Popular Things to Do in Kotor
Food and Drink in Kotor
Montenegrin food has its roots in Balkan cuisine but is also influenced by other European countries such as Italy, Turkey and even Austria.
In addition to pizza and pasta, you'll find moussaka on menus, alongside plenty of grilled fish and meat dishes, and hearty soups and stews beloved by the locals. If you want to eat as the locals do, order a plate of sarma (cabbage stuffed with spiced beef and rice), podvarak (roast meat served with sauerkraut), or rastan with kastradina (wild cabbage with smoked lamb).
Galion: This fish and steak restaurant at the Vardar Hotel is close to Kotor's Old City and has a seafront terrace with lovely views across the bay. Specialities include a monkfish carpaccio starter. (Suranj bb; 382 32 325 054/11300; open daily, noon to midnight; reservations recommended)
Stari Mlini: Set in a 300-year-old stone-built former flour mill, this restaurant offers a pretty garden with some alfresco tables and a menu based largely on what local fishermen have brought in that day. It's popular with yachties, so make a reservation if you want to be sure of a good table. (Ljuta bb, 85330; 382 32 333 555; open daily, noon to 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
Old Winery: This tapas bar of sorts is set in Kotor's Old City and is a great place to discover Montenegrin wines while tucking into plates of local ham, cheese and olives. It's also a great place to experience the local vibe, with lively artwork on the walls and regular performances by local jazz and blues musicians. (Stari grad, 85330; 382 68 517 417; open daily, 11 a.m. to midnight)
Best Cocktail in Kotor
Wine from Montenegro's Plantaze vineyards goes down well; ask for Perla Nera if red is your tipple, Krstac if you prefer white.
Beaches in Kotor
Kotor has many attractions, but, sadly, great beaches are not among them. There are a few pebbly beaches along the waterfront, mainly attached to hotels, where you can hire a sun bed and parasol and take a dip in the sea. And there are sand beaches at Ljuta en route to Risan, but they lie several miles from Kotor.
That said, Montenegro's reputation as an up-and-coming vacation spot prompted holiday village developer Purobeach to open a marina and beach club on the site of a former naval base on Kotor's outer bay. The development comprises a marina and a holiday village, with bars, shops, restaurants and waterfront sun loungers. Consider a taxi ride or a shore excursion there if you're looking for a lazy day by the sea.
Don't Miss in Kotor
The Old City: Architectural highlights include the 12th-century Romano-Gothic St. Tryphon (Sveti Tripun) Cathedral; the little Church of St. Luke (Sveti Luka), which dates from the same century and contains original medieval frescoes; the 13th-century watchtower; the ninth-century city fortifications; the 19th-century Napoleon's Theatre; and a number of imposing 17th- and 18th-century palaces.
Hiking: If you're fit enough, walk around the city walls, which ascend the mountain just behind the town. Entry costs around 2 euros, and a steep-ish walk takes you 918 feet up to the St. Ivan Fortress (known to the locals as San Djovani). About halfway up, you'll find the Church of the Healing Mother of God (Gaspe od Zdravlja), which was built in 1572 by survivors of a plague. The walk to the fortress and back takes about 90 minutes, and although you need to be fairly fit, you'll be rewarded with lovely views and a real sense of achievement.
Maritime Museum: A short walk from the Sea Gate, this museum spans three floors of the early-18th-century Grgurina Palace and contains a fine collection of paintings, photographs, uniforms, model ships and elaborately decorated weapons used by Montenegro's navy, which has defended the Bay of Kotor for more than 12 centuries. (Trg Bokeljske Mornarice; 382 32 304 720; Hours vary depending on the season, it is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. most weekdays in the summer, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays in July - September and to noon or 1 p.m. on Sundays, but Sunday winter hours run 9 a.m to noon.)
Wine tasting: Explore Montenegro's Wine Road and pay a visit to the Plantaze vineyards, where some of Montenegro's best-known wines are produced. Head to the underground wine cellar for a tasting paired with local cheese. You'll need around seven to eight hours; the drive from Kotor to Podgorica and the Plantaze vineyards of "Cemovsko field" takes about two hours. If you'd prefer a guided tour, try Globtour Montenegro.