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Things to Do and Places to See in Kotor

The 12 most important things to do when visiting Kotor and Montenegro

Kotor is a town located in the extreme northeastern part of the Bay of Kotor and is by far the most popular destination in Montenegro. 

The town itself, due to its historical significance and belonging to the UNESCO list of protected cultural heritage, is a destination definitely worthy of a visit. 

Apart from the Kotor old town, its ramparts, churches, squares, red roofs, etc, the wider region of Kotor offers incredible travel experiences.

Our list of places to visit and things to do when visiting Kotor is an excellent way to start planning your visit to Montenegro. List is based on the multi-year experience of guiding many travelers throughout the region of Kotor and Montenegro.

1. Explore Kotor Old Town on Foot & Taste Local Specialties

When you visit Kotor, of course the first thing you need to do is visit and explore the old town of Kotor. Learn the 2,500-year history of the city, visit the ramparts and city walls, the fortress above the city, the most important churches, squares, museums and markets, etc., but also, try the best local food and local specialties.

You can explore Kotor on your own or with a local guide. We warmly recommend our two-hour tour of the old town of Kotor with a tasting of the best Montenegrin prosciutto and wine.

Kotor Old town Montenegro

The best and only way to explore hidden part of Kotor old town is by walk. Make sure to get lost among many of its beautiful cobble stone streets and explore the most hidden parts of this beautiful town.

2. Climb the Famous St.Giovanni Fort

The famous Saint John’s Fortress, or Castle of San Giovanni just above the lowground of Kotor is the number two thing to do in Kotor. We recommend this experience either in the early morning or late afternoon during your free time in Kotor.

To avoid big heats and sun getting directly to your camera while taking photos, the most recommended time is early morning.

For romantics, the late afternoon during the sunset is also very recommended. Regular time to climb the top is 45min and 30min to come down. For the majority of people, this experience lasts around 2hrs.

Hiking up the San Giovanni fort is probably the best way to experience the beauty of Kotor old town and Kotor bay.

3. Visit the St. Tryphon Cathedral & St. Nicholas Church

St. Tryphon Cathedral is a Romanesque style church that dates to 1166, and was built on the site of the church dating to 809. It is one of two Roman Catholic cathedrals in Montenegro, and houses the relics of St. Tryphon, the city’s patron saint and protector. As it is one of the most popular things to see in Kotor, we heavily recommend a visit.

Without a visit to the beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, which was built in the period from 1902 to 1909, your explorations of the most important local religious temples in the city of Kotor are not complete.

Kotor Church Towers - Montenegro

St. Tryphon’s Cathedral in Kotor, Montenegro, is one of two Roman Catholic cathedrals in Montenegro. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kotor, which covers the entire Bay of Kotor and the municipality of Budva.

4. Visit the Maritime & Cats Museum of Kotor

The Maritime Museum of Montenegro in Kotor has grown out of the collection founded by the “Boka Marine” Fraternity around the year 1880, and opened to the public in 1900. It is a great place to visit for history buffs and lovers of maritime glory of Kotor.

What is a visit to Kotor if you do not visit the interesting Museum of Cats? Cats in the old part of Kotor are on every corner and local people have accepted them as part of the family. Visit to the Cat Museum will help you understand the historical connection between these furry animals and local residents of Kotor.

Cats Museum Kotor - Montenegro

Among the exhibits in the Cats Museum are coins, books, notebooks, postage stamps, medals, various bills and postcards donated by cat lovers to the museum, some older then 100 years.

5. Take a Seaside Walk to Dobrota

Dobrota is a small tourist settlement some 5 kilometers away from the heart of Kotor. It is an excellent choice for a pleasant walk easily escaping from the crowds of Kotor.

The entire length of the promenade goes along the sea, where you pass a couple of very beautiful beaches with an excellent selection of restaurants and cafe bars.

You can return to Kotor the same way or catch a local bus.

St. Matthew Church at Dobrota - Montenegro

Beautiful St. Matthew church located in Dubrota – a small town located between Kotor and Perast at Bay of Kotor.

6. Explore Kotor Farmers Market and Try the Best Local Products

Try the home-made food produced by local farmers in the wider Bay of Kotor region by visiting the market under the walls of the old town of Kotor, right next to the Sea Gate.

At the market itself, you can find various types of fruits and vegetables, homemade wines and brandies, cheese and dairy products, dried fruits, local fish and seafood and various other delicacies of the highest quality.

Like the vast majority of other Balkan countries, Montenegro has managed to maintain a good ratio of domestic food production by domestic farmers to imports and industrial production, which means that even in the most visited parts of Montenegro you can still enjoy first-class domestic food.

City market of local products at Kotor (Montenegro)

Make sure to drop by farmers market near the Sea Gate (Morska Vrata) entrance to the old part of Kotor and taste and buy some of the local products. Local people are so eager to offer you food sampling so make sure to say “Yes” sometimes.

