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How to visit the breathtaking Bay of Kotor Montenegro on a budget!
The little Balkan country of Montenegro is often overlooked by travelers.
Its neighbors, Croatia and Greece, seem to get all the attention.
So if you’re backpacking through southeast Europe and looking for a gorgeous travel destination with few tourists, Montenegro is an amazing country to visit.
The views of Kotor, Montenegro are iconic.
Towering limestone cliffs surround medieval villages, and the bright, turquoise water snakes through the land.
It is a truly stunning town that offers lots of photo opportunities. And it is super easy to visit Kotor, Montenegro on a budget!
Here are some tips about how to visit Kotor, Montenegro on a budget, as well as some recommendations for things to do there.
How To Visit Kotor, Montenegro on a Budget
There are two ways to visit Kotor, Montenegro on a budget: by taking a day trip from Dubrovnik, Croatia, or by just sliding it into your travel itinerary.
Day Trip from Dubrovnik, Croatia
If you’re traveling in Croatia, Kotor makes an amazing day trip.
Just visit the local bus station and buy a round-trip bus ticket.
It costs around 30 Euros and the drive takes 3-4 hours.
You can buy your bus ticket the day of.
But if you are traveling during peak tourist season, I recommend buying tickets the day before in case they sell out.
So if you leave in the morning, the day trip only allows you around 5 hours of exploration in Kotor before you have to head back to Dubrovnik.
But the town is pretty small, so this is plenty of time to hike to the best viewpoint, explore the town, and eat some local food.
For an extra 20 Euros, you can book a group tour from Get Your Guide.
This is a good option if you are traveling alone and want to share your journey with other people, or if you just want a tour operator to organize the trip for you.
Other travel options for Kotor, Montenegro
If you are backpacking around the Balkan countries, you don’t need to squeeze Kotor into a day trip.
Whether you are heading north or south, or in any direction, try to make a place for Kotor in your Europe travel itinerary.
Public buses are a great travel option in Southeast Europe.
They are cheap and relatively quick (the fast trains are very expensive, the cheap trains are quite slow).
Rome2Rio is a great website for planning transportation to Kotor.
You can select the two cities you are traveling between, and Rome2Rio will list all the travel options, such as bus, train, self-drive, plane, or ferry.
This allows you to pick the cheapest or the fastest way to travel to Kotor from anywhere.
Where To Stay in Kotor, Montenegro
If you are spending more than just an afternoon in Kotor, you’ll need to find a place to stay overnight.
Hostels are usually the cheapest place to stay, especially in Southeast Europe.
Here are two top-rated and affordable hostels in Kotor:
- Hostel Centrum: 13-16 Euros per night, 10/10 rating
- Pupa Hostel: 15-17 Euros per night, 9.7/10 rating
Best Things To Do In Kotor, Montenegro On A Budget
Now that you’ve figured out how to get to Kotor and where stay, it’s time to figure out what fun things to do.
The bay of Kotor is so scenic that you won’t need to spend much money here.
Hiking, walking around, taking photos, and soaking in the dramatic views is enough to make the trip worth it, and most of that can be done for free.
So here are the best things to do in Kotor, Montenegro on a budget.
Hike St. John Mountain
Hiking up the Old City Walls that cling to St. John’s Mountain is definitely the best thing to do in Kotor, Montenegro.
Once you reach the top, you’ll find the most breathtaking view that overlooks the entire bay. This view alone makes the trip to Kotor worth the journey.
The hike takes about 1-2 hours and is quite challenging but totally doable even for those who are out of shape.
The entrance fee is about 8 Euros, and again, the view is 100% worth the fee and the hike!
Check out the Church of Our Lady Of Remedy
While hiking up St. John’s Mountain, you’ll pass this church about halfway up the mountain.
The small but modest place of worship dates back to the 1500s, and it is quite bare and undecorated except for a few religious relics left by devoted followers.
There is a beautiful sense of mystery in the empty shadows and blatant minimalism of this church that sits so high on the hill.
The Church of Our Lady of Remedy is free to enter.
Get Out On The Water
That sparkling sapphire water of the Bay of Kotor is too good to resist.
The best way to enjoy the bay for free is to just stroll around, take photos, and admire the views.
You can also enjoy the city from a different perspective by getting out on the water.
If you’re willing to pay a bit of money for an epic experience here are some ways to enjoy Kotor, Montenegro from the water.
- Kayaking: 35 Euros for 2.5 hours
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding: 35 Euros for 2 hours
- Speedboat Tour: 35 Euros for a 3 hours boat tour, includes swimming in the majestic Blue Cave
- River Rafting: 200 Euros for a trip to Durmitor National Park and white-water rafting on the Tara River
Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Kotor, Montenegro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a significant history.
This port town played an important role in trade and the relationship between the Balkans and the Mediterranean throughout history.
Many of the old religious buildings and architectural monuments are still in good shape despite an earthquake in 1979, and anything that suffered damage has been restored with integrity.
Walking around the town is free, it is great exercise, and there is so much beauty to see that you’ll never get bored!
Indulge in the Local Cuisine
While strolling through the Old Town, treat yourself to some nice lunch and a coffee in a cafe.
There are plenty of local restaurants serving fresh seafood and local produce, most for pretty affordable prices.
The cafe scene in Kotor is very strong as well. Locals love to grab a coffee and relax at an outdoor table; this is a great way to relax and just take in the atmosphere during the afternoon.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the local cuisine, you can treat yourself to a guided walking tour with wine and food tastings.
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Thanks for reading this budget travel guide to Kotor, Montenegro.
Hopefully, you gained some insight and have a better idea of how to visit Kotor, Montenegro on a budget!
For more of my articles about eastern Europe, check out: