Kotor was named one of Lonely Planets best places to travel in 2016, but honestly when I visited in February 2016 it felt like a secret! Sam and I were often the only people in a restaurant and there were no crowds filling the gorgeous narrow alleys of the old town. Though this drastically changes in the summer, Kotor still has a feeling of being undiscovered. Though there is no “grand” site to see, this Adriatic Gem should definitely be on your travel list.
Prices: Cheaper than Western Europe and cheaper than Dubrovnik. Meals were about 6-15 Euro.
Wifi: About 5 MBPS and unreliable at least in the old town. They were doing a lot of digging and renovating while we were visiting which caused cuts in wifi and power. For those working online or who need a fast download speed, Kotor is not your place.
Visa: Montenegro is NOT in the Schengen Zone, so if your 90 days in the Schengen area are coming to an end Montenegro is a great place to escape.
How To Get There
Tivat airport is very near Kotor, but international flights we looked at to Tivat were VERY expensive. If you are coming from another country the best way is to fly either into the Podgorica Airport or Dubrovnik Airport. Taxi transfers are available once you are at the airport. From Podgorica’s airport the flat rate to Kotor (1.5 hour drive) was 70 Euro. We asked for a discount and they lowered it to 60 Euro. You can probably get a better rate if you book online ahead of time.
If you want to travel on the cheap or have plenty of time on your hands you can get from the airport to Kotor by bus. Take a taxi from the airport to the Podgorica bus station, I have heard it is about 15 Euro. From there you can buy a bus ticket to Kotor for very cheap, I have heard from 5-7 Euro! This option will take you about 3 hours.
If you are coming in or leaving by train, the nearest train station is in Bar. It is an 1 hour and 15 minute cab ride away and cost us 40 Euro.
Where to Stay
You will definitely want to stay in old town! Kotor is a small city but all the action is happening in the city walls. We stayed in a lovely airbnb right in the center. The old town is small so everything inside the walls is a great location!
If you want to meet some people while you are in town and save some money the Hostel Old Town Kotor is in a great location and organizes tours that looked really fun- we wanted to go on one but they don’t offer many of them in the off season due to snow.
Where to Eat
Everything we ate in Kotor was fine. Not much else I can say! It’s not a foodie heaven but the food is decent and usually pretty cheap.
We first went to the number 1 rated place on trip advisor: Tanjga. This place is basically a meat festival. The owner is very social and nice, we just asked him to bring us a plate of his best sellers to share. This consisted a lot of grilled meat, fries and “salads” (cabbage). It was good and a HUGE plate, we got lunch and dinner out of it! It was cheap to, at about 10 Euro.
Galionis is known for being the best restaurant in Kotor. We went during the off season and we were the ONLY people in the restaurant, the waiter said in the summer they can be booked up with reservations for a week! We only ordered coffee and desserts there but they were very good. Prices were expensive compared to the rest of the city but the restaurant is beautiful and right on the water overlooking the bay and the surrounding hills.
Pizzeria Pronto first off has amazing pizza by the slice for 2 Euro. Great to snack on while you are wandering around the alleys of old town. We also ordered 2 pizzas and sat in for dinner one night. It was always busy with locals which shows how good it is.
We had breakfast and a few beers at the Square Pub. Prices are great for breakfast and the food is decent but the coffee was TERRIBLE! Mine tasted like cigarette ash and Sam’s was only slightly more bearable because they added some sugar.
Astoria is a great spot to recharge with coffee and a desert. The interior is really cool with a psychedelic tree in the middle of the floor. The coffee is fine and the desserts do not disappoint.
What to Do
Castle Of San Giovanni
The one thing you HAVE to do when you come to Kotor is to climb up to the hill top fortress. Climbing the 1350 steps leading up to it provides some AMAZING views and a pretty good workout! We went up around 8:30 am and we didn’t see another soul until we started descending- also watching the sun climb up over the mountains is a sight you don’t want to miss. The climb up is steep, we stopped to take plenty of photo breaks and it took about an hour and a half.
Walk Around the Bay
The walk around the bay is equally as lovey and very flat. If you are traveling in the warmer months there are some rocky beach areas if you want to dip into the crystal clear water.
Make Friends With Some Cats
There are SO many cats in Kotor- I noticed this in Dubrovnik too! They must like the Adriatic air. The cats are very social and will let you pet them, one even crawled up on my lap while i was sitting on a bench and REFUSED to get off me!
Enjoy One of the Many Wine Bars
There are wine bars on basically every corner, and they are usually really cute! Wine is cheap at about 3-5 Euro per glass. Nothing to write home about but it was decent and cheap enough to order a bottle!
Visit Perast and “Our Lady of the Rocks”
About 20 minutes from Kotor is a beautiful little village called Perast. Our Lady of the Rocks is an island right off the the coast and can be reached by boat for about 5 Euro. Unfortunately we did not get the chance to go, but I’ve heard it is stunning and has some amazing opportunities.
Good Destination for Digital Nomads?
Probably not. The biggest problem being the wifi, it is slower than anywhere else we have traveled and fairly unreliable while they are renovating old town. There are no co-working spaces in Kotor. Although it is a gorgeous city there isn’t much to do in the city itself. We were planning on staying for a month, but all of these things cut our trip short to only 4 days!
Have you traveled through Montenegro? If so what was your favorite destination?