The ultimate list of the best things to do in Kotor, Montenegro. Discover the top sights, hidden gems and best tours and activities in incredible Kotor!
Kotor is one of my favourite places in Montenegro. We love to take a leisurely drive around the bay on Saturday mornings to have coffee or brunch in Kotor old town before browsing the farmers' market to pick up some fresh produce and marinated olives for lunch.
I love Kotor so much that I wrote a book about it!
There are so many things to do in Kotor. You can:
And much more!
If you're wondering what do in Kotor Montenegro, look no further. While others might give you a list of the 10 best things to do in Kotor, I've gone ahead and given you 38. That's the power of having a local guiding you!
In this article, you’ll find the Kotor must see sights and Kotor attractions, as well as some off-the-beaten-path gems. I've also added the most popular tours and more things to do in Kotor Bay.
If you're wondering what to do in Kotor, rest assured that after reading this you won't miss a thing when you visit Kotor!
Whether you're planning a short visit or an extended stay, this guide will help you discover all this charming town has to offer. You’ll be able to plan your visit to Kotor and know you haven’t missed a thing!
Top 3 Things to Do in Kotor
Best Things to Do in Kotor
1. Kotor Walking Tour
2. Kotor Boat Tours
3. Secret City Trail
4. St Tryphon Cathedral
5. Visit a Church
6. Kotor Maritime Museum
7. Let Me Pass Street
8. Kotor Fortress Walls Hike
9. Pet the Cats
10. Kayaking in Kotor Bay
12. Visit an Oyster Farm
13. Ladder of Kotor Hike
14. Via Ferrata Kotor
16. Kotor Cable Car
17. Kotor Aquarium
18. Hit the Beach
19. Stroll the Promenade
Best Things to Do Around Kotor
20. Blue Cave
22. Our Lady of the Rocks
23. Serpentine Road
24. Prosciutto in Njeguši
25. Visit Lovćen National Park
26. Risan Mosaics
Best Day Tours From Kotor
27. Montenegro Full-Day Tour
28. Durmitor, Tara and Ostrog Monastery Day Trip
29. White Water Rafting
Best Things to Eat and Drink in Kotor
30. Wine Tasting
32. Balkan Grill
34. Charcoal Coffee
35. Farmers Market
36. Kotorska Pašta
Events in Kotor, Montenegro
37. Bokeljska Noć
Where to Stay in Kotor
Getting to Kotor
Getting Around Kotor
Frequently Asked Questions About Kotor
Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Kotor
#1 Pick: Kotor Walking Tour
#2 Pick: Blue Cave Boat Tour
#3 Pick: Montenegro Full-Day Tour
If you're planning to visit Kotor, Montenegro, you'll find lots of things to do in Kotor old town (stari grad). Most Kotor tourist attractions and Kotor sights are found here. This is where you'll find the churches, palaces and historic sights.
Kotor old city is pedestrian and very compact, so you can easily walk around it. You'll also find a range of activities you can do from Kotor, such as hiking, kayaking and tours.
Kotor walking tours are the best way to see old town Kotor's must see attractions because you can see the top sights of the town in just 1-2 hours. They're ideal if you only have a day to spend in Kotor and want to make the most of your time.
Led by knowledgeable local guides, these tours take you through the narrow cobblestone streets, medieval walls, and picturesque squares, giving you an up-close and personal experience of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You'll learn about Kotor's history, culture, and architecture, as you visit landmarks such as St. Tryphon Cathedral, the Maritime Museum, and the Clock Tower. The guides also share fascinating stories and legends about Kotor's past, making the tour not only educational but also entertaining.
If you're visiting on a cruise ship I recommend avoiding the tours offered onboard because they often put you into large groups of up to 50 people. Instead, I recommend booking a small group tour like this one, which has several departures daily.
Taking a Kotor boat tour is one of the most popular things to do in Kotor. With the warm, inviting sea, beautiful attractions and sun-drenched beaches calling, it's no wonder people love taking boat tours here!
There are lots of boat tours to choose from and you'll find one to suit you, no matter how much time you have in Kotor. You can visit the revered island church, Our Lady of the Rocks, swim in the Blue Cave, visit local mussel and oyster farms and much more!
This boat tour to Our Lady of the Rocks and the Blue Cave is the most popular Kotor boat tour and it's the one we did in our video above. It takes just 3 hours and is the perfect way to see the sights and enjoy some swimming!
If you like escape rooms, puzzles or games you'll love the Kotor Secret Trail!
I was asked to create this trail for Secret City Trails (which has trails all over the world) and had so much fun making it.
