Is Kotor Worth Visiting? Yes, And Better than Dubrovnik! [2024]

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hiking kotor bay

I went to Kotor in December and was blown away, so I went again in June just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating like a bad version of ChatGPT.

Is it worth it? Yes. Absolutely yes. It’s great to pair with a trip to Dubrovnik Croatia or as part of an epic Balkan road trip. There are also easy ferries from Bari, Italy.

The aqua-blue green moat around this town really is enchanting, almost as much as the adorable protected cats wandering every corner.

Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage site walled city located in the Boka Bay of Montenegro that has stolen my heart, and probably yours too. But only if you are the kind of person who likes undiscovered gems, adventure travel, and tons of delicious food and wild hikes.

I loved it here so much I bought a house! But Kotor is not for the faint of heart. You will need to enjoy walking, as big bus tours are not the ticket here.

Morgan’s Kotor Visit in December – Off Season Miracle?

There is a period of 2-3 months where the cruise ships roll in from Dubrovnik during lunch time and I would recommend to take a hike or go kayaking during mid-day. Or take a nap with one of the cute kitties.

It’s probably what Dubrovnik used to be like, pre GOT fame.

Thankfully the cruise crowd dissipates and this working town gets back to it’s chill business of great food, Nature, and a very diverse mixed up culture.

| Explorer Travel Tip

Enjoy some of Kotor’s most beautiful scenery during this Blue Cave and Lady of Our Rocks Boat Tour. Keep your adventures brimming, but packed lightly of worries!

Is Kotor Worth visiting?

Go to Tanjga BBQ – quality, quality quality. There’s so many great restaurants in Kotor, but they are usually just outside the city walls. Though some inside are pretty great too. Avoid anything that seems like it’s geared to cruise ship people. Go where cruise ship workers eat.

👉 Yes, Kotor is worth visiting if you love exploring new places but don’t love tourist traps and this hidden gem might be worth your time, but it’s not for everyone.

  • 🌅 Nomads wanting to reset their Schengen passport
  • 🌏 Off-the-Beaten Path Travelers
  • 🌲 Nature & Wellness Enthusiasts

The Boka Bay region has a world of undiscovered treasures just waiting for an adventurous traveler like you. Let me show you the hidden natural wonders, local favorites and opportunities to connect beyond the guidebooks.

🧭 Read until the end for my insider travel tips from a physical therapist hiking & travel addict.

You will also like:
🥾 Discover the best hikes in Europe.
💰 Don’t be surprised about the currency in Montenegro.

So, Is Kotor Montenegro Worth Visiting?

Absolutely Yes! Located on the Adriatic coast, Kotor is a small city known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and unique architecture. With so many things to see and do, it’s no wonder that Kotor has become a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

This is a not so difficult hike directly out of the old town.

One of the unique aspects of Kotor is its well-preserved medieval old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The old town is surrounded by ancient walls that were built during the Venetian period, and it is home to numerous historical buildings and landmarks, including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and the Maritime Museum.

In addition to its historical significance, Kotor is also known for its natural attractions, such as the Bay of Kotor and the nearby Lovćen National Park.

Whether you are interested in history, nature, or simply relaxing on the beach, Kotor has something to offer. The question of “Is Kotor worth visiting” is unabashedly, yes.

From hiking and kayaking to exploring the city’s many cultural and culinary offerings, there is no shortage of activities and experiences to enjoy.

With a wide range of accommodation and dining options available, Kotor is an ideal destination for travelers of all budgets and preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Kotor’s well-preserved medieval old town and surrounding walls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offer a unique glimpse into the city’s rich history.
  • Kotor is also known for its stunning natural attractions, such as the Bay of Kotor and nearby Lovćen National Park, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
  • With a wide range of activities, experiences, accommodation, and dining options available, Kotor is a great destination for travelers of all interests and budgets.

7 Unique Aspects of Kotor

is kotor worth visiting
Cats. Cats are everywhere in and around Kotor. They love to steal your cheese too.

Kotor is a charming and historic city located in Montenegro. It has a lot to offer to tourists, and there are several unique aspects of Kotor that make it worth visiting.

