There are great views from the winding path up the the fort (Sveti Ivan) behind the walls of Kotor. The gate at the back of town is a bit tricky to find, but once through the zig-zag steps provide fine views of the town and of Kotor Bay. Half way up is a little chapel. The ramparts climbing the steep mountain are pretty impressive.
At the top - about 30 minutes slow climb - the fort itself is rather ruined and rubbishy. But at this height, revealed behind is a narrow agricultural valley, with a tiny chapel and winding paths leading up to the top of the hills. Good walking opportunities await better weather!i
Kotor's main square, Trg od Oruzja, is located by the Sea Gate and the covered market. As you walk through the Sea Gate look for the stone etched with a dragon, and once you're inside the main square check out the famous clock tower (built in 1602) as well as the pyramid-shaped marker that was once used as a pillory.
Kotor's Maritime Museum is in the heart of Old Town (okay, what isn't?). Exhibits showcase the significance of the sea to the town's citizens, economy and culture, as well as the former strength of the city's navy. The museum has regular working hours, with short days on Sunday (and from what I can tell it's open on Mondays too- unusual for a European museum!). Tickets are four euros and include a multilingual audio guide.
Bridge fanatics (do those exist?) may want to combine a day trip to Đurđevića Tara Bridge with a trip to Durmitor National Park. Otherwise, people driving through Montenegro may want to detour to take in this sight, which is located in Pljevlja, about 180 kilometers northeast from Kotor. Built between 1937 and 1940, this concrete-arch bridge spans 365 metres across the Tara River and is 172 metres above the water. Around the bridge there are at least two cafe-restaurants as well as vendors selling local products and souvenirs.
Because Kotor is probably the main entrance point for tourists visiting Montenegro, many local tour operators have developed day trips that allow visitors to see the rest of the country. And since it's a really, really small country (less than 14,000 square kilometers and ranking 162nd in the world for size), it's easy to escape Kotor and experience a change of pace.
My hostel organized a day trip to Durmitor National Park, 161 kilometers away. In Canada, the same drive would take less than three hours, but in Montenegro, with its many hills and few good roads, the trip was almost three hours in each direction. We asked the person at the hostel what to wear and they suggested walking shorts, a t-shirt and good walking shoes. Unfortunately, upon arrival we found it to be about twenty degrees cooler than back in Kotor, and most of the other walkers were wearing long pants, sweaters, jackets, hats and mittens! Some were even drinking hot cocoa from thermoses. Regardless, we proceeded on our short walk around The Black Lake, and one of our group even went for a chilly dip in the lake as local children pointed and laughed at the crazy foreigner.
While it was certainly a nice walk it absolutely was not worth six or more hours of driving, nor the price we paid. I would recommend an extended visit (with proper clothing!) in the Durmitor area, as I'm sure there are more lovely hikes and natural scenery, but definitely not a day trip from Kotor.
Kotor was once fortified by ramparts, towers, citadels, gates, bastions, forts, cisterns and a castle. Today, visitors who ascend the town walls can see some of these fortifications, while visitors who don't ascend the stairs can get a close-up look at some of the lower towers (such as the wide, round Kampana tower) and the large gates that could be opened or closed as required by war. The Castle of Saint John lies at the very top of the fortifications, at the end of the walls' 1350 steps, and requires two to three hours for a round-trip visit. Bring water and a little bit of money- it costs two dollars to go up during "prime" hours, though those wanting to go up before 7:00 am or so can enter for free, same for those who like hiking on thousand-year-old unstable stairs in the dark at night.
Just outside of Kotor is a breath-taking sight: two tiny churches perched on equally-tiny islands in the middle of the bay. The larger of the two is the Our Lady of the Rocks Catholic church, originally built in the 1400s but rebuilt in the mid-seventeenth century. Opposite the church is the Saint George Benedictine Monastery, dating back to the twelfth century. It is possible to hire a rowboat from the town of Perast to Our Lady of the Rocks; on the island you'll find a museum in addition to the church.
What was the address of my hostel in Kotor? "Old Town". Yup, these winding streets don't tend to have names, and they are also connected by tunnel after tunnel, arch after arch, and dead end after dead end (well, maybe those dead ends don't contribute to the connecting bit, but you get my drift). A perfectly wonderful way to spend the day is exploring this old town with no set agenda, ducking inside each foreboding tunnel, looking for barely-visible etchings carved into the stones, and finding yourself lost in the same place six times.
The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is one of only two Roman Catholic cathedrals in the whole country of Montenegro. Although it was built in the 1100s it was damaged by two earthquakes (one in 1667 and one in 1979), giving its two towers a distinctly different look. Inside there are a number of frescoes, reliefs in gold and silver, and other valuable objects from the church treasury.
Construction on Kotor's town walls started in the 900s and continued for another 900 years. The walls served as protection from the Ottoman Empire and others who tried to lay claim to the city over the years. Today, for about two euro you can take a walk along the walls, which don't quite rival those of Dubrovnik but are certainly picturesque (especially at night).
The Bay of Kotor winds into Montenegro from the Adriatic Sea. From Kotor it is easy to explore other towns on the bay, including Budva, where Russians come to party, the lazy Tivat and Herceg Novi with its healing muds and waters. Buses run routes along the coast with great frequency, and you can also get around by taxi. Hop off when you see a great beach and dive right in!
This very quirky street art really made me smile. The art / music festival is a great time to visit Kotor with many interesting and authentic free events to see in different squares throughout the town. Very entertaining. Loved it.
One of the most recognizable symbols of the city is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon.
There is a shop in the entranceway of the Cathedral which sells Religious Ornaments as well as books postcards and souvenirs.
If you want to go into the Cathedral there is an entrance fee of 2 euro
The palace was built in the 14-15 fifteenth centuries with all elements of Gothic style. The windows and the portals are done in the Gothic style and nicely chiseled out.
The palace consists of two wings, southeastern and northern.
As a decorative element there is often a dragon which is on the coat of arms of the family Drago.
Today it houses the Regional Institution for Protection of Cultural Monuments.
Kotor is a small town so pretty much everything is within walking distance. Walking is the only way to move around the Old Town.
I would like to share with you some of the photos were taken during a morning walk in the old city.
It was so quite, even with some tourists around, and the weather was absolutely perfect.
If you have a chance, go visit Kotor. It is just gorgeous.