Kotor is located in one of the most beautiful bays in the world, surrounded by the Adriatic Sea and Lovcen Mount. Speaking of this, we do not exaggerate, because in July 2000 the Bay of Kotor was indeed included in the list of the TOP-25 most beautiful bays in the world. Its incredible views and landscapes distinguish this city from hundreds of others, and once you have been here, you will definitely want to come back. Every tourist who comes to Montenegro must visit Kotor. This city is famous not only for its rich history and fascinating landscapes, its historical part (Stari Grad or Old Town) is under the protection of UNESCO, which makes it an attractive place for all travelers. In this guide, we will tell you in detail about the history of this settlement, its sights, beaches, and surroundings.

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History of Kotor

The exact date when the city of Kotor was built is buried in the centuries of history, but it is known that in the III - II century BC, the Illyrians lived on these lands. From 168 AD to 476 AD the Romans ruled here, who managed to found a city here, which then bore the name "Akruvium". Some sources say that its name comes from the word Dekatera (from the ancient Greek "katareo" - spring). Another version says that in the language of the Romans “Dekatera” means “narrowed and surrounded”, which is more suitable for the description, since the narrowing of the Bay of Kotor takes place in Kotor, and if you look at the photo, you will see that the city is surrounded by mountains.

The history of Kotor is as rich as its architecture and culture, because after the founding of the city by the Romans, the Byzantines, Serbs, Venetians, Austrians, French, Turks and several other peoples also ruled here, but they did not stay here for a long time, unlike those listed above . Each of the nationalities left traces of their era, but only some of the monuments were preserved, including the medieval part of the city built by the Venetians and the Kotor fortress, which we will talk about a little later.

Kotor is a city of merchants and sailors, it was a trading center on the Adriatic coast, which helped it to develop rapidly and even found its own nautical school, a school of masons and icon painters.

This city definitely has something to tell you and how to surprise you, so when you are in Montenegro, lay your route through Kotor.


No more than 30,000 people live in Kotor, so it is quite small and compact. Approximately half of the inhabitants are Montenegrins, 30% are Serbs, and the remaining 20% are divided between Croats, Albanians, Bosniaks and Italians.

By religion, there are mainly Orthodox, a smaller part — Catholics. Interestingly, the percentage of Catholics here is the largest within the entire country, therefore, despite the fact that the number of Orthodox believers prevails, there are more Catholic churches in Kotor. As for the communes (districts), there are 21 of them in Kotor. Below we list some of the most popular.

Communes (districts) of the Kotor region:

  • Morinj
  • Risan
  • Perast
  • Stoliv
  • Dobrota II
  • Dobrota I
  • Kotor
  • Skaljari
  • Orahovac
  • Muo
  • Kavac
  • Prcanj
  • Mirac
  • Radanovici
  • Bigovo
  • Lastva Grbalska

How to get to Kotor

If you arrive in Montenegro through one of the international airports — Tivat (TIV) and Podgorica (TGD), then it will be easiest for you to get to Kotor by car, bus or taxi. At the same time, the path from Tivat will be much closer. Another option is to fly to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV), which is located in Croatia. The distance between the city and this airfield is only 71 km, while the shortest route from Podgorica to Kotor is 88 km.

How to get to Kotor from Podgorica airport

The best and most convenient way is, of course, renting a car or ordering a private transfer. You can also call a taxi from Podgorica, such trip to Kotor will cost you about 50 EUR and will take about 1.5 hours.

If you are looking for a more cheaper option, then it is better to go to Kotor by bus. Although it will be less comfortable, but not so expensive. A ticket to Kotor from the main bus station in Podgorica costs 7-8 EUR, you can check the schedule here. But keep in mind that for each piece of luggage you will need to pay another 1 EUR when boarding the bus. Backpacks, bags can be taken for free, but for suitcases that will need to be put in the trunk, you will have to pay extra. And do not forget that public transport from the airport to the city does not go! Therefore, read our guide on the best way to get from Podgorica airport to the city.

Important! We DO NOT recommend buying a ticket online, as you will need to print it out, and the price on the site is a bit more expensive than at the ticket office at the bus station.

How to get to Kotor from Tivat airport

By car

Tivat Airport is literally a 10-minute drive from Kotor, so this road will definitely not tire you. Here, too, the recommended way to get to Kotor from Tivat Airport will be a car, or rather a taxi, transfer or car rental if you plan to go somewhere else. You can take a taxi right at the airport, at the exit there are usually a lot of local taxi drivers who will be happy to take you anywhere. Just feel free to bargain with them and bring down the price, as they can set “special” rates for tourists.

By bus

As for buses, you can, of course, get there in this way, but it will be many times longer, since the Tivat bus station is a 20-25 minute walk from the airfield. Information about the Tivat airport and how to get to the city from it read here. If you have the time, enthusiasm and desire to get to Kotor cheaper, then this method will suit you. But we would recommend opting for a taxi.

