The Bay of Kotor is one of the most memorable sights of steep mountains rising from the deep blue sea. There lies Kotor, a fortified town in Montenegro with a rich cultural and historical background. Its Old Town is protected by UNESCO and offers a charming blend of medieval churches, Venetian palaces and cobbled streets. The town is overlooked by the fortress, a symbol of Kotor, and the nearby Lovcen National Park offers the escape in nature.
Here is a detailed guide on how to get to Kotor and spend your time!
How to get to Kotor
Getting to Kotor is easy by several means of transport, by car, bus or a plane. Here is a detailed guide on how to get to Kotor by each mode of transport.
If travelling by car, you can reach Kotor from several directions. Kotor is often visited as a day trip from Dubrovnik since the distance between the cities is about 2 hours via D8/E65 road.
If travelling from Bosnia and Herzegovina, you can either connect to M20 or E73/M17 to Bileća, then continue via P11 and E65/E80 to Kotor.
If travelling from the direction of South, connect to E80 road that takes you to Kotor.
Parking in Kotor
Parking in Kotor can be free or paid, you can park your car freely anywhere where it doesn’t break the rules of the road and where there is no “paid parking” sign. The Old Town is restricted for cars, but there are several parking lots nearby. The price of parking is indicated on a special sign, as well as payment methods.
In order to get to Kotor, you can also take a bus. Buses to Kotor depart from several cities in the region such as Dubrovnik, Split, Mostar, Belgrade, Herceg Novi etc. Here are the most popular routes to Kotor, you can check the details and purchase your tickets below:
NOTE: If travelling to Kotor and crossing the border, remember that the border check can sometimes last for hours, so it is good to organize your trip accordingly.
If flying to Montenegro, the closest airport to Kotor is Tivat Airport. Still, there are no direct bus lines from the airport to Kotor and the only way to reach it is by taxi or private transfer. The journey takes only about 10 minutes.
What to see and do in Kotor
Kotor is a truly rich historical town with plenty of things to see. Here are the most important sights of Kotor you should check out during your visit.
Kotor Old Town
The Old Town of Kotor is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is no wonder once you discover its beautiful monuments. Each corner tells a story and every street teaches you about the long history of Kotor. Here you can casually stroll and soak up the atmosphere while exploring sights one by one. The biggest city square is Trg od oružja (Square of Arms) where both locals and tourists gather. This can use as an ideal starting point for further sightseeing of churches, palaces, museums, shops etc.
San Giovanni Fortress & Kotor City Walls
The fortress of San Giovanni (Sveti Ivan) overlooks the charming city of Kotor and climbing up to it is one of the essential experiences by all means. The 4.5 km long City Walls surround the city and lead to the fortress. Most parts of the current wall date back to the period of Venetians, to the 17th and 18th century. There are more entrances but the best is to take the main entrance near Kotor’s North Gate. There are around 1300 steps to the top but the overall route is not that difficult. If in hurry, you can do just half of the route till you reach Church of Our Lady of Remedy. However, bring a good camera, since the views from the top are splendid!
Churches in Kotor present the city’s rich heritage and cultural identity. The already mentioned Church of Our Lady Remedy is a Roman Catholic church in an inevitable sight if climbing to the fortress. In the Old Town, you will hardly miss the most impressive sight – Cathedral of Sveti Tripun (Saint Typhon). Today’s cathedral dates back to the 12th century but it was built on a place of a small church dating back to the 9th century. Visit the cathedral to admire its impressive interior.
Another impressive church which is easy to spot is the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas. The nearby Saint Luke’s Church is a small church dating back to the 12th century. In the 17th century, it became an Orthodox church but retained a Catholic Altair.
Museums in Kotor give you a chance to meet the city through its art and artefacts. One of the most amazing museums is Cats Museum honouring all cats who protected Kotor throughout the history from mice and rats. Here you will find all kinds of souvenirs on this cute animal.
Maritime Museum is another worthy place to see as there are various exhibits presenting the history of life in the Kotor Bay. For more documents on Kotor’s history, you can visit the Historical Archives of Kotor and discover many collections on the city’s past.
If looking for an authentic souvenir, head to the oldest gallery in Kotor Old Town, Gallery Nives.
Our Lady of the Rocks
To broaden your visit to Kotor, check out a few more places nearby. Perast is a charming coastal town just a few kilometres from Kotor. Our Lady of the Rocks is the name of one of the two man-made islets in front of the town. The picturesque islet has a church of the same name and a museum.
Find the freshest products on farmers’ stalls on the popular City Market. The best time to visit the market is on Saturday when the stalls are the richest. From fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, olive oil and homemade cheese, basically anything produced in Kotor can be found here. The market is located under the walls, right next to the Sea Gate.
Where to eat in Kotor
Kotor is a Mediterranean city above all, so expect to find the best of this cuisine but also some traditional Montenegrin dishes. Basically, any restaurant you pick serves Kotor specialties, so you will hardly make a bad choice. Still, here are some suggestions where you can try great local food in Kotor.
To enjoy the best of grilled food, check out Tanjga restaurant. All the meat and vegetables are from the Kotor region so you can be sure you get the most authentic tastes. Dishes like ćevapi or pljeskavica are “a must”!
Konoba Scala Scanta might be a bit pricey, but if you’re up for fine dining, then this restaurant is a great value for money. Choose from the wide selection of seafood, Dalmatian dishes and Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Be sure all the products are fresh and the atmosphere is amazing.
For great fish and meat dishes and some of the best wines, check out Galerija.
Finding accommodation is easy in kotor as there are plenty of hotels, B&Bs, hostels and private apartments. Check out the options below: