Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Planning your trip to Kotor and wondering what you can do there? Here are the top things to do in Kotor Montenegro during your next visit.

The largest city of Montenegro is Kotor, located on the Adriatic Sea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the birthplace of the nation’s first king. The Old Town of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located on a peninsula. It contains a number of buildings that are over a thousand years old.

The Kotor region is the most southerly part of Montenegro and includes the Bay of Kotor and the Kotoran Marina. The old town of Kotor and the fortress-city of Lovcen are both located here. The region has a long and rich history, with many important battles having been fought here. The region is also a popular tourist destination, with many people coming to admire the scenic coastline and the fortress.

It is one awesome thing to squeeze in your itinerary if you are already in Dubrovnik Croatia and it makes one of the best day trips from Dubrovnik.

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Kotor Essentials

How to get to Kotor: Hire a car and drive from Podgorica; join an organised day tour from Dubrovnik; or book a private transfer from Dubrovnik airport.

Hiring a car in Montenegro: The Bay of Kotor is the perfect place for a road trip. Use Discover Cars to find the best price on a rental car in Sveti Stefan, Tivat or Podgorica. You can also rent a car in Dubrovnik if you are exploring Dubrovnik and drive your way to Kotor, Perast and all.

Where to stay in Kotor:Historic Hotel Cattaro (boutique) – luxurious rooms with balconies and terraces overlooking the Bay. Apartment Ivan (mid-range) – self-contained apartments near the Old Town. Hostel Old Town (budget) – basic accommodation in the heart of the city. Apartments Nancy (self-contained apartment) – excellent hospitality close to the old town.

aerial shot of a landscape - Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro
Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro – Photo by Muamer Ramovic on

Best time to visit Kotor

The ideal time to visit Kotor has changed recently as a result of the city’s rising fame. Every day from June to August, cruise ships call in Kotor’s harbour, discharging hundreds of passengers into the Old City. The large number of individuals might make the cramped space feel extremely crowded.

Because of this, April and May or September and October are the best months to visit Kotor (and Montenegro in general). Even though it’s still warm enough to go swimming during this time, fewer tourists will be there.

Top 5 Kotor tours & experiences

  1. Walking tour of Kotor Old Town (from 82 EUR)
  2. Boat tour to Our Lady of the Rocks & the Blue Cave (from $34)
  3. Kayaking on the Bay of Kotor (from $40)
  4. Full-day tour from Kotor to Lovcen National Park (from $56)
  5. Full-day tour from Kotor to Perast (from $23)

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Quick Map for Top Things to do in Kotor

Trip map created with Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android

List of wonderful things to do in Kotor

The Sea Gate

When it was governed by the Venetians in 1555, the town’s main entrance was built (1420–1797). Watch out for Venice’s emblem, the winged lion of St. Mark, which is prominently featured on the walls of this and other locations across the city. A communist star and a Tito statement are displayed above the gate to commemorate the day the city was freed from the Nazis. Outside the entryway, a large (and mysterious) bench makes for amusing photos.

Look for the 15th-century stone relief of the Madonna and Child flanked by St. Tryphon and St. Bernard as you pass through the gate.

If you need the printed copy of Top Things to do in Kotor then there is a tourist desk next to this gate and you can get your free copy of City map along with top things to do there in your preferred language.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

The River Gate

The river gate is part of the impressive Kotor fortifications placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with other defensive works from the time of the Venetian Republic.

The building in its present shape was built in 1540 after repelling the attack of the Ottoman Empire, which sent 200 ships against Kotor commanded by the famous Barbarossa.

An attractive stone bridge crosses the Skurda River at the North Gate.  It is a great place to unwind and enjoy the sounds of cascading river water.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

The Gurdic Gate

The Gurdic Spring is crossed by the South Gate. It’s easier to envision traveling back in time several centuries in this area of the city because there are less tourists and smaller lanes leading to the gate and bastion.

The gate is situated on a small natural peninsula that divides the bay’s deep water from its high mountainside. The sturdy gate and bastion guard this crucial link to the outside world.

The bastion has a heavily defended tunnel that guards a wooden drawbridge. It was built around 1470 and played a crucial role in the city’s defense system.

Craftsmen Street connects the North Gate to the South Gate through the old town.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Explore Kotor Old Town on Foot (Stari Grad)

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro | Photo by Gleb Rurenko on Unsplash

The old town of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a designation for historic sites that are important to the cultural heritage of humanity. The old town of Kotor is unique and fascinating, with narrow, winding streets, old buildings, and a multitude of history and atmosphere. It’s one of the most picturesque parts of Montenegro, and a great place to spend a few hours exploring.

It is best to explore that on foot getting lost in the alleys of the town. During the peak season it is really crowded but you would love it. I had a feeling while walking in the alleys as if I was teleported to Venice at some point.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Hike up to the Kotor Fortress for the Epic View

The Kotor Fortress is one of the most unique and historically significant castles in the Adriatic. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best place to get a bird’s eye view of Kotor Bay and its surrounding islands. The fortress is also one of the most popular attractions in Kotor, with hundreds of tourists visiting each day. This is why it’s important to get to the top of the fortress as soon as you arrive in Kotor.

Walk the Old City Walls

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Stroll down the famous Kotor walls, which are similar to Rome’s, and visit the old fortifications and watch the amazing views of the bay and the old town, which is located above the walls and houses various churches, museums and monuments.

