Protected by UNESCO for its historical and natural beauties, Kotor is also the southernmost fjord in Europe. Kotor, which is indispensable for visa-free Balkan tours, was a city we visited during our Balkan tour by car and it was one of the places that fascinated us a lot.
Information about the history of Kotor:
When Kotor was so beautiful, there were many people who wanted to dominate it throughout history. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, Kotor became part of Yugoslavia. Kotor was taken by Italy in World War II and remained in Yugoslavia until ’92. Afterwards, it continued its journey as Serbia – Montenegro, but since 2006, it continues its life in Montenegro, an independent state.
Kotor Old Town
One of the most important places to visit in Kotor is the Old Town, which is closed to vehicle traffic and surrounded by walls. Kotor Old Town is the most popular place in Kotor. You can see many tourist caravans during the day. It will definitely attract your attention with its historical buildings and city walls. It is also very lively in the evenings, the squares are filled with musicians and this keeps the city alive.
Kotor Castle – Church of St. John
One of the places where you can see Kotor from a bird’s eye view and take great Kotor photos is the area where Kotor Castle is located. There are two ways to get to Kotor Castle and the church. One is the paid way. You have to pay 8€ to go up to Kotor Castle after 8 am. If you go up before 8am, you can go up for free because the guard has not arrived yet.
The other way is the free way. It is much longer and winding, but it takes 4-5 times longer. To get up to the castle, you need to take a stepped path, not the normal path. If you trust your knees, legs and fitness, you can do it 🙂 Take the sun and drinking water into account, because this road also has a turn. Since the sun rises from the direction you are going up, it may take 10-12 hours to reach you. When the sun reaches the top, it reaches the steps and that’s when the heat can bother you.
Things to know about Kotor:
Kotor is a visa-free country in Europe, but the currency is the Euro.
If you are coming by car, it is very difficult to find a suitable parking lot for your car in Kotor. Even though there are parking lots around the city center, they can be full. It is best to stay in a hotel with a parking lot to avoid being left in the middle like a potato. Especially if it is close to the city center, you can leave your car and walk around as you wish.
Even though Kotor is located in the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), which opens to the Adriatic Sea, it is not an exquisite place to swim in the sea. Budva is the place for that. But people can also swim in Kotor. You can swim in the sea from small beaches, or you can take swimming-oriented boat tours.
One of the things to do in Kotor is boat tours. Boats departing from Perast go to the islands in the Bay of Kotor. There are regular boat trips to these islands, which you can only see by boat tours. You can stay as long as you want and come back with the boat you want. I think this is the cheapest boat tour option. Other than that, you can choose boat tours that go all around the Bay of Kotor and you can even taste the water with boat tours with swimming breaks.
Where to stay in Kotor?
For accommodation in Kotor, you can look for hotels or houses. There are many Kotor hotels near the city center. It is also possible to stay cheap if you book in advance. On our Kotor trip, we stayed at a place called Apartment Ivan. It had a view of the Bay of Kotor. It is 600-700 meters away from Old Town. It is also easy to reach, there is a roadside where you can park your car in front of it. The hosts are also very friendly. Click for other Kotor hotels alternatives.
Where is Kotor and how to get there?
We visited Kotor during our Balkan tour, which started from Sarajevo and continued by renting a car. You can also reach Kotor by plane to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, and take a bus for a few hours. Cruise ships are another way to get to Kotor. You can go to Kotor harbor with cruise tours.