1. Architecture

The Fortress of Saint John is stunning and overlooks the Boka Bay. It’s got roots in Austrian architecture.

One of the most striking features of Kotor is its architecture. The city is surrounded by towering walls that date back to the medieval period. These walls were built to protect the city from invaders, and they have stood the test of time.

The architecture of Kotor is a blend of different styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.

The result is a unique and beautiful city that is unlike any other.

2. Saint Tryphon Cathedral

Saint Tryphon Cathedral is a must-see attraction in Kotor. This Roman Catholic cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is dedicated to Saint Tryphon, the patron saint of the city.

The cathedral is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture and features beautiful frescoes and a stunning marble altar.

3. Cobbled Streets

The cobbled streets of Kotor are another unique aspect of the city. These streets are narrow and winding, and they are lined with beautiful buildings and shops. Walking through the streets of Kotor is like taking a step back in time, and it’s a great way to explore the city.

4. Food – MEAT!

I swear to God that Montenegro must subsidize meat. Those tomohawks!?!?! Are you kidding me.

It’s nice for veggies though too – because there are all kinds of grilled veg, yummy nut and veggie filled sauces and pickled veg. Unlike many parts of central Europe where it’s just meat, potato and rice.

We ate so much meat and veg that I couldn’t even touch the bread (very good, better than most European breads- but not the best) or potatoes.

It was the first time I got the meat sweats. And for 4 of us it was 35 euros and we about died trying to eat it.

5. Kotor Beach – Right Next to the Old Town

Kotor also has a working beach that is nice enough for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is located just outside the city walls and offers stunning views of the bay. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine, but if you want real beaches you should go to Budva. But there you have to deal with the Russian crowd.

6. Cats and Cat Museum

Shop owners ask you to feed the cats on a napkin on the streets in order not to stain the gorgous white stones. They will never tell you not to feed the cats, but do it in a clean way. This is the Austrian coming out in Kotor residents.

Kotor is also known for its cats. There are hundreds of cats that call the city home, and they can be found lounging in the sun or wandering through the streets.

The cats of Kotor are a beloved part of the city, and they are often fed and cared for by locals and tourists alike.

Buy some souvenirs from the Danijela’s Cat shop. They are cute, handmade and she gives all profits to spaying and neutering cats.

Kotor has a small cat museum that is worth visiting. The museum is located in a historic building and features exhibits on the history and culture of the city. The museum is a great way to learn more about Kotor and its rich history.

7. Dobrota Waterfront

Kotor is five minutes from Dobrota and most people with means actually live here. It’s a lovely waterfront walk and lively neighborhood.

Historical Significance

Kotor is a city with a rich history that dates back to the Illyrian period. Over the centuries, it has been under the rule of various empires, including the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Austro-Hungarians, and Yugoslavians. The city’s historical significance is evident in its well-preserved medieval old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The old town of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its Venetian-style architecture and the ancient walls that surround it. The town’s narrow streets and squares are lined with historic buildings, churches, and palaces that reflect the city’s rich cultural heritage. Walking through the old town is like taking a journey through time.

Ancient Walls and Fortresses

The ancient walls and fortresses that surround the old town of Kotor are a testament to the city’s strategic importance throughout history. The walls were built during the Venetian period in the 15th and 16th centuries to protect the city from invaders. The Castle of San Giovanni, also known as the San Giovanni Fortress, is a highlight of the fortifications. The fortress offers stunning views of the city and the bay of Kotor.

Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum in Kotor is housed in the Baroque-era Grgurina Palace and showcases the city’s maritime history. The museum’s exhibits include ship models, navigational instruments, and artifacts from the city’s seafaring past. The museum also has a collection of paintings and photographs that depict life in Kotor during different periods.

Natural Attractions

From my last visit in December.

