Linda On The Run

11 Best Things To Do In Kotor On Your First Visit

Are you looking for the best list of things to do in Kotor, Montenegro? Perhaps you will be visiting the fortified city of  Kotor during a Mediterranean cruise. Or perhaps you will be flying or driving there from other parts of Europe. I recently visited Kotor and I was absolutely and totally smitten with it! My visit was so extraordinary that I was to share my own experiences and suggestions with you. 

Kotor has an unbelievably well-preserved Old Town and a ton of history behind it. It is also has earned double UNESCO World Heritage Site designations. The total population of the Kotor Municipality is a bit over 13,000 inhabitants. 

I do not know how long you have to spend in Kotor. But, I am hoping that by following my suggestions you will be able to make the most of every single moment you are there! I am listing my recommendations in no specific offer to be followed. Depending on how you arrive in Kotor, and how long you will be spending there, please tailor them to your specific needs.

Please be aware, if you arrive in Kotor via a cruise ship as I did, and you do not have an excursion planned with your cruise company (I did not) you will literally be inundated and overwhelmed with local taxi drivers and tour operators once you reach the city. They will most likely be shouting and waving signs and begging you to purchase your tour with them. 

It is always my best advice to do some research and book your tours online beforehand to skip all the unpleasantries at the dock.

I also want to mention that Old Town Kotor is located within walking distance of the port. You will be able to easily walk to the port and explore on your own.

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Things to do in Kotor panoramic view

Majestic Kotor, one of the most beautiful cities on the Adriatic Sea

11 Best Things To Do In Kotor On Your First Visit

Kotor is located on an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by the limestone cliffs of Lovcen and Orjen.  Translated, this means Kotor is a jaw-dropping visually spectacular place to visit. It has one of the best-preserved and most beautiful medieval Old Towns in Europe with historical Venetian touches to be found everywhere you look. 

 #1) Begin At The Old Town Clock Tower

The clock tower in Kotor, Montenegro is the most recognized landmark and a great place begin visiting all the places on your list of things to do in Kotor. It is located opposite the main gate leading into the old town.

From here I would suggest you consider taking a walking tour of the medieval Old Town. Either on your own with the help of these suggestions, or with a local guide  Because Kotor was settled during ancient Roman Times interesting Venetian historical sites are all around.

Tickets Here: Kotor: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus and Walking Tour 

Tickets Here: Kotor: Small Group 1-Hour Walking Tour of Old Town  

Tickets Here: Boka Bay: Private Shore Excursion 

Tickets Here: Kotor: 1.5-Hour Guided Private Walking Tour 

Things to do in Kotor clock tower

Kotor Clock Tower, near the Western Gate entrance to Old Town

#2) Stroll Along The Piazza of Arms For Food And Shopping

One of the main pedestrian-only streets in Kotor The Piazza of Arms affords many authentic restaurants for lunch or dinner. Cafes will tempt you to stop in for refreshments, and the shopkeepers will want to entice you to stop in and purchase your souvenirs in their shops!

As you go about your day in Kotor, keep in mind that some of the most interesting and authentic shops and restaurants are within the inner streets of Old Town Kotor. Do not be afraid to walk the labyrinth of alleys and lanes for at every turn there are shops and stores offering high-end items and local authentic wares for your consideration.

Things to do in Kotur Piazza of Arms

#3) Walk The City Wall For The Most Epic Views

From anywhere and everywhere in Old Town Kotor, just look up and you will see the ancient city walls. Originally built to protect the city, the wall remains one of the most important parts of Kotor’s landscape today.

It is possible to take a cab to the top of Kotor to walk the 3 mile City Wall. When I visited I chose to walk around Kotor. It was 95* F and I hiked halfway up the hill but decided not to continue. Not only was it too hot, but I also was not wearing the proper shoes to hike up to the top. 

Please do not be like me! Get to the City Wall and drink in the epic views! They are really unforgettable.

things to do in kotor panoramic view of rooftops and harbor

Kotor and its beautiful harbor.

#4) Visit Old Town Kotor’s Churches

One of the best ways to see great architectural designs and influences in Old Town Kotor is to pay a visit to some of its churches. 

One of the most visited examples of old world Mediterranean architecture is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, named after the protector and patron of Kotor. Originally built in the 12th century this Catholic cathedral suffered damage during several earthquakes. While it is being slowly renovated and returned to its former Romanesque architecture, it is not fully restored. It is a fine example of both Renaissance and Baroque architectures.

