Montenegro
Apr 2021
1 week

Kotor

The most beautiful scenery in the Balkans, but leave your laptop at home.

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A small fortified town in Montenegro, renowned for its stunning architecture and picturesque setting.

Its UNESCO-listed Old Town is a maze of medieval architecture, set against the dramatic backdrop of mount Lovcen.

Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

A beautiful place for a couple of days' holiday, but too quaint to be somewhere to work from. Apart from tourism, there's very little going on. Would include it in a wider itinerary of Montenegro.

🌎
Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

A beautiful place for a couple of days' holiday, but too quaint to be somewhere to work from. Apart from tourism, there's very little going on. Would include it in a wider itinerary of Montenegro.

Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

A beautiful place for a couple of days' holiday, but too quaint to be somewhere to work from. Apart from tourism, there's very little going on. Would include it in a wider itinerary of Montenegro.

👎
Verdict:
Consider for a holiday

A beautiful place for a couple of days' holiday, but too quaint to be somewhere to work from. Apart from tourism, there's very little going on. Would include it in a wider itinerary of Montenegro.

🛫
Euro (EUR)
20,000
🏝️ Great for a holiday

Summary

As part of a tour in the Balkans in 2021, Montenegro was the next natural destination after a few weeks in Tirana. I'd always wanted to visit Kotor but the opportunity hadn't arisen prrior.

Accommodation
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

If booking out of peak season, some great deals can be had booking a flat for a week on Airbnb. If visiting solely for leisure, there's a vast array of hotels stretching out all across the bay.

info
New legislation
Recent changes introduced by the Turkish government has made short-term rentals for under 100 days more restricted. Keep an eye on Reddit threads for up-to-date assessments of how the new legislation is impacting short-term rentals in practice.
Places to work
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Since I visited, a few coworking options are now available in neighbouring Tivat. Even still, you'd be reliant on a car or local bus making it less than ideal. Not a great range of coffee shops to work from within the main old town.

Value
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Even though it is a predominantly tourist destination, restaurant prices are great value whilst compared to Western European destinations. Great deals on accommodation outside of the tourist season.

info
The yen is currently at a 34-year low
While this is undoubtedly a negative for the Japanese, it makes for an exceptionally good time to visit Japan from abroad. Although this trend is unlikely to reverse significantly in the short term, it's still worth checking before visiting.
Read more
View the cost of living
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Working hours
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Montenegro operates on Central European Time (CET), aligning with Western Europe.

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Where to stay

If you've got a car you may want to consider being further out, otherwise your best bet is to be in the centre of town.

Would avoid
Recommended
Old Town
Kotor is a small place but there's no harm in being as close to the old town for ease of convenience.

Where to work

To the best of my knowledge, there is nowhere suitable to work here.
If you find somewhere, drop me a message! 

Remote work visa

No remote work visa
Remote work visa available
Remote work visa coming soon
If staying for a prolonged period, you may want to consider a dedicated visa for this destination.
This country is actively working on a visa support for remote workers.
Check your government website for details of how to obtain a tourist visa.

Montenegro plans to introduce a 2-year renewable Digital Nomad Visa by 2025, exempting holders from income tax to attract remote workers and improve digital infrastructure. Program rollout starts this year, but requirements are still forthcoming.

View full details
To the best of my knowledge this information was correct as of 27th April 2024. If you notice something has changed drop me a message and I'll update it!

Citizen Remote is a great source of up to date knowledge for everything to do with remote work visas.

Safety

Off-work

Walk or cycle up the Serpentine

Easily within one of my top 5 cycle rides, the hairpin bends ascending the mountain out of the town provide amazing views over the bay of Kotor and far into the distance. If you make it over the top, there are plentiful dining options on the way to Cetinje, Etno Selo Sveti Georgije was a perfect rest stop.

Learn more
Explore the Old Town

UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting medieval charm, ancient walls, and views into the bay ahead,

Day trip to Tivat

Upmarket Tivat is home to a marina and numerous upmarket eating options. Worth the 20 minute drive from Kotor, or even better, a cycle around the dividing mountain.

Explore the Old Town

UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting medieval charm, ancient walls, and views into the bay ahead,

Walk or cycle up the Serpentine

Easily within one of my top 5 cycle rides, the hairpin bends ascending the mountain out of the town provide amazing views over the bay of Kotor and far into the distance. If you make it over the top, there are plentiful dining options on the way to Cetinje, Etno Selo Sveti Georgije was a perfect rest stop.

