If you are traveling across Eastern Europe, or indeed the Balkans then there is no better way to enjoy the journey than by doing it by train (in our humble opinion). When we took a sideline away from the Eurasian Adventure Tour, on a mission for Pioneer Media with our task being one night in Podgorica before a one day race to Belgrade, the choice between a stuffy expensive bus and this epic train journey was an easy one.
Podgorica is the capital city of Europe’s second youngest country, Montenegro. The train was due to depart at 08.10 and arrive at 19.43, so almost 12 hours.
After around 3 hours, the Serbia/Montenegro customs and immigration starts inspection, which takes almost one and a half hours all told, another reason which makes the day option slightly more attractive than the night (it happens at 11 pm on the night train).
The train from Podgorica to Belgrade is operated by the Railways of Montenegro running on a twice a day schedule. It takes almost 12 hours to reach our destination, but we wouldn’t want to miss out on one of Europe’s most beautiful rail journeys.
If you take the night train, there are two classes. The first consists of beds while the second which are seats. During the day, there is only one class which are the 6-seat compartments.
The train tends not to be full, and we were lucky enough to have our cabin to ourselves.
- Windows that open, old school! Which meant being able to watch the train snake around corners as well as take awesome photos and videos.
- A restaurant cart – not the greatest array of food, but beer and amazingly ashtrays and being allowed to smoke right under the No Smoking sign!
- Random dudes strolling through the train with bags of stuff to sell. Nuff said.
- Western toilets!!! (only impressive if you are used to Chinese trains).
The night train might be the comfortable one, but it’s all about the day train if you want to see the views that make people refer to Montenegro as the pearl of the Balkans. Montenegro literally means “black mountains”, and you will get to see a lot of these as well as the rolling rivers that go all through the country, before enjoying snow-capped villages (depending on the time of the year), before you arrive at the best city in the Balkans, Belgrade!
Epic train journey! At under 12 hours, it is extremely manageable, smoking doesn’t have to be done as a covert operation, you can eat and drink, and the scenery is to die for. The best way to travel from Podgorica to Belgrade.