Kotor is situated in a most secluded part of Boka Kotorska bay, in the northern part of the Montenegro coast. It has developed around Stari Grad (local language for "old town"), the city's old town and best known landmark, which is listed with UNESCO World heritage sites. The bay is the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean Sea, and the scenery around it (including the steep mountains which come almost to the waterfront) is spectacular.
The Stari Grad is fully walled (with the mountain acting as one of the walls). There are four gates offering access to the town: The Main Gate, along the Bay, the North Gate, the South Gate, and a smaller New Gate. There are no cars allowed in the Stari Grad, nor are there standard road names in the Stari Grad. Although all buildings are numbered, it is best to use landmarks for directions. Generally, the squares are named for the church in their center, and directions either relate to the closest square or the closest gate. The most well know and obvious landmark is the clock tower, just inside the main gate, in the main square.
There are abundant banks and ATMs throughout the Stari Grad. ATMs will often dispense as few bills as possible. For example, a withdrawal of €150 will probably produce 3 €50 bills. Many people will refuse to make change from large bills, so it is advised to withdraw an even amount, to avoid €50 bills, or small amounts at a time. Banks are not open on Sunday or Holidays. Travelers cheques are generally not accepted, even by banks. Not all restaurants or shops will accept credit cards so it is best to ask before hand.
Kotor, and the entire Kotor Bay has long been a vacation and second home destination for many Europeans, including English, Irish, and Scottish. After Serbian, English is the common language, and most waitstaff and hotel staff can communicate in some English.
Tivat Airport is 8km away. The following airlines operate to/from Tivat Airport: Air Moldova (Chiṣinǎu, seasonal), Jat Airways (Belgrade), KrasAir (Moscow-Domodedovo), Montenegro Airlines (Belgrade, Copenhagen, London-Gatwick, Moscow-Domodedovo, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Pristina, Rome-Fiumicino, Skopje, St Petersburg), Moskovia Airlines (Moscow-Domodedovo) Rossiya (St Petersburg), S7 Airlines (Moscow-Domodedovo), Transaero Airlines (Moscow-Domodedovo) There are also Charter flights to Moscow, Helsinki and other cities. Many of these flights are not available for booking on online consolidation sites, so it is best the check the individual airline's websites.
Podgorica airport is 90km away, and has flights throughout the year to Belgrade, Budapest, Zurich, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Paris, Rome, Vienna and, London-Gatwick. Buses run from Podgorica to Kotor year round.
Dubrovnik airport in Croatia is 73 km away from Kotor, and maintains flights to many European destinations throughout the year, providing a good alternative to the Montenegrin airports. A taxi to Kotor will cost €80..
Kotor is fairly well connected with neighboring countries by bus.
- Bus station (Autobuska stanica) (5 minute walk from the old town, on the road towards Budva (look for the old tall chimney!)), ☎ +382 32 325 809. every day 06:00 - 22:00. Bus times and frequency varies greatly seasonally. Check the schedule online.
From Budva buses run to Herceg Novi, stopping in Kotor, almost every 30 minutes from 7:00 to 23:00. Buses also run between Kotor and the following cities: Podgorica (hourly, €7 (august 2014)), Bar and Ulcinj (6-8 per day, approximately €5), Dubrovnik and Mostar (3 per day, 3 hours), Split (3 times a week, 7 hours), Sarajevo (1x daily), Belgrade (10 hours), Skopje (night bus, 12 hours, twice a week on Friday and Saturday at 7PM). During the week you can go to Skopje via Nis, Serbia (bus from Kotor to Tivat at 3:50PM, from Tivat to Nis 5:30PM). The 11am bus to Mostar costs 26 euro plus a euro for every bag and takes 9 hours, as it visits almost every major town in Montenegro and the southern Respublika Srpska before finally arriving in Mostar-- Not reccommended.
There are also small public buses (colored in white with blue sign "Blue line") that run through the city connecting nearby villages and towns. You can stop them at any bus stop inside Kotor. They also go to Tivat along the coast line passing Muo, Prcanj.
All roads in Montenegro are two-lanes only, and mostly are curvy mountainous roads, so speeds over 70 km/h (43 mph) are rarely legal, and rarely safe.
