Things to do in Kotor

Best Things To Do In Kotor 2020
Top Attractions, Food to Eat & Places to Visit in Kotor

15 Things to do in Kotor

We put together this small guide of ‘What to do in Kotor’ that can come in hand during your visit. Although there are so many beautiful places for you to explore while in this area, we’ve decided to choose the most important and the most exciting ones that you could visit inside and outside the city of Kotor. But we also couldn’t let this list pass without the delicious food you most certainly can’t miss while in Montenegro!

Attractions in Kotor Old Town

The Old Town of Kotor is a treasury of many wonderful monuments that you can explore. We made a list of Top 5 Kotor Attractions you should certainly not skip visiting while in Montenegro.

5 Attractions in Kotor Old Town you have to visit

CITY WALLS
CITY WALLS
ST TRYPHON'S CATHEDRAL
ST TRYPHON'S CATHEDRAL
ST LUKA'S CHURCH
ST LUKA'S CHURCH
MARITIME MUSEUM
MARITIME MUSEUM
OPEN MARKET
OPEN MARKET
Things to do in Kotor old city walls

City Walls Of Kotor

One of the most impressive structures to see in the Old Town of Kotor are its city walls. It is almost unbelievable that they are still proudly standing there, bearing in mind all the earthquakes that have affected this area in the past; so we like to say that they are a great reminder of the town’s long history and the amazing achievements of its citizens. Their construction began more than 1200 years ago, in the 9th century and they were successively modified and improved until the 19th century! Their total length is approximately 4.5 kilometers and their highest point is the San Giovanni fortress that stands at 260 meters above the sea level. What makes our walls fascinating is not only their age and length but the very place where they were built.
We can only imagine how, back in the past, locals were hauling rock by rock to make the structure that would protect their lives and their homes from the many invaders that passed through the Balkan Peninsula.
You will get the best impression of the city walls if you climb them! Yes, climb – not walk, because from the town up to the top there are 1,350 steps and it takes approximately 1.5 hours to get to the top and back. Even though it sounds like a lot of steps, believe us, the view you get from there is worth all the sweat! For those of you who are not really into going all the way up to the top, there is the church of Santa Maria Della Salute halfway up (about 600 steps one way) where you can stop, take breathtaking photographs and still enjoy the walls and the beauty of the Old Town beneath you!

Cathedral Of Saint Tryphon

Another reminder of the amazing cultural achievements of people of Kotor is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon which was constructed in 1166. Its elegant Romanesque architecture, high baroque bell towers and all the amazing artworks that have been carefully preserved inside, put the Cathedral of St. Tryphon among the most charming medieval churches on the entire eastern Adriatic coastline. No, it is not yet another church; it is a monument that reflects everything that makes Kotor and Montenegro tempting and interesting for every traveler out there!
It all began even earlier than that, in the year 809, when relics of Saint Tryphon arrived in Kotor. On the site of today’s Cathedral, there was a much smaller church where the relics were stored. As the economy of Kotor flourished, locals wanted to create something more impressive for their patron saint so the construction began!
Beautiful white limestone was shaped into blocks, piece by piece every single one of them found its place and they were wonderfully put together into something that even today leaves everyone in awe! It was not simply a religious object, standing vastly in the heart of the Old Town of Kotor. It also showed every sailor that came to Kotor that this town may be small in size, but with the achievements of its people, it was as great as any bigger town in Europe! Unfortunately, this area is prone to earthquakes, so the Cathedral was not left out of it. It was damaged few times, especially with the one in 1667, when both bell towers collapsed. The most recent, in 1979, also caused some damage, but the cathedral, as well as the Old Town of Kotor, was completely restored and is standing proudly for all visitors who will certainly admire it exterior beauty and it is open for those who are willing to peek inside this extraordinary monument.

Saint Luka’s Church

The culture of Kotor and the lifestyle of its citizens can be wonderfully explained through the story behind Saint Luka’s church. Among the other Romanesque monuments of our town, this charming church deserves a special place. Being constructed in 1195, it is one of the few of such age that is still standing, and it is in use even today. Locals believe that the church has miraculous trait, since it has remained standing despite many obstacles, disastrous earthquakes and wars.
Although it did suffer some damage, the church looks now almost the same as it did more than 820 years ago! What puts Saint Luka’s church in the special place in the hearts of the locals is the fact that for two centuries it had two altars, where both Roman Catholics and Christian Orthodox believers could pray together. This is just one of many examples that portray the harmony in living, the togetherness, not only between believers but all the people of Montenegro, with all their differences.

