Kotor – medieval fortifications, a lush green hill, and a sparkling bay
Perched on the southwestern coast of Montenegro is the fortified, little town of Kotor. A step into Kotor is one filled with sky blue oceans, jaw-dropping medieval architecture, and of course history. The beautiful bay town was built between the 12thth and 14th centuries by the Romans, right at the foot of the Black Mountains. The most observable feature of the city is its pre-medieval wall; built in the 10th century, the walls of Kotor are 16 meters thick and as
high as 20 m in some places! They jut out from the stony beaches of the city and snake through the picturesque slopes of the Black mountains, encapsulating and protecting the city’s beauty and providing a panoramic view for tourists and hikers.
Why should you visit Kotor?
Because it’s beautiful! The walls, the churches, the enchanting architecture,the uniformity of the little, orange terracotta roofs, the backdrop of lush green hills are sure to leave you awestruck. Once you step into the old town, it’s not so difficult to see why Kotor is a UNESCO world heritage site; beautiful tourist hotspots like The Piazza of the Arms, Lombardic Palace, Drago Palace, and Vrakjen Palace have a certain medieval aura that makes you feel like you’re part of a TV show.
If you’ve ever fantasized about living in Game of Thrones’ King’s Landing, you should be on the next plane to Montenegro. The old buildings, orange roofs, and stone cobbled, winding streets of Kotor bear a striking semblance to the medieval town of Dubrovnik; the set of King’s Landing in Croatia.
Also, if you’re planning a getaway and would like to avoid the rowdiness and cacophony of popular tourist destinations like Paris and Venice, Kotor is the right place for you! With a local population of about 13,000 and 1.8 million tourists every year, Kotor has been able to maintain its perfection and serenity despite being one of the most astonishing places on the planet.
How to access Kotor?
How you access Kotor depends largely on your pocket. The three available international airports from which Kotor can be accessed are in Tivat, Podgorica, and Dubrovnik in Croatia. Tivat and Podgorica are Montenegro’s only international airports, but Tivat is a much-preferred destination for tourists because it’s just fifteen minutes from Kotor. Although it costs considerably less to fly to Podgorica, the road trip from there to Kotor takes about an hour and a half.
Dubrovnik is a better access point, not only because of its cheaper flight costs, but you also get the chance to explore its Old Town and check out other tourist spots on the road trip to Kotor. If you’re not on a budget, you can as well hop on a boat cruise or catch a direct flight from Dubrovnik to Kotor.
Things to do in Kotor
Before you begin exploring Kotor, I have to warn you; you might just fall in love with the ancient town and never leave! Your adventure should begin from the narrow, winding, medieval streets of Old Town, but you would not just be walking around aimlessly would you? Below is a list of places you should see when you are in Kotor:
San Giovanni Fortress & Kotor City Walls
The ruins of the huge medieval castle perched above the town of Kotor are a beacon of beauty. San Giovanni fortress is the endpoint of the 12,000-year-old Walls that stretch from the waterside and meander their way through the slopes of the Black Mountains to the far end of the town. From the lowest levels, the walls stretch about 1200 meters and have 1,350 steps that wind through the town.
There are entry points near the River Gate and around Trg od Salate and tickets cost about 24 Euros so it should be well within your budget, but if you would like to avoid paying the gate fees, you can choose to hike early in the morning for free.
Kotor’s walls accentuate the fact that the city was strategically built in an easily defensible part of Boka Bay. The walls were built in different stages by the various rulers of the city, but most parts of the walls date back to the Venetian era of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Your hike won’t be completely boring; after about 20 minutes of hiking, you’ll come across the Church of Our Lady of Remedy; a 500-year-old church. You might be exhausted at the end of your climb, but the panoramic view from San Giovanni’s fortress is sure to take your breath away.
Museums in Kotor
Culture, ethnicity, and art have always been an important part of Kotor’s history, which is why it is no surprise that the earliest Montenegran literary work dates back to the 9th century. The countless museums that dot the landscape preserve a wide array of artifacts, but as an animal lover, one that is sure to grab your attention is the Cat Museum.
The Cat museum
If you love stroking cats, you should love The Cat Museum. The museum was built in honor of our furry feline friends and the role they’ve played in the survival of Kotor over the centuries. The Old Town used to be a den of snakes, rats, and mice and cats had the responsibility of hunting
them down. A lot of them lost their lives on the line of duty so it’s no surprise that Kotor is a cat paradise.
The museum has pictures of cats in different poses and positions, but the real stars of the show are the cute, furry balls that lounge around the museum waiting for the next curious tourist to stroke them.
The Cat Museum isn’t all there is in Kotor, the Maritime Museum showcases the best of Kotor’s long history as a bay town.
Churches in Kotor
The most prominent of Kotor’s magnificent churches is the Church of Our Lady Remedy, a Roman Catholic Church that was built in the 16th century. Archaeological evidence found beneath the Church dates it back to the 6th century, making it the oldest building in Kotor.
The climb up to the basilica that is the ancient church could be quite tasking, but this doesn’t deter locals and tourists from visiting the sanctuary.
Some of the other churches you should visit are St. Tryphon Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, Church of Saint Luke, and The Lady of Health Church.
Where to eat in Kotor?
There are several exciting local cuisines to explore in Kotor, but you’re susceptible to stomach imbalances there are restaurants that serve intercontinental dishes so you don’t have to worry! Some of the restaurants we think you should try out are:
• Pizzeria Sara
• Luna Rossa
• The Harbour Pub
• Konoba Scala Santa
• Café Del Mare
Accommodation in Kotor
Not only does Kotor have 13 hotels that operate around the clock, but it also has private villas
that can be rented out. Furthermore, some locals are usually kind enough to rent their space out
to tourists; it all depends on your budget. We always do our best to bring you the best affordable
rentals in Montenegro. Check out our selection for Kotor in the rentals and hotel tabs.
Nightlife in Kotor can be whatever you need. From having a coffee evening with your friends, enjoying a gelato enjoying the sunset, or partying the night till sunrise. Kotor is full of pubs and bars where you can even meet new and fun people. Drinks and food are more than affordable, and the service is impeccable. The best place to immerse into a crazy and fun night out in Kotor is Maximus. In its years of existence, over two million visitors partied with Maximus. News portals domestic and foreign wrote about this club and over 5000 artists international and domestic performed in Maximus. You simply cannot visit Kotor and not party in this fantastic club – it’s an experience you will never forget.