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17 Lovely Issues To Do In Kotor, Montenegro


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The city of Kotor, Montenegro will stun you from the second you first see it. Nestled within the Bay of Kotor and surrounded by mountains, this city has a historical past courting again greater than 2,000 years and is achingly stunning from each angle. And there are such a lot of issues to do in Kotor!

I first visited Kotor greater than a decade in the past and fell in love exhausting and quick. I nonetheless suppose it’s some of the attractive locations I’ve ever visited, the stone city set in a fjord on the sleek inexperienced Bay of Kotor, surrounded by inexperienced mountains in each course.

Since that first journey, I’ve returned to Montenegro a number of extra occasions and have witnessed Kotor develop from an offbeat journey vacation spot to a serious hotspot on the Adriatic Sea.

Kotor is by far probably the most visited place in Montenegro, thanks partially to a latest inflow of cruise ship guests. Nonetheless, there’s a lot to expertise in Kotor and the encircling space {that a} one-day go to on a cruise doesn’t REMOTELY do it justice!

Kotor is a vacation spot to be savored. Watching the dawn over the Bay of Kotor after mountaineering to the highest of San Giovanni Fortress, wandering the traditional streets of the Previous City, sampling native prosciutto and cheeses, taking a ship journey to close by Perast and the Blue Cave, and driving the hairpin turns of the Kotor Serpentine are just some highlights of visiting this gorgeous vacation spot.

Let me present you one of the best issues to do in Kotor, Montenegro. You’re by no means going to neglect this journey!

This put up was printed in January 2024 and was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Dale Individuals.

Kate takes a selfie at sunrise in front of the Bay of Kotor
Even in case you’re not a morning individual, you’ll love getting up in Kotor Montenegro!

Issues to Do in Kotor, Montenegro

Climb to San Giovanni Fortress

Far and away, that is my favourite factor to do in Kotor — and I like to recommend you make this a excessive precedence. San Giovanni Fortress sits excessive above Kotor, offering gorgeous views of the Previous City and the Bay of Kotor.

This isn’t a technically difficult hike, however it does embody greater than 1,350 stairs. Give your self at the least 90 minutes to 2 hours for this exercise, not together with the time you’ll need to spend on the high snapping images. 

One of the best time to do that hike is very first thing within the morning for cool temperatures, no crowds, and exquisite mild throughout the bay. And by very first thing within the morning, I imply round 5:30-6:30 AM. (It’s not my typical factor to rise up that early, however it’s so value it right here.)

Undoubtedly keep away from this hike in mid-day, when it’s scorching and the solar is punishingly robust, and within the late afternoon, when the bay is stuffed with shadows.

Admission to the mountaineering path prices 8 EUR ($8.50 USD), however right here’s a tip: in case you go early within the morning, there might not be anybody on the gate to gather your cash. 

People walking through an old town of stone buildings with green shutters, including a big square clock tower.
Kotor’s outdated city is made for wandering!

Wander by way of Kotor’s Stari Grad (Previous City) 

The most effective issues to do in Kotor is to easily wander by way of Stari Grad, or the Previous City. You may discover the historic buildings and quaint streets by yourself, or e-book a Kotor strolling tour to study the historic context of this fascinating area.

This can be a highly-rated group strolling tour of Kotor, or you’ll be able to e-book a personal tour. Up for some native delicacies? This non-public strolling tour of Kotor additionally features a native meat and cheese tasting.

Don’t neglect to go to St. Nicholas’s Church and St. Tryphon’s Cathedral, two of the prettiest church buildings on the town.

One other the most effective issues to do in Kotor is stroll town partitions. Whereas these partitions aren’t as intensive as Dubrovnik’s, they don’t cost Dubrovnik costs (a wild 35 EUR)! In Kotor, it’s solely 8 EUR ($8.50 USD) to stroll the Metropolis Partitions from 8:00 AM-8:00 PM (and you may go to without cost outdoors of those hours).

Tourists buying fruit from a market in Kotor, Montenegro.
The market in Kotor Montenegro, through isparklinglife on Shutterstock.

Discover the Previous City Market

Kotor’s Previous City Market operates daily year-round, however it’s most energetic on Saturday mornings. Situated proper on the gates of the Previous City, this can be a excellent place to cease and purchase some native fruits, greens, meats, and cheeses.

Cease right here to choose up snacks or picnic provides for the day forward, or seize a bottle of native Montenegrin Vranac wine. (I do know, you’ve in all probability by no means had Montenegrin wine, however they make some great things right here!)

A stone building with an awning reading Cat Museum with several black cats on it.
Kotor Cats Museum in Kotor Montenegro, through Okunin on Shutterstock.

