Eco-friendly travel guide to Kotor advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Kotor, Montenegro.
- Air quality: 4.0 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: .3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.0 / 5
- Parks: 4.0 / 5
- Outdoor activities:3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$25 - $100
- Budget per day: US$50 - $150
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
A beautiful landscape located in the secluded part of Boka Bay, Kotor, Montenegro, is a beautiful tourist destination that attracts thousands of visitors worldwide. The place has acquired titles of being one of the most beautiful bays in the world" and the number one city to visit in the world. The place also acquired the honour of being among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kotor is well-known for its cultural abundance and traditional richness. During February, individuals celebrate an ancestral tradition by masking their faces and putting on costumes, just in the way their ancestors did it. This is how people preserve their cultural heritage. The international summer carnival of Kotor is also very popular.
Kotor also has a variety of cuisine to offer. Some of the traditional dishes include mussels, roasted octopus, grilled fish, and many more. Foodies can satiate their taste buds by digging into exotic dishes such as salmon cocktails, tuna, avocado, shrimp, and many more.
It is ideal for every visitor to travel to Kotor responsibly. They should also make it a point to keep the city clean and tidy so that its legacy and grandeur can continue for the years to come. It is of the utmost importance to grow awareness for the well-being of the environment. Here are some of how responsible traveling can safeguard the beauty of Kotor:
- People should try to keep the environment clean: Tourists should make it a point to avoid purchasing or opting for non-biodegradable items as they are difficult to decompose and pollute the environment. One should also opt for pollution-free methods of travel. For example, if you plan to go for a stroll in the local area, ride a bicycle instead of some vehicle that runs on fuel. Many stores give out bicycles for rent.
- Pool cars are efficient energy savers: Tourists traveling to the same destination can opt for a carpool facility instead of hiring individual cars. In this manner, more people can reach a destination, and the consumption of fuel energy will be limited. This will also help to reduce the problem of excessive traffic on the roads.
- The real essence of a place lies in its local stores and restaurants. While visiting Kotor, try to support local businesses as much as you can. For instance, the local gift stores sell excellent authentic souvenirs. Pick a few of them for your friends and relatives. Try to ditch your dining plan in a multinational restaurant and go to a local restaurant instead. Even the local eateries of Kotor offer lip-smacking food! Branded places cannot offer you the authenticity that local eateries can.
- Parks of a place helps a great deal to understand the flora and fauna of the place. There are many parks and gardens in Kotor that are worth paying a visit to. You can either take a stroll in these parks alone or spend some quality time bonding with your friends and family over the gush of fresh air of these parks.
The more responsible the tourists are, the lesser they will soil the environment of Kotor.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality of a place plays an important role in determining how comfortable you feel. Inhaling fresh air will lift your mood instantly. If a place has poor quality air, it will make you feel uncomfortable and sick, thereby ruining the whole experience for you.
If you plan a visit to Kotor, the air quality is not going to disappoint you. Kotor has an Air Quality Index of 31, and the rating of dominant pollutants is 03. This kind of air is ideally suited for all kinds of outdoor activities like biking, strolling in the park, and so on. As a responsible tourist, one must try to keep the air clean. For a better experience, tourist can also plan their stay in green, eco-friendly hotels.
Respect the Culture
Kotor is rich in the culture of diverse kinds. Here, one can find Mediterranean, Oriental, and European influences. Tourism helps Kotor retain its cultural importance. Anyone who visits Kotor is sure to be spellbound by their tradition, art, music, food, festivals and much more. This place has been home to various tribes and races like Greeks, Slavs, Cults, Turks, Venetians, and many more. Of all the tribes, the Illyrians were the first people to have resided on Kotor's land. The place has many monuments that hail from the Roman age or the Middle age. Many religious places attract visitors from all across the globe. These places are rich in spirituality.
