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Visiting Kotor, Montenegro With Children


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The medieval walled metropolis of Kotor in Montenegro is among the nice gems of the Adriatic coast in southeastern Europe. To place it bluntly, we liked visiting Kotor with our children. Montenegro was the 4th out of 11 international locations we’re visiting on our present journey, and it was our children’ favourite to this point.

Based on the youngsters themselves, they liked Kotor and Perast probably the most as a result of they’d so many cats, which they actually did. However as dad and mom we might inform that it was extra than simply that.

Our kids putting flowers on a cat in a restaurant in Kotor
Poor cat…(Like my images? See my favourite mirrorless digicam for touring!)

Kotor proved to be an ideal household vacation spot for a number of causes: a very good stability between beautiful surroundings and fairy tale-like points of interest, a really compact and simply walkable Outdated City, a couple of kid-specific issues to do which I’ll cowl beneath, low cost gelato, budget-friendly flats to select from, and a difficult however doable hike with epic views.

For those who’re visiting Montenegro with children, whether or not touring independently or taking a cruise with your loved ones, then certainly you’ll be spending a while in Kotor’s UNESCO designated Outdated City. On this article I’ll cowl every thing you could find out about visiting Kotor with children.

Our kids looking into a canon just outside the old city walls of Kotor Montenegro
Canons simply exterior the Sea Gate of the Kotor Outdated Metropolis Wall

I’ll additionally cowl methods to go to close by Perast with children, which I might extremely suggest spending a couple of days in as an alternative of simply visiting as a day journey from Kotor. You actually can’t miss Kotor, however we really appreciated Perast much more!

For a extra common introduction to Kotor’s historical past and its high points of interest, please seek the advice of my information to Kotor, which incorporates concepts for day journeys. For those who’re planing to go to Dubrovnik, Croatia on the identical journey, which is just a few hours away, then you may learn all about it in my guides to visiting Dubrovnik with children and the greatest locations to go to in Croatia with children!

Basic Ideas for Visiting Kotor with Children

– There are virtually no stairs (until you climb as much as Kotor Fortress), however the streets are made from bumpy cobblestone. For guests with youthful youngsters, contemplate leaving the stroller at dwelling and/or choosing a very good child provider as an alternative.

– The Outdated Metropolis is sufficiently small to cowl in its entirety on foot, even for the little ones, and by chance there are not any vehicles allowed!

– A enjoyable technique to go to Perast and different scenic stops on the Bay of Kotor with children is by driving on the Kotor Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, which even consists of an audio information.

– If attainable, keep away from visiting Kotor in summer season, when the warmth may be oppressive and crowds can clog the outdated metropolis’s slim lanes. The shoulder season is good (we liked it in October, although it nonetheless obtained very busy within the noon). Keep away from winter, although, when it may be wet, chilly, and lots of companies are closed.

– Select a very good condo to flee to within the warmth of the day. See my suggestions for the place to remain in Kotor with children on the finish of the article!

– I’d counsel spending no less than two nights in Kotor with youngsters. We really stayed for 3, as a result of I spent one entire day doing a day-trip from Kotor to Ostrog Monastery alone, which I wouldn’t actually suggest with children because it requires a two-hour return hike, until you go on a guided day tour.

Our kids in front of a gelato stand in Kotor
Gelato: the motivation that will get each child by means of daily on a visit to this a part of the world

Attending to Kotor with Children

Most individuals go to Kotor as a cease on a cruise, by touring to Kotor from Dubrovnik in neighboring Croatia, or by flying into the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica.

We flew in to Podgorica on an excellent low cost flight from Naples after we traveled round Italy with our children. We scored the flight on kiwi.com, however because the capital didn’t appear to have an entire lot to do with children, we determined to move straight to Kotor. We booked a taxi upfront through Montenegro Tour Operator, and it solely price 48 euros for the 1.5-hour drive. The motive force was additionally actually well mannered {and professional}.

We arrived at Podgorica within the early night and needed to get to Kotor as rapidly as attainable to get the youngsters to mattress, however even in case you are arriving within the daytime, I might nonetheless recommending reserving the non-public switch. It barely prices extra for an entire household, contemplating that it’s important to take a taxi from the airport to the bus station earlier than you even get on the Kotor bus. As a phrase of warning for youths who expertise carsickness, the drive from Podgorica to Kotor was very winding.