The Kotor Secret City Trail is best described as an outdoor escape room combined with a walking tour. Instead of a standard walking tour where you follow a guide, on the secret trail you solve a series of riddles. Each riddle leads you to a new site and unlocks an interesting story about that attraction.
The whole game takes place in Kotor old town and you do it on foot. Along the way you'll visit some of Kotor's top attractions and see some undiscovered gems that you'd never experience on a walking tour or if you were exploring the town on your own.
If you're looking for something different to the usual Kotor tours or travelling with kids, try the Kotor Secret City Trail, you'll love it!
Exclusive: Get 10% off your game by using the code 'montenegropulse' at check out!
St. Tryphon Cathedral is a majestic landmark located in Kotor’s picturesque old town. This Roman Catholic church, dedicated to St. Tryphon, the patron saint of the city, dates back to the 12th century.
Its stunning Romanesque architecture, characterized by a mix of Byzantine and Venetian influences, features intricate stone carvings, rose windows, and a bell tower that soars into the sky.
The interior of the cathedral is equally impressive, adorned with beautiful frescoes, ornate altars, and a grand marble pulpit. This is where you can see some of the best works from Kotor's famous 15th century goldsmiths.
The historical significance of St. Tryphon Cathedral makes it one of the must-see places to visit in Kotor. This Kotor tour includes a guided tour of St Tryphon and many more important sights in the old town.
Kotor has had around 50 churches in total since the 12th century. Although many have been destroyed over the centuries, there are several notable churches to see:
Kotor churches (and palaces) are some of the most interesting places and have the most fascinating stories attached to them. You can find out about the most interesting and important sights in Kotor in my book Kotor Beyond The Wall.
Kotor built its wealth through shipping and the Maritime Museum in Kotor is a fascinating museum that offers you a glimpse into the rich maritime history of this coastal town.
Housed in historic 18th century Grgurina Palace, the museum showcases a diverse range of maritime artifacts, models of ships, navigational instruments, maps, and documents, giving you a comprehensive overview of Kotor's maritime heritage.
You can explore the museum's exhibits that highlight the town's seafaring traditions, including its strategic importance as a bustling port during the Venetian and Austro-Hungarian periods.
The Maritime Museum in Kotor is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, maritime enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning about the maritime heritage of Kotor.
This Kotor walking tour with my favourite guide, Ana, includes a guided tour of the Maritime Museum.
"Let Me Pass" street is one of my favourite off-the-beaten-track things to see in Kotor. This narrow, cobbled alleyway has a unique story behind its name that's an example of the people that give Kotor its special identity.
Legend has it that long ago, two stubborn merchants who were carrying large sacks of goods got stuck in this narrow street, refusing to yield to each other. After hours of impasse, they finally agreed that the street should be named "Let me pass" in honor of their dispute.
Today, this quirky street is a hidden gem for tourists to explore, as they navigate through its tight confines and imagine the humorous scene that gave it its name.
It's a delightful reminder of Kotor's unique personality and the anecdotes that make this charming town in Montenegro truly special. You'll find it beside Palazzo Druško Deluxe Rooms in the old town.
When you see pictures of Kotor you can’t help but notice the beautiful stone walls snaking up the mountain behind the town to San Giovanni Fortress.
The fortifications completely enclose Kotor and have a total length of four and a half kilometres (2.8 miles). They’re between two and 15 metres thick and up to 20m tall in places.
Started by the Illyrians in the 2nd century BC, it wasn’t until the 15th century that the Venetians finally finished the fortifications. And that’s why there’s a Venetian saying in Kotor “Tu me costi come i muri de Cattaro.” - “You cost me as much as the walls of Kotor.”
Today hiking the old city walls up to San Giovanni Castle is a rite of passage and will give you incredible views of Kotor and the bay. But be warned, this 1355-step, 1.2km (0.7 mile) hike isn’t easy, especially in the heat of a Montenegrin summer. It’s well worth doing, but go prepared if you want to get that epic selfie at the top!
One of my favourite things about Kotor is the cats that are all over the town. Cats are a top Kotor tourist attraction and are a beloved part of the city's charm. In fact, Kotor has become famous for its cat population, with cat-themed souvenirs and artwork found throughout the city.
As you wander through the maze-like streets of Kotor, you’ll find cats at every turn. These furry inhabitants lounge on ancient walls, peek from hidden nooks, and stroll along the waterfront looking for a soft-hearted fisherman.
Tourists are captivated by Kotor's cats and many of the cats are friendly and approachable, readily accepting pets and food. These furry companions add a touch of whimsy and warmth to the already enchanting ambiance of Kotor.
Kotor even has its own cat museum (Kotor Cats Museum) in Kino Square. The museum's displays are a collection of period images from the Italian Countess Francesca di Montereale Mantica. The artwork shows cats' uncanny ability to cause trouble and survive and their endearing 'if it fits, I sits' philosophy.