Day trip to Tivat

Upmarket Tivat is home to a marina and numerous upmarket eating options. Worth the 20 minute drive from Kotor, or even better, a cycle around the dividing mountain.

Duration & season

Mid April provided perfect weather for exploring the outdoors nearby, cooler than the mid summer peaks where your options may be limited unless you are planning on heading to a nearby beach.

Unless you are intentionally looking for some peace and solitude, you could do everything you want to in Kotor as a day or overnight trip. A week there was fine, but I would have no desire to return for any period of time as a working destination.

Food & drink

Kotor Serpentine
·
Cycle
A strong contender for my all time favourite cycle ride. Countless hairpin turns take you out of the valley and give you incredible views over the area.
Kotor - Herceg Novi
·
Cycle
The roads between Kotor and Herceg Novi make for ideal cycling conditions. Plenty of stops for coffee and snacks en route.
Old Kotor Fort Trail
·
Walk
Not quite as impressive as the view from the Serpentine but easily accessible from the town centre. Aggressively steep in parts.

People

There's a small local population in the town, with that number swelling coming into the peak season and summer months. I observed nothing in the way of any remote work community, with neighbouring Budva & Tivat more likely to be bases.

Exercise

Kotor Serpentine
A strong contender for my all time favourite cycle ride. Countless hairpin turns take you out of the valley and give you incredible views over the area.
keyboard_arrow_down
Kotor - Herceg Novi
The roads between Kotor and Herceg Novi make for ideal cycling conditions. Plenty of stops for coffee and snacks en route.
keyboard_arrow_down
Old Kotor Fort Trail
Not quite as impressive as the view from the Serpentine but easily accessible from the town centre. Aggressively steep in parts.
keyboard_arrow_down
Kotor Serpentine
A strong contender for my all time favourite cycle ride. Countless hairpin turns take you out of the valley and give you incredible views over the area.
Kotor - Herceg Novi
The roads between Kotor and Herceg Novi make for ideal cycling conditions. Plenty of stops for coffee and snacks en route.
Old Kotor Fort Trail
Not quite as impressive as the view from the Serpentine but easily accessible from the town centre. Aggressively steep in parts.

Verdict

Positives
  • As beautiful as it looks in the photos.Stunning scenery around the bay of Kotor makes it a great base for outdoor pursuits. An ideal place for hiking & cycling.
  • Good value for a European destination.Outside of peak season some good deals can be had on accommodation and restaurants are cheaper than you would expect in a major European city.
  • Good transport connections.Frequent buses are available back to Podgorica or other neighbouring towns.
  • Peaceful quiet and serene.If you are looking for somewhere to unwind away from the hustle of the city, this could be a perfect antidote.
  • Unspoilt architecture.Compared to Budva which has an abundance of high rise towers being built, Kotor has retained it's traditional aesthetic.
  • Outside of the Schengen Zone.If for whatever reason you have reached your limit of time available within the Schengen group of countries, Montenegro is an alternative.  
Negatives
  • Very quiet.Outside of peak season there is a small local population and nothing resembling a community for remote workers.
  • No proper beaches close to the town centre.There are some small pebble bays but if you are looking for closer proximity to beaches you are better off in Budva.
  • No options for coworking.There appears to be some options now available in nearby Tivat, but you would have to have access to a car or take the bus.
  • Not the best selection for food & drink.There is a fair selection of resturaunts but these are more geared towards holiday makers than grabbing something quickly.
Tips
  • Kotor is easily reachable from Tivat or Budva. Unless intentionally wanting to spend a peaceful week here, it makes an ideal day trip if staying in one of the other more active nearby towns.
  • Herceg Novi is worth a day trip.A larger town a senic hours drive which hugs the coast line towards Croatia.
  • The Croatian border is within a 90 minute drive. Dubrovnik would be feasible as a day trip if you've got your own transport.
  • Give Podgorica a miss.I ventured through the capital on a couple of times and it may be the most underwhelming cities in Europe.
Planning a trip?
I loved everything about this trip to Japan. I've put together some thoughts on my entire stay in the country, which may come in handy if you are planning a visit soon.
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