The best things to do & see in Kotor Montenegro

Kotor is a medieval town located on the Adriatic coastline of Montenegro. Kotor is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site, but was also featured in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016. But it doesn’t stop there. The town is surrounded by picturesque mountains in the idyllic Kotor Bay area, named one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It’s easy to see why – it’s got the charm of the Norwegian fjords combined with year round mild temperatures of the Mediterranean.

Want to know more? Then discover the best things to do and see in Kotor!

Wander the streets of the Old Town

Things to do in Kotor

Before you start sightseeing in Kotor, I recommend just wandering the streets of the Old Town. Grab a map at your hotel or the tourist office and take in the atmosphere. Let the enchanting alleyways take you from one piazza to the next and admire the old stone buildings. If you want to slow things down, take a seat at one of the cute cafes. Enjoy an hour of people (or cat) watching while you sip on your drink.

Things to do in Kotor

If you want to beat the crowds and snap some pictures head out early in the morning or around evening time. Kotor is a popular cruise ship destination and if you have ever seen the size of one of those ships, you can imagine just how busy a small town can get with the arrival of a new ship.

Climb the City Walls of Kotor

Things to do in Kotor

The Old Town of Kotor is wonderfully charming and still has medieval city walls which you cannot just look at, but also climb. With a whopping 1350 stairs a climb might sound slightly daunting, but I promise you the views are absolutely worth it.

The walls have a total length of 4 km (2.5miles) and reach a maximum height of 260m (850feet). As you make your way to the top there are plenty of photo opportunities with spectacular views of the town. After 30 – 45 minutes you will reach the fortress of Saint Ivan at the top.

Tip: Do not wear flip flops or any other type of loose-fitting shoes. The path can be very busy and slippery at times, which may cause you to slide or fall if you’re not wearing appropriate footwear.

Entry fee: 3€ (pay once you get to the wall)

Visit the Market

Just a little to the right of the Sea Gate you can find Kotor’s outdoor market. The vendors offer a fantastic choice of fresh, local produce from fruit & vegetables to local cheese. Sample some homemade delicacies or shop for some local ingredients like dried porcini mushrooms. If you’re staying in self-catered accommodation, why not try and prepare a local dish with regional ingredients.

Go on a sightseeing tour of the Old Town

Things to do in Kotor

If you would like to know more about the history and architecture of Kotor, I highly recommend signing up for a walking tour of the Old Town with Kotor Private Tour Guide.

The walking tour lasts two hours and the company is very flexible in terms of times, so you can pick an itinerary that will suit you. The friendly and knowledgeable local guide will show you the highlights of Kotor, let you in to some of the area’s secrets and really bring your surroundings to life.

Price: 65€ (based on up to two people joining)

They also offer a number of other tours and excursions in the area.

Kayak the Bay of Kotor

Kayaking Kotor Bay

Kotor Bay has the ideal weather conditions for water sports almost all year round. So if you’re looking for an active day trip close to the Old Town – kayaking is the perfect choice.

Kotor Bay Tours offer a kayak rental service as well as guided tours. I chose to rent the kayak for an afternoon and explore the bay on by own. The company will provide you with a brief introduction, possible routes and a wet bag for your personal belongings if needed.

There are plenty of routes to choose from depending on your skill and fitness level, but with a spectacular setting like this you really can’t go wrong no matter which way you go.  The bay also has plenty of little secluded beaches that you can stop at and have a swim to cool you down or a picnic with a view.

Things to do in Kotor

The Bay of Kotor is home to oodles of maritime wildlife. During my kayaking trip in the bay I saw something poke its head out the water but I was too far away to see what it was. I was convinced it couldn’t have been a seal so I started doing some research and the locals told me that it could have been a turtle or a dolphin. A dolphin! I really wish I would have stuck around and taken a closer look. So make sure to keep your eyes peeled for maritime animals. Who knows, you might spot a dolphin.

Kotor Bay Tours are located just a short bus ride away. The buses run every half an hour and a ticket costs 1€ one way.

The price for the rental starts at 10€ per person for one hour or 25€ for a whole day. Even the guided tours are very affordable at 35€ per day including kayak and a local guide.

Where to stay in Kotor

I stayed at the Monte Cristo, a charming four star hotel in the heart of the Old Town of Kotor. The hotel offers double & studio rooms as well as apartments. Rooms start at 75€ per night during off-season. The rate includes a fresh and delicious breakfast buffet which you can enjoy on their charming outdoor terrace or inside the restaurant of the hotel.

The hotel only has eight rooms in total so book in plenty of time to avoid disappointment as they do fill up fast.