The Old City Walls are an impressive sight. At 1.2 kilometres long and up to 9 metres high, they run along the entire perimeter of the old town of Kotor, and were built by the Austrians in the mid-19th century. The fortifications are made up of almost 200 stone bastions, triangular towers, ramparts, parapets and moats.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Kotor Cats Museum

Kotor Cats Museum is the first institution to introduce cats to the Montenegrin coast. The foundation was established in 2005 with the help of Felicidades foundation, which helps the needy of Montenegro, and their goal is to transform the Kotor Cats Museum into an animal care, welfare and education center that will benefit the local community and educational institutions.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Visit the Church of Saint Tryphon Kotor’s Old Church

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro
Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

They are a testament to the power and influence of Kotor’s long history as a major port city. The Old Church of Saint Tryphon is located in the old city inside the old city walls. It is a small church with a large courtyard, which was built in the 11th century. It is built from stone and mortar, and features a large gabled roof and a single small window on the eastern wall.

The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. It was built in the 12th century, and is a mixture of Romanesque, Byzantine, and Baroque styles. It features a large, central dome and two side aisles.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Visit Church of St Nikolas and other Kotor’s Churches

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro
Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro | Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

Church of St Nikolas in Kotor is one of the best preserved medieval buildings in Montenegro. It was built in the 14th century in the style of the Italian Romanesque. The intricate decoration of the main façade, consisting of geometrical tracery, is among the most important in the whole of Dalmatia. The beautiful and richly coloured brick façade encloses a space of approximately 5,100 square meters.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Visit and Relax on the beach in Kotor

The lush forests and crystal clear Adriatic Sea have captivated visitors since ancient times. The sandy beaches and warm waters have lured many more. The city of Kotor is one of the most popular resorts in Montenegro and the Old Town is a must-see. With its white buildings and red roofs, the Old Town is a medley of architectural styles.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Kampana Tower

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro
Top things to do in Kotor Montenegro | Photo by Evelyn Paris on Unsplash

One of the most recognizable elements of the medieval defenses that surround Kotor’s ancient town is the Kampana Tower. Kotor’s fortifications, which were initially built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, grew more comprehensive throughout time as each king added to the city’s defense system to ward off aspirational invaders and troublesome competitors.

The overall effect is a temping mishmash of historical architectural styles. The imposing Kampana Tower, which was constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries, is located not far from the location where the River Scurda empties into the inner arm of the Bay of Kotor.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Take a boat trip on the Bay of Kotor or Paddleboarding

Boat Trip on Bay of Kotor - Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro
Boat Trip on Bay of Kotor – Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Enjoy a boat tour to the most popular sights of Montenegro. See the impressive Our Lady of the Rocks, swim in the Blue Cave, and visit the caves where submarines were hidden.

Set sail to your first stop, Our Lady of the Rocks, a church that sits on a man-made island. Hear the story of the two brothers who found a painting of the Madonna and Child and the church that was built where the painting was found. Pass through the scenic Verige Straits along the Herceg Novi Rivera. Sail out of the bay and spot Mamula Island, a prison during WWII.

Follow the Lustica Peninsula to the Blue Cave. Here, enjoy the opportunity to swim in the crystal water of the cave. On the way back to Kotor, visit the caves the army used for hiding submarines.

Tip: You can check out below tours if you want to explore Kotor from waters

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

How about trying the Kotor Cuisine and Kotor Wine

The Kotor Cuisine is said to offer some of the best seafood in Montenegro. The superb cuisine and wine pairings make Kotor a great place to visit. A taste of the local Cuisine is served at a restaurant specializing in Kotor Cuisine, called Kotor Palace, which is located on the Grand Ponte of the Old Town.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Go Shopping for Souvenir in Kotor Bazaar

The Kotor Bazaar is the main shopping district in the old town of Kotor. It is a large area packed with dozens of souvenir shops, jewelry stores, restaurants, bars, and cafés. Bazaars originated as a way to peddle goods, but today they are most commonly found in tourist towns. The Kotor Bazaar is in the heart of the Kotor Old Town, surrounded by cobbled streets, and lined with restaurants, cafés, and souvenir shops.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Visit the Lady of our Rocks from Kotor

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro
Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

You have the opportunity to take a boat ride and visit Our Lady of the Rocks island. The legend says that in 1452 two brothers found Mary’s picture on a rock in the sea. This led to a miraculous healing of one of the brothers. Ever since locals have been bringing rocks and sinking ships next to this rock. An island was formed and first a chapel was built, then a church in its place. Some call it the Croatian Sistine chapel because of the artwork that enriches its walls.

This trip is already included in your plan if you are taking the Day Trip from Dubrovnik but if you want to plan on your own then it will cost you 10 EUR from Perast which includes the complete boat trip of the Bay of Kotor until Kotor from Perast.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Visit the Small Village of Perast

Perast is a small village on the southern coast of Montenegro. It’s a picturesque town with a beautiful old town and lots or great seafood restaurants. The main square is lively and has a fountain, a church, and some small stores. The best part of Perast is the old town, which has narrow streets and old stone buildings.

Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro

Take a day trip to Herceg Novi from Kotor

Check out the Travel Guide for Montenegro which you can take along with you

Lonely Planet Montenegro is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Enjoy the view of Sveti Stefan while lazing on the beach, visit Njegos’ tomb on top of Black Mountain, or experience ancient history in Kotor -all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Montenegro and begin your journey now!

That was our detail post around Top Things to do in Kotor Montenegro. Do let me know how was your experience of Kotor.

If you think we have missed anything in our list of things to do in Kotor then do let us know.

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