The tiny town of Perast on the shores of the Bay of Kotor is very popular with tourists today. There are only 350 inhabitants of the city but more than 300 thousand tourists visit it every year. Learn all about Perast, get a a map of the TOP attractions, coordinates of the best restaurants, beaches. There will be also about oyster farms and much more. The most comprehensive overview of the city awaits you.

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Perast observation deck
View of Perast and Kotor Bay. In the bell tower in the photo there is an observation deck, read about it below.

Perast: general information and a brief history

Some important details from the history of Perast.

  • The first settlements in this place were founded by the Illyrians before Christ.
  • Perast has been conquered dozens of times throughout its history. It was ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians and then became part of Yugoslavia.
  • The city developed most actively in the 15th century under the control of the Venetian Republic. Actually, even today the spirit of medieval Venice is most felt in the architecture of the city.

Good to know:

Despite its favorable location and history of 25 centuries, Perast was never able to become a big city because of neighboring Kotor. The ancient city of Kotor, located just 13 km from Perast, has been a major fortress and trading center for many centuries. And Perast has always been dependent on Kotor. Its development was constrained by a stronger and larger neighbor.

Below are some general facts about Perast:

  • According to official data, the town was founded in the 3rd century. But Illyrian settlements were here as early as the 5th century BC.
  • Today there are only 349 permanent residents, according to the latest census.
  • And in summer it is a major tourist center with excellent infrastructure. Crowds of tourists come here every day.
  • City coordinates on the map: 42.486152307638015, 18.698627860655353

How to get to Perast

Perast has a very good location, it is close to all important transport routes of the country. It is not far and easy to get to from almost anywhere. And no matter which bus you take on the coast, almost any goes through Perast.

Of course, getting to Perast is easy and simple by car or taxi. Here is a link to a useful article: about taxi and transfer in Montenegro, prices, how to order. It will help you figure this out.

The most important question for independent tourists is how to get to Perast by bus. Answer: easy too. Buses run frequently along the coast. Below are the schedule and ticket prices:

How to get to Perast
Bus timetable from Kotor to Perast
  • Travel time from Kotor: 20 minutes
  • Ticket price: 2 euros
  • Buses depart from the Kotor bus station (5 minutes walk from the old town): 42.41972493200627, 18.770122817638182
  • In fact, there are much more buses to Perast from Kotor than in the screenshot above. All buses to Herceg Novi also go through Perast and stop there.
  • How to buy a ticket, where to look for a schedule and all about public transport in Montenegro.
  • And how to get to Kotor is quite easy. There are buses from almost any part of Montenegro.

Good to know:

Most tourists come to Perast with sightseeing tours of the Bay of Kotor. The largest selection of such excursions in the Bay of Kotor can be found at the link.

Rating of hotels and apartments in Perast

Here is an important point: Perast is a city of one day. It is extremely rare that someone comes here for more than 1-2 days. You can walk the whole city and all the main sights in 2 hours. Moreover there are no beaches.

Therefore, you are unlikely to come here for 2 weeks of your vacation. There’s simply nothing to do here all the time. But I will recommend hotels and apartments for 1-2 nights.

Below is a dynamic ranking of the most popular accommodations in Perast. There are both apartments with a kitchen and good hotels right on the waterfront. You can click on each option, read reviews, view photos and prices. Most are located right in the buildings of the Venetian era.

The best taverns and restaurants in Perast

In Montenegro, there is no problem to find a cafe to have a delicious meal. There is a great variety of cafes and restaurants in the country, they are at every turn. The most popular cuisines: Montenegrin cuisine with plenty of meat. And Mediterranean: pasta, risotto, seafood, pizza.

In Perast you will find restaurants that serve both cuisines. Here are the most popular of them (marked on the map of the city’s attractions below):

  • Bocalibre – perhaps the most inexpensive cafe in Perast
  • Otok Bronza – the menu has a large selection of traditional dishes: cevapi, pljescavica. Prices are moderate.
  • Šijavoga – Mediterranean and Montenegrin cuisine, prices are also moderate.
  • Mussel and oyster farm. In short, in Montenegro oyster farm can be found only in the Bay of Kotor. Farms usually have small family restaurants where you can taste delicious seafood. Oysters will be opened in your presence and the freshest mussels in wine sauce will be cooked. Oyster farms are today a hallmark of the Bay of Kotor.
    • Near Perast there are two farms: 900m from the city and 1.8km. You can even walk or take a boat from Perast.
    • I strongly recommend these restaurants. It is better to go to the farm that is further from the city
    • You will find an overview of all oyster farms in the bay, menus, prices in the article about the Bay of Kotor. You will also learn why the water in the bay is colder than the sea.
perast oyster farms
The freshest oysters at 2 euros per piece, opened in your presence

Good to know:

Perast is a city with both very budget cafes on the promenade and restaurants, where 100 euros for dinner is still cheap. At the same time, the servings are large.

Beach holidays and beaches

I’ll be very brief here. If you came here for a beach holiday then this is a big mistake. There are actually no beaches in Perast. Within walking distance are only concrete platforms for sunbathing without a good water entry.

There is only one small beach in the city, 50m long and 2m wide near the road.

perast beach
The only beach in Perast

Near the beach – Pirate Bar, I put a point on the map below.

TOP 10 attractions in Perast

Despite the fact that this is a very tiny town less than a kilometer in length from end to end, there is something to see. And 2 hours will fly by.

So the city has:

  • 18 palaces
  • 16 medieval churches
  • 2 islets
  • Chapel-bell tower
  • Museum
  • And a fortress on the mountain

An attentive reader will notice a catch and ask: how did all this fit in such a small town? Below is the answer and an overview of all the main attractions, opening hours, prices and tips for visiting. Read on and everything will become clear.

