With just one day in Kotor we managed to see everything we wanted, in fact we only stayed in town for the morning before heading out around the bay.
I don’t know about you but I’m not a “must do everything it says in the guidebook traveller”, in fact I usually just like to potter about, particularly in back streets and Kotor is fabulous for that. We tried to time our visit to avoid the many cruise ships that dock at Kotor, but failed miserably. However, it really wasn’t that busy.
Things to do
Climb the Fortifications
The fortifications are a series of walls, towers and fortresses that protected the town. some of which date back to the 9th century.
The walk is quite steep and involves about 1300 steps. There are several churches on route and the Castle of San Giovanni (St John) is at the very top. Unfortunately we weren’t feeling up to the climb after several days of walking. You can read more about the walk here.
Visit the churches and cathedrals
Kotor has many churches including the Cathedral of Saint Gryphon which was originally built in 1166 (it was rebuilt in the 17th century following an earthquake). All the churches are very different, having beautiful architecture.
Drink coffee and eat!
Probably my favourite thing to do in a city as it involves people watching. We stopped in several places, including a break for expresso at the Old Winery. Yes it should have been wine!
There are many souvenir shops and boutiques in Kotor, my favourite was the infamous “Cats of Kotor”, there was even a real live moggy sitting in the door way. Cats are a theme in Kotor, it seems ship’s cats of many breeds disembarked here over many years of Kotor being a trade route, and their descendants are now cared for by locals.
On leaving Kotor we headed around the bay to Perast, a charming little town with pretty buildings and churches, and a great view over to the islands.
We were quite happy to walk, look at the buildings and gaze out at the islands including the Lady of the Rock which you can visit by boat. We enjoyed a fantastic lunch at the gorgeous Hotel Conte Restaurant and watched the world go by. If you’re staying in Montenegro this would be a great choice of accommodation; away from the bustle of Kotor and with a fabulous view of the bay. I took a quick peak inside and it looks lovely.
Of course there’s always something, and I really didn’t like being accosted by beggars several times in Kotor Old Town. Whilst I feel sympathy for the vulnerable (including children) being used for this trade, these are not local people but beggars that travel specifically to target the tourists in summer; which leaves me thinking they could travel to work instead?
Let me know what you thought of Kotor, or if you’re planning a visit please ask a question in the comments.
Cover photo credit: Oleksandr Prykhodko