Kotor is an administrative, cultural and economic center in Montenegro, located near the limestone cliffs of Mount Lovcen on the shore of the unique Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska).

Kotor on map


Boko Kotor Bay

Kotor will be extremely interesting for lovers of historical attractions: in the Old Town, surrounded by a fortress wall, there are many relics and architectural monuments. The natural and cultural-historical area of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, included in the list in 1979. It includes the old town of Kotor, fortifications and the surrounding area of the inner Bay of Kotor.

The history of the Cat

Fortress walls of Kotor

The exact time of the origin of the Cat is not documented. During the period of Roman rule, there was a city called Acrivium (Ascrivium, Acruvium, Askrivium), which was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia. Acruvium was first mentioned in 168 BC. However, today it is impossible to determine exactly whether it was located on the site of modern Kotor, since archaeologists place this city in several potential locations between Kotor and Budva. The oldest archaeological finds directly in Kotor at the moment date back to the 5th century AD, the main evidence of which was discovered under the Church of Maria Kolejata (aka the Church of Blessed Hosanna of Kotor, the Church of St. Mary on the river, crkve Marije Kolejate).

Kotor has been fortified since the early Middle Ages by Emperor Justinian I. After the expulsion of the Goths, the second city was probably built by Constantine Porphyrogenitus. At that time, the city was under the Supreme Byzantine rule. Bishop John of Kotor took part in the work of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787). In 840 the city was ravaged by the Saracens. When Byzantine Dalmatia was formed, Kotor became part of it. Since 1002 Kotor has been occupied by the self-proclaimed Bulgarian tsar Samuel. During the time of Emperor Basil II, Kotor again belonged to Byzantium. After the formation of the Principality of Zeta (1042-1078) under the Vojislavlevichi, Kotor became partially autonomous and the Romanesque urban population was gradually assimilated by settlers from nearby Slavic tribes.

Conquered in 1187 by Stefan Nemanja, Kotor in 1217-1346 remained a partially autonomous city and the main port of the later Kingdom of Serbia and the Serbian Empire until its collapse. At that time, the city was already an episcopal see, subordinate to the Archbishop of Bari. During the century, Dominican and Franciscan monasteries were founded here. Since the 14th century. during the century, the trade of the city of Cattaro, as it was then called in Latin sources (in Serbian it is called "Kotor, the City of Kings"), competed with Dubrovnik and aroused the envy of Venice. During Serbian rule, Kotor enjoyed great autonomy and privileges, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kotor extended its jurisdiction to Catholic parishes in the interior of Serbian lands. The weakening of the Serbian state after the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 left the city unprotected, and it successively fell into the hands of the Venetians, Hungarians and Bosnians. Kotor, as an independent city-republic (1391-1420), existed for almost 30 years, until, on its own initiative, due to the danger of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, it turned to the Republic of Venice for help. Kotor was under the rule of the Republic of Venice until it was destroyed by earthquakes until it again passed into the hands of Austria. A little later, it was occupied by the Napoleonic French, after which it again came under the rule of the Austrians.

After 1918, Kotor became part of the province of Dalmatia within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Kotor falls under Italian and then German occupation.After the war, Kotor became part of the People's Republic of Montenegro as part of the new Yugoslavia.

Twin towns of Kotor


It will be interesting to learn that the modern concept of twin cities implies the unification of communities through a variety of activities. In this sense, the Municipality of Kotor is a wonderful example of best practice. Cities with which the Municipality of Kotor, despite its geographical remoteness, maintains cultural ties and contacts with each other through a variety of activities:

Santa Barbara (USA)

Szeged (Hungary)

Campomarino and Venice (Italy)

Nessebar (Bulgaria)

Subotica, Gorni Milanovac and the Old Town of Belgrade (Serbia)

Dubrovnik, Trogir, Split (Croatia)

Obidos (Portugal)

Xi'an (China)

Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Gaziantep, Antalya (Turkey)

Ohrid (Macedonia)

Prerov (Czech Republic)

The business card of the Cat

Kotor Bay - the business card of Kotor

Dotted with medieval towns admiring their reflection in the waters of the Adriatic, the compact bay — or simply "Boca" — is connected by a series of picturesque serpentines. This place is full of attractions: from island monasteries and impressive citadels to outdoor activities and cozy restaurants, where the views of the embankment cause as much delight as fresh seafood.

The Bay of Kotor or Bay of Kotor is the largest bay of the Adriatic Sea, which is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are several bays within the bay, named after the large settlements on their shores. These are the Gulf of Hercegnovia, the Bay of Kotor, the Gulf of Morin, the Gulf of Risan, as well as the Gulf of Tivat. There are three islands that make up the archipelago: Prevlaka Island, St. Mark's Island, and the island of Gospa od Milo.

Kotor and cats

Cats of Kotor

Officially, the symbol of Montenegro is the Venetian lion, but the cat looks like a lion and is now the unofficial symbol of the Cat. And the Kotorians themselves believe that cats bring good luck. The attitude towards cats in Kotor was formed from folklore: Montenegrins believed that cats saved the city, so the attitude towards them here is benevolent. The first cats settled in the Old Town thanks to the sailors who brought them to these parts. The ships kept cats on board, which kept rats and mice away from supplies and goods on board. As soon as the ships docked at the port, the ship's cats went down to the shore and settled there forever.