However, life is a constant struggle for the cats of Kotor. Overpopulation, disease, finding shelter and food are daily challenges for these moggies, especially the young kittens that are regularly abandoned in the town. And there is no homeless shelter for cats anywhere in Montenegro.
But there are things you can do to help. Kotor Kitties runs Montenegro’s only high-volume trap-neuter-release (TNR) programme and helps to spay-neuter and provide vet care for Kotor’s cats.
The charity (of which I am a board member) is entirely run by volunteers and visitors to Kotor can help by making a donation towards spay-neuter. It costs €36.20 to spay a female cat at one of our partner vets.
More about Kotor's cats:
Kayaking in the Bay of Kotor is a fun adventure that allows you to explore the breathtaking beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site from a unique perspective.
The Bay of Kotor is lined with hamlets full of traditional stone houses that you can only see from the sea. From here, you'll see baroque palaces, churches and beaches of the bay. You'll also often see lines of little optimist sail boats as the kids of the bay learn to sail.
The Bay of Kotor is always calm, so ideal for everyone, even kids and beginners. This 2.5-hour kayaking tour from Kotor takes you to see pretty seaside hamlets near Kotor and there's plenty of time for swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing too.
Montenegro is a secret paradise for thrill seekers! And another must for thrill seekers is canyoning in Montenegro. I have been canyoning in Budva and Herceg Novi and loved it both times!
Skurda Canyon is the perfect destination if you're looking for some excitement and fun near Kotor. This tour starts with a 45 minute hike to the start of the canyon and then you hike, rappel (abseil) and swim your way through the canyon.
Skurda is usually dry during the summer months, so there may not be a lot of water but the views on the hike and the thrills of abseiling make this a fantastic experience!
You can take a canyoning tour to Skurda Canyon. The tour takes 3-4 hours and you don't need any experience or special skills to take part.
Visiting oyster farms in Montenegro is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings you up close and personal with the world of oyster farming and Bay of Kotor cuisine.
Set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Bay of Kotor, visiting an oyster farm is a pleasure for all your senses!
The only way to visit an oyster farm in Montenegro is on a tour, and my friend and favourite guide, Ana, has designed the perfect one: Mrs Zora's Yummy Oysters.
"This tour has everything… crystal blue water, wind in your hair, handsome skipper, lots of flavors, and the colors and scents of our beautiful country!" - Ana
The tour starts with an exciting speed boat ride from Kotor to Our Lady of the Rocks for a guided tour. Then you cruise around the bay to Porto Montenegro, the world's only platinum-rated marina, to see the super yachts and luxury village.
After that, you cruise over to Mrs Zora's family-owned oyster farm for a lunch of oysters, mussels, cheese, prosciutto and wine by the sea before freshening up with a swim around the Island of Flowers.
The tour finishes with a walking tour of Kotor.
For those with more time, the Ladder of Kotor is a longer, but easier hike up Mount Sveti Ivan (also known as San Giovanni and Mount St John).
The old military path is a series of scenic switchbacks that lead you to ever more stunning views with every turn. The fresh mountain air is scented with wild thyme and although a spray-painted rock warns of wolves, you’re more likely to run into a herd of goats.
At the top you will get incredible, breathtaking, mind-blowing views of Kotor, the Bay of Kotor and Mount Vrmac.
If you consider yourself a thrill seeker, you'll love via ferrata in Kotor! Via ferrata in Kotor is a thrilling adventure that combines hiking and rock climbing to reward you with awe-inspiring views at the end.
I've done the via ferrrata in Durmitor and it's an unforgettable experience that I'd recommend to everyone!
The Kotor via ferrata allows you to traverse the rugged cliffs just outside Kotor old town using a system of cables, ladders, and fixed anchors, providing a safe but exciting way to explore the vertical landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
As you ascend the challenging via ferrata route, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the bay, the ancient city walls, and the surrounding mountains.
The sense of accomplishment and excitement as you conquer each section of the route makes every step worth it. It's an adventure that offers an adrenaline rush, a physical challenge, and a unique perspective of the stunning natural beauty of Kotor.
Whether you're an experienced climber or a first-time adventurer, via ferrata in Kotor is a bucket-list experience that promises an unforgettable adventure in one of the most spectacular destinations in Montenegro.
The semi-submarine in Kotor, Montenegro, is a unique way to explore the Bay of Kotor and it's a hit with young children.
The submarine-shaped boat has a spacious upper deck for sightseeing and a lower deck that dips below the waterline, giving you a chance to see the bay underwater.
