What to do in Kotor and surroundings [en un día]

Kotor is a medieval city, which besides being very beautiful is located in a special place. The entrance of the Adriatic Sea between the mountains, which mix the greenest nature with the limestone, creates the Bay of Kotor.

The place is so beautiful and the mountains reach 1000 meters high, it seems that we are in a fjord when it is really a canyon.

How to see the city of Kotor

This city that is located along the coast has a lot of plans for you, as well as the whole surrounding area: caves, churches on small islands, fishing villages, beaches ..

In addition, although these other plans are 15 minutes away, Kotor is a city that allows you to reach all sites by public transport, having no problem exploring the entire area. Here we go!

Climb to San Giovanni Castle

Climb to San Giovanni Castle, or Kotor Fortress as it is also known, is a must What you have to do if you are going to tour Kotor. This fortification defended the medieval city of Kotor, and today Lets see the best panoramic view of the Bay of Kotor.

Going up will leave you breathless twice: because the views are amazing, the color of the sea is impressive at that height, see the wake of white foam that the boats leave in the sea, the orange roofs of the houses, see the mountains at the same height … But also It will leave you breathless because to get to the castle you will have to climb nothing more and nothing less than 1450 steps.

That said it sounds a bit like "puff what an effort … will it be so worth it?" The best strategy is to try to go when the sun's rays are less hard. The climb, because like any climb you will get tired. We are not going to lie to you, we arrive with the tongue out. The truth is that you can make as many stops as you see necessary, every now and then there are people selling drinks, in the middle of the road you must stop (to regain strength to continue climbing) and to visit the Church Our Lady of Health. When you get up all the fatigue will disappear as if by magic thanks to the views.

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Tower of the Church of Health

There, at the top, will be when you really appreciate the true height of 1000 meters of the mountains that give way to the Adriatic Sea And create the bay. To enter this fortress you will have to pay a € 8 ticket and start climbing the stairs. Come you can!

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Kotor Fortress

Now, we are going to tell you what we did. We decided to go on a route that was marked in Wikiloc, which goes through the back of the fortress, and climbs a stone path (this is as sunny as the main stairs). We walked and saw a church in ruins until we hit the wall, we followed the route indicated by white and red stripes on the ground (as indicated by the Wikiloc route) and we reached a window where there were some wooden removable stairs. We pass the window and find ourselves inside the fortress.

This way we don't pay the ticket, We learned that we had to pay when we saw the exit of the entire metal lathe below, so you can pass without a ticket. We advise this part because in addition to saving the entrance, the road (although steep) without the thousands of stairs becomes much more comfortable.

Visit the Cathedral of San Trifón

Your next visit on the list is the Cathedral of San Trifón, built in Gothic style It is one of the only two Catholic churches in all of Montenegro. Built in the 1166 century, it enjoys the title of being the oldest Catholic church in all of Yugoslavia.

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St. Tryphon's Cathedral in Kotor

Rather than having to go to visit her, she will find you, because she is located in the center of the city of Kotor.

Visit the most lively square in Kotor

This square, in addition to small boutique-style shops and lots of palatable terraces to have a beer or stop to eat to regain strength, gives location to two essential monuments of Kotor.

One is the small church of San Lucas, it is so small that it will practically not take you more than 5 minutes to get in and out, but if you do, You will be appreciating the only church that shares the altar for two different religions: the Catholic and the Orthodox. To us, what we liked most about this church, was its aged facade, which gives it that aspect of carrying many years of history behind it.

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Church of San Lucas with two altars of different religions

In the same square, it is also located the Church of San Nicolas. This church built in neo-Byzantine style (what you can see in its rectangular structure and its material and whitish color) is practically embedded between two streets. Your entry is free., so you must enter to see the golden circle hanging from one of its domes (typical of Orthodox churches).

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San Nicolas Church

Enter to gossip the beautiful local market of Kotor

As you leave behind the Church of San Nicolas and you start walking down a narrow street, if you look, on the right hand side you will see a worn wooden door. To us, really, it was the wooden door and the tunnel-shaped entrance that caught our attention from outside.

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Kotor artisan market

Once we crossed the door and walked a few steps, we realized that it was a local craft market, typical products of the area, a beautiful post with Christmas figurines and lots of objects such as bags, t-shirts, pictures with different drawings with the famous Kotor cats … of course 🙂

The entire market is located as in a skylight that form the surrounding floors. The whole market is very well set, because the stalls are small, wooden, with striped awnings ..Be careful every detail, which makes that little piece of market a very bohemian place It is worth knowing, even if you leave without any purchase.

