering calamari, Herceg Novi has it all. The coastal location means that you can enjoy the freshest catches straight from the sea to your plate.

Savina vineyard in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Quality Local wine

Living in Herceg Novi not only offers an abundance of natural beauty and exciting outdoor activities, but it also provides the opportunity to indulge in the region’s exceptional local wine. With its favorable climate and fertile soil, the Herceg Novi region has become renowned for producing high-quality wines that are sure to delight even the most discerning wine connoisseurs.

Whether you prefer a crisp white or a robust red, the local wineries offer a wide variety of options to suit every palate. As you wander through the vineyards, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the winemaking process from passionate local vintners. And when it comes time to indulge in a tasting experience, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The local wineries offer tastings where you can sample various exquisite wines.

CON: Relatively High Cost of Living

Living in Herceg Novi certainly has its perks, from the fantastic seafood to the local wine. However, it’s important to note that this charming town has a relatively high cost of living.

Due to its popularity as a tourist destination, the cost of living in Herceg Novi can be relatively high. From accommodation to dining out, expect to pay more than other towns in Montenegro.

That being said, it’s always possible to find affordable options if you know where to look. You can discover hidden gems that offer great value for money by exploring the local markets and shops. From fresh fish and produce to local wines, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge without breaking the bank.

It’s essential to plan your budget accordingly and ensure that your financial situation aligns with the expenses of living in this coastal gem.

Olives at Herceg Novi City Market in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Friendly LOCALS

Living in Herceg Novi comes with the added benefit of friendly locals. The community in Herceg Novi is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it easier to settle into your new home and connect with people around you. Whether grabbing a coffee at a local café or exploring the city’s charming streets, you’ll often be greeted with a smile and engaging conversations.

The locals take pride in their town and are always happy to share recommendations for the best places to eat, visit, or simply enjoy the beauty of Herceg Novi. Their friendliness creates a sense of community and belonging, which can significantly enhance your living experience in Herceg Novi. You’ll be able to forge meaningful connections with people from different backgrounds and cultures, enriching your social life and broadening your perspectives.

PRO: MANY LOCALS SPEAK ENGLISH

Living in Herceg Novi offers another advantage: many locals speak English. This makes it easier for travelers and expats to navigate daily life, as language barriers are less of a concern.

The ability to communicate in English provides ease and convenience in everyday activities. Whether ordering food at a restaurant, seeking medical assistance, or attending local events, you can confidently navigate these situations without feeling lost or overwhelmed.

Furthermore, the local’s proficiency in English can be beneficial when it comes to making friends and building relationships with the community. Being able to communicate effectively allows for deeper connections and a greater sense of belonging. It also opens opportunities for cultural exchange and learning, as you can easily engage in conversations about local customs, traditions, and history with the locals. This exchange of knowledge not only enriches your understanding of the community but also fosters mutual respect and appreciation.

CON: Small Grocery Stores with Limited Selections

One of the aspects to consider when living in Herceg Novi is the small grocery stores with limited selections. While these smaller shops are convenient for quick purchases or last-minute needs, they may not offer the wide variety of products that larger supermarkets do.

It’s important to note that this limitation does not mean you won’t be able to find your essential groceries. Basic food items such as fresh produce, dairy, and pantry staples are typically available. However, if you have specific dietary preferences or require specialty ingredients, you may need to explore alternative options.

CON: Limited Shopping Options

While Herceg Novi offers plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities, it may not be the ideal destination for shopaholics. The town is relatively small, and its shopping scene is less vibrant than in larger cities. If you enjoy shopping sprees and browsing through various stores, you might find yourself longing for more options.

PRO: Hiking and Biking

One of the great advantages of living in Herceg Novi is the abundance of hiking and biking opportunities. The town is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer a challenging hike up the nearby mountains or a leisurely bike ride along the picturesque coastline, there are options for every fitness level.

Nikola Djurkovic Square in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

PRO: Festivals and Events

Another unique aspect of living in Herceg Novi is its vibrant festival scene. Throughout the year, the town hosts various cultural events, music festivals, and traditional celebrations that unite the community. From the International Boat Show to the Mimosa Festival, something is always happening in Herceg Novi. These events not only provide entertainment but also help foster a sense of community and belonging. The festivals and events in Herceg Novi celebrate the town’s cultural heritage and vibrant spirit.

CON: Limited Nightlife

Despite the vibrant cultural scene in Herceg Novi, it is important to note that the town has a somewhat limited nightlife compared to larger cities. While there are options for those who enjoy a night out on the town, it may not have the same variety and abundance of clubs and bars in more cosmopolitan areas.

Instead of bustling nightclubs, Herceg Novi offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere after dark. Many locals and visitors prefer to gather at cozy cafes or waterfront restaurants, enjoying good company, live music, and delicious food. In Herceg Novi, the focus is more on creating a warm and welcoming ambiance than a wild party scene. This tranquil setting allows for meaningful conversations and connections and the opportunity to truly unwind and enjoy the company of friends or loved ones.