For those who do go by bus, a taxi from the airport to the bus station will price you 10€, and one-way tickets from Podgorica to Kotor are 6.50€ (children 5-10 50% off, college students 25% off). You may e book your tickets on-line at Busticket4.me and anticipate the entire journey, from touchdown on the airport to arriving in Kotor, to take 3-4 hours.

We additionally used Montenegro Tour Operator for a non-public switch from Perast to our subsequent cease, Dubrovnik in Croatia for 98 euros, which once more wasn’t way more than if we had taken the bus, and saved us the difficulty of hauling our baggage and children onto a bus.

The bus from Kotor to Dubrovnik (or Dubrovnik to Kotor) takes about 2 hours and quarter-hour and prices 18€ (children 2-7 50% off, college students 25% off), in the event you do resolve to take it.

Whereas we wouldn’t suggest speeding like this with children, it’s even attainable to go to Kotor as a day journey from Dubrovnik.

For an additional well-liked day journey from Dubrovnik, contemplate visiting Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Issues to do in Kotor with Children

Listed below are 10 concepts in your Kotor itinerary with children, and they’re precisely what we did throughout our time there. I attempted to stability issues which are enjoyable for youths but in addition enable Mother and Dad to see the very best of what Kotor has to supply.

I might suggest protecting the Outdated City points of interest in your first morning, then spending the afternoon on the seashore or cruising the Bay of Kotor. For those who resolve to hike as much as the Kotor Fortress, do that early within the morning earlier than you try in your final day.

Exploring Kotor’s Stari Grad (Outdated City)

Exploring the lanes and squares of Kotor with children

Whether or not the youngsters prefer it or not, because of this you got here to Kotor, proper? Children of any age ought to nonetheless have the ability to recognize the appeal of this city straight from a fairy story, with its glimmering cobblestone streets, medieval structure, and small lanes to discover.

Fortunately the Outdated City may be very small. You’ll nonetheless most likely get disoriented a couple of occasions, however that’s a part of the enjoyable, and in the event you simply maintain going, you at all times find yourself again at a principal sq. or landmark.

Our kids walking through a deserted street of Stari Grad (Old Town) in Kotor, Montenegro

Our children did take pleasure in wandering, particularly early within the morning after they have been stuffed with power, it wasn’t too scorching out but, and the streets have been virtually totally empty.

Issues begin opening up round 8 a.m. (summer season) or 9 a.m. (low season), and by midday the city turns into so filled with tour teams (particularly when a cruise ship docks on the port and unloads its passengers), so it’s a very good thought to discover early and do one thing extra restful within the afternoon.

For those who want to let an area present your loved ones round, contemplate becoming a member of a small group tour or hiring a non-public information.

Assembly the Well-known Cats of Kotor

Our kids petting a cat in front of a church in Kotor

A couple of weeks earlier than Montenegro, we have been in Istanbul with our children and couldn’t imagine what number of cats there have been. Till we got here to Kotor.

The Outdated City of Kotor is overrun with stray cats. They are often seen all over the place, lounging within the city’s squares, receiving strokes from pedestrians, and mooching for meals at tables. The folks and outlets of Kotor appear to all assist out feeding the cats, and you’ll see feeders and water dishes all over the place.

My son petting a cat in his lap in a restaurant in Kotor

I even learn someplace that, in keeping with legend, cats saved town of Kotor within the Austro-Hungarian conflict, however I can’t affirm that 🙂

Our children love cats. We even purchased them every a feathered cat teaser in Istanbul, which got here in helpful in Kotor, too! Going wherever within the Outdated Metropolis concerned fixed stops to tease and pet cats.

Sage petting a cat on a wall in the Old City of Kotor

If you wish to assist out the cats of Kotor, don’t miss the Kotor Cats Museum, which includes a assortment of cat work, souvenirs, and some resident felines. The small entrance payment goes towards serving to town’s strays. After being closed for a couple of years, Kotor Cats Museum is lastly open once more.

My wife teasing two cats at the Kotor Cats Museum
Cats guarding the Kotor Cats Museum, presently closed for renovations

Cat lovers must also try the store Cats of Kotor, which has some good cat-themed jewellery and souvenirs. The unique store is close to the doorway to the Kotor Fortress hike, and we noticed a second one in a small lane within the heart of the Outdated City.

My son standing by the sign of the Cats of Kotor shop
The cats of Kotor store (no images allowed inside)

One draw back of all of the cats within the already jam-packed Outdated City is that a lot of the city smells like cat pee. Just a bit heads up about that…

We additionally liked visiting Amalfi Coast, Italy with our children!

