Kotor and the Bay of Kotor

Kotor is a Montenegrin city, more like the other cities in the country similar to Croatian or even Italian.

If during a trip, a beach vacation in Budva is tired, Cetinje and Podgorica are visited, and national parks are fully explored, then you should go to Kotor. Arriving tourists plunge into the medieval atmosphere, entering the Old Town, which is much larger than in the neighboring Budva Riviera. Although in fact, Kotor is the city to visit among the first.

A brief history of the city

Already in Byzantine times on the site of the present Kotor there was a settlement called the “Decaderon”. Rulers were Slavs. Already in 1420, Kotor and the adjacent territory became an independent city-state with the minting of its own coin, elected rulers.  But in order to avoid the attack of the Ottoman Empire, the city needed to go under the rule of Venice. That is why visiting tourists can find many similarities with the Venetian style in the architecture of houses, churches and even just streets. If we talk about the religion of Kotor, then, unlike many other cities, Catholicism prevails here, but there are also a lot of Orthodox churches. In addition to all this Kotor has always been a shopping center thanks to the Bay of Kotor, which protected the city from attacks from the sea. Today it is a major tourism center. This can be understood by the large cruise liners constantly standing in the bay.

Sights and city description

As mentioned earlier Kotor is a kind of city with medieval architecture. It so happened that it suffered the least during the attacks of enemies and wars. Now it is a combination of the oldest churches, temples and palaces with modern high-rise hotels. It may seem to some that the city, along with the Bay of Kotor and the mountains, resembles Scandinavian landscapes.

The main attraction of the city, however strange it may be, are cats. They serve as an unofficial symbol of the city and most of them live on one of the squares of the city.  Also in many souvenir shops you can buy figurines or mugs with cats or handmade products in the form of these cute animals.

If we keep in mind the architectural structures then the main and popular place to visit is the Fortress of St. John. To climb to its top, you must overcome more than 1300 steps and pay 8 euros per person in the holiday season. If you arrive in Kotor in late autumn or winter, then this pleasure will cost you free of charge. But, fortunately, in summer, travelers can also try to get to the top for free, but in a roundabout way and through the fortress window.  But also when visiting it is worth considering if this is an excursion, how much time is allocated for this attraction. Usually it is 60-90 minutes, which is very small. During this time, you can only jog there and back without taking panoramic photos of the beautiful Bay of Kotor with the liners floating in it. The best way to find out “little Venice” is to get it on your own, without an excursion. Without time limits you can safely walk along the narrow, but clean, shampoo-washed medieval streets, built in the form of a maze and master both ways to the Fortress of St. John.

As for swimming in the bay then there are several sandy beaches and concrete piers in Kotor and its environ but because of the constantly arriving and departing yachts and liners the water is very dirty. Therefore, in order to swim, it is better to go to neighboring Budva, where the beaches are much cleaner. In Kotor it’s worth taking a boat or yacht for rent in order to appreciate the picturesqueness of the bay and the city from the sea against the backdrop of mountains. Also you can try to get to the top of the mountain of Lovcen National Park - this can even be done by bicycle, which is much cheaper to rent than a car.

How to get to Kotor

The closest thing to get to the city will be from the airport in Tivat because it is only 8 km away. A significant disadvantage is that at night it does not take planes and the landing will already be in Podgorica. Just as when traveling to any other city in Montenegro you can choose a few. The first and easiest is to fly to Tivat in the afternoon with a reserved number in Kotor and then stay there for the entire rest period.  If another city was chosen as the place of residence then you can either get on the bus or on a rented car. If you get from Budva the road is not as dangerous as in the more northern mountainous areas. For more courageous travelers it is worth thinking about visiting several countries closest to Montenegro at once having reached everyone by car. Thus you can compare architecture, find out where some of its elements came from in the culture of Kotor.

When making a conclusion about the city it is worth mentioning that it is simply a must for a trip to Montenegro for the sake of views of the old medieval city, wonderful landscapes from the heights of the Fortress of St. John, the opportunity to plunge into the architecture of Venice for a moment.