Maritime Museum

The town of Kotor is not a place with a lot of museums, however, we could say that the entire town itself is a museum, bearing in mind how well preserved its architecture, culture, and tradition are. But, if you are interested in learning more about Kotor’s history and discovering items and objects that will help you feel the atmosphere this town had through the past, visiting the Maritime Museum is the right option for you! It is situated in the beautiful 18th-century palace of the Grgurina family and the building itself represents an attraction. Beside rich collection of items this Museum possesses, once you enter the palace, you will have a feeling that you have just travelled through time, stepping in quite another dimension.
This palace of history keeps not only models of ships, instruments for navigation, portraits of great local captains, but also beautiful furniture, artworks, weapons decorated in silver, gold, and mother of pearl, and all of this will help you understand the unbreakable connection between our town and the sea!

Kotor Open Market

As in many towns all around the world, the Kotor open market is the perfect place to feel the local vibe, experience the local charm and of course, taste some delicious local products. That is why, besides visiting the Old Town, in our opinion, it’s very important to stop by Kotor’s green market as well, and get the full experience of our sweet town. It is open every day from early morning until 3 PM. However, Saturday is the main market day, when farmers from all around of Montenegro come and offer their products. The market is vivacious, both locals and vendors are cheerfully chatting, the atmosphere is so lively, almost festive, while every citizen of Kotor rushes to get the best pieces of food and greet their neighbors or friends they have not seen for a while. The market is the place where locals would go daily for their fresh groceries and not only to buy them and go home but to stay and exchange a few words about the town’s latest happenings. Without speaking the local language you will hardly understand their gossip but, you don’t need too much skill to understand the calls of vendors from every corner inviting you to taste their products! So relax, smile and walk through this lively part of the town and the one thing we definitely guarantee – you won’t be hungry in the end, when you leave this place!

What to eat in Kotor

The very important feature every single one of us pays attention on while traveling is certainly food. It is especially satisfying when you visit some country for the first time and discover some delicious meals. The saying that says that love comes through stomach is most certainly true, and you fall in love even more with the place you are visiting when you taste something that will leave all of your senses satisfied! Montenegrin cuisine offers delicious Mediterranean dishes and fresh seafood that will leave you speechless!

5 Traditional foods to try in Kotor

MUSSELS IN BUZARA SAUCE
MUSSELS IN BUZARA SAUCE
GRILLED FRESH FISH
GRILLED FRESH FISH
SMOKED HAM & CHEESE
SMOKED HAM & CHEESE
RED WINE VRANAC
RED WINE VRANAC
KREMPITA & MOSCOW CAKE
KREMPITA & MOSCOW CAKE

Mussels In Buzara Sauce

Since forever mussels have been popular on the coast of Montenegro and they are one of the most desirable local specialties. Thanks to the clear seawater of the Bay of Kotor, small bays sheltered from the storms and a few springs of freshwater nearby, make this one of the few suitable places in the area where they can be farmed.
Of course, there are many ways to prepare them but what locals simply adore is cooking them in so-called “buzara” sauce. This is a simple traditional recipe, and basically, all we do is cook the mussels with some olive oil, garlic, parsley, fresh tomatoes and a little bit of white wine.
In the end, we add some lemon and this delicious specialty is ready! Besides the fabulous taste, the reason why we recommend them in the “buzara” sauce lays in the fact that they must be fresh for this kind of preparation, so you don’t need to worry, it will certainly sweep you of your feet! All you need to do is find the restaurant that you like, choose some good local white wine and of course, learn how to pronounce the word “buzara”!

Grilled Fresh Fish

Beside the mussels, another delicious seafood you should definitely taste while in Kotor is fresh fish on the grill! The hypnotizing scent of the sea, which is always present, makes it easy for anyone to pick this dish from the menu, especially when you have fresh fish caught daily from the Adriatic Sea paired with the most famous Mediterranean ingredients such as lemon, olive oil, garlic, and parsley. First, we grill the fresh fish and after it’s done, if you like it that way, we pour over it a “marinade” sauce made of the ingredients mentioned above. As a side dish, locals adore eating boiled mangel leaves and potatoes. There are different sorts of fish that we grill but for sure the most popular are Brancin (Adriatic sea bass), Orada (gilt-head bream), Rombun (snapper), Zubatac (dentex), etc. However, if you are not a fish lover you won’t go wrong if you opt for octopus, calamari or shrimps – they are all fresh from the waters of the pristine Adriatic Sea.
Kotor photography njegusi village

Smoked Ham & Cheese

Even though fish is delicious and popular, especially in the coastal area, we could say that Montenegrins are real meat lovers!  If you would happen to be a guest in any local home, the first thing they would put on the table would be a glass of homemade brandy and a plate of local smoked ham and cheese (“pršut i sir”). In Kotor, we are especially lucky to be very close to the mountain village Njeguši where the most famous local smoked ham is produced! The tradition of making it goes back for hundreds of years, as for the rest of Mediterranean, but in this village, they developed their own way of doing it! They do not put any additives in the meat; they just follow the good old recipe and the process of salting, smoking, and drying. The main or rather secret ingredient, as they like to say, is the microclimate or geographical position that provides perfect conditions for the production of this Montenegrin specialty. The cheese that goes well with the ham and we like to serve, is dry cow cheese. A few olives on the top and, if you don’t drink too much red wine with it, you will remember these Montenegrin flavors for a long time!

