Culture & Travel

4 June 2024

Kotor is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in Montenegro. Famous for its historical and natural attractions, Kotor has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. What makes Kotor truly special is its rich history. The city has hosted numerous civilizations throughout the ages, reflecting influences from Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Serbian cultures.

The longest period of rule in Kotor was under the Venetian Republic, which controlled the area from 1420 to 1797—an impressive 377 years. During this time, the city became a significant cultural and commercial center. Venetian architecture remains a major inspiration, as evidenced by the many historic buildings that have survived to this day. So, what should you see and do in Kotor, a city you can visit without a visa? Here’s our guide to exploring Kotor.

Kotor-1

How to Get to Kotor

Kotor is accessible by air. You can take a flight from Istanbul to Tivat Airport. From Tivat Airport, you can reach the city center by taxi or bus. Additionally, you can rent a car from one of the rental companies at the airport. Buses depart from the airport stop every hour and reach the city center in about half an hour.

What to See in Kotor

Kotor Fortress

Built during the Venetian Republic between 1420 and 1797, Kotor Fortress is one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Perched atop a hill 280 meters high, the fortress offers breathtaking views of the city. It’s a fantastic spot for photography. Inside the fortress, you’ll find towers, warehouses, and a church. To reach the highest point, the San Giovanni Tower, you need to climb a 1,350-step staircase—a challenge that tourists gladly accept for the stunning view at the top.

Durmitor National Park

Established in 1952, this national park surrounds Durmitor Mountain and is ideal for mountaineers. The park features meadows, lakes, forests, and rocky areas, home to many different plant and animal species. Bobotov Kuk Mountain is the park's highest peak. The park also boasts beautiful glacial lakes with stunning views. It’s perfect for hiking, cycling, camping, and other activities. You can also go rafting in the canyon or fish in the glacial lakes.

Durmitor

Maritime Museum

Founded in 1957, this museum is located at the foot of Kotor Fortress. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the museum displays a variety of maritime artifacts, including steam and sailing ships, nautical instruments, maps, and naval uniforms. It's a must-visit for those interested in maritime history and Kotor’s nautical heritage. The Kotor Maritime Museum is easily accessible on foot from the city center.

Kotor Cathedral

One of the city's oldest buildings, Kotor Cathedral, was constructed starting in the 12th century and completed in the 19th century. After the Venetian Republic took over Kotor in 1420, it was converted into a Catholic church. The cathedral, which features Gothic and Baroque styles, is located in the city center and can be reached by foot or vehicle. A small entrance fee is required.

Kotor Cathedral

Saint Tryphon Cathedral

This Byzantine and Romanesque-style cathedral dates back to the 9th century. Dedicated to Saint Tryphon, the patron saint of Kotor, the cathedral is 56 meters long and 12 meters wide, with notable frescoes inside. It also houses a 15th-century cross and the tomb of Venetian Doge Marco Barbarigo. Located in the city center, Saint Tryphon Cathedral is easily accessible by foot or vehicle.

Bay of Kotor

Known by locals as the "Pearl of Dalmatia," the Bay of Kotor is a stunning natural attraction and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its turquoise waters and green islands, the bay is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and boat tours. The 30-kilometer-long bay includes towns significant to Kotor's history, such as Perast, Tivat, Herceg Novi, and Risan. After exploring the bay, you might want to visit these historic towns.

Kotor Körfezi

Lovcen National Park

Located in southwestern Montenegro, this national park covers an area of 62.2 square kilometers. The park features diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, lakes, and rocky areas, and is rich in endemic plant and animal species. Lovcen Mountain is the park’s highest point and houses the mausoleum of Montenegro’s national poet Petar II Petrovic Njegos. Lovcen National Park offers numerous activities, including hiking, cycling, camping, and rock climbing.

Perast

This charming small town on the shores of the Bay of Kotor dates back to the 9th century and is only a 15-minute drive from Kotor center. Renowned for its breathtaking views, Perast is also a historical attraction with medieval buildings. It became a significant trade center after coming under Venetian rule in the 14th century. Notable sites include Saint Tryphon Cathedral, Our Lady of the Rocks Island, and Saint George Island.

Perast
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