It seems that these days everybody’s talking about the beautiful Montenegrin coast. Kotor, the city located in the stunning Kotor Bay, is one of the most popular European summer destinations at the moment. It has a little bit of everything for everyone’s taste, and it equally attracts young people, families and even the elderly. Perfect weather, vicinity of the crystal clear Adriatic waters, amazing natural landscape, rich cultural heritage and loads of newly open bars and restaurants – Kotor is a dream summer destination.
What’s the best time to visit Kotor?
Definitely during the warmer months. During the winter, many activities can’t be done and many bars and restaurants are simply closed. Summers are sunny and hot, but they are definitely the best time of the year to visit Kotor. To escape the crowds, visit in early June or early September. May and October also offer nice weather and pretty affordable accommodation.
a Few facts about Kotor
This coastal city of Montenegro was first settled during the Roman times. During the rule of the Venetian Republic, the fortification system surrounding the Old Town was built. It’s still very well preserved and listed as a World Heritage Site.
The natural landscape is a pretty impressive one as the limestone cliffs hang over the Gulf of Kotor. It may seem like one of the fjords, but it’s actually a ria, a submerged river canyon.
One Day in Kotor Itinerary
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Kotor.
Start your day with a breakfast
There are numerous breakfast options in Kotor, but there’s one special place only a short walk from the Old Town. Ladovina kitchen and wine bar offers amazing egg dishes, super healthy oatmeals and a wide range of sandwiches. All of that served on a beautiful patio. In case you enjoyed the atmosphere, you can always come back for either lunch or dinner.
Stroll around the Old Town
The best time to explore the Old Town of Kotor is right in the morning, especially during the peak season. Pass through the Gurdich Gate and get lost in the narrow streets and passages of the Old Town. Even if you wander without any use of a map, you’ll easily manage to explore everything during a two-hour walk.
There are many churches and piazzas inside the walls. Besides the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, don’t skip Saint Luke’s church on the lovely Piazza Greca square. The church of Saint Luke has traits of Roman and Byzantine architecture.
Another lovely square is the Wood Square and the church of Saint Mary’s Collegiate near the Northern Gate. Finish your Old Town tour at the Piazza of the Arms square and exit trough the Sea Gate onto the lovely Promenade.
Drink an espresso coffee
The Old Town is literally packed with bars and restaurants mostly because Montenegrins really have a vibrant cafe culture. Order an espresso coffee, relax in the shade of stone walls and just people watch. You’ll easily fall into the local mood.
Have a spectacular panoramic view
For a spectacular view of Kotor Bay and the old city of Kotor, climb the stairs that go all the way to the San Giovanni fortress. The climb up may be a bit exhausting, especially during the hot months, but you’ll happen to forget everything once you’re there. In case you’re not able to climb all the way to the fortress, there is a nice viewpoint not far from the point of the entrance which is still a great spot to capture some amazing photos.
Taste the Montenegrin flavours
Montenegrin cuisine is best described as a mix of Balkan and Mediterranean cuisine. You can have amazing meat stews and grilled meat as well as some of the most delicious seafood in Europe. Meat and vegetables from the grill can be a great order, but if you want something more traditional order japraci (dolma made with rastan leaves), pasulj (Bean stew with smoked ribs), meat tripes stew or simply go for an octopus salad. There are many restaurants around the Old Town, so pick one depending on your taste and your budget.
There’s a nice restaurant called Bokun (which means a little) that’s the best option if you’re not into eating a heavy meal. They offer great sandwiches, pizzas, salads and some great platters – and their Kotor platter is a must try.
Restaurant Przun is another great restaurant that offers wide variety of food – from delicious pasta, risottos, salads all the way to seafood and burgers. Pretty much for every taste.
If you’re into seafood specialties – don’t miss restaurant Scala Santa.
For pretty cheap and the most delicious grilled meat in the Kotor, you need to get out of the Old Town and search for Mesara Tanjga grill. They serve meat sandwiches, burgers and meat platters.
Spend an afternoon at the beach
The waters around Kotor are clean and crystal clear. Only about 5 km far from the Old Town of Kotor you can find perfect pebble beaches and spend the whole afternoon sunbathing and swimming. Bajova kula and Orahovac are two beaches favoured by the locals and pretty close to each other, accessible both by road and by sea. Beach bars and restaurants offer deckchair rental where you can enjoy your summer cocktail overlooking the sea.
During the warm summer nights, the Old Town transforms into a really lively place with a great chilled atmosphere. After an exhausting day, the best thing to do is to find an outdoor terrace and enjoy drinks and some live music. A great bar for doing so is a Jazz Bar Evergreen. They mostly play jazz music and at nights hold live concerts. They have some nice Montenegrin wines on their menu, and they serve a lovely local dark beer. Other than that, live music can be found in restaurants Przun and Bokun, Square Pub and Karampana.
Where to stay in Kotor?
Boutique Hotel Astoria
Stari Grad 322, Kotor Stari Grad
Boutique Hotel Astoria is a luxurious and modern hotel located in the heart of the Old Town. Beautifully designed bathrooms, original painted room murals and unusual, artistic design all make a stay in this hotel a unique experience.
Historic Boutique Hotel Cattaro
Stari grad 433, Kotor Stari Grad
Hotel Cattaro is a historic boutique hotel, in the core of a historical building which in the 18th century used to be Napoleon’s theatre. The hotel is actually a part of the Old Town walls and features a terrace with the most beautiful view of the main city square.
Near the beach
Hotel Casa del Mare-Pietra
Dobrota bb, 85330 Kotor
Luxurious and elegant, Hotel Casa del Mare-Pietra is located in Dobrota, only 50 meters from the sea promenade and 3 km from Kotor Old Town. This fully designed hotel provides both comfort and luxury stay. Its stylish and individually decorated rooms come with a sea view and standard amenities. The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, small wellness center with Jacuzzi, sauna and massage treatments.
Hotel Casa del Mare – Amfora
Orahovac bb, 85330 Kotor
Hotel Casa del Mare- Amfora is located by the sea, in the calm charming village of Orahovac. The hotel offers modern and comfortable suites with balconies and amazing views. Guests can also enjoy a small wellness club with a sauna and hot tub as well as the restaurant of traditional local and Mediterranean cuisine. The beautiful private beach is located only a few steps from the hotel.
Extra tips for visiting Kotor
– Even though Montenegro is not part of the EU, the Euro is their official currency.
– The tips in the bars and restaurants are never included in the price, and it’s customary to tip at least 10%.
– If you move just a bit from the Old Town and the sea coast, the restaurant prices can go up to 30% cheaper.
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Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).