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Kotor – Backpacking in Montenegro’s Most Famous Destination


Kotor Bay is a well-known tourist destination in Montenegro which is a popular destination for Russian tourists. What I would say about this place is that it is worth visiting, however it is very small. You can see it all in a day and it is very touristy. Moreover It’s better that you have access to a car as the public transport is abysmal. 

Kotor, the Journey on Horrible Roads

My visit started with a painfully long bus journey from Tirana. The journey took a solid 8 hours because of the tediously slow traffic. Once I arrived in Kotor and I was so hungry. I went to a grocery store and bought a chocolate bar which I devoured.

When I arrived at the hostel, I could not open the door, but a woman let me in. She said to me that I must say that the Russian people are the best. I replied in Russian saying I knew it was true and it blew her away. 

I then left the hostel to get some food and just went for pizza. It was only 8 euros and it’s worth knowing that Montenegro’s currency is the Euro. The next day I went up to the San Giovanni Castle which is up on a hill.

San Giovanni Castle

If you’re willing to hike in the heat, you don’t have to pay. However, if you want to take the stairs shortcut, it costs 8 euros. I paid to take the stairs and it was worth it. It only takes about 20 minutes to get to the top. The views are fantastic. I have to say the stairs are slippery as well, so you should be careful. If there’s one thing you should see in Kotor Bay, it’s this place. 

Brilliant Ćevapi in Kotor

Later on, I got my dinner from a barbecue place, BBQ Tangja. I highly recommend it as it is one of the best ćevapi I have had and it wasn’t too expensive. As the sun came down, I had a look at the hill as the stairs to the castle had lit up. It’s definitely a sight you should see in Kotor. 

Over to Perast

The next day, the Russian woman I met told me to go to Perast which was outside of Kotor. She also asked me how I knew Russian and asked if I was a spy which amused me. To get to Perast, I had to take a packed bus which cost 2 euros and it took about 20 minutes to get there, once I arrived Perast seemed like a quaint bayside town, however it was mostly just fancy hotels and restaurants.

The views are very nice of the mountains and the ocean. You can’t really find a good spot to get something for lunch there as I could only get a burek which tasted like cardboard. What I would say is Perast is worth visiting, however it is very much out of the way if you don’t have a car. Getting back to Kotor was tricky as I didn’t know where the bus would stop as there was no sign which shows where you can get the bus. 

Incredible Architecture of Kotor

Later in the evening, I had a walk around the Kotor old town which is actually very small, there are loads of places you can buy souvenirs and eat some decent food. Moreover, you can even walk on the walls which surround the old town.

The architecture feels very Italian and there’s even a cathedral and Orthodox church which are both very picturesque. It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of street cats around the old town which hang about and a lot of them are looked after by the local Montenegrins. Just outside of the old town is also an old hydroelectric plant from the Yugoslavian era which you can see from the footbridge. 

So in general, I’d say that Kotor is a very touristy place, in the summer, it is mobbed by Russian holidaymakers, so if you don’t like crowds, I can’t recommend it. It’s relatively affordable as well and there are some decent hostels in the surrounding area. The actual town of Kotor is pretty small, so I can’t say you can spend too much time here and there isn’t much outside of the old town. 

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out:

My time in Medellín

My time in Belgrade

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