By boat

This method will definitely appeal to lovers of sea trips. But it is the most expensive and time-consuming, so rarely does anyone choose it. But if you want to ride the waves with a breeze, then renting a boat will be a good solution for you, since both Tivat and Kotor are located on the seashore.

To be honest, this is a rather dubious way to get to Kotor from Tivat airport, but nevertheless, you will now know about it :)


As we mentioned above, Kotor is a rather small city, so most of the attractions are located in its vicinity, rather than within the city. Here we will tell you about the best places to visit in Kotor and beyond.

Old town

This is the most famous part of Kotor, which tourists come to see from all over the world. The Old Town area is famous for its authenticity because it has preserved quite a lot of monuments of medieval architecture, including streets, houses, churches, and palaces. Of course, these palaces are inferior in their appearance and luxury to the usual European palaces, but this is their peculiarity.

Also in this part you will find such famous sights of Kotor as the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, the Citadel, the Venetian Gate (at the entrance to the Old City), Armory Square, Karampana (old well) and many other buildings made in the XII-XVII centuries.

Saint John's Fortress

Arriving in Kotor, this fortress is simply impossible not to notice, as it rises above the walls of the Old Town (280 meters above sea level). The ascent to the fortress of St. John, or as the locals call it - San Giovanni is not the easiest, but from there you can see a simply stunning view of the entire Bay of Kotor.

Maritime Museum

Since Kotor was famous for its maritime business, the Maritime Museum was founded in the city. There are many exhibits here that keep the history of Montenegrin seafarers, including various geographical maps, engravings, copies of old documents about the sea industry in the Bay of Kotor dating back to 1168 and much more.

Boca Aquarium

More recently, namely in 2021, a small aquarium with local marine fauna was opened in Kotor. Although it is small in size, it is quite interestingly made, so it will be interesting for both adults and children. For more information, please visit their official website.

Source: Akvarijum Boka
Source: Akvarijum Boka


The national park of the same name and Mount Lovcen is located near the city. You can get there along the famous Kotor serpentine, which offers an incredible view. At the very top is the mausoleum of the famous Montenegrin poet and ruler - Peter Negosh and, of course, a chic observation deck.

By the way, work is underway to make a cable car between Kotor and Lovcen, so soon you will be able to get there on your own, without cars or sightseeing tours.


As in the vast majority of Montenegrin cities, Blue Line public transport also runs in Kotor, which travels not only around the city itself, but also in its environs. The fare varies depending on the distance of the trip and is 1-2.5 euros. Schedule and prices can be found here.

In addition, Kotor has a well-developed transport interchange with other countries for Montenegro. So at the main bus station you will find routes to Croatia (Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Trebinje, Mostar), Macedonia (Skopje) and other cities.


Kotor is not the best city for a beach holiday, but its surroundings (especially Dobrota) are a tasty morsel for those who prefer to relax in silence. Nevertheless, if you are still in the mood for swimming in Kotor, then we recommend that you go a little further from the center, but be prepared for the fact that almost everywhere on the beaches there are pebbles or just concrete.

If you like sandy beaches, then go to Orahovac or Lyuta (towards Risan, before reaching it).


All along the coast in summer, prices are plus or minus the same, so you won’t feel any big difference if you come from Budva to Kotor for a couple of days. But to be honest, to visit Kotor and get around it all, including climbing the fortress, you will need about 5-6 hours, so travelers do not stay here for a long time.

To eat in a cafe located even in a tourist place, you will need about 15-20 euros per person. But you can find options and much cheaper. A little lower we will tell you about several establishments for every taste and budget.


Summers in Kotor are dry and quite hot, but winters are mild, warm, but sometimes rainy. The average annual temperature is 15-16°C. The best time to visit Kotor is April-May, October-November. Here at this time it is not hot, there are few tourists and, as a rule, sunny and calm weather.


Kotor has a very favorable location to all tourist sites, so in the city you will find a lot of different points where you will be offered exciting excursions, including a boat trip, a yacht trip, snorkeling, diving or something more extreme, such as kayaking or hiking in the mountains and canyons.

In addition, locals can also arrange fishing trips for you or even a sauna on a yacht! Therefore, entertainment in Kotor is definitely enough for you!


There are many taverns, restaurants and various cafes in Kotor where you can have a delicious meal. It’s just not possible to have a bite to eat here (except to go to bakeries), because in Montenegro they serve quite large portions everywhere, so you can even order 1 serving for two.

In Kotor itself, we recommend to visit the following establishments:

Tavern Babilon

It has a stunning terrace, because it is located right on the shore of the Bay of Kotor. It mainly presents dishes of Montenegrin and Mediterranean cuisines.

Forza Mare Restaurant

Fish restaurant with gourmet dishes. Here you can try scallops, octopus and even sea urchin.

BBQ Tanjga

If you want to try delicious Montenegrin fast food, then you are definitely here! They cook amazing fresh meat right in front of your eyes. The place is quite popular among both tourists and locals, so there are often queues here, and the prices will pleasantly surprise you. You can take small portions, you will have enough of them.