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Visiting the Most Charming Town in Montenegro, Kotor

  • Post last modified:May 10, 2024
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Have you ever heard of our favorite town in Montenegro, Kotor? It is the perfect mix of relaxing beach vacation and old European charm. Just a couple hours south of Dubrovnik, this city is the new up and coming place to see, and you surely don't want to miss it.

Kotor will blow your mind with its beauty, and more and more Europeans are starting to take note of it. Cruise lines are adding it to their itineraries, and everyone from families to backpackers are flocking here each summer.

Last summer was my third time in Kotor, and each time I go I fall more and more in love with it. In this guide we're going to share with you all about Montenegro, Kotor, and all that they have to offer. Let's dive right in!

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Where is Kotor in Montenegro?

When it comes to location inside of Montenegro, Kotor is on the west coast, a little south of the border of Croatia. Montenegro shares borders with Albania to the south, Kosovo to the south east, Serbia to the north east, and Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina to the north. It is one of the Balkan countries, in the Eastern part of Europe.

Where is Montenegro, Kotor

Kotor is located along the shores of Montenegro.

How Do You Get to Kotor, Montenegro?

Conveniently located along the coast of Montenegro, Kotor is pretty easy to get to. You can either get there by flight, or by bus from surrounding Balkan cities.

Which Airport Do You Fly Into for Kotor?

Kotor itself does not have an airport. However, there is an airport in the neighboring city of Tivat, which is under 5 km away. This is a great option if you are planning on coming from Belgrade or Istanbul, as there are plenty of flights served daily by Air Serbia and Air Montenegro.

Other close airports include Podgorica, which is an hour and a half away, or Dubrovnik, which is 2 hours away. Cities that fly to Dubrovnik include Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Belfast, Bergen, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Copenhagen, Cork, Dubai, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsiniki, Istanbul, Krakow, Leeds, London, Madrid, Manchester, Marseille, Munich, Naples, Nantes, Newark, Newcastle, New York, Oslo, Rome, Paris, Toulouse, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zurich.

Cities that fly to Podgorica include Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Berlin, Dortmund, Farnborough, Istanbul, Krakow, Ljubljana, London, Manchester, Memmingen, Milan, Paris, Rome, and Vienna.

Taking a Cruise to Kotor

Cruising to Kotor is becoming increasingly popular amongst cruise lines. Both large and luxury lines make stops in Kotor, some docking right next to the Old Town, and some tendering into the center.

The itineraries that feature Kotor usually go from spring to fall, with the majority visiting in the height of summer. When we were working on cruise ships, we actually did this itinerary quite a few times, and it was one of our favorite ports!

cruising to Montenegro Kotor

A lot of cruise lines include Kotor in their European itineraries.

Taking a Bus to Kotor

Montenegro is such a small country, and Kotor is one of the most well connected city inside of it. Here are a few of the most popular routes that you can book to Kotor:

There are also a ton of connections to Kotor from other surrounding countries. Here are some of the most popular international routes that lead to the city of Kotor:

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What is Needed to Enter Montenegro?

In each article we like to cover everything you need to know for traveling somewhere. It's important to know the different entry requirements, especially since there are some very odd rules regarding traveling within Balkan countries. Here's all you need to know for visiting Montenegro, Kotor, and Eastern Europe in general.

Visa Requirements for Montenegro

Luckily there aren't many requirements for entering the country of Montenegro. Tourists can visit for a period of up to 90 days visa-free.

Montenegro is not part of the EU, although they are looking to apply. If they happen to join the Schengen Zone/ the EU, requirements may change. But for now, you don't need to worry much about restrictions for Montenegro, Kotor, or any other nearby city.

Covid Entry Requirements for Montenegro

Montenegro no longer has any extra requirements for entering in relation to Covid-19. The country is open for all travelers, whether not you are vaccinated. You will also notice that there aren't any mask mandates, and it is extremely rare to come by anyone still using a mask.

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Local Adjustments for Visiting Montengro & Kotor

Whenever traveling to a new place, there may be certain things which are different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind while you travel in Kotor.

What Language Do They Speak in Kotor, Montenegro?

The official language in Montenegro is Montenegrin. This is actually pretty much the same language as the rest of the slavic countries in the area. Countries like SerbiaMontenegroBosnia & Herzegovina, and Croatia all speak almost exactly the same as each another, with only a few words or phrases varying.

What Currency is Used in Kotor, Montenegro?

The currency used in Montenegro is the euro. Actually, it is the only country in the area that uses it at the moment. If you also plan on visiting Albania afterwards, we do suggest taking out extra euros, as things end up being cheaper over there with euros (despite that not being their currency).