7. Take a Swim at Kotor Beach

Close to the Kotor old town beaches are mostly rocky. However if you take a short walk from the old town along the Put I Bokeljske Brigade, you will find a lot of cafes and bars located along the beach offering great options for beach leisure time.

Definitely no one will be harmed by a bit of good tanning and vitamin D, while enjoying the beauties of the summer time beautifully warm Adriatic Sea.

Take a swim at one of many Kotor Bay famous beaches. 

8. Explore the Kotor Bay by Boat

The Bay of Kotor offers a top choice of places and locations to visit.

We heartily recommend you to visit the baroque Perast with its two islets, St. George and Our Lady of the Rock. Furthermore, a little bit to the north of Perast, make sure to visit Risan and explore the historic Roman mosaics.

Definitely the best way to explore the Bay of Kotor is with a speed boat, as locations such as the Blue Cave, Mamula Island and the Yugoslav submarine hideout are most easily accessible by sea.

Explore Perast and Our Lad of the Rocks Island by Boat

Beautiful islet of Our Lady of the Rocks is located just across the town of Perast and the only way to reach is by the boat.

9. Taste Kotor’s Food Delicacies

Diverse local cuisine in the Boka Kotorska region is something you must try.

Since Kotor lies on the Adriatic Sea, the dominant cuisine is Mediterranean. But since the continental part of Montenegro is only an hour’s drive away from Kotor, the choice of traditional Montenegrin dishes is also excellent.

We absolutely recommend you to try the famous “Brodet from Boka”, “Lamb with peas”, “Carnival njokada” or “Spinach gnocchi”, “Rice stuffed calamari”, mussel balote, and so on.

We additionally recommend tasting the world-famous Njegusi prosciutto and cheese, and of course, if you add top Montenegrin wines such as Vranac, Krstač, Kratošija or Žižak, then you have properly “tasted” the best of Montenegro.

Fish Brodet in Kotor, Montenegro

Bokeški brodet is one of the most famous dishes of Mediterranean cuisine in Kotor. It was created as a dish of poor sailors who made delicious dishes from small fish, both those that are damaged or cannot be sold, and today these dishes are real specialties of Boka Kotorska cuisine.

10. Explore the Wider Region of Kotor

Because of its geographical position, Kotor is a top location for exploring the rest of the Montenegrin coastline. North of Kotor, a visit to Perast, a baroque town with its famous islets, ancient Risan with its Roman mosaics and Herceg Novi is the least you have to see.

Amazing Coast of Montenegro

South of Kotor, a visit to Tivat with its marina Porto Montenegro, the Old Town of Budva, Sveti Stefan, and Stari Bar, is the minimum of all the minimums.

You can plan and do this in a solo version, but also if you want an educational local experience and a highly optimized day, then our one-day tour visiting all of the above listed locations is a great choice.

Explore the Continental Montenegro including Lovćen and Skadar Lake National Parks

The inevitable experience of exploring the continental part of Montenegro and visiting the famous village of Njeguši with a tasting of the globally famous Njeguši prosciutto and cheese is the best thing you can do in Montenegro.

If you bring a visit to the cultural center of Montenegro, the city of Cetinje, Lipa Cave, Lovcen National Parks and Skadar Lake, and the town of Rijeka Crnojevića, with a tasting of local products, then you have definitely seen the best of Montenegro.

Experience the Most Beautiful Mountains of the Balkans – Durmitor National Park

Located in the very north of Montenegro, Durmitor National Park must be an indispensable experience to visit if you are ever passing by or visiting Montenegro.

With its 18 glacial lakes, almost 50 peaks over 2000 meters above sea level, authentic villages and unprecedented hospitality of local highlanders, Durmitor National Park offers an amazing experience and is the best of what Montenegro can offer.

If you take into account that the park itself is about a three hours drive from Kotor, we definitely recommend visiting this pearl of nature with the option of a two-day or three-day trip from Kotor.

11. Hike the Stunning Serpentine Trail – Ladders of Kotor

If you are a fan of active holidays, then we definitely recommend additional exploration of the surrounding Lovcen mountains.

One of the most famous trails that starts from the center of Kotor, is the famous Ladder of Kotor trail. This is a medium demanding 6 hours return trail that takes you to the upper parts of the Kotor Mountains, from where you can enjoy amazing views of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor.

Ladders of Kotor trail - Montenegro

Beautiful view of Kotor bay from famous Ladders of Kotor hiking trail.

12. Understand the Montenegro’s Wine Culture

In addition to the incredible natural beauty, unique multi-millennial history and good food, we believe one cannot experience Montenegro properly if we do not understand the Montenegrin wine story well enough.

Just the thought that Montenegro has the largest European vineyard and that this small country has over 100 properly registered wineries, and that over 50 types of wine are produced locally, tells us that the love for wine and brandy in Montenegro is unmatched.

For this purpose, we recommend that you take a day and visit some of the best Montenegrin wineries.

Montenegro Njeguski prosciutto and cheese and Red wine

Kotor main city market stalls offering wide range of local products.

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