Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Budva vs Kotor: Which Popular Montenegrin Town Should You Visit?

Last Updated on April 15, 2024

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Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Budva vs Kotor: Which Popular Montenegrin Town Should You Visit?

Last Updated on April 15, 2024

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If you’ve done some research on the best towns to visit in Montenegro, you may be weighing Budva vs Kotor, two of the country’s most popular locales.

Now, in a perfect world, you’d have plenty of time to visit both, but I’m going to guess that you landed here because that’s not the case. Maybe your limited itinerary dictates that you only have time for one.

Or, perhaps you have time to see both, but you’re not sure which to prioritize versus which to do as a day trip, for example. Fortunately for you, I’ve visited both Budva and Kotor and I have a pretty strong opinion on which to prioritize.

But before we get to that, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about each so that you’ll have the full context. Then it’s up to you to decide!

So, Budva vs Kotor – which will it be? Let’s discover your ideal town match!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Budva vs Kotor: Factors to Consider

Location & Ease of Travel

Budva is a coastal town located along the Adriatic Sea. It’s often considered one of the prettiest places in Montenegro, particularly its old town.

Budva the centerpiece of the Budva Municipality and part of the Budva Riviera along with Bečići, Miločer, Rafailovići, Sveti Stefan, and Petrovac.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

While Kotor is also a coastal town, it’s located further inland along a secluded section of the Bay of Kotor.

There are two main airports in Montenegro: Podgorica Airport (Aerodrom Podgorica) in Podgorica and Tivat Airport (Aerodrom Tivat) in Tivat.

Tivat Airport is the closest option to both Budva and Kotor, so it makes most sense to fly into this one regardless of which town you decide to prioritize. Kotor is closer to Tivat Airport at just 15-20 minutes away, whereas Budva is a 30-minute drive.

As far as getting around each of the towns, they’re pretty comparable and both are well-served by public transportation. (We’ll cover travel between the two towns in more detail later.)

However, the layout of the old towns is remarkably different. Kotor was intentionally designed in a maze-like formation to confuse potential invaders, whereas Budva is more of a traditional city shape.

Budva vs Kotor: Travel Costs

Although Montenegro has yet to join the EU, the Euro is the official country currency.

Ultimately, the towns are pretty on par in terms of cost if you ask me. Sure, there are some aspects of Kotor that make it the pricier option (like dining), but then again, you can expect to pay more in Budva for other things (like a drink at a bar and public transportation). Ultimately, they’re pretty comparable.

Here’s a look at some common travel costs and what you can expect to pay on average in each of the towns.

Average Daily Dining Costs:

Budva: 25EUR
Kotor: 34EUR

Keep in mind that there are considerably more dining options in Budva. Also, the cost of drinking at a bar in Budva is slightly more expensive at around 11EUR on average versus 6.81EUR on average in Kotor.

Average Daily Cost of Public Transportation:

Budva: 16EUR
Kotor: 7.40EUR

Average Daily Cost of Tours/Entertainment:

Budva: 18EUR
Kotor: 6.66EUR

Average Total Daily Costs:

Budva: 80EUR
Kotor: 74EUR

Budva vs Kotor: Accommodation

As far as accommodations are concerned, both Budva and Kotor offer plenty of options. The main difference between the two is in the style of those accommodations.

Budva has more luxury high-rise hotels and resorts, whereas Kotor offers more charming boutique options.

If you’re looking to stay in Kotor, I highly recommend booking one of these beautiful Bay of Kotor hotels. Each of these wonderful accommodations is located along Boka Bay and offers spectacular views.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Do keep in mind, however, that the bay extends beyond Kotor, so you’ll also find some properties in neighboring towns as well.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer a more modern property with a wider range of amenities, Budva will probably be a better fit.

Here are some popular Budva accommodations in different price ranges:

Luxury: Boutique Hotel Vissi d’Arte
Mid-Range:
Hotel Majestic
Budget: La Villa Boutique Hotel

Budva vs Kotor: Overall Vibe

And now for the main event: the vibe! This is always the component I pay most attention to when traveling because it can really make or break your whole experience.