If you are a nature lover, Kotor has a lot to offer. The natural beauty of the area is breathtaking, and you will find plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy it. Here are some of the top natural attractions in Kotor:

Bay of Kotor AKA Boka Bay : The Only Fjord in Southern Europe

The Bay of Kotor is one of the most beautiful bays in the world, and it is a must-visit attraction when you are in Kotor. The bay is surrounded by mountains, and the crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming, kayaking, and other water activities. You can take a boat tour of the bay to see the stunning views of the bay and the surrounding mountains.

Lovcen National Park

If you want to explore the mountains and nature, Lovcen National Park is a great place to visit. The park is home to the Lovcen Mountain, which offers stunning views of the bay and the surrounding areas. You can hike to the top of the mountain or take a scenic drive to the top. The park is also home to several hiking trails, picnic areas, and other outdoor activities.

Beaches and Coastline

Kotor has a beautiful coastline, and there are several beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. The beaches are clean and well-maintained, and the water is clear and inviting. Some of the top beaches in Kotor include Jaz Beach, Mogren Beach, and Trsteno Beach. You can also take a walk along the coastline to enjoy the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.

Activities and Experiences

Mmmmmm, Risan. Like a postcard from heaven.

When it comes to activities and experiences, Kotor has something for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced climber or just looking for a leisurely walking tour, there’s plenty to see and do in this beautiful city.

Climbing and Hiking

One of the most popular activities in Kotor is hiking up the Ladder of Kotor. This is a challenging climb, but the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. If you’re up for a more strenuous hike, consider the Kotor Fortress Hike, which takes you up to the top of the mountain overlooking the city. The trail is rocky and steep, but the views are well worth the effort.

Walking Tours

If you prefer a more leisurely pace, there are plenty of walking tours available in Kotor. A walk around the city walls is a great way to see the old city from a different perspective. You can also take a walking tour of the old city, which will give you a glimpse into Kotor’s rich history and culture.

Boating and Kayaking

For a different perspective on Kotor, consider taking a boat trip or kayaking around the bay. You can rent a private boat or join a group tour to explore the beautiful coastline and see some of the smaller towns and villages in the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, try stand-up paddleboarding or windsurfing.

Day Trips: Perast, Tivat, Risan (my favorite)

Kotor is also a great base for day trips to other nearby cities and attractions. Dubrovnik, Budva, Perast, Risan and Tivat are all within easy reach.

If you’re interested in history, consider a trip to Perast to see the former royal capital of Montenegro. Our Lady of the Rocks, a small island with a church and museum, is also worth a visit.

Accommodation and Dining

When it comes to accommodation and dining, Kotor has plenty of options to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some recommendations for where to stay and what to eat during your visit.

Where to Stay

Kotor offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, there are several hostels in the Old Town that offer affordable dormitory-style rooms. For a more luxurious stay, consider booking a room at one of the many boutique hotels in the area. Some popular options include Hotel Monte Cristo and Hotel Hippocampus.

If you’re looking for a unique accommodation experience, consider staying in a traditional stone house in the Old Town. These houses have been converted into apartments and offer a glimpse into Kotor’s rich history and culture.

Kotor Cuisine

When it comes to dining in Kotor, there are plenty of options to choose from. The local cuisine is heavily influenced by Mediterranean flavors and features fresh seafood, grilled meats, and locally grown vegetables.

For a quick and affordable lunch option, head to one of the many street vendors and grab a burek or a sandwich. If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, there are several restaurants in the Old Town that offer traditional Montenegrin cuisine. Some popular options include Konoba Scala Santa, Restaurant Galion, and Cesarica.

Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties, such as Kotor’s famous smoked ham and cheese, or the traditional lamb cooked under the bell. If you’re looking for souvenirs or ingredients to take home, head to the local markets and stock up on olive oil, honey, and wine.

Travel Information

If you’re planning a trip to Kotor, Montenegro, there are a few things you should know before you go. Here’s some essential travel information to help make your trip as smooth as possible.

Getting Around

Kotor is a small town, and the best way to get around is on foot. The Old Town is pedestrian-only, so you won’t be able to drive through it. If you need to get somewhere outside of the Old Town, you can take a taxi or public bus. Taxis are readily available, but make sure to agree on a price before you get in. The public bus system is reliable and inexpensive, and it’s a great way to get around the town and explore the surrounding areas.

