Kotor is a majestic Montenegrin town that is encased in thick city walls which illuminate like a halo at night. The moody weather rapidly changes as it rolls up through the Bay of Kotor or down the mountains, and can easily turn a warm day into torrential rain. It really is spectacular!
Set by the water and surrounded by dominating mountains, this is a beautiful place to visit and will guarantee you a marvellous time. Whether it’s biking, hiking or sampling the local beers, this town will provide a picturesque background to your adventures and some friends to last a lifetime! Only a short bus trip from Dubrovnik, but a whole lot less tourist-filled, this is a Balkan paradise.
Kotor was named as Lonely Planet‘s top city to visit in 2016 and I can definitely see why! Although there are luxurious ways to see Kotor, I opted for a budget option and despite being on a budget I could still see (basically) everything there is to offer.
I stayed here for around a week on less than $36AUD a day and enjoyed every minute of it. Kotor is magnificent (even on a budget), and I hope that you will love it as much as I did.
Beautiful Bay of Kotor
What To Do
- Have a walk around the Old Town and marvel in the beauty and history of Kotor.
- Climb up the city walls for €3 (well within anybudget) for spectacular views over the Bay of Kotor, and the town itself. There are many ruins up there too, which are exciting to explore.
- There are many cycling opportunities to nearby towns, monasteries and around the bay.
- Hop on a cheap local bus and explore the nearby towns
- Grab a burger (discussed later) and walk around to the other side of the bay to see the town walls in all their glory
- There are also tour companies operating out of Kotor which can show you other parts od Montenegro. 360 Monte is one of those companies and it has some great and affordable tours. They offer the Great Montenegro Tour for €12 where you can see the highlights of Southern Montenegro (including Budva, Cetinje, etc.), or take the Northern tour up to Durmitor National Park and Tara Canyon, or the mega tour for €39. So if you’re strapped for time and cash, this is a good way to see more of Montenegro out of Kotor.
View of Kotor from the walls above the city
Where To Stay
Old Town Hostel was my favourite place to stay as the staff were so friendly and such a good time! Organising events such as free rakija night, bar crawls and BBQs, this hostel was incredible for atmosphere and the rooms were really nice too – an added bonus! There are other accommodation options too, but I found this hostel was perfect for filling in my time and helping us meet some incredible people.
What To Eat
Montenegro and Kotor have cheap food and drinks in restaurants and shops(hooray), and the supermarket prices being great too! If your hostel has somewhere to cook, Montenegro is a very economical place to do home cooking. If you would rather eat out, there are a few cheap places to keep an eye out for:
- Local bakeries will often have pies, quiches and bureks for cheap prices.
- There is a man at a butchery a bit further along the bay near the supermarket and it looks dodgy… but he makes the BEST burgers I’ve ever had and for only €2 for a pretty big one! He has a bung eye and the place might make a health inspector scream, but the burgers are absolutely delicious and the experience is rather unique (plus I never actually got sick from them, which is always a bonus).
Most bars are really cheap as well, but there is always the 2.5L bottles of beer in the supermarket for €1.60 if bar prices are still too much for your Kotor budget.
Coffee is not too hard to find, with quite a few restaurants and cafés around. Try to avoid the ones in the main square, as well as the ones near the cruise boat docking site as they tend to inflate the cost of your cappuccino. You should be fine just out of those areas though.
Sitting above the Bay of Kotor
I mostly stuck to the bars that the Old Town Hostel pub crawl organised, and they were pretty fun. It was great to go out with all the interesting people from the hostel and exchange my travel stories over a healthily-sized jug of Nikšićko beer. Being in a good hostel is nearly imperative to a good night in Kotor, as there aren’t really any major clubs or anything, so having a decent group to hang out a drink Rakija with is a bonus.