Credit cards are accepted widely throughout the coastal towns of Montenegro, Kotor in particular. 

What Plug Adapter Do I Need for Montenegro?

Montenegro uses the same plug types as the other countries in Europe, which are types C & F. The standard voltage in Montenegro is 230 V and has a standard frequency of 50 Hz.

If you are visiting from the US, be sure to get an energy converter (which is actually different than just an electrical adapter). This is because the voltage is different, and if you don't get an adapter your electronics will most likely burn out.

Can You Drink the Water in Kotor, Montengro?

The water throughout the country of Montenegro is perfectly safe to drink. We suggest bringing a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated while exploring.

Do You Tip in Kotor, Montengro?

The tipping culture in Montenegro is similar to many European countries, which is about 10% of the bill in nice restaurants. If you're just going for something small such as coffee or a drink, you can simply leave a bit of leftover change as a tip.

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Things to Do in Kotor, Montenegro

This city may be small, but there are a ton of things to do in Kotor, Montenegro. Here are a few of our favorites:

Explore the Old Town

The old town of Kotor is definitely the most picturesque area of the country when it comes to architecture. The old town is surrounded by big stone walls, and filled with tiny cobblestone streets.

From the beautiful churches to the adorable shops, you'll fall in love with the old town of Kotor. We definitely suggest visiting here late in the afternoon, when the weather cools off, the cruise ships leave, and you can enjoy the city come to life with live music and busy restaurants.

Old town of Kotor, Montenegro
Old town of Kotor, Montenegro
Old town of Kotor, Montenegro
Old town of Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor has the most charming Old Town.

Climb the Fortress

If you're where those stunning views are that you see in the article cover, then this is the spot you're looking for.

The fortress of Kotor is perched high in the mountain, giving the most breathtaking views of the bay, and the old town down below. There are 1,350 steps to the top, and the hike takes anywhere from 30-40 minutes. There are plenty of great places to stop and enjoy the views, and some excellent photo opps. This is something we definitely suggest bringing plenty of water for, and either going very early in the morning, or for sunset.

places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor
places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor fortress
places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor fortress

There are so many beautiful views from the fortress in Kotor.

While the hours posted are 7 am to 8 pm, you can in fact go up there outside of these hours. We paid 8 euros, but we also found out that there is a secondary entrance that is free of charge to enter.

Views in Montenegro, Kotor Fortress

Take a Boat Trip

Another one of the best things to do in Kotor is to explore to the bay by boat. There are a tons of different options to choose from, and many go to several different highlights for you to see. 

One of the main stops is "Lady of the Rock" which is a church perched on a rock in the middle of the bay. Others include an island that was for previous prisoners, a secret passageway, or the blue cave, where you can swim in the bluest waters of Montenegro.

boat trip in Montenegro Kotor
boat trip in Montenegro Kotor
boat trip in Montenegro Kotor
boat trip in Montenegro Kotor
boat trip in Montenegro Kotor

The best way to explore Kotor bay is by boat.

Want to book a tour in advance? Here are a few that you can check out:

Relax at a Beach Club

While Kotor is located in a bay, it does still have some pebble beaches, where some hotels set up some beautiful beach clubs. We visited Huma Kotor Bay, and ate and drank all day while we worked on our laptops. Now if you're a digital nomad, this is the ultimate vibe to enjoy while you work and travel. If you're simply on vacation, this is also a great place to relax and enjoy a little luxury during your stay.

best places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor beach club
best places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor beach club
best places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor beach club

Kotor has some amazing beach clubs. Our favorite one is Huma.

Visit Tivat

If you're looking for a public beach, then you can head to the town of Tivat, which is just outside of Kotor. Soak up the sun, grab a bite to eat, or take a dip in the cool waters. This is the perfect spot enjoy one of the local favorites of the area.

Places to travel in Montenegro, Kotor, Tivat

Tivat is a beautiful beach town right outside Kotor.

Take a Trip to Lovcenj

Located just a little outside of Kotor is one of the best spots to check out. This national park and mountain has paths to a mausoleum, and some of the best views in Montenegro, It is super easy to visit from Kotor, making it a great day trip.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Montenegro Kotor Pin
Montenegro Kotor Pin
Montenegro Kotor Pin

Party in the Streets

When it comes to partying in Montenegro, Kotor is definitely one of the best places. This city has bars tucked away in the side streets, and all you need to do is follow the music. You'll find djs playing all night long, and people pooping in from around the different corners.

bars in Kotor, Montenegro

Some of the best bars in Kotor are tucked away in the side streets.

