Things to do in Kotor, Montenegro – Fortified city on the shores of the Adriatic

By: Nofar Ronen

The first stop on our cruise (June 2018) was Kotor, Montenegro. Truth be told, I’ve never heard of Kotor before the cruise, and we hadn’t had the chance to visit Montenegro yet – But upon researching the destination to come up with a plan for our free hours there, I found out how gorgeous Kotor and its surrounding area is.

General information about Kotor

Kotor is a fortified city on the Montenegro’s Adriatic shores. The old town, dating back to the middle ages, is characterized by winding streets and plazas, holds several Romanesque churches including Kotor Cathedral. By Kotor are several beautiful cities worth visiting. According to my research, Perast is the most recommended town among them and we definitely weren’t disappointed.

How to reach Kotor?

You can fly to Tivat, in Montenegro – the airport is about a 10-minute drive from Kotor. Alternatively, you may fly to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and take a bus from there (About a 4-hour drive, costing around 18 euros).
Cheap flights comparison   

How to travel in the area?

Outside the walls is a bus station where local busses pass (A ride costs about a euro). We took a bus to Perast. The ride was approximately half an hour (And a lovely local experience). You can also rent a car (Link to post about renting a car on the cheap). Kotor’s central area is within the walls, and it’s a rather small area, so you can easily travel it by foot.

Where to stay at Kotor?

Seeing as we only spent a few hours there, we didn’t get to spend the night in town (Unfortunately). From the research I’ve done, a few places seemed nice and had good reviews. Hotel Villa Duomo, a 4-star hotel in the heart of Kotor. Hotel price comparison and reviews. Monte Cristo hotel, another 4-star hotel in the heart of town. Hotel price comparison and reviews.
Small tip: After booking the hotel, I recommend sending the booking to Pruvo, at [email protected], to be notified if the hotel’s price goes down. That way, you may cancel and book again at a lower price (The service is free!).

Day trip in Kotor and its surroundings

Exploring the fortified city

You can easily spend a few hours simply roaming the city and its alleys. We’ve spend an hour strolling in it without purpose, just because it’s such a beautiful city to walk around.

Walking on the ramparts

In certain areas you may scale the wall and walk its length. The fun part of walking on the wall is seeing the beautiful mountainous landscape and surrounding region.

Vantage point at the fortress

You may climb to the mountain top for a vantage from the fortress. Seeing as we were short on time, we unfortunately didn’t have enough to visit the vantage point. It’s a climb of about 1300 stairs. The stairs themselves are a bit slippery, so it’s recommended to wear good walking shoes or sandals. At the foot of the stairs is a 8 euro admittance cost. There are two entrances to the staircase (Both priced the same). From what I’ve read, the price used to be 3 euros, but it must have gone up. I also read that you only have to pay during the summer months, and that entrance is free the rest of the year. Since we didn’t make it to the top, we used drone footage to see the city from above 🙂

Food and wine at restaurant

We visited Konoba Scala Santa for a light afternoon meal. I ordered a Greek salad and Roman ordered clams. The dishes themselves were delicious, but the thing I liked the most was the place’s atmosphere. It was really nice to sit down there, drink some wine and have a meal.
Kotor has a certain charm and so it’s worth sitting outside at restaurants.

Going to Perast

Outside Kotor’s Walls is a tourist information station where you can ask where the bus station for Perast is. There’s no sign at the bus stop, so just look for people waiting by a little park with trees and benches. By the station is also a fruit stand, where we bought a bag of cherries to gave with us at Perast.

Details about the bus to Perast

The bus is on an hourly schedule, at a quarter past the hour – meaning, 10:15, 11:15 and so on. The ticket is purchased directly from the bus driver and costs a euro. The ride is about half an hour. Tell the driver you want to get off at Perast. He stops frequently along the way for local riders (We followed the route on google maps to make sure we didn’t miss our stop). The bus dropped us off at quite a deserted looking location, but after approximately a 10-minute walk along the shoreline we arrived at Perast. Perast is a famous town on Kotor bay.

What to do at Perast

Like at Kotor, we decided to walk around town as much as possible, without a definite objective. We walked along the coast and at some point, sat down on a bench and ate our cherries (Which were a great idea). Afterwards, we continued roaming and came across some stairs. We decided to scale them, without seeing where they lead.

It was quite a long climb, but we could see Perast’s beautiful views. In the sea nearby are two small islands, Our lady of the rocks and Sveti Dorde, which we could see from above – We also flew a drone so as to see them better and they were absolutely gorgeous. On the way back we saw a bus inside Perast itself and waved it to stop for us, which was really convenient.

Kotor and its surrounding area is really lovely, there’s a calm atmosphere, coupled with stunning views and nice people. We are definitely planning on going back there and staying for a few days this time. This was a small taste which left us yearning for more.

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