Go to the Kotor Cats Museum

One of many quirkiest issues about Kotor is the free-roaming cats you’ll see all through the Previous City. The cats are so ubiquitous that they’ve mainly develop into the image of Kotor. If you happen to’re a cat lover like me, you’ll love this!

The Kotor Cats Museum is an eccentric little assortment devoted to cat artwork and memorabilia all through historical past, with art work and artifacts courting again to the sixteenth century.

Admission is simply 1 EUR ($1 USD), and a part of the ticket proceeds are used to look after Kotor’s many stray cats. If it’s inside your means, I like to recommend making a donation to Kotor Kitties, which does loads of good work.

Beautiful model ships behind plate glass in a maritime museum.
The Maritime Museum in Kotor Montenegro, through Elena11 on Shutterstock.

Go to the Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum is one other fascinating museum in Kotor that’s value a go to. Situated in a historic palace within the Previous City, the Maritime Museum presents a formidable assortment of artifacts associated to the Bay of Kotor’s nautical historical past.

You may see mannequin ships, weapons, and displays on the maritime historical past of Kotor all through the centuries.

Admission to the Maritime Museum is 4 EUR ($4 USD).

A boat and people swimming in the bright blue water in a cave.
The Blue Collapse Montenegro, through Mike_O on Shutterstock.

Take a ship tour to the Blue Cave

An exercise you’ll be able to’t miss? Going for a swim within the Blue Cave. This can be a fashionable day journey from Kotor. The Blue Cave, also called the Blue Grotto, is a coastal cave accessible solely from the water.

When the sunshine hits the water at a sure time of day, it illuminates it with a vibrant blue glow. (Observe that that is totally different from the Blue Collapse Croatia, which is situated on the island of Vis.)

This three-hour boat tour visits the Blue Cave with ample time for swimming and snorkeling. You’ll additionally go to a number of different spots within the Bay of Kotor, together with Mamula Island, the submarine tunnel, and Our Woman of the Rocks.

(Remember the fact that that is weather-dependent. I missed an opportunity to go to the Blue Cave as a result of the wind was too robust and waves have been too excessive.)

If you wish to go to the Blue Cave independently, you’ll want your individual car. You may drive to Igalo, one hour from Kotor, and catch a 5 EUR ($5 USD) boat from the seaside to the Blue Cave.

A hearty plate of charcuterie, cheeses, nuts, and grapes, next to two glasses of rose wine.
Montenegrin tapas and wine — undoubtedly value making an attempt!

Go on a meals tour

Montenegrin delicacies is wealthy and hearty. It’s distinctly Balkan, however it additionally has influences from Italian, Greek, and Turkish delicacies. You may uncover the meals and drinks of Montenegro on this highly-rated Kotor meals tour.

For 3 hours, you’ll uncover the Previous City of Kotor as you pattern Montenegrin delicacies, together with smoky prosciutto, cheeses, recent native seafood, Montenegrin wine, and extra.

You’ll additionally study Montenegro’s historical past as you cease on the Previous City Market, St. Tryphon’s Cathedral, and different vital locations in Kotor.

A small, rocky beach on the edge of the calm, Green Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, a giant cruise ship passing by.
Kotor’s tiny seaside, through Smolll on Shutterstock.

Loosen up at Kotor Seashore

Only a 10-minute stroll from Kotor’s Previous City is Kotor Seashore. I’ll be sincere, although — this seaside shouldn’t be a lot to have a look at. Whereas it’s small and never the most effective seashores in Montenegro, it’s the closest seaside to Kotor. With a small pebbled stretch of shore, this seaside can get very crowded through the summer season months.

It’s a great place for swimming or sunbathing close to Kotor, however you will discover significantly better seashores alongside the Budva Riviera, a few 30-minute drive from Kotor. From Budva heading south, there are many way more gorgeous seashores.

No less than that IS a seaside, although. Head down the street to Perast and the “seashores” are cement platforms!

Two people kayaking in the calm Bay of Kotor, white stone buildings with orange roofs on the shore behind them, and mountains rising up in the distance.
The Bay of Kotor is a shocking backdrop for kayaking.

Go kayaking or paddleboarding

Kotor Bay, also called Boka Kotorska in Montenegrin, is ideal for kayaking or paddleboarding. Because it’s a sheltered bay with solely a small opening from the Adriatic Sea, the water right here is normally calm and nonetheless.

This three-hour kayaking tour will help you discover the great thing about the bay by kayak, whereas this paddleboarding tour features a lesson that can have you ever standing up and paddling your board by way of the bay like a professional very quickly.