Budget-friendly accommodation

Kotor also offers some budget friendly accommodation if you’re travelling on a shoestring. The Old Town Hostel East Wing offers dorms from a very affordable 10€ per night and private rooms from 29€. The Old Town Hostel West Wing has similar prices and equally good reviews on Hostelworld. I have not personally stayed at or visited either of those hostels, so I cannot speak from experience.

Where to eat in Kotor

Sightseeing Kotor

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from in Kotor. Whether you want to sample some local fish and seafood or fancy a quick pizza, Kotor has just the right restaurant to match your taste and budget. I should mention that some of the places however are quite touristy and don’t necessarily represent the quality of food that is typical for the region.

The restaurant Trpeza is a great choice for a delicious dinner with fresh, local ingredients for a mid-range budget.

If you want to know more about the food in Kotor, check out my post: The Taste of: Kotor (Montenegro).

How to get to Kotor

Things to do in Kotor

There are a number of ways to get to Kotor, simply pick the one that is most suited to your style of travel and budget.

If you’re visiting Kotor as part of bigger trip itinerary across Europe or the Balkans and you would like to see other destinations close by, driving might be worth considering.

Both EasyJet and Ryanair offer budget flights to Montenegro from various starting points across Europe.

Easyjet:

Manchester or London Gatwick – Tivat: from March – October starting at 10,50€ one way

Geneva – Tivat: from July – September starting at 18,99€ one way

Ryanair:

Berlin Schönefeld or Brussels – Podgorica: from 16,99€ one way

London Stansted or Stockholm – Podgiroca: from 19,99€ one way

Tivat is only a short drive from Kotor, while Podgorica (the capital) is about one hour away.

You can also visit Kotor by ship, but I highly recommend staying in town for more than just a quick stopover.

The Tourist Office of Kotor hosted me during my stay, but as always all opinions are my own. For more information about Kotor, check out their website or contact them directly. 


Comments

  1. What a helpful guide, need to get myself over to Kotor! 🙂

  2. I had not heard of Kotor by now. Mediaval city walls, cobbled streets and ancient church. Its indeed an old world gem. Will definitely like to visit

  3. Love this medieval towns and your post brings such interesting suggestions of things to do. Is already pinned for future reference.

  4. Kotor looks amazing!! I love kayaking so I think that would be at the top of my list 🙂 Great list!

  5. I absolutely love exploring these ancient towns. So much character and history to discover!

  6. Looks beautiful there! I love that you said 1st and foremost you should just walk the old streets. I love asking my concierge or whomever, to mark where I “live” and then just tuck the map away and start walking to get lost. I only use the map then to find my way back home or at lunch see where I have been exploring and see what I missed.
    also 1350 stairs sounds like a hike but those mountain & fjord views!!

  7. We spent a week in the Bay of Kotor in August as part of a bigger trip to the Balkans, taking a bus from Mostar in Bosnia and then on to Shkoder in Albania.

    • globalbrunch Says: February 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Wow, how long did you spent in the area in total? I didn’t realise you could get from Mostar to Kotor by bus. That’s definitely something to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. I went to Kotor for a day-trip that was part of a cruise I went on and I absolutely loved it. Your article made me want to go back and do all the things I didn’t have the time to, especially the kayaking! I will definitely do that on my next trip there!!

    • globalbrunch Says: February 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      It’s definitely worth coming back to. They have so many cool outdoor activities on offer there. Would have loved to try the SUPing but I ran out of time.

  9. Beautiful photos! I’d love to explore the Balkans more. Do you happen to know if they have any of the “free” donation based tours there? 65 is a little steep for us budget travelers, hehe! But I absolutely loooove walking tours, I always do them wherever I go!

    • globalbrunch Says: February 18, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      I’m not sure if they have donation based tours in Kotor. The 65€ is for two people based on a two hour tour. With tourism booming in Kotor, I’m sure they have a variety of tours for all budgets and interests.

  10. wow beautiful photos! you have inspired me to visit this city! I love the old town feel and how you included the pricing for the entrance fee 🙂

    • globalbrunch Says: February 21, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks so much! So happy to hear that it has inspired you to visit Kotor. You definitely won’t be disappointed. 🙂

  11. Such a timely article. I am visiting Dubrovnik in May and plan to take some side trips. The town looks like a great place to explore on foot. I certainly will not miss that market. I will be bookmarking this post to revisit before my trip. Thanks.

  12. […] you want to read more about Kotor, check out The best things to do & see in Kotor  or learn more about the local cuisine: The Taste of: Kotor […]

  13. Did you see any dive shops in the area? The water in the kayak trip photo seems very transparent, and if there are dolphins, must be good place to dive?

  14. […] Old Town of Kotor is famous for many things, including its cat population. You can buy cat-themed souvenirs or even […]

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