Visiting Kotor’s Church buildings with Children

Our kids in the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Kotor Cathedral)
We had the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Kotor Cathedral) all to ourselves within the early morning

In case your children can deal with some sightseeing, there are some historic points of interest on the town you gained’t wish to miss.

The highest attraction in Kotor is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Kotor Cathedral), which opens at 8 a.m. (9 a.m. once we visited in October). Entrance is 2€ for adults and free for younger children (a particular age restrict was not indicated, like at many different locations we visited in Montenegro, however they at all times let our children in free).

Our two kids on the second floor outdoor baclony of Kotor Cathedral
On the 2nd flooring balcony of the Cathedral of St. Tryphon

The payment consists of entrance to a treasury of serious artworks on the second flooring. My children haven’t discovered about Christianity but, so the vivid photos of Jesus on the cross obtained them asking a variety of questions.

We have been the one ones within the church once we visited very first thing within the morning. The children’ favourite half was lighting candles for a small donation, and looking out down on the sq. beneath from the church’s second flooring.

Our kids lights candles in Kotor Cathedral
Lighting candles in Kotor Cathedral

The Church of Saint Nicholas is the second hottest church in Kotor and undoubtedly value a glance as nicely; the youngsters could discover it somewhat “spookier” than the primary.

Climbing on the Kotor Outdated Metropolis Partitions

Our kids in a park by a water fountain in front of Kampana Tower and Citadel, Kotor Old Town
Kampana Tower within the background, which may simply be climbed from contained in the Outdated City with children

Stari Grad (Kotor Outdated City) is a walled metropolis. There are three entrances to the Outdated City: the Sea Gate is the place most individuals enter, whereas there’s additionally an entrance on the north and south ends.

The Outdated Metropolis partitions run alongside the west (ocean) and north (river) facet of the city, whereas to the east the partitions snake up Mount Lovcen to Kotor Foretress (see #5 beneath).

Whereas its not attainable to stroll round the entire Outdated City alongside the partitions like you are able to do in Dubrovnik, there are a number of elements the place you may climb stairs as much as it. The most secure one to go to with children is at Kampana Tower and Citadel (pictured above) within the southwest nook of town.

My wife and kids walking along the old city walls of Kotor
A not tremendous secure part of the outdated metropolis partitions that we climbed up across the South Gate
Walking along the city walls of kotor with our kids
One other part across the South Gate of Kotor Outdated City

For different spots, together with Gurdic Basion (South Gate), Valier Bastion (above the Sea Gate), and across the north gate, the steps going up and sections of wall you may stroll on are crumbling in some areas, and in some locations there are vertical drops with no fence. Take excessive warning in case you are visiting with children, particularly toddlers, or give these sections a miss altogether.

Our kids looking at Gurdic Bastion in Kotor
Simply exterior Gurdic Bastion (South Gate)

For those who make it to the North Gate, make sure to cross the bridge over the river, from the place you may see a fantastic view of the mountains, Outdated Metropolis partitions, and the Scurda River beneath is filled with fish.

Mountaineering to Kotor Fortress

Our family at Fortress of Saint John (Kotor Fortress)
Proof that we made it to the highest of Kotor Fortress!

One of many must-do issues in Kotor, even with children, is climbing up the 1355 steps to Kotor Fortress (Saint John’s Fortress). The paths zigzags steeply up from the northeast nook of the Outdated City, following the Outdated Metropolis partitions up Mount Lovcen.

Is it possible to hike to Kotor Fortress with kids? Yes!

The doorway payment is 8€ (Might to October, 8 a.m. to eight p.m.), younger children free. For those who get there earlier than 8 a.m., you may hike up free of charge. One other free different is the tremendous zigzagging Ladder of Kotor hike, which additionally connects to Kotor Fortress close to the highest. Doing the hike within the morning is really useful for the very best angle of daylight, and earlier than the day will get too scorching.

My son hiking down from Kotor Fortress

So is it the hike to Kotor Fortress appropriate for youths? I truthfully wasn’t certain if mine would make it, however we needed to strive. The children did awesomely nicely, and solely began asking to be carried once we have been practically on the high.

My wife and kids on Old City wall hike to Saint John's Fortress in Kotor
Emily and the youngsters. I Photoshopped two different folks out of this image. Attempt to guess the place!