A view of Perast, a small town of small buildings with orange roofs, one bell tower sticking up, set on a peaceful calm bay and surrounded by mountains.
How will you not fall in love with Perast?

Go to Perast and Our Woman of the Rocks

One of the charming cities in Montenegro is the tiny village of Perast. I lately spent 4 days based mostly in Perast, however this city additionally makes the proper day journey from Kotor.

Perast may be very small — you’ll be able to stroll the city from finish to finish in about 20 minutes. The waterfront is lined with cafes, eating places, and ice cream retailers. From the harbor, you’ll be able to see two tiny close by islands — Our Woman of the Rocks and Saint George.

The most well-liked exercise in Perast is visiting Our Woman of the Rocks, a tiny synthetic island within the Bay of Kotor that’s dwelling to a blue-domed church. You may be part of a tour from Kotor (this boat tour stops in Perast and Our Woman of the Rocks, whereas this boat tour additionally consists of the Blue Cave), or go to Perast independently.

Quite a few tour operators provide boat rides to the island from Perast for 5-10 EUR ($5-11 USD.) You’ll have time to cease and go to Our Woman of the Rocks and go by Saint George (it’s a personal monastery and never open to the general public).

To get to Perast from Kotor, you’ll be able to take the Blue Line bus, which runs hourly (and each two hours on Sundays). It’s a few 30-minute journey, and tickets are 1.50 EUR ($1.60 USD).

In case you have your individual car, you’ll be able to drive to Perast. A lot of the parking tons offers you free parking in case you purchase a ticket to Our Woman of the Rocks by way of them, although know that in the summertime the parking tons are sometimes full. I met some vacationers who parked without cost far down the primary street and walked.

Learn Extra: A Detailed Information to Perast, Montenegro

A bright pink and yellow sunset over the island of Sveti Stefan, just off the coast of Montenegro.
Sveti Stefan at sundown

Go to Budva and Sveti Stefan

If you happen to’re in search of one of the best seashores close to Kotor, head to Budva. This vigorous city on the Adriatic Sea has some Miami vibes with its lengthy seashores, tall condominium buildings, and massive nightlife scene.

Budva has among the finest seashores in Montenegro, with sandy shores and crystal-clear turquoise waters. And Budva’s medieval outdated city is value a go to as properly. It’s a little bit of a “child Dubrovnik” with a walled metropolis and orange-roofed buildings — very stunning, however on a smaller scale than the favored Croatian vacation spot.

In case you have time, Sveti Stefan is value visiting, if solely to benefit from the view of the attractive island within the sea! (The island is definitely a resort that’s closed to outsiders, and is being renovated on the time of publication.) There are seashores on the town to take pleasure in, however keep away from the costly seashores owned by the resort.

You may go to these cities by tour, this can be a nice tour choice from Kotor that brings you to each Budva and Sveti Stefan.

To get to Budva from Kotor, bus tickets are 4 EUR ($4 USD) and take about 40 minutes. Sveti Stefan is only a bit additional. Budva is a 30-minute drive from Kotor, although remember that visitors might be bumper-to-bumper within the busy summer season months.

Kate standing on a wooden dock on a still lake reflecting mountains, surrounded by wooden boats and bright kayaks.
I beloved getting to go to Black Lake at Durmitor Nationwide Park!

Go to Durmitor Nationwide Park

Whereas Montenegro is likely one of the most stunning international locations on this planet, it’s not all in regards to the Bay of Kotor — there’s additionally Durmitor Nationwide Park. In case you have time to go to solely one in every of Montenegro’s 5 nationwide parks, this needs to be it.

Situated within the northwestern a part of the nation, about 3.5 hours from Kotor, it’s potential to go to Durmitor Nationwide Park on a day journey. (That stated, I believe that when you have the time, you must spend two nights in the primary city of Žabljak so you’ll be able to take pleasure in a full day within the park.)

One of the best factor to do in Durmitor Nationwide Park? Rafting in Tara Canyon! You’ll go the sort of surroundings that makes you gasp in surprise. That is the second-deepest on this planet after the Grand Canyon. Rafting is at its wildest in late spring and early summer season; journeys are a lot calmer in the direction of August and past.

This tour from Kotor consists of a lot of Durmitor Nationwide Park, together with Black Lake, Tara Canyon, and even a cease by the very cool Ostrog Monastery — although no rafting.

Need to go rafting? This rafting tour takes you straight from Kotor and consists of breakfast and lunch.

You too can do that journey by rental automotive. It’s a few 3.5 hour drive, however remember that the roads up within the mountains are small and winding. It’s not like Croatia the place you’ve extensive, clean highways. And sadly there’s not a day-trippable journey by public transportation.

