Montenegro is a good holiday destination, but you are worried about the safety of drinking tap water there? You’re not alone! Many travelers have concerns when visiting foreign countries, especially those with less developed infrastructure. The good news is that in most areas of Montenegro, tap water is SAFE TO DRINK.
However, there are a few things you should know first. Read below why you can drink tap water in Montenegro.
What is the water quality in Montenegro?
First, let’s look at the general water quality. Montenegro’s tap water comes from natural sources like lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and underground aquifers.
The water is treated at facilities to remove contaminants and make it potable. The country has come a long way in upgrading its water treatment systems since gaining independence in 2006. Now, tap water meets European Union standards, which are among the strictest in the world.
A 2019 report by the Montenegrin Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development found that 88% of the country’s tap water samples were completely safe to drink.
Another 11% met requirements except for occasional elevated levels of chlorine used for disinfection. Just 1% of samples had higher levels of bacteria due to deficiencies in the local water systems.
So statistically, tap water in Montenegro is very likely to be safe. Many locals drink from the tap daily with no issues. But problems can exist in some areas, so it pays to take precautions.
The areas most likely to have contaminated tap water are in rural regions with older infrastructure. In remote villages, water treatment and pipe systems may not be well maintained. Levels of bacteria, metals, nitrates, and other pollutants may be higher. Additionally, the piping inside old apartments or homes can contaminate water before it reaches the tap.
Coastal areas and cities generally have modern treatment plants and infrastructure. The tap water in the capital Podgorica is perfectly safe to drink. Other major cities like Budva, Kotor, Tivat, Herceg Novi, and Bar also have reliably clean water from the tap.
Montenegro’s tourist industry means hotels and restaurants take care to serve only clean water to guests. Nearly all tourist accommodation has modern plumbing that delivers safe water. If unsure, look for a recent plumbing renovation. Many hotels have signs in rooms indicating the water is potable.
So what should you do to be safe? Here are some tips:
- Ask your hotel or host if the tap water is safe to drink. Follow their guidance.
- If staying in an apartment rental, inquire about the plumbing. Newer builds are generally fine. Older ones may be riskier.
- Check the water when you arrive. Run the tap and look for discoloration or odd smells which could indicate contamination.
- If visiting rural areas, stick to bottled water to be cautious. Or use a filter.
- Avoid drinking tap water in remote villages or anywhere infrastructure seems outdated.
- Only use tap water for brushing your teeth if you know it’s safe. Be extra careful with kids.
- Check restaurants before drinking tap water – especially in rural areas. Ask first or look for signs.
- Drink bottled water if you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to traveler’s diarrhea. Why risk it?
- Try to keep a supply of bottled water handy while out sightseeing, just in case.
- Use bottled water for washing fruits/veggies and making ice cubes.
With a few basic precautions, drinking Montenegro’s tap water should not be a concern for your trip. The vast majority of the time it is perfectly safe thanks to high standards across the country. Exceptions exist in some rural spots or aging buildings, so check first and stick to bottled water in those cases. Otherwise, enjoy some refreshing water straight from the tap!
Check out our travel guides:
- Podgorica Travel Guide
- Kotor Travel Guide
- Tivat Travel Guide
- Cetinje Travel Guide
- Danilovgrad Travel Guide
- Things to do in Montenegro
Staying Hydrated in Montenegro’s Heat
The best time to visit Montenegro is in the summer, but temperatures quickly reach 100°F (38°C) so you need to stay hydrated. The sun beams strongly on the Adriatic coastline. All that heat and sunshine means it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Thankfully, it’s easy to keep your water intake high.
At hotels in Montenegro, bottled water is always available and often free in guest rooms. The same goes for breakfast where water, juice, and other beverages are served. If staying in a rental, stock up on bottled water. Grocery stores, cafes, and kiosks sell it for as little as €1 for a 1.5-liter bottle.
Order tap water (in Montenegrin “voda iz česme”) at restaurants if you know it’s safe. Or opt for bottled mineral water – gazirana (sparkling) or negazirana (flat). Juices, coffee, and tea also count towards hydration.
Fountains with drinking water are found around many Montenegrin towns and cities. Look for signs reading pitka voda or voda za piće. The water is usually safe, cold, and refreshing.
Stay hydrated when sightseeing by stopping to rest in shady spots—time outdoor activities like hiking for earlier or later when temperatures are more relaxed. Always bring plenty of water in your backpack.
Fruit stands offer nourishing hydration in the form of fresh oranges, watermelons, berries, and more. Or choose some creamy gelato for a cool treat.
If you’ll be exercising, estimate how much water you’ll need and drink steadily throughout. Dehydration symptoms like headache, dizziness, and nausea creep up fast in the heat. Locals know to take it slow during hot days.
Proper hydration gives you energy, prevents illness, and supports all your body’s functions. With Montenegro’s temperatures peaking in July and August, be sure to stay topped up with water to enjoy your trip safely and comfortably.
Water Safety in Montenegro for Families with Kids
Traveling through Montenegro with kids? You’ll want to take extra care with water safety. Here are some tips to keep children healthy:
- Children are more susceptible to waterborne illnesses. Always give kids bottled or filtered water in Montenegro.
- Check bathing water first. Lakes or rivers may harbor bacteria, parasites, chemicals, etc. If unsure, stick to pools.
- Kids’ skin is delicate. Use sunscreen and reapply often when playing in water. Limit time during peak sun hours.
- Watch kids closely in pools, beaches, tubs, etc. Actively supervise beginner swimmers.
- Inflatable wings or rings are fun but not safety devices. Weaker swimmers need approved life jackets.
- Verify pool depths and watch for sudden drop-offs in lakes. Kids can’t always judge distances.
- Ocean currents and waves can be deceptively strong. Set play limits away from piers or breakwaters.
- Mark kids’ cups and bottles with names. Prevent accidental sharing and illness spread.
- Keep small toys away from pools, tubs, and beaches. Don’t let kids run with them near water.
- After water play, towel the kids off thoroughly and dress them in dry clothes. Prevent chills.
- Ears are delicate after swimming. Tilt head to drain water then dry gently with a towel corner.
- Learn CPR. Calling emergency services may take precious minutes if a child is drowning.
- Teach kids to ask before going near ANY water. Even shallow depths pose a drowning risk.
With some common sense precautions, you can relax more and make great family memories of swimming, boating, and playing in Montenegro’s beautiful waters.
Is Tap Water for Drink in Montenegro?
Montenegro’s tap water is generally safe thanks to high infrastructure standards, especially in cities and tourist regions.
However, be cautious in rural areas or old buildings. Follow hotel guidance, look for signs of contamination, and keep bottled water handy when unsure. Stay hydrated in the warm climate with water, juice, and fruit.
And take extra care with kids around all water sources. With proper precautions, you can confidently enjoy Montenegro’s refreshing waters!