Frankly, the vibe of Budva vs Kotor is where things really get interesting because the towns are so, so different.

Practically any online search you do for Budva will tell you the same thing – it’s a party town. Honestly, you can definitely feel this party atmosphere when you drive around.  Although the small old town within the city walls is a bit more subdued, the area surrounding the fortification definitely gives more of a spring-break vibe.

So it should come as no surprise then that Budva is referred to as the “Montenegrin Miami,” an apropos description of Montenegro’s most popular resort destination.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Think high-rise apartments, upbeat music, nightclubs, and lots of commercial businesses. Budva is, without a doubt, geared toward tourists on holiday.

But “Miami” aside, Budva does have a softer side, which you’ll find within the old town walls. Plus, Budva is also home to a ton of beaches (which Kotor notably lacks), so this could be the better option if you’re looking for family-friendly activities.

Prioritize Budva if you prefer: 

  • A stimulating, lively atmosphere
  • Luxurious high-end resorts
  • Fine dining & trendy restaurants
  • Sandy beaches (a rare find in Montenegro)
  • Exciting nightlife

…And then there’s Kotor. A major departure from bustling Budva, quieter Kotor also has a lot going on, but it presents itself in a more subdued way. Yes, Kotor is touristy – it is the most popular destination in Montenegro, after all – but the tourist-focused aspects seem to take a backseat to its incredible history.

Kotor is over 2,000 years old, dating back to the 5th century BC. It’s home to the most stunning and authentic old town I’ve seen on all of my travels.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Referred to as a “time-capsule retreat” by Rick Steves, wandering through the fortified old town walls is akin to time traveling. Kotor is beloved for its magnificent medieval architecture and was granted the official status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Prioritize Kotor if you prefer:

  • History
  • Intimate boutique hotels
  • Authenticity and a more local feel
  • Nature-focused activities such as hiking
  • Exceptional panoramic views

Budva vs Kotor: Top Activities

Here’s the good news: Whether you ultimately favor Budva or Kotor, you won’t be bored in either. Both towns have a lot to offer, so deciding where to allocate your time will really depend on your individual interests.

Top Things to Do in Budva

Wander the Old Town & Visit the Church of the Holy Trinity

Without a doubt, my favorite parts of Budva are contained within its fortified old town walls (with the exception of Old Town Beach, located just outside of it; more on that later).

Although Budva’s old town is much smaller than that of Kotor, there are still plenty of gems to be found here as you wander around.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Be sure to check out the citadel while you’re in town.

In addition, don’t miss a stop at the Church of the Holy Trinity, the striped Orthodox church located in front of the Citadel.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Sunbathe on the Beach

Budva is special in that it has sandy(ish) beaches, which, if you know anything about this area of the Adriatic, are hard to come by!

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

However, when it comes to beaches just outside the city walls, you should typically expect a sand/gravel mix. The general rule of thumb is, the further the beach is from the central city, the finer the sand is.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

That said, with a wide range of beaches to choose from, there’s something for everyone in Budva, from family-friendly options, to party-focused environments, to something in between.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Here are some of the most popular Budva beaches:

  • Old Town Beach (Pebbly beach just outside the old town walls; second and third spot pictured above)
  • Pizana Beach (Small sandy/pebbly beach between Budva Old Town and the city port; first one pictured above)
  • Jaz Beach (Wide sandy beach located 3km from Budva Old Town)
  • Slovenska Plaza (Main beach and the longest one in Budva)
  • Zuplica Plaža (Coarse pebble beach off the Zavala peninsula)
  • Mogren Budva (Private beach of Avala Resort & Villas)

Stroll the Dukley Marina

Dukley Marina is Budva’s main seaside promenade. Although it’s not especially big, it’s a slice of paradise for boat lovers. Here, you’ll see vessels ranging from charming fishing boats to opulent yachts bobbing in the sun.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Keep in mind, the marina is very much set up with tourists in mind. You’ll likely be asked if you want to go for a sail or pay for a chair on one of the many beaches that line the marina.

