The Complete Guide to the Port of Kotor, Montenegro

Port of Kotor Montenegro

Welcome to the port of Kotor!

The city of Kotor and the entire state of Montenegro may just be the best-kept secret and the hidden gem of the Mediterranean.

The exploring and sightseeing of this stunning old city start even before you reach the port as the 1-hour long sail-in is a treat itself. Make sure to get up before the arrival and soak in the nature of this beautiful bay which was voted one of the 25 most beautiful bays in the world. The Boka Bay is known as the southernmost fjord in Europe and is part of UNESCO’s world heritage together with the old town of Kotor.

In this article, I share with you the local, insider knowledge about:

  • Kotor cruise port info (cruise terminal, local transportation)
  • 5 best things to do in Kotor old town
  • Top 5 Kotor tours & Port highlights

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Kotor Cruise Port Info

Kotor Bay sail-in as well as the view of the medieval port of Kotor are absolutely mind-blowing! Surrounded by massive mountains, this is where you’ll witness the beauty of the Adriatic coast at its finest.

See the map of the port of Kotor on Google maps

Kotor cruise port
Image by Виктория Сидоренко from Pixabay.

Kotor Cruise Terminal

Kotor port consists of only one pier and cruise ships dock about 300 ft away from the city gate from where you’ll be able to see the city wall as soon as you get off the ship. 

Sometimes, large cruise ships anchor in the bay and use the tender boats to transfer their cruise passengers ashore. The tender rides take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how far you are anchored. Take the tender ride as a free sightseeing tour of the coast because the scenery is truly spectacular!

There are usually no more than 3 cruise ships at the same time.

The port itself has a small souvenir shop and a toilet free of charge for you to use. Right next to the port building there is a cafe where you have free internet available for the guests.

There isn’t any ATM machine in the port itself, however, on the other side of the same building there is a bank with an ATM. There are plenty of ATMs and banks at the main city square just 300 meters away from the port in case that one is busy.

Local Transportation

Kotor’s old town area starts as soon as you leave the pier, and the best way to explore it is on foot. The alternative most convenient options to get around the city are by taxi or hop on hop off bus.


Taxis are available at the exit but check the prices in advance. The ones you find at the front are not the ones with the taximeter but at a fixed price. If you wish to use the ones locals use, they are usually parked by the shopping center “Kamelija”, approximately 600 meters away from the port (check for directions in the part of the article below).

The price of the local taxi is 0.50 € for the start and then approximately 0.80 € per kilometer. There are no Ubers or anything similar.

Note: The currency in Montenegro is EURO (€). Cards are accepted almost everywhere apart from the taxis, so make sure you bring cash on you. It is best to use any other card but American express because it’s not as widely accepted as Visa for example.

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Hop on Hop off bus

Hop on Hop off buses are also available, sometimes in the port itself or at the city gate. The child price (aged 6-14) is around 10.00 €  and the adult (aged 14+) is 20.00 €. Hop on Hop off bus tour includes the visit of the entire bay with the audio guide, plus a walking tour scheduled a few times per day after your bus tour.

The buses run every 30 minutes and if you need a wheelchair-accessible one, then you should ask for the double-decker option since they have a single open-top bus too.

Some of the stops are Bajova kula (beautiful beach bar), Perast (a charming coastal town from where you can catch a 5-minute boat ride to the island of Our Lady of the Rocks), Risan (a historic village where you have an included entrance to the Roman Mosaics), and back to the Kotor old town for your walking tour where you will cover all the important sites in approximately 40 minutes.

Check Kotor Hop on Hop off bus tours on Viator and Get Your Guide.

Top 5 Things to Do in Kotor Old Town

The great thing about Kotor cruise port is that there are plenty of things to explore in the old town just 300 ft away from the port. Here are some of the options depending on your type of interest:

1. Fort of St. John

St. John’s Fortress is probably one of the first things you will see once you approach the great city walls. If you look up you will see a church high up in the hill, but if you look beyond at the very top you will notice a fort with a waving flag of Montenegro. The construction of St. John’s Fortress started in the 9th century and lasted for six centuries. Its main purpose was to protect the Kotor town from the invaders.

If you decide you are brave enough to climb and enjoy the astonishing views of the old town and the bay, prepare yourself, as it will take approximately 1400 stairs until you reach the fortress. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and keep hydrated, as the hike can be quite strenuous.

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However, don’t be afraid if you are not that athletic to climb to the top; the view from the 16th-century Church of Our Lady of Remedy which you reach after maybe 400-500 stairs is equally beautiful and has an amazing position offering great photo opportunities!

The entrance fee varies from season to season from 8.00 € to 13.00 € per person.

Check out Kotor Old Town walking tours

The view from the Fort of St. John, Kotor port.
The view from the Fort of St. John. Photo courtesy of Iva Krivokapic.