Unfortunately, the water in the inner bay (where Kotor is located) isn't the clearest in the bay so you're unlikely to see a lot of fish. However, my son (who was four at the time) absolutely loved this trip and it was a relaxing boat trip for us adults.
Kotor’s cable car (opening 14 August 2023) promises to offer a panoramic journey to the top of Mount Saint John, giving you breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor and its surrounding landscapes.
The planned cable car will take you on a scenic ride in a comfortable cable car cabin, whisking you up to the summit above Kotor in just a few minutes. As you ascend higher, you'll get stunning vistas of the bay and the medieval town of Kotor.
At the top, you can explore the observation deck, take in the panoramic views, and capture stunning photos of the picturesque landscape.
The cable car in Kotor will not only be a convenient way to reach Njeguši village, but also an unforgettable experience that offers unparalleled views of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Bay of Kotor Aquarium is a fascinating and educational attraction in Kotor. This small but immaculately-presented aquarium showcases the rich marine biodiversity of the Bay of Kotor, which is known for its unique ecosystem and diverse species of fish and other marine life.
The aquarium has a variety of tanks with beautifully displayed exhibits, giving you an up-close look at the fascinating underwater world of the bay. From colourful fish and graceful seahorses to intriguing jellyfish and delicate corals, the Bay of Kotor Aquarium offers a captivating glimpse into the underwater life in the bay.
It's the perfect place for marine enthusiasts, families, and nature lovers to learn about and appreciate the marine life that thrives in the Bay of Kotor.
We visited and as you can see in my video below, it was a hit with the kids!
The Bay of Kotor truly is an idyll in summer and there are some great beaches around Kotor.
I mean, just look at it!
We spend 5-6 hours on the beach a day in summer and never get bored of it.
There's no beach right in front of Kotor old town because of the marina, but you'll find good beaches about 10 minutes' walk to either side of it.
However, in my opinion, it's worth hiring a car (Localrent.com has the best deals and largest choice) and exploring some of the beaches around the bay. You'll find lots of hidden ones, which are much less busy than around Kotor. Also, the water is clearer the closer you get to where the bay opens into the Adriatic Sea.
My favourite beach is in Morinj. The water is cooler because of the many fresh water springs here, but the main beach is very spacious and it's one of the few sandy beaches in the bay. My favourite restaurant, Ćatovića Mlini, is also here.
If hiking isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the Bay of Kotor’s beautiful scenery with a stroll along Kotor's seaside promenade towards Dobrota. The promenade is lined with historic buildings, quaint cafes, and picturesque boats bobbing in the sparkling waters of the Bay of Kotor.
As you stroll along the well-paved pathway, you can take in the panoramic views of the imposing mountains that surround the bay. The promenade is bustling with locals and tourists alike, creating a lively atmosphere. You'll be able to get great views of the medieval city walls, admire the ornate architecture and watch the boats sail by.
Walking along Kotor's seaside promenade is a perfect way to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the stunning scenery, and experience the unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that Kotor has to offer.
The Blue Cave is one of our favourite places to go with the boat in summer and we take all our visitors to see it.
It's a must see for all visitors to Kotor!
This popular natural wonder renowned for its vibrant blue hues and stunning rock formations. This sea cave is accessible only by boat, and its entrance is a small opening that leads to a larger interior chamber.
Once inside, you’re treated to a surreal sight as the sunlight filters through the water, creating an otherworldly blue glow that illuminates the cave's walls and ceiling. The cave's crystal-clear waters offer a great opportunity for swimming and snorkeling, allowing you to explore the cave underwater.
We took this Blue Cave boat tour from Kotor and were very impressed. The tour also stops at Our Lady of the Rocks and takes you to the interesting Yugoslav-era submarine tunnels, which were used to hide submarines.
We loved speeding around the bay in a speed boat and loved that it was a small group tour of only 15 people. Our skipper was very personable and knowledgeable, so we felt like he was our guide and not just our skipper.
Perast is a picturesque coastal village just 15 minutes from Kotor. This small and charming town is known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, and natural beauty.
Perast is also home to a collection of old aristocratic palaces that showcase the town's prosperous past. The quaint cobblestone streets, lined with stone houses adorned with bougainvillea and other colorful flowers, add to the town's romantic and nostalgic charm.
Adding to the town's idyllic beauty are the two island churches that float just offshore. Sveti Đorđe is a Benedictine monastery and is closed to visitors. The other, Our Lady of the Rocks, is a Catholic church and museum that you can visit.
Perast's idyllic setting and classic architecture make it a popular tourist attraction and place to stay in the Bay of Kotor. Visit the town’s museum in a former palace, try traditional seafood at a seaside restaurant (Conte is our favourite) or even base yourself in palace-turned-hotel Heritage Grand Perast.