Enjoy the Nightlife

While I’m not the dancing-till-dawn type myself, Budva is chock-full of fun spots if nightlife is your jam.

Here are some of the most popular clubs for poppin’ Budva nightlife:

  • Top Hill Nightclub
  • La Roca
  • Trocadero on Slovenska Beach
  • Hide Day & Night Club
  • Night Club VICE

Top Things to Do in Kotor

Kotor is an ideal destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts – or a combination of the two! From the most fascinating old town to invigorating hikes like Kotor Fortress (with incredible views as a reward), Kotor has so many gems.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Luckily, I’ve already covered all of the can’t-miss activities in depth, so be sure to check out the best things to do in Kotor before you visit!

Similarities Between Budva & Kotor

Although Budva and Kotor are vastly different in many ways, they do share a few things in common. For one, they’re both fortified cities. This makes for pretty grand (and fun) entranceways!

Here’s what Budva’s fortress walls look like:

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

In comparison, here’s what Kotor’s fortress walls look like. Admittedly, they’re much grander, as Kotor Old City is larger.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Unsurprisingly, both Kotor and Budva are historic cities that are over 2,000 years old.

In addition, both cities are coastal, with Budva sitting along the Adriatic and Kotor alongside Boka Bay. These water-centric environments mean that boating is a common activity and the views are pretty spectacular!

While this isn’t exactly a selling point to focus on, both towns get incredibly crowded in the peak summer months and both experience a lot of traffic. While the area around Budva is more built up with highways and infrastructure than Kotor, Kotor faces the issue of only two single-direction lanes of traffic leading into the central part of town.

How to Travel from Budva to Kotor by Car

While you can certainly get around the coastal towns of Montenegro by utilizing public transportation, my personal recommendation is to rent a car. I’d especially suggest this if you’re looking to explore multiple towns, visit more central parts of the country, etc.

Fortunately, when it’s not peak season, driving from Budva to Kotor is relatively straightforward and only takes about half an hour each way without traffic.

That said, summer traffic can make the journey a lot longer, sometimes even upwards of an hour each way or more!

Do keep in mind that cars are prohibited within the old town walls of both towns.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Instead, you’ll need to park outside the walls and then walk in.

How to Travel from Budva to Kotor by Bus

With just over 14 miles between the two towns, there are numerous bus companies that offer routes between Budva and Kotor. The journey takes about 45 minutes depending on the route (and whether or not it stops in Tivat).

Tickets cost around $4USD. You can check out the routes, costs, and bus schedule here to plan your trip.

How to Travel from Budva to Kotor by Taxi

If you like the privacy of traveling by car but you’d prefer to avoid the hassle of renting your own, you can get from Budva to Kotor by taxi. Unsurprisingly, this is the costliest option, typically costing around 17EUR – 21EUR each way.

Budva vs Kotor: The Ultimate Decision

So, are you leaning more toward Budva or Kotor? If you’re still unsure, here are some scenarios to think about.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Scenario 1: You only have the resources to visit one town

Ultimately, you need to decide whether you care more about history and hiking or beaches and nightlife. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

While I do love beaches, I’m not much for nightlife. Plus, I always love visiting historic old towns and scoping out the best views while hiking, so the answer was clearly Kotor for me!

Scenario 2: You want to visit both towns but you have limited time

Choose either Budva or Kotor as your home base and book your accommodations there. I recommend selecting the town that you think you’ll resonate more with as your base.

Spend a minimum of two to three nights in your base town and then do a day trip to the other.

Scenario 3: You have the ability to give equal attention to both towns

In that case, there’s not much to say other than bon voyage! If you can, spend a few nights in each. If it was up to me, I’d still prioritize Kotor and spend more time there, but again, that’s my personal choice. 

Now that you have a better sense of these two popular Montenegrin towns, how will you solve the Budva vs Kotor debate for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

Planning a trip to Montenegro? Check out my other guides:

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Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

If you’ve done some research on the best towns to visit in Montenegro, you may be weighing Budva vs Kotor, two of the country’s most popular locales.

