Where is Kotor? Is it really the name of a city? Is Kotor worth visiting? These questions pop up in many people’s heads. Kotor is not as famous as Rome, Paris, Greece, or any other major tourist destinations in Europe, but don’t get it wrong. Kotor tourism has a huge potential that will blow your mind away.
There has been an increase in the number of tourists visiting Kotor. This small city has so many beautiful historical landmarks that are very well preserved, that UNESCO puts Kotor in their World Heritage Site list. Therefore, you will find many impressive things to see and many exciting things to do in Kotor.
The first recorded history that cited Kotor was dated from 168 BC. During that period, the area was part of the Roman Empire, and the settlement was called Acruvium. The city got its current name, Kotor, in the 9th century. Located by the Bay of Kotor, this city used to be a prominent port for sailors that settle and traders.
Many tourists visit Kotor as a part of their cruise ship program. However, if you decide to go to Kotor on your own, you can fly to the nearby Tivat Airport. Tivat Airport is only 8 kilometers away from Kotor.
Kotor has Mediterranean weather, so it is blessed with warm summer and mild winter. Kotor is enjoyable all year round. However, if you want to avoid a massive crowd of tourists, then the best time to visit Kotor is other months than July and August. During these summer months, the city is congested with tourists and the hotels in Kotor have higher rates.
To get the best weather in a much less crowded city, the best time to go to Kotor for you is in June and September. Some hotels in Kotor close from late October to early April, but usually, those Kotor hotels that stay open during those months offer very compelling rates for the guests.
This Kotor travel guide will reveal some of the most interesting Kotor things to do and Kotor tourist attractions. You will get a clearer picture of the city so that you can make an excellent plan for your next trip to Kotor.
Table of Contents
- 1 Experiences and top things to do in Kotor
Experiences and top things to do in Kotor
Let The Time Stops for A While
When you visit Kotor, please do make a trip to the Old Town. Old Town is one of the best highlights of Kotor tourism. Old Town Kotor is a medieval town surrounded and protected by walls. Many people agree that Old Town Kotor is the best kept walled medieval town in the whole Mediterranean area. You should come and see it yourself.
It is one of the best spots to go sightseeing in Kotor. The panoramic old buildings are standing on the sides of narrow cobbled streets, perfect for a casual stroll under the warm sun. The authenticity of the town is protected by the 20-meter wall that has been standing there for over one thousand years.
Not only Old Town Kotor offers you a perfect place to go sightseeing in Kotor, but this place also gives you the friendliness of the locals. You can interact with them and make new friends. Some local boutique shops are also available here to satisfy the shopaholic in you.
Explore The Glorious Past
While you are in the Old Town Kotor, try to find a sign that will lead you to the trail that will get you to the fortress on the top of the fortified wall. Walk on the reinforced wall that has been standing for hundreds of years as you enjoy the beautiful view of the Bay of Kotor.
There are a lot of steps that you need to climb to get to St. John’s Fortress, but the trail is suitable for people of any age because it is not that physically challenging. Do not forget to have your camera ready because the views that will accompany you, both during the journey and from the top of the fortress, are breathtaking and indescribable.
On your way down, you can choose to take the goat trail, but the scene there is not that good.
Merge with The Crowd
If you are looking for a spot to go people-watching, to embrace the atmosphere of the locals in Kotor, head to Grand Arms Square. To get to this fantastic square, you need to pass through the Sea Gate (Morska Vrata). It is probably best to go there in the evening.
Find yourself a seat at the terrace of lavish Hotel Vardar, one of the best hotels in Kotor. Order yourself some drink to enjoy as you sit back and watch the city come to life. You can try the local beer brand, Niksicko, to accompany you through the evening.
Do not forget to take a picture of you standing beside the leaning clock tower found nearby. The leaning structure was the effect of several earthquakes that hit the city.
Reach The Clouds
If you fall in love with what you see from St. John’s Fortress, then you need to go higher. Mount Lovcen is the background of Kotor if you watch the town from the bay. The mountain has two peaks: Štirovnik, which is 1,749 meters high, and Jezerski vrh, which is 1,657 meters high. You will be rewarded with more astonishing views over the Bay of Kotor during your hike on Mount Lovcen.