Kotor also has an interesting history in literature and art like paintings, sculptures, films, etc. People are also largely attracted to the music and folklore of Kotor. The instrument "Gusle," which is a stringed instrument, has its roots in Kotor. The place attracts an immense crowd of tourists in the summer months. Multiple cultures also influence the cuisine and dishes of Kotor. In a nutshell, the whole culture and heritage of Kotor are worth cherishing. Apart from all these, tourists' hospitality on their visit to Kotor makes them feel immensely at home. The place is colorful and has a warm and welcoming ambiance, culminating in making a person's stay in Kotor worthwhile.
You should always be mindful of respecting all the cultural traditions and norms when visiting the place and you should be accepting towards the people coming from various backgrounds. When you do that, the local people will also respect you and you will have a delightful trip.
Top 10 Places to Visit
With its vibrant colors, cobblestone streets, and elegance, Kotor in itself is a wonder. Here are some of the popular tourist attractions that you should not miss when you are in Kotor:
- City Walls: Kotor is known for the City Walls, which is a popular tourist attraction. The City Walls are spread over an area of 4.5 kilometers. The range of width lies between two to sixteen meters, and they are about twenty meters high. As they are quite old, they can be seen worn out in places. The walls are well-protected by city gates. The tourists have to enter through the River Gate, which is the main entrance. There, they will have to pay the admission fee. After a climb of almost a thousand steps, tourists witness breath-taking views. You will also be given a brochure to refer to catch a glimpse of all the major attractions as you move forward.
- Risan: This is an inner gulf in the Bay of Kotor. The history of Risan dates back to the third century BC when the Illyrians occupied it. This seaside town has many small cafes and restaurants to lounge in. this place is also home to two orthodox churches, St Paul and St Peter, both of which were erected in the 18th century. There are small beaches where families can spend time together in close association with nature.
- Tivat: This place was initially a naval base. This place also has the only major international airport in the region. Tivat offers an array of lip-smacking seafood. The restaurants here also emphasize French and Italian dining. Therefore, if you are in for some wonderful culinary experience, do not forget to drop by at Tivat.
- St. Tryphon Cathedral: This Cathedral is believed to be Kotor's most beautiful buildings, Montenegro. There are eleven towers in the building. Over the years, the Cathedral suffered several damages due to multiple earthquakes and has been repaired. After one such earthquake in 1667, the Baroque bell tower was added to the Cathedral structure. It is an example of fine Romanesque artistry and architecture. The pillars have bewitching designs, all of which make the Cathedral visually appealing.
- St. Nikolas' Church: This is an important Orthodox church in Kotor. The building is erected on the foundation of a building that was once demolished by fire. It took seven years (From 1902 to 1909) to construct this Cathedral. The interior of the Cathedral has beautiful décor. It is embellished with fine pieces of silver. There are huge chandeliers and candle holders that add to the charm of the place. The style in which the church is built is an amalgamation of Romanesque and Byzantine. The entrance of the building is decorated with mosaic designs.
- Sea Gate: This is the main entrance to the city of Kotor. This gate was erected in the year 1555 when Kotor was under Venetian rule. Even to this date, the Sea Gate has been preserved with the utmost care. The walls have many remarkable symbols and marks. The walls have the symbol of a winged lion, which is the symbol of Venice. Above the gate, a date is engraved on the stone- Nov 21, 1944. There is a historical significance associated with this date, as it is on this date that the Nazis liberated the city of Kotor during the Second World War. It also has a sign of a communist star and a quotation from President Tito. Through the Sea Gate, one makes way into the city of Kotor. The Sea Gate also has a Kotor Clock Tower that has two clock faces. The Sea Gate serves as a focal point of Kotor. It has features that are a perfect amalgamation of Gothic and Baroque architectures.
