Anyone who knows me or who has had the imponderable joy of following my instagram will know that Kotor is a place I’ve raved about. I even told a guy in Budapest that he had to rejig his itinerary because he wasn’t sure whether Montenegro was worth visiting. It’s that good.
How to get there and where to stay
As Kotor is considered the place to visit in Montenegro, it’s relatively easy to get to from Podgorica (the city’s capital). Simply hop on a bus from the central bus station, it’ll set you back around 11 euros and will take just over 2 and a half hours.
One of the best features of Kotor is the old town so it makes sense to find decent accommodation within the city walls. We stayed at Old Town Kotor Hostel for 10 euros a night in a mixed dorm which reminded me of sleeping in a dungeon, in a good way of course. The only downside was the slight damp that lingered in the rooms, but to be fair we visited during peak rainy season.
Hike to Kotor’s Castle of San Giovanni
The steps can be accessed from two points though the most popular entrance is near St. Tryphton Cathedral in the old town. Usually there’s an attendant waiting at the entrance so you’ll have to pay about 3 euros per person.
The walk itself is a tad tiresome if you’re not accustomed to ascent but the view makes it well worth it and there are plenty of places to stop along the way. Half-way you’ll even find a small chapel.
Be sure to wear adequate walking gear (seriously, people fell down frequently) and bring a bottle of water.
Get lost in the city walls
This is a given because the stari grad is divine. Kotor is filled to the brim with beautiful architecture namely terracotta-type rooftops and flaking shutters. There is also a cathedral square and courtyard worth visiting. After that, leave the city walls take a stroll around the harbour. Again, the views won’t disappoint.
Take a trip to Perast
Only 15 minutes away from Kotor by bus (blue line bus – 1 euro) or car this is probably up there with the hike in terms of sights to see. You get a beautiful view of Kotor bay as well as the famous Our Lady on the Rocks chapel which sits in the middle of the bay. Still not convinced, look at the pictures below.
Kotor is famous for cats
Sorry allergy sufferers and ailurophobes, cats are everywhere in Kotor and the likelihood is they’ll pester (/entertain) you at dinnertime. There’s even a Kotor cat museum though our visit was brief given that the building was being renovated at the time.
Eating as a vegan
Non-vegans, you’ll have no problem. Food is relatively cheap and is somewhere along the lines of Mediterranean meets Italian, basically carbs and seafood. For Matt and I, there was a restaurant near the hostel in the old town square which did roast vegetables, pasta and rice. Though vegetarian protein is pretty hard to come by. Thankfully the hostel had a basic kitchen and there’s a small supermarket near the harbour so we survived. P.s. definitely bring your own shopping bag when you buy groceries here, Montenegrins love handing out plastic bags.