There is also a national park in this mountain. Lovcen National Park is the home of much fascinating natural wildlife. It also houses some cultural legacy, making Lovcen National Park as one of the most famous Kotor points of interest. If you love history, try to visit Petar Petrović Njegoš’s Mausoleum, the most prominent monument that you can find in Lovcen National Park.
Learn about The Sailor’s Life
One of the most popular things to do in Kotor is visiting Kotor Maritime Museum. Having a robust naval culture, in 1880 a society called Boka Marine Fraternity had the idea to collect and take care of historical artifacts related to the maritime life in Kotor. The collection became accessible to the public in 1900. Nowadays, the selection has grown that it takes a three-story palace to showcase the entire pieces.
Audio guides are available for those of you who want to get comprehensive information about the pictures, weapons, photos, uniforms, model ships, and other artifacts being displayed there. Kotor Maritime Museum opens every day, including on weekends and public holidays.
Do not forget to take a look at Kotor’s most crucial well, the Karampana Well, located outside the museum. In the past, the well was the source of the town’s freshwater.
Step Back to The Idyllic Town
Not too far outside Kotor, a few kilometers on the northwest, there is a small town called Perast. When you take a trip to Kotor, you can have a day tour from Kotor to Perast. Despite the small size, the city is packed with a lot of buildings made in an impressive architectural style.
You will be amazed by many defensive towers, Baroque palaces and churches found here. No wonder the town is put in the UNESCO heritage sites list.
After you finish wandering around the town of Perast, relax and grab something to eat in one of the restaurants found in the waterfront area. Choose a seat on the terrace, so you can enjoy the mesmerizing view and calming sea breeze as you taste the incredible delicacy of Montenegro.
Our Lady of The Rocks is one of the two islets you see in the Bay of Kotor. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kotor. You can take a boat ride from Kotor to head to this magnificent islet.
Our Lady of The Rocks is a human-made island. It was made by sinking old ships using some rocks. The tiny island got its name based on the Catholic church built on it. The church is named Our Lady of The Rocks Church, or in Italian, it is called Chiesa della Madonna dello Scarpello.
The church was upgraded in 1722, and it is decorated with plenty of extraordinary paintings. The biggest one would be “The Death of the Virgin” painting created by Tripo Kokolja, a popular Perast artist who is famous for his Baroque style. “The Death of The Virgin” painting is 10 meters long.
There is a museum that you can stay at, attached to the church. If you want to buy some souvenirs, a gift shop is also available there.
Let The Sun And The Sea Spoil You
If sunbathing is in your what to do in Kotor list, then you have to go to Dobrec Beach. This one of the most beautiful Kotor tourist attractions is a paradise for those of you who are looking for a quiet and secluded spot to enjoy the touch of sun and water on your skin.
The small beach can only be reached by boat. You need to rent a boat from the town to get to Dobrec Beach, but once you get there, the one-hour boat journey will be directly paid off. The stunning view, the clear and perfect water, the quietness, every single thing that you are looking for in an ideal beach is available here.
Do not worry about finding some food. There is a small but fantastic restaurant open here in Dobrec Beach; this restaurant serves high-quality seafood and drink that will be your excellent companion in your lazy day under the sun.
Party All The Night Long
One of the main goals of taking a vacation is to blow some steam off of you. And to some people, the best way to do so is by having a rave party all night long, dancing and listening to the upbeat music, while sharing some drink and laughter with friends. If you are that kind of person, then get dressed and head to Maximus, the best nightclub in Kotor.
What makes Maximus interesting is that the nightclub has several dance rooms, every single one of them playing different kinds of music, from pop, house, to Montenegrin folk music. When you visit Kotor, and you decide to go to Maximus, try to enter the club before midnight because the entrance fee is cheaper then.
Blend in with The Locals
Going to the local market is one of the most exciting things to do in Kotor. Kotor’s local market stretches from the Seagate along the city wall, and it opens in the morning. Kotor’s local market is not only great for some grocery shopping, but it is also a beautiful spot to observe the lifestyle of the locals and make friends with them.
When you are in the local market, do try to buy some prosciutto and smoked cheese that is locally called sir. These two items are some of the unique food you can taste in Kotor. The prosciutto and the cheese will be perfect accessories to a great picnic in the incredible outdoor site of Kotor.