- Lovcen National Park: This place is a day's trip away from Kotor. This is one of Kotor's most accessible natural places, which is protected. The park covers an area of 6,220 hectares and has a dense forest. This is an ideal place if you plan to spend your day hiking or to enjoy a picnic with friends. Even locals come to this national park during summer as the pleasant weather helps to escape the heat. The temperature of this national park is usually 10 degrees lower than that of Kotor. This national park shelters nearly 200 species of birds. This park also has wolves and bears; however, they stay in remote places that humans do not invade.
- Cat Museum: Kotor is known as the cat capital of Montenegro. When you pay a visit to Kotor, you will see lots of street cats. Kotor has a museum that is fully dedicated to the purry creatures of Montenegro. The inception of this museum dates back to 2013. The museum has antique posters, stamps, nooks, and advertisements that revolve around feline creatures. Therefore, if you are fond of cats, this place is a must-see for you. Here, you will also run into some real kitties that you can pet. The museum also has a gift shop attached to it, where you will find several cat-themed items to take home as souvenirs. One such interesting souvenir is a magnet with a picture of Vladimir Putin with a cat.
- Maritime Heritage Museum: This is another popular museum that beholds the rich cultural heritage of Kotor. This 18th-century edifice speaks volumes about the maritime history of Kotor. This is a two-storeyed museum that exhibits everything ranging from navigation costumes, nautical instruments, weaponry, navigation maps, and so on. The central hall has an array of model ships, all of which were used for warfare and trade down the centuries. This museum has all the weapons used on the ships between the 17th and 19th centuries.
- Perast: This picturesque town is a day's trip away from Kotor. This is a great getaway spot for a quick holiday with family. This place doesn't have a proper beach. However, it is a great idea if you want to sunbathe here. Apart from that, the scenic beauty is bewitching.
There is a lot to explore in Kotor. To know more about Kotor's city, it is ideal to pay a visit to the place and explore the richness of its nature, its art, culture, and history. The place is impregnated with bewitching scenery. Here, one can find an abundance of medieval architecture. You will truly have a great time exploring the city if you like historical monuments, traditional things etc.
These national parks not only allow you to witness the diverse flora and fauna of Kotor but also allow you to inhale the freshness of the air.
- Milocher Park: This is a wonderful park where one can catch a glimpse of the beautiful Sveti Stefan Island. It is situated close to the Adriatic Sea.
- King's Park: This Park was inaugurated in the year 1910. It pays homage to the coronation of King Nikola. The park is embellished with a fountain. It also has a ground for children to play in.
- Big City Park: If you want to revel in the comfort of shady green trees, you can plan a visit to Big City Park. The place is located close to the naval heritage collection. Trees and greenery are in abundance in this park.
- Manitovac Park: This Park has a peaceful ambiance. The green area stretches over 15000 sq. m and is sure to enchant the visitors with its beauty. The park has a mini zoo for kids to enjoy. It also has a restaurant. All these things make it an ideal place for a family getaway!
If you want to spend some time amidst the beauty of nature, any tourist place's national parks showcase the place's flora and fauna. Some of the popular national parks of Kotor are as follows.
- Lovcen National Park: Spread over an area of 6220 hectares, the Lovcen National Park is a great place if you wish to escape the heat of the city. The temperature of this National Park is usually 10 degrees lower than that of the city's temperature.
- Prokletije National Park: This national park is mountainous and has many jagged peaks. There are glacial lakes as well. The national park abounds in flora.
- Park Forest Gorica: If you are looking for a place to work out or breathe in some fresh air, you may consider paying a visit to the Park Forest Gorica. This adventure park offers exotic views during the tropical summer.
Kotor's beaches are nice places where tourists and locals stop by to spend some quality time with their loved ones. One can swim, sit for a soothing sunbath, or simply sip a chilled beer while getting intoxicated in the beauty of the beaches of Kotor. Some of Kotor's beaches are:
- Morinj Beach
- Risan Beach
- Orahovac Beach
- Bajova Beach
- The Marko's Cape Beach: It has a hotel for medical tourism.
- Bigova Beach: This beach once used to be a fishing port, but is now inhabited by people.
