Travel Guide Europe Montenegro Kotor

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Introduction

Kotor is a town which lies on the bay of Kotor, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. In the middle ages it was a Venetian Colony, and changed hands after that a couple of times until Montenegro became part of Yugoslavia. Nowadays It is the main tourist hot spot of Montenegro, which doesn't mean it is overrun by any means. In Kotor there are several old churches that one can visit. For the best views of the town you must however climb up the walls of the canyon in which Kotor is situated (e.g. to the old San Giovanni fortress.)

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Sights and Activities

The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The natural harbour on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro was an important artistic and commercial centre in the Middle Ages and had its own famous schools of iconography. Many of the monuments like four Romanesque churches and the town walls were damaged by the 1979 earthquake. Since then, the town has been restored greatly and has been seeing more and more travellers during recent years.

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Events and Festivals

Kotor Carnival

Kotor Carnival is one of the liveliest festivals in Montenegro, kicking off every February with masked balls for adults and children. Theaters put on traditional shows, concerts are held in the streets and venues, restaurants offer special menus, and the streets throng with costumed revelers enjoying performers, fireworks and parades. Another similar carnival is held in Kotor every August.

Kotor International Fashion Festival

Another Montenegrin event popular with visitors is July’s International Fashion Festival, held annually in Kotor over several days. Top designers from the Balkan nations and the rest of the world attend to share their designs with fashion-forward locals.

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Getting There

By Plane

In the summer months, the Tivat Airport near Kotor has flights to a number of cities.

The following airlines operate to/from Tivat Airport: Air Moldova (Chiṣinǎu, seasonal), Montenegro Airlines (Belgrade, Copenhagen, London-Gatwick, Moscow-Domodedovo, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Pristina, Rome-Fiumicino, Skopje, St Petersburg), Moskovia Airlines (Moscow-Domodedovo), Rossiya (St Petersburg) and S7 Airlines (Moscow-Domodedovo). There are charter flights to Moscow, Helsinki and elsewhere, but many of these are not available for booking on online consolidation sites, so it is best the check the individual airline's websites.

Podgorica airport is 90 kilometres away, and has flights throughout the year to Belgrade, Budapest, Zurich, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Paris, Rome, Vienna and, London-Gatwick. Buses run from Podgorica to Kotor year round.

Dubrovnik airport in Croatia is 73 kilometres away from Kotor, and maintains flights to many European destinations throughout the year, providing an alternative to the Montenegrin airports. A taxi to Kotor costs €80.

By Car

All roads in Montenegro are two-lanes only, and mostly are curvy mountainous roads, so speeds over 70 km/h (43 mph) are rarely legal or safe.

The Vrmac tunnel has recently been completed, which significantly shortens the journey from Budva to Kotor. Road traffic was formerly diverted to alternative road over Trojica hill above Kotor. It is still possible to travel via this winding mountain road. From this hill you can enjoy beautiful views not only of the tiny countryside villages, but also of Podgorica (when approaching from Cetinje), and Kotor Bay.

When driving in Montenegro, be aware that the locals drive aggressively and think nothing of overtaking across white lines on steep bends. Be careful. There is also a great deal of road building underway and the safety considerations are a less onerous than those in more-developed countries. Don't panic.

As in many places, taxis may or may not have a meter. Be warned that un-metered taxi fares can range widely, especially for English speakers. Taxi drivers often try to cheat tourists. The real taxi price within Kotor and Muo should be below €3. You should discuss the price before entering the taxi.

By Bus

There are several buses to Dubrovnik, one bus per day to Sarajevo, more to Mostar, to Belgrade and to many towns in Montenegro.

From Budva buses run to Herceg Novi, stopping in Kotor, almost every 30 minutes from 7:00 to 23:00 (2€50). Buses also run between Kotor and the following cities: Podgorica (hourly, €7 (August 2014), Bar and Ulcinj (6-8 daily, approximately €5), Dubrovnik and Mostar (3 daily, 3 hours, about 20€), Split (3 times a week, 7 hours), Sarajevo (1x daily), Belgrade (10 hours), Skopje (night bus, 12 hours, twice a week on Friday and Saturday at 7PM). During the week you can go to Skopje via Nis, Serbia (bus from Kotor to Tivat at 3:50PM, from Tivat to Nis 5:30PM). The 11AM bus to Mostar costs €26 plus a euro per bag and takes 9 hours, as it visits almost every major town in Montenegro and southern Respublika Srpska before finally arriving in Mostar.

There are also small public buses (colored in white with blue sign "Blue line") that run through the city connecting nearby villages and towns. You can stop them at any bus stop inside Kotor. They also go to Tivat along the coast line passing Muo, Prcanj, and they also reach the beautiful Perast.

By Boat

There aren't any scheduled ferries travelling to Kotor but there are services between Bar and Bari, Italy except during winter.

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Getting Around

By Car

Parking space in the city center is hard to find, so use your car only when you have to. Be careful where you park, sketchy tow operators target tourists around the old city. Find a free parking space away from the old city and then walk.

By Public Transport

The Blue Line bus is running along the coastal road. But taxis are very cheap.

By Foot

The old town is quite small and completely pedestrianized, easy to walk.