2. Beach & Shopping

For those of you who are just looking to relax and maybe get some souvenirs, the public beach is located 8 minutes walk from the exit of the port and so is the shopping mall “Kamelija“.

They are super easy to find – Upon exiting the port turn to your left, and the first thing you will see is a little bridge and a park right after it. Stay on that path along the coast and in about 500 meters from there on your right-hand side will be the shopping center.

If you continue another 200 meters, on your left-hand side will be the public beach open for everyone. It is a pebbled beach and there is no entrance fee unless you want to use the section with chairs and umbrellas. The rental prices vary from season to season, but a set of two chairs+umbrella normally shouldn’t be more than 15.00 €-20.00 €. There is a board where you can see the prices displayed.

3. The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon

Built in the 12th century, the Romanesque Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is one of the two catholic cathedrals in Montenegro and one of the best-preserved monuments in Kotor. It was built in honor of the patron of the city Saint Tryphon, on the site of an old cathedral dating from 809.

Cathedral of Saint Tryphon - Kotor Old Town.
Cathedral of Saint Tryphon – Kotor Old Town. Image by falco from Pixabay.

The Cathedral is located inside the city walls and very easy to find – Once you pass through the city gate, you will see a clock tower and turn right. You will notice there are a lot of cobblestone streets in the old town, so be very mindful of that. Although Kotor is small, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Once you have turned to your right, keep walking down the cobblestone street until you reach a piazza (a small square) and after that, a turning to your left will bring you to this gorgeous square with many cafes and restaurants offering a stunning view of the Cathedral.

The entrance fee is around 2.00 €,  but bear in mind that it is a religious sight and covered knees and shoulders are required. To enter the cathedral there are three steps, however, accessibility to the bell towers for the wheelchairs is not possible.

4. Maritime Museum of Montenegro

At the stone’s throw from the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, you’ll come across another Kotor old town landmark – the Maritime Museum dating from the 19th century, housed in a beautiful Baroque palace. It is located in the very heart of the old town, and you will easily recognize its entrance with visible cannons in front of the palace doors.

Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed in the 1979 earthquake and rebuilt between 1982 and 1984.

The museum features a rich collection of naval artifacts, including model ships, paintings, and antique furniture, spread on two levels that you can visit in 45 minutes up to 1 hour. The admission fee for the adults is 4.00 € (with an audio guide included) and for children 1.00 €.

5. Church of Saint Luke

This lovely medieval Orthodox church dominates the Piazza Greca square known for its beautiful architecture dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods. It is the only church in the town of Kotor that hasn’t suffered severe damages during the earthquake in 1979 that almost destroyed the entire old town.

Church of Saint Luke in the port of Kotor
Church of Saint Luke. Image by katerina120289 from Pixabay.

Until the middle of the 12th century, the church used to serve as a Catholic school and was later transformed into an Orthodox church. It symbolizes the harmonious co-existence of Catholic and Orthodox people and has two altars, a Catholic and an Orthodox one.

The entrance is free of charge, however, keep in mind that is a religious sight and covered knees and shoulders are required. The church itself is one of the smallest in town and there are no steps, but in case you are using a wheelchair, make sure to catch the less crowded time to maximize your visit and overall experience.

See the list of Kotor Old Town tours

Top 5 Kotor Shore Excursions & Port Highlights

Before I share a list of the best Kotor port highlights, I must mention that you can visit many other places in Montenegro in one day as the country is very small and everything is close by. Apart from the old town landmarks, find below the top 5 port highlights that you can visit either with a shore excursion or independently (however, keep in mind that you will need to arrange transportation or rent a car). You can choose whether you want to explore the mountainside or the sea coast.

Suggested article: Pros and Cons of Booking Cruise Ship Shore Excursions

Don’t forget to grab my FREE Shore Excursion Guide!

1. Perast & Our Lady of the Rocks Island

The island Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Skrpjela) is located approximately 9 km (5.6 mi) away from the port of Kotor, across the little fisherman village of Perast. You will first spot this tiny island on your sail in Kotor and you will notice there is another one right next to it – the Saint George island that is closed to the public.

The view of Saint George island (the left one, with trees), and Our Lady of the Rocks island (on the right) from Perast
The view of Saint George island (the left one, with trees), and Our Lady of the Rocks island (on the right) from Perast. Image by Никита Степанов from Pixabay.

Our Lady of the Rocks is an artificial island, which according to the stories was made by the seamen from Perast and Kotor, who brought stones on their sailboats. The island was named after the church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rocks that proudly guards the entrance to the port. 

Our Lady of the Rocks - Kotor
Our Lady of the Rocks. Image by ravisimo from Pixabay.

According to the legend, a fisherman from Perast found an icon of the Holy Mother of God with the Christ on a nearby sea rock, and the seamen vowed to build a church on the island. The church was built in the 17th century. Man-made, the island had to be maintained because the sea and the tides would take away a certain amount of rocks each year, so the seaman continued to bring the stones. That tradition is alive even today and the custom from the old times has been recently renewed. Today it is called Fasinada from Perast and it is held at the end of the day on the 22nd of July when citizens from Kotor and Perast sail on their fishermen’s boats in a circle and throw rocks so that the island can retain its shape.