Food & Drink in Montenegro, Kotor, and Locally

We love the food in Montenegro, and find the cuisine to be very similar to the surrounding countries of Croatia and Albania. Some things you should try are the fresh seafood and the pasta dishes. The Old Town of Kotor has plenty of great restaurants, many of them featuring outdoor seating, live music, and a really nice vibe.

The national drink of Montenegro is Rakia, which is a super strong liquor. While it's a bit tough for us to drink, we definitely think it's something you should try while in Montenegro.

Another thing we suggest is going to Mashall's Gelato, as it has some of the freshest ice cream, and the best flavors. It's the perfect way to cool off while exploring the old town.

Marshalls Gelato, Montenegro Kotor

Marshall's has the best gelato in town.

How Do You Travel Around Kotor, Montenegro?

Kotor is actually one of the few places that we traveled in the Balkans where we felt we really didn't need a car.

The Old Town is only for pedestrians, and most of the main activities are by boat or by walking. If you'd like to visit some of the outside attractions though (like Sveti Stefan or Lovcen) then it's best to get a tour, or perhaps rent a car in Kotor

If you do have a car, it can be pretty tricky to find a parking spot in Kotor, and you should be extra careful, because we saw many people with tickets on their windshields.

road to Zabljak Montenegro

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Where to Stay in Kotor, Montenegro

There are two different options for staying in Kotor. The first (and our favorite) option is to stay inside the Old Town. It is very small, so location-wise you really can't go wrong.

Old town of Kotor, Montenegro
Old town of Kotor, Montenegro
Old town of Kotor, Montenegro

The Old Town is our favorite area to stay in Kotor.

Find a place to stay in the Old Town of Kotor:

The second option is to stay outside the old town, at one of the beach resorts. This is a good option for those that want a more luxurious stay, or those that want to have a bit of a more relaxing vacation. Our personal favorite is Huma, which has great food and drinks, and beautiful rooms.

Montenegro Kotor Bay

There are plenty of beach resorts lined along the bay of Kotor.

Check out the other resorts to stay at in Kotor:

Is Kotor, Montenegro Safe for Tourists?

While many places in Eastern Europe seem to get a bad rep, there are no safety issues in Montenegro- Kotor especially! This small town is super comfortable to walk around whether you are with a friend, your family, or on a solo trip. The people are very friendly, and the place is extremely tourist friendly both day and night.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting The Most Charming Town in Montenegro, Kotor

Now that you know the basics, here are a few more details of things to know while visiting Kotor, Montenegro.

Weather in Kotor

Kotor experiences 4 seasons, with cold winters, and hot, sunny summers. It's a bit humid in Kotor, and can get very cloudy and rainy in the fall months.

weather in Montenegro, Kotor

The weather in Kotor gets very moody in the fall.

What is the Best Time to Visit Kotor, Montenegro?

We personally think the best time to visit Kotor is late spring or early fall. Summer gets extremely busy, so it can get super crowded and harder to enjoy in the months of July and August. May, June and September though are still pleasantly warm enough to swim, prices are cheaper overall, and it has less tourists.

If you're into photography, we love the fall there (October or November) because it gets super cloudy and had a moody tone to it. We personally think this is the most fun to photograph the stunning bay with the mountains surrounding it.

best time to visit Montenegro, Kotor
best time to visit Montenegro, Kotor
best time to visit Montenegro, Kotor

The summers are very popular in Kotor.

Packing for a Trip to Kotor, Montenegro

When it comes to visiting Montenegro, Kotor is a place that you'll want to pack a bit of everything. Make sure to have a bathing suit for the beaches and a boat trip, along with a towel and sunscreen. We suggest sneakers for the fortress (although not necessary-just a bit more comfortable), and a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated.

You'll want to also bring nicer casual clothing for the evening, as people do dress nicer to go to dinner. As the nightlife is pretty casual, you can skip the fancy dress and heels here though.

Packing List for Kotor, Montengro:

  • Bathing Suit (for the beaches and water activities)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Water Shoes (the beaches mostly have pebbles)
  • Bag/ Backpack that zips (check out our list of favorite backpacks for travelers!)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Sunscreen (especially in summer)
  • Drone (You can get epic shots out in nature! We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks as they are super long lasting and durable)
  • Travel Adapter (we use Insignia travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)
  • Travel Pillow Case (to bring extra on your flights and avoid having to purchase a carry on)
  • Travel toiletries (our favorites are from Sheer Alternatives because they're all natural and 100ml)