Montenegro is a country located in the Balkan Region. Boasting with mountains, old villages, and beaches, Montenegro always has something for everyone. It also offers historical knowledge and exciting adventures. But before we experience all these and visit beautiful cities such as Kotor, Tivat, Budva, Ulcinj, Herceg Novi and a lot more, we need to acquire a Montenegro Visa first (you can read my complete guide here).
Filipinos need to have a Montenegrin visa or a valid USA, UK, Japan, Australia, Schengen etc to enter this tiny Balkan country. And when you finally have that visa, prepare your trip now. There are 2 main airports in Montenegro; the Podgorica Airport and Tivat Airport. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Manila to any of these airports.
Aside from Podgorica and Tivat Airports, you can also consider flying to Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia and cross the border to Montenegro which is less than 30 minutes away but you’re required to have a Croatian visa or multiple entry Schengen Visa.
Flying from Manila to Podgorica Airport
In order to go to Podgorica from Manila, tourists must fly to Istanbul first as a layover. And from Istanbul going to Podgorica. You don’t need a transit visa if you will fly the whole flight leg with Turkish airlines and only staying at the airport, you can’t get out of the airport or pass the immigration either.
Flying from Manila to Tivat Airport
Using the Tivat Airport as your entry point is much more hassle. Because you will need to have at least 2 layovers. First is from Manila to Istanbul then Istanbul to Belgrade, and finally from Belgrade to Montenegro. Same as above, with Turkish airlines then a transit visa for Serbia is not needed if you won’t leave the airport.
Going to Montenegro may be a bit hassle because of these, but we can ensure you that these are all worth it.
Different Routes from Manila to Montenegro
Route 1: From Manila to Montenegro via Istanbul (Turkey)
In order to go to Podgorica from Manila, tourists must fly to Istanbul first as a layover. And from Istanbul going to Podgorica. Meaning, you will need to have a transit visa. BUT, unfortunately, the Turkish embassy only issues transit visas to seafarers. So if you are just a regular Filipino tourist, you will still need to have a tourist visa even if you are staying in Istanbul or in Turkey for less than 24 hours. However, if you will not leave the transit lounge during your layover, then you don’t need to get a transit visa.
Most flights from Istanbul usually has a direct flight to Podgorica Airport.
Airlines that fly from Istanbul to Montenegro
Turkish Airlines is the most popular airline that travels from Istanbul to Montenegro.
Estimated Travel Time
A trip from Manila to Istanbul will take you at least 13 hours (direct flight). And from Istanbul to Montenegro (usually Podgorica) it only takes at least 2 hours. Giving you a total of 15 hours of travel time. Layovers are not yet included.
Route 2: From Manila to Montenegro via Dubai
If you will choose this route, you will need to have a transit visa in Dubai. But no worries as obtaining a transit visa in UAE is not so much of a hassle.
The good news is, it’s FREE. Yes, the UAE cabinet decided to change its visa rules. Making the transit visa, free for travelers. For as long as you will stay in Dubai for up to 48 hours only. Meaning the first 48 hours is free. But if you wish to extend or if your stopover is more than 48 hours, you can pay a minimal amount of AED 50 for another 48 hours, making your stay in Dubai for up to 4 days (96 hours). You can obtain the transit visa at the express counters across any UAE airports.
Requirements you need for the transit visa:
- Confirmed onward ticket for your next destination.
- Hotel reservation
As for route 2, mostly fly from Dubai to Tivat Airport since it is usually cheaper than in Podgorica if you’re coming from Dubai. But this route flies directly to both airports.
Airlines that fly from Dubai to Montenegro
There are several airlines that fly directly from Dubai to Montenegro. Some of these airlines are, fly Dubai, Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, and Pobeda.
Estimated Travel Time
From Manila to Dubai, it usually takes an estimated time of 9 hours. While from Dubai to Montenegro, it will take at least 5 hours. Making a total of 14 hours of travel time. Layovers are not yet included so you still need to consider how long will your layover be.
Route 3: From Manila to Montenegro via London (UK)
The UK Route is also hassle-free like the Dubai route. If you have a US or Schengen visa, then it’ll be easier for you to stay in London as a layover.
Going to Montenegro, you will get to enjoy your transit without a visa! However, you need to remember that it is only possible if your flight is on the same day and if your flight doesn’t require a change of airport at any part in the UK. So when you book your flight, it is important to thoroughly check your flight details.
The same as route 2, it flies both directly to Tivat and Podgorica airport. Usually, Podgorica is cheaper.
Airlines that fly from London to Montenegro
Easyjet and Ryanair flights usually travel directly to Montenegro from the UK. And they are a lot cheaper compared to other airlines.
Estimated Travel Time
If you will travel from Manila to London, prepare for a 14-hour direct flight. And from London to Montenegro, it takes at least 3 hours. A total of 17 hours of travel time with layovers not yet included.
Route 4: Traveling to Montenegro using Dubrovnik Airport as a Point of Entry
All routes stated above are also applicable if you will choose Dubrovnik Airport as your point of entry.
Dubrovnik Airport is not located in Montenegro, it is actually in Croatia (Dubrovnik is a city in the said country). However, from Dubrovnik, you can go to different cities in Montenegro via bus only.
Route 5: Travel time from Dubrovnik to Cities in Montenegro
From Dubrovnik to Kotor or Budva, it will only take you at least 2 hours by bus. While going to Tivat from Dubrovnik, it only takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, if you’re visiting during the peak season, which is summer, expect that the journey will be longer since you’ll have to cross borders. And usually, the border can get busy during this season.
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