Kotor is the new Dubrovnik. Or so it seems. The coastal town is located deep in a fjord on Montenegro’s coast, and boasts of a stunning walled city that rivals that of its Croatian neighbor. With all the natural beauty and a fraction of the tourists, Kotor is a great alternative to its northern counterpart. Or—at just two-and-a-half hours away—a great addition to a Balkans trip itinerary.

Old walled city in Kotor Montenegro

I traveled to Montenegro by bus from Dubrovnik late on Saturday night. It was country number 75 on my 90 under 30 Travel Project list, and I was excited to visit.

Crumbling bell tower in Kotor Montenegro

When I arrived, I walked the short distance to the walled city. There I met the owner of my accommodation, D & Sons Apartments in Kotor. He took me through the maze of streets in the old town to get to the apartment building. On the way, we walked through some of the best nightlife I have seen in awhile.

Heart shaped metal detail in the Old Town in Kotor Montenegro

All of the bars in Kotor were packed, and there was a concert in the main square in front of the maritime museum. I was too exhausted from traveling to go out, but it looked like a lot of fun.

Keyhole in the city wall in Kotor

My apartment was right in the heart of the old town on the top floor of a building on one of the city’s narrow streets. It had a big bedroom, a kitchen and living room, and a bathroom. I could hear a little bit of noise from outside, but not much considering how loud the concert was.

D & Sons apartment in Kotor Montenegro

I got a good night’s sleep in the air conditioned flat and woke up early to explore Kotor. First I spent some time getting lost in the winding streets of the old town. In doing so, I came across beautiful Orthodox and Catholic churches, a vegetable market, pretty fountains, lots of cafes with tables spilling out onto plazas, and several clock towers.

Kotor windows in the old town in Montenegro

The backdrop to this scene was the mountains in Montenegro. They grew up right out of the back of the old town, such that some of the streets were up steep steps and the city walls grew high along the peaks as if they had been stretched out when the mountains suddenly erupted from the sea.

Kotor Orthodox church with mountains in the background in Montenegro

Climbing the steps, I walked right up to the crumbling old fortress at the top. It took a grueling 35 minutes, but the pretty chapels along the way and the views of the town below were well worth it.

Kotor ruins on the mountain in Montenegro

Back at the bottom, I walked out of the city walls and along the waterfront. Unlike Dubrovnik, Kotor didn’t have much of a city outside of the ramparts of the old town, but there was a small park and a marina with several yachts moored for the day.

Kotor city arches in Montenegro

One such yacht was a vessel on which the person sitting behind me on my bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor worked. We exchanged contact information when we arrived in the city, and he invited me to a BBQ on board the boat that evening. I took him up on it, and spent a starry evening under the floodlit mountain with the whole crew.

Old town tower in Kotor Montenegro

I got another good night’s sleep in my apartment that night, and the next morning I woke up early and checked out. I was traveling to the nearby city of Budva, Montenegro, which was also home to a walled old town. I was excited to see another part of the country, but I couldn’t imagine that anywhere could be quite as picturesque as Kotor. Well, except maybe for Dubrovnik.

10 Comments on Lady in Kotor

    • Hi Emily – Yeah, it is really similar in those respects! It was such a beautiful place that I can’t imagine it will take long for more people to start visiting!

  1. Thank you Lady, for the beautiful photos and warm account! It made me lose myself in the old world amidst my busy day in a busy zone. I hope to have the chance to visit a place like that in my lifetime.

  2. A very endearing account of your stay in Kotor. The tiring trip to the top of the mountain to the old fort is challenging, but the views incredible. Your photos are great. Glad you enjoyed it!
    If you get chance, Przno,Milocer and Sveti Stefan are superb, and only a short drive away. if you loved Kotor, you would also adore Perast which is also on the Boka Kotorsks and just round a few corners.
    Warm regards,

  3. Great pictures of Kotor. I agree that it’s beauty rivals Dubrovnik. I loved all of Montenegro. It’s a fantastic country.

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