Another interesting thing to add to your list of things to do in Kotor is to visit the 800-year-old Basilica of St. Luke. It has a very interesting history about how it came to have two high altars: one Catholic, and one Orthodox.

There are many other interesting churches in Old Town Kotor namely St Ana, St Michael, Our Lady of Health and Our Lady of Angels. One is as interesting as the other with intriguing pasts that are worth your visit.

Things to do in Kotor Cathedral of St Triphon

The majestic Cathedral of St Triphon in Kotor

#5) Visit The Maritime Museum

The long-running Maritime Museum in Old Town Kotor houses nautical treasures that tell the history of the seas. Exhibits, model ships and historical nautical paintings are on display detailing the long and interesting history of Kotor Bay.

#6) Marvel At Kotor’s History Through Its Palaces

All located within Kotor’s walled Old Town are four examples of varying styles of architecture.

Grgurina Palace boasts the opulent Baroque style and dates back to the eighteenth century. It is here that you will find the Maritime Museum

Drago Palace is a Gothic-style structure decorated with dragons!

When visiting the Pima Palace you will see influences of both the Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. This palace is from the sixteenth century.

Bizanti Palace in Old Town dates back to the seventeenth century.

Things to do in Kotor view

Old Town Kotor next to the Adriatic Sea

#7) Have A Leisurely Meal In A Charming Cafe Or Restaurant

Regional dishes and drinks using locally grown ingredients are popular in Kotor. Freshly caught seafood and seasonal produce are served and differ depending on the time of year you visit.  Perhaps you will try locally pressed olive oil. Several establishments have rooftop cafes, bars and restaurants overlooking the harbor and the city walls. There is something simply romantic and charming about having a meal or an afternoon coffee outside in a European cafe.

Tickets here: Kotor: Private Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting

Things to do in Kotor street shopping

Shopping and dining are popular in Kotor

#8) Cruise Kotor Bay 

By now, even if you did not arrive in Kotor via a cruise ship, you are aware of the magnificent port with the panoramic views of the Bay of Kotor. Leaving Old Town Kotor through the Western Gate, cross the busy Jadranski Put, and meander along the crystal clear turquoise waters.  The traffic can be very heavy so cross the busy street very carefully.

Tickets Here: Kotor Boat Tour: Our Lady of the Rocks, Mamula and Blue Cave

Tickets Here: Kotor: Boka Bay and Blue Cave Boat Tour with Swimming

Tickets Here: Kotor: Blue Cave Private Boat Tour

#9) See Our Lady Of The Rocks Church In Kotor Bay

On a man-made island deep into the Bay of Kotor, you will see Gospa od Skrpjela, Our Lady of the Rocks Church. This beautiful baroque church contains 68 extraordinary paintings from a famous local artist from the seventeenth century. Italian artists’ works are also displayed, including one-fifteenth century masterpiece called Our Lady of the Rocks. 

One tradition has it that, after a shipwreck, fishermen found a sea rock with the Holy Mother of God and the Infant Child on it. In thanksgiving for their safety, they promised to build a church on the little island. And so the church was constructed in 1630. Seamen would throw stones/rocks as they passed by to keep the island, a practice that still occurs to this day.

Another legend has it that seafarers, even today, toss a stone as they pass by the island asking for a safe journey. Either way, the church is certainly worth seeing.

Tickets Here: Kotor Boat Tour: Our Lady of the Rocks, Mamula and Blue Cave

Things to do in Kotar Our Lady of the Rocks church

The lovely Our Lady of the Rocks church in the Bay of Kotor.

#10)Visit Kamelija Shopping Mall 

Located just outside of the walls of Old Town Kotor you will find the Kamelija Shopping Center. You may be in need of a swimsuit, or a pair of walking shoes. Of you may simply want to check out a European mall.

I popped into this mall and was pleasantly surprised how modern, bright and clean it was. It is easily walkable. Once you leave Old Town Kotor through the western gate, turn right, heading north for a few blocks. You can admire the marina and the beautiful clear waters of the Adriatic Sea while walking. 

You will find an absolutely great view of the fortified wall along your walk, worth of stopping to snap a picture of. The mall will be on your right-hand side just about a block from the city wall.

Things to do in Kotor Old Town fortification wall

Fortification wall of Old Town Kotor, Montenegro

#11) Swim In The Adriatic Sea

One of the top goals on my trip to the Mediterranean was to swim in the sea as much as possible. And I did not miss out in Kotor. If you visited the Kamelija Mall, or if you exit Kotor Old Town through the Western Gate, you are not far from where I swam. It is located at a municipal parking lot which is very easy to find. If you walk along the water until you come to the parking lot with the attendant taking money to park a car, you have found it.