Red Wine Vranac

Something that should definitely be on your list while you are visiting Kotor and Montenegro is our famous red wine “Vranac”! It is made from a variety of grapes that originated in this region so the tradition of making this wine is centuries old! There are many small family producers, but there is also a state-owned company called “Plantaže”, with one of the largest one-piece vineyards in Europe. This vineyard supplies Montenegro with this traditional type of red wine.
Furthermore, this wine has won many medals and awards around the world so, of course, it is exported worldwide! If there is one product that every Montenegrin would, with the greatest pride, offer to each guest it would be, with no doubt, red wine Vranac!

things to do in kotor krempita cake

Krempita & Moscow Cake

Beside great food, combined with delicious Montenegrin wine, we could say that Kotor is well known in the region for one great pastry shop called “Forza”. It is located in the main square of Kotor and it offers many different delights. But Krempita and Moscow cake are the most famous ones and after tasting them, you will certainly develop a sweet tooth! Krempita is a number one cake for local citizens. Although it sounds quite simple when we describe the ingredients, the flavor is indescribable, we promise you that! It is made of a few layers of thin pastry, a lot of white cream and with lots of love! The creamy, yet puffy taste, which mostly gets combined with strawberries, is very popular in this entire region but in Kotor, we have our own way of preparing it.

Beside Krempita, Moscow cake is the second favorite delicacy of this pastry shop. Almonds, pineapple, cherries, delicious white cream between thin pastry is what makes this Moscow Cake desirable, but you will get the real impression only when you taste it yourself! Enjoying it while sipping a cup of coffee on the vivacious main square goes can, without doubt, be compared to a croissant and coffee on any square in Paris itself! That is why we, after every walking tour of Kotor, recommend our guests to spare some time and get a movie like moment in our town.

Places to visit nearby Kotor

While you are in Kotor, don’t limit yourself! You might as well explore your surroundings. Montenegro is a small country, which makes excursions to a lot of different places in a short period of time, possible and fun! We promise you, the more you experience our beautiful Montenegro, the more you will fall in love with it!

Top 5 places to visit nearby Kotor

PERAST & OUR LADY OF THE ROCKS
PERAST & OUR LADY OF THE ROCKS
BOAT CRUISE IN THE KOTOR BAY
BOAT CRUISE IN THE KOTOR BAY
MOUNTAIN LOVĆEN & CETINJE
MOUNTAIN LOVĆEN & CETINJE
LUŠTICA & COUNTRYSIDE
LUŠTICA & COUNTRYSIDE
BUDVA & ST STEFAN
BUDVA & ST STEFAN
Lady of the rock

Perast & Our Lady Of The Rocks

Whether you are spending a few days in Kotor or you are coming by cruise ship just for a day, searching for the perfect Kotor shore excursionPerast and Our Lady of the Rocks are the places that are certainly a must-see! Only 20 minutes’ drive from the Port of Kotor, this charming, baroque village, where almost every building dates back to the period of 15th – 18th century, stands proud and almost magically invites every visitor of the Kotor Bay to stop by and enjoy its beauty.
As if frozen in time, Perast still evokes the times when the Republic of Venice was dominating this area and when great local captains were sailing the World. The marvelous stone palaces and beautiful churches that were built for the village are a testimony to their fame and success. Besides the architecture and interesting life stories about its sailors, what make Perast so special are the two small Islands in front of it.
The beauty of Saint George Island with its Benedictine monastery and cypress trees was an inspiration for many poets and painters that visited this place. While it is a natural Island, the other one – Our Lady of the Rocks – is a man-made. For centuries, locals were throwing rocks in the water and sinking old ships to build the base for an amazing church that still stands there. That is just one part of the story, the other part is the story of the votive gifts that people were leaving for Our Lady of the Rocks after their prayers were heard! The doors of the church are still open, not only for those who arrive to offer one more gift, but for everyone willing to learn and admire this outstanding place!