The best way to get to Perast is by boat because you skip the summer traffic and the Bay of Kotor scenery is stunning from a boat. This boat tour from Kotor takes two hours and takes you to both Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks.
Visiting Our Lady of the Rocks is one of the most popular things to do in Kotor Bay. A unique site located just off the shore in Perast, it's a man-made island that is home to a beautiful church of the same name and small museum.
The legend behind Our Lady of the Rocks dates back to the 15th century, when local brothers discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary on a rock in the bay. Over several decades, the locals built a church on an island on the spot using stones and sunken ships as a foundation.
The church is adorned with beautiful frescoes, paintings, and a stunning altar, showcasing the cultural and artistic heritage of the region. The small museum shows items from the Bay of Kotor that date as far back as prehistoric times.
You can get to Our Lady of the Rocks by boat from Perast. This half-day boat tour is a great way to see Our Lady of the Rocks because it also includes another must-see, the Blue Cave, and gives you some time to enjoy on the beach!
The serpentine road from Kotor to Njeguši is one of Montenegro’s best drives. As the road winds its way through the rugged mountains, you’ll get stunning panoramic views over the Bay of Kotor.
The road is known for its 25 hairpin turns, which can be a challenging driving experience for people not used to narrow roads. But the the views that get better and better with each turn make it all worth it!
Along the way you can explore Gorazda, an abandoned Austro-Hungarian fort with its swivelling cannon. At the top, you can visit the restaurant Nevjesta Jadrana for some traditional cuisine, Horizont bar for a quick drink and Njeguši village to pick up some of Montenegro’s best prosciutto and cheese.
You'll need to hire a car (Localrent.com has the best car hire in Montenegro) to drive the serpentine road. You can also do on one of my favourite day tours from Kotor, the Full-Day Montenegro Tour, or even bike down the serpentine road!
Njeguši, a small village near Lovćen National Park, is renowned for its time-honored tradition of producing high-quality, air-dried ham.
The prosciutto is carefully made using locally sourced pork and then cured and smoked for months in the fresh mountain air. The result is a deliciously tender and savoury meat with a unique smoky flavor that has earned Njeguši prosciutto a reputation as a delicacy.
Prosciutto from Njeguši is not only a culinary delight but also a symbol of the region's rich gastronomic heritage and cultural pride. This artisanal product is often served thinly sliced with cheeses to guests as a symbol of hospitality and respect.
You'll see stalls where you can try Njeguši prosciutto, cheese, wines and brandies throughout Njeguši. You can also try it at Montenegro's oldest restaurant in Njeguši, Kod Pera Na Bukoviću.
To get there, hire a car with Localrent.com and drive up the serpentine road to Njeguši.
You can also try it on the Full-Day Tour to Lovćen National Park and More. The tour stops at Kod Pera Na Bukoviću for a guided tour of their smokehouse (you can't book this privately), to try their rakija (brandy) and have breakfast.
Lovćen National Park is the closest of Montenegro's five national parks to Kotor and I highly recommend making a trip here if you have a few days in Kotor.
The park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural significance. Located in the Dinaric Alps, the park covers a vast area of pristine wilderness, encompassing rugged peaks, dense forests, and breathtaking landscapes. The park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, with rare species such as Balkan lynx, golden eagle, and wild boar thriving in its protected areas.
In addition to its natural beauty, Lovćen National Park holds historical and cultural significance, with the mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, Montenegro's beloved poet and ruler, perched on the mountain’s second-highest peak.
The park is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking and mountain biking trails, picnic spots, and camping areas.
To get there, hire a car from Localrent.com and drive up the serpentine road from Kotor or take the Full-Day Montenegro Tour to Lovćen National Park and More.
Risan, one of the oldest settlements in the Bay of Kotor, was once the sea of the fearless Illyrian queen Teuta. But when the Roman Empire conquered the Illyrians in the Bay of Kotor, Risan became a Roman port town.
The Roman mosaics in Risan are the remnants of Villa Urbana, the house of a noble family from the 2nd century A.D. The remains have survived the centuries remarkably well and archaeologists have painstakingly restored the stunning mosaic floors that were part of the original villa.
Today, you can visit Villa Urbana and explore its restored mosaics. You'll also be able to see other stone fragments, such as pillars and find more information about the history of the Illyrians and Romans in the Bay of Kotor.
This is a fascinating hidden gem in the Bay of Kotor!
To get there, hire a car from Localrent.com or take the Blueline bus that stops in front of Kotor old town.
One of the most popular day trips from Kotor, the Montenegro Full-Day Tour to Lovćen National Park and More is the best way to experience Montenegro’s landscapes, history and flavours.