Surprise yourself with the Kotor Cats Museum

In effect, you are reading well. In this place there is a museum dedicated to felines. And nothing surprises us, because during All our visit to the city of Kotor we found a lot of these "hairy balls" all over the streets.

They are also all very good and are caressed. So if you want to know a little more about the history of the old relationship between Kotor and cats, don't hesitate to stop by. Admission only costs € 3 , and inside you can find a collection of famous people with cats, all the articles you can imagine in relation to cats and the love story of Kotor made cats, because "It was these" who got rid of the rats that carried the plague in the city.

Small places that should not go unnoticed in Kotor

Sometimes in the places you visit there are little hidden gems. Those that are more difficult to find with them, that not everyone manages to find or discover, but that are finally parts that help you to know in depth the place you are traveling.

Those places, those little constructions with history, those hidden corners, "put the icing on the cake" of your visit, in this case to the city of Kotor.

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The Bay of Kotor, beautiful until its walls

Get to know the Venetian past of Kotor through La Puerta del Mar

If you leave Kotor without crossing this door you will miss a large part of its history. Which, although it seems difficult, is reflected in this door.

If you look at this door created, nothing more and nothing less, than in the year 1555 You will see that it is a defensive gate. And that was your goal, defend the city of Kotor. Being a maritime city had "many ballots" to be attacked.

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Gate of the Sea of ​​Kotor

At the top you will see a Lion, and at the time the Kotor door was created it belonged to the Venetian Republic. And the Lion is the representation of that republic. Even at this door it appears again «Tito»(For those who do not know who he is, you cannot miss the post of our passage through Bosnia« The ancient history of Yugoslavia »and« Tito's bunker »)

The date on which Kotor was freed from the Nazis and a sentence dictated by the dictator "Titus" are carved right up.

See the time in the Clock Tower

Located in the Plaza de Armas is this Clock Tower, which has given the time since 1602. It is true that he took a small vacation during an earthquake in 1979, but it was restored and since then he works every day of the week.

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Clock tower next to the terraces to rest

Take a picture of the Bell Tower

We hit this part of the city wall in the shape of a bell when we decided to climb the fortress of Kotor. I mean, we saw it from the closest part to where the Scurda River is born.

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Kotor bell tower

It is much prettier if it is visualized from the Port of Kotor, an area that has much more life and not only the Bell Tower is appreciated but also a large piece of the wall, the seaport and the boats, etc.

What to do around Kotor

Kotor is a very beautiful city and in large part that charm comes from being a small city. Like good perfumes "they are stored in small jars." Or what is the same, in one day you can tour the city of Kotor from top to bottom.

Therefore, if you have one more day in this place, we propose other plans for you to continue knowing the area.

Stroll through the small town of Perast

The town of Perast It is located 15 minutes from the city of Kotor. You can travel this path in your own vehicle or by public transport (for less than € 2 there is a bus that will bring you there).

If you were by car, the sooner the better, because the town of Perast has parking at the beginning and at the exit of the town. In between it is not possible to park, so depending on the season and time it may take a while to park. In the part of the parking closest to Kotor in free, but it is further from Perast. And to the furthest part of Kotor, There is a paid parking € 0.5 per car hour. And attention! € 5 per camper or caravan hour, and this parking is very close to the town of Perast.

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Perast, town near Kotor

Once we have reached Perast, now we just have to discover it. The whole little town runs along the coast. Do, do … there is not much to do. But they are of those places that the promenade next to the sea, with the panoramic views of the other towns of the seafront in front are worth it. You can have an ice cream with your feet in the water or enjoy a cold drink on one of the terraces above the water along the shore.

While you take the walk, we propose a game, you can not leave Perast without finding the bell tower Did you know that this place is called The Venice of Montenegro »? Now … we didn't see a channel 🙂

The picturesque Church of Our Lady of the Rocks

The Bay of Kotor is also known as the Kotor Fjord, because of the natural way that the Adriatic Sea entrance has left in this area.

Well, right in the middle of that fjord or bay is a small island where the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is located. From the same town of Perast you can buy the ticket (between € 5 and € 7 depending on the boat and the season) so that a small boat approaches you to visit it For who is a madman like us to row, and has the possibility of taking your kayak or renting it around the area, it is also possible to arrive in this other way more independent to the island where the church is located, there is a more than acceptable distance.

