Why does Montenegro use the Euro?

Does Montenegro use the Euro? Yes, even though it does not have a formal agreement giving it “permission” to do so.

So does it use the currency legally? Erm, yes and no. It’s complicated!

Euro notes and coins in the present day

Montenegro extensively incorporates the euro into daily transactions. However, it is not a formal member of the Eurozone. Nor does it have the Euro as its official currency. Incredibly, the country lacks a formal monetary agreement with the EU as well.

Even without legal tender status, businesses in Montenegro accept Euros for all purchases. This means you can use them while on holiday for dining in restaurants, enjoying coffee, buying souvenirs, and more. Essentially, the Euro functions seamlessly as a medium of exchange for transactions throughout Montenegro.

Montenegro opted to embrace the Euro unilaterally, effectively making it their de facto currency for practical purposes. They have a significant influx of tourists who often arrive with Euros in hand, having travelled various European destinations, so Montenegro finds it more convenient to align with a currency widely accepted across neighbouring countries.

While this tiny nation actually had its own currency (the Montenegrin Perper) from 1906 to 1918, Montenegro has mostly used foreign currencies throughout the rest of its long history. These being Roman, Austro-Hungarian, Turkish, Venetian, and even the Napoleon (French gold coin) money. Montenegro, being a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, used the Yugoslav Dinar as its currency after World War II until 1999.

In late 1999, authorities introduced a dual currency system consisting of the German Deutsche Mark and the Yugoslav Dinar to protect the Montenegrin economy from the shockwaves experienced during the hyperinflation of the 90s and the collapse of the Dinar. Then, in 2001, the German Mark became the only legal tender.

Following the introduction of the Euro, the German Mark was replaced, and the Euro became the official means of payment to this day.

Travelling in Montenegro

Here are the different forms of payment you can use in Montenegro:

  • Prepaid travel cards: With these cards you can load them with how much you would like to use. They can give you the security and convenience you may need when travelling.
  • Credit and debit cards: Visa, Mastercard and many debit cards are accepted in Montenegro, especially when in touristy areas.
  • Cash: we would suggest having a small amount of euros in cash on you when travelling as this can certainly help when leaving tips or making smaller purchases.