After picking up my backpack from the luggage belt I walked towards the exit of Podgorica Airport. I entered the airports entrance hall and now there were two things that I had to organize. First, get some cash and second, find transportation to the hostel in the city center of Podgorica. I booked one of the cheapest hostels that I could find online beforehand so that I had a place to go to on day one. I spotted a little information stand and asked the lady: Excuse me, what is the currency of Montenegro and do you probably also know the conversion rate to Euros? With a wide smile on her lips she answered: We also use Euros in Montenegro. I only thought: Oh my god, how embarrassing! I literally know nothing about this country! My stupidity definitely gave us a good laugh. After learning my first fact about Montenegro I asked her about public transportation to the city center. It turned out, that there's none and I had to take a taxi. The regular price would be 12 Euros and there were signs outside of the airport which tells you the fares.
Knowing that I had about 20 Euros in my pocket I decided to get cash later and walked outside to get a taxi. It only took a few minutes until a taxi showed up and I was on my way to the hostel. The ride was something else because the driver paid more attention to his phone than to the road. Furthermore, the best days of the taxi itself were also numbered which also meant that there was no seat belt on the passenger seat.
About 15 minutes later we arrived at the hostel. It was quite hard to find because it was simply a regular apartment in a multistory building. We actually only found it because there was a guy in front of the door who confirmed that it was in there. To my surprise, the price for the ride wasn't 12 Euros. The driver told me it was 13 Euros. I told him that I would know the fares and that the regular price would be 12 Euros. Thereupon he pretended not to understand me. So I gave him the 13 bucks which I would have done anyways to give him a small tip. I guess in that case the tip was already included in the price.
I got off the taxi and the guy at the front door asked me how much I paid for the ride. After telling him he was just saying: That's robbery! Normally it's 6 maybe 7 Euros. I was irritated and told him the lady at the airport also told me that it was 12 Euros and that there was even a sign with the fares which looks pretty official. He was upset about the price anyways and even wanted to report this fraud to the police. But I told him that he didn't need to do it because I thought the price was okay.
We talked for a bit and it turned out that he was working at the hostel so he escorted me upstairs. I checked in, dropped my stuff in the dorm, grabbed a free city map and my camera and started to explore Podgorica - the capitol of Montenegro.
There were not too many sights to visit in Podgorica. A slow one day walking tour is enough to see them all. The most significant ones are probably the Milenium Bridge, the Vladimir Vysotsky monument and the Cathedral of Resurrection of Christ.
I went to a restaurant which serves local dishes to get some dinner when it turned dark. The servers didn't speak any English which made it very difficult to ask for recommendations. But at least they had an English menu. I picked a mixed platter without knowing what exactly to expect. It turned out it was a meat platter. No side dish, only meat! Actually, there was kind of a side dish. There was a tiny pile of raw onions on the side. That was definitely an interesting culinary experience for me. Afraid of getting a heart attack by only eating meat I ordered a side salad to make it a well-rounded meal to me.
Back at the hostel I hung out with some other guys, had a beer, gathered information where to go next and called it a day.
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