Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

12 Fun Things to Do in Kotor, Montenegro from Land to Sea

Last Updated on November 12, 2022

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Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

12 Fun Things to Do in Kotor, Montenegro from Land to Sea

Last Updated on November 12, 2022

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Coastal Kotor, Montenegro is one of the most well-preserved medieval European towns still standing today. You’ll have no problem finding fun things to do in Kotor, particularly if you’re as obsessed with fortified towns and panoramic mountain views as I am.

It’s easy to see why many people make the two(ish)-hour drive from Dubrovnik to see this historic town. Although many tack Kotor onto their Croatia itinerary as a day trip, it definitely deserves more time, especially since it’s only one of many incredible towns in Montenegro!

Plus, spending more than a day in Kotor means that you can stay at one of the best Bay of Kotor hotels – that is, if you can manage to pick just one!

But you can debate the details of your accommodation later. For now, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to some of the best things to do in Kotor – and show you why Montenegro is one of the most underrated European destinations!

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 for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Is Kotor Worth Visiting?

Considering the massive uptick in the popularity of Kotor over the past few years, this question ultimately answers itself. In short, Montenegro is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe, and Kotor is one of the many reasons why.

The beauty of Kotor is that it offers a little something for everyone – from history, to nature, to culture – while still remaining friendly on the wallet compared to other European destinations.

How Long Should I Spend in Kotor?

While you can see a decent amount of Kotor in a single day, I recommend a minimum of two days, and ideally three. The reason for this is that Kotor has plenty more to offer beyond its old town, though you could dedicate a day to exploring that alone!

There are also ample opportunities for hiking in Kotor as well as day trips to some of its charming neighboring towns which are ideal for longer stays.

Is One Day Enough in Kotor?

Technically, you can squeeze your Kotor itinerary into a single day, but you’ll likely have to cut corners somewhere. For the full experience, two to three days is ideal both in terms of exploring the town itself as well as branching out beyond city limits.

Top Things to Do in Kotor

1. Stop to Admire (& Photograph) Gurdic Gate

While you’ll probably want to get these activities underway right away, I’d encourage you to take your time while exploring Kotor. There are so many incredible little details here – starting at the very beginning of the old town – that you might miss if you rush through.

Your very first chance to soak it all in will be right at the old town entranceway – and there’s more than one way to enter!

There are actually three main entrances or “gates” leading into Kotor Old Town: North Gate (a.k.a. River Gate) South Gate (a.k.a. Gurdic Gate) and the West Gate (a.k.a Sea Gate).

My personal favorite is Gurdic Gate (a.k.a Gurdic Bastion) to the south, which feels distinctly medieval.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Dating back to the 13th century, Gurdic Gate is the narrowest of the three gates. It features a wooden drawbridge and feels straight out of a storybook (despite the car traffic zipping past on the adjacent roadway)!

In addition to its photo-worthy appearance, another plus of entering the town via Gurdic Gate is that it tends to be less crowded, as fewer tourists access the southern end of town.

If you’re lucky enough to have a crowd-free moment, be sure to snap a shot as a keepsake before walking though.

2. Explore Kotor Old Town

I’ve seen my fair share of old towns throughout Europe – Korcula, Hvar, and Montepulciano, to name a few – and I’ve loved them all.

And then I set foot in Kotor and my whole perspective of the word “historic” shifted.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Given that Kotor was founded by the Romans over 2,000 years, I obviously knew that the old town would be, for lack of a better word, old. (Which, if you know anything about my general distaste for modern-day concrete jungles, is the highest compliment I can give a city!)

Its authentically old atmosphere was also ultimately my deciding factor for booking a stay in Kotor vs Budva – a decision that proved to be the right fit. Kotor’s old town is truly unlike any other I’ve experienced. It was the most legitimately aged place I’ve ever set foot in.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

No corny “Ye Olde Starbucks” stuff like you’ll see in the states here, folks. This is the real deal.

Kotor was actually a significant town since the Middle Ages, as its bay provided a much-needed shelter for ships.

FUN FACT: Kotor was officially granted UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site status in 1979.