PRO: Interesting History

One of the most captivating aspects of Herceg Novi is its history, dating back centuries. As you stroll through the town’s streets, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder at the architectural marvels that stand tall, showcasing the town’s past.

From the iconic Forte Mare and Kanli Kula to the Stari Grad (Old Town) with its narrow cobblestone alleys, every corner of Herceg Novi holds a story waiting to be discovered. Each historical site tells a tale of conquests, cultural exchanges, and resilience.

History buffs will also appreciate the town’s proximity to other historical sites such as Kotor and Dubrovnik. These UNESCO World Heritage Sites are just a short drive away and offer a glimpse into the region’s diverse past.

CON: Limited Job Opportunities

While Herceg Novi offers a high quality of life, it does have limited job opportunities compared to larger cities. Unless you work remotely or are retired, finding employment in your desired field may pose a challenge. It’s important to consider your career prospects before making a move.

PRO: Buses to Croatia and Bosnia with FlixBus

FlixBus offers convenient bus connections from Herceg Novi to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other destinations in the Balkans. This means you can easily explore the stunning cities and landscapes beyond Herceg Novi’s borders. Whether it’s a day trip to the charming coastal town of Dubrovnik or an adventure in the beautiful nature of Bosnia, the FlixBus service opens up endless possibilities for exploration and discovery. So hop on board and embark on new adventures with ease from Herceg Novi!

CON: No bus to nearby Tivat airport

One drawback of living in Herceg Novi is the lack of direct bus connections to the nearby Tivat airport. This can make traveling to and from the airport inconvenient, especially if you don’t have access to a private vehicle. However, there are alternative transportation options available such as taxis that can help you overcome this challenge. Additionally, with the town’s proximity to other airports like Dubrovnik, you still have options for air travel within a reasonable distance.

CON: NO DIRECT FLIGHTS TO THE UNITED STATES

One potential downside of living in Herceg Novi is the lack of direct flights to the United States from the nearby Tivat and Dubrovnik airports. This can make traveling back and forth to America more time-consuming and potentially expensive. However, many international airports in Europe have connections to major US cities, so it is still possible to reach your desired destination with extra planning.

If you’re still on the fence after reading about the pros and cons, check out “Is Herceg Novi Worth Visiting.” We review a list of factors you should consider before visiting Herceg Novi for a short or long stay.

Also, anyone considering a move to Herceg Novi would be well-advised to visit before relocating. If you plan a short trip to Herceg Novi, we recommend staying near the Old Town (the castle marker on the map below). If you don’t stay in the Old Town, we recommend staying near the sea along the promenade. The architecture of Herceg Novi is not as memorable as you go inland and away from the Old Town and the Bay of Kotor.

The below interactive map of hotels and short-stay apartments can be filtered to meet your needs. Select your travel dates to get specific availability and prices.

Tips for Living in Herceg Novi

Living in Herceg Novi comes with its own unique advantages and challenges. Here are some tips to make the most of your experience:

LEARN the local language

Learning the local language is one of the best ways to truly experience life in Herceg Novi. While many locals speak English, trying to learn Montenegrin or Serbian will help you communicate better and show your respect for the local culture. Enroll in language classes, join conversation groups, or practice with locals to enhance your language skills. By speaking the language, you’ll be able to connect with residents on a deeper level and gain a greater understanding of the history and customs of Herceg Novi.

MAKE CONNECTIONS

Living in Herceg Novi as an expatriate can offer a mix of excitement and challenges. If you’re going to be living in Montenegro for the first time, you may want to consider becoming a member of a Facebook group specifically for expats living in Montenegro. This will allow you to connect with individuals who share similar experiences, whether they currently reside in Montenegro or have done so in the past. By joining such a group, you can establish a support network and gain valuable insights to help you navigate everyday life in a new country.

Immerse yourself in the local culture

Herceg Novi has a cultural heritage with its mix of influences from various civilizations. Take the time to explore the historic Old Town, visit museums and art galleries, and attend local festivals and events. Engage with the friendly locals, try traditional Montenegrin cuisine, and learn a few phrases in the local language. By immersing yourself in the local culture, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the vibrant history and traditions of Herceg Novi.

Embrace a healthy lifestyle

Living in Herceg Novi provides ample opportunities to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle. Take advantage of the city’s beautiful promenades and parks for jogging or cycling. Join local sports clubs or fitness centers to stay in shape and meet like-minded individuals. With the stunning natural surroundings, you can also try outdoor activities like rock climbing, kayaking, or mountain biking. The fresh air and scenic views will make your workout sessions a true delight.

Explore neighboring towns

While Herceg Novi has its charm, don’t limit yourself to just one town. Take the time to explore the neighboring towns and villages that dot the coastline of Montenegro.

