How To Spend One Day In Kotor, Montenegro: Day Trip Itinerary

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Welcome to Kotor, one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro. Thanks to family ties—it’s where my mother-in-law was born and raised—I have the inside scoop on Kotor. She’s walked me through the ins and outs of this historic town, showing me the must-sees and hidden gems like only a local can. 

Now, I’m passing on that knowledge of how to spend 1 day in Kotor to you. This is my with a no-nonsense guide that’s part travelogue, part how-to. Whether you’ve got just a day to spare or a little longer to explore, I’ve got your itinerary sorted.

Plus, I’ll give you the lowdown on getting here and the best times to visit so you can plan your trip like a pro. Let’s dive into Kotor without the fluff – just pure, actionable travel intel.

Montenegro Travel Blog_How To Spend One Day In Kotor

Best Things To Do In One Day In Kotor

Embarking on a day’s journey in Kotor, nestled within the embrace of Montenegro’s dramatic landscape, is a venture worth more than a mere 24-hour commitment.

But for those bound by time’s constraints, fear not—Kotor’s charm is accessible even in the shortest of stays. Here’s a snapshot of my recent one-day Kotor itinerary that was part of a week-long affair with the area.

1 Day In Kotor: Morning Glory

Dawn breaks, and with it, your Kotor experience commences. Energize with a hearty breakfast at a local café—think strong coffee and fresh pastries—preparing for the day’s exploits.

Option 1: Serene Perast And Mystical Lady Of The Rocks

Facts About Montenegro - Perast

Just a quick boat trip from Kotor Bay, you’ll find Perast, a real gem of a seaside town. It’s got these cool baroque historic buildings and a chill vibe by the water, setting the stage for the Lady of The Rocks.

This little island has a neat story about sunken ships and stacked stones, and there’s this neat Roman Catholic Church to check out. The views of the bay? It’s totally Instagram-worthy, especially in the early morning light.

I had a local guide, which you don’t need, but it is a great option. He gave some great insights and local info, which made the start of our day fascinating.

Pro Tip: Get there early to dodge the crowds, and it’s only a 5-euro per boat ride.

Option 2: Conquer The Kotor Fortress 

Cruising The Balkans - Old town Kotor, Montenegro Cruising Balkans
Old Town Kotor

Ready for a bit of adventure? Hiking up Kotor’s city walls is a must-try. It’s a bit of a climb, but it’s totally worth it. Once you reach the top, you’re greeted with an incredible view of the bay and those classic terracotta rooftops. It’s a great spot for photos, especially if you get there early.

Things To Do In Kotor In The Afternoon: Kotor’s Cultural Heart

Cathedral - Bay of Kotor Montenegro | Montenegro Travel Blog
St Typhons Cathedral

After your morning explorations, it’s time to hit Kotor’s Old Town. Here, you’ll stroll along narrow streets lined with history.

You can join a guided tour to get the lowdown on all the historical spots or wander around on your own and soak up the sights. Either way, you’re in for a treat with the town’s stunning architecture.

  • The Three Town Gates, whispering tales of ancient arrivals
  • St. Tryphon Cathedral, a monument of faith standing tall since the 12th century
  • The nautical legacy held within the Maritime Museum
  • The bustling marketplace by the Sea Gate offering local crafts and flavors

The Napoleon Theatre in Kotor isn’t just another building; it’s a piece of the town’s cultural heart. With its standout architecture, it’s hard to miss, especially when the town is buzzing with activity. If you want to get a real taste of Kotor’s vibe, hang out here. It’s where locals and travelers cross paths, and you can really soak up the lively atmosphere.

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Montenegrin Culinary Delights: Where To Eat In The Old Town

Montenegro Souvenirs_What to Buy in Montenegro _ Prsut

When hunger strikes, Kotor’s culinary scene won’t disappoint:

  • Astoria Restaurant: in the Old Town, this spot offers mouth-watering local dishes without breaking the bank
  • Cesarica: dive into sumptuous seafood at this charming eatery, boasting a lunch menu that’s kind to your wallet
  • Luna Rossa: experience traditional flavors in a rustic stone setting, complete with an open kitchen and international dishes for the less adventurous

Late Afternoon Kotor Itinerary: Unwind Or Explore

Winter In Montenegro Kotor in Winter

If you’ve got some extra time in the afternoon, there’s plenty more to check out. Here are a few of my suggestions to make your day in Kotor even better.

  • Immerse in history at the Perast Museum
  • Bask on a sun-kissed pebble beach
  • Glide in a kayak on the bay’s gentle waves (warmer months only of course)

Navigating To Kotor

Places To Visit In Montenegro - Tivat

Kotor, a beacon in the Bay of Kotor, is accessible and welcoming.  Reaching Kotor is a breeze:

Get To Kotor by sea: Hop on one of the many cruise ships that stop at Kotor, and you can easily slot the day’s adventures into your schedule.

From Dubrovnik: Just under two hours by car from this famous walled city—perfect for a self-guided road trip.

