The old town is a party zone. If you get a hotel in the centre you can expect the noise to continue until well after midnight. Even in hotels outside the city walls, the noise can drift across the rooftops into your room and keep you from a good night's sleep. If you are a light sleeper stay outside of the old town and bring some earplugs.
I didn't sense or see any trouble in Kotor's old town, although I did spy some scruffy children begging and watching the bags of restaurant goers outside the Astoria hotel. I guess there is some petty crime, but it didn't make me nervous at all to be walking about the town at any hour.
It is not as safe as you think. Just be careful and take it easy. There are many difficult and dangerous places to enter this fortress. But it is worth it when you get to the top and have the view over the city and the water. LOVELY!
Ok, they're not dangerous but you may be a little intimidated by the herds of goats you may encounter on the way up the hill towards the fortress. The goats can jump out from anywhere and travel in large herds which can block your path at intervals. As you approach most of the goats will scatter but we came across a few of the more steadfast 'leaders' who eyed us suspiciously as we approached and eyed us warily as we walked past. The only form of intimidation we came across during our entire Montenegro trip :)
Once you get used to them it is quite enjoyable to see them climb and jump effortlessly around the rocks and steep slopes of the mountainside. Takes them a fraction of the time to get up and down the hill than it took us!
As I mentioned in my intro page the steps which you climb on the way up to the fortress have been left largely untended, which adds to the unspoilt enjoyment of the climb but it does mean you have to watch your step on your way up. This is easier said than done, as the magnificent views to be enjoyed on your way up will distract your attention away from what is infront of you!!!
Many of the steps on the way up to the fortress and fortifications are loose and the paths can be a little overgrown in places. Coming from Western Europe you may be surprised that the route has been left so overgrown. 'Long may it last', I say. We are often too obsessed with safety...a but of care and common sense and you will have no problems climbing the mountain. A good pair of shoes or runners are recommended though. You don't want to tackle this climb in sandals or flip-flops.
There's a camp site very near the sea. Don't be fooled by the notion of tidelessness. We encountered an electric storm and, in spite of efforts by others to prevent it, our tents and bedding were soaked and we had to move during the night!
We found in August, 2007, that due to water shortages, the water in Kotor was turned off between 12.00 and 18.00 every day. This means no showers, or even toilets. The public toilets and restaurant toilets were closed between these times. We had an apartment and were able to store a small amount in a bucket!
Kotor is very much hemmed into a massive fjord and therefore there is only one road in and one road out. Scooters are available for hire, but i would be a bit wary of doing so: the roads are very narrow and not in the best condition to say the least and the locals' aggressive driving approach makes their Croatian neighbours look like defense driving champions.
In my four days i witnessed 4 different incidents: fortunately none were serious, but in two cases the car involved simply drove off leaving the scooter driver to pick themselves. Unfortunately, there still seems to be a very backwards approach to road safety here!
Take care to do what you need to do before going to the bus station. The toilet stinks, the flushing doesn't work. Sometimes there is a woman there selling you a few sheets of toilet paper, sometimes not. So if you have to go, bring your own paper. Bring wet napkins too, to wash yourself afterwards. The good thing about this toilet is that it is the "hole in the floor" type, that is you bend down and do your thing without getting in touch with anything. This kind of toilets was a lot more common all over Balkan 30 years ago. Nowadays you find clean facilities at most cafes and reataurants.
Back in Oct 2004, just as my friend and I had nearly finished our exhausting walk back down the side of the fjord via the steep ancient walls we were suddenly confronted by an extremely enraged elderly woman who started yelling at us in her own language and at one point picked up a rock and threw it towards us, which erupted againgst a wall (Careful, the old town's UNESCO listed!) We had absolutely no explanation for this and I know it was not due to the fact that we were doing anything wrong such as, dropping litter or vandalising things. I'm sure this was just a one-off incident, and don't let this put you off climbing the walls, as many people seem to do it daily. However, if anyone has any helpful info, please inform me!!