Now, in a perfect world, you’d have plenty of time to visit both, but I’m going to guess that you landed here because that’s not the case. Maybe your limited itinerary dictates that you only have time for one.

Or, perhaps you have time to see both, but you’re not sure which to prioritize versus which to do as a day trip, for example. Fortunately for you, I’ve visited both Budva and Kotor and I have a pretty strong opinion on which to prioritize.

But before we get to that, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about each so that you’ll have the full context. Then it’s up to you to decide!

So, Budva vs Kotor – which will it be? Let’s discover your ideal town match!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Budva vs Kotor: Factors to Consider

Location & Ease of Travel

Budva is a coastal town located along the Adriatic Sea. It’s often considered one of the prettiest places in Montenegro, particularly its old town.

Budva the centerpiece of the Budva Municipality and part of the Budva Riviera along with Bečići, Miločer, Rafailovići, Sveti Stefan, and Petrovac.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

While Kotor is also a coastal town, it’s located further inland along a secluded section of the Bay of Kotor.

There are two main airports in Montenegro: Podgorica Airport (Aerodrom Podgorica) in Podgorica and Tivat Airport (Aerodrom Tivat) in Tivat.

Tivat Airport is the closest option to both Budva and Kotor, so it makes most sense to fly into this one regardless of which town you decide to prioritize. Kotor is closer to Tivat Airport at just 15-20 minutes away, whereas Budva is a 30-minute drive.

As far as getting around each of the towns, they’re pretty comparable and both are well-served by public transportation. (We’ll cover travel between the two towns in more detail later.)

However, the layout of the old towns is remarkably different. Kotor was intentionally designed in a maze-like formation to confuse potential invaders, whereas Budva is more of a traditional city shape.

Budva vs Kotor: Travel Costs

Although Montenegro has yet to join the EU, the Euro is the official country currency.

Ultimately, the towns are pretty on par in terms of cost if you ask me. Sure, there are some aspects of Kotor that make it the pricier option (like dining), but then again, you can expect to pay more in Budva for other things (like a drink at a bar and public transportation). Ultimately, they’re pretty comparable.

Here’s a look at some common travel costs and what you can expect to pay on average in each of the towns.

Average Daily Dining Costs:

Budva: 25EUR
Kotor: 34EUR

Keep in mind that there are considerably more dining options in Budva. Also, the cost of drinking at a bar in Budva is slightly more expensive at around 11EUR on average versus 6.81EUR on average in Kotor.

Average Daily Cost of Public Transportation:

Budva: 16EUR
Kotor: 7.40EUR

Average Daily Cost of Tours/Entertainment:

Budva: 18EUR
Kotor: 6.66EUR

Average Total Daily Costs:

Budva: 80EUR
Kotor: 74EUR

Budva vs Kotor: Accommodation

As far as accommodations are concerned, both Budva and Kotor offer plenty of options. The main difference between the two is in the style of those accommodations.

Budva has more luxury high-rise hotels and resorts, whereas Kotor offers more charming boutique options.

If you’re looking to stay in Kotor, I highly recommend booking one of these beautiful Bay of Kotor hotels. Each of these wonderful accommodations is located along Boka Bay and offers spectacular views.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Do keep in mind, however, that the bay extends beyond Kotor, so you’ll also find some properties in neighboring towns as well.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer a more modern property with a wider range of amenities, Budva will probably be a better fit.

Here are some popular Budva accommodations in different price ranges:

Luxury: Boutique Hotel Vissi d’Arte
Mid-Range:
Hotel Majestic
Budget: La Villa Boutique Hotel

Budva vs Kotor: Overall Vibe

And now for the main event: the vibe! This is always the component I pay most attention to when traveling because it can really make or break your whole experience.

Frankly, the vibe of Budva vs Kotor is where things really get interesting because the towns are so, so different.

Practically any online search you do for Budva will tell you the same thing – it’s a party town. Honestly, you can definitely feel this party atmosphere when you drive around.  Although the small old town within the city walls is a bit more subdued, the area surrounding the fortification definitely gives more of a spring-break vibe.