Something as seemingly simple as wandering the old narrow streets is one of the best things to do in Kotor, as it’s like traveling back in time and holding a mirror up to the past.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro
Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

I honestly couldn’t contain my excitement as my husband and I wandered through the labyrinth of Kotor’s old town admiring the Venetian-style architecture.

While the old town isn’t particularly large, it’s chock-full of quirky details (and endless photo opportunities, of course)! I recommend dedicating at least an hour (if not more) to explore, wander, and uncover Kotor’s secret corners. Each street seems to have a story to tell.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

If you can manage it, start your day with the sun so you can fully enjoy the town before the crowds take hold.

3. ...Or Join a Walking Tour

While I’m typically inclined to explore a city independently (since I tend to take a million pictures), you may prefer to explore with an experienced guide.

If that’s the case, there’s no shortage of tours to choose from, whether you prefer the exclusivity of a private tour of the social dynamics of a group tour.

Regardless of what you decide, an organized tour will give you an up-close look at some of Kotor’s most famous monuments with helpful historical context for the full city experience.

4. Visit the St. Tryphon Cathedral

When traveling around Europe, it can sometimes seem a bit like “another day, another church.” Trust me, I get it.

But the St. Tryphon Cathedral is pretty cool in that it’s one of only two Roman Catholic Churches in the entire country of Montenegro. It’s also largely considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the old town.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

It’s certainly not hard to see how it earned that title. It really is quite beautiful.

NOT-SO-FUN-FACT: The bell towers you see today were not actually part of the original construction. Instead, they were erected after the 1667 earthquake ravaged the front of the church!

For the full context of the church, be sure to head inside and admire the gorgeous Romanesque architecture. Here, you can see the remains of what were once ancient frescoes.

5. Befriend All the Local Kitties & Visit the Cat Museum

If you’re a feline fanatic, you’ll be in kitty heaven in Kotor! The unofficial “cat capital” of Montenegro, Kotor is home to many, many cuddly cats. In fact, I think we saw more kitties here than anywhere else in Europe.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

As you stroll around Kotor Old Town, you’ll find these cuties around every corner – from cozying up in shop windows to clamoring up trees!

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

And if these spontaneous run-ins with four-legged friends isn’t enough to satisfy your cat-crazed heart, you can arrange a more intentional outing at the Cat Museum!

Located in the heart of the old town of Kotor, the museum pays homage to all of the beautiful cats of the city via oil paintings, memorabilia, and kitty souvenirs.

While there are no official “live exhibits,” the real-life kitties that wander freely here are the true stars of the show.

6. Hike Up to Kotor Fortress

If you’re up for some hiking in Kotor, then you can’t miss the trek up to St. John’s Fortress (a.k.a the Castle of San Giovanni). Commonly referred to simply as Kotor Fortress, this Byzantine-era structure is perched above the city walls and provides the most spectacular views over Kotor.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

As you can probably gather from the birds-eye view, there’s only one way to reach the fortress – on foot! The hike to the top can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each way, depending on how comfortable/experienced you are with a hike of this nature.

I’ll be the first to admit that the hike looks pretty daunting when you first see it (with the 1,350 steps leading up the hill), but I can honestly say it appears much more intimidating than it is in reality.

There are actually two routes you can choose from: the Walls of Kotor (the front-facing side with the giant staircase) or the Ladder of Kotor (a series of switchbacks up the rear of the mountain). For the full breakdown of both routes and exactly what to expect on each, check out my dedicated guide to hiking Kotor Fortress.

In it, I share first-hand insight and helpful tips for everything from route planning, to where to park, to what to bring, to the best viewpoints along the way. You’ll quickly discover why this hike is one of the best things to do in Kotor, hands down!

For the full experience – including a history of Kotor’s incredible fortifications – consider booking a private or group tour.

7. Explore Some Natural (& Manmade) Wonders on a Boat Tour

While Kotor is easy to explore on foot, there’s only so much you can see on land. As a coastal town, there are many more things to do in Kotor beyond what you’ll find within the city walls.

Joining a boat tour is the perfect way to enjoy the other half of what Kotor has to offer. Plus, you’ll see the town from a totally new perspective.

While several boat tours are available from Kotor, one of the most popular options combines a visit to Our Lady of the Rocks and the Blue Cave on Mamula island. This fortified island sits between Montenegro and Croatia and is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Southeastern Europe.