Cats are still important for the residents of Kotor, so in the Old Town you can find not only a myriad of them, but also the city square, which was called "Cat Square" and "Cat Museum". And tourists can easily find a lot of souvenirs and gifts with cat symbols in local shops and shops.

What to see in Kotor

Panorama of Kotor

Kotor is full of historical and cultural attractions. It is one of the most popular tourist centers and resort areas of Montenegro. The following attractions will be interesting to visit:

St. John's Fortress (Crkva Svetog Jovana krstitelja)

Chapel of the Salvation of the Virgin (Crkva Gospe od Zdravlja)

Maritime Museum (Pomorski muzej Crne Gore)

Cathedral of St. Tryphon (Katedrala Svetog Trifuna)

Beaches of Kotor

The coast of Kotor

If you are planning a traditional beach holiday in Montenegro, then the rest of the coast is at your disposal, except for Kotor itself. It is not possible to call Kotor a beach resort - the port occupies most of the coast. There are no classic sandy beaches in the city and its surroundings, so Kotor often implies an excursion destination. The nearest large beach is located in Dobrota, a settlement north of Kotor, which can be reached on foot.

Dobrota City Beach

Bayova Kula beach is one of the favorite beaches of the locals. The pebble beach is 60 m long. It is located on the way from Kotor to Perast. The water on this beach is very clean, surrounded by laurel groves.

Morin Beach is sandy and pebbly, located on a promontory near the expressway. Here you can visit authentic restaurants in ancient mills.

Orahovac Beach is another popular local beach located on the way to Perast. It is a 1 km long pebble beach.

Marko Beach is a beach on the cape of the same name between Prcanj and Stoliv. It is pebbly and is intended mainly for guests of the local hotel complex, but it is possible to relax on it.

Risan Beach. A holiday on Risan beach is suitable for lovers of a relaxing pastime, as well as family tourists with children. The beach is pebbly.

The city beach of Perast is accessible to everyone.

What to do in Kotor

Evening Kotor

In addition to the main tourist and excursion programs, you can actively spend the evening in Kotor. Kotor is one of the most popular resorts in Montenegro and the night activity in it is intense, especially in high season. Compared to other cities where nightlife is not so active outside the summer season, in Kotor, along with Budva and Tivat, thanks to the opening of a large number of clubs, bars and discos, you can have a good time.

Kotor's bars, pubs, clubs and discos are very popular in Montenegro, and people from other cities travel to Kotor just to have fun in the Old Town of Kotor, where most of the hangouts are located.

Shopping in Kotor

The main shopping spots in Kotor are located on the waterfront, teeming with souvenir shops. For grocery purchases and essential goods, you can use the Roda supermarket located in Shurani. Homemade products, fruits and vegetables are plentiful at the Kotor City Market. The market is open daily.

Local cuisine and wines

Montenegrin national cuisine is mainly a mixture of dishes that every tourist can taste in numerous establishments throughout Montenegro:

Veshalitsa — grilled chop

Pleskavitsa is a cutlet stuffed with butter or cheese

Lamb from under the sacha - stewed lamb

Negush steak — stuffed beef steak with side dish

Rajnichi — veal and pork kebabs

Chevapi — fried sausages made of minced meat, which are wrapped in a cake

Prshut is jamon or prosciutto. Thinly sliced smoked-cured pork

Sarma is a kind of cabbage rolls made from sauerkraut, filled with minced meat and rice

Moussaka — casserole with potatoes and meat

Riblya chorba — ear

Popeke — a dish of mussels

Montenegrin wines. Montenegro is the birthplace of the Vranac grape variety, from which the red wine of the same name is produced. Montenegro also has the largest vineyard in Europe, so you can taste its own wines here.

Montenegrin beer. A popular Montenegrin beer is Nikshichko. There are several small craft breweries, the easiest way to try local beer is to stop by the bar in Old Kotor

Kotor has a sufficient number of establishments, cafes and restaurants offering visitors traditional Montenegrin cuisine and dishes for every taste. Most establishments are located on the waterfront and in the Old Town, but catering outlets are scattered throughout Kotor.

Where to stay

Since Kotor is a popular tourist destination, accommodation here is available to a wide range of tourists with any budget. Hotels, hotel complexes and numerous apartments receive tourists all year round.

How to get

Cruise ship in Kotor

The easiest way to get to Kotor is by air flight to Tivat International Airport.

The highway to Kotor runs through the Vrmac tunnel, connecting Kotor with the Adriatic Highway, as well as with the rest of the coast and other areas of Montenegro.

Railway transport in Kotor is represented by the ancient Kotor - Cetinje branch line, which runs through a picturesque mountainous area.

The most popular mode of transport in Kotor and the surrounding area is buses.The city is connected by regular bus lines to all coastal resorts, Podgorica, Zagreb (Croatia) and Belgrade (Serbia).

Taxis in Kotor are popular and convenient. The cost of a transfer to the airport or a trip to another city should be discussed separately.

The Kamenari-Lepetane ferry crossing operates not far from Kotor, which allows you not to go around the Bay of Kotor. The ferry is convenient for travelers by car from Budva to Herceg Novi or back. The ferry crosses the Verige Strait in 10 minutes, ferries depart every 15 minutes. Tickets are sold at the ticket offices at the pier.


April 25, 2024

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Lana Gardmann