Boat Cruise In The Bay Of Kotor

The beauty and the charm of the Bay of Kotor can be described in so many ways; each and every person will have their own impression of this captivating area. Some would be fascinated by its position, as this bay is often described as the southernmost European fjord or the only Mediterranean fjord, some would be delighted to see where steep mountains beautifully meet the sea. No matter what first catches your eye in the Bay of Kotor, it surely represents something different from all other gulfs and bays that you can find in this part of the world.
Its shape and stunning landscapes, well preserved medieval villages and towns, the pristine water of the Adriatic Sea, which resembles a mirror on sunny days, the presence of two different climates, one on mountain tops and the other near the water, are the reason why UNESCO decided to include the Bay of Kotor as a member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the world, which makes us very proud!
The best way to experience and admire this work of the Mother Nature herself is by taking a boat tour. So, if you are visiting Kotor and you are thinking of how to spend the couple of hours at ease, getting away from the busy roads and crowds, enjoying a glass of wine and learning everything about this special and amazing part of the Montenegro coastline, a boat tour of the bay is the option that sound just about right! We are sure you would enjoy it and this kind of romantic getaway will be carved in your memory forever.

Mountain Lovcen & Cetinje

Even though the coastline is the most visited part of our country, Montenegro has so much more to offer! Although being a small country, we feel really lucky, because on its territory, Montenegro has both beautiful beaches, coastal towns enriched with the closeness of the sea, but also grand mountains with extraordinary greenery, beautiful lakes and rivers, without which your impression of Montenegro wouldn’t be complete. Only 45 minutes away from Kotor, taking the old serpentine road that offers a breath-taking view of the entire bay, there is Lovćen Mountain, which territory makes one of five National Parks of Montenegro!
It is hard to believe that so close to the sea you can enjoy the wilderness and feel as if you were somewhere in the Alps! Not only that it represents a shelter for the park’s wildlife, but it was also the place where Montenegrins struggled, for five hundred years, to survive and to save their culture and tradition from all the conquerors that passed through the Balkans.
Visiting Cetinje, our Old Royal Capital, you will see the monuments and buildings that still standing proud and remind visitors that Montenegrins, God knows how, succeeded in all of this and furthermore, that the story of the Kingdom of Montenegro was heard and well known all over the world. What also made Montenegro famous, among its neighbors and further, is the delicious smoked ham and cheese from Njegusi village! We could say that touring through this part of our country, you will truly learn about every aspect of the outstanding Montenegrin history, culture and way of living!

kotor countryside montenegro

Luštica & Countryside

Another exciting and creative thing to do while in Kotor is visiting its charming and interesting countryside. There are many villages in its surroundings, but the village of Tići on the Luštica peninsula is one of few where tradition and local lifestyle are still well preserved! Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, this area is also known for the production of olive oil, and in the past, almost every household would have their own olive grove and mill. Unfortunately, nowadays, this tradition would be almost forgotten if it wasn’t for a few families that decided to stay here and preserve it! Among these families, Moric family became famous for the production of the first organic-certified olive oil in Montenegro that won many prizes for the best olive oil we have! They have opened their home for visitors, and we highly recommend spending time with these amazing and creative people, listening to their life stories while sitting next to a few hundred years old olive mill and tasting different home-prepared delicacies! This is an excellent way to spend a few hours outside the charming, but sometimes busy, Kotor.

Budva & St. Stefan

Charming Kotor is visited by many tourists, especially those that are stopping by just for a day, while their cruise ships elegantly rest in the Bay of Kotor, but the most popular place in Montenegro most certainly is Budva and its lovely Riviera! One of the main reasons why this place steals away hearts is many pebbles and sandy beaches featured in this part of our country. If we add to this extremely clear water of the Adriatic Sea and the pleasant temperatures from May to October, we guarantee you are already hooked and would like to explore this area! However, these are not the only things that this town offers!
Budva is also one of the oldest settlements in this area, as shown by traces dating back to the 5th century B.C. Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians, French and Austrians are just some of the cultures that left their mark on Budva. We could say that Budva truly reflects the history of the entire Balkans.
Its walls are still standing, surrounding narrow streets and small squares with beautiful historical buildings, while the modern life has gently found its way in and has installed its contemporariness within ages old history. Being so popular, Budva is a place with many shops, cafés, restaurants, and astonishing nightlife! Besides The Old Town, only a 15-minute drive from Budva, you will find the famous Saint Stefan Island. It is a 15th-century village constructed on a small rocky island that in the middle of the 20th century was converted into a unique luxurious hotel! The charm of the old fishermen’s houses, which are transformed into elegant villas, has attracted celebrities from all over the world in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s!
Claudia Schiffer, Elisabeth Taylor, Richard Burton are just some of the fabulous people who decided to spent their holidays in this famous Montenegrin hotel. Today, it is part of the world-famous Aman Resort, and it still hosts guests from all over the world. Even if you are not planning to stay here, you might as well want to have lunch on the Island, but also the photo taken from the viewpoint above will do the work and it will be a very nice memory of this picturesque part of our lovely coastline!

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