8. Enjoy an Underwater Experience on a Semi-Submarine

If you’d like to explore Kotor by sea but you’d prefer to enjoy the underwater world, then this next tour will be right up your alley.

A semi-submarine tour will introduce you to some interesting marine life as well as provide the opportunity to see some wonderful fishing villages from the upper deck.

 

9. Visit Kotor’s Maritime Museum

For a well-rounded education about sea life while you’re land-side, head to the Maritime Museum of Montenegro. This small-but-interesting museum highlights Kotor’s former position as a significant naval power.

Housed in a small 18th-century palace, the museum features everything from model ships, to historic weapons, to nautical paintings.

The entrance ticket also includes a self-directed audio guide to provide additional insight.

How to Get Here:

The Maritime Musuem is located at 391 Trg Bokeljske mornarice, in Kotor.

10. Visit the Neighboring Town of Perast

Just 15-20 minutes northwest of Kotor is the ridiculously idyllic village of Perast.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Significantly smaller than its more popular neighbor, Perast offers a welcome escape from Kotor’s crowded corners, especially during the peak summer season. The town sits along the Bay of Kotor and you can easily meander up and back the entire length of it in under two hours.

One of the main highlights of Perast is that it’s an easy jumping off point for one of the top attractions along the Bay of Kotor – Our Lady of the Rocks. This little manmade islet is located off the coast of Perast and is home to a small museum and an iconic blue-domed church.

Unsurprisingly, the only way to reach Our Lady of the Rocks is by boat, and tours run pretty regularly in the high season.

 

What to Know Before You Go:

Parking in Perast can be a bit of a challenge if you don’t know where you’re going. Fortunately, this difficulty is greatly relieved if you’re planning to visit Our Lady of the Rocks, as there’s a small designated lot exclusively for this attraction. However, you’ll only be granted parking here if you have a ticket to the attraction (or you’re looking to buy one).

Alternatively, if you’re primarily looking to explore the town of Perast itself (and skip Our Lady of the Rocks), parking becomes more of a challenge. You’ll either have to find yourself a spot in the main lot leading into the town (a tall order in summer) or you may manage to get lucky with a spot along the highway that runs along the bay.

11. Take a Day Trip to Budva for Some Beach Time

If you’d like to take things up a notch with an action-packed day trip, then I recommend heading to Budva.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Located just under half an hour from Kotor, Budva is commonly known as the “Montenegrin Miami,” as it’s the most popular resort town amongst tourists. Much like the lively island of Hvar, Croatia, Budva has developed a reputation as the party island of Montenegro’s coast.

This is the spot to be if you’re looking to relax on the sandy(ish) beaches or enjoy some of the best nightlife along the Budva Riviera. There’s a very different energy in Budva than there is in Kotor, so if the idea of a stimulating social environment appeals to you, this is the place to be.

In addition, stay tuned for an upcoming comparison guide between Budva and Kotor coming soon to the blog!

12. Book an Unforgettable Stay Along the Bay of Kotor

With its amazing bayside location, one of the absolute best things to do in Kotor is to take advantage of the scenic views with an unforgettable hotel stay.

The best best Bay of Kotor hotels offer breathtaking views, and some even include a private terrace or balcony to soak it all in.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

While many of the hotels are located directly in Kotor, some are in other picturesque towns of Montenegro, including Perast, Tivat, and Herceg Novi. For a broader perspective of the Bay of Kotor area (which encompasses several towns), you may want to consider booking a hotel outside of Kotor. This way you can see more of what this incredible area has to offer in addition to all of the things to do in Kotor.

Or, you could reverse engineer it and use Kotor as your base to explore some of the other towns. Either way, I highly recommend exploring more than just Kotor while you’re here.

While I hope this guide inspires you to visit Kotor, it’s meant to be a starting point. I’m confident that the more you explore this incredible town and its surroundings, the more you’ll uncover awesome new things to do in Kotor!

Which of these Kotor activities will you be adding to your Montenegro bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for additional Montenegrin inspiration? Check out my other guides:

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Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro
Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro
Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Coastal Kotor, Montenegro is one of the most well-preserved medieval European towns still standing today. You’ll have no problem finding fun things to do in Kotor, particularly if you’re as obsessed with fortified towns and panoramic mountain views as I am.