Every place is known by some popular locations that are demarcated as landmarks. These places aid in navigation and also attract tourists from all over the world. Some of the popular landmarks of Kotor are mentioned below.
- Sea Gate: This edifice serves as the entrance to Kotor. Here, one can find important information that is associated with the Second World War. Being at the central or focal point of the city, this place holds huge importance. It also has the Kotor Clock Tower with two clock faces.
- Our Lady of the Rocks: The popular tourist destination named Our Lady of the Rocks is a manmade island located close to an ancient town named Perast. What initially was an Orthodox chapel was later converted into a Catholic chapel by Venetians. Even to this date, the church has the statue of the Virgin Mary that was discovered there in the 15th century. If visitors visit Our Lady of the Rocks now, they will also find a museum and a gift store attached.
- Caste of St Giovanni: To reach the Castle of San Giovanni, also known as the Castle of St. John, one has to climb a flight of 1350 steps. The Castle of San Giovanni is elevated to the point that it is 1200 meters elevated above the ground level. However, the view you will get to witness from the point will make it worth all the effort. On top of the city walls, the Chapel of St Ivan is another point of tourist attraction. From this point, one can also catch a glimpse of Our Lady of Health Church.
The museums of Kotor are popular tourist attractions, but they also withhold the culture and heritage of the place.
- Maritime Heritage Museum: Here, you will be enlightened with knowledge about the maritime history of Kotor. It has objects that date back to the 18th century.
- Cat Museum: If you have a soft corner for feline creatures, dare you to miss this cat museum!
If you are a foodie, you may be a sucker for trying out authentic local food in the course of traveling. When it comes to food, Kotor will leave you craving for more. The restaurants at Kotor serve everything ranging from seafood to street food. Some restaurants also imbibe European, Mediterranean, and Chinese influence in the cuisine they prepare. When visiting Kotor, be prepared to try a wide range of different foods and you will definitely have a lot of fun trying everything that the city has to offer when it comes to food.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Find lip-smacking traditional Kotor food in these restaurants:
- Ladovina Kitchen and Wine Bar: If you are in for some authentic Kotor food, you should definitely pay a visit to Ladovina Kitchen and Wine Bar. The place offers great quality seafood. The Tuna steak, Mussels, and Octopus Salad are some of the specialties offered by this restaurant. The place also serves alcohol. They also have provisions for live music to set the dining mood.
- Luna Rossa: Luna Rossa is another restaurant in Kotor which is known for its amazing local cuisine. If you are craving some European meal, drop by at this restaurant. Visitors and tourists are tempted by the beefsteak, octopus, and the large Greek salad. It also serves generous amounts of fresh local food items like caviar, anchovies, etc.
- Konoba Skver: Not sure where to stop by for breakfast? This is one of the most popular restaurants in Kotor. Here, one can dine amidst the beautiful rooftop ambiance.
- Vinomania Kotor: This restaurant will offer you the best of both worlds. Here, you can dine with the majestic view of St Typhons' Church right ahead of you as the restaurant will serve you a wholesome and sumptuous meal. The pork ribs deserve a special mention.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Vegans and vegetarians sometimes feel left out when it comes to restaurants offering vegan food. These restaurants in Kotor have a vegan-friendly menu:
Kanoba Roma: This small restaurant offers a great view of the city's walls and the fortress. It is known for its vegan options. The restaurant is influenced by Mediterranean culture. The food is coupled with jazz and pop music, all of which will make your dining experience memorable.
Mondo Restaurant Kotor: This is another restaurant in Kotor, which is heaven for vegans. The vegetarian options are plenty. One can also team the meal up with Niksicko beer. With fast and good service, this restaurant is ideal for all vegans.
Every big city has local delicacies. Explore the street food of Kotor in this restaurant:
Hoste: This bar in Kotor serves street food. It is also known for serving craft beer. The quality of food is quite impressive. The place is not very spacious: however, the ambiance is pretty cozy and nice!
