Which is better, Budva or Kotor? A guide to both towns

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budva or kotor

Kotor and Budva are both delightful travel destinations in Montenegro. If you have time, then a visit to both is ideal. The two towns are only 25km apart so you could easily do both for a couple of days. But if you really do have to choose, then here’s our Kotor versus Budva run down to help you make the best decision. We’ve ranked both towns for Solo Travellers, Couples, Groups, Hen and Stag Dos and Families.


Is Budva or Kotor better for Solo Travellers?


Budva could be great for you if you’re travelling solo and want a sense of anonymity as you travel. This town is thronging with people during high season. It’s the perfect place for an inconspicuous quiet solo dinner.

There’s also lots to keep you occupied as a solo traveller in Budva with many beaches to explore and hikes along the coast available. If you’re into Paddle Boarding or up for an excursion then Budva has many options. However, if you’re looking to meet people in Budva it could be quite difficult unless you stay in one of the hostels. Most visitors are couples or families.


Kotor is a really compact town, yet there are 4 hostels in the area within a small space. Because of it’s small size and chilled vibe, it feels quite geared to solo travellers. You’re likely to meet fellow solo travellers here as there are a limited number of late night bars and also one main beach. There are excursions, such as boat tours, and some good hiking too.

Lotus Eaters Verdict: Kotor Wins

Is Budva or Kotor better for Friends and Groups?


For friends and groups Budva may be ideal. There are lots of different restaurants to choose from, many of which have big tables. You’d rarely need to queue for a bar or restaurant as the town caters for mass tourism.

There are lots of activities available, such as private boat hire which would favour a large group. Finally, Budva has some large Airbnb properties available, and the prices remain quite low if booked in advance or for low season.


Kotor is compact, but there are lots of bars and restaurants including some good beach club style bars that would enable groups to spend a full day swimming and drinking. Some smaller restaurants may not accommodate groups. Airbnb’s for groups are available, but most larger properties are not near to the Old Town or Beach.

Lotus Eaters Verdict: Budva Wins

Is Budva or Kotor better for Stag or Hen Groups?


Budva is basically a Stag or Hen do dream. Cocktails, nightclubs and DJs by night and boat trips, jet skis and beach clubs by day. There’s more than enough activity for a stag or hen group, if you’re after a beach side shin dig.

Read more here if you’re considering it.


Kotor could suit some smaller Stag or Hen groups if looking for something a little lower key and civilized. There are some beach bars with reasonably priced cocktails and also some activities. There is one nightclub, but don’t expect the partying to go on until the wee hours as it does in Budva.

Read more here if you’re considering it.

Lotus Eaters Verdict: Budva Wins

Is Budva or Kotor better for Couples?


If you’re travelling as a couple and you like lots of water sports activities to punctuate relaxing on the beach, then Budva could suit you well. For evenings out there is also a lovely old town and massive promenade filled with restaurants and bars, some operating as beach clubs through the day.

There are plenty of small apartments to rent that would suit couples too, some close to the old town. Personally, we feel that Budva is a bit “forcibly romantic” for our taste, with lots of restaurants serenading couples as they dine.


If, however, you like a more chilled break, then Kotor may be more suited. We think Kotor is slightly more authentically romantic, with its low-key vibes and larger old town. The mountain backdrop also feels really special and the smaller beach more intimate. Plus, Kotor is less busy meaning couples can enjoy a quieter dinner ambience. Kayaking around the bay in a 2-person boat is a winner too! For active couples, you could hike in Kotor or head to nearby Lovcen national park.

Lotus Eaters Verdict: Kotor Wins

Is Budva or Kotor better for Families?


For families, Budva comes into it’s own. First off, its push chair friendly. Secondly, those with younger kids will enjoy the kids play centres with trampolines, as well as the vast amount of space on the beach for play time. Kids can swim safely and as there are lots of kids around, there are opportunities to make friends. For families with older children, you’ll find arcades, water sports and other sports opportunities. Budva is reminiscent of family holidays in Spain in the 1990s.


Whilst Kotor is family friendly, a small beach and some activities, we think that families with small or older children could become quite bored in Kotor. It doesn’t have the space that Budva has or the different beaches to enjoy. Restaurants tend to be fairly quiet too, as opposed to the more bustling hives of noise that they are in Budva.

Lotus Eaters Verdict: Budva Wins

Is Budva or Kotor more expensive?

In our experience, the prices in Budva and Kotor are pretty similar. However, Budva has more infrastructure so cheaper accommodation can be more plentiful. Prices for restaurants and drinks are marginally higher in Budva however.

Here’s an overview of costs in both towns:

Accommodation (Budget)15 to 30 Euros15 to 30 Euros
Accommodation (Mid-Range)30 to 100 Euros30 to 100 Euros
Dinner10-15 Euros8 to 12 Euros
Drinks (Glass of wine or large beer) 5 Euros/ 3-4Euros5 Euros/ 3-4 Euros

Which is better for food, Budva or Kotor?

On balance, Budva has more choice and more of a range. There are a vast number of restaurants along the seafront, many of which are quite good value. You can find Montenegro cuisine, local meals or Italian restaurants and even Chinese.

Find out more about dining in Budva here.

Kotor is smaller of course, there is less choice for food. We actually ended up visiting many of the same restaurants multiple times. But, I would say that the quality of food is better in Kotor than Budva, particularly if you enjoy seafood.

Find out more about dining in Kotor here.

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