A mausoleum perched on top of a mountain in Montenegro.
The well-known mausoleum in Lovcen Nationwide Park, through nadtochiy on Shutterstock.

Go Off the Overwhelmed Path on the Nice Montenegro Tour

The Nice Montenegro Tour is an exercise I extremely suggest as a result of it features a LOT of cool spots most excursions don’t get to in a single day. In case you have restricted time in Kotor, the Nice Montenegro Tour is a superb solution to get an summary of this compact and exquisite nation.

Starting in Kotor, this full-day tour will take you to Lovcen Nationwide Park, the historic village of Njegusi (well-known for its prosciutto), the outdated capital of Cetinje, scenic Lake Skadar, and picture-perfect Sveti Stefan.

Though it’s an extended day (the tour lasts 11 hours), I believe this tour is superb worth for cash, particularly in case you’re quick on time. You’ll have the ability to go to a number of lesser-visited components of Montenegro in a single fell swoop.

You may e-book the tour right here.

A wooden dock on a calm teal lake surrounded by mountains and forest.
An extremely calm day in Biogradska Gora, Montenegro.

Go to Skadar Lake and Biogradska Gora

Skadar Lake and Biogradska Gora are two of probably the most stunning locations in Montenegro — but they obtain solely a fraction of the vacationers of the Bay of Kotor or Durmitor Nationwide Park. Situated within the southern and jap components of the nation, these two charming areas of pure magnificence make an excellent day journey from Kotor.

This full-day tour visits scenic Skadar Lake, located on the border between Montenegro and Albania, and Biogradska Gora, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the final remaining virgin forest in Europe.

You may e-book the tour right here. If visiting independently, Biogradska Gore is a three-hour drive from Kotor, and Skadar Lake is a slight detour on the way in which again.

A luxurious pool protruding out above the ocean in Montenegro.
A enjoyable day at Buddha-Bar Seashore in Tivat! Through Shutterstock.

Go to Tivat

Tivat is extra than simply the airport — that is the place you’ll be able to expertise the ultra-glitzy facet of journey in Montenegro. The waterfront space of Porto Montenegro in Tivat is the place you’ll discover high-end purchasing, stylish eating places and bars, luxurious resorts, and modern yachts docked within the harbor.

Cease at Buddha-Bar Seashore, a classy restaurant and seaside membership close to the marina, or go window purchasing at Bvlgari, Dior, Rolex, and different luxurious boutiques.

Tivat is a 20-minute drive from Kotor, or you’ll be able to take the Blue Line bus, which runs hourly (and each two hours on Sundays). Tickets are 1.50 EUR ($1.60 USD).

A long, squiggly road inching up a steep mountain.
The switchbackey Kotor Serpentine close to Kotor Montenegro, through Shutterstock.

Drive or Bike the Kotor Serpentine

There’s no higher method to absorb views of the Bay of Kotor than by driving or biking the Kotor Serpentine. This winding, scenic street made up of 25 switchbacks presents breathtaking views wanting down over the bay.

Driving from Kotor, it takes about 40 minutes to succeed in the highest viewpoint of the Kotor Serpentine. Whereas the hairpin turns might be harrowing, the street is in good situation. Count on heavier visitors through the summer season months.

If you happen to’re up for an journey, this panoramic downhill biking tour is one other solution to expertise the Kotor Serpentine. Now that’s an journey!

A dark green jeep parked on the side of the road in Montenegro.
Jeep in Tivat close to Kotor Montenegro, through Dmitrii Pridannikov on Shutterstock.

Go on a Jeep tour 

Take an exhilarating off-path drive to expertise among the finest surroundings close to Kotor on this three-hour Jeep tour. It’s an effective way to discover the world round Kotor in case you don’t have your individual car. You’ll drive on a coastal monitor to the stone village of Gornji Stoliv.

Within the village, you’ll take a strolling tour and meet among the locals earlier than having fun with scrumptious native fare, together with prosciutto, cheese, olives, and selfmade bread.

Orange roofs of Kotor against a gray-green mountain backdrop at dawn.

How a lot time to spend in Kotor

How a lot time do you want in Kotor? If you happen to’re simply visiting to see the sights, you’ll be able to see them multi function to 2 days. However you’ll be able to simply use Kotor as a base for visiting different components of Montenegro, and for that purpose, you’ll be able to keep right here for a number of days or perhaps a week!

Lots of people go to Kotor as a day journey to Montenegro from Dubrovnik, however I counsel towards doing this, until you actually need to do that and don’t have greater than a day free. Site visitors from Dubrovnik to Kotor is terrible within the busy summer season months, and you’ll in all probability spend loads of time ready in line at immigration — twice.

