Cradled at the base of a grand mountain range, tracing the curves of the calm, crystal blue Bay of Kotor, are the orange-roofed homes of this charming medieval Montenegrin town. A maze of cobblestones and fortified walls, marbled lanes and secluded squares, Kotor is an Adriatic town truly unspoiled by time.
Enter the Old Town via the Sea Gate and wander the maze of streets – past churches, palaces and cathedrals – until you stumble upon the quaint main square, Trg od Oružja. Here you can grab a coffee or a meal at one of the humble street cafés.
Kotor is a fun town to explore without a map; wander through the lanes until you find a square with a bar, museum or restaurant that catches your eye. The town is small enough to be explored in an hour or two, so if you have more time on your hands, pop on some sensible shoes and walk the trails up the mountain behind the town. The city’s ancient fortified walls blend into the scenery during the day, but at night, bright colours are projected along their full length, crowning this fairy tale city with a halo of light that reflects majestically in the calm waters of the bay.
If you are cruising into Kotor, it is well worth finding a spot to best view the spectacular scenery from aboard your ship. Home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Mediterranean, Kotor is the hidden jewel in many Adriatic and Mediterranean Sea cruises.
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Kotor, a tiny port with a single terminal building located right next to the Old Town. Larger ships may need to drop anchor further out in the bay; however, in these cases, passengers are shuttled to the Port of Kotor by small tender boats.
Facilities near the port in Kotor include:
Restaurants and cafés
How To Get Around
Kotor is a small town, easily navigated on foot. Cruise ships dock only a few metres from the famous town gate and the compact Old Town. If you wish to explore the bay itself or have a specific inland location you wish to visit, taxis are available, but they are not necessary for exploring Kotor itself. If you don’t wish to walk, taxis are recommended over local buses as the bus system can be confusing and only a limited service is available, whereas taxis are easy to find and are relatively affordable. Be aware that the Old Town has pedestrian access only.
Travel times from the port in Kotor:
It is a 1 minute journey to the Sea Gate
It is a 4 minute journey to Kotor Cathedral.
It is a 1 minute journey to the Sea Gate
It is a 4 minute journey to Kotor Cathedral
It is a 9 minute drive to Tivat Airport.
Currency – Kotor uses the euro (€). Notes in circulation are the €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 notes. Coins are available in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins as well as €1 and €2 coins.
Time Zone – Kotor, like most of Europe, uses Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During daylight savings, Kotor uses Central European Summer Time (CEST), placing it 2 hours ahead of UTC from March to October.
Weather – Kotor enjoys a warm temperate climate, with relatively dry summers and mild winters. July is Kotor’s warmest month, when temperatures average between 23 and 24 degrees Celsius. Things cool down in winter, especially January, when temperatures average about 6 or 7 degrees Celsius.
Town Walls – Kotor is protected by stunning ancient fortifications: great, thick stone walls. Since the 9th century, these fortifications were extensively expanded until they completely encircled the town in the 14th century. For an energetic outing, why not walk the 1,200-metre ascent beside the walls as they climb St. John’s Hill? Halfway up the ascent, you’ll find a lovely place to stop and catch your breath: the Chapel of Our Lady. This beautiful Chapel was constructed by survivors of the plague in 1572. Those who make it all the way to the top of St. John’s Hill – reaching an impressive 260 metres above sea level – will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Kotor Cathedral – By far the most impressive building in Kotor, this Cathedral has had a fairly devastating relationship with earthquakes; it has been ravaged and reconstructed numerous times since its consecration in the 12th century. Inside, you’ll find stunning examples of Romanesque architecture with alternating Corinthian and pink stone columns supporting the decadently high vaulted roofs.
Sea Gate – This pink and white stone gate, the striking main entrance to the town, was built when the Venetians controlled Kotor from 1420 to 1797. The Venetians ensured they left their mark on the town quite literally; look for the Winged Lion – the symbol of Venice – on the Sea Gate and other prominent locations throughout the town.