So it should come as no surprise then that Budva is referred to as the “Montenegrin Miami,” an apropos description of Montenegro’s most popular resort destination.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Think high-rise apartments, upbeat music, nightclubs, and lots of commercial businesses. Budva is, without a doubt, geared toward tourists on holiday.

But “Miami” aside, Budva does have a softer side, which you’ll find within the old town walls. Plus, Budva is also home to a ton of beaches (which Kotor notably lacks), so this could be the better option if you’re looking for family-friendly activities.

Prioritize Budva if you prefer: 

  • A stimulating, lively atmosphere
  • Luxurious high-end resorts
  • Fine dining & trendy restaurants
  • Sandy beaches (a rare find in Montenegro)
  • Exciting nightlife

…And then there’s Kotor. A major departure from bustling Budva, quieter Kotor also has a lot going on, but it presents itself in a more subdued way. Yes, Kotor is touristy – it is the most popular destination in Montenegro, after all – but the tourist-focused aspects seem to take a backseat to its incredible history.

Kotor is over 2,000 years old, dating back to the 5th century BC. It’s home to the most stunning and authentic old town I’ve seen on all of my travels.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Referred to as a “time-capsule retreat” by Rick Steves, wandering through the fortified old town walls is akin to time traveling. Kotor is beloved for its magnificent medieval architecture and was granted the official status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Prioritize Kotor if you prefer:

  • History
  • Intimate boutique hotels
  • Authenticity and a more local feel
  • Nature-focused activities such as hiking
  • Exceptional panoramic views

Budva vs Kotor: Top Activities

Here’s the good news: Whether you ultimately favor Budva or Kotor, you won’t be bored in either. Both towns have a lot to offer, so deciding where to allocate your time will really depend on your individual interests.

Top Things to Do in Budva

Wander the Old Town & Visit the Church of the Holy Trinity

Without a doubt, my favorite parts of Budva are contained within its fortified old town walls (with the exception of Old Town Beach, located just outside of it; more on that later).

Although Budva’s old town is much smaller than that of Kotor, there are still plenty of gems to be found here as you wander around.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Be sure to check out the citadel while you’re in town.

In addition, don’t miss a stop at the Church of the Holy Trinity, the striped Orthodox church located in front of the Citadel.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Sunbathe on the Beach

Budva is special in that it has sandy(ish) beaches, which, if you know anything about this area of the Adriatic, are hard to come by!

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

However, when it comes to beaches just outside the city walls, you should typically expect a sand/gravel mix. The general rule of thumb is, the further the beach is from the central city, the finer the sand is.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

That said, with a wide range of beaches to choose from, there’s something for everyone in Budva, from family-friendly options, to party-focused environments, to something in between.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Here are some of the most popular Budva beaches:

  • Old Town Beach (Pebbly beach just outside the old town walls; second and third spot pictured above)
  • Pizana Beach (Small sandy/pebbly beach between Budva Old Town and the city port; first one pictured above)
  • Jaz Beach (Wide sandy beach located 3km from Budva Old Town)
  • Slovenska Plaza (Main beach and the longest one in Budva)
  • Zuplica Plaža (Coarse pebble beach off the Zavala peninsula)
  • Mogren Budva (Private beach of Avala Resort & Villas)

Stroll the Dukley Marina

Dukley Marina is Budva’s main seaside promenade. Although it’s not especially big, it’s a slice of paradise for boat lovers. Here, you’ll see vessels ranging from charming fishing boats to opulent yachts bobbing in the sun.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Keep in mind, the marina is very much set up with tourists in mind. You’ll likely be asked if you want to go for a sail or pay for a chair on one of the many beaches that line the marina.

Enjoy the Nightlife

While I’m not the dancing-till-dawn type myself, Budva is chock-full of fun spots if nightlife is your jam.