See the list of Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks tours

2. Njegusi Village

Located in the municipality of Cetinje, a 40-minute drive from the port of Kotor, Njegusi is a traditional village best known as the birthplace of the Petrovic dynasty which ruled Montenegro for almost two and a half centuries (from the end of the 17th until the 20th).

Apart from its historical importance, the village is famous for the high-quality cheese and prosciutto that you can taste in several traditional restaurants that you will find in the village. Njegusi is situated on the slopes of Mount Lovcen and is part of Lovcen National Park, so bring your camera as the landscape is breathtaking!

Keep in mind that the road to Njegusi is quite windy and if you have issues with motion sickness you should take precautions.

Suggested article: 25 Top Shore Excursion Packing List Items

See the list of Njegusi village tours

3. Blue Cave

Known as one of the major attractions on the coast of Montenegro, Blue Cave is a massive rock cave boasting crystal-clear deep blue water, popular for boat tours, kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling. The sea is approximately 5 meters deep and the cave is about 9 meters high which is enough for the boats to sail in. It is allowed to swim inside the cave and snorkeling is quite enjoyable here, so make sure you bring your snorkel gear.

Suggested article: Snorkel Gear and Scuba Diving Equipment – Tips by a Pro!

Blue Cave in Montenegro
Blue Cave. Photo courtesy of Marina Zambata.

Blue Cave is located around 24 km (15 mi) away from the port of Kotor on the stunning Lustica Peninsula, close to Montenegro’s border with Croatia. To get there, you can either embark on a boat in the port of Kotor that will take you to the Blue Cave (a ride lasts around 1 hour), or you can take a bus from Kotor port to Zanjic beach where you’ll embark on one of the boats. The bus ride takes around 40 minutes. The time spent in the cave is usually 20-30 minutes, and it can be crowded due to a large number of visitors.

Explore Blue Cave tours

4. Lipa Cave

Lipa Cave is one of the largest cave systems in Montenegro featuring approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.6 mi) of winding passages and chambers filled with impressive geological formations, ornaments, and an underground river. It starts close to the village of Lipa and stretches into the mountains lining the Adriatic sea. The temperature in the cave is around 10°C, so make sure to bring some warm clothes even in the summer months.

It takes an approximately 1-hour drive from the port of Kotor to Lipa Cave. If you suffer from motion sickness, I suggest you take seasickness pills before the ride as the roads are quite windy. The cave is open from April to November, and the standard tour of the cave lasts 1 hour. The adult price is 10.90 €, children aged 5-15/6.90 €, and for children under 5 is 1.00 €. For more adventurous ones, adrenaline tours are offered as well.

Check out Lipa Cave tours

5. Porto Montenegro

Situated only 20 minutes drive from the port of Kotor, in the city of Tivat, Porto Montenegro is a new, luxurious marina filled with luxurious yachts, hotels, high-end stores, restaurants, and bars – a true paradise for luxury lovers!

The pavements in the entire marina are flat and perfect for anyone, including the ones with some walking difficulties. It’s a perfect place for a nice coffee with a view where you will get that beautiful picture of Montenegro but with a modern twist.

Check out Porto Montenegro tours

Book a round trip transfer to Porto Montenegro

To Wrap Up

The wild beauty of Montenegro and the old port of Kotor will enchant you the moment your ship sails in the bay of Kotor. There is a lot to see and do, so make sure you plan your day ahead to maximize your stay.

Check out today’s cruise deals from Cruise Critic!

Happy cruising and enjoy your day on the Adriatic coast!

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

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4 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to the Port of Kotor, Montenegro”

  1. Izabel Todeschini

    Great ! Thank you for all the fantastic informations ! You will guide us – my family and I – around Kotor. Be sure that you will be with us exploring this city. Thanks again.

  2. We have a stop at Kotor, Montenegro with our cruise coming up in October. We like to do “local” stuff, like eat or have a draft beer at a local pub. Could you recommend anything like that? Specifically a popular local spot for a beer or a local dish?

    1. Hi there! Hmm, it’s been a while since I went to Kotor and I can’t think of any specific restaurant, but I know for sure that Balkan food is fantastic and that restaurants generally serve quality food. Meat is popular in the Balkans (look for the “cevapi” dish) but you can also try some local seafood or catch of the day. Make sure you taste “Njegusi” prosciutto, local cheese, “kajmak” and “burek”, a pastry filled with cheese, meat or plain (“yogurt” goes perfectly with burek). To top off, taste a glass of “rakija” – the local brandy generally popular in the Balkans (but beware, it normally contains a high percentage of alcohol). I hope this is helpful and I wish you a great cruise! 🙂

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