For being a small country, Montenegro really manages to impress and that’s why we want to share with you the best things to do in the beautiful Bay of Kotor along with the best sights to see while you’re there! The coastal city on the Adriatic Sea packs a punch with its beautiful bays, beaches, small islands, and it’s stunning mountains that seem to protect this beauty.
We drove down from Dubrovnik and did this in a day trip and it was so fun cruising on the windy roads along the coast. Also a little sketchy at times but we made it and it was oh so worth it.
It’s not a big place to visit since this Montenegrin city consists mainly of the old town surrounded by stunning nature on all sides with tall peaks rising straight from the sea. Kotor is a city which makes you feel like you’re in a completely different world. You almost don’t think it’s real and you dream about what it would have been like to live in this coastal city hundreds of years ago. Personally I probably would have woken up early every morning, climbed up the the Fortress, and admired the morning sunsets.
That’s exactly what I pictures standing at the top of the Fortress when we got up there. It was simply beautiful and that’s exactly what Kotor is, beautiful.
Things to do in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Before you do anything, make sure to go to the tourist booth (in front of the main entrance to the old town) and get yourself a map of Kotor to help you navigate throughout the day. We didn’t grab ours until later in the day and don’t want you guys making the same mistake. The map is free and full of goodies on the back side. Who doesn’t like fun activities and discounts? Once you have your map, head out and explore the old town!
Wander the streets of the old town
No matter if you’re into history or architecture, the old town of Kotor will charm your socks off (Or sandals since it’s always so hot here)! Kotor has one of the best preserved old towns in the Adriatic Sea region and you can get that feel from it when you’re walking around.
There’s no surprise that this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. Due to its historical and cultural significance, much of the old city has not been renovated or remodelled which we’re thankful for since it definitely keeps the charm when it’s preserved this way. Even with all the crowds, it feels so peaceful walking the narrow streets.
Check out the cats of Kotor
Yup, Kotor is famous for its cats roaming the city streets like they own the place, and they basically do since they are everywhere.Everywhere you go you will see cute cats walking around or chilling in the sun. Kotor is so famous for its cats that half of the souvenir shops are literally filled with cat-gadgets. There’s also a cat museum (you heard it) which is creatively named ‘Cats Museum’. If you love cats or if it’s raining this place might be worth checking out!
Besides the cats you’ll see waves of tourists coming in from the cruise ships daily..hopefully you get lucky and it’s not a day where three cruise ships come. It happened to us the day we were there and the town was absolutely packed!! But that didn’t stop us from having an awesome day and I hope these cat photos make your day awesome as well.
There’s no doubt that the bay is the ideal place to go on a sailing tour! With things to see such as Lady of the Rocks and the Blue Caves, a boat tour is a must do on a hot day! Also it gets you away from the crowds of tourist and into some fresh Mediterranean air. Unfortunately, we didn’t go as we were under time pressure, but if you have the time we heard that it’s worth every penny! The boats leave all day from early morning to late afternoon (in the summer months) and the duration is between 1.5-3 hours depending on what you want to see.
Hike up to St. John’s Fortress
It’s still going to be touristy but if you’re looking for something a little bit away from the crowd, head up the Castle Walls to St. John’s Fortress. Make sure to bring 8€ in cash as they do not take credit card.
It may seem like quite the uphill climb but there is no shame in stopping every few minutes to take in the views. You will pass by St. Joseph’s church up towards the fortress.
Once you’re at the top spend some time enjoying the views. This is where I stood and imagined what it would have been like to live here hundreds of years ago when it was just locals and no tourists. A peaceful and simple life with breathtaking views every day!
This is the spot you want to eat it at. If you’re travelling on a budget like us then remember to pack a lunch and enjoy the views of the bay. From the top, you will see the triangle-shaped old town full of red rooftops and you may even recognize some of the stone palaces or the clock tower which you passed by earlier. You’ll also see ruins from the wars along with the stunning bay. Behind the fortress, you will see astonishing peaks touching the clouds – so cool! A 360 view of pure beauty!
If you haven’t already been to Kotor, you have to make sure you add it to your bucket list!
For tips and tricks for your trip, don’t forget to check out this blog post: 7 important things to know when driving to Kotor, Montenegro.
What are you most excited to see in Kotor? Leave a comment below and let us know!