Visit the charming town of Kotor, with its winding medieval streets and stunning bay views. Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Perast, known for its picturesque architecture and the famous Our Lady of the Rocks island. Head south to Budva, a vibrant coastal town with lively nightlife and beautiful sandy beaches. Further down the coast, you’ll find the enchanting city of Ulcinj, known for its diverse culture and long stretches of golden sand. If you’re looking for a bigger city, Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro, is located approximately 85 miles from Herceg Novi.

Each town has its own unique character and attractions, offering you a chance to discover more about Montenegro’s history and natural beauty. Whether exploring ancient ruins or lounging on sun-kissed beaches, these neighboring towns will leave a lasting impression on you.

Discover hidden gems

While Herceg Novi is known for its picturesque coastline, don’t forget to venture inland and discover the region’s hidden gems. Explore the stunning mountains and national parks surrounding the city, such as Lovćen National Park or Durmitor National Park. These natural wonders offer breathtaking landscapes, hiking trails, and opportunities to spot unique wildlife.

Consider Ferry Options to Visit Italy

While Herceg Novi is not connected to the rest of Europe by train, there are ferries from nearby locations to Italy. The ferry routes connect Montenegro with Italian ports, such as Bari and Ancona. Embark on a scenic journey across the Adriatic Sea, enjoying stunning views of the coastline along the way.

FAQS About Living in Herceg Novi

Can Americans live in Montenegro?

Yes, Americans can live in Montenegro. Montenegro offers several types of visas and residency permits, allowing foreigners, including Americans, to live there. The specific requirements and procedures for obtaining a visa or residency permit will vary depending on factors such as the purpose of your stay (e.g., work, study, retirement) and the length of time you plan to stay in Montenegro. It is recommended to consult with the Embassy or Consulate of Montenegro or seek professional advice to understand the specific requirements and procedures for living in Montenegro as an American citizen.

What is it like to live in Montenegro?

Montenegro is known for its stunning natural beauty, with picturesque coastal towns and rugged mountain landscapes. It offers a mix of historic charm and modern amenities, making it an attractive place to live for many people. The country has a relatively low cost of living compared to other European countries, which can appeal to those looking for affordable living options. Additionally, Montenegro has a favorable tax system and offers various residency programs for foreigners. However, like any country, there are challenges and considerations to consider when living in Montenegro, such as language barriers, healthcare access, and cultural differences. Doing thorough research and possibly visiting the country before deciding to live there permanently is always a good idea.

Skver City Harbor in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

What is Herceg Novi known for?

Herceg Novi is known for its stunning coastal location, history, and vibrant cultural scene. Located in Montenegro, this charming town offers picturesque views of the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. Herceg Novi is famous for its numerous historical monuments, including the Forte Mare Fortress and the Kanli Kula Tower, which offer a glimpse into the town’s past. The city also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing traditional music, dance, and art. Additionally, Herceg Novi is renowned for its Mediterranean climate and therapeutic mud baths, making it a popular destination for relaxation and wellness tourism.

Skver City Harbor in Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Is Herceg Novi nice?

Herceg Novi is a coastal town in Montenegro known for its beautiful scenery, historic sites, and vibrant atmosphere. It features stunning views of the Adriatic Sea, charming Old Town architecture, and a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Many visitors enjoy exploring the town’s fortresses, relaxing on the beaches, and experiencing the local cuisine. Whether or not Herceg Novi is considered “nice” depends on individual preferences and interests.

Which is better Herceg Novi or Budva?

Herceg Novi and Budva are popular tourist destinations in Montenegro, each with unique attractions and charm. Herceg Novi is known for its beautiful old town, stunning views, and historical sites, while Budva is famous for its vibrant nightlife, sandy beaches, and ancient walled city. Ultimately, the better destination depends on your personal preferences and what you are for in a vacation spot.

Herceg Novi may be the perfect fit if you’re seeking a peaceful and historical atmosphere. Its old town exudes charm, with its narrow centuries-old buildings. The city is also known for its breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor and the surrounding mountains.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a lively nightlife scene and sandy beaches, Budva might be more your style. This coastal town is renowned for its vibrant clubs, bars, and beach parties that go well into the night. Additionally, Budva’s ancient walled city is a must-visit, with its narrow cobblestone streets and historic buildings offering a glimpse into Montenegro’s past. Ultimately, both Herceg Novi and Budva have unique charm and attractions, so it’s worth exploring both to see which one resonates with you more.

Jen

Jen

Author

I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2004 with a degree in accounting. I earned my CPA certification and worked in taxation for two public accounting firms in San Francisco, CA. In 2009, I moved to Austin, TX, and took a position in the Large Business and International Division at the Internal Revenue Service. There I worked as a Revenue Agent and audited large companies and their high-net-worth owners. After overcoming my risk-averse nature through extensive budget analysis and financial projections, I quit my safe and secure career in tax accounting in January 2022 and embarked on a life of travel with my husband, Ryan, and French Bulldog, Gus.