There is no such ban on alcohol in Kotor. One may drink as long as he can act responsibly. However, if anyone is found to have illegal drugs, strong actions will be taken against him. Some of the tourists also look for pubs and bars that sell craft beer. Niksicko beer is also a popular choice of people visiting Kotor. Not just hard drinks, the restaurants in Kotor also serve soft drinks and fruit juices. Kotor will not let you go thirsty.
In Kotor, tap water is used for purposes like washing salads, ice cubes, tooth brushing, and many more. However, locals drink the tap water after boiling it. Even when you are visiting restaurants, you may not know what water is being served. Therefore, carrying your water bottle is always ideal!
The concept is organic café is emerging, and Kotor is keeping at par with the advancement. Here are some of the organic cafes in Kotor:
- Konoba Scala Santa
- BBQ Tanjga
- Restaurant Galion
- Zdrava Hrana
- Forza Cafe
- Tiha Noć Restaurant - Kotor
Drinking is not frowned upon in Kotor. Some popular breweries in Kotor are as follows:
- Fabrika Craft Brewery
- Beer Academy Podgorica
- Trebjesa Brewery
While you are in Kotor, you will never run out of things to do. The city is very lively and is always buzzing with people. Therefore, you will have a busy day in Kotor. For instance, in Kotor, taking a stroll around the Old Town is a beautiful experience in itself. Every nook of the town oozes history and culture. There are a number of companies in Kotor that will let you take a ride on the boat cruise through the Bay of Kotor.
If you are fond of heavily physical activities, then you can plan to hike up to the Castle of San Giovanni. As you take strides towards the top of the fortress, you will get to witness many miraculous spectacles.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is a great way in which individuals can heal their bodies and minds. Yoga amidst the beauty of nature is a wholesome experience that tourists crave for. While some yoga retreat centers offer only yoga sessions, the other also make it a point to soothe your body with a relaxing massage. Listed below are some yoga retreats in Kotor:
- Yoga Senso Di Cattaro
- Mind Body Soul Yoga Meditation Retreat
While booking stay-in hotels in popular tourist destinations, tourists look for hotels based on certain criteria. While some people want hotels that offer a great view, others look for hotels that are well-connected to tourist attraction spots. The hotel and hospitality industry of Kotor is pretty well-developed. Here, one can find hotels at extremely affordable rates.
Nothing compares to the joy of waking up amidst greenery and scenic beauty all around. Listed below are some of Kotor's environment-friendly green hotels.
- Green Village Kotor: This hotel is an ideal choice if you wish to stray away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Huma Kotor Bay Hotel and Villas: This hotel has an outdoor pool where tourists can swim or relax. It is set in a location close to the sea and features a private beach.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Listed below are some of the budget-friendly guest houses in Kotor.
- Kotor Nest: This budget-friendly guest house has the provision of a shared kitchen and shared lounge. It is close to tourist places like St Tryphon and North Gate Kotor.
- Antika Guesthouse: This guesthouse in Kotor offers a WiFi facility. All the rooms are comfortable and have televisions with cable channels.
- Guest House Muo: Through this guest house, one can get spellbinding views of Kotor city. The hotel also features a private beach area that has a bathing jetty.
Tourists can also choose to rent and live in apartments for the duration of their trip. There are many apartments available at extremely affordable rates in Kotor.
Couchsurfing facilities are also available in Kotor. Couch surfers share their homes and make the travel experience wholesome and social for the visitors. However, it must be noted that this method of accommodation is not always the safest option, so be vigilant when making this decision.
As has already been mentioned above, the scenic beauty of Kotor is breath-taking. Here, tourists may also opt for camping. Some popular camping spots and options are:
- Autocamp Naluka
- Pachamama Farmstay and Campground
- Agape Farm Camp
How to Get There
Reaching Kotor is not an irksome task as the place is well-connected by various means of transportation. You can take a look at the sections below to know all the options available to travellers to get to the city as well as to travel within it.