This is one of the best tours I've done in Montenegro (you can read my review here) for several reasons:
This full-day tour includes:
This is a fantastic tour if you've only got a few days in Montenegro and want to get the most out of your time. You'll cover so many of the country's highlights in just one day.
If you combine it with the Durmitor, Tara and Ostrog Monastery Day Trip (also run by the same company), you'll see the best of Montenegro in just two days!
The Durmitor, Tara and Ostrog Monastery Day Trip takes you to explore Montenegro’s wild, rugged and beautiful north and is the perfect accompaniment to the Montenegro Full-Day Tour.
Between these two tours you'll see the highlights of Montenegro. It's perfect if you haven't got much time in Montenegro or don't want to hire a car.
This tour includes:
This tour is a great way to experience Montenegro's north, which very different to the Bay of Kotor. Durmitor National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers stunning wild landcapes. The landscapes here are mountainous and rugged.
You'll see mountain villages where people still live off the land in the traditional way. While the Bay of Kotor's traditional cuisine is heavily seafood-based, in the north you can try specialties like lamb cooked in milk, cornmeal with clotted cream, cheeses, berries and teas made from herbs that grow in the mountains.
This is a fantastic way to see the diversity of Montenegro!
White water rafting in Montenegro is another of our favourite things to do. We go every summer!
It's one of the country’s most popular activities and it’s a great way to experience some of the country’s best scenery and authentic culture.
Montenegro rafting tours takes place in the Tara Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world and a pristine part of Durmitor National Park. It's around 3 hours from Kotor.
I love rafting in Montenegro because it's the perfect way to spend a day out. The river is a perfect mix of thrilling rapids and calm floating, which gives you the chance to get out and swim in the crystal-clear (but very cold!) water.
The Tara River is known as the 'Tear of Europe' because it's so clean. You can even drink it!
Along the way you can swim under a waterfall and the tours end with a hot lunch of traditional dishes like roast meat and vegetables, cheese and fresh salads. I've had some of the best food in my life while rafting in Montenegro!
This rafting tour from Kotor is the best. It includes return transport from Kotor, breakfast, 3 hours of rafting, all your equipment and lunch.
People have been making wine in Montenegro since the 2nd century and there are now over 120 wineries in Montenegro!
Most families make their own wine as well as fruit brandy and both of these make a up an important part of Montenegro’s cuisine and culture. The most popular wines in Montenegro are a red wine called Vranac and white wine called Krstač.
There are several ways you can try Montenegrin wines, even if you’re only in Kotor for a short time.
You can order wine to go with your meal at any restaurant in Kotor. Plantaže is the largest wine producer in Montenegro. It has Europe's biggest unbroken vineyard and over 10 million vines.
You'll find Plantaže wines available everywhere and bottles are very modestly priced, usually just 5-10 euros. Try their Vranac Pro Corde for a red wine or Krstač for white wine. We also love Arhonto rosé, although it can be hard to get.
Another great way to do a wine tasting is the Kotor Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting. This tour starts with a walking tour of Kotor old town and ends with wine and a platter of traditional delicacies like prosciutto, cheese and olives.
The Bay of Kotor is renowned for its seafood dishes, which give you an insight into the traditional cuisine of this region.
Fresh catches from the bay are expertly prepared using local ingredients and traditional cooking methods, resulting in flavorful and delicious seafood dishes. You can try mussels, scampi, calamari, fish, cuttlefish, oysters and more at dozens of Kotor restaurants called ‘konoba’.
I recommend trying sea bass or bream (orada or brancin), cuttlefish ink risotto (crni rižot), seafood stew (buzara) and calamari. Most dishes come with dalmatinsko varivo, a side of potatoes and silverbeet, olive oil, garlic, homemade bread and your choice of salads.
Best seafood restaurants in Kotor:
You haven’t visited the Balkans until you’ve tried Balkan Grill.
With plates piled high with ćevapi (rolled mince sausages), pljeskavice (meat patties), sausages and kebabs cooked to perfection over open flames, Balkan grill is an iconic part of the Balkan experience.
And according to Montenegrins, it's the reason why there's no McDonald's in Montenegro.
To Montenegrins, nothing can compete with a lepinje bread stuffed with ćevapi, tomato, cabbage and mayonnaise! Add the fact that these satisfying meals usually cost just 5 euros, far less than a McDonald's meal, and I can see their point.
The best place to try Balkan grill is at BBQ Tanjga, just a few minutes' walk from the old town. Try their mixed grill platter (beware, it's huge!) in their sit down restaurant, or grab a burger to go.