Perast attractions map

Beaches marked with green

Taverns and restaurants marked with purple

Attractions – with dark red

  • Let’s start with palaces. It’s not Versailles or Buckingham. Palaces in Perast are called the mansions of the rich and famous locals. Moreover, each such mansion bears the name of the family that owns it. There is almost no way to get inside, it’s actually not necessary. Each visit can take 2 minutes. Below are the most famous palaces of Perast:
    1. Balović 
    2. Bronza 
    3. Bujović 
    4. Viscović
    5. Zmajević
    6. Mrshe 
    7. Mazarović
    8. Sestokrilović 
    9. Smekja 
    10. Martinović
    11. Vukasović-Kolović
    12. Brajkoić and other.
    13. I did not add them all to the map, since they look approximately the same. Know that every house you pass by in Perast has a name and belonged to a noble family.
  • Now about churches. There are as many of them as palaces. But only two are the most famous and interesting for tourists. One in town and one on the island. I’ll tell you about the island separately, a little bit below:
    • St. Nicholas Church: in the heart of the city on the waterfront. Its bell tower can be seen from any part of the city and in all the photos.
    • Coordinates: 42.48614, 18.69863
    • You can climb the steep stairs to the top of the bell tower. Entrance – 1 euro.
    • Opening Hours: There is no specific opening hours. are usually open during daylight hours.
    • From the bell tower you have a great view of the whole bay and the city.

Author rating:

Go to the church and the bell tower – only if you are an amateur of religious architecture. And there are viewpoints in Perast even higher than the bell tower (photo at the beginning of the article).
perast montenegro
St. Nicholas Church and the bell tower, which can be seen from everywhere
  • Maritime Museum of Perast or today the Museum of the City of Perast. It is an ethnographic, historical and at the same time maritime museum of the city. Here is collected all its history, household items, maps, weapons, manuscripts, sailors’ uniforms.
    • The museum is located in the Bujović Palace. Perhaps this is the only palace that is worth a visit, and where you can get inside.
    • Coordinates: 42.48794, 18.69568. Located on the waterfront of the city.
    • The museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily
    • Ticket price: 5 euros
    • How much time to visit: although the museum is interesting, but very small, 20 minutes is enough.

Author rating:

5 points out of 10. The museum is very small and overpriced.
maritime museum perast montenegro
Bujović Palace, also known as the museum of the city of Perast
  • There is also an old Austro-Hungarian abandoned fortress on a mountainside above Perast. There is a lot of garbage and everything is overgrown with thorny bushes and cacti. The attraction is not particularly interesting, but you can freely get here.

And the main attraction of Perast for which there are so many tourists. And where you definitely need to go: the islands are 300 meters from the city.

attractions perast montenegro
St. George’s Island on the left is closed to tourists. On the right is the island of Our Lady of the Rocks, you can and should come here

There are two islands here, you can see them from any point:

  • St. George Island. It’s a closed island. Tourists can’t go there. There is a monastery there today.
  • The neighboring island is called Gospa od Škrpjela, translated into English – Our Lady of the Rocks. This is also the name of the boat tour to this island.
  • The boats depart every 15 minutes throughout the day. Travel time – 5 minutes.
  • Price: 5 euros.
  • How long will it take? about an hour and a half. The tour usually lasts about an hour.
  • On the island there is the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks. According to legend, it was built by sailors who were thrown onto this rock by a storm. They found an icon of the Mother of God here. The size of the island is 30 by 100 meters. Also there is a tiny promenade, a lighthouse, a mini museum with icons and gift shop.
  • Must visit place: 10 out of 10.
perast island montenegro
It’s the entire island. Take drinks with you when it’s hot, there is nowhere to buy it on the island.

These were all the main attractions of Perast. Walk along its medieval streets, drink coffee on the promenade, take a boat to the island. This is more than enough to feel the atmosphere of this place.

Travel Tips and Fašinada

And now a few tips:

  • Most tourists come here as part of group tours of the Bay of Kotor. And Perast is just one of the points of the route. They usually have 1-2 hours for the city.
  • If you are traveling alone, plan 3-4 hours. This is enough to see the entire city and island.
  • It makes no sense to stay here for more than one day. But I personally know tourists who stayed here for 4-5 days and went to see different sights of the bay every day.
  • Remember, there are no beaches here.
  • Visit oyster farm especially if you like oysters.

Good to know:

If possible, plan to visit the city on July 22. Fašinada is celebrated on this day every year. You will like it.

According to legend, on this day the sailors laid the first stone of the church on the island. Local men decorate and chain all their boats. Rocks and palm seedlings are loaded into boats.

With songs and music they sail past the promenade and tourists to the island. All brought stones are thrown into the water near the island, as if strengthening it from destruction. And then a sailing regatta takes place.

Fasinada perast montenegro
Fašinada in Perast: a very unusual and original feast.

In conclusion: Perast is considered to be the most romantic city. People come here not for the beaches, and not even for historical sights. There are many cities in Montenegro with much more beaches and architectural sights. Tourists go to Perast for the atmosphere: just walk along the streets, climb to the viewpoint above the city, drink coffee in a cafe on the waterfront and have a boat trip along the bay to the island.

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro

  • Aviasales – Cheap Flights and best deals.
  • Car rental in Montenegro:
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    • LocalRent – works with local rental companies. Leader in car rental in Montenegro.
  • Hotels and apartments all over the country:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Montenegro
  • Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
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  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
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