Currency and Language

Montenegro uses the euro as its currency, and English is widely spoken in Kotor. However, it’s always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye.” This will help you communicate with locals and show that you respect their culture.

When it comes to exchanging money, there are plenty of ATMs in Kotor where you can withdraw euros. Many shops and restaurants accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially if you’re planning to visit smaller towns or markets.

Entrance Fee

There is no entrance fee to visit Kotor, but if you plan to climb up to the fortress, you will need to pay a small fee in summer only. It’s currently 8 euros. The fee is reasonable and well worth it for the incredible views of the town and bay.


Kotor is a safe town, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions when traveling. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re hiking or exploring the surrounding areas, make sure to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear.


If you’re planning a trip to Kotor, make sure to include a visit to the Old Town and the fortress on your itinerary. You can easily spend a day exploring the narrow streets, churches, and museums of the Old Town, and the climb up to the fortress is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Kotor.


Kotor is a popular destination for cruise ships, and if you’re arriving by cruise, you’ll dock just a short walk from the Old Town. This is a great way to see the town if you’re short on time, but keep in mind that the town can get crowded when multiple cruise ships are in port.

Road Trip

If you’re planning a road trip through the Balkans, Kotor is a great place to stop and explore. The town is easily accessible from the main highway and is a great base for exploring the surrounding areas.

Travel Guide

If you’re looking for more information about Kotor, there are plenty of travel guides available online and in bookstores. These guides can provide more detailed information about the town’s history, culture, and attractions.

FAQ Is Kotor Worth Visiting

How many days should I spend in Kotor?

The amount of time you should spend in Kotor depends on your interests and travel style. However, we recommend spending at least 3-4 days in Kotor to fully explore the town and its surroundings. This will give you enough time to visit the Old Town, hike up to the Castle of San Giovanni, take a boat ride to the nearby islands, and explore the surrounding mountains.

What are some unique things to do in Kotor?

There are several unique things to do in Kotor, including hiking up to the Castle of San Giovanni for breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor, taking a boat ride to the nearby islands, exploring the ancient walls of the Old Town, and visiting the Maritime Museum. You can also enjoy the local cuisine, which includes fresh seafood and traditional Balkan dishes.

What makes Kotor a special destination?

Kotor is a special destination because of its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. The town is located at the end of a deep fjord, surrounded by steep mountains and crystal-clear waters. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with ancient walls, narrow streets, and beautiful churches. Kotor also has a vibrant cultural scene, with music festivals, art exhibitions, and traditional events throughout the year.

What are some popular day trips from Kotor?

There are several popular day trips from Kotor, including visiting the nearby towns of Perast and Herceg Novi, hiking in the nearby mountains, and taking a boat ride to the Blue Cave. You can also explore the nearby Skadar Lake National Park, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife and stunning natural scenery.

Is a visit to Kotor worth the time and money?

Yes, a visit to Kotor is definitely worth the time and money. The town is one of the most beautiful and historic destinations in the Balkans, with stunning natural scenery, rich culture, and unique architecture. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or outdoor activities, Kotor has something to offer everyone.

What is the recommended itinerary for visiting Kotor?

A recommended itinerary for visiting Kotor would include at least 2-3 days in the town, with time to explore the Old Town, hike up to the Castle of San Giovanni, take a boat ride to the nearby islands, and sample the local cuisine. You can also spend a day visiting nearby towns and attractions, such as Perast, Herceg Novi, and Skadar Lake National Park.

Planning your trip?

If you’re wondering “is Kotor worth visiting”, the answer is a resounding yes! Situated on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro, Kotor is one of Europe’s best preserved medieval walled cities. Wander the cobblestone streets and admire the impressive architecture, from Baroque churches to Venetian palazzos.

The medieval Old Town is a maze of history at every turn. And don’t miss the views of the bay from the fortified St John’s Castle above. With its blend of natural beauty and cultural treasures, Kotor absolutely deserves a stop on your Balkan itinerary.

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.