We noticed a number of different dad and mom with younger children who appeared to be doing nice too, however we did see one mom with a daughter (maybe age 5) who was in tears and begging to not must proceed. So it’s going to all rely in your children, and what they will deal with!

My wife and kids at a lookout point on the way up to Kotor Fortress
Price each step for that view!

Even in the event you don’t make all of it the way in which to the highest, you don’t must hike up very excessive earlier than the views over the Outdated City and Bay of Kotor turn into unimaginable, and there are quite a few spots to cease and take footage. You gained’t be massively lacking out on something in the event you don’t make all of it the way in which to the fortress!

My daughter petting a cat on the walk to Kotor Fortress
One among many cats lengthy the way in which…
Lavender hiking down from Kotor Fortress
Eagerly hopping again down…

Child-Pleasant Bay of Kotor Cruise

My son driving a boat on the Bay of Kotor, with my daughter facing him
Our children took command of the ship on our Kotor Bay cruise

Kotor sits on a secluded nook of the Bay of Kotor (additionally known as “Boka”). The bay is far bigger than what you may see from Kotor, and it’s dotted with picturesque villages and church buildings, together with two on tiny islets in entrance of the village of Perast.

For our cruise, we went for the semi-submarine journey on the Bay of Kotor, totally for the youngsters. We booked our tickets on GetYourGuide, and the method to e book and present up for the exercise was very simple and went easily.

Semi-submarine cruise on Boka (Bay of Kotor)
The “semi-submarine” that we cruised on with our children

We have been the one ones on our colourful “submarine”, so this was a fantastic deal for what turned out to be a non-public cruise! It was solely an hour lengthy (good for the youngsters). We didn’t make it so far as Perast, which was nice since we have been going to remain there subsequent.

The captain was nice with the youngsters; he did this factor the place he poked their nostril and made the boat honk on the similar time, and so they couldn’t get sufficient of it. He additionally let each of them steer the boat for a while (the youngsters have been actually in management, he wasn’t even close to the steering wheel!)

Sage climbing ladder down into our submarine in Kotor
The underwater portion of our “semi submarine”

Our solely grievance: we didn’t see any fish! We do not know why, because the bay appears to be teeming with them, and the home windows have been clear. So general, I’d say that this was a enjoyable technique to take pleasure in a cruise on the Bay of Kotor with younger children in comparison with driving on one of many typical motorboats, and the youngsters had enjoyable happening and taking part in within the underwater a part of the ship, however don’t go anticipating anticipating a type of marine life-spotting cruise!

In case your children are older, then I’d suggest a motorboat tour like this one, which incorporates stopping at Our Woman of the Rocks (the floating church in entrance of Perast) and swimming within the magnificent Blue Cave.

Older youngsters or youngsters might also take pleasure in a guided kayak tour or stand-up paddle boarding on the Bay of Kotor.

Playground at Park Slobode

Playground at Park Slobode in Kotor

Simply north of Kotor’s Outdated City and Kotor Port (the place huge cruise ships dock virtually daily) is Park Slobode. In all honesty the park and the playground are nothing particular, but it surely may very well be a means for these touring to Kotor with toddlers to flee from the Outdated Metropolis and get some contemporary air and area for some time.

Motorboat excursions and our semi-submarine cruise begin from the waterfront within the park, only a few steps from the playground, so it solely made sense for us to spend some time within the playground whereas passing by.

To get there, exit the Outdated Metropolis from the Sea Gate, flip proper, and stroll simply previous the tip of the Outdated Metropolis wall earlier than crossing the road towards the water.

Kotor Seashore

Kotor Beach

For those who proceed strolling about 5 minutes previous Slobode Park, you’ll attain the primary seashore in Kotor. The seashore consists principally of pebbles and has solar loungers for rent in summer season in addition to a free part.

We by no means made it to the seashore throughout our keep, however we rode proper by it on our submarine cruise. It’s fairly lengthy and has a big sectioned-off swimming space.

We did go swimming a couple of days later in close by Perast, and the water was fairly chilly (nonetheless simply barely swimmable in the event you’re courageous sufficient) in mid-October. In summer season, you may anticipate the seashore to be packed.

Kotor Farmer’s Market

Lavender in the Kotor Farmer's Market, the best place to buy groceries in Kotor

We have been pleasantly shocked by Kotor’s Farmer’s Market, which is ready up below a bit of the Outdated City wall. To search out it simply exit the Outdated City from the Sea Gate, flip left, and stroll 100 meters.

