Kotor travel guide

Kotor Tourism | Kotor Guide

You're Going to Love Kotor

Kotor is a coastal city within Montenegro, a small Balkan country famed for its medieval structures, lush scenery, and rich nautical history.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kotor

1. The Island Gospa od Skrpjela

One of two artificial islands located in the Bay of Kotor, Gospa od Skrpjela honors the city's seafaring past and the many captains who have been shipwrecked in the area, according to local legends.

2. Castle of San Giovanni

Hike up the mountain to this old 9th-century fortress with stunning views of the fjord below.

3. St Tryphon's Cathedral

Take in the Romanesque-Gothic architecture of this 11th-century cathedral, located in the heart of Old Town.

4. Krstac

Follow the many forested switchbacks of this looming mountain hike for a 3.5 hour excursion terminating in the village of Krstac.

5. Maritime Museum

Pay tribute to Kotor's naval history and visit this museum of reconstructed galleys, captain's portraits, and navigational instruments.

What to do in Kotor

1. Fortify Yourself For Some Amazing Views

Easily Kotor's most famous attraction, these magnificent fortifications reflect the city's history of rule by Illyrians, Venetians, Austrians, and Byzantines. Understandably, they also have UNESCO-protected status. Dedicated to St John, the castle looms over the city, and you'll have to climb to the summit - but it's definitely worth the effort. Aside from the views, the complex includes a number of picturesque churches and chapels (which make great photographic backdrops).

2. Kotor's Stunning Medieval Core

Kotor's Old Town, Stari Grad is as attractive as medieval towns can be. Nestled in an inlet of the Adriatic Sea, surrounded by mountains and overlooked by the castle, the town seems almost dream-like, particularly under the reliable Montenegrin sunshine. As you wander around, you'll discover fascinating locations like Craftsmen's Street, which houses blacksmiths, masons, jewelers and other essential workers, elegant portals like the River Gate, gorgeous churches, palaces, squares, and plenty of souvenir shopping opportunities. Taking a tour is recommended, given how much there is to see (and miss).

3. A Model Of How Museums Should Be

Kotor's premier museum is dedicated solely to the sea, which gave the city its prosperity, and continues to draw thousands of tourists every year. Housed in the Baroque Grgurina Palace, the collection includes galleries telling stories of daring battles against pirates, as well as amazingly lifelike models of vessels dating back to the medieval era. There's an 18th century atlas of the Mediterranean, cabinets full of muskets and swords, and exhibits focusing on World Wars One and Two, as well. If you are a maritime buff, or just want to get under the skin of Kotor, it's an essential visit.

4. Keeping Sailors Safe For Centuries

Translated as "Our Lady of the Rocks", a church has rarely been more accurately named. This Catholic church exists on a purpose-built island in Kotor Bay that was made by sinking ships loaded with rocks. As its roots suggest, the church was intended mainly to serve sailors as they set off for dangerous voyages, but it's now more of a tourist attraction, offering gorgeous views across the bay. If you're there on July 22, don't be alarmed to see locals throwing stones into the sea. It's an age-old custom that continues to enlarge the island, year after year.

5. A Mountain That Gave Birth To Monarchs

When you wander around Kotor, you won't be able to avoid Lovćen, a mountain which towers 1,749 meters above the city. Aside from being an imposing sight, it's also great fun to explore, having been turned into a National Park in the 1950s. Attractions include the tiny village of Njegui, which gave birth to the Petrovic dynasty, who ruled Montenegro from 1696 to 1918, and hosts the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos - a poet and ruler venerated by many modern Montenegrins.

1. Fortify Yourself For Some Amazing Views

Easily Kotor's most famous attraction, these magnificent fortifications reflect the city's history of rule by Illyrians, Venetians, Austrians, and Byzantines. Understandably, they also have UNESCO-protected status. Dedicated to St John, the castle looms over the city, and you'll have to climb to the summit - but it's definitely worth the effort. Aside from the views, the complex includes a number of picturesque churches and chapels (which make great photographic backdrops).

2. Kotor's Stunning Medieval Core

Kotor's Old Town, Stari Grad is as attractive as medieval towns can be. Nestled in an inlet of the Adriatic Sea, surrounded by mountains and overlooked by the castle, the town seems almost dream-like, particularly under the reliable Montenegrin sunshine. As you wander around, you'll discover fascinating locations like Craftsmen's Street, which houses blacksmiths, masons, jewelers and other essential workers, elegant portals like the River Gate, gorgeous churches, palaces, squares, and plenty of souvenir shopping opportunities. Taking a tour is recommended, given how much there is to see (and miss).

