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  • Writer's pictureAbby

Exploring Kotor, Montenegro

Happy Travel Tuesday!

Or whatever day of the week you are reading this :) I feature a new travel guide blog post most Tuesdays and would love for you to follow along on my instagram page or subscribe, here! Today I am catching us back up to the next country of the European Balkans trip: Montenegro. 

📍Kotor, Montenegro 🇲🇪 

Montenegro is a unique small country between Albania and Croatia that we made sure to stop in to spend a few days in its largest city: Kotor. Named for the silhouette sunset of black mountains - Montenegro. A coastal country with gorgeous landscape, ancient history, film set for Hollywood movies, destination for actors and world leaders, fantastic food, friendly people, it is totally worth a stop over at the beginning or end of a Croatia trip! 


We stayed at Guesthouse STEP which was a perfect location and lovely place. We booked via hostelworld for $15 per person per night, and they are also on other platforms. It is safe and efficient with password code to enter building. Traveller's paradise hostel with meeting people all over the world. Very comfortable set up in rooms and clean bathrooms as well as shared kitchen and living space. Full access to the pool next-door which is on the sea and actually is connected to the bay, making it a saltwater pool. 


As far as getting around Kotor, it is best to just walk around or take a taxi. Bikes and scooters are good options, as well. All activities and site seeing that we did were within 5-15 minutes walking distance. And of course the boat tour will take you all over! 

Within the Balkans, we took the bus from Tirana, Albania to Kotor, Montenegro. This was almost a full day trip: 7.5 hours! While driving by car takes about 4 hours, the bus made a number of stops including picking up and dropping off passengers in 2 cities, boarder stops and a lunch stop. We left Tirana at 10:30am and only got into Kotor around 6pm. But the trip is beautiful and we got to see so much along the way.

We also hadn’t seen each other in over 2 years and were in the pandemic era and therefore enjoyed catching up the whole day. Later on as we started talking to some other travellers, we were told that everyone on the bus could hear us and could not believe how long we talked for, “like what is it with americans…so much to say and so loud!” It was a funny reminder of our different cultures. 

Where to eat 

Fortuna Food - seafood restaurant along the river

Shop for a picnic - salami, hummus, olives, rice cakes, fruit, drinks 

A number of fancy beach side restaurants all with very affordable prices for the quality of seafood, as well as some beautiful rooftop bars. We were also recommended some fantastic food truck options. Views are included everywhere! 

Things to do

Hike the castle

Blue cave tour

Swim in the large saltwater pool 


Rooftop restaurant

Wander through the old town

Free walking tour

Sample itinerary

If you only have one day in Kotor or if you just want one day that is full of attractions, I suggest you follow Day 2 of our itinerary below: 

😴 Sleep in 

⛰️ 11am Morning hike up for a view over Kotor

🐐 See goats along the way 

☕️ Stop for coffee at local farm on hill cafe

🏰 climbing the castle fortress

⛪️ get lost in old town, shops and historic churches

🛌 1pm midday nap/rest at the hostel

🍱 quick shop for a charcuterie snack lunch

🌊 3pm boat tour of the famous blue caves with a number of stops to see where James Bond was filmed, another historic island church, and golden hour on the bay

🍻 rooftop bar for a local brew & seafood dinner along the beach

👯‍ plenty of time catching up with travel buddy and long time friend! 

Hiking the hills, mountains, castle and views 

Tip: there is a backway to the castle that will give you a local feel and is so worth it, plus it saves you the cost of entry! If you follow maps or ask around, you will find a gravel walking path near the river on the left side, much before getting to the castle. If you look up from here, you will see the path leads up the mountain with switch backs. It's actually really nice to do this on the way there to avoid so many castle steps both ways. There are signs up to the goat cheese, wine shop and cafe. This is the most rustic mountain side cafe! And you will get to walk along the trails with the free roaming goats. There is a historic church partially in ruins and continue on to the entrance, which gets a little tricky from this side, as you have to climb up a ladder into a stone arch and suddenly you are within the castle! This definitely was a fairy/folk tale moment. And from there you’re more than halfway up and can continue to the top of the castle for the best views and experience of the castle fort, or you could just head back down which takes you right into town center. 


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