It’s easy to see why many people make the two(ish)-hour drive from Dubrovnik to see this historic town. Although many tack Kotor onto their Croatia itinerary as a day trip, it definitely deserves more time, especially since it’s only one of many incredible towns in Montenegro!

Plus, spending more than a day in Kotor means that you can stay at one of the best Bay of Kotor hotels – that is, if you can manage to pick just one!

But you can debate the details of your accommodation later. For now, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to some of the best things to do in Kotor – and show you why Montenegro is one of the most underrated European destinations!

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 for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Is Kotor Worth Visiting?

Considering the massive uptick in the popularity of Kotor over the past few years, this question ultimately answers itself. In short, Montenegro is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe, and Kotor is one of the many reasons why.

The beauty of Kotor is that it offers a little something for everyone – from history, to nature, to culture – while still remaining friendly on the wallet compared to other European destinations.

How Long Should I Spend in Kotor?

While you can see a decent amount of Kotor in a single day, I recommend a minimum of two days, and ideally three. The reason for this is that Kotor has plenty more to offer beyond its old town, though you could dedicate a day to exploring that alone!

There are also ample opportunities for hiking in Kotor as well as day trips to some of its charming neighboring towns which are ideal for longer stays.

Is One Day Enough in Kotor?

Technically, you can squeeze your Kotor itinerary into a single day, but you’ll likely have to cut corners somewhere. For the full experience, two to three days is ideal both in terms of exploring the town itself as well as branching out beyond city limits.

Top Things to Do in Kotor

1. Stop to Admire (& Photograph) Gurdic Gate

While you’ll probably want to get these activities underway right away, I’d encourage you to take your time while exploring Kotor. There are so many incredible little details here – starting at the very beginning of the old town – that you might miss if you rush through.

Your very first chance to soak it all in will be right at the old town entranceway – and there’s more than one way to enter!

There are actually three main entrances or “gates” leading into Kotor Old Town: North Gate (a.k.a. River Gate) South Gate (a.k.a. Gurdic Gate) and the West Gate (a.k.a Sea Gate).

My personal favorite is Gurdic Gate (a.k.a Gurdic Bastion) to the south, which feels distinctly medieval.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Dating back to the 13th century, Gurdic Gate is the narrowest of the three gates. It features a wooden drawbridge and feels straight out of a storybook (despite the car traffic zipping past on the adjacent roadway)!

In addition to its photo-worthy appearance, another plus of entering the town via Gurdic Gate is that it tends to be less crowded, as fewer tourists access the southern end of town.

If you’re lucky enough to have a crowd-free moment, be sure to snap a shot as a keepsake before walking though.

2. Explore Kotor Old Town

I’ve seen my fair share of old towns throughout Europe – Korcula, Hvar, and Montepulciano, to name a few – and I’ve loved them all.

And then I set foot in Kotor and my whole perspective of the word “historic” shifted.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Given that Kotor was founded by the Romans over 2,000 years, I obviously knew that the old town would be, for lack of a better word, old. (Which, if you know anything about my general distaste for modern-day concrete jungles, is the highest compliment I can give a city!)

Its authentically old atmosphere was also ultimately my deciding factor for booking a stay in Kotor vs Budva – a decision that proved to be the right fit. Kotor’s old town is truly unlike any other I’ve experienced. It was the most legitimately aged place I’ve ever set foot in.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

No corny “Ye Olde Starbucks” stuff like you’ll see in the states here, folks. This is the real deal.

Kotor was actually a significant town since the Middle Ages, as its bay provided a much-needed shelter for ships.

FUN FACT: Kotor was officially granted UNESCO-World-Heritage-Site status in 1979.

Something as seemingly simple as wandering the old narrow streets is one of the best things to do in Kotor, as it’s like traveling back in time and holding a mirror up to the past.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro
Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

I honestly couldn’t contain my excitement as my husband and I wandered through the labyrinth of Kotor’s old town admiring the Venetian-style architecture.

While the old town isn’t particularly large, it’s chock-full of quirky details (and endless photo opportunities, of course)! I recommend dedicating at least an hour (if not more) to explore, wander, and uncover Kotor’s secret corners. Each street seems to have a story to tell.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

If you can manage it, start your day with the sun so you can fully enjoy the town before the crowds take hold.