If Balkan grill is the food of the Balkans, rakija is the drink of the Balkans. This potent fruit brandy is the stuff of legend, capable of both igniting a party and extinguishing your senses in a single sip.
It’s the drink Montenegrins use to celebrate, mourn, cure ailments and just get going in the morning. Your host might welcome you with a toast of rakija and you’ll probably encounter it on at least one tour (you’ll recognise it as the clear liquid in Coca-Cola bottle with a Fanta lid).
While declining is terribly offensive, beware that this beloved brandy can be up to 90% alcohol, especially if it’s homebrew.
So, raise your glass, take a sip, and let rakija take you on a wild and unpredictable adventure that you won't soon forget… or maybe won't remember at all!
The Montenegro Full-Day Tour to Lovćen National Park and More includes rakija and you can also order it in restaurants in Kotor.
Charcoal turkish coffee is a unique coffee experience that you can only find in Kotor!
This unconventional brewing method involves using charcoal as a filter, creating a distinctively dark and smoky flavor profile.
The coffee grounds are boiled in a dzezva to make the traditional turkish coffee that most Montenegrins drink and then poured into your cup. Then, a lump of hot charcoal is added to your cup.
The charcoal gives a distinctive, earthy taste to the coffee, adding a touch of exotic flavor to the traditional coffee experience.
Served in small cups, charcoal coffee in Kotor is a must-try for adventurous coffee lovers looking for a truly unique coffee experience that's unlike any other.
Head to trendy and alternative Letrika Caffe Bar in Kotor old town to try!
The farmers market in Kotor is a vibrant and bustling hub of local flavors and colors. Located just in front of the old town walls, this market is a treasure trove of fresh produce, aromatic herbs, local cheeses, and other traditional favourites.
Strolling through the stalls, you'll be greeted by friendly vendors proudly showcasing their bountiful harvest of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, all grown with care and expertise by local farmers. The air is filled with the fragrances of ripe fruits and vegetables, and the sight of colorful displays of fresh produce is a feast for the eyes.
You can sample the season's best offerings, engage in friendly banter with the vendors, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture. The farmers market in Kotor is a must-visit for food enthusiasts, providing a delightful opportunity to experience the rich agricultural traditions and flavors of the region while supporting local farmers and their livelihoods.
Kotorska pašta also known as krempita (cream pie), is a popular dessert in Montenegro and the Balkans. It is a delicious pastry made with layers of thin pastry filled with a creamy custard filling. The custard is typically made with eggs, milk, sugar, and cornstarch, giving it a smooth and velvety texture. The top layer of the pastry is usually dusted with powdered sugar, adding a touch of sweetness and a beautiful presentation.
Krempita is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its indulgent taste and delightful texture. It is a must-try treat for those with a sweet tooth who want to experience the delicious flavors of Montenegrin cuisine.
Check out Cattarissimo, Forza Cafe or Hotel Vardar in Kotor old town to try kotorska pašta for yourself!
There’s always something happening in Kotor, some are regular annual events and some are one-offs.
To find out what’s happening while you’re in Kotor check the notice boards around town, especially the one on the outer wall by Kulturni Centar Nikola Đurković.
Look out for these annual events while you’re there:
Bokeljska noć, or Kotor Bay Nights, is a traditional summer festival that takes place in Kotor, Montenegro, celebrating the rich maritime heritage and cultural traditions of the Kotor Bay region.
This lively festival features a series of events, including concerts, performances, street parades, fireworks, and other festivities that bring the city to life with vibrant energy.
My favourite part of the festival is the boat decorating competition. People decorate their small boats and there's a procession of them along the seafront with prizes for the top three.
Bokeljska noć is usually held the third Saturday in August and festivities kick off at 9pm. This is a night when the entire Bay of Kotor descends on Kotor. Expect it to be very busy and crowded!
Fašinada is a traditional ceremony that takes place in the picturesque coastal town of Perast in Montenegro. This unique event is held annually on July 22nd to celebrate the town's maritime heritage and pay tribute to Our Lady of the Rocks, a small man-made island with a church that is an important symbol for the local community.
During Fašinada, local boats, adorned with flags and flowers, sail out to the island carrying stones to be thrown into the sea, symbolizing the ongoing tradition of building and maintaining the island.
The ceremony is accompanied by traditional music, dancing, and a festive atmosphere as the local community comes together to participate in this centuries-old tradition.
Fašinada is not only a celebration of Perast's maritime heritage, but also a reflection of the strong sense of community and cultural pride that is deeply ingrained in the town's history and traditions.
It's a unique and memorable experience that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Montenegro's coastal regions.
Kotor old town's beauty, atmosphere and tourism hub make it a great place to drop your anchor for a few days. You’ll find restaurants, nightlife and plenty of tours departing from Kotor all on your doorstep.