We went there to select up some native fruit and greens for getting ready a couple of meals. However moreover that, we ended up leaving with bread, a ton of cheese, olives, raspberry wine, prosciutto, dried figs, and extra.

The children scored numerous free samples, and loved serving to to decide on the substances for our subsequent meal.

My daughter pretending to eat a ring of dried figs at Kotor Market
Lavender being Lavender…with figs

Visiting Perast with Children

Visiting Perast with kids Montenegro
Proper in entrance of our condo in Perast

As I discussed at first of the article, we appreciated tiny Perast much more than Kotor, and right here’s my information to Perast. However don’t even contemplate skipping Kotor!

Kotor is the place it’s essential to go to in Montenegro. Its Outdated Metropolis is one thing to behold, and few views are as epic because the one from Kotor Fortress. Having mentioned that, town is swamped with vacationers, noisy, and busy on a regular basis.

I suppose that’s why we liked chilling out for a couple of days in Perast a lot. The waterfront village is tiny (you may stroll from one finish to the opposite in 10 minutes (make that 30+ minutes with children, with all of the stops to pet cats and take a look at fish).

However there are nonetheless a number of issues to see in Perast, together with some spectacular church buildings, palaces, and taking a ship journey to Our Woman of the Rocks, a man-made island with a monastery on it. There’s additionally a tiny seashore on the town, which doubles as Pirates Bar in summer season.

Our kids watching the sunset in Perast, Montenegro
Sure, the photograph was awkwardly staged, but it surely’s nonetheless cute, proper?

However most of all, we liked how Perast was so quiet. I imply completely SILENT after all of the day-trippers went dwelling. We additionally liked the implausible condo we stayed in, run by a retired Serbian lady.

Our condo was in a 300-year-old stone home, and every of our rooms had a balcony with a view of the ocean. Within the again, we dined on a terrace below a kiwi tree. In some ways, our keep in Perast was type of how we envisioned the right laid-back European countryside vacation.

You may seek for different lodging offers in Perast right here.

Visiting the beach in Perast Montenegro with kids
The tiny however very scenic slice of seashore in Perast

Most individuals go to Perast for 1-2 hours, we stayed for 2 nights, and we wished we might chill on the market for 2 weeks.

You may take the Blue Line bus from Kotor straight into Perast village (different buses additionally cowl the route however solely cease on the freeway above city). Nonetheless, taking children + baggage onto a bus is just not really useful. We took a metered taxi and it price simply over 20 euros.

Perast can also be a cease on the Kotor Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.

The place to Keep in Kotor with Children

Our kids on the bed in our family friendly apartment in Kotor
Our actually cute condo in Kotor

In fact, similar to most guests, we needed to remain in Stari Grad (the Outdated City) for our Kotor go to in order that we may very well be proper among the many sights. Nonetheless, the draw back of that is that the Outdated City may be very noisy. Eating places and bars play music till late at evening, and even speaking from folks on the road beneath funnels up the slim lanes between buildings. The city’s church bells additionally ring recurrently, beginning very early within the morning.

We determined to take an opportunity anyway and booked this condo smack in the midst of town. The condo had a kitchen and two flooring, however the promoting level for us was the superior little balcony overlooking Kotor’s signature orange rooftops and even a bit of the Outdated Metropolis wall on the mountain.

My son on the rooftop balcony of our Airbnb in Kotor
Our balcony with an superior view

It was certainly noisy, however not as unhealthy as we anticipated (summer season’s are most likely a lot worse). The children slept although all of it, but it surely was somewhat tougher for us.

I might counsel bringing earplugs, or reserving an condo in a quiet nook of the Outdated Metropolis, akin to La Dolce Vita Residences. I did severely contemplate this condo earlier than selecting ours; it appears actually beautiful, however is somewhat pricier.

Nonetheless, the condo we did select in Kotor ended up being the bottom value we paid for lodging on our total two-month journey in Europe, and it was nonetheless a very good one!

One other quieter possibility could be to remain simply exterior the Outdated City, akin to extremely rated Condo Ana.

Properly, I hope you’ve discovered all the knowledge you wanted right here for your loved ones journey to Kotor, Montenegro. I welcome any feedback or questions beneath!

I by no means journey and not using a good guidebook! Listed below are a couple of extremely really useful ones:




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