If you travel to Kotor by air, it is important to note that the airport nearest to Kotor is around 4.6 kms away from the city, which is :
- Tivat Airport
Other options are:
Kotor also has a great bus service. Buses to various locations are pretty frequent. The city is small, and the car operation is forbidden. So, the bus is a popular choice for intercity travel.
Traveling by train to Kotor is not a very convenient option. Train service is available only until the coastal town of Bar, from where one has to take a bus to Kotor.
To say that hitchhiking is not a possible option would be wrong. One can certainly avail this option to travel in the city, but it is an extremely unsafe method as you have no idea about the person you would be travelling with. One should avoid hitchhiking at night.
Since it comprises scores of the islands, the commonly used transport is launches, boats, and trawlers. You can also use regular taxis or motorbike taxis through your smartphones.
Taking the well-being of the environment into consideration, it is advisable to opt for eco-friendly transportation means while moving around in Kotor. Walking or cycling fro one point to another is an ideal option if you really wanna be responsible about your travel. However, at places where it is not feasible or even possible (in case of water travels) you should use the methods commonly used by everyone else in the city.
Kotor is a small city. If you are planning to take a stroll to the local market, go on foot. Also, walking the streets of Kotor in itself is an adventure. You can easily navigate your way in the city as you can always ask for directions from the locals a they are quite friendly and helpful. However, it goes without saying that you should not go on foot in shady areas, specially after its dark. remain limited to busy areas where there are a lot of people.
For places that you can no longer cover on feet, travel by bicycle. Many stores offer bicycles for rent. This option is not only good for the environment but for your health and fitness as well. It would be refreshing to take bicycle rides in such a scenic city.
They are an eco-friendly mode of travel that is taking the market by storm. Although the market is not too big on electric vehicles in Kotor, you are sure to come buy a few options.
These buses encourage limited fuel consumption as they can take many people from one place to another at a time. So, these would be a very viable option for you to travel within the city.
Tram, Train and Subway
The city is also well connected by trains, trams, and subways, making traveling convenient.
Some places for sustainable shopping in Kotor are:
- Shopping Center Kamelija
- Kotor Souvenir Shop
- Galerija Tician
- Monterug Oriental Woven Art
Some food markets in Kotor are:
- Horeka Diskont
- NICE Market
- Idea Supermarket
Some Flea markets in Kotor are:
- Vegetable Market
- outlet center
- Zelena Pijaca market
- Old Town Market
Second Hand Stores
Some of the stores that sell second hand stuff in the city are:
- Art/Hand maide suvenirs, trg sv. Luke
- Eco-Fashion Stores
Here are a few famous eco-fashion markets in Kotor:
- Local Market Kotor
The authorities on Kotor lay special emphasis on waste management. Here, all the waste generated is later recycled. This helps to keep the waste generation under check. There are nine recycling yards in Montenegro.
Montenegro is a very small country. It has 23 municipalities that are divided into three main regions. Waste management techniques are well-developed. Around 150 small landfills are unregulated, 68 medium-sized dump sites, and 50 big dumpsites throughout the country.
Work and Study Abroad
This place attracts many students from neighboring countries. There are also some work opportunities available for foreigners. However, the quality of educational institutes is not world-class so keep that in mind before making any decisions.
In order to seek admission into the colleges and universities of Kotor, students can register themselves for various exchange programs. In most of the cases, the students get to stay with a host family. They can get all the information in detail from the respective colleges they wish to seek admission to.
Many students opt for this idea to stay with a host family and help them with their household chores in exchange for food or pocket money. It is a viable option for those interested in availing it.
There are many local volunteering organizations that do a lot of good work. Some of these include:
- Crveni Krst Herceg Novi
- AIESEC Montenegro
- Rotary Club Ulcinj
- NVO Forum MNE
- Red Cross