Mediterranean beaches are generally pebbly, and so was this one. If you plan to visit the luxurious Mediterranean beaches, I would suggest having a pair of beach shoes like these quick-dry aqua socks to protect your feet. I did not, and I really suffered. Not only did those pebbles hurt my feet, but they were also really hot!

Things to do in Kotor on pebbly beach

Here I am on the beach in Kotor.  Put swimming on your list of things to do in Kotor! Be wary of the pebbly Mediterranean beaches though.

Packing Tips For Your Trip To Kotor

I think that using these useful packing tips will enhance your trip to Kotor and help you remain organized.

If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better. Both sets come with TSA approved zippers locks and 8 wheels per piece. Either will be great for the plane or train or even your car depending on how you plan to travel to Dublin.

I was never a fan of packing cubes until I tried them out! Now I am sold. These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much more organized I am now!

Hydration is so important. When I visited Kotor it was in the mid-90s and having water with me was very important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.  You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.  I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse. Also when filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the Bobble carbon filter ensures fresh clean water whenever and wherever you fill the Bobble. You can find filter replacements here. 

Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space in your suitcase at all. And you will be receiving a set of two.

You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.

Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water resistant and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.It comes in a range of colors to choose from and it is inexpensive as well. 

You will be walking more than usual when visiting Kotor. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must-have. These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.  Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.

And let us not forget the beach shoes for Kotor’s pebbly beaches. These quick dry slip on aqua shoes are a great selection. They come in a ton of bright colors for men, women, and children. 

You will probably be visiting Kotor in warmer weather, and you may want a pair of sandals to wear exploring.  I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals. I have several pairs of these exact Vionic sandals in several colors that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable. I also sometimes bring along my Vionic Tides flip flops. The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable. 

concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring during your visit to Kotor.  This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.

If you have a pouch already and you do not need to invest in a new one, but it does not come with the RFID protection, these RFID sleeves would be handy to prevent identity theft. This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet. 

Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl. Scarves and shawls are very popular in Europe. Both men and women wear scarves, both decoratively and as a layering piece to keep warm. This cotton unisex lightweight scarf is versatile and can be worn in any season. And here’s another option to consider: this lightweight sunscreen shawl scarf would do double duty to protect you from the sun in the warmer seasons as well as being a fashion accessory layering piece.

We all need to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.

If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you. I like polarized sunglasses bacause they remove the glare off the water and help you to see things more clearly. This will be very helpful in Kotor.

Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your trip to Kotor.  This worldwide power plug is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days. And this world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time. This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about. And if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.

My daughter gifted me this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use. It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight and easy to carry. I love mine and I think you will enjoy it too.

things to do in Kotor fortification wall and buildings

Kotor Old Town and Fortification Wall

Quick Tips For Your Visit to Kotor

Here are some quick tips and tricks I’ve learned, along with the ones above, which will enhance your Kotor trip. And hopefully, make it a bit less stressful. 

Before you leave home, contact your credit card company and check to see if your credit card does or does not have foreign transaction fees. If it does, inquire about the possibility of applying for one that does not carry foreign transaction fees attached to it (the small fee charged you whenever you use your card out of your home country.) Also, remember to notify your bank of the dates you will be out of the country.

When you visit an ATM in Kotor, check to be sure it is on the same network as your bank, so you are not charged a transaction fee every time you withdraw cash. Withdrawing larger amounts of money will help you limit bank transition fees. Monetnegro’s form of currency is the Euro.

Purchase advanced tickets to attractions whenever possible. Admission tickets purchased online are usually offered at a discount, and you will save a lot of time waiting in lines to buy tickets at the individual attractions. Your things to do in Kotor list will flow more effortlessly when you have your plan and can pace yourself and not have to worry about the availability of tickets at each location you wish to visit.

These are my top suggestions to aid you in making your list of things to do in Kotor, Montenegro. Kotor is a remarkable city that is easily walkable. If you are on a cruise and have only a limited amount of time to see Kotor, I believe my recommendations will please you as you will be able to cover a lot of territory and see a great many sights if you use them as a reference when planning your time. 

If you will be in Kotor for a longer period of time, lucky you! You can use my list of things to do in Kotor and tailor it to your own time frame.

Have you ever visited Kotor, Montenegro? Are you absolutely smitten with it as I am? Do you have any additional suggestions to add? Please leave questions and advice in the comment section below!

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Best things to do in Kotor

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