Spending a number of days in Kotor is the easiest way to essentially soak on this beautiful vacation spot. Belief me, you gained’t remorse spending additional time right here.

An enormous cruise ship docking near the old town of Kotor.
No matter you do, PLEASE don’t come to Kotor by cruise ship.

Methods to get to Kotor

How do you get to Kotor, Montenegro? It relies on the place you’re coming from. The closest airport to Kotor is in Tivat, a 20-minute drive away. From right here a taxi to Kotor will value round 20 EUR ($21.25 USD).

An alternative choice is to fly into the capital of Podgorica, Montenegro, which is 1 hour and 40 minutes from Kotor. (No must linger in Podgorica — different locations in Montenegro are significantly better.) From right here you may get a taxi to Kotor (it needs to be round 75 EUR, or $80 USD), or a taxi to the bus station and a bus to Kotor (2 hours, 8 EUR or $8.50 USD).

Many vacationers additionally arrive in Kotor through Dubrovnik, Croatia. Montenegro is usually a coda to an extended Croatia journey. If you happen to’re coming from Dubrovnik by automotive, it’s about 2-hour drive, although. You may e-book a personal switch beginning at round 130 EUR ($138 USD), or take the bus with Croatia Bus (two hours, 25 EUR or $27 USD).

Sadly, there are not any ride-hailing or ride-sharing apps in Montenegro, so your solely choices are rental automobiles, taxis, non-public transfers, and buses. What’s worse is that taxis can and do jack up their charges through the busy summer season months.

The Blue Line Bus runs from Kotor in each instructions. There’s additionally the hop-on-hop-off bus in Montenegro, which runs from Kotor to Risan through Perast. It prices 25 EUR ($27) for twenty-four hours, which I believe is a bit extreme, however is likely to be value it if you wish to keep away from each taxis and public buses.

A narrow alleyway in the old town of Kotor, buildings and ground made of stone, with a line of white laundry hanging overhead.
Keep within the outdated city of Kotor and this is likely to be what you see if you stroll outdoors!

The place to Keep in Kotor, Montenegro

Staying within the outdated city or a brief stroll from it offers you one of the best expertise in Kotor. Whereas Kotor is likely one of the costliest locations to remain in Montenegro, it’s value the additional value to base your self right here for the comfort.

Like many locations within the Balkans, residences and guesthouses are usually the norm in Montenegro quite than resorts. Nonetheless, since Kotor is such a preferred vacation spot, you’ll discover quite a lot of resorts too.

Listed here are the top-rated locations to remain in Kotor’s outdated city:

Kotor's twin church towers against a mountainous backdrop.

Greatest Time to Go to Kotor

You is likely to be stunned by one of the best time of 12 months to go to Kotor. Whereas I really feel just like the Bay of Kotor and Montenegro as a complete are a quintessential summer season vacation spot, the height months of July and August are extremely scorching and crowded. Greater costs, summer season visitors, and hordes of cruise ship vacationers descending on Kotor are what you’ll encounter in July and August.

If you wish to go to Kotor through the summer season, early to mid-June and mid-September to early October are one of the best occasions to focus on. That is nonetheless peak season, however it’s not as crowded or costly as July and August. Remember the fact that if you wish to swim within the Bay of Kotor or the Adriatic Sea, the water will probably be hotter on the finish of summer season.

If heat summer season climate isn’t as vital to you, I like to recommend visiting Kotor within the shoulder season. April, Could, and October are nice months for visiting Kotor with few crowds, decrease costs, and delicate, cool climate.

Throughout late March and April, you’ll be able to expertise Camellia Days, a spring competition in Kotor. Searock Competition is a low-key music competition held within the Previous City over the past weekend of July. In close by Perast, the Worldwide Klapa Competition is an acapella competition held each September.

Morning at the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, orange roofs and a bright blue sky

Is Kotor Value It?

Not solely is Kotor value it, Kotor is value far more time than most individuals give it! So sure, my expensive readers, you must go to Kotor, Montenegro.

However don’t simply go for a day journey from Dubrovnik. Keep in Kotor for a number of days, at the least. Hike as much as San Giovanni at dawn. Stroll alongside the bay. Strive the Montenegrin wines. Give like to the kitties.

And don’t neglect to marvel on the scintillating panorama, asking your self the way you ever obtained so fortunate to go to a spot like this.

Extra on Montenegro:

Extra Fairly Cities on the Adriatic Coast:

Extra on the Balkans:

Have you ever been to Kotor Montenegro? Any suggestions? Share away!