3. ...Or Join a Walking Tour

While I’m typically inclined to explore a city independently (since I tend to take a million pictures), you may prefer to explore with an experienced guide.

If that’s the case, there’s no shortage of tours to choose from, whether you prefer the exclusivity of a private tour of the social dynamics of a group tour.

Regardless of what you decide, an organized tour will give you an up-close look at some of Kotor’s most famous monuments with helpful historical context for the full city experience.

4. Visit the St. Tryphon Cathedral

When traveling around Europe, it can sometimes seem a bit like “another day, another church.” Trust me, I get it.

But the St. Tryphon Cathedral is pretty cool in that it’s one of only two Roman Catholic Churches in the entire country of Montenegro. It’s also largely considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the old town.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

It’s certainly not hard to see how it earned that title. It really is quite beautiful.

NOT-SO-FUN-FACT: The bell towers you see today were not actually part of the original construction. Instead, they were erected after the 1667 earthquake ravaged the front of the church!

For the full context of the church, be sure to head inside and admire the gorgeous Romanesque architecture. Here, you can see the remains of what were once ancient frescoes.

5. Befriend All the Local Kitties & Visit the Cat Museum

If you’re a feline fanatic, you’ll be in kitty heaven in Kotor! The unofficial “cat capital” of Montenegro, Kotor is home to many, many cuddly cats. In fact, I think we saw more kitties here than anywhere else in Europe.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

As you stroll around Kotor Old Town, you’ll find these cuties around every corner – from cozying up in shop windows to clamoring up trees!

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

And if these spontaneous run-ins with four-legged friends isn’t enough to satisfy your cat-crazed heart, you can arrange a more intentional outing at the Cat Museum!

Located in the heart of the old town of Kotor, the museum pays homage to all of the beautiful cats of the city via oil paintings, memorabilia, and kitty souvenirs.

While there are no official “live exhibits,” the real-life kitties that wander freely here are the true stars of the show.

6. Hike Up to Kotor Fortress

If you’re up for some hiking in Kotor, then you can’t miss the trek up to St. John’s Fortress (a.k.a the Castle of San Giovanni). Commonly referred to simply as Kotor Fortress, this Byzantine-era structure is perched above the city walls and provides the most spectacular views over Kotor.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

As you can probably gather from the birds-eye view, there’s only one way to reach the fortress – on foot! The hike to the top can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each way, depending on how comfortable/experienced you are with a hike of this nature.

I’ll be the first to admit that the hike looks pretty daunting when you first see it (with the 1,350 steps leading up the hill), but I can honestly say it appears much more intimidating than it is in reality.

There are actually two routes you can choose from: the Walls of Kotor (the front-facing side with the giant staircase) or the Ladder of Kotor (a series of switchbacks up the rear of the mountain). For the full breakdown of both routes and exactly what to expect on each, check out my dedicated guide to hiking Kotor Fortress.

In it, I share first-hand insight and helpful tips for everything from route planning, to where to park, to what to bring, to the best viewpoints along the way. You’ll quickly discover why this hike is one of the best things to do in Kotor, hands down!

For the full experience – including a history of Kotor’s incredible fortifications – consider booking a private or group tour.

7. Explore Some Natural (& Manmade) Wonders on a Boat Tour

While Kotor is easy to explore on foot, there’s only so much you can see on land. As a coastal town, there are many more things to do in Kotor beyond what you’ll find within the city walls.

Joining a boat tour is the perfect way to enjoy the other half of what Kotor has to offer. Plus, you’ll see the town from a totally new perspective.

While several boat tours are available from Kotor, one of the most popular options combines a visit to Our Lady of the Rocks and the Blue Cave on Mamula island. This fortified island sits between Montenegro and Croatia and is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Southeastern Europe.

8. Enjoy an Underwater Experience on a Semi-Submarine

If you’d like to explore Kotor by sea but you’d prefer to enjoy the underwater world, then this next tour will be right up your alley.

A semi-submarine tour will introduce you to some interesting marine life as well as provide the opportunity to see some wonderful fishing villages from the upper deck.

