Cultural Experience | Europe

The Hidden Gem of Kotor, Montenegro

The stunning natural beauty alone is worth the trip

Kotor, Montenegro might not be at the top of your must see list, but it should be. This city, located only two hours drive away from Dubrovnik, Croatia, easily ranks as one of the most visually striking places and, although small, hosts the perfect amount of activities to fill a few days with. Montenegro is a small country still growing into its reputation as a traveler’s hotspot meaning cheaper prices and a unique experience that can be missed. Make sure to visit this still undercover spot before it becomes the next big destination!

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What to see and do in Kotor:

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Old Town- Kotor’s old town is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic and has been named as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is the perfect size, not too big or too small. Take your time getting lost in the tiny alleyways and wandering around because each new street has something new to offer. There are a variety of churches scattered throughout the area, most of which are free to enter or only 1-2 euros. They are all incredibly old and worth a quick visit. Some of my favorites include the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, and the Church of Our Lady of Health. This last one is actually situated along the city walls, about half way up the side of an incredibly tall mountain. Climbing the city walls is an experience that can’t be missed. The walls scale the mountain almost vertically and provide absolutely breathtaking views. It is from here that many of the most iconic images of Kotor are taken.

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Natural Beauty- Kotor is so naturally beautiful that you could probably spend a few days just soaking it all in. Its unique position set far back in the bay against the mountains makes for a truly incredible view. In the summer months you can spend some time swimming in the Adriatic, but it is even beautiful with fog and cold.

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Food- Kotor offers up some truly delicious meals for a very appealing price. Without a doubt, seafood is the way to go in this coastal city. Seafood takes up a prominent spot on almost every menu, and for good reason. If you want a waterfront experience, walking just outside of the city along the water will bring you to a nice selection of affordable, yummy restaurants. If you feel like splurging a bit one night try Restaurant Galion. This may be one of the nicest restaurants in the city, but the price you pay for an exceptional meal and service right on the water is relatively low in comparison to a nice meal in major European cities.

More: 10 Best Things to do in Croatia

Nightlife- Kotor is surprisingly bumping for such a tiny city. I visited in the off-season for tourism and still found the nightlife to be actually quite fun. Everything you need is located within the walls of Old Town. All you have to do is follow the sound of music through the old stone streets to find a bar filled with people. If you get bored of that one, walk off a bit until you hear the music of the next place. The bars close around 1 when everyone makes their way to the only nightclub in the city- Maximus.


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Our Lady of the Rocks Boat Tour- This tour is actually located a little bit outside of Kotor in the town of Perast, but it’s only a short cab ride away and is one of the highlights of the area. From Perast you can take a short 5-minute boat ride for only a few euros to see the small, manmade islet of Our Lady of the Rocks in the middle of the bay. While there you can tour the church and museum, as well as get a different perspective on the landscape. You can also get a closer look at St. George’s Island, another small islet nearby. After the boat tour, spend some time exploring the little town of Perast, which features its own old, beautiful architecture and landscape.

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Now, what are you waiting for? Book your flights!

More: Why You Should Sail the Croatian Coast.


Kotor Montenegro, a Hidden Gem

Brianna Thompson

New York University | 4 stories

Bri is currently a Junior at New York University where she is studying Politics, Rights, and Development. After spending a semester in Tel Aviv, Israel last fall, she's back at it again this year studying abroad in Madrid, Spain for the year! Besides traveling, she's really into trying out new restaurants, reading, and learning new languages. Follow her on Instagram @bri.thompson to see where in the world she is.

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