Kotor Guides

Guide to Kotor

How long should I go for?

Kotor is very pretty but it’s also quite small so two nights there would be the ideal amount of time, as it would give you a full day. This would give you enough time to hit all the main sites and see the best of Kotor. If you wanted to stay longer, there are a few good day trips you can do from Kotor, but two nights would be ideal if you’re planning on staying in town.

Getting there

Kotor doesn’t have a train station, so a bus would be the best way of getting there. There are direct buses to Podgorica in Montenegro, Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Mostar in Bosnia and Tirana and a few other locations in Albania.

Things to do in Kotor

Kotor-Boat-trip-Blue-Cave-Tour

Our Lady of the Rocks and Blue Cave

Possibly the best way to spend a morning in Kotor is to take a boat trip around the bay. There are plenty available, heading all over the bay of Kotor, but we’d recommend taking one that gets you to both Our Lady of the Rocks and the Blue Cave. Our Lady of the Rocks is a tiny artificial island, created by sinking old ships, on top of which is a 15th Century church and a museum. The church itself is stunning, but from a distance, the island isn’t visible, giving the illusion that the church is floating on the lake. The blue cave is another must-see spot around the bay. It gets its name from the colour of the sun reflecting off the water, turning the whole cave blue. This is even clearer when you’re under the water, making it the perfect place for snorkelling.

Balkans small group tours

Take a hike!

Kotor sits nicely underneath a small mountain with a hiking train. On top of the mountain is Kotor’s old fortress, which offers a stunning view over the town and the bay below. It’s not a particularly challenging hike, so you don’t need to be in peak physical condition to do it, and you’ll make it to the top within an hour or two. This is worth doing though whatever your hiking ability, simply for the breath-taking view from the fortress. There is one main path all the way up, where you’ll be charged a couple of euros halfway, but if you take the back route, you can get there for free. On the backway, you’ll pass an old house, where a friendly old couple live, who sell drinks from their fridge. Their garden offers a teaser of the view from the fortress, making this the perfect place to stop for a drink on your way up.

Balkans small group tours

Kotor Old Town

Kotor’s old town is a throwback to the town’s ancient Venetian routes. The high walls surrounding the city and the cobbled streets give the old town a very Game of Thrones feel, just without the crowds you get in nearby Dubrovnik. The narrow streets are lined with bars, cafés, restaurants and much more, making the old town a great place to wander, with several old squares and churches scattered around within the old city walls. During the day it makes for a great place to walk around and soak in the atmosphere, but it’s also the best place to head to for food and drink in the evenings.

Kotor Culture Guide

Food

Montenegrin delicacies differ greatly from the rest of the Balkans. The small town of Njeguski is renowned for procuring its own prosciutto, one of Montenegro’s most popular signature dishes. It can be served on its own with a local cheese, or with a Njeguski steak if you're feeling fancy. In Kotor you’ll also be spoiled for choice when it comes to seafood. The most popular, and uniquely Montenegrin, is probably Buzara. This consists of freshly caught prawns, shrimps and shellfish, cooked in a wine, tomato and herb sauce, perfect on a summer evening by the coast.

History

Many of Kotor's remaining historical sites date back to the Venetian Empire. Following the Second World War, Montenegro became part of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. When Yugoslavia broke up, Kotor was largely unaffected by the fighting and thankfully, the beautiful old town remains intact. Montenegro gained independence in 2007, although interestingly, less than half of Kotor’s population identify as being ethnically Montenegrin, with many identifying as being Serbian or Croatian. There aren’t any hostile feelings between people there -just be aware of it when talking to locals.

Nightlife

For a town this small, Kotor’s nightlife is impressively good. The old town is littered with cosy little bars, making it very easy to bar hop without having to travel too far. Kotor is also home to the (relatively) famous Klub Maximus. With a capacity of 4000, Maximus is actually big enough to host a third of the entire town’s population and is way better than any club should be in a town that size. There are also several pub crawls available, the most popular being only 3 euros and starting every night at 10 pm at the Montenegro Hostel B&B.

Free Walking Tour

Due to its size, there is only one free walking tour available in Kotor. It starts every day at the Montenegro Hostel B&B in the old town. It usually starts at 11:30 am and lasts around an hour, but this may change so check what time it starts when you book it.

Trips including Kotor

Group Tours including Kotor