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Why Is This the Most Popular Solo Travel Destination Right Now?

Thanks to TikTok, this once-undiscovered Balkan country is quickly becoming Europe’s hottest destination for solo travelers.

When planning a trip to the Balkans, chances are that Croatia is the first place that springs to mind. But just south of Dubrovnik is Montenegro, a quaint country that has remained relatively unknown in the United States—until now.

Montenegro is quickly becoming the go-to destination for a sunny getaway, particularly among solo travelers and backpackers keen to immerse themselves in the natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and terracotta rooftops of the Balkan country.

According to Expedia, U.S. searches for spring flights to Montenegro are up by 60% compared to 2022. Similarly, flight searches for summer trips are outpacing last year by 105%. Additionally, U.S. Google searches for “things to do in Montenegro” increased by 433% year-on-year, and the search term “travel Montenegro” is up 400%.

This dramatic increase in interest from travelers may be credited to social media, a source of inspiration for Gen-Z consumers who are looking to embark on a solo adventure, whether for the first time or the tenth. Over on TikTok, Montenegro dominates FYPs (the discovery “for you page”) and has been coined an “underrated” hotspot for those traveling alone.

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The #MontenegroTravel tag, which has received over 5.5 million views at the time of writing, is rife with adventurers sharing their travel tips and go-to activities through short-form video clips that showcase crystal clear waters and white, sandy beaches.

@sightsofsara Kotor, Montenegro 🇲🇪 have you ever been? #travel #europe #europetravel #travelvlog #livingabroad #solofemaletraveler #montenegro #travel #explore ♬ Epic Music(863502) – Draganov89

“One of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited Is the highly underrated city of Kotor, Montenegro,” TikTok creator @sightsofsara begins. The clip, shared with Sara’s 1.5 million TikTok followers, showcases the charm and beauty of the 2,000-year-old city.

Meanwhile, creator @coconutsandcamels shared a video of one of Montenegro’s “hidden gems,” the Black Lake in Zabljak, Durmitor National Park.

@coconutsandcamels Hidden gem of Montenegro 🇲🇪 location details below 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼#montenegro 📍Crno Jezero / the Black Lake in Zabljak, Durmitor National Park 💙#blacklake #crnojezero #durmitornationalpark #durmitor #montenegro🇲🇪 #montenegrowildbeauty #montenegrotiktok #montenegrotravel ♬ Lovely – Vicline

Bar and Kotor

“Montenegro, you’re so beautiful,” 24-year-old Micah Hall captioned a video on her 23.4K-stong TikTok page. Hall embarked on a five-month solo trip around Europe in April 2022 and visited Montenegro “on a whim” after backpacking in Albania. Her first port of call in Montenegro was Ulcinj, and she explored other cities such as Zabljak, Bar, and Kotor.

“I would 100% recommend Montenegro as a solo traveler. It was so easy to meet people,” Canada native Hall said of her trip, encouraging other travelers to head to the country.

Andriana Syvanych/Shutterstock

“Montenegro is underrated because no one really knows about it and how much it has to offer,” she explains. “Everyone goes to Croatia, but at this point, in my opinion, it’s over-priced, overrated, and full of tourists. You can still find local spots in Montenegro—it’s still authentic. The people are so friendly and so happy to see visitors enjoying their country.”

Hall stayed in hostels throughout her time in Montenegro, the go-to accommodation for many backpackers and those traveling on a tight budget. She says that one accommodation, The Grove, located in the town of Stari Bar, is her favorite hostel “maybe ever.” She noted that Montenegro was “more affordable” than other countries she had previously visited, such as Spain and Italy, so she’s surprised that more people don’t “know about it.”

What to Do

A destination for both thrill seekers and nature lovers, Hall says that you could stay in Montenegro “for weeks or months and never run out of things to do,” explaining that the recreational activities are “very varied.”

“If you’re looking to hike, head up North to Durmitor,” she recommends. “Up for a challenge? Hike the highest peak in Montenegro: Bobotuv Kuk. If you’re a partier, you’ll want to visit Kotor for the nightlife.”

Montenegro has a lot going on to keep visitors busy every day of the year, but the bigger events pique travelers’ interests. According to SEMrush, U.S. Google searches for “Montenegro events” have increased by a whopping 1,000% since Dec. 2021.


The Kotor Winter Festival is a traditional event that takes place annually from late February through early March. Towards the end of August, the Sea Dance Festival sees Balkan and international artists head to Budva’s Bujlarica Beach for three days of music and culture. Previous performers include Rudimental, John Newman, and Sean Paul.

While she has no concrete plans to head back to Montenegro right now, Hall hopes to return to Montenegro next summer.

“I’m looking at going to grad school next fall somewhere in Europe and would love to head to Montenegro before school starts.”

Nila Marino, 26, lives in South Africa. She visited Montenegro for the first time in October 2022, documenting her trip on her popular TikTok account, @nila.marino.

“Montenegro is underrated, in my opinion, and I think that’s because many people still haven’t visited it,” she says. “[They] don’t know how special it is.”

Marino has been traveling alone since she was 19. While in Montenegro, she stayed in a co-working house for digital nomads. She describes the country as one of the best places she has ever visited.

“Montenegro is very different from other European countries I have been to. The nature all around the country is stunning, and there are many hidden gems,” she explains. It’s not for someone who is looking for a big-city vibe. All the cities I visited there, including Kotor, Tivat, and Podgorica, had beautiful old towns, and in general, the country is very green and mountainous.”

Visa-Free Visits for up to 90 Days

Travelers visiting Montenegro on a valid U.S. passport can enjoy visa-free travel for up to 90 days. The same rules apply to those with a British passport.

“Although I wasn’t there in peak season, it’s really not as touristy as some other European countries,” she notes. “This is wonderful, but I’m sure more people are discovering it now, especially since Brexit [after Brexit, British travelers lost the right to travel more freely throughout countries in the European Union, and Montenegro is not currently a member of the EU].”

Most of the travelers we spoke to for this story showcasing the country across TikTok are solo female travelers. Both Hall and Marino said they felt safe traveling alone but were sure to practice caution and be aware of their surroundings—something that should be done in every destination you visit, solo or otherwise.

Konstantin Yolshin/Shutterstock

“According to the data of the ‘Guest Survey’ conducted by the National Tourist Organization of Montenegro in 2017, 12.8 percent of tourists traveled alone, but considering the change in tourist behavior after the pandemic and the growing number of individual guests, that percentage is significantly higher,” says Vuk Djukic, Strategic Planning, Market Research & Statistics at the National Tourist Organization of Montenegro.

As we approach summer 2023, many people are considering their summer vacations. Thanks to TikTok, social media-influenced travel will only continue to rise as keen explorers pick up their cell phones and document their trips through bitesize clips.

No matter your travel style, whether you’re traveling solo or are vacationing as a group, there’s one thing for sure; Montenegro may not have been at the top of your Balkan wish list, but it’s certainly not one to be missed.