From Podgorica: The capital is a mere 1.5-hour drive or bus ride away.

From Tivat: A quick half-hour jaunt to Kotor—there’s no excuse to miss it!

From The Chedi Hotel: If you’re luxuriating at the Chedi Lustica Bay (we did and loved it!), Kotor is a mere 20 minutes by road. Hop on a bus or grab a taxi, and you’re there.

Embrace Kotor, even if it’s just for a day—you’ll leave with memories to last a lifetime!

Best Time To Visit Kotor Bay Area

Choosing when to visit Kotor Bay can make or break your trip to this Montenegrin beauty. With its Mediterranean climate, expect dry, hot summers and cooler, wetter winters. For easy planning, check out a quick table of average temperatures we’ve put together.

Season High Temperature Low Temperature
Winter (Dec – Feb) 13°C / 55°F 5°C / 41°F
Spring (Mar – May) 18°C / 64°F 9°C / 48°F
Summer (Jun – Aug) 28°C / 82°F 18°C / 64°F
Autumn (Sep – Nov) 22°C / 72°F 14°C / 57°F

If you’re up for a lively scene, summer in Kotor is buzzing with cultural festivals and lots of sun. But if you prefer a quieter vibe, aim for May or September. The weather’s still nice then, and you won’t be elbowing through as many tourists.

Events To Look Out For Around The Bay Of Kotor 

Kotor has events ranging from the colorful Kotor Carnival in February to the eclectic KotorArt International Festival during July and August. To make the most of your one-day trip, try aligning your visit with these dynamic events to experience the local culture and festivities.

Event Name Date/Month Description
Kotor Carnival February A vibrant celebration with colorful costumes, parades, and dancing showcasing traditional Montenegrin culture.
KotorArt International Festival July – August An artistic hub featuring classical music concerts, contemporary art exhibitions, and various cultural showcases.
Boka Nights August A night-time celebration with illuminated boats and fireworks lighting up the Bay of Kotor.
Kotor’s Christmas Market December A festive market offering handmade crafts, local treats, and a cozy Christmas atmosphere.
Summer Carnival August A fun, laid-back celebration with parades and music, embracing the summer season.
International Fashion Festival July A fashion event featuring collections from international designers and the latest fashion trends.
Fašinada July 22nd It is a traditional event where locals sail to an island and throw rocks into the sea, keeping an old legend alive.


Beyond Kotor: Montenegro Day Trip Ideas

Should the lure of Kotor Bay’s surroundings entice you to extend your journey, consider these day trips, each within easy reach of the surrounding area by leisurely drive, and are a great way to get to know more about Montenegro (and Croatia)!

  • Budva: just a 30-minute drive along the coast, Budva boasts beautiful beaches and a riveting old town encased in medieval walls
  • Lovcen National Park: an hour’s drive will transport you to the heart of Montenegro’s natural splendor. Home to the mausoleum of Montenegro’s revered poet-prince, Njegoš, it’s a site of both natural and cultural significance. On the way up to the top of the mountain, you’ll pass a very hair-raising serpentine road
  • Cetinje: once the royal capital of Montenegro, this town, approximately an hour away, is steeped in history and serves as a quieter, yet equally fascinating, cultural hub
  • Durmitor National Park: a bit further afield, about 2.5 hours from Kotor, this UNESCO World Heritage site offers breathtaking mountainous landscapes, deep canyons, and serene lakes, perfect for nature enthusiasts
  • Lake Skadar: roughly an hour’s drive brings you to the largest lake in Southern Europe, a haven for bird watchers and a tranquil escape from the coastal crowd
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia: cross an international border to the Adriatic Sea and and wander through the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, just under two hours away. Note that crossing borders may require additional planning for car rentals and potential queues during high season

Each of these destinations presents an opportunity to further explore magical Montenegrin culture, history, and natural beauty.

Kotor In One Day FAQs


What are the best things to do in Kotor for a one-day visit?

In one day, some of the top things I suggest you visit are the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, exploring the Old Town of Kotor, climbing up to the San Giovanni Fortress for spectacular views of Kotor Bay, and strolling along the Bay of Kotor.

Is it possible to explore Kotor Old Town in one day, and what are the highlights?

Yes, it’s possible to explore Kotor’s Old Town in a day. Highlights include the Maritime Museum, the Piazza of the Arms, and the Cats Museum, alongside charming squares and alleys.

What local dishes should I try during my day in Kotor?

Don’t miss trying local dishes like seafood risotto, black risotto, Burek (a meat-filled pastry), and Njeguški pršut (a type of prosciutto) in Kotor’s restaurants.

Can I visit the Bay of Kotor and the surrounding areas on a day trip?

A day trip can include a boat tour of the Bay of Kotor, visiting the Our Lady of the Rocks island, and exploring a nearby small town – I suggest Perast or Risan.

What are the best options for public transportation in Kotor for a day traveler?

For a day traveler, your feet, the best places I mentioned are all within the Old Town, which is totally walkable.


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