3. A Model Of How Museums Should Be

Kotor's premier museum is dedicated solely to the sea, which gave the city its prosperity, and continues to draw thousands of tourists every year. Housed in the Baroque Grgurina Palace, the collection includes galleries telling stories of daring battles against pirates, as well as amazingly lifelike models of vessels dating back to the medieval era. There's an 18th century atlas of the Mediterranean, cabinets full of muskets and swords, and exhibits focusing on World Wars One and Two, as well. If you are a maritime buff, or just want to get under the skin of Kotor, it's an essential visit.

4. Keeping Sailors Safe For Centuries

Translated as "Our Lady of the Rocks", a church has rarely been more accurately named. This Catholic church exists on a purpose-built island in Kotor Bay that was made by sinking ships loaded with rocks. As its roots suggest, the church was intended mainly to serve sailors as they set off for dangerous voyages, but it's now more of a tourist attraction, offering gorgeous views across the bay. If you're there on July 22, don't be alarmed to see locals throwing stones into the sea. It's an age-old custom that continues to enlarge the island, year after year.

5. A Mountain That Gave Birth To Monarchs

When you wander around Kotor, you won't be able to avoid Lovćen, a mountain which towers 1,749 meters above the city. Aside from being an imposing sight, it's also great fun to explore, having been turned into a National Park in the 1950s. Attractions include the tiny village of Njegui, which gave birth to the Petrovic dynasty, who ruled Montenegro from 1696 to 1918, and hosts the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos - a poet and ruler venerated by many modern Montenegrins.

Where to Eat in Kotor

Cesarica in Old Town serves traditional Dalmatian coast cuisine, such as fresh sea food and risotto. A meal for two including drinks costs EUR40.

When to visit Kotor

Kotor in April
Estimated hotel price
$58
1 night at 3-star hotel
Kotor in April
Estimated hotel price
$58
1 night at 3-star hotel

Visit Kotor during the summer months between May and September when temperatures allow for more outdoor sports like hiking, sailing, fishing, and swimming.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Kotor

Plane

Tivat Airport (TIV) is located 4.9 miles outside of the city center and services mainly regional airlines. Most travelers fly into the capital at Podgorica Airport (TGD) and then connect by bus or private car to Kotor.

Boat

During the high tourist season, ships will call at the Port of Kotor while making their way along the Adriatic Coast. There are regular daily ferries between Italy and Kotor throughout the year, which cost EUR50 one way.

Car

Take the M2.3 from the capital city Podgorica to reach Kotor in 1.5 hours.

Bus

The Kotor main bus station is a 10-minute walk from Old Town. Globtour offers regular connections to cities in Bosnia, Albania, Italy, Serbia, and Croatia. A one-way ticket from Split, Croatia to Kotor costs EUR15.

Airports near Kotor

Airlines serving Kotor

Lufthansa
Good (1,810 reviews)
Air France
Good (361 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,185 reviews)
SWISS
Good (420 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (246 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (454 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,426 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (397 reviews)
LOT
Good (296 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (75 reviews)
easyJet
Good (464 reviews)
Aegean Airlines
Excellent (144 reviews)
Eurowings
Good (74 reviews)
Norwegian
Good (49 reviews)
Wizz Air
Good (306 reviews)
airBaltic
Good (39 reviews)
Air Serbia
Good (32 reviews)
Luxair
Excellent (9 reviews)
Transavia France
Good (87 reviews)
FlexFlight
Excellent (1 reviews)
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Where to stay in Kotor

Old Town - the city center of Kotor offers many restaurants, bars, and hotels, and is within walking distance to tourist museums, churches, and fortresses.

Popular Neighborhoods in Kotor

Perast - this charming town on the bay just outside of Kotor is a popular day-trip location.

Upper Town - here you can hike up to the Old Fortress and take some amazing pictures of the bay and city below.

Where to stay in popular areas of Kotor

Most booked hotels in Kotor

Boutique Hotel Astoria
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
$129+
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How to Get Around Kotor

Public Transportation

There are many intercity buses in Kotor allowing you to travel between neighborhoods. A single ride ticket costs EUR1.30.

Taxi

Taxi tariffs start at EUR1 and cost around EUR5 for a ride within the city center.

Car

Rental cars can be picked up from the Port of Kotor, Tivat Airport, or in downtown Kotor. Daily rates start at EUR25.

The Cost of Living in Kotor

Shopping Streets

Shopping Centar Kamelija is the most traditional shopping mall. Cats of Kotor Art and Handicraft Gallery on Stari Grad Kotor is a cat-lovers utopia with many souvenirs and local art pieces available.

Groceries and Other

Euro Casa and IDEA Market are the two main food shopping stores. A dozen eggs costs EUR1.50.

Cheap meal
$11.70
A pair of jeans
$90.90
Single public transport ticket
$2.63
Cappuccino
$2.63