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Eat

At the market, try to sample local smoked ham (njeguški pršut) and cheese (njeguški sir) from the nearby village of Njeguši, which are two of the Montenegrin cuisine's most famous products.

Kotor offers a variety ranging from classy restaurants offering fresh seafood and national cuisine to fast food offering pizzas, barbecue, etc. There is a large produce market outside the city walls. Hamburgers there cost €1. Cafes and restaurants line the bay-side promenade, which stretches north through Dobrota.

  • Forza (near the clock tower). The most popular pastry shop in Kotor.
  • La Pasteria (directly opposite St Tryphon Cathedral). Great sandwiches and fine pizzas with original prosciutto from the nearby village of Njeguši. Probably the best Italian food in Kotor!
  • Tanjga (At the roundabout, halfway between the bus station and old town). Family-run butcher/restaurant, massive amounts of grilled meats and great service 4-15€.
  • Bastion Restaurant (Near St. Mary's church), ☎ +382 32 322116. Busy lunchtime venue. Great fish. €6-30.

Cesarica (close to Hotel Marja in the Old Town). Serves excellent and cheap Dalmatian food. Try the cuttlefish risotto. main dishes from €5-15.

  • Forza Mare, Dobrota. Seaside restaurant and hotel, outside of Kotor
  • Babilon restaurant and hotel, Dobrota. Affordable prices, good location and a first-class seafood menu.

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Drink

Again, old town is the hotspot for relaxed drinking espresso in the shade of the medieval walls. There are many cafes in the old town, but still it's hard to find a place to sit in the sunny day. Tipping is not necessary although you may leave your change by simply rounding up. Befriending the waitstaff can get you quite far.

Espresso costs €1+. Soft drinks and juice cost €1-2.

Sample the Montenegrin wines, "Vranac", "Pro Corde", "Krstac", "Cabernet", "Chardonnay" and "Nikšićko" beer. Montenegrin brandy, called "rakija" is good choice to "warm up" before going out in the evening, especially grape brandy "Montenegrin loza", "Prvijenac" or "Kruna". Litre bottles of wine are available in the supermarkets outside of the Stari Grad for under €5.

A night out in Kotor usually begins in the open bars in the old town. Pubs in the old town are only open until 1AM.

The best club is Maximus, which is located in the old town, and closes at 5AM.

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Sleep

Accommodation during low season is cheap and plentiful in Kotor. Many of the homes in the Stari Grad have been turned into for-rent apartments. For groups of two or more, these are often the most affordable options. Their quality (and prices) range from luxurious to modest. Most can be reserved online, although wire-transfer down payments are expected. Most are either owned or managed by English-speaking expats foreign visitors. During summer, expect to pay about €10 per person for accommodation at a private residences in the old town, and €7-15 outside the old town and closer to beaches.

  • Old Town Kotor Hostel, Stari Grad 284 (Near Cultural Center), ☎ +382 32 325 317. Once owned by a local noble family, Bisanti, the Old Town Hostel Kotor's careful restoration and design offer historic Kotor's rustic atmosphere. Dorm bed: €20.
  • Youth Hostel Spasic-Masera, Dobrota bb (1km away from the centre and 20m off the main road).
  • Suranj Hostel. Privately owned hostel near the bus station. Own room with small kitchen, TV and shower. Double: €33.
  • Hotel Amfora Kotor (Kotor Bay Orahovac) (Located 6 km from Perast), ☎ +382 32 305 857, fax: +382 32 305 852. Check-in: 24h, check-out: 12h. Hotel has 4 Stars, with a private beach, sauna and fish restaurant. Open 24 hours and all 365 days a year. The hotel is located directly at the beach in Orahovac. Quiet rooms with seaview overlooking the bay €30-99.
  • Cattaro Hotel. 4 star hotel. €90-150.
  • Forza Mare. A small 5-star hotel in Dobrota.
  • Hotel Marija (Old City), ☎ +382 32 325062. Boutique hotel. Single: €44; Double: €63.
  • Hotel Vardar. Old Yugoslavian design. Recently upgraded and expensive. Single: €100; Double: €200.

View our map of accommodation in Kotor or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available to customers, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests. Some central tourist areas are also covered by wi-fi.

Internetcafes are still widely available as well, mainly in larger cities and tourist places, less so in smaller rural towns and communities.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The general emergency number is 112, but you can also contact police (122), fire (123) and ambulance (124) seperately. The international telephone code for the country is 382.

MTEL CG, T-Mobile and Telenor Montenegro provide cell phone services in the country. All providers have national coverage, and provide advanced services. You can buy mobile phone sim cards already for € 1. As of 2011 you need to fill in short form and show ID or passport in order to activate prepaid number at local operator's store. It sure pays to get a local SIM card as data roaming services with you own cell phone are usually much higher.

Post

Montenegro Post provides quite reliable, affordable services, both domestic as well as international. Post offices generally keep long hours, from 7:00 or 8:00am till 8:00pm, 6 days a week, except Sundays. If you want to send a package, it might be better to use an international courier company like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, as they are fast and competitively priced as well.

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Quick Facts

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Population: 13,510

Accommodation in Kotor

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Kotor searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Kotor and areas nearby.

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This is version 22. Last edited at 9:20 on Sep 3, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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