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Church Our Lady of the Rock

Remember that the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is Orthodox, and not to surprise you Once there, remember to enter without showing ankles or shoulders. The visit is more or less fast. You can explore the church inside and take a short walk on the outskirts of the island, seeing the different perspectives of the Bay of Kotor it offers.

Where to bathe in Kotor: look for a beach around Perast

We entered Kotor on one of the roads that went down zig-zag from the top of the mountain. As we were going down, we had more and more clear, we could not leave the Bay of Kotor without taking a dip in one of its beaches.

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All Perast is surrounded by beaches

Before and after the town of Perast are the best places to enjoy a bath. The beaches here are not sandy, or they have a section of cement where you can enjoy throwing yourself headlong or sunbathing, or other parts that have a medium / small stone beach perfect for getting more slowly or playing a game of cards « with an ass to soak »🙂

Explore an abandoned bunker

Of course, if there is a bunker somewhere we are going to visit, we cannot ignore it. And this time, it could not be otherwise.

For those who have read us in some more post of our Road Trip for Europe (2019) or watched a video from our YouTube channel, You will know that we are some "geeks" of the bunkers. And for those who do not, with little to investigate (if you like the subject) we have plenty of visits to bunkers and abandoned places, experiences that we narrate in the blog 🙂

At the top of the Vrmac Mountain is a fort of the Austro-Hungarian era. You can go there by car (it does not take more than 15-20 minutes from the city of Kotor) or do one of the trekking routes They take you there (it will take you, depending on the route, approximately 3 hours).

You can enter the bunker, with the flashlight of the mobile is enough to explore it. You will see rooms, bathrooms, places to store shrapnel and the most interesting part is in the small domes upstairs. Going up the stairs to the top floor you will find rooms with a half-shaped roof and built in iron. It was there that they had the submachine guns with which they fired.

The famous Kotor Blue Cave

This beautiful blue cave located in the Bay of Kotor is one of the "most tourist" activities to do in Kotor.

To get there, the simplest is to buy the boat tickets. This first will navigate the entire Kotor fjord to the beginning of the cave, then enter the deepest part of the cave. Imagine the size of the cavity for the boats to fit.

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Blue Cave or Blue Cave in Kotor

Once there, you will see the blue color of the waters inside the cave, which is so because of the direct sunlight that falls on them. This light "sneaks" through a swallow of light in the rock and allows a "dip" with all the water lit, snorkel , even take pictures underwater if you have the necessary material.

There is also the option to reach this cave by Kayak, and the bravest in paddle surfing. But remember to take energy before starting the adventure, because it will take a few "rowing." Keep in mind that there are combined excursions, which will show you other points that we have talked about in this blog by boat: the town of Perast, the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks and also the Blue Cave.

Where to eat in Kotor

Kotor is a very tourist city, but it is true that sitting down to eat in the most tourist and central square of this city is not as expensive as in a place with the same characteristics in Spain.

Pyou can eat pizzas for € 5-6, pasta dishes of equal price, etc. But even if that were the case, we prefer to get away from the center and the "crowd" (especially by the dog) and eat in a garden, near a river two bureks (one of cheese and another of cheese with spinach) and Baklava dessert (all for € 5).

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Cheese burek with spinach, our favorite dish in the Balkans

There was also a shopping center right there (you can see it where we indicate the bakery on the map) a shopping center with a hamburguesería dentro con menús muy apetecibles por 4-5€. Y además con una compra en ese centro comercial contabas con 2 horas de parking gratuito.

Donde dormir en Kotor

Kotor es una ciudad que se encuentra construida a lo largo de toda la costa del Fiordo de Kotor. Y uno de los momentos más bonitos que te puede ofrecer este sitio es cuando anochece. Cuando el sol se propone descansar de uno de los laterales de la Tierra y todo Kotor se queda iluminado por las farolas.

Si pasáis noche aquí, una de las partes más bonitas es poder ver la parte de la Bahía de Kotor que queda enfrente de esta ciudad, iluminada. Y desde luego no hay mejor lugar para quedarse embobado con las luces de la costa vecina que desde las terrazas de  BMB Apartaments Kotor


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Calles mágicas de Kotor

Kotor es una ciudad muy bonita, además de estar en un país nuevo para nosotros que nos sorprendió gratamente. Montenegro tiene mucho que ofrecer. Nuestra mayor sorpresa fue la gran naturaleza que esconde entre las fronteras que lo delimitan.

Si además de Kotor queréis descubrir otros planes, por que contáis con días para ello, no os podéis perder el Parque Natural de Durmitor. Os dejará con al boca abierta.

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