 

9. Visit Kotor’s Maritime Museum

For a well-rounded education about sea life while you’re land-side, head to the Maritime Museum of Montenegro. This small-but-interesting museum highlights Kotor’s former position as a significant naval power.

Housed in a small 18th-century palace, the museum features everything from model ships, to historic weapons, to nautical paintings.

The entrance ticket also includes a self-directed audio guide to provide additional insight.

How to Get Here:

The Maritime Musuem is located at 391 Trg Bokeljske mornarice, in Kotor.

10. Visit the Neighboring Town of Perast

Just 15-20 minutes northwest of Kotor is the ridiculously idyllic village of Perast.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Significantly smaller than its more popular neighbor, Perast offers a welcome escape from Kotor’s crowded corners, especially during the peak summer season. The town sits along the Bay of Kotor and you can easily meander up and back the entire length of it in under two hours.

One of the main highlights of Perast is that it’s an easy jumping off point for one of the top attractions along the Bay of Kotor – Our Lady of the Rocks. This little manmade islet is located off the coast of Perast and is home to a small museum and an iconic blue-domed church.

Unsurprisingly, the only way to reach Our Lady of the Rocks is by boat, and tours run pretty regularly in the high season.

 

What to Know Before You Go:

Parking in Perast can be a bit of a challenge if you don’t know where you’re going. Fortunately, this difficulty is greatly relieved if you’re planning to visit Our Lady of the Rocks, as there’s a small designated lot exclusively for this attraction. However, you’ll only be granted parking here if you have a ticket to the attraction (or you’re looking to buy one).

Alternatively, if you’re primarily looking to explore the town of Perast itself (and skip Our Lady of the Rocks), parking becomes more of a challenge. You’ll either have to find yourself a spot in the main lot leading into the town (a tall order in summer) or you may manage to get lucky with a spot along the highway that runs along the bay.

11. Take a Day Trip to Budva for Some Beach Time

If you’d like to take things up a notch with an action-packed day trip, then I recommend heading to Budva.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

Located just under half an hour from Kotor, Budva is commonly known as the “Montenegrin Miami,” as it’s the most popular resort town amongst tourists. Much like the lively island of Hvar, Croatia, Budva has developed a reputation as the party island of Montenegro’s coast.

This is the spot to be if you’re looking to relax on the sandy(ish) beaches or enjoy some of the best nightlife along the Budva Riviera. There’s a very different energy in Budva than there is in Kotor, so if the idea of a stimulating social environment appeals to you, this is the place to be.

In addition, stay tuned for an upcoming comparison guide between Budva and Kotor coming soon to the blog!

12. Book an Unforgettable Stay Along the Bay of Kotor

With its amazing bayside location, one of the absolute best things to do in Kotor is to take advantage of the scenic views with an unforgettable hotel stay.

The best best Bay of Kotor hotels offer breathtaking views, and some even include a private terrace or balcony to soak it all in.

Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro

While many of the hotels are located directly in Kotor, some are in other picturesque towns of Montenegro, including Perast, Tivat, and Herceg Novi. For a broader perspective of the Bay of Kotor area (which encompasses several towns), you may want to consider booking a hotel outside of Kotor. This way you can see more of what this incredible area has to offer in addition to all of the things to do in Kotor.

Or, you could reverse engineer it and use Kotor as your base to explore some of the other towns. Either way, I highly recommend exploring more than just Kotor while you’re here.

While I hope this guide inspires you to visit Kotor, it’s meant to be a starting point. I’m confident that the more you explore this incredible town and its surroundings, the more you’ll uncover awesome new things to do in Kotor!

Which of these Kotor activities will you be adding to your Montenegro bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for additional Montenegrin inspiration? Check out my other guides:

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Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro
Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro
Are you looking for the top things to do in Kotor? This Kotor travel guide will give you all of the inspiration you need for an unforgettable trip to Montenegro’s historic gem. From hiking to Kotor fortress, to visiting the Kotor city walls, to admiring the Venetian-style Kotor architecture in the charming old town, to awesome Kotor photo ideas, you’ll find it all here. Come discover why you need to spend at least one day in Kotor, Montenegro! #kotorguide #kotorthingstodo #kotorbaymontenegro