Montenegro’s main trade and economic partner, just 200 km away across the Adriatic Sea, is Italy. This article will guide you on how to travel from Montenegro to Italy by ferries and planes. There are many details and nuances that may not be obvious to tourists at first glance.

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These are the ferries that leave Bar for Bari during the high season. Pictured is the port of Bar

From Montenegro to Italy: general points

As mentioned above, Montenegro and Italy are separated by only 200 km across the Adriatic Sea. It seems close, but it’s not that simple. If you decide to travel to Italy by car or bus, here is your route on the map.

from montenegro to italy route
Such a trip by car is pointless and exhausting. There are many downsides
  • You need to cross the EU border.
  • Almost 2000 km to the Italian city of Bari.
  • Numerous toll roads along the way.
  • If you travel by bus, the journey will take two days, with two transfers, and cost at least 100-150 euros. You will also need to buy food.
  • If you need to get to southern Italy by car, the route from Bar to Bari takes about a day and costs around 300-400 euros for fuel and tolls.

So, flying or taking a ferry is fast, surprisingly cheap, and no one drives around 2000 km by car. Although at first glance, the ferry ticket price seems high.

From Montenegro to Italy by plane

This is incredibly simple

  • Montenegro has two international airports: Tivat and Podgorica.
    • You can find all information about the country’s airports, duty-free shops, how to get there, and much more
    • Learn how to buy cheap tickets to Montenegro here. You will also find the optimal route today.
    • Italy is a large country with many airports.
    • As of 2024, there is a direct Wizz Air flight from Podgorica to Rome. The flight takes only 1.5 hours, with tickets starting at 10 euros.
    • To reach any other Italian airport from Montenegro, you can fly with one short layover. If you choose your flights well, the entire trip will take 4-5 hours. Convenient layover cities include:
      • Budapest
      • Belgrade
      • Bergamo
      • Rome
      • Through these four cities, you can fly to any airport in Italy. There are many flights, and they operate daily.
tickets from montenegro to italy
Price for a flight to Rome from Podgorica

Check all tickets on the major platform: Aviasales

Ferries from Montenegro to Italy

Now for the most complex topic: ferries to Italy. Before COVID-19, two different companies operated ferries on the Bar – Bari route. They departed twice a week year-round. Ferries are convenient for travelers with cars, motorhomes, and large luggage that cannot be taken on a plane.

Good to know:

Bar is the largest and only port in Montenegro that can accommodate international ferries. It also has the largest cargo rail terminal in the country. Bar is an important logistics and trade center with Italy.

The pandemic has significantly impacted this niche over the past three years. While cargo ferries continue to operate, here is the current state of passenger services as of 2024.

  • In the summer of 2024, you can travel from Montenegro to Italy by ferry only from Bar to Ancona:
  • The Montenegrin ferry company Montenegro Lines is currently closed. They promise to resume the ferry to Bari, Italy, for the 2025 summer season, but for now, these are just rumors
    • Their official website: http://www.montenegrolines.com
    • Follow the news there for updates, schedules, and current prices
    • In 2020, tickets cost around 43 euros for a seat and about 65 euros for a sleeping cabin. There was an additional 30-euro fee for cars. The travel time was 7 hours.
from montenegro to italy
This ferry operated until 2020, and they plan to resume it, but there is no exact information yet.
  • Also, in 2023, a ferry operated by the Croatian company Jadrolinija ran once a week on the Bar-Bari route, but only during the high season from June to October.
  • Jadrolinija is a major Croatian ferry operator with two dozen routes across the Adriatic.
  • In the summer of 2024, this route was not resumed. It might return in 2025. Information will be updated.
ferry montenegro italy schedule
Here was the Bari-Bar ferry schedule in 2023.
  • Official website: https://www.jadrolinija.hr/en
  • Always check the current schedule and prices there. The prices were similar to those of Montenegro Lines, give or take a few euros.

Overall, the cost for two adults with sleeping places plus a car was around 150-160 euros. This is cheaper than traveling overland and much faster. In 7-8 hours, you are in Italy, fresh and ready to go.

Ferry from Budva to Dubrovnik (Croatia)

In the summer of 2024, another ferry route was launched. This ferry does not cross the Adriatic Sea but sails along its eastern coast from Budva to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The ferry is passenger-only; you cannot bring a car.

This route is recommended for those with a Schengen visa and those who want to enjoy the Adriatic coast’s scenery. Additionally, Dubrovnik is a fantastic sightseeing destination.

  • Operator: Croatian company Kompas.
  • The ferry operates from June 29, 2024, to September 27, 2024.
  • During the summer, it runs daily except Thursdays, and in September – Monday to Wednesday and Friday.
  • The journey takes 2 hours.
  • Ticket prices start at 55 euros one way per person and 69 euros round trip, with children aged 7-13 traveling at half price and children under 7 traveling for free.
  • Tickets can be purchased via the link.
ferry from Budva to Dubrovnik
Ferry schedule for 2024.

Travel Tips

Here’s the current situation if you need to travel from Montenegro to Italy or back:

  • Flying is an excellent option, and most people use it. It’s fast and inexpensive.
  • Ferries are tricky; they seem to be available, but in reality, they aren’t.

Here’s the main advice if you need a ferry, but none are available or the dates don’t fit:

Tip:

Montenegro is a small country. Its neighbors have much better-developed ferry connections to Italy. Ferries run more frequently, and the prices are similar.

The nearest major ports from where you can take a ferry to Italy (Bari) and beyond:

  • Dubrovnik (Croatia): 150 km from Bar
  • Durres (Albania): 140 km from Bar.
  • And here you can read how to get from Montenegro to Albania cheaply and quickly. This isn’t about planes and trains; they don’t operate between the two countries.

I often hear two different theories:

  1. You should travel from Montenegro to Italy for brand-name shopping.
  2. 2. Brand-name items are manufactured in Montenegro and shipped through Bar to Italy, making shopping in Montenegro just as good.

In conclusion, the topic “how to get from Montenegro to Italy” is not complicated if you understand it. The best way is to fly, and if you need to transport a car or bulky goods, look for ferries from Durres or Dubrovnik. It’s much easier than waiting for summer in Bar 🙂


Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro

  • Aviasales – Cheap Flights and best deals.
  • Car rental in Montenegro:
    • DiscoverCars – a large international platform.
    • LocalRent – works with local rental companies. Leader in car rental in Montenegro.
  • Hotels and apartments all over the country:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Montenegro
  • Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
    • GetYourGuide – more than 430 tours
    • Viator – 780+ excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel