Many tourists who come to Kotor Bay, Montenegro do a day trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia but there are so much to investigate in the Bay and area….
1. Hike to the top of the fortress
If you have time for only one activity in Kotor Bay, hiking to the top of the fortress is a must. From inside the Old Town, look for the signs leading to the start of the trail. You’ll have to pay a small fee, but it’s worth it. The route apparently has more than 1,000 stairs, and you’ll be sharing the climb with dozens of other people, but the view from the top is worth the struggle.
Kotor Bay will stretch out before you in all its glory, framed by fjords and church steeples. Sit atop the ancient ruins, and relish the moment. It’s even possible to find some pockets of quiet.
2. Explore the Old Town
The Old Town is considered to be the best-preserved medieval walled town in the entire Mediterranean. The walls themselves stretch to 20-meters high, and believe it or not, they’re over a thousand years old. Getting out on foot and exploring the alleyways and cobblestoned streets is the best way to soak up the experience. Here you’ll find friendly locals, plentiful boutique shops, and a certain happy atmosphere that can’t be replicated anywhere else.
3. Visit the cathedral Sveti Tripun
At the heart of the Old Town is the cathedral Sveti Tripun, built in the early 1100s and dedicated to the town’s protector. Not much is known about Sveti Tripun, but he must have been a glorious defender to inspire such a building! This Roman Catholic cathedral is the largest and most beautiful structure in the area, and is a classic example of Romanesque architecture. For a small fee, you can explore its interior.
4. Check out the architecture in Perast
If it’s a quiet retreat you’re after, Perast is definitely the place to do it. This little town has a wealth of Renaissance architecture, and believe it or not, 16 Baroque palaces. It also has 17 Catholic churches, many defensive towers, and even a number of Orthodox structures. Nowadays it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.
5. View “Our Lady of the Rocks”
You might have seen the classic images of the two islands in the middle of Kotor Bay, with a church perched atop one and a monastery perched atop the other. It’s a striking image because the islands are both itty-bitty, and attending a church service here isn’t your typical Sunday morning mass.
The first is Our Lady of the Rocks – a manmade island created by sinking old ships with rocks. The church comes with a museum attached, and even a gift shop. The other nearby island is Sveti Dorde Island, a natural island, but with Saint George Benedictine monastery and an old graveyard attached.
6. Try some local grub
The Italians and the surrounding Mediterranean countries mostly influence Montenegrin cuisine. You’ll find lots of pizza stops in places like the Old Town and Perast, and for cheap prices. One of the best restaurants is Ellas, located in Kotor, and featuring many local dishes (especially seafood) paired with wonderful wines. Galion is another great option for seafood.
If you’re visiting mostly the Old Town, try a restaurant outside the city walls. The price drops dramatically when you’re away from the tourist hub.
7. Peruse the Maritime Museum of Montenegro
This museum has a collection founded by the “Boka Marine” fraternity, and highlights Montenegro’s vast history of domestic shipping and maritime trade, including the quest to establish new routes while building defenses against pirates and outside threats. The entire collection is hosted inside a Baroque palace, once belonging to the Grgurina family in the mid 1900s.
8. Have a tipple or two
Montenegro has a lively nightlife, and thanks to the influx of backpackers and young travelers over the past few years, it’s only growing faster. If you’re so inclined to experience the Old Town of Kotor when the sun goes down, start out at the Wine Bar, a friendly little locale with some outdoor seating. Try some local wines, like Vranac or Pro Corde.
All the pubs and bars shut down at 1 a.m., but then you can make your way to Maximus, a massive and always busy nightclub just outside the city walls.
9. Get out on the water
Although many activities in Kotor Bay are seasonal, you can easily find a guide to take you out kayaking across the bay, or even on a day-trip to Lake Skadar. Other companies will arrange boat tours or yachting cruises, even if just for one day. If you want to get adventurous, try our hand at some waterskiing!
10. Stroll the promenade in Tivat
Tivat is a small town, but it’s lately becoming a classy, high-end tourist destination for those seeking luxury and creature comforts. The promenade along the bay here is a great way to spend a day, especially if you’re inclined to grab a cup of Espresso, sit back with a good book, and people-watch the day away. There are several beaches where you can rent loungers for the day, or jump in and enjoy the Adriatic.