The Vrmac tunnel has recently been completed, which significantly shortens the journey from Budva to Kotor. Road traffic was formerly diverted to alternative road over Trojica hill above Kotor. It is still possible to travel via this very curvy mountain road, so you might travel from Budva to Kotor a bit longer. From this hill you can enjoy beautiful views not only of the tiny countryside villages, but also of Podgorica (when approaching from Cetinje), and also Kotor bay.
Be aware that when driving in Montenegro that the locals drive very aggressively and think nothing of overtaking across white lines on steep bends. Be careful. There is also a great deal of road building underway and the safety considerations are a little less onerous than those in more developed countries. Don't panic.
As in many places, taxis may or may not have a meter. Be warned that un-metered taxi fares can range widely, especially for English speakers. Taxi drivers often try to scam tourists. The real taxi price within Kotor and Muo should be below 3 euro. You should discuss the price before getting into the taxi.
- Transfer service, Kralja Nikole 122 Podgorica, ☎ +38269949197, e-mail: email@example.com. minivan transfers, airport transfers comfort sedan vehicles Dubrovnik 85eur, Mostar 120eur, Sarajevo 160eur, Split 200eur, Podgorica 40eur, Tirana 140eur.
There aren't any scheduled ferries traveling to Kotor but there are services between Bar and Bari, Italy most days.
Kotor itself is a small town, so pretty much everything is within walking distance. Enter the old town via any of the three gates then explore the maze of narrow passages between the stone houses.
Parking space in the city center is very hard to find, so use your car only when you have to. Be careful where you park, sketchy tow operators target tourists around the old city. You can look for a free parking space away from the old city and then walk.
There are no sandy beaches in Kotor, and water is not of premium quality for swimming. The best solution is driving to the Jaz or Trsteno beaches on the Budva riviera, some 20 km from Kotor. Those are very beautiful beaches, and you should make the effort of going there.
- St Tryphon's Cathedral (Old Town). First built in the 11th century, reconstructed after earthquakes. Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Chapel holds the remains of St. Tryphon, the patron saint of Kotor. €2
- St Nicolas Church. The biggest Orthodox church in the Old Town.
- Maritime Museum (Old Town), ☎ 304720. M-Sa: 8AM-8PM; Sundays: 9AM-1PM. 3 floors of photographs, uniforms, weapons, paintings, and model ships. €4.
- Climb up to the Fortifications. Stretching some 4.5 km directly above the city, on almost vertical cliffs. Climbing up the 1350 steps will be rewarded by an excellent view of Kotor and the bay from St John's fortress. Only advisable for physically fit people, furthermore on some sections the steps are broken up although the entrance fees are clearly being spent on repairs (July 2010). The 1200ft ascent may take an hour. €3.
- Boat Trips. In the middle of the bay there are two islands, Sveti Djordje and Gospa od Skrpijela, which are very worth seeing. You can get there with tourist boats.
Old town has many boutiques. There is an open market just outside the old town; there you can buy almost anything from fresh vegetables to sunglasses.
There is a wide choice of places to eat in Kotor. In old town you can find almost anything - from classy restaurants offering fresh seafood and national cuisine to fast food offering pizzas, barbecue, etc. There is a large produce market outside the city walls. Hamburgers there cost €1. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants along the bay-side promenade, which stretches north through Dobrota.
- Forza (near the clock tower). The most popular pastry shop in Kotor
- La Pasteria (directly opposite St Tryphons Cathedral). You'll find great sandwiches and fine pizzas with original prosciutto from the nearby village of Njeguši. Probably the best Italian food in Kotor!
- Bastion Restaurant (Near St. Mary's church), ☎ 322116. Busy lunchtime venue. Great fish. €6 to €30.
- Cesarica (close to Hotel Marja in the Old Town). Serves excellent and cheap Dalmatian food. Try the cuttlefish risotto, it's amazing! main dishes from €5 to €15.
