A mountainous showstopper by the Adriatic Sea, many say that a trip to Montenegro is not complete without a visit to Kotor. A rising star on the Balkan peninsula, you’ll find simplicity and natural beauty here.
Kotor is home to spectacular mountains, breathtaking landscapes and picturesque coastal towns. It’s the perfect place to get away from daily stresses and get back in touch with all that nature has to offer.
Although Kotor is a small city in Montenegro, I highly recommend that you plan to visit for a day or two. It is a perfect stopover if you’re traveling between Dubrovnik in Croatia and Tirana in Albania, and it is a quick and affordable day trip if you’re nearby.
Here’s my experience taking a day trip to Kotor and Budva in Montenegro!
To get to Kotor, you have three options; you can fly from Malaysia/Singapore/Asia to Dubrovnik and drive to Kotor, take a bus from nearby cities (including Mostar in Bosnia, Skopje in Macedonia and Tirana in Albania) or take a guided day trip tour from Dubrovnik. The two most popular options are to drive from Dubrovnik or take a guided tour from Dubrovnik.
If you are in Dubrovnik and want to visit Kotor but don’t know where to begin, I’d suggest taking a day trip from Dubrovnik! Tour typically happen daily at 8:00 am. You’ll visit Bay of Kotor, charming town of Perast, optional boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks and Budva along with learning the history of each spot.
Know Before You Go
Kotor isn’t your typical vacation spot. Kotor is totally underrated and if it wasn’t for the cruise liners that are coming in, there will be no one here.
If you’re looking for a panoramic view of Kotor Old Town, the St. Tryphon Cathedral is the spot for you. There’s a watchtower at the top so you can look at the city which cost 2.50 Euro to get in.
The Cathedral is great spot for admiring the views of Kotor Old Town.
When To Go
December to March is Montenegro’s low season. Prices for flights and accommodation hit rock bottom, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers. I actually visited Kotor in early November and found the weather to still be beautiful with relatively no tourists.
High season is from April to October. The weather is at its best, and you can expect picture perfect skies and long, lazy days at the beach. April and October may be a little cool for swimming but good for hiking.
From June to August, you’ll experience sunny skies and warm water perfect for swimming.
Check Out Speed Boat Tour To Our Lady Of The Rocks
Kotor is famous for its gorgeous scenery, so getting out onto the water for a shoreline view is a must. You can easily get to the speed boat deck from Kotor Town, one of the absolute top things to do in Kotor!
A 1.5 hours speed boat tour will take you to Perast and iconic Our Lady of the Rocks, a 15th century island church that’s one of two island churches that floats of Perast’s coast. Did you know that this island is actually man made?
It took 200 years to build this island and there’s just a monastery on it. It is a tradition when the sailors come they have to drop a rock to the island. Exquisite from every angle, you’ll find the whole speed boat journey and Perast are picture perfect spots for you! A ticket will cost you 15 Euro. If you have a larger group, you can charter a speed boat.
It can be an extremely scenic ride and it’s a great way to get the panoramic views!
Top Things To See and Do in Kotor, Montenegro
Kotor Old Town Walking Tour: Take in the sights of this medieval town by spending an hour doing a walking tour of Kotor Old Town. Surrounded by fortifications built by the Venetians, Kotor Old Town dates between the 12th and 14th centuries. You’ll hear the Kotor’s history from founding as Acruvium and then Cattaro and later as Kotor.
San Giovanni Fortress Walls: You can’t say you’ve been to Kotor without heading to San Giovanni Fortress Walls. A short hike of 1,355 steps up from the Old Town – one of Kotor’s top things to do. You’ll see breathtaking views of Kotor and the bay. Do remember to wear comfortable shoes though.
Ladder of Kotor: For those with more time, the Ladder of Kotor is a longer, but easier hike. Named Ladder of Kotor because it was the old military path. The series of scenic switchbacks makes it one of the most incredible views of Kotor, the Bay of Kotor and opposite Mount Vrmac!
Kampana Tower: If hiking up either San Giovanni Fortress or the Ladder of Kotor seems daunting, fret not as the view from Kampana Tower still magnificent any time of the day! You’ll see wonderful views of the town and the fortress meandering up to mountain behind.
Maritime Museum: Stepping into the Maritime Museum, you’d definitely feels as though you’ve been transported to the Kotor’s powerful trade port in the 14th century while military port in the 17th century. You’ll find 3 floors museum filled with maritime history including clothing, weapons and furniture.
Kotor’s Cat At The Cats Museum: You’ll find cats in every corner of the town. The cats helped to keep the rat and snake populations under control on ships and in the town. Don’t forget to check out The Cats Museum to find out more about the history of Kotor’s cat.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus: Popular among the cruise ship passengers, hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to see the highlights of the bay. You can hop on and hop off wherever you like, and see what you want to see. So, why not do this tour if you have only one day in Kotor?
Farmers Market: Besides rich in history, Kotor also has farmers market located just nearby the old town. Go grab some fresh local produce every morning (except Sunday) from 8am to 2pm! You’ll find fresh cheese, fresh parsley, fresh-caught fish and anything grown locally.
Kotor and Budva in Montenegro is truly a living breathing museum UNESCO World Heritage Site!
If you’re looking for a vacation spot that’s off the beaten path, then Kotor is the place for you. With glorious coastal town, interesting history and an affordable Europe destination, Kotor is a great travel destination.
With plenty things to do in Kotor, your Europe experience doesn’t have to be expensive. Time to start saving up, plan your trip and SHARE this with your family and friends! 😀