There are some excellent hotels in Kotor. And despite it's central location, you'll also find some very budget-friendly options in the old town. No need to stay far away from the city centre!
However, staying in Kotor old town can be noisy, especially during the tourist season between April and October. If you prefer somewhere quieter or would like to wake up to sea views, there are lots of beautiful Bay of Kotor hotels lining the shores of the bay.
Here are some of my favourite picks in each price range in Kotor old town!
RATING: 9/10 | LOCATION: Kotor old town | BOOK NOW
Guesthouse BiT has super affordable and good quality rooms in a quiet part of Kotor old town.
This is a great alternative if you're looking for budget accommodation, but don't like hostels. The rooms have shared bathrooms, but you have a private bedroom.
And with prices as low as €30 a night, it's great value for such an amazing location!
RATING: 8.9/10 | LOCATION: Kotor old town | BOOK NOW
Kotor Nest has beautifully-presented and comfortable rooms in Kotor old town. These stylish rooms come with private bathrooms, A/C (a must in summer!) and some rooms have a private balcony.
The 4-star accommodation also has a full kitchen for you to use, so you can cook for yourself as well as eat out. Each room has its own fridge, so you can keep your food separate.
If you're looking for somewhere stylish and affordable, Kotor Nest is a wonderful choice in the old town!
RATING: 9.1/10 | LOCATION: Kotor old town | BOOK NOW
Set in Buća Palace, the 13th century residence of the noble Buća family, Boutique Hotel Astoria is a small hotel with just 9 rooms.
This hotel has been uniquely decorated. It draws inspiration from ancient Greece and atmosphere of the hotel is best described as ‘moody’. There's also a huge tree in the restaurant which is designed to represent the Tree of Life.
Boutique Hotel Astoria boasts one of the few rooms in Kotor old town with a sea view. Kotor’s legendary walls block sea views from almost everywhere inside the old town, but Hotel Astoria’s Junior Suite – Bay View is a loft suite that offers a glimpse of the sparkling Bay of Kotor.
Kotor is easy to get to with three international airports within easy driving distance:
You can rent a car with Localrent.com at any of these airports and drive to Kotor.
Airport transfers are also a convenient and cost-effective way to get to Kotor if you prefer not to hire a car. I recommend Kiwitaxi for transfers in Montenegro because of their professionalism and affordability.
Whatever you do, don't get an unmetered private driver at the airport. You'll pay 4-5x the amount you would if you book a transfer in advance!
It's easy to drive to Kotor from wherever you're staying. By car it's just 15 minutes from Tivat, 30 minutes from Budva, 60 minutes from Herceg Novi and 90 minutes form Podgorica.
There are two parking lots for the old town – one directly in front of the marina and one at the north end. Parking is relatively cheap at about €0.80 an hour.
Kotor's bus station is a 600m or 5 minute walk from the town centre. There are several buses from other Montenegrin cities and towns daily. You'll also find bus links to destinations in neighbouring countries. The best places to find bus timetables are Busbud, Busticket4.me and Balkan Viator.
Kotor doesn't have a direct rail connection. You can get a train from Belgrade to Bar, on the southern coast of Montenegro and catch a bus from Bar to Kotor.
This train journey has some stunning scenery, especially once you cross into Montenegro and has been called "one of Europe's best train journeys".
There are two departures daily and you can find timetables on the Serbian Railways website (choose BEOGRAD CENTAR for Belgrade Central Station).
Getting around Kotor, Montenegro is relatively easy and convenient, as the town is compact and walkable.
Kotor also has a good bus system that connects the town with neighboring towns and villages, which is convenient if you want to explore the wider area but don’t want to hire a car. Taxis are also widely available for a reasonable price.
If you’re looking venture beyond Kotor, renting a car (I recommend Localrent.com for the best choice and prices) or hiring a private driver can give you more flexibility and independence. However, it's important to note that the old town of Kotor is pedestrian-only, so cars are not allowed within its walls.
Overall, Kotor is a town that is easily navigable, with a range of transportation options that cater to every traveller.
Kotor is an incredible destination to visit and there are so many things to do here! No matter how long you have to spend here I'm sure you'll fall in love with Kotor the same way I have.
Don't forget, a Kotor walking tour is a must for seeing the top sights of the old town and getting some background on the history of Kotor.
In summer, you can't go wrong with a boat trip to the Blue Cave and Our Lady of the Rocks. This is a fantastic experience to these two must-see attractions.
And if you have more than a day in Kotor, the Montenegro Full-Day Tour to Lovćen National Park and More will show you some of the best sights and tastes in Montenegro in just one day.