- Forza Mare, Dobrota. Sea side restaurant and hotel,very popular in area out of town in Kotor
- Babilon restaurant and hotel, Dobrota. Affordable prices,on perfect location. This is must visit restaurant with first class sea food menu
Again, old town is the hotspot for relaxed drinking espresso in the shade of the medieval walls. There are many cafes in the old town, but still it's hard to find a place to sit in the sunny day. Tipping is not necessary although you may leave your change by simply rounding up. Befriending the waitstaff can get you quite far in Kotor.
Espresso will cost from €1.00. Coke and other soft drinks and juices will cost from €1.00 up to €2.00.
You should also try out famous Montenegrin wines, "Vranac", "Pro Corde", "Krstac", "Cabernet", "Chardonnay" and "Nikšićko" beer. Montenegrin brandy, called "rakija" is good choice to "warm up" before going out in the evening, especially grape brandy "Montenegrin loza", "Prvijenac" or "Kruna". Litre bottles of wine are available in the supermarkets outside of the Stari Grad for under €5.00
A night out in Kotor usually begins in some of the many open bars within the walls of old town. Pubs in the old town are only open until 1AM.
The best club, without a doubt, is Maximus, located in the old town.
Accommodation is cheap and plentiful in Kotor.
- HOUSE 44 - Apartments, Muo 44 Kotor (15 min from old town), ☎ +38269234539, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Apartments in House 44 are equiped with, bath and sea view living room with kitchen and terrace . The apartments can host from 4 to 6 persons in Studio (4),One bedroom apartment(4) and Garden apartment (6) and perfectly fits both for families or company of friends. The house has a terraces and garden, which is the perfect place for having rest under the shady palm tree. The apartment has: - everything for cooking at home; - fridge; - parking place. Garden is used as a common place for all the guests of the house and equipped with sun-beds, umbrellas, chairs and tables. It is a great place for sun-tanning or having dinner with a gorgeous view on the seaside and old Kotor. We will be happy to help our guests in organizing time in Montenegro or in resolution of any issues during your stay. Pickup from Kotor main bus station and Airport Tivat is free of charge. from 35€.
Many of the homes in the Stari Grad have been turned into for-rent apartments. For groups of two or more, these are often the most affordable options. They range in quality (and price) from quite luxurious to pretty modest. Most can be reserved ahead of time online, although wire transfer down payments are expected. Most are either owned or managed by English speaking expats for a foreign market.
During summer you can expect to pay about €10 per person for accommodation at a private residence in the old town, and €7-15 outside the old town and closer to beaches.
- Old Town Kotor Hostel, Stari Grad 284 (Near Cultural Center), ☎ +382 32 325 317. Once owned by a local noble family Bisanti, now redecorated as Old Town Hostel Kotor, we offer a truly unique form of stay in Kotor. By careful restoration and design we have managed to offer the feeling of Kotor as it once was. Dorm bed: €10.
- Youth Hostel Spasic-Masera, Dobrota bb (1km away from the centre and 20m off the main road).
- Suranj Hostel. Private owned hostel near the bus station. Own room with small kitchen, TV and shower. Double: 33e/night.
- Hotel Amfora Kotor (Kotor Bay Orahovac) (Located 6 km from Perast), ☎ +382 (0) 32 305 857, fax: +382 (0) 32 305 852. Check-in: 24h, check-out: 12h. Hotel has 4 Stars, with a private beach, sauna and fish restaurant. Open 24 hours and all 365 days a year. The hotel is located directly at the beach in Orahovac. Very quiet rooms with seaview overlooking the bay €30 to €99.
- Cattaro Hotel. 4 star hotel. €90 to €150.
- Forza Mare. A small 5-star hotel in Dobrota.
- Hotel Marija (Old City), ☎ 325062. Boutique hotel. Single: €44; Double: €63.
- Hotel Vardar. Old Yugoslavian design. Recently upgraded and very expensive. Single: €100; Double: €200.
Wifi is available in the town center, and at many cafes. Cafe wifi often requires pass codes given only to paying customers.
- City Calendar in English Kotor City News 365 Days
- Prčanj - A small hamlet 4km away.
- Herceg Novi
- Lovcen National Park
- Take one-day trip to some of the small towns in the bay, like Perast (18km away) or Risan.
- Go to some of the beaches in half hour's drive from Kotor (Jaz, Trsteno, Plavi horizonti).