Here are some of the most popular clubs for poppin’ Budva nightlife:

  • Top Hill Nightclub
  • La Roca
  • Trocadero on Slovenska Beach
  • Hide Day & Night Club
  • Night Club VICE

Top Things to Do in Kotor

Kotor is an ideal destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts – or a combination of the two! From the most fascinating old town to invigorating hikes like Kotor Fortress (with incredible views as a reward), Kotor has so many gems.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Luckily, I’ve already covered all of the can’t-miss activities in depth, so be sure to check out the best things to do in Kotor before you visit!

Similarities Between Budva & Kotor

Although Budva and Kotor are vastly different in many ways, they do share a few things in common. For one, they’re both fortified cities. This makes for pretty grand (and fun) entranceways!

Here’s what Budva’s fortress walls look like:

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

In comparison, here’s what Kotor’s fortress walls look like. Admittedly, they’re much grander, as Kotor Old City is larger.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Unsurprisingly, both Kotor and Budva are historic cities that are over 2,000 years old.

In addition, both cities are coastal, with Budva sitting along the Adriatic and Kotor alongside Boka Bay. These water-centric environments mean that boating is a common activity and the views are pretty spectacular!

While this isn’t exactly a selling point to focus on, both towns get incredibly crowded in the peak summer months and both experience a lot of traffic. While the area around Budva is more built up with highways and infrastructure than Kotor, Kotor faces the issue of only two single-direction lanes of traffic leading into the central part of town.

How to Travel from Budva to Kotor by Car

While you can certainly get around the coastal towns of Montenegro by utilizing public transportation, my personal recommendation is to rent a car. I’d especially suggest this if you’re looking to explore multiple towns, visit more central parts of the country, etc.

Fortunately, when it’s not peak season, driving from Budva to Kotor is relatively straightforward and only takes about half an hour each way without traffic.

That said, summer traffic can make the journey a lot longer, sometimes even upwards of an hour each way or more!

Do keep in mind that cars are prohibited within the old town walls of both towns.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Instead, you’ll need to park outside the walls and then walk in.

How to Travel from Budva to Kotor by Bus

With just over 14 miles between the two towns, there are numerous bus companies that offer routes between Budva and Kotor. The journey takes about 45 minutes depending on the route (and whether or not it stops in Tivat).

Tickets cost around $4USD. You can check out the routes, costs, and bus schedule here to plan your trip.

How to Travel from Budva to Kotor by Taxi

If you like the privacy of traveling by car but you’d prefer to avoid the hassle of renting your own, you can get from Budva to Kotor by taxi. Unsurprisingly, this is the costliest option, typically costing around 17EUR – 21EUR each way.

Budva vs Kotor: The Ultimate Decision

So, are you leaning more toward Budva or Kotor? If you’re still unsure, here are some scenarios to think about.

Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown

Scenario 1: You only have the resources to visit one town

Ultimately, you need to decide whether you care more about history and hiking or beaches and nightlife. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

While I do love beaches, I’m not much for nightlife. Plus, I always love visiting historic old towns and scoping out the best views while hiking, so the answer was clearly Kotor for me!

Scenario 2: You want to visit both towns but you have limited time

Choose either Budva or Kotor as your home base and book your accommodations there. I recommend selecting the town that you think you’ll resonate more with as your base.

Spend a minimum of two to three nights in your base town and then do a day trip to the other.

Scenario 3: You have the ability to give equal attention to both towns

In that case, there’s not much to say other than bon voyage! If you can, spend a few nights in each. If it was up to me, I’d still prioritize Kotor and spend more time there, but again, that’s my personal choice. 

Now that you have a better sense of these two popular Montenegrin towns, how will you solve the Budva vs Kotor debate for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

Planning a trip to Montenegro? Check out my other guides:

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Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown
Are you looking to visit Montenegro but unsure which town to prioritize? Budva and Kotor are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? Luckily, this handy guide will help you decide whether to devote more time to Budva or Kotor, depending on your unique interests. From cost comparisons, to accommodation options, to the top things to do in Kotor and Budva, you’ll find it all here. Get your dream